The Rough Patch

Life has its moments when it’s really easy and then suddenly, a disaster hits you. One minute I can feel on top of the world and then the next minute I’m asking myself, “What’s wrong with me?” This was something I didn’t want to mention but God told me that sharing my pain will help somebody. And since I am His humble servant, I will share my story.

On October 3rd, 2013 I had a mental breakdown my sophomore year in college. At this point too much was on my shoulders. I kept arguing with my mother about my competency to finish college, my workload was very heavy, and I lost all of my friends from freshman year of college which caused me to feel really lonely. In return, I isolated myself because I just figured no one would understand and they would just judge me. 

I was so high that day that I don’t remember much. But I do remember screaming and playing loud music just wishing someone would save me. However, the pain didn’t go away. Suddenly, 3 cops showed up to my door and escorted me to an ambulance. I was embarrassed seeing everybody watching me like I was a side-show attraction but deep down inside, I knew it was best for me to go.
After 4 days of rehab, medication, and group therapy I felt better. However, the pain didn’t go away permanently because I had to return to college. My mother and I argued because, “I had put her through too much!” To make matters worse, My aunt chimed in as well saying, “Don’t do it again!” 
It’s sad how family members can yell and belittle when you’re in pain.

Luckily I’ve matured and I understand why. My family wasn’t trying to see me in pain anymore so they felt it was best to tell me what I did was wrong. Their hope was that I would change because I realized how much pain I put the family through. Of course I didn’t want to hurt my family but I do wish they were more understanding of mental health and the pressure people face on a daily basis. 

When I was younger someone else told me, “Caleb, you have to tell somebody what’s going with you or you’re going to explode! As a 27-year-old adult, I believe them! 
The pressure of being a man since 6 years and taking care of a house at 14 years old. I patterned manhood from my uncle, my track coach, and pro wrestlers. I didn’t talk about the pain, I just learned it’s best to just suck it up and move forward because what else can I do? It became routine to no longer feel anything and normal to be too tired to talk anymore.

The pressure of trying to keep friendships. I over analyze people too much and I always think everyone is trying to get me. It’s been better since I’ve found God but when your father tried to kill your mother, you’ve lost friends and family for no reason, and problems keep happening to you and noon answers your calls or texts. Sometimes you convince yourself, “They don’t mess with me like that anymore!”

Just imagine talking to somebody and the following happens…

Me: Right now a lot is going on in my life and I just feel so overwhelmed. I feel like there are too many voices in my head that I can’t even silence. I just don’t know what to do, you know?

Them: Well you gotta change your way of thinking and just think more positive thoughts. Once you do that you’ll be fine. Besides, you just gotta toughen up Caleb. You’re usually not this soft! What’s going on with you man?

If somebody said be more positive, toughen up, or just kept cutting you off and telling you how their life was worse than yours. Would you feel like they’re listening to you? Of course not! As a child of God I am faced with a daily task of not cursing others out when they say things like this. It’s never easy and oftentimes I fail! This Sunday with everything going on from my mom being sick, covid, my job, people, family, and other relationships I broke down again.

However the Bible says in Proverbs 24:16, “The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.” So did I sit around in my house and throw a tantrum? NO! I decided to do what I do best and that’s write. I didn’t want to write at all today! 

Today when I was at church I hated hearing the praise team and couldn’t wait for the Pastor to finish his sermon so I could leave. I was left with thoughts like, “Whatever, I don’t care, and what am I going to eat after this, this is a waste of my time!” But this was the devil talking because the devil wants me to feel like a weak man. He wants me to ghost everyone and not reach out to the Father. But we all know the devil is a lie. He doesn’t have the truth in Him. Even though I don’t have the answers for today, that’s okay. I had one bad day but God reminds me that when I follow Him, I’ll never have a bad life. God always shows up on time, even when I think he’s too late!

November, December, and January are filled with a lot deaths in my family. As soon as October ends I carry the overwhelming burden of two people who really had my back which is my Track Coach Mr. Croft and My Aunt Ossie who both died in October 2013. 

November is just a blur because the Thanksgiving table gets smaller and smaller. December is even worse because people around me and even my own family only care about getting more gifts for Christmas. Which makes me loath the holiday season all together.

January hits! The new year comes around and I just cringe when others say, “New year New me” because they’re relying on their own selfish desires for themselves, instead of what God has in store for them! But the big kick in the gut is my Grandmother Doris Heath who passed away a few days into the new year. Ladies and Gentlemen this is the rough patch that I’ve dealt with for the past 8 years of my life. It hits skin deep but by the grace of God I haven’t selfishly left this earth. 

Dealing with death, self worth, and personal issues is not easy. It can even make you feel like God doesn’t want to talk to you. However, he does. God is always willing and able to talk to you. The question isn’t, “Why does God not hear me?” No my friend, you mean to ask, “Why do I feel like God doesn’t hear me?” The answer is because you aren’t giving yourself to God! You rely more on your own understanding and try to do things your own way. Trust me, I’ve tried for 8 years and I have not succeeded. Therefore, I just told God today. God I surrender! This is a rough patch in my life and I need your help because I can’t do it alone!

For anybody who is in pain right now I’d like to let you know it’s okay. You’re not alone. Tell somebody and I beg of you not to isolate yourself. You can tell your Pastor, a close friend or family, or even me! As I mentioned earlier, life is rough. You may be in so much pain that you can’t even verbalize what you’re feeling so I would suggest writing it down. Lastly, give yourself grace. Stop beating yourself up and let go! 

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