How long can we run from our demons before they catch us?

I’m at the point in my life where it’s nearing time for an exorcism.

Think this angel will chase away my demons?

I have some demons haunting me, and I’m experiencing one of those breakthrough, “How did I let this happen?” moments.

My demons control my entire life. It’s taken me years to realize it.

The first time I realized I was ruled by my demons was when I thought to myself, “I don’t blog anymore.” My creativity, hobbies, and interests disappeared.

It got to the point where I’d longingly look back on myself as who I “used” to be. I “used” to listen to that music, I “used” to write poetry, I “used” to watch movies, I “used” to blog. Every one of the aspects that made me “me” became past tense.

Out of desperation, I started to run.

I’ve been running from my demons longer than I care to admit. But over time, my demons have multiplied, feeding off one another, gaining strength, and, in the process, weakening me.

The first demons I encountered were sinister, and I hid them from everyone around me, but I was still capable of acknowledging them within myself. In public, I was all smiles, laughs, and “everything is always fine.” In private, I allowed myself to acknowledge the demons, interact with them, speak with them.

Now, I don’t even allow myself to notice my demons in private. I’ve come up with the brilliant method of repress, repress, repress, ignore, ignore, ignore. But my demons don’t appreciate this. They still make their appearances.

Once in a while I see them staring me in the face when I look in the mirror. Just when I thought I’d forgotten all about them I say, “Oh, there you are.” My demons refuse to be ignored.

Over the years, my demons have morphed into beasts, and I’ve developed the habit of running from them. But not without attempts at an exorcism.

Before they multiplied and started feeding on my flesh, I tried. I followed every step of the How-To-Get-Rid-Of-Demons handbook: Counseling, meetings with other various healthcare professionals, ridding myself of toxic/triggering people from my life, journaling, challenging negative thoughts, yoga, time outside, socializing, medications, changing my environment. But my demons refused to let go. They were around every corner, laughing, taunting.

So I ran. Against the advice from professionals and others around me, I ran. I ran from my demons. But my demons followed me to New Jersey.

I found distractions though. Trips to Manhattan, the Shore, and other adventures distracted me from my demons floating around me. However, in hindsight, I realize that no matter how distracted I may have been, my demons were always there.

They were with me when I first set foot in New Brunswick.

Church in New Brunswick.

They were with me on my walks around the neighborhood.

Building on the Rutgers University campus.

They were with me on the train to Midtown.

At the train station to attend the Women’s March in Manhattan.

 

They were with me on my strolls through Central Park.

Central Park in autumn.

They were with me in Ocean City while I watched the sunset at the beach.

Ocean City at sunset.

They were with me on a rainy day in Hoboken.

Wandering through Hoboken.

They were with me when I and thousands of others marched down Fifth Ave for the Women’s March.

Participating in the Women’s March in Manhattan.

They were with me when I looked out at the NYC skyline on a chilly April night thinking, “God I love this city.”

View of the Empire State Building from the 230 Fifth rooftop bar. Photo credit: Rikki Helvey.

They were with me when I made the decision to return to Wisconsin, the place I thought I’d forever “escaped.”

But now I realize that it wasn’t Wisconsin I was running from. I was running from my demons. And the demons hadn’t stayed in Wisconsin. They came with me to New Jersey, and followed me back to Wisconsin.

I realize now that no matter where I run, my demons will follow.

I’m approaching that pivotal moment where I realize I have two options: run or exorcise my demons. There are no other options.

If I don’t perform an exorcism, what happens?

My demons will continue to lurk. There is no escaping them. Maybe I’ll run to New York, or Chicago, but my demons will follow me.

The thing about demons is that you can’t run from them forever.

No matter what kind of demon you have, whether it’s dealing with a breakup, trauma from past sexual/physical/emotional abuse, drug or alcohol addiction, depression, bipolar, anxiety, an eating disorder, a combination of all of the above or something else, you can’t outrun any of your demons.

How long can we run from our demons? The answer is that it depends on the person. Some may not be able to run for more than a few days. Some will run for months, years, or even decades.

