I am going to break the blogging fourth wall and be completely, unabashedly honest for the few minutes it will take for you to read this.

I am not about to censor myself for the sake of people whom I know may not in the past, currently, or ever in the future be in my position. I wrung my hands over writing this because I know that I am the black sheep. It is not something I believe makes me interesting or cool, and I don’t take pride in it. In fact, it is not something I desire at all. I tried to be a part of something, but it wasn’t for me. We’ve all been there, wearing a mask, trying to fit or blend in where we don’t belong. It ends in self destruction and fear of trying to truly find yourself.

I hate writing this way because it doesn’t sound elegant at all. However, I wanted to write this specific message out of all of the possibilities because I am an honest person and if I do anything with my life, it is going to be to stand by who I am and what I believe is valuable and important. I will always seek to listen before I speak and stand ready to be corrected, but I always want to be free to be myself. I am worried because I imagine that there is an idea of who I should be and how I should write that I need to uphold where this value I hold of being true to myself may be compromised. That is my biggest fear right now.

My biggest struggle right now in my life is determining what my purpose is. I am trying to find, or rather, make meaning for myself. I look at the world I live in, the society I waver between trying to appease and trying to revolutionize, and I can’t help but feel like it’s all an affliction. Life is just downright painful and often times not worth living, I tell myself, unless I can find a sustainable and consistent way to love myself and make myself see the good in the world.

My biggest problem at most times is that other people find solace in believing in something bigger than ourselves. I tried that and I couldn’t do it. I don’t have faith. I know I won’t find joy in the same things that other do. I had that life for a while and I was just as unhappy and dissatisfied and confused as I am now.

I just want to feel like my life has a point, despite my differences. I want to be loved and respected as the person I have grown to be. And when you struggle to love yourself when you’re part of the in­crowd, how do you expect to improve your self­love when you’re an outsider?

I don’t want to continue getting so sad that I fantasize about one of two things. If I’m driving, I want to crash my vehicle into something so large and so solid that there is no doubt that I would not survive. If I’m walking on the street, I want so desperately to throw my waste of an existence in front of vehicle that is passing by. I have had these thoughts for years. It feels like an eternity ago that I was hiding my wrists and arms from everyone and making up answers to questions of, “what happened?” Today I don’t think about whether or not I need to hide, it’s just a part of who I am.

I’ve accepted my own self destructive nature. Yet now my primary goal is to seek meaning and joy out of my life, and so you see the cognitive dissonance here. How can I simultaneously wish for death, hate the world I live in, and yet cry out every night for something beautiful to cling onto? How can other people find it in something that I had, but didn’t solve my dilemma? I believe it exists, and so I have made it my quest to discover it and allow myself to embrace it and continue to seek it further. I have spent far too much time feeling undeserving of goodness.

As much as it is an ongoing battle with myself and there is no definite end to my occasional bouts of misery, I do believe I have control over the way I act and react. Being sad or confused or hurt or even thinking about giving up is a choice. I made those choices and teetered on the edge of wanting to live and longing for an end for far too long. I am still someone who tends to naturally think that everything that happens to me could be the end of the world, but my prime directive is to twist that way of thinking, dismantle it and reassemble it so that is resembles hope and optimism.

I live in a haze of anxieties, paranoia, and irrationality most days. But I’ve realized that this is not living. Everything I want cannot be mine when I choose to not learn how to be happy, how to be myself, how to pursue things that are important to me, and perhaps most importantly, how to have a voice.

I understand what it means to say to one another that it is okay to not be okay; to be encouraged that someone understands and can help remove the stigma that surrounds depression and mental illnesses. Our bodies are strange and amazing, but they are weak and susceptible to imbalances at times. But what a statement like, “it’s okay to not be okay” doesn’t mean for me is that I always have to choose to remain unhappy or in pain. Most days I am afraid to be myself because I don’t want to be ostracized.

I am depressed and self destructive. I am a little rough around the edges, sure. But at the end of the day, I think loving myself is most important and has to precede having love for others. I am looking for that love, and with it, my meaning and purpose in life. I am learning to change the way that I see the world. It doesn’t have to be a curse to have been born. I need hope – to be able to look forward with desire and some sort of confidence.

I will always have the option to speak and be heard.

I will always have the option to seek help.

I will always have the option to change my perspective on life.

I will always have the option to learn, grow, and flourish.

I will always have the option to be myself.

You have the same options and choices, too.

It is my hope that you make them.

