Follow the yellow brick road… follow the yellow brick road… follow follow follow follow follow the yellow brick road…
How many of you sang that like I did as I typed it?
When I graduated college, I had my life figured out. I was going to work for an anti-human trafficking organization, or at the least move somewhere that I could volunteer heavily to learn the stories and faces of the people in America that have been trafficked. I would gain some knowledge, skills, maybe go back to school for an MSW (Masters in Social Work), and open up my own dream home I have called Jericho House.
Jericho House would be a home for trafficked girls. That is a dream of mine for another day. But, I had it figured out.
After over 70 contacts (initiating conversations with board of directors, applying for nonprofits, researching every possible organization that could hire me to work to combat trafficking with them… I heard… “We have no openings at this time,” or even worse… silence.
The yellow brick road didn’t seem to be there anymore. I faded into depression for the first time, with too much time on my hands and too many decisions and directions to make. I felt mentally paralyzed, terrified to make a detour and screw all aspects of my life up.
Guess how many times I have detoured since then?
I have changed my direction SO many times from boys I wanted to marry, to career paths I wanted to chase, to dreams that developed as I have experienced life and get to know my authentic self better.
Everyone has a yellow brick road. There are constant reminders that we need companionship to help get us to our Emerald Cities through the mess of our haunted forests, and winged monkey attacks. And we get so close… we can SEE our Emerald city… but we fall asleep.
As the poppies cover our yellow brick roads, we no longer have the motivation, the energy, or the willpower it seems to make the changes we need to in those moments to just keep running towards the city.
That has been depression for me several times. I sit in the middle of the floor, with my scattered business ideas, Jericho House dream, relationship with my husband, my counseling homework, the hobbies that bring me joy, my sadness and anger… and I sleep. I get exhausted and lose sight of where I am headed.
Did you know that you are normal if you feel this way?
Guess what? I’m still here. And because of my story with depression, I have deepened my compassion for others in a way I wouldn’t have been able to without going through days of crying on the bathroom floor, or doing things like working out and seeing a counselor and attending a Celebrate Recovery group at my church even though I didn’t feel like it. I might fall asleep sometimes as I’m going to the Emerald city, but I wake back up, and do my best. And that is what I want to help others do. To be freakin’ GRACIOUS with yourself! To accept the things you cannot change, courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.