I haven’t been writing lately…well…that’s not exactly true. I have been writing a little, but not sharing. I’m not sure why exactly…that’s not true either. I do know why. When I don’t feel like I have something positive to offer, some glimmer of hope, some coin in the cake (this was my favourite birthday tradition as a child; come cake time, each child would dive through their piece of cake like the Hulk looking for gold! Actually quarters. But you get the picture.) I just keep my mouth shut. Or I guess I keep my blog…unblogged.
I haven’t seemed to have any coins lately. It’s not that life has been bad either. In fact I have been feeling quite good for awhile now (for those of you who may have just tuned in, I struggle with clinical depression and the last couple of years have been…up and down).
What I have written is… ramblings. Pure, honest, heartfelt ramblings. To whom do I ramble? Myself mostly. And my therapist. Especially to myself AFTER I’ve seen my therapist! 🙂 I write to survive. I write to contemplate. I write to put my feelings down where I can see them; somehow relieving the pressure cooker full of emotions that are festering, pulsing, and growing just under the surface.
Why share these ramblings at all? Why not show the ‘Photoshop’ed version of my reality (Is there a writer’s version of Photoshop? Oh…I guess it’s called editing.) One, because my blog is called ‘Becoming Ordinary: Letting go of ‘perfect’ one day at a time’. If I only write when I have something poignant and sparkly to share, then I am still suffering under the rules of the tyrant who constantly demands perfection (and we know where that leads!). Secondly, I feel it’s my duty to be honest about my struggles. Let me explain. I want to help people. I want people to be inspired to ask for help. I want people to know that they are not the only one who gets depressed, or has ‘crazy’ thoughts, or is ridden with anxiety. Psychiatrists, psychologists, practitioners & counsellors all agree that the biggest barrier that stops people and their families from getting help is the stigma attached to mental illness. People are afraid of being judged, gossiped about, people using their hurts or struggles against them. However, if we can remove the stigma attached to speaking up, asking for help, we can begin the helping and healing process. Then and only then will people be able to crawl out of the shadows of shame and isolation and get the help that they need.
So here I go. Warning: it’s not uplifting. It was written on a day when I was feeling down, alone. I DO NOT feel this way all the time – it is a small sliver of thoughts written from the heart when feeling anxious. So…here are the ramblings of a pastor’s wife, recovered anorexic, sometimes depressed person who wants to blow the LID off of ‘stigma’! Stigma?! Bah! You may have met your match!
Sometimes we are lonely. So lonely that we feel like strangers in the world we live in.
We walk around on the outskirts of life, watching, listening, pretending for a moment that we too are a part of what is going on.
But there is a wall. A thick barrier between us and the outside world. On one side is laughter, camaraderie, and sweet indulgences that mock you, alone, on the other side. What other people have, at times, seems appealing, but you can’t help but hear the destruction, littered with pain through their shouts of elation and enjoyment.
This makes you wonder why there aren’t more people on your side of the wall. You listen to truth, obey the rules and start to resent those on the other sided the wall. After all, though you can see the destruction and identify the pain, their shouts of celebration make you painfully aware of the giant barrier between you and them.
And yet they don’t see it. They don’t see the wall a because their backs are turned only facing what lies before them. Indulgence, desires, wants, needs. With their voracious appetites they devour all that comes before them. And God allows this. Here I am on my side of the wall. Listening, hearing, and watching while others get blessed; enjoying every minute of their lives with reckless abandon. On my side of the wall, I am desperately trying to please God, make sound choices, lonely and keenly aware that my choices keep me behind the wall.
There I wait. Wait for the time when I am celebrating. When I am indulging. When I am filled with joy. Instead, I am left staring at the wall, only listening to the living that is going on beyond my bricks and mortar.
Morning dawns. I bravely smile as I start my day once again alone, behind the wall. But I pray that God would be close and that he would bring more people to my side of the wall. So I wait. And listen. I begin to live tortured by what is going on just beyond my reach. Both the joy and the suffering, the abandon and the aftermath. I decide to build my wall higher, thicker, tougher. Maybe if my wall was thicker I wouldn’t have to hear their shouts, smell their humanity, feel their pain. Maybe if my walls were thicker I would be happier to stay on my side. Though alone, I would at least feel safe. Safe from their immorality, and dangerous choices. But the construction of a bigger deeper and impenetrable wall leaves me wheeling even more alone, and I have now blocked out the sun, and the beauty that was part of both of our worlds. I no longer get to smell the flowers, see the sunshine, feel the warmth of it touch my skin. Alone, I don’t experience the beauty of togetherness. The beautiful music of life cannot be played by a single instrument alone. And I can no longer hear their shouts and singing. No all that is left is the wall. I am safe and alone.
How’s that for ‘letting go of perfect’ one day at a time? 🙂
Becoming Ordinary: Year 1 Day 236