Last night I was provoked to deep thought. It’s dangerous to be provoked into deep thought as you are trying to head to bed. I usually end up tossing and turning for several hours, thinking and pondering.
Last night was a little different. Maybe the deep thoughts led to some closure, peace.
Sometimes when we have something painful going on in our lives, we allow ourselves to believe that it’s better to block out memories, block out feeling. Since the young age of 10 or 11 I have dealt with bouts of depression. Sometimes severe, sometimes mild. Through the years, I have learned to manage it without medication. Learning new techniques to cope and workout my feelings. If ever my depression got out of control, I would definitely seek help again and if medication was the key, I would take it.
A few years ago, soon after having my gastric bypass, several things happened to send me into a different downward spiral. I wouldn’t call it depression, it was more destructive. There was a betrayal from friends, a realization that my marriage had almost been lost in the process of obesity and depression, awakening through the weight loss process to all the things I had missed, the decline of my parent’s health, the foreclosure and loss of our home, the near death experience during our move to California, and the culture shock of Los Angeles itself, finding out that we had missed the signs of our daughter’s depression and loss. Add to that my husbands work change and the disappearance of my closest sibling from my life and ultimately my father also being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and you had the mess of me.
It became easier to not hold on to memories, good or bad. It was easier to push away feeling anything about these things and yet deep inside I was feeling so much pain that I couldn’t escape it. It was eating me alive. If pushed by my “counselor”, I use that term loosely, I would open up to things, but when I would open up to remembering, there was no use, I would just melt into tears, bone wracking tears. It wasn’t a cleansing time. There was no cleansing because God wasn’t involved in the process. There was unconfessed sin, and a wall that I had built for a long time. I had shut out all of it.
During that time, God was there, it’s just that the wall I had built was so thick and high, I couldn’t see Him or feel Him. It wasn’t until I allowed Him to begin the demolition process, finally deep roots of bitterness were being plucked out, I grieved, I allowed the feeling back in. However, I was still shutting people out.
There were women here in California that reached out to me. I allowed pieces to be revealed, desperately wanted to have those friendships, but the fear of betrayal led me to say and do things that I am not proud of. Too ashamed to ask for forgiveness for things that I am not even sure they are aware happened, I abandoned those friendships and ran. Only a couple of persistent women of God has been able to penetrate that barrier and I think she still has to work harder than she should. It’s been easier to open up to people who I only “see” on-line, personal contact and especially eye contact, even with the man who I am deeply in love with, is hard. It’s even hard with my girls. I’m not always sure that I want them to see deep into my soul.
Last night, a significant breakthrough came when I read a post by my friend, Lisa. You can read this post over at her blog, “Hey Sparky, What Time Is It”, “They Paved Paradise”. Matthew was laying in bed next to me and usually when things like this hit me, I cry. However, there were no tears. Just an exact thought process. I think that he was just a little surprised. The thought that remembering may be worth feeling. That these relationships may be worth the pain. Without me knowing it, God also chiselled another little part away last weekend. He revealed to me that I don’t deal with separation well. Well, guess what? The military is full of it. I make friends and they move or we do. My husband heads out for business trips. We live hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles away from family. All of this has built this “wall” of protection around my heart. But I am tired of protecting my heart, God is there to do that. In fact, I’m doing the exact opposite of protecting my heart, I’m breaking it.
Closing myself off to people who could and would enrich my life is breaking me. I have missed out on love and joy. I am done with it. It became clear last night. I had a few women over for a card making party. We made a card, shared some food and great fellowship. Then I read Sparky’s post. The dam broke, but it wasn’t a flood of tears, it was just a release of fear. I’m ready for feeling again, I’m ready for what God has had for me for a long time. He will heal the hurt, He will show me the better way, and I will trust Him.