Today I woke up with an ache in my chest. I have been wandering around in a daze for so long that I’m not even sure how to label this feeling: This yearning, hopeful heartache that makes me excited, terrified, sad and angry all at once.
What do I do with it? I write. I bleed the feelings out through ink on paper. I capture and release them, instead of fighting to control them.
I struggle to find the balance between controlling things and just not caring about them. I want all or nothing. Perfection or disaster. I want my life to be the way it “should” be. If it can’t be that way, I just want to buy a bottle of tequila for dinner… I want a man in my bed… I want the power and the pride that comes from eating less and less. I want to throw it all away. I want oblivion.
But as great as it all sounds in the moment, I know how it ends. I’ve stumbled down that path many times. And it always leaves me with is the same dull heartache… with pain… with tears… with longing for more.
And I’m reminded God is the one real source of hope and joy and peace:
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
My house is filled with journals that are half full. I get distracted from writing for a while, ruining my plan to journal regularly and making the book no longer perfect. So I start a new one. Until now!! This weekend I wrote on the last page (this is kind of a big deal!) And this morning, as I read through my thoughts from the last few months, I was reminded that I started this blog because I wanted to break down the facade of a perfect life and share my struggles. Struggles can be beautiful too. So I’m going to share bits and pieces that never made it here.
April 24: God is asking me to begin again in so many ways. To find new goals and be open to new places. To not be tied down by my accomplishments, but to let Him lead me to even greater ones. To start from scratch: new priