Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I was going to post about depression. And then I was looking through my old school papers and I found this. It's about a year old. And it's brutally honest, I hope. So know that it's a year old, and some things have changed, but this was me, and parts of it still are. Let me know what you think, or just read it. Whatever.

Reflecting What?

Peter Vanderhorst


To truly know who it is that resides within one’s innermost regions, and what it is that makes someone who he is, he would need to be looking through God’s eyes. In my own blind-by-comparison opinion, Peter Vanderhorst is a fool. When I try to figure out what’s the matter with him, and why he keeps doing the same stupid things, I nearly always end up depressed at the stupidity of man and wishing that life could somehow, sometime, be perfect on this revolving ball we call earth.

Peter Vanderhorst is a boy who needs a reality shot. Life doesn’t revolve around him. He needs to stop acting as if it does, as if everybody should walk up to Peter Vanderhorst and hug him and give him cookies, and say he’s a great guy and everything will be okay and they’re so glad that they’re his friend. He is not deserving of any of these things being said or given to him. If any of them actually happen, it highlights the virtue of those who call themselves his friends, and not anything good about him. Because there is nothing good about him. There are some things that look good, and there are some things that may be perceived as strengths. But Peter Vanderhorst, probably 70% of the time, is wearing a mask. It’s a mask that conceals the depression, the despair, the anger, and the deceit that are there, fighting for the top spot in the emotions, influencing decisions, and creating attitude problems. It’s a mask that mostly hides the conflicting wills and the battle that rages within, a battle over two completely different viewpoints: what is good for him, and what he wants, what will feel good. These battles are normal, that everybody faces, but with him, the fact that he cannot have these things, that he will not let himself have them, makes him angry inside. There are things that he thinks he needs, but cannot have. And there are things he has that he does not appreciate. He starts thinking in ways that are just pitfalls in themselves, in which there is no way to find a “happy ever after.”

“I start to think there really is no cure for depression, that happiness is an ongoing battle, and I wonder if it isn't one I'll have to fight for as long as I live. I wonder if it's worth it.” This quote starts to define his battle. He starts to wonder if life is worth it, to try, because no matter how hard we try to accomplish something, we cannot ever make it with perfection. And that is the truth. There is no reason to live life because of anything in this world. The only thing that would make it worthwhile he does not feel connected to, he does not feel a part of. He feels like a man behind a mask. He feels like he has never really connected. True, there have been times where he has felt close to Him. But the majority of the time, he feels like God is up there and Peter is down here. And there is the sky and the stars and the space in between. It’s too easy to separate Him from what’s happening here, too easy to act as if He can’t see, can’t feel, doesn’t hear.

Peter Vanderhorst is searching. But while he searches, to make sure nobody thinks he’s horrible and disowns him for being angry and hurt and doubting, he hides. He wears a mask.


  1. Thats a very relatable story, for me and others. One thing I have wondered about wearing a mask is "We all were maskes but do you really think people want to see the ugly scares and deepwounds that we are trying to cover up."
    Thats why I stay hidden, becasue I haven't met anyone who truly wants to get to know me and see the real me.

  2. This is true about masks: we wear them because we don't trust other people enough to let them see the real emotions. I'm curious as to who you are, Saffron. : )

  3. Peter,

    Your post is, as you say, brutally honest. Yet, hardly shocking or surprising. There is no doubt that the struggle you relate is one which is common to myself and all "normal" humans. This of course is somewhat annoying. Half of the crippling-motivation is that we feel that we are especially lost, more so than anyone else. To find that we are riding the same sinking boat as the rest of the world is frustrating. I always swore I would escape the status quo. Turns out to be truly transparent and truly happy is the new height of coolness. :)

  4. The reason I don't trust people is because no one really cares about the real me. When peopel ask how I am there not wanting the truth. That has huut me to many times that I just give up and give them what they want to hear. I mean what would life be like if everyone took off their masks and showed there tears from ther pain or really showed how depressed had become, and let every one see their true hurts?
    I'm someone wearing a mask that's not ready to show you the real me.

  5. Masks are something that we all wear at one time or another, but it doesn't mean that it is right. For a very long time I wore a mask of what I thought that other people wanted to see. But, we cannot wear a mask with God. He knows who we really are. There is no way to hide how sinful we are to Him. But this not where it ends. We are saved by God's grace, nothing else. When we are saved, we have no need to wear a mask or be depressed. How can we?! We have an awesome God who saved us from ourselves and our self-image! Now, I try my very hardest to remove my mask.
    I know that what you say about people when they ask you how you are is true... Sometimes. When I ask, I really care. I wouldn't ask if I didn't care. I know that almost all of my friends feel the same way. I'm sorry that you have been hurt by people in that way.

