Snippets of My Life

An Essay By Damaris Ann // 10/30/2018

I have been trying, like Little Women’s Jo March, to write about familiar things, so as practice I have taken a few moments of my life and written them down. I realize that they are mostly depressing moments from 2+ years ago, but I’m working on projecting emotions through writing, and these are the moments that I feel I captured well. So please, enjoy, and share your thoughts/critiques.

~

I was tired, lonely, and sad, so I did what I always do when I’m having a bad day; I took a walk down to the creek. It was overcast, yet still hot. I took off my shoes when I got to the low water crossing and walked into the middle. The water was cool and refreshing, and I stood still while it washed over my feet, nearly reaching my ankles.

I stared off into the water, my gaze reaching a million miles beyond the three feet of creek water with minnows and sunfish. The pain, discomfort, and sorrow were all too much in that moment, and my eyes teared up. “I just want it all to end.” I whispered to myself. I tipped my head to one side, and I knew that if I fell headfirst into the creek and breathed in the water, I would die. I was too weak to try and fight it if I did fall in, anyways. It might even look like an accident.

I took one step closer to the edge of the concrete, then caught my breath. I spoke out loud, my whole body shuddering with emotion. “Oh God, I can’t do that! You know I can’t. It is not my place to choose when I die. But oh, God, I’m so ready to die. I’m so ready to leave all of this sickness and sorrow. I’m tired of feeling unable to meet each day. Take me home, Lord. Please. I’m ready to meet You. I’m ready to worship You forever. Take me, Lord.”

I closed my eyes and wrapped my arms around myself while crying silently for a few minutes. Then I stepped out of the water and put my shoes on. I went home.

~

My feet were in so much pain that my insides shook every time I tried to move. I cried on my bed while my little sister tried awkwardly to comfort me before she and my brothers left to join our group of friends. Eyeliner was smeared across my cheeks and I was beyond caring.

Pain is a relative term, but for me the levels were crashing through the ceiling and beyond, soaring into the Carolina skies. Never had I been so beyond able to cope with the flaming nerves and drilling ache in my bones.

My stomach was still convulsing with pain, so I decided to make the ten-foot trek across the room to get my water and cell salts. As soon as I tried to take the first step I realized that walking would be impossible without help, but all of the people in my group were out hiking. I leaned over as far as could and grabbed the back of the wooden chair that was sitting a few feet away. I gripped it with shaking knuckles and dragged it across the room with me, trusting my full weight to its back. I was crying and gasping from the pain, and as soon as I made it back to my bed I collapsed, pulling my limbs in until I was curled protectively around myself.

I cried every tear I had, sobbing and wailing in my pain and frustration. I mourned for my lost health, and grieved for my poor body. I hugged myself and gently rocked back and forth until I was calm again, and then I drifted off into a deep sleep.

~

More often than I’d like, I hit this point of absolute mental exhaustion that can’t handle any more “life”; and especially not at the rate that it is dished out to me. And it’s not even that it’s all hard things/bad news: it’s a mixture of just all of it. How vague can I be??? Marriages, funerals, vacations, courtships, conferences, family trauma (whether mine or a friend’s), and engagements can pile up and spill over quickly. And then I’m left full to the brim yet simultaneously washed out.

And my own thought-life inside my head is drowning in ideas and conspiracies; while I overthink literally every aspect of my personal life. It’s too much, and I can’t handle it.

I’ve allowed myself to fall for someone who is unavailable and unreachable; his heartstrings are slowly wrapping around the soul of another woman. And I am crushed. I am ground to a pulp and left dripping off the edge of the shelf where I have sat for the last few years.

The tendrils of my heart have already begun to slowly wrap themselves back into a soft cocoon. There they will stay; tucked away safely until God asks me to unfurl them in all their sparkling, dimpling, virgin beauty. Until then I will learn to wait, and pray for clarity to see (when the timing is right) that there is someone who has been made worthy to receive them.

~

Florida Georgia Line and Hailee Steinfeld were blasting from the radio, and I had my hand out the open window. My two younger siblings and I were rolling down the county road I live on, deep in the heart of the Texas hill country. I felt the moist, stickiness on my fingers from the humidity outside, and giggled out loud for pure joy of living. These little moments have always stood out to me more than the big ones do.

See, ever since my bout of illness, I had been learning to appreciate the little things in life. The few moments in which I felt good and had energy were few and far between, so I had to fight to feel the joy and purity in life on most days.

~

end

Comments

Jeremiah 29:11 (NAS): For I

Jeremiah 29:11 (NAS): For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

Sounds like you’ve really been through some hard times, Damaris. Well done in pulling through! Well done in turning around and remembering who is ultimately in control. I have no doubt that these events are helping you become a strong and incredible woman.
As for critiques, I have none.

Psalm 37:4 (NAS): Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

Jill Levine Tyler | Thu, 11/01/2018

Jill L. Tyler

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

Thank you!

Jill, thank you. I appreciate your comment so much, and especially the verses. That passage in Jeremiah is one of my favorites.

Damaris Ann | Thu, 11/01/2018

I don’t thrive off of chaos: chaos thrives off of me.

