So Many

So many nights, I cried myself to sleep
So many nights, I asked God to take me
So many nights, I lay restless praying it’d all fade
So many nights, I plotted the end to my life…

So many days, I didn’t want to go on
So many days, I was in a dark haze
So many days, I pretended I was okay
So many days, I thought I’m a walking mistake

So many prayers, I asked God for it to end
So many prayers, I asked God to take the pain
So many prayers, I asked God to forgive my weakness
So many prayers, I asked God to heal my heart

So many moons, I looked up wishing I was someone else
So many moons, I spent somewhere else
So many moons, I stumbled around confused
So many moons, I tortured myself with abuse

So many times, I survived my lost self
So many times, I’ve risked it all and was saved
So many times, I held on to anything
So many times, God has answered my prayers a different way

Hold on. Your story isn’t over.

Recovery: A Beautiful Mess

Recovery. The very word makes us think of difficult things. The painful process of learning to walk again after an injury. Endless days, melting away in a tank of addicted and hurting people, while the rest of the world lives their lives. Even identifying with the word itself implies that you’re a mess. Not fun.

But while it may paint an ugly picture in our minds, if we take a moment to look at the gaping, open wound, on our body, the word recovery becomes a Godsend. It’s a goal, a hope, and a dream.

Now, I know that in this world, we like to talk a lot about, “It’s all going to be okay,” or “It’s not that bad.” Sometimes we even hear audacious and clueless statements like, “Just get over it!”

I’m not going to do any of that.

If you’re here, chances are you understand pain, or you’re trying to understand the pain of a loved one who is going through something. (If that’s you, I want you to take a moment. Breathe. And recognize that you, too are going through pain, even if only vicariously! And sometimes, that’s the most hopeless feeling of all, when you feel like there is nothing that you can do! This post is for you, too, dear friend!)

Now I know with a post like this, you might start off thinking, “God, not another one of these hopeful, blithering idiots, telling me to hang on.” I get it. But you made it here, anyway, so you at least have the hope that something useful might emerge, and shift something inside you.

At the end of the day, that’s really what we’re looking for. SHIFT. Chances are there is one point in your life where you can remember not feeling as bad as you do today. I said it in my last post, and I’ll say it here. I’m not writing this in a place of great joy. No.

I’m writing this in the midst of my greatest trial.

My life has been nothing if not difficult beyond words. You know the kind of experiences that you can’t even put into words – the kind no pen has the ink to express – I understand it. Yet in all that, I honestly tell you that this has been the hardest season of my life. I tell you this not to exact sympathy, because I don’t know your story, and I’d never ask of you what I know doesn’t help either of us. What I do want to do is let you know that whether you may think so or not, I do understand.

But this post isn’t about the wound.

It’s about the healing process.

Now in this world, I know that healing can sometimes seem like such a distant and impossible thought; some of you would sooner climb Everest with a spoon and a pack of dental floss. But I want to remind you that you haven’t given up yet. And for that – you have the heart of a champion.

We see champions all day. People who box in the highest league, sing their hearts out in front of stadiums, or paint the next Sistine Chapel. We glorify them as idols and put them on a pedestal. But to me, the real heroes are the people who find peace after it’s been ripped away. People who rise above, when they’ve been beaten down over and over again. Some of the greatest heroes to ever live, by this standard, have never been in front of a camera. Their words have never been broadcast to hundreds or thousands of people. Myself, I find it a privilege and an honour that you’re reading this right now. Know that I don’t treat that lightly. Then ten minutes of your time you’ve given to me to read this are the most precious gift I’ll ever receive.

So what do I know about this?

I may not have it all together yet, but over my nearly thirty years on this earth, I’ve had a lot of lessons handed to me. Most, I’m ashamed to say, I’ve had to learn repeatedly, the hard way. But by the grace of God, I learn and forge on.

My story is a little different than most. While I know the pain of rejection, abuse, heartbreak, and loneliness so well, I’ve lived a somewhat extreme life. I’ve sought to ease the pain in getting everything our media tells us makes you a successful man. I kept my integrity in tact, but I worked myself to the bone, finishing school early, building up successful companies, even touching the world in various projects and endeavours throughout the years. In all this, I found no healing. Only more emptiness.

Like an untreated wound, time does not heal that which is ignored.

Not long ago, I had it all (on paper): great income, dated a beautiful woman, lived in a gorgeous house. This has been the basic repetition of my life. I’d build it up, then walk away, letting it all fall down just to build it again. I thought if I changed my circumstances, my life would be happy. Maybe just hit that next goal. Just one more hit… One more, I promise. Next time will be better.

Now I don’t want to distance myself from you. I grew up very poor and isolated. I’ve been judged most of my life. I chose to fight, at whatever cost. The only difference here may be that I was a little more ignorant. The reason I say this is to get to the real point, and I hope you’re still tracking with me…

Every pain comes from a wound.

This is hard to swallow, and it’s taken me near thirty years to find the stomach, myself. So please, hear me when I say, that I’m not trying to over-simplify with some useless platitude of, “It’s all okay.”

The truth is, the beginning of healing starts with one thing. Just one.

Recovery. Is. Possible.

It may seem like there is no end to the pain, and I feel you on that, whole heartedly. But I want to encourage you today to do only one thing. I know how hard it can be to even get up. And you made it that far. Your friends might not get it, but I do. That’s an accomplishment when you feel like you can’t. Maybe you’re still in bed, but hey, you picked up the laptop. You came here. Which tells me one thing, you care about recovery.

So I want to challenge you with this.

Take this week and pray, meditate, and think on that one thought: Recovery is possible for me.

Take time to let that sink in… But after it does, you might be saying, “Ok. Got that. But what’s the next step? How do I recover?” We’ll go through this in future posts, but I will tell you the next key.

You’re a mess. And that’s okay.

You have to accept that where you are in life is a mess. (“This isn’t even my final form!” #GeekHumor)

But what I want to get across to you today is that you’re a beautiful mess.

Why is it beautiful? Think about it – you’re a person who is so unique that no one comes close to being remotely like you. Not only that, by being someone in this state, you’re often misunderstood by many. This means that you are so complexly deep and have so many emotions and thoughts that you don’t fit in with the normal “groove” of society. Do you realize how incredible that is?

I don’t want to sound crass, but normal is boring to me. If you possess the capability of thinking, feeling, being, so deeply that you don’t even connect with the majority of society, I want you to take a step back… BREATHE… And celebrate your mess.

You’re beautiful.

Keys to remember:

1. Recovery is possible

2. Link up with those who do get you. (There are more than you think!)

3. Find someone who will show you love and listen, and take advantage. Talk through it.

Try it, and please feel free to comment to share, vent, or whatever. I read every comment!

God Bless,
Ron Sharpp

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