The intention of this post is not to offend anyone. Please, if you are easily offended do not read. Also, it's a little long. You have been warned.
When I was younger I lived in a delirious world where I thought everything was happiness and sunshine. I pondered whether I was going to become a fireman or a lizard when I grew up. I wondered how many candy bars I could steal from my parents cupboard before I got caught. I would sneak into my brothers room and play with his expensive collectables and wonder if I would get into trouble. I didn't care about the consequence I would face because it was my world, and it was all about me. It was due to this delusion that I couldn't see the pains of the people around me. When people were hurt or upset I chalked it up to a bad game of candy land...or something. I never noticed the whirlwinds that were surrounding me because I was too busy pretending to be a cheetah or a power ranger...or a cheetah power ranger.
This cheetah turns into a power ranger...mind blown!
Today, I still face that dilemma, only in a different way. I'm kept in the dark about many of the things that go on in the lives of those around me. When I learn something about someone it's either from a third-party or after the situation is over. I know this sounds like I'm complaining...and I am, but I promise I have point. This has given me the unconscious idea that I don't need to open up or tell anyone else anything. It seems foreign to me and even when I try and open up my personal book it comes across as sarcasm or even anger. In this post, I want to do something that I rarely do with people, open up. I want to share with you apart of my past that I haven't ever shared with anyone (expect my wife).
When I came home from my mission after the third time of trying, I felt abandoned. I had tried to serve Jesus three times and I came up short all three times. I ended up with three different illnesses that I will suffer with for the rest of my life, and when I came home I felt like no one was there. I needed someone to talk to me. I needed them to tell me that I wasn't a failure. I needed them to help me fix myself emotionally not just physically. The first day I was home I layed on the floor in my bedroom and cried. I felt like I was worthless. I felt like the weight of the world had rested on my chest and I couldn't breathe. I felt like the reason I had been sent home every time I tried to go out was because I was hated by God in some way. I could not see the good. I had no one to help me see it either. I felt like the worst person in the world.
I began to find things to distract me from the sense of failure. I started to smoke cigarettes to calm my stress. It didn't work and only made me feel guilty because I had smoked them. I'm grateful for an awesome roommate who was willing to put up with me during that time and even threw my cigarettes away when I bought them. I also slowly became dependent on prescription drugs. It was easy for me to get them because I was in so much pain that I just had to ask for more and was given them. I took them every day in order to block everything out. I realized that I had a problem when I couldn't think of anything else. It was another awesome roommate who helped me stop. We talked and decided that the pain I would have would be better than continuing the addiction to drugs.
When the last of the drugs left my body I felt the world crash onto my chest again. I had to force myself to start thinking about everything. The failure crept back in like a bull in a china shop. I felt hopeless. I felt like throwing in the towel, but I worked through it. I placed everything on the table and studied it. Every puzzle I could figure out went into the box and got thrown away. When I got married, I still struggled with some things so I carried them with me into marriage. I continued to put puzzle pieces together and then throw them away. It wasn't until four years into my marriage that I finally threw the last puzzle away. Now, I look back at them and realize how stupid they were to keep around. They took so much space in my mind and didn't allow me to think about anything else.
I share this with you because I've been thinking a lot about my mission lately. It's been ten years since I left and nine since I got sent home. I'm over all of the heartache that it caused. When I think of my mission it's only in a good way. I remember meeting some incredible people. I met people who I consider family. I still talk with them and would do anything for them. I look at the pictures and see all of the beautiful places I lived and explored. I have stories that will stay with me forever. I've had adventures that I can't wait to share with my children when they get older.