Sarah Belbeck

Sarah Belbeck

I am a geeky 22 year old health and wellness student. I yearn to be a person who sees the good in everything. I believe in grace and love. I want to do everything because it exhilarates me and leaves me with an indescribable feeling of wonder at the world. I long for wisdom. I do see beauty in the world, but sometimes I don't have the courage to face it. I am learning to be optimistic.
Sarah Belbeck

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I am a geeky 22 year old health and wellness student. I yearn to be a person who sees the good in everything. I believe in grace and love. I want to do everything because it exhilarates me and leaves me with an indescribable feeling of wonder at the world. I long for wisdom. I do see beauty in the world, but sometimes I don't have the courage to face it. I am learning to be optimistic.

4 Comments

  1. Really?

    Reply

    Dear Blogger and Hashtag hope,

    I don’t understand what a blog like this is doing on a website that is supposed to be encouraging people and building others up. Confusing, I know. Not to mention it’s full of grammatical errors, which makes it very difficult to read. Is there not an editor or third party accountability liaison for this? I truly thought this was going to blossom into a legitimate organization, and I guess it still has the potential, but truly I’m disappointed.

    Sounds like this blogger’s hope is in “loving” herself. Sounds a lot like self-centredness and idolatry–which is a pretty good aggravating factor to being susceptible to depression. If everything’s always about you, no wonder you feel like crap when you realize the world doesn’t care about you. I know she said, she has no “faith”, and sounds like she “tried” it, but really… it doesn’t sound like she tried it at all. If she really “tried” it (I’m speaking in outside-of-Christianity terminology), she would realize that life is not about yourself, it is about surrendering your entire being with your fears, loves, and desires, and putting them behind Christ and His purposes. Just because you feel something doesn’t make it a reality. Heck, even secular, modern people have begun to realize and publish works claiming that the me-generation, which includes this blogger and even myself, has begun to destroy itself and the relationships (if any legitimately exist) because of the intense individualistic paradigms plaguing us. A prolific atheist by the name of David Foster Wallace, in a commencement speech said, “…in the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship–be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles–is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you.” And so on.

    Honestly, blogger, and Hashtag Hope, you’re worshipping yourself and you’re leading people down a dangerous road by condoning self worship in my honest opinion. To conclude, CS Lewis said, “If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth. Only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with, and in the end, despair.”

    This is what I think you’re doing. Soft soap and wishful thinking. And I’m sorry, but I can’t support this.

    • Hashtaghope

      Reply

      Great Words here! But perhaps you are looking a little to closely at the words of this blog and not at the attempts being made?

      Would you like to write a blog for us? We would love to have you write! – email contacthashtaghope@gmail.com if interested.

      Thanks for reading and supporting us for the time that you did. – You are so loved and valuable and we hope the best for you and your story.

      Nick.

    • Sarah

      Reply

      There were two main purposes in me writing this blog and why it reads like it does. Perhaps the more important message for others to take away is that it is not wrong to care about yourself. I have never found Christianity to be particularly devoted to ideas of self-abnegation or asceticism, and so I don’t think it’s wrong to say that self-care is good. If you believe that loving others, being a good neighbour, and all of those things are important and valuable, it’s challenging to not first take a look at yourself. And not only challenging, but I truly believe it’s detrimental to any other cause you have or hope to have if you don’t first learn to take care of yourself after whatever you’ve been through. Things like countertransference and biases are real dangers in any relationship. I wrote here because if anything I say can be a positive or encouraging thing to even one person, I’ve accomplished something. I’m sorry that you didn’t find anything worth taking away.

      The second point, more for myself and my journey that I was asked to share, was that I do not fit in the box that everybody has come to expect from this site. That fear and pain I shared was extremely difficult to put into words, and I likely still haven’t done it justice. It’s strangely ironic that my worst fear came into existence. I am not here to be judged by Christianity’s standards, as I am not a Christian. I am sorry if that fact disappoints yourself or anyone else who reads this. I am slightly troubled by the idea that anyone would feel they are able to judge whether or not someone else had proper faith, but I realize it isn’t my place to say that you are incorrect. Just be wary when you accuse other people in the world of not actually having faith or trying hard enough to believe a particular religion, or anything of that nature. That is a very harsh judgment to make.

      This was my first post where I made it clear that I was not going to censor my writing to fit a specific label. The posts are monitored and read through before they are posted. I genuinely thank you for the time it took you to comment and share your thoughts.

  2. Reply

    Thank you for being so transparent, Sarah. I’m so sorry you deal with depression. Many don’t understand it, and even Christians sometimes throw more guilt into it by saying we don’t have enough faith. But Jesus understands and cares and cries with us. He is drawn to the broken. It’s ok to not be ok. I’m working at it, too, to be the real “me” God created me to be, not who or what other people expect of me. Have you read Bonnie Gray’s new book – Finding Spiritual Whitespace? She has really encouraged me to connect with the hurting little girl inside of me instead of ignoring her. To bring her with me to Jesus for deeper healing. Praying Jesus will set you free to be the real you He has created. ❤️

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