After writing my last post about how hard and overwhelming things have been, many many of you have reached out to me to offer support and encouragement. Some of you have even donated to my GoFundMe page, which my dear friend, Beth, lovingly reinvigorated for me. Once again, my Love Army showed up for me. Once again, I started the slow, non-linear, faith inspired journey of crawling out of despair.
Of course, I am so deeply grateful for each and every way people have tried to help carry me through this mess. There is a “knowing” that people who have experienced deep trauma sink into. It is an acknowledgement, a one way avenue where we know how heavy life and loss can be. It’s like having a little pebble in your shoe. Sometimes it’s sharp and biting and walking is hard and almost not worth the effort. When it’s not painful it’s still definitely noticeable. Sometimes your mind wanders away from it, but then something like an ache or a smile or a song will bring your attention back to it. I imagine over time you either adapt or the pebble gets smaller, depending on how you tackle it. I am starting to understand that I won’t be in this place forever and I know I won’t do it alone.
What is most astonishing to me is how some people understand the heavy even when they haven’t been through it. They cannot fully sink into the uneasy level of fully knowing, but their brains put together the pieces and notice that things are not quite right here. They are able to spot cracks and fractured bits that signal to them that the whole is distorted- like a Picasso portrait. They don’t have to understand why, they just recognize the twisted and strained figure and they extend their kindness. I can’t imagine they will ever understand how profound and meaningful their support is… Or at least I hope they never have such a need in their lifetimes and that they are spared the desperation and ache that is so relieved by the very type of kindness they are naturally extending.
Sometimes I feel guilty (still) asking for or needing help. I have a self-imposed expectation that I should be “better” by now- whatever that means. And while that probably isn’t a reasonable starting place, admittedly, one of my biggest personality flaws is my difficulty in seeing past the temporary. When it hurts, it hurts bad and it feels like it will never end. This is probably because I have no roadmap here. I don’t know what life can be like after this. I don’t know if I will fully physically recover, or financially recover, if we will be able to keep our home or what my professional life will look like. It is like a thick fog has rolled in only inches from my face. My task is to blindly and boldly push forward and hope there isn’t a bear or maniac or a giant hole in the earth hiding in the grayness.
I still have very little control over my life. It’s a very vulnerable and frustrating place to be. I cannot simply spring up and reinvigorate the lifeless pieces of my life with a little elbow grease and optimism. My body is tired and I have to ration out activities over the course of the week so I don’t spend all my reserves in one or two days. I still depend on others to help get me through my tasks, and I am a loooooooonnng way from being 100%.
But, there are pieces of light. I have mentioned that a friend who has walked this path promised me I can overcome a lot of what is pinning me down. Honestly, it was a small piece that clicked my mind over to thinking about possibility instead of loss. I started to focus in on what I could still control and I created space to think of myself as strong and capable. There is still a lot of hope and opportunity in my life. There are still pieces of me that are able.
I am working now on feeding my brain a steady diet of possibility. I am limiting the labels and circumstances that weighed on me and I’m beginning to care for myself again. I’m realizing I have control over whether I make this better or worse for myself just in the way I approach it. I’ve dusted myself off a bit after a nasty fall. I have done small things, like getting dressed properly, putting on makeup, eating better, doing the dishes. These things give me a little boost of confidence and remind me that I still can. I can still rise. I can still move. I can still pour my heart into my family and my work. I can still care for myself. I can still press on.
Every day moves me an inch forward. Everyday, a little bit more of me is coming back. Every day is an exercise in finding the strength and courage to be kind to myself, to love myself, and to believe in a future that I cannot yet see. It is meditating on what can still be and nurturing who I am now. It is reframing, shifting, being open, and having faith.
I already feel better in the few days since I made the shift. I feel a little more in control of my life and I’m taking steps towards things that help, and away from things that don’t. I finally feel like I have my course set in the right direction. Thank you for all you’ve given me to help me see that.
Give ‘Em Hell