A few nights ago, I was driving home from work. I was thinking about the new house. About all we needed to get done. I realized that my love and excitement over the house had been replaced by fear. Fear that we would lose it. Because we really, really love this house. Because I never want to move out of it. But instead of being excited that we found it...I was already scared we were going to lose it.
And in my head I heard "Of course you will. You don't deserve it."
My first reaction was a "Whoa, where did that come from?!" But I thought about it and every thought and experience I've had over the last two months has been tinged with guilt, fear and anxiety. Even when we went to Orlando I vacillated between having fun, worrying about the budget and feeling the need to justify to myself and everyone else that even though we had other things we needed to spend the money on, we really deserved a vacation.
I know me. I know some of this is being tired. Working two jobs, having three teenagers in your home, the stress of moving, of trying to figure things out. It's tough.
Some of it is because in all the hustle and bustle, I have not spent time praying and reading my Bible the way I need to. Some of you won't understand the necessity of this but you will understand that to keep a relationship close, you need to stay in contact with the other person. Same concept. And I have to tell you, I am definitely one of those people who need a close relationship with God...or I fall apart pretty quickly. Not only do I know "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" I also know I can't do much without Him.
As I'm processing this, I'm longing for some solitude and time to relax. I think about the beach and suddenly find myself longing to just keep on driving. Go to Savannah for just a few days.
And then I found myself imagining not ever coming back. I checked myself. How could I even think of leaving my kids like that? My life? I have a good life! What is wrong with me???
And then, I thought it.
"I don't want to be here anymore."
I didn't want to drive my car off a cliff or anything like that. But the thought of an oncoming 18 Wheeler didn't seem to hold any terror for me. The thought my life could end was a bit more welcoming than it should have been.
I shook it off. Kept going. Tried to work through it. Not process it but literally work through it.
And then I blurted something terrible to my daughter. She immediately called my friend Jane who immediately called me. I sobbed, talked through it. Walked into work with the ugly crying face.
And that's sort of where I am...I recognize the thought that not wanting to be here is preposterous. Somehow acknowledging it and inviting others in it makes it easier.
I talked to a friend of mine the other night and she admitted she's feeling a lot of the same things. And yet, instead of getting help, she continues the day to day taking care of home/children/husband. She said "We're Women, Moms, and Christians...the perfect trifecta for not acknowledging our own needs" And it's so true! I've talked about this before...how we belittle our feelings or needs because there are so many others worse off than us, we ignore the tired because there are so many other things that need to be done...we keep going and going like we're the Energizer Bunny but we're not! And even in talking about it, I continue to do it. Like I haven't learned repeatedly that this is not only an unhealthy way to handle things but dangerous!
So here is how we shine a light on the dark spots:
1) Talk to people. Acknowledge the nasty. I am more than willing to bet that your friends are feeling it too. And you admitting it frees them to admit it. And next thing you know you are holding each other up, hugging, praying for each other...and the load is so much easier to bear that way!
2) Find some sunshine. Like for real. Take a walk. Bask in the sun.
3) Pamper yourself. Whatever it looks like. Retail therapy is a nightmare for me but a good movie, a good book...or the Shakespeare Tavern...that does something for my spirit! If you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of others.
4) Plug in...that verse "I can do all things..." We've kind of done our cheesy Christian thing to it but it stands true none the less. Remember Paul was in a prison when he said it. So he had to know what he was talking about!
I'm trying to do these things. I'm trying to process. I know this is just a season...but yesterday was a great day until I found myself tearing up in Kroger parking lot for no reason. Instead of berating myself I just started repeating my mantras:
"Pressing on and pressing in..."
"One day at a time"
(My dad would be proud to know I really did read all his AA material he passed on)
I'm not okay yet. And that's okay. I don't know how long I will have to walk in this muck. But I will take it a step at a time. And I will throw up my hands and scream "HELP!" if the muck threatens to suck me under" And I will come out of this covered in sweat, mire and grime. But come out of it I will.