life, My Faith

Finding a way back

So, it’s been two and a half weeks. I know. I’ve been slowly easing back into the social media places, but this is the last frontier, if you will, to reappear at, and somehow it seems the hardest. I’ve bared my soul a lot of times for you, but this time it seems too much.

Lest you think I hung up my pen entirely, I find writing therapeutic, and so I’ve been doing it…just not for public consumption. Some things just seem too much like standing naked somewhere.

The last two weeks have been more challenging than any I’ve walked before. I didn’t want to walk this path, a path where merely existing was a challenge, where every bit of energy was consumed just trying to put one foot in front of the other and do the things required, no more, no less.

I juggled so many things for so long and tried with all my might to appear to be successful and perfect, but we all know that perfection is not attainable, even if I would have denied that at one point. I slowly started dropping the things I was trying to juggle until two weeks ago everything came crashing to the floor. And I forgot an important step. I forgot how to breathe.

Truth be told I stopped breathing long before. I held my breath hoping no one would notice that my life was filled with disappointments, hoping no one would notice that I wasn’t perfect. I held my breath hoping no one would notice that I needed help in all the ways but had no idea how to admit that.

It’s funny that in January when I picked a word for the year it was “breathe”. I wrote about it I think. I guess I didn’t know how much I needed to breathe until I wasn’t. And now I find that to be a key. Just breathe. Keep breathing. That’s all you can control.

And there it is. Back to that tricky control thing. Ugg. I mean it all comes back to that doesn’t it? I want so very much to be in control of all the things, but in the end I can control very little.

And in trying so hard to remain in control and ever so capable, I ended up out of control and not capable at all. Existing in a strange universe where I didn’t know how to see anything but the ugly right in front of me. A universe where I needed people so very much to just sit beside me and remind me that it was going to be okay. It’s like a parallel universe of what used to be my life, a place where even smiling felt strange. A place where I had no choice but to admit my failings, a place where I had to put words to the thing.

While I won’t share all that was scribbled in the notebook, I think this part is one I cannot say better than I did:

I hate feeling that I’m on the edge of a cliff and one wrong move and I might go over again. I hate this. But it is teaching me about love and acceptance. It is teaching me about the way other people can love me even if I am incapable of doing anything for them right now. It’s teaching me about grace.

I don’t know where we go from here. I want life to be fun and happy but it’s not. I want to enjoy my people and not exhaust them. I don’t want to emotionally exhaust people the way I am emotionally exhausted. I don’t want to lose people in this.

But there has to be grace in this life now. Grace to learn how to breathe again. Maybe not the free easy breaths of before, but the hard-fought for deep breaths of survival, of struggle, of the battle. We will get through this.

And that’s where we are, taking one step and then the next, clinging desperately to the hope that each day gets better. The last few days have been good ones.

Today proved a challenge, as it started out strong and then with people in my house, my dog chose to pee on the floor and then the toilet overflowed and my internet stopped working and… And it was hard because there’s nothing perfect about any of that. But there’s also nothing I can control about any of that. So we breathe, take in a deep breath and try to continue on even when things go wrong because they inevitably will.

One foot in front of the other. We will make it to the other side of this valley…some day.

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