Tuesday, January 28, 2014

THROUGH THE VALLEY OF SHADOWS & DEATH

Through the valley of shadows and death she walked
Feeling cold and bare
With a heavy blanket of sorrow hiding her nakedness
Her soul broken,
Her breath frail,
And her spirit fainting

No sense of hope, no point of direction
The tenebrosity of the night deprived her of her senses
Fumbling and stumbling as she ran directionless into the abysm of seclusion...
I’ve heard about this place, and its quiet torments
It is enough to drive the sound of mind to the edge of insanity
And render the vigorous into feebleness

Slowly she felt the nectar of her life slowly slipping away
No desire to die but no reason to live
Alone and abandoned
Sun sinking behind the high mountains
And fog engulfing her soul
Her biggest fears drowning her
Her pain taunting her
And evil whispers daring her to give up
Calling her into the darkness with no return
Completely loosing all sense of balance and sanity
She fell into a deep deep hole

She almost let go of her spirit
And surrendered to despair

Then she remembered…
She remembered those whom she loved
Those whom she knew loved her

See, the shadows have a way of obscuring the reality of life
And in the dusk of the night, giving in to the darkness is only too tempting
Escaping is only too easy
Instead of standing up and putting up a fight…

She knew she must get up…
She tried and she tired, but every time she tumbled and fell back in
The void she had fallen into appeared to have no way out…
Her body was now bloodied and her eyes could not muster a single more tear
With a broken body and a crumbling spirit
She mustered out the only words she could
Help me she said, someone please …
Help… me…
The last word barely made its way out…
As she dozed off into an unconscious sleep

In the denseness of the night,
She suddenly felt warmth cover her cold body
An outstretched hand appeared
Her eyes looked up to meet a pair of caring eyes.
There was hope and love in his gaze
The friendly stranger took her hand
And as their fingers touched,
A jolt of energy ran through every nerve in her body
A sense of rejuvenation
She let him clean her bloodied body
And mend her broken spirit
Although afraid, she took his hand
And slowly let him guide her through the fog.

With every step she took
A bit of life re-entered her body
As the sun started to rise and the night subsided,
She realized she was standing on a high peak
High above where she had been before
Her sadness was suddenly a remote memory
And a profound exhilaration overtook her
She suddenly remembered the gracious stranger
She turned around wanting to embrace and thank him
But he was nowhere to be found
Instead she saw a note that said:
“As I have done for you, never hesitate to outreach your hand
To a weary traveler passing through the valley of shadows and death”

I now ask You, dear reader... are YOU willing to be that outstretched hand to someone in need?

Written by Lorena Monroy © 2009


I wrote this back in 2009 when I had finally decided to ask for help - the girl in this poem is clearly me - and this poem was a very hopeful forbearing of the healing and restoration that has occurred in my life since then.

I spent all of my teens and early twenties severely depressed and suicidal. Attempted suicide multiple times. Anxiety controlled my life. I struggled with eating disorders. I abused substances. I self-harmed. No one knew, until it got really bad. Acknowledging that I was hurting and being willing to talk about it was the first step towards healing. I am still on my healing journey. Some days depression and anxiety still try to bring me down, but I have learned that there is hope, there is healing, and there is a future for anyone who has ever suffered or is still suffering from any mental health challenges.

Mental Health Week is happening right now. I hope that my story gives hope to anyone who needs it right now. If you know anyone that is struggling with a mental health illness, please don't turn a blind eye. There is help, there is hope, and a future for anyone who is feeling like there is not. 

Love,
Lorena




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