Before I start, I want to apologize for being away for a few days. Our lap top is in the shop and therefore I am cut off from the world with no internet access. I pestered Hubby enough today that he signed us up for a 30 day free trial of dial up, just so I could feed my addiction and check email and such. The dry heaves have stopped, but it is taking everything I have not to log on to BabyCenter - I miss you mommas!
Anyway, I am sitting in the Junk room that is supposed to be our office, typing clumsily on the dinosaur of a desk top that we have in here. Oh, how I miss the effortlessness of lap top keys - but all is well, I have a bag of Oreos and a glass of milk and I am ready to begin!
This post has been swirling around in my head for some time now and it took something happening today for me to finally be motivated enough to sit down and write it out.
I have a hard time experiencing Joy.
There, I said it. Really, I do. Only a few times in my life I have had that feeling; when all is right in the world and I am content and peaceful and smiling; you know the one, right? I have rarely ever been just over the top happy - and I shall tell you why. Now, I am not a superstitious person per say; I don't avoid cracks in the sidewalk for fear I will break my mother's back, nor do I worry much when a black cat crosses my path. After all, I had black cats mainly when I was growing up so I actually thought of them as good luck. But some things tend to stick in the back of my mind that others would label as superstitious.
It seems like every time I have had that feeling, it was immediately followed by a tragedy. I can name a few times - when I was about 15, I had been reunited with a childhood friend and was able to spend the weekend with her at her parents house. We had a terrific time; talking, laughing, all that girlie stuff, and when we woke up the morning that I was to go home, I remember standing in the mirror brushing my hair and reflecting on the weekend. I had that feeling - the one of happiness and contentment, "joy" I guess. And I was so excited for the first time in a long time. About that moment was when her mother came into the room and told me to get my things and that my parents were picking me up early. Turns out, my cousin, whom I was very close to, had committed suicide.
I could go on and on with examples. I was given an amazing graduation gift of a trip to the Cayman Islands and the week after I got back my boyfriend (who I though was my soul mate) dumped me. Every time there was an extreme life high, I would get hit by an extreme low. When I had my son, a perfectly normal and happy pregnancy turned into a frightening delivery and a very sick child with no explanation for several days. My best friend, who was supposed to have her first born only 9 days before mine, tragically lost her baby at 38 weeks gestation.
I guess lately I have been trying to make sense of all of this. Trying to understand why every time I start to let my guard down and enjoy life something like this happens. I know everyone has ups and downs; that's how things work of course, but the fear of the downs is what keeps me from really allowing myself to experience the joys of life. I am always guarded, always afraid of the next thing that will come around the corner. And often times I can really spiral down into a depression. I try not to let it show, but I am sure people know.
In the past I could lock myself in my room and play depressing music and cry it all out until I felt better. But as an adult with a husband and a child, there is just not room for such things. It's no wonder to me that mothers are the silent sufferers. They are forced to take care of everyone first, and if there is time left in the day, maybe, just maybe we can cry in the shower or in the car on the way back from the grocery store...
I often cry in the car or in the shower. How sad is that?
But, in all of this, I have to say that I do have a saving grace. God whispers to me. He doesn't do it often, but when he does, his timing is perfect. (of course it is, right?) Shortly before I turned 21 I was at probably the lowest part of my life. The locked in the room nights were way outnumbering the normal and I was at the end of my rope. I was driving to work (crying in the car) and suddenly that feeling came over me. It was Joy - pure, untainted joy. All my troubles didn't exist and suddenly I heard a voice in my head saying "have faith" over and over. A warmth washed over me and filed all the empty places - it was like nothing I had ever experienced. That was the day I got saved; I called the preacher at the church I had been singing with through the university and asked for a meeting. I had no idea really of what being saved meant, but I knew it was what I need to do.
Fast forward to today, again driving in my car with Kiddo on the way to the grocery store. I have been down a lot lately. It gets worse around the glorious PMS time and then tends to subside a week or so after, but lately the sadness has been sticking around a lot. I don't know what it is; I can't explain it, other than the sheer fact that we, like most people, can never seem to get on top of finances; something it always breaking or in need of repair, or we have a medical bill or the insurance premium goes up AGAIN - it never ends, I know. But it has really gotten to me lately and I can't seem to shake the funk. So today we are driving and that feeling came over me - warm and fuzzy and inviting - and the song on the radio (it was Nickelback - "Far Away") played softly in the back ground. Now, the song is new and so I am not terribly familiar with the words yet, but what was loud enough to hear were the phrases "keep breathing", "hold on to me" and "I will love you". And, though it seems silly writing it now, I knew it was God, whispering - gently reminding me of His love and Grace. And I know that no matter the troubles I think I have, if I just keep breathing and hold on to Him, I will be alright.
And so I just want you all to know the same thing. Hold on, keep breathing. We will make it.
Thanks for walking down memory lane with me.