Did you ever see a woman circus performer walk the tightrope … and slip?
One foot dips down past the wire while she steadies herself on one anxiety-filled foot. Dressed in a sleek, stick-to-your-body costume, you see her every move even though she is far above your head.
Slowly and with eager intentions to stay on the skinny black wire, she draws her other foot back and places it, as if on egg shells.
Preparing to resume movement, she inhales a shallow breath while her smile broadens for the audience.
Phew, I thought she was going to fall, too.
The tightrope of my past was sinewy and extra bouncy. Stability was unknown to me.
The more I tried to do the right thing every single moment, the harder it was to balance myself.
Sometimes I found my bloody fingers desperately gripping the wire as my feet flailed in midair.
When my parents’ marriage fell apart in front of my eyes.
When my mom’s boyfriend hit her, more than once.
When her alcohol was more important than me.
When I was an excited college senior just getting back to the dorm after summer break, and Mom
had a seizure. Three short months later, she was gone.
I couldn’t balance on one foot. I was too afraid of falling. Everyone was watching me for my next move. So many responsibilities.
Its better if you find someone outside the family to talk to.
Unable to breathe deeply and fully, I lived on little oxygen and a heart full of unshed tears. If I started to cry, I might not stop. I would prefer to be held and loved, but there was no one.
I was designated to be strong.
Back on the wire, shakily surviving while the world around me slowly disappeared.
Overwhelmed and lost, I did not know which direction to go on the wire. Simply standing was about all I could do.
Holding your breath doesn’t get you a job or an apartment or peace, but it is something you can control … it’s a precious function of your own body.
Instead of loving my body, I abused it.
The food I ate was calorie-counted and exercised off. The safe cocoon of sleep beckoned me. Sometimes it was easier to sleep than to stare the pain in the face.
Seeking love, I offered my body to those who did not cherish it.
Gaping holes of hell took residence in my soul.
Its amazing how we go back to the very thing that tainted the love we received.
We learn by watching.
We see the drowning of worries in a bottle. We see the way it celebrates and steals.
We see a pattern laid before us, inviting us in.
Aren’t you going to have a drink, Julie? Have another …
The calming effects squelched the acute anxiety about my groundless walk. That felt good.
But why is it when one knows no joy, the draw is to more alcohol?
Alcohol is the medicine for the pain.
Stuffing your feelings down, robbing them of a proper outlet … a couple of beers bring bravery and many beers bring tears, the ones that have been hidden and locked up tight without a key.
Inside each tear is an accumulation of shame, fear, and the loneliness that has no answer.
A river of emotion in a room full of unaware, party-having, inebriated people.
Waking up and no recollection of what you just experienced brings your life immediately back to the wire.
Try again to make your body stand upright, only to slip and swallow the constant fear of falling … of dying … of my remains lying beneath the cold hard ground.
2 Corinthians 4:4, NLT Study Bible
Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
Friends, maybe you are caught in a vicious cycle of some kind. Could it involve a relationship with a person, with alcohol, with your past?
Please know I am praying for you today. With my whole heart, I believe Jesus can set us free with His Truth and His Love and heal any type of wound.
Though I did not experience every day as bleak as this in my 20’s, this post is representative of my heart condition without Jesus. I feared death. I was lonely. I felt a failure and ashamed of choices I continued to make.
If you are hurting and need assistance today, always call 911 if you are physically unsafe.
If you are holding emotional baggage and don’t know where to turn, leave a comment here, contact a local pastor, trusted friend or professional counselor.
If you know Jesus, turn to Him and share this post so He may reach others.
If you don’t know Jesus and have questions, let me know.
Until we “meet” again, part 2 of this series will post this Friday the 10th.