Here we sit, two days away from the start of a New Year, and I have yet to press the “publish” button for this post. That I wrote almost two months ago. Because, once again, I was worried about what others might think. But there comes a point when, as I have learned through each post I have written for my blog, that care for what others think about your thoughts has to be pushed to the side, so that you can share what you think is important, valuable and significant enough to share. I am hoping this post will be just that. Sharing about a lengthy struggle I have had with something in my life. That I know started at a very young age, with circumstances that surrounded my family and the special care required for my baby brother, who is now watching over us, next to God, in Heaven.
So here we go…the “unpublished” post of 2014…
This is a very sensitive subject for me, but if you have been following me for a while, you know that it is the very drive behind restarting my blog, as well as something that I have shared with you on multiple occasions. Something that has always been a part of my life. But something that grabbed hold of my life, when becoming pregnant with our oldest, and has kept its grasp for a very long time.
A seven-letter word. That took control of my life. And wouldn’t let go. That forced me to feel as though I was living my existence in a glass box. Watching the world around me thrive and grow and flourish. While I was entrapped. Held captive. By a force over which I had no power. And I hated it. Despised it.
Yes, I am definitely in a different place now. But I still don’t feel totally safe. Yes, I have opened the door and walked out. Into the real world. Into “losing myself”. Into experiencing motherhood and all its glory. But I have not closed the door behind me.
Am I the same person I was even as recently as eight months ago? No. Have I completely flipped a switch and shattered the box in my wake? Huh-uh. I am not ready. Because I have had relapses. Oh yes, sweet friends. It’s like a pest hiding in your attic. When I least expect it, it makes an appearance. And once again, I find myself losing my grip on life. And I retreat. Pull back. Interact less. Worry more.
And I. H.A.T.E. I.T.
If you are someone who has ever lived with depression or anxiety, you know e.x.ac.t.l.y. what I am talking about.
For now, I am in an “okay” place. When the thoughts begin to invade, I look to my outlets. Writing. Finding scriptures. Praying. Talking to those closest to my heart. And more often than not, these work for me. But the path to feeling as though I am finally able to exist without cage bars encompassing my presence has not come without a bumpy trail left behind. And it made me think. About how much I have missed out on.
Because of this stupid force. This invisible predator. That took my happiness. And let fear seep in, to every moment that was meant to be amazing. That robbed me of my confidence. And stole so much of my happiness.
So if I could go back…
If I could sit down and have a conversation with all those who were knowingly and unknowingly affected by the wake of this potency…
I would be brutally honest. I would explain my lack of control. How suffocated I felt. How I wished someone had stepped in to ask me if I was okay. Because I wasn’t. For far too long. I just wasn’t. Living from worry-to-worry. With no breath in between. Drowning in my own “what-ifs” and “worst-case-scenarios”. Allowing fear to replace faith.
And I would say that I was sorry.
For missing out on growing friendships. On sisterhood adventures. On crazy outings with my little babes. For not letting more people in. Because I had whispers in my ear telling me “not to”. Because they might push me out of my comfort zone. And I wasn’t prepared to be so stressed in front of those who knew me the best.
Sharing some of the posts on this blog has pushed me to levels of discomfort that I can’t even describe. Putting something out there, and waiting for a response. For feedback. Looking friends and coworkers in the eye after letting them “in” to my world. To my struggles. To my discomfort. It’s not easy, sweet friends. It. is. not. easy. It’s uncomfortable as one can get.
But wow, how it has helped me. How it has enabled me to connect. And in many cases, to reconnect. To support. To let someone know that “Hey, sweet friend, you are not alone. I know how you are feeling. I am here for you.” It has guided me through simple reminders. Such as…life is going to happen. I can’t prevent that. Try as I might, I can’t protect my loved ones from everything that is bad. Unfortunate things happen to amazing people. It’s the strength they exhibit in pushing through that makes them who they are.
I truly believe I went through what I did; the anxiety…the bouts of depression; to get through to other side (and wow, what a fresh breath of air it is). And to share my story. With you. With the world. Because I know my plan is nothing in comparison to what He has planned for me. So, I might as well hand over the helm right now. Snatching it from the force that once had control. And passing it back to the magnificence that I can only hope is willing to take back over. To steer. To guide. To whisper in my ear. “You are exactly where you are supposed to be. I know there were some bumps in the road. But you are here now. And I’m not going to let you go.”