Thursday, April 12, 2018

It isn't in my blood.

My husband sent me a song the other day that reminds him of me.  In My Blood by Shawn Mendes.  The chorus:
Help me, it's like the walls are caving in
Sometimes I feel like giving up
No medicine is strong enough
Someone help me, I'm crawling in my skin
Sometimes I feel like giving up
But I just can't, it isn't in my blood
It isn't in my blood.

It isn't in my blood.  He is so right about that.  I don't know what I'm made of but its a whole lotta fight mixed with will power and determination.  I lose sight of that.  Often.  But, when push comes to shove, I continue to rise.  Claw myself out of the hole, doggy paddle to stay afloat, barely surviving- it's not pretty, surely not glamorous but its still rising, dammit,

I had another ebb.  I always prefer to flow and I had a good run.  Six months or so of flowing is epic around here.  I was doing well.  Feeling good, accomplishing life's tasks, not getting too overwhelmed, sleeping at night, you know- flow like things.  And, then it happened.  It almost feels like overnight but when I become clear (after) I can see exactly what took me straight to a hard ebb.  

You see, life is hard.  For everyone.  If you tell me that your life is perfect and easy- then that's awesome but I don't believe you or your instagram life so you can just keep living the dream and kindly leave me alone.  We do not need pretenders in this world.  We need Allies. Partners.  Friends.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying life isn't wonderful- I'm saying it isn't easy.  People forget to post that stuff.

I started realizing things were slipping with me a couple months ago.  I started laying in bed during the day.  I started NOT making plans.  I was tired 24/7 yet couldn't sleep.  Nothing was fun.  Everything was a chore.  Everyone bothered me.  I talked to very few people.  Then the dreaded horrific feeling of wanting out of my skin came.  And wouldn't leave.  I had a constant pressure in my chest.  I always felt like I couldn't breathe.  The actual attacks started.  Then the tears.  Then the panic.  I had allowed myself to fall further than ever since I went to Arizona.  I was mad.  I wasn't sure why or how I let it happen.  I'm supposed to be tougher than that.  I'm supposed to be an example.  I'm supposed to be grateful.  I'm supposed to be Lindsay…whatever that means to people.  Except, I'm human.  And, I fall.

I started spreading myself too thin.  I started taking care of too many people.  I started not putting my needs first ever.  I started not doing things that fill my cup.  I started only giving and never refilling.  I felt unappreciated and unimportant.  Nothing was OK.  Not one thing.  

What happened next took me by surprise.  My friend lost her daughter.  The empathy I felt was overwhelming.  This isn't someone I have known forever.  This isn't someone I hang out with everyday.  This isn't someone who is in my every single day life.  But, I felt broken.  For her.  My children are the same ages as hers.  I've been to hell with my son but I got to come back.  It was horrific and intense but I didn't lose him.  Why did she lose her daughter?  Survivors guilt is real and I cannot minimize that and Im sure that is not what I had but its some kind of a version of what I felt.  I'm going to do my best to explain this carefully and properly.  I didn't want to change places with her.  However, I wanted to walk through the pain for her.  I've walked through lots of fire and I just didn't understand why she had to walk through the absolute forest fire of them all.  It consumed me.  Her pain.  Seeing her at the funeral home and funeral was so incredibly physically painful and she was a beautiful pillar of Strength and Dignity.  It wasn't that- I just didn't understand why her and not me.  I know I am not God and I know I don't get to decide but the entire devastation of all of it was beyond overwhelming and took a very personal toll on me that was unexpected.  I still don't understand and I never will. But, I do know this- I'm so proud to have this woman in my life. 

After that experience, I was going to get my ass up and handle all the things.  I was going to just be grateful and the best wife and best mother and best friend.  Rigghtttt.  As if, that is how it works.  Like you can just tell the anxiety and imbalances you are feeling to take a hike and then everything is better.  Not a chance.   I knew what needed to be done.  I knew I needed to call my therapist.  I knew I needed to take extra meds to relax.  I KNOW the drill.  But, I didn't.  I got paralyzed.  I couldn't do ANYTHING.  I went to the gym and then I went home.  End of story.  

I only share this because I am not the only one suffering and I KNOW that no matter how open I am- people never, ever picture me in this state.  My poker face is stellar.  This is where it gets ugly:

I got the headache.  The god damn headache where I can't see out of my left eye.  I do not know why or how my body does this but it is the last straw.  Its the final warning.  Its the fire alarm.  It's my body saying "Game over."  It happened 12 days before I went to Arizona and didn't leave.  I knew I was in huge trouble when it hit.  I was in bed for most of the next couple days.  This always leads to tears.  Tears of failure for accomplishing absolutely nothing.  Tears of sadness for missing my kids.  Tears of fear of scaring my husband.  Tears of of disappointment for not taking care of my friends.  Tears for all of it.  The sobbing came one night and couldn't stop.  I was sitting on the edge of my bed and my husband came in with the look of absolute devastation.  He had a pill in his hand and he so sweetly gave me all the reasons why I needed to take it to rest.  To lose the headache.  To give my brain and body a break.  He went over all the reasons why I needed my therapist and I wasn't a failure.  Bless this man.  Bless  him!  It was a bit longer of a conversation than that but I took the pill and gave my body a rest.  I woke up, called my therapist and my Matthew changed my plane ticket for the families Spring Break to four days earlier so I could have peace and solitude to collect myself, think, make plans and start digging out.  I felt like I couldn't leave my family and go early because of course I would be selfish to take time alone but he and my therapist convinced me to do so and it was 150% exactly what I needed.  To be removed.  From People.  From Responsibilities.  From Life.  

I spent those days sitting in my church (aka the beach) and listening to the water and really evaluating my life.  Priorities. Everything.  Being alone is hard for a lot of people.  Actually sitting with yourself can be tricky.  I wasn't always sure I loved it but I've now found a peace and healing with doing just that… actually sitting with myself.  I did the work.  I didn't just go to the beach. I didn't just run.  I talked to my therapist.  I talked about all the things I don't want to talk about.  I thought hard about the actual changes I was going to make.  We all know the definition of Insanity and therefore change does not come without change.  I made decisions.  I had conversations.  I set goals.  I DID THE WORK.  I FILLED THE CUP.  Thats the thing, nobody wants to go to the painful spots.  The uncomfortable feelings.  The hard stuff.  You have to walk through the fire baby, if you want to get through the other side.  I put on my bravest face and stormed through...

And, I'm back!  I had the best time with my family.  I still hate the weather here but I'm flowing my way through the days.  I think each time I hit the Ebb, I learn more about myself and I come back not only stronger but swingin'!  I'm grateful for this life.  This wonderful, terribly difficult, awesome journey with my chosen people.

Giving up… it just isn't in my blood.  Thank God!

In my favorite place with my favorite people.

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