Wow, Damaris. Your writing

Wow, Damaris. Your writing and language in this is so evocative and vivid and compelling. This was a visceral moment of beauty:

Pain is a relative term, but for me the levels were crashing through the ceiling and beyond, soaring into the Carolina skies. Never had I been so beyond able to cope with the flaming nerves and drilling ache in my bones.

but I think this was by far the most stunning image:

The tendrils of my heart have already begun to slowly wrap themselves back into a soft cocoon. There they will stay; tucked away safely until God asks me to unfurl them in all their sparkling, dimpling, virgin beauty.

Your language here is exquisite, and you create such a lifelike, breathing, moving portrait. Really, really lovely work.

My only critique (if you want one) is that the section where you're riding in the car could be moved more into the present. It feels perhaps more reflective and reminiscent than the other scenes, which really place us in the moment with you. That sense of immediacy drives this piece of writing, and allows the reader to breathe into the fullness of the language.

Thank you for sharing these stories. Being willing to put yourself out there like this is vulnerable, and it's brave. Your personal stories are always so impactful, and I encourage you to keep sharing them if you find it's helpful and healing. You never know who might be impacted by them, or who needs your words!

On an even more personal note, I realize these were written at a different time in your life, but I just wanted to say that I hope you've come to a place where you recognize your worth and value in this world. You are a friend to many, an encouraging voice, a gifted writer, and a sister and daughter, to name just a few that I know from this site. You are loved, and the AP community is always here for you too. <3 I'll be sending you happy thoughts!

Also (lol), re the last bit, I know you know this, but you'll find your person! When it is meant to be, somebody will come along, and you'll be perfect for each other. If the person you think you want is not available, then it was never supposed to be them. There's someone else! But in the meantime, you're a fabulous person with so many talents, and you can develop your relationship with yourself. I think that's so crucial!

Sorry for the novel. Just wanted you to know I read this, and that you're seen & heard! I hope you're doing well. <3

Madeline | Sat, 11/03/2018

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

Damaris,

This was beautiful and touched me immensely. The only thing I think that might be made better was what Madeline suggested, but I cannot think of anything else. It's perfect how it is.
To make us feel through your stories and relate and bring us to hope at the end - that is a feat worth accomplishing literarily, but it goes further than that by encouraging others who need healing and are struggling. I was blessed to read this.
Know that I am praying for you and love you very much.

John 14:27 - "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you. Not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Libby | Sat, 11/03/2018

“The gospel alone is the power of God unto salvation.
Therefore, suffer, yes. Be misunderstood, yes. Be shamed, yes. But do not be ashamed. For the joy set before you, take up your cross, follow Jesus, be shamed and despise the shame!" -- John Piper

Hello, Damaris! It's been a

Hello, Damaris! It's been a while! I'm sorry that you experienced such great pain, but I just wanted to say that your writing has grown tremendously since the last time I read something by you. I really felt for you. I hope that you are better now and you have found solace.
On another note, I thought it was interesting that you were trying to emulate Jo March because my capstone class to get my English degree is focused on American Transcendentalism, which Louisa May Alcott was associated with through her father. I just read a whole biography on her and am preparing to write a 15 page paper on her writing (not Little Women, but something a little obscure). As you may (or may not!) know, Jo March is a semi-autobiographical version of Louisa herself. Louisa was an avid user of journals (as were many people in the 19th century) and these journals were meant to be shared amongst friends and family (kind of like a pinterest board for the time, if you will lol). I think you captured her style very well here, and I love that you felt comfortable enough with this online community to be willing to share personal and vulnerable moments such as these.
Sorry for my nerdy rant! Again, I hope you are well.

Erin | Tue, 11/06/2018

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Madeline!

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’ve read over your comment SO many times, just breathing it in and feeling the love. Please know that I have been meaning to respond every day lately, but I’ve been a bit in my head and I don’t like commenting unless I’m in just the right mood. ;) I’m psycho like that.
THANK GOD I have been depression-free since mid-July. That is something that I do not take lightly, nor do I take it for granted. Sadly the physical health stuff is pretty recent and current, so I would appreciate continued prayer/kind thoughts while I try to get through it.
Again, thank you so much. I appreciate you SO much, Madeline. <3

Damaris Ann | Mon, 11/12/2018

I don’t thrive off of chaos: chaos thrives off of me.

Thank you, Libby.

Your comment made me smile. :) I love you too, and I appreciate your encouragement, love, prayers, and scripture more than I can adequately express. <3

Damaris Ann | Mon, 11/12/2018

I don’t thrive off of chaos: chaos thrives off of me.

ERIN

Okay, so, your comment absolutely made my day because I am slightly obsessed with Luisa M Alcott. I find that I relate to her on a personal level; ESPECIALLY through my knowledge of Jo March. Which obscure work of hers are you writing about? I am pretty sure I’ve read almost every work of hers. Work: A Story if Experience is my personal favorite. :)

And thank you so much for your high praise. I am truly humbled.

Damaris Ann | Mon, 11/12/2018

I don’t thrive off of chaos: chaos thrives off of me.

We read Moods! I personally

We read Moods! I personally didn't enjoy it, but it was Louisa's great artistic passion although it didn't achieve great commercial success.

Erin | Mon, 11/12/2018

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Oh that one was so depressing

Oh that one was so depressing to me haha. But still a great artistic achievement.

Damaris Ann | Mon, 11/12/2018

I don’t thrive off of chaos: chaos thrives off of me.