First Reading: Je 1:17-19
Gospel: Mk 6:17-29
This blog is my journey into the light, my escape into the Lord’s arms and away from my dark place.
I have written about my dark place in previous posts before, but this is the first time that I will extensively talk about it.
My dark place is where I wallowed for the better part of last year. It started when I fell in love with someone who was in a relationship. I fell in love with her, and I showed it to her even if we never talked about it. We went out on dates. We had public displays of affection. A stranger would see us and think we actually were a couple.
The fling ended when she realized that what we were doing was wrong. She stopped texting me, and did not want to meet up with me. Ignoring the wrongness of what we were doing, I was mad at her for leaving me.
It did not help that my best friend left to work overseas at the same time that this happened to me, so I had no one to talk to about it.
At home, my relationship with my parents had deteriorated. I was mad at them for being old. I bristled when my dad complained about the news. I was annoyed when my mom nagged me. I felt that I was already an adult, and I wanted to move out of the house. It was a relief when they left for Australia for three months.
However, at work, I was benched removed from my client account. For the last four months of my tenure there, I simply went to work, signed a timesheet, and went home.
With nothing keeping me busy, I started to stray. I became addicted to porn in all its shapes and sizes (pun not intended). I read smut – a lot of it, and not the kind moms read at coffee shops surreptitiously (see: Fifty Shades of Grey, though I read that, too). My thinking was – I had no girlfriend, I hated my parents, I hated my work, my best friend’s far away, I wanted to move out but I can’t, and I’ve gotten fat from all the pizza (yes, I became a cliche) – fuck it, I’m doing what I want, and there’s nothing anybody can do about it.
This destructive thinking was exacerbated by the fact that I blamed everyone for my misery. I also wallowed in self-pity and jealousy. The jealousy turned into anger turned into depression turned into suicidal thoughts. This went on for a long time.
On New Year’s Eve, I and my parents were driving to shop for that night’s dinner. My mom asked me a question, and I responded to her in an angry tone. She nagged me again about my short fuse, to which I snapped and proved her right about it. Then my dad, in the quietest of tones, said to me:
“Wala ka nang respeto sa magulang mo.”
(You have no respect for your parents anymore.)
I fought hard not to cry inside the car.
That night, I was alone in my room with lights turned off. A literal dark place. It had become so bad that the dark place inside my head became a physical entity. It was 10PM, my parents were already asleep. The whole world was celebrating New Year’s Eve. Fireworks were bursting out of the sky, lighting up the world. And yet our home was shrouded in darkness, all because of me.
That’s when I decided to change. I told myself that I needed to fix my shit.
Fast forward. It has been a year since I entered my dark place, and praise God that I’ve gotten out of it. This blog is a continuing journey to tear my dark place down, brick by brick. That small gesture of deciding that I need to fix my life has been transformative. The amusing thing about it is that I never included God in my plans that New Year’s Eve. But God is merciful. Through his grace he heard me, and through all of my decisions to become a better person, he blessed me.
I wanted to get in the best shape of my life, God steered me to Herbalife.
At Herbalife, I told a coach about my mission to fix my life, she invited me to a retreat.
At the retreat, I was reintroduced to God, and that’s when I realized he had been with me all along.
The simplest of choices set me down in this path. And his love and grace for me was what inspired me to start this blog, in the hopes that I can do for others what God has been doing for me.
It has been a whirlwind of a year. Where a year ago there was nothing but darkness, my life is now awash with light. Where my life was a drab gray mess, now it’s a riot of colors. No way am I going back. And I will never have to, for I am with the Lord.
“They will fight against you, but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. (Je 1:19)”