The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most

I was asked a while ago by a friend if I was OK. That’s not normally a question I’m asked. There was a reason he asked me, his wife was concerned because of a comment I’d made on social media. I don’t mind being vulnerable in a vague way on social media, so I made a statement about the cold clear winter night and it reminding me of two lifelong friends of mine. The statement was a bit veiled, but she saw through it since she’s known me for almost a decade at this point and asked him to check on me. I answered as honestly as possible. “No, but I will be.” Then I proceeded to explain how I deal with some level of depression. My friend, who I’ve known for a decade commented that this was a side of me he’d never seen before.

Most people who’ve known me wouldn’t think that I deal with depression and under most circumstances they would say that I’m a highly productive individual. Now the reality is that the reason that I appear this way is simply that…an appearance. It’s a coping mechanism for me. I’ve found that the busier I am the less depressed I am, or at least the less I realize I’m depressed and that life hurts sometimes and that we all feel that we’re missing something deep down. I was relaying this feeling to another friend of mine. It’s like when you visit an old friend and it feels like coming home. I think that’s what it feels like I’m missing. Like there’s this longing that calls out from all eternity, makes me wonder and search. I think sometimes I just miss home. I was talking to my wife a few days later while on a long drive. We both began relaying to each other how we both have those moments, those times really late at night, where we meet ourselves….our real selves. Those moments that we realize we’re a bit alone, a bit tired of faking it. We don’t like meeting those times. We don’t like meeting us.
It reminds me of a song “The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most” from Dashboard Confessional shown below:

Buried deep as you can dig inside yourself
And covered with a perfect shell
Such a charming, beautiful exterior
Laced with brilliant smiles and shining eyes
Perfect posture, but you’re barely scraping by
But you’re barely scraping by
Buried deep as you can dig inside yourself
And hidden in the public eye
Such a stellar monument to loneliness
Laced with brilliant smiles and shining eyes
Perfect make-up, but you’re barely scraping by
But you’re barely scraping by…
Well this is one time, well this is one time
That you can’t fake it hard enough to please
everyone Or anyone at all…or anyone at all
And the grave that you refuse to leave
The refuge that you’ve built to flee,
The places that you’ve come to fear the most,
Is the place that you have come to fear the most.
I feel like there’s something about those words that sums it up. This was a hit song. There’s something, when looking at culture about listening to the culture’s music. If there’s a song that’s a hit, there’s usually something about the song that people find truthful, its like they’re listening to themselves. Like the song is an echo of what they’re already feeling. Whether the song is true or not, it’s what their heart is saying is true, it’s what they’re believing and feeling. One of the main problems that high school counselors have to deal with today isn’t drugs or alcohol, it’s exhaustion and anxiety. It seems the pressure and stress students are dealing with these days, is on a far greater level than ever before. I wonder how much of this comes from the pressure that builds from some need to hide who we are and appear “superhuman”.
I’m not sure if the way I handle that part of my emotional life is healthy: Do something, bury it down. However, I do think that “meeting myself” like every so often is good. It shows me that there’s something missing. It shows me that I have a need for someone greater. I can’t be strong enough. I have a great need for a great savior.
What do you think? Does our culture push us to bury down the longing for something greater? Do we hide ourselves?
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