I haven’t written on here since August 13th. When I logged on tonight (at the subtle request of my husband), I was surprised to see that I wrote on that date – it was my 50th birthday, and things have been looking up ever since! After several years of emotional suffering, I had resigned myself to a life of darkness. I wasn’t going to jump off a bridge, but I was certain that for me life was to be lived in fog – moving from extremes of deathly tired to super anxious. I had accepted this. And then I turned 50.
August was tough – even worse than the usual darkness I had come to welcome since 2010. I was looking forward to turning 50 until I woke up in August realizing my mom wasn’t around to make me feel special on my birthday – I was a child without parents. A sister without my sister. Like most things – August 13th came and went – and I was reminded that it is usually the thinking about things that is much more difficult than actually living through them.
August came and went as well, and without any warning, like the suddenness of a thunder clap, I had the strangest sensation. It was as if I was stuck with a hypodermic needle, I could literally feel the warmth enter into my body, mind, and soul. I was at peace. And since that day, I have felt peace in my body, mind, and soul each day. Not every minute of everyday, but everyday at some point in the day.
As I was drowning in the darkness, I kept swimming for land, seeking a life preserver. I felt the need to connect even though I didn’t have the energy for meaningful human interaction most days. I began sending morning texts to a group of spiritual friends. This forced me to get up each morning with a purpose. I had to send a text. When I began this in January, I would usually read spiritual literature and send a quote from it. Something shifted this summer – after I turned 50.
I wasn’t writing on here, but I was writing. In the mornings, I began creating more and more space for myself: space to read, space to meditate, space to pray, space to reflect, space to text. My texts began turning into thoughts of gratitude, stories of journey. Here are some snippets:
September 11th: Today is my 20th wedding anniversary It is miraculous that I have been loved so dearly after such a rocky start to my life. Relationships are difficult – not only marriages – but friendships, work relationships, families, etc. I’ve been blessed to have many spiritual tools to use in nurturing these relationships. It hasn’t always been easy, but it has always been worth it. My relationship with Jeff continues growing and changing. It is truly sacred and something I’ve grown to treasure each day. What are you thankful for today?
September 12th: As busy as I am this time of year – working many 12-hour days each week – I’m managing to crawl into bed each night grateful, at peace, and thanking God. I’m amazed that the darkness of the last few years is dissipating. I thank those who have simply loved me even when they didn’t know what to do or say. Like the moon reflecting the sun’s light – you all were reflecting God to me when I was too blinded by grief and anxiety to see. The sun was too bright – I had to look to the moon, and there I found you reflecting God’s love.
September 13th: As tired as I am, I am grateful to be tired from living and contributing to society instead of tired from killing myself with a destructive lifestyle.
September 14th: Did you step outside yet today? Summer is begiining to give up her fight. I was amazed at the change from just one week ago. The sun – that massive ball of heat – seems so much lower in the sky. Everything looks and feels different in just one week. Whether or not you are happy about the changing seasons, can you be moved by these miraculous cycles? For me – it’s like looking at the majesty of the waves or the mountain – God is all over this stuff. It is hope and promise that all things must pass; that this moment is turly all we have. I can let change make me blue, or be filled with wonder.
Oftentimes the pain of changing keeps us from even knowing we are transforming. Does a caterpillar know it is becoming a butterfly? Change often hurts, but if we hang in there and continue getting out of bed, continuing to be real with those we trust, we have a chance at transformation. That is what happened to me when the grief loosened its grip on my throat. I was transformed, but hadn’t noticed what was happening – I was blinded by the pain.
I say this all came about without warning, but it didn’t come without work. I fought for it. I didn’t simply try to get over the grief and darkness. There is no getting over it. I went through it, I hated it, I embraced it, I respected it, I fought it, I surrendered to it, I created space for it, and I let go of it. This isn’t to say that I don’t get sad, or mad, or anxious ever, but something has shifted. I created space, and I finally got a hold of some perspective. I used many tools – spiritual tools, professional therapists, and many friends.
Peace. Much peace.