When I was in the middle of law school, I had a breakdown. It was unseen to others. I didn't have dramatic, uncontrollable outward emotional fits or anything. It was deeper than that. I was on the path towards death of some sort, just starting on my path, but I could tell I was on a path with a very rapid descent. No one and no external factors could have helped me, at that point. I was in deep water.
The pressures of law school were just the tip of the iceberg for me. It wasn't really about that. It was way deeper than that. But that's where it all culminated.
It was about living a life of being so untrue to myself, I couldn't take it anymore. It was about a lifetime of suppressing my emotions - I honestly didn't know what an emotion was. It was about living a life of suppressing my sexuality. It was about a lifetime of never knowing my worth because of traumatic things I had experienced as a baby and young child from my mom - never underestimate the emotional impact that our early years have on us, even the years we can't remember because we were so little - in fact, especially the years we can't remember. I guarantee you, if there was trauma then, the scars are there, and deeply etched.
I didn't have a plan for how to get myself out of this hole, this rapid descent. This isn't a situation you can think your way through. I was already unraveling.
But I did end up saving myself. I didn't even know I was saving myself. It's just that at the lowest point I could possibly be - when I was looking at death of some sort in the eye - that was when I was finally able to summon up incredible strength and courage in myself, for the first time in my life. It didn't come from anyone or any external factor. It just came from me. It was my strength. But it took me facing death to find that. But when I found strength, I found it in incredible abundance. It's true - trials are the moment of truth. We find out what's really within us. We can live, or we can die.
My strength was in deciding to be honest. Very, very honest. This wasn't something I consciously decided in my head. It was deeper than that. It was an attitude change that happened deep in my soul. I wasn't even conscious of it and didn't consciously understand how I had changed, but I could feel it. While I still felt the imminent possibility of death, I now also felt hope and joy. And the hope and joy I felt was stronger than the threat of death.
I now realize how commendable it is to be honest. Because honesty is the beginning of morality. It even transcends kindness, I think. If we aren't honest, we can't be moral.
Honesty is hard, but it ultimately benefits us. In my case, it saved me. Through it, I was able to feel how all the good things in life were actually possible for me - and I'm not talking about things like materialistic goods or status. Things like love. Real, deep, limitless love. This hope sustained me and was strong enough to get me through my lowest point.
Hopefully you can tell, that I was now strong on the inside. Or at least, the seed for it had been planted. I still had a lot of internal work to do, but there was something very good inside of me that had never been there before.
But on the outside now, my life was in disarray. As I was undergoing these huge internal changes, my life on the outside, the external success factors that we measure each other by, took a hit. They had to though. I had to tear down everything in my life that was false and just there for show - basically, all my external success and appearances of stability thus far. And when I tore all that down, then there was nothing positive left externally. But, THIS WAS ACTUALLY GOOD FOR ME. It wasn't ideal by any means...but I was on the very right path.
I'm not going to say that I'm wiser than most people. I am not, because people have been through a lot more than I have and come out better for it. I don't have that many life experiences I've overcome, so I'm not going to claim that I have lots of wisdom.
But I will say this about myself...after going through what I did go through and digging myself out of the biggest hole...I approach life with a perspective that I don't think many people do.
I live for love and goodness and morality and honesty and integrity and justice...in an intense way that a lot of people might not. These things are the forefront of my life. I'm not trying to brag. I'm just trying to be understood.
Because, while my life was in disarray on the outside and it was CLEAR to people I was struggling...no one truly understood what was going on with me. That wasn't anyone's fault.
But what some people (not all) did do, was that...they heavily misjudged me and were extremely convinced that they were right about me and insisted to me that they were right about my weaknesses...based on what they saw about my life, externally. I tried explaining to them what was really going on with me, but I couldn't be believed, because I was still right in the middle of my struggle and didn't look or act like a strong person. They were in a more stable place internally than me...so they thought, they must be the ones right about me.
It was really hard to hear so many things about myself that I knew were untrue, and to be blamed for many of my actions that I knew were being misinterpreted. In EVERYTHING that I was doing in my life during this time, I did with the utmost and total morality in mind - love and justice was always my priority. I have to tell you, it was so hard and took so much strength. But instead of being commended for my actions, people thought I was just being immature.
They didn't fully understand where I had started out from and what I was fighting against. They also didn't understand the things I lived for now, because as I said, I live for a morality that I don't think is that common.
This is a bit unrelated, but during this time, I had (and still have) problems with my sister. I looked like the bad guy in all of this. But people didn't understand that there were so many things I understood about my sister that they didn't, that in fact, no one else did. I was unfairly judged here too.
So if you've been reading this, thanks. I've been through such hard things. It makes me sad. But getting it out, is my peace.