I don’t know how to start into this and I’m not sure if what I am experiencing will bless anyone. God works in mysterious ways.
We’ve been really busy. All four of the kids are back in school for the year. They absolutely love it. My boys anxiously await the three days a week they go to preschool and my girls adore their wonderful tutor. I’m slowing bringing order and routine back to our house and that feels good. I almost even organized my bathroom yesterday. My husband is taking this semester off school to be home with us, so aside from work, he is with me and that is a huge blessing. Ben is there for me. He holds me up and lets me cry goobery tears on his shoulders and doesn’t ever looked shocked when I’ve done something stupid. We are settling into our new church and it is really good. I look forward to going to church every Sunday. The people are welcoming and kind and the sermons challenge me. The kids are making new friends and Ben and I are working on doing the same. When my doctor switched my medications last Spring, I lost over 20lbs without trying. I packed away my plus size pants and now even my skinny jeans are pretty roomy (although, ironically, I don’t feel any prettier or uglier. My body doesn’t define that anymore and for an ex-bulimic, that is an answer to prayer). With all these wonderful blessings, I know life should feel easy right now. But it doesn’t.
I feel like I’m living under water again. Depression is a constant shadow, looking for opportunities to overcome me. My anxieties over using the phone returned. I’m supposed to make an appointment to go see the counselor my doctor wants me to see, but I start shaking and I can’t breathe when I think of having to call. I’m supposed to go see a chiropractor and get a massage (I’ve been in constant pain for the last couple months, sometimes debilitating). I can’t will myself to pick up the phone. I need to schedule a time for our whole family to go get annual flu shots. Sure, I could just go to the pharmacy, but that doesn’t work for my kids and that frustrates me. I can’t think clearly. I feel confused and so tired even though I’m sleeping at least 8 hours a night. There are other symptoms connected to the pain, something is probably wrong, but I’d have to make a phone call to get that ball rolling. My heart hurts for my sister constantly. I wish I could do more for her. If I get all clinical, my guess would be situational stress has triggered a relapse in my struggle with mental health. Couple that with concrete physical health concerns and this is my life right now.
So here I am. Still in my pajamas and it is almost noon. I napped fitfully after the kids started school, pushing down the feelings of guilt for sleeping while someone else taught my children. I’m drinking some coffee and working up the energy to take a shower. I have stuff I need to do. I want to cry. I want to go back to bed. I wish I could wake up when I felt better. I feel like I’m drowning.
But that feeling is a lie. And I can’t check out of my life because I love my life. I love my kids. I love my husband and the work I’m blessed to do (except laundry — I don’t like doing laundry ;-). I’m choosing to distrust how I feel and focus on what is real.
I am loved. I am safe. God is good.
I will pray.
I will take a shower.
I will read my Bible again.
I will do my face and hair and put on clean clothes.
I make dinner plans and sweep the house.
I will write a real letter and mail it.
I will kiss my husband and snuggle my kids.
I will remind my sons to be gentle with their sisters when they get too excited while playing tag.
I will video conference with my sister tonight for 30 minutes and try to make her laugh before the program cuts off without warning.
I will backburner how I feel and focus on the incredible truth of the Gospel and do everything I can to bestow that goodness on those around me.
And I will ask my husband to make those phone calls for me.
I will give myself some grace.
This isn’t a long-term solution, these are baby steps done in faith. This is my way of persevering through the struggle. This isn’t bucking up and ignoring my depression or anxiety or pain, this is a step-by-step plan just to get through today. Tomorrow, we can reevaluate and I know God will be there for me, just as He is with me now.