Utah seniors share their stories of resilience.
I hardly remember a time the dragon wasn’t there. It’s been with me from the beginning, sometimes loud and ominous and other times small and timid. A voice telling me I should end my life and that I am not good enough. I remember hearing it at four years of age, surely to young to have thoughts of laying in the road and ending my tiny existence; but still it was there. For years I shoved it down to the very core of my spirit and ignored it. I told no one, and swept it under the rug like I was taught to do. I was taught just like my parents were taught and generations before them. I hid my abuse as well. I hid my feelings and emotions to the point I could numb myself entirely. The whole world could of imploded and I wouldn’t of cared. Things cannot remain buried though, and it festered like a cancer and returned with no benevolence.
At seventeen the thoughts returned and after downing a half bottle of excedrian , my mother demanded I see a therapist. For years I sat with the dragon. I would shove antidepressants at it, therapy, diet and exercise. At times it would shrink and become a tiny dragon, not so dark and scary but still there. The moment I started feeling better; I would stop doing all the things I needed to do to quell it. Before I knew it was breathing fire down my back again. I would chop its head off and it would return like a hydra with even more heads of fury. Then when I went to Hawaii in 2019 the dragon disappeared completely; swallowed by the ocean tied and a, “I love me mantra.” For two years it stopped. It was the most blissful two years of my life. Then I stopped doing self care and the things I needed, and it returned. It’s gotten old and I’m utterly exhausted. If you don’t understand mental health maybe you will understand pain. It’s chronic pain fighting that dam dragon ever day. I am tired and I am weary, but still I fight. And like a diabetic should never stop taking their insulin, I should have never stopped doing the things I needed to do to tame my dragon. This is something that is not talked about enough and that’s why I share. There is so much shame wrapped around mental health still. Funny, I feel like I could share about my sexual abuse so much easier than my mental illness . My own shame
Is twisted around this topic as well. I also share because someone out there feels like me . Someone out there fights the good fight every day, with blood, tears, sweat, grief and love. Somedays are blissful and beautiful and somedays are so hard. There is hope and light ahead. There is love and people who understand. And maybe our dragons will always be there, but you don’t have to slay them alone. You can ask for help out ward and heaven ward. You will be surprised how many people will understand and show you compassion and grace. You will be surprised by how many have their own demons and dragons they dance with as well. This I know, we are never really truly alone. Christ sat with our dragons long before we did. He will either tame them or slaughter them in his own due time. There is healing power In his wings. There is hope in his hands. Take care of yourself, love yourself, have hope In yourself. If Jesus christ the son of God can love you after he has seen all your ugliness, and brokenness, then surely you are worth it. Truly you are loved, because among the brokenness there is beauty, and there is love. You are worth saving. You have not been abandoned. Les Sperry
About the Author
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