This isn’t my usual type of post. I have some thoughts ruminating into a slow boil. Aching about justice & the Stand Your Ground law and being white and privileged. A response. But I need more time to mull.
I finished the article on loving a drunk for Today’s Christian Woman. Ahem, I know. I’m not a likely writer for them. I don’t read resources written just for women (much). Nor do I like ministries just for women which I’ve written about. The issue is about addiction and when they asked, I started to think about how little this topic is discussed in the Church. I think this topic needs attention.
Still, it was one of the hardest things to write in my life. That’s no exaggeration. I thought this piece for SheLoves was vulnerable because it was to such a “big” audience. Well just leapt larger than life here with being published on a Christianity Today website. My stomach curls in on itself just thinking about it. So I try not to think.
But more than that, it’s just hard to go back there, where I cannot remember. I had to interview Tom about those Falling Down Drunk years. Yes, I had to interview my husband as weird as that sounds. Tell me about that time when I barfed all over the car.
As you can imagine those monster enemies of Shame and Regret hovered around, clouding everything I did for days. Remembering what I put him through feels like hell but I’m hopeful that this will help people. Or I would write it. The mind blowing thing was the good that came out of the sweating blood of this writing. I got to see how he loved me in such a long-suffering and courageous way. How awesome to feel, stone cold sober the love of my husband after twenty years. I’m smitten all over again. just thinking about his sacrifice and love for me.
I blasted out a poem for my church’s Pulse Conference on Worship & the Arts. I didn’t have time to over think. It came fast and I loved it. I am learning to have more confidence in my Voice. And like I mentioned before when things are printed-and-official I usually get the heebie jeebies and completely freak out; telling myself how unworthy I am to be writing a poem for “Artists.” I didn’t go there this time. (Phew, deep exhalation.) I am evolving.
I found a Psychiatrist, meaning—after having the number for five months I finally picked up the phone—I scheduled an appointment. Sometimes it’s the little things that feel unbearable with depression. I have a list of those things collecting Shame. I look at the phone a lot, I mean a lot. Then my chest hurts with anxiety and starts burning. More deep breathing helps.
I feel like I should wear a warning sign these days: KEEP CLEAR of me.
The good news is I like this doctor and today I feel a burst of hope that together we can figure out a better cocktail (of medications). What I take now makes me feel flat like a faded old piece of paper. Everyone else seems to be living in 3D and I’m one dimensional. The current medications got me out of the troth of not wanting to be alive (Which is different than suicidal—an important clarification.) But I’d like to shoot for something a tad higher than flat and undead. Perhaps happy. I’d also be satisfied with sociable.
“My world is so small right now.” I found myself confessing to the doctor. This made me even sadder and I wanted to cry. Crying not something I can do currently, another side effect, but as I said I’m hopeful with a change of medication that crying will come back.
Someone asks: Do you want to get together? (Blank marshmallow filled space in my brain and then panic.) Feel like coffee? a text (I feel nothing if I were to be honest.) Want to go to that concert with me? (No.) You could listen to them online. You’ll like them. They’re really great. (No, definitely no. Milwaukee. It’s too much effort.) Can you host Christmas? (… birds chirping … hell no!) Don’t forget life group is tonight. ( … I don’t think I can go. Two hours of not talking in a group of talking people makes me feel dead and I don’t think I can speak. If I have to give another update saying things are still … bad. I’m so tired of my life updates being so [insert pejorative].)
I’ve been so tired of feeling like this daily for months and months.
But I’ve been making myself do a few things out of the conviction that I cannot sit in my chair alone all winter. Besides motherhood, which doesn’t stop ever.
I’m attending the Festival of Faith and Writing in April. When I made the reservation I thought I’d never be able to go, not in a million years. My brain won’t even compute navigating the drive, let alone attending a conference alone. But somehow, things have been improving. Writing this and asking for help went a long way. I know I’m not alone. And now a break from life sounds damn good. It has been the most awful winter that I can recall EVER and I’m not talking just about the weather.
“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable, they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.” – Ernest Hemingway
Remember the hot days of summer, when I was working on an essay on PRAYER and feeling really skeptical about whether I even believe in prayer? That essay is now published in the book Disquiet Time. You can pre-order it here published by Jericho Books in October, 2014. So that’s very cool.
Did I even tell you that I have two poems in the book Not Afraid: Stories of Confronting Fear which is available here.
Lastly, WordPress is telling me I have been blogging six years sending their congratulations. Looking back, I see that my first post was 2008/10/07. That means I’ve been sober six and a half years. Six years of blogging! Wow.
In that time, I’ve gathered TO MY UTTER AMAZEMENT 1,751 subscribed email readers. Not sure how that happened but I can only thank you, for when you pass along my writing. It helps me build traction and readers which helps me imagine one day I’ll be published. So, I’m grateful that Spring is coming.
I leave you with thoughts of summer, which I am longing for — running in flip flops, or curled up with a book in grass, or squinting at the sun by the lake.
As always, thanks for reading,