  6. Saffron: if you don't feel like you have anybody that cares enough about you to know who you really are, then I think it would be a priority to find some people who do. Somebody who wants to know who the real person you're hiding is a much better person to hang out with than somebody who just is content to be with the fake persona you're portraying.

  7. Thank you both for your caring words.
    Peter you are absolutly right I need to find someone who I can show the real me. However I have spent my whole life serching for someone who I can open up to. It semes like everyone is so wraped up in there own problmes to bother with me. Searching for someone who really cares about me has been one of my causes for depression. I am working on trusting God to solve my problmes not humans, but sometimes I need someone to just listen and a sholder to cry on.

  8. Saffron,
    If you are who I think that you are, then I REALLY do care. We were not made to suffer alone and in silence. (if you are who I think that you are) I believe that you might have my email address. feel free to email me. I want to be the kind of person who is always there for her friends. And if you're not who I thought, then I absolutaly agree with Peter. It is very important to trust in God as our only hope, but as I said before, He did not make us to be alone.

  9. do you remember the song jeremy and bart sang at mttc last year?

    who is alive
    and who's in the grave?
    i've walked in the light
    and i've crawled like a slave
    and time has a way of
    making me brave
    love and pride
    are at war on the stage
    the more i think about life, and the more i am brutally honest with myself, as you say, the more i realize that it all boils down to those two things: love and pride. love is the only reason we are alive, and pride is the thing that keeps us from truly living, because we are too proud to be indebted to God for something as big as our lives. this sounds idiotic, but i've wept in despair sometimes because i've realized what a failure i am where it comes to doing what i know i'm supposed to do, what God wants me to do. when i realize i can never do things perfectly. and you know, that's all pride, and it's so utterly absurb once you get outside your own mind and look at yourself objectively. what's amazing to me is to think that Jesus felt each and every one of my bitter thoughts and heartaches when He was hanging there on the cross struggling to breathe. and what He says is, "look, I don't expect you to be perfect. I don't even want you to be perfect. I want you to trust that I am perfecting you, that My power is made perfect in your weakness." and yet it's so hard sometimes to give up our perceived "right" to try to make ourselves perfect.

    but now i begin to ramble. i promise i won't write a novel in your comment section. :)

  10. Saffron,
    I completely understand where you're coming from, and it's totally okay to want a human shoulder to cry on. We all need that! I'll be praying for you. Remember that God totally wants to be your ultimate comfort and joy! And....you may find that some of your friends are feeling the same way--they just want someone to listen to them and understand that they hurt too. They may be just as tired of the mask they're wearing and the superficial friendships as you are. This may be super hard, but try reaching out to them first and see what happens. It may take time, but if they feel like you do, they will be relieved to find someone who actually cares.

    This is cool, Peter. Now I know you're "normal" ;]p ...everyone likes to be noticed, talked to, and appreciated, right? To be completely honest, I was starting to wonder if you did, cuz I could never tell... haha :p did that sound stupid?
    soooorry. Ignore me.

    Actually, please don't. ;]
    I like how (in this paper) you stated everything kind of differently than the norm... i can't really explain what I mean by that, but it's just a bit different. :)
    Yeah, it's typical for everyone to wear some kind of mask (ha, we've established that, Marisa), but truth is, God has given us the best gift--a way to live with our imperfections and failures, and a way to be joyful in him, despite our stupidity. =] God is pleased with us anyway...and loves us (yeah, I know you know this stuff, but it's really amazing, and it's good to be reminded). I was talking to a friend who was struggling with this perfection/failure thing...and she explained that she prayed about it, gave it to God, and simply stopped TRYING so hard. She knew that God loved her, and didn't want her to be perfect. She knew she never would be, so she stopped trying, and thus, stopped condemning herself when she messed things up. It's not like she would go around purposefully making mistakes, but she stopped being depressed about her mistakes, and let God take care of it. There's a different side to everything (depending on people's situations), but in this case, she just had to let it go. Things like that aren't easy to do...but she said God was totally with her when she "gave up"--the three days afterward, she said, had been some of the most joyous days of her life, even though she had faced some really hard things. So, I'm not sure about this whole "no cure for depression" thing... I mean it's super disappointing to know that as hard as we may try, we can never make things right, because God gave everything... and the ways we can glorify him (in our attitudes, words, actions...etc) we mess up every single day. yeah it stinks. But...God doesn't hold it against us. We can be imperfect and loved. We can let it go and live each day to the fullest. Sometimes when I'm depressed, I try and make myself smile...I decide to do it, and it can totally change my attitude. Although, I really am not very good at it... it's super hard to change just like that, especially when we find pleasure in our self-pity. There have only been a select few times when I can actually change, because I'm a bit stubborn when it comes to things like that, but smiling is good, nonetheless...and I've found it helps quite a bit.)
    Anyway, I've talked enough. :p