But the most sinister thing about our demons is that we all face the same answer to the question “What happens when our demons catch us?”

They kill us.

To be both blunt and honest with myself and anyone else currently haunted by a demon, our demons are chasing us in order to kill us. While running, we may be just out of their grasp, but once they catch us, it’s all over.

Demons quite literally are creatures from the depths of Hell. Once they start chasing us, they attempt to destroy us in every way possible. Psychologically, physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, socially. Demons feed off of us and aren’t fully satisfied until we’re dead. That is their main goal.

For now, I’m still running. I even ran away from this blog post for a while before finishing it. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, I’ll perform an exorcism. Most likely it won’t rid me of my demons forever. They may be scared away for a few months, or maybe even a few years. But they’ll try to return, I’m sure.

Sometimes I wonder if I (and others still running from their demons) have a death wish. And maybe we do. But sometimes we see the light and realize we still have the strength to chase our demons away.

Every day is a battle, and I have to keep reminding myself of that. We all have to make the decision to run or fight. Some days are easier than others. But each day is a new opportunity to battle against our demons. When one day we have a death wish, the next day we may feel like we want to exorcise our demons from our lives.

I’ll keep that in mind while I run.

 

 

 

12 Comments

  1. Hmmm… I have to say that I don’t think anthropomorphising your problems is going to help. They’re not demons (demons are just mythical creatures) they’re bad things that happened. If you did something that you feel guilty for, you need to take responsibility for it, and resolve to make sure you don’t let it happen again. If someone else has hurt you, then you should accept that you were the victim and don’t bear any responsibility. Where there are ongoing problems, you need to look for solutions, rather than dwelling on the negativity of the situation. And maybe accept that you have limited control over life, and be satisfied that you’re doing your best. Well, that’s what Uncle Graham thinks, anyway. ‘Probably the end of my short career as an agony aunt (and I didn’t even get to wear a dress – damn!)

  2. Your demons live a good life! Of course it’s true to say that we can never leave our issues,our past completely behind, but I would agree with the comment above that anthropomorphizing your problems make them harder to deal with. Their problems. Everybody has them, you aren’t alone. In doing some research on the word demon, you might be interested to learn that initially it wasn’t a negative word. Demons were considered spirits or deities that taught us and guided us. Only Christianity put on the negative connotation. It might be worth thinking about problems in that way. To let go of the past we need to derive the lessons the past teach and move forward. You’re alive, you have traveled to many places and with an apparent smile on your face some of the time. If you’re going to give life to your demons to make them things to fear, but things to learn from. Maybe they have something to say that is not malevolent.

  3. I can relate to the hope of trying to leave demons behind. As it turns out, I didn’t get rid of mine when I went from Alabama to Florida and then had to return. That kind of realization is very defeating.

    You’re brave for putting this out there, and it is a victory of a sort. You had to go through a process of realization, analysis, execution, and completion to put this post up. I think that’s pretty awesome, and it shows your commitment to doing what you need to do to be your best self.

    I wish you the best as you go through your healing process.

  4. Becky, I want to give you a huge hug right now. The demons are always going to be there, even if you run from them. Sometimes, you just need to get up the courage to face them. Do so knowing that you are not alone. So many people care about you and are here for you if you need them…

  5. Rebecca Meyer, you are a very brave young lady, and you have to be in order to confront this kind of a menace on a daily basis. My advice: The best way to disarm something as serious as a demon is by using something they cannot possibly understand. Laughter. You’ll never catch a demon laughing at itself because it’s something completely foreign to them. They’re frail creatures, you know. Self-deprecating humour is one of the most powerful weapons we have in our fight against them. It’s not only a display of intelligence on our part, but also of the virtue of not taking ourselves too seriously—something demons can’t help but do. It’s disarming, humble, and totally enchanting and practically everyone is attracted to it except the demon—because it de-emphasizes the demon. Most of all, remember you’re not alone in this fight you have lots of company. Stay beautiful, stay strong, and continue to be disarming because you’re an absolutely gorgeous creature, and demons are the exact opposite. They’re quite the ugly, really. Chin up kiddo, you’re going to win this fight! :O)

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