I have been in a bit of a funk lately.
And it has been extremely difficult for me to admit this to myself, much less anyone else.
In one sense, I feel like I have no right to feel down, sad, even depressed. On the surface it seems like I have everything going for me. I have a beautiful son, a loving husband, sweet friends, part time work that is flexible and allows for some independence and time with my son, a lovely house, etc etc etc.
Yet something is off. Its difficult to explain, this emptiness, this hollowness. And how quickly it feels like it came on. Not so much post partum, but just in the last couple of months. Who knows, it could be hormonal, I am getting to the end of nursing here.
I have a few theories. Actually one long rambling one. Bear with me, if you dare.
You see I have always kept myself busy. Crazy. Busy. I have always worked at least one job, several hobbies, worked out, planned for the next upcoming parties or trips, etc. I can fill up my time with mindless internet surfing, reading, shopping, tv like its nobodies business. And now with the addition of a child, the past year has been one crazy hectic trip of a lifetime.
So what has happened recently? Recently I have been working on quieting things. Less shopping. Running had to take a break for a foot injury. Less tv. Less screen time. I work only 2 days a week. And child rearing has taken a short break from the crazies as we have a nap and night time sleep schedule we fell into and Ben is just such a happy kid.
In short, I have fewer things to distract myself from the things I have always been distracting myself from. The clutter is gone and now what I have are an awful lot of self-deprecating thoughts and issues that I have been avoiding looking at and dealing with.
Oh, so so many.
I have always known that my greatest fear is not lawn-mowers as I usually joke about. Or tornadoes or even canned tamales. My #1 greatest fear is insignificance. As I try desperately to articulate #2 in my head, it probably comes out in some form of abandonment/weakness/being broken scramble.
Without trying to place too much blame on one person, these fears and insecurities go back very very far. To a year that I have been working hard to make some sense of in an attempt to make peace with it. It is quite the process.
Long story short...which one day I will tell the long story I am sure... in the matter of one year, my parents divorced, we moved to a new home/small farm, I was in a pretty horrific accident with a lawn mower where I almost lost a limb and had several subsequent surgeries, my dad remarried and moved away and I am sure lots of other stuff. He was never really close to us after that. Huge changes. Huge losses. And as I look back and see the progression of things, I think part of me always thought some of this was my fault. Had this accident never happened, had I not been weak/broken, etc, maybe he would have stuck around.
Additionally, it seems forever after whenever I did ask for help, assistance, attention, I was shot down. Therefore anything I need I have learned to figure out how to do it or get it myself. And praise was out of the question. Therefore I have learned to not ask for help. Or anything for that matter. It is possibly the most difficult thing for me to do in the world.When I do, it is no small potatoes.
And so I have some serious difficulties with being sick, hurt, feeling unimportant. Asking people to be with me. I wish I could explain to you how crazy-making it was to hurt my foot last month because of this. Even being pregnant and child birth was affected by these issues.
How if I am not tough, if I don't buck up, show any weakness, present anything less than some warped sense of perfection, then I will not be loved. If I am tough, show no weakness, buck up, pretend to be perfect, then no one will leave. People will actually want to be around me.
Shit this is so difficult to write and possibly put out there. For the very reasons I am expressing.
And yet it is this very thing that keeps me at arms distance from people. It keeps me afraid to let people close because if they get close enough, they will see the imperfections and abandon. They will shoot me down if I express a need or want. I have been told that I can be intimidating....what?? me??? But really, who wants to be around someone who is intimidating? Who shows no weakness? This is not my true self.
And when I do feel insignificant, I shut down. Literally. I shut people out. I sulk. I become a negative Nelly. I do nothing. And literally become insignificant. The very thing I fear.
And thus this impending sense of being alone. Loneliness. Even in a crowd of wonderful people and things.
And when all is quiet, this sense can be deafening.
I had a small melt down the other day. One of many recently for me. Where I just could not get it together. It was, of course, in isolation. Where no one could see or hear me. Cause God-forbid someone see me cry. In my pity party I started to question why I am and feel so alone. Why was I left and abandoned when I needed a father figure the most?
While my heart was raging, a still small voice comforted me, saying "you were never alone" "I was always there". And it is something I have always known in my heart, but the thoughts and beliefs tuned it out. Disconnected. God has always been with me. I am someone, and always have been to the one who created me.
And this is what I need to work to replace my old belief set with.
How the hell do you do that? Well, for starters, the message I received the other day, I have written in a place where I can refer to it daily. To remind myself what I need to know.
Here is my message to myself, perhaps its for you as well:
"you are significant
always have been
and now you have the most significant role of your life. Don't give up. Giving up will do significantly more damage than fighting through any demons
You are not alone. God has always been there through everything. Even when you felt alone.
You are significant in Christ"
I'm not a giver-upper.
May you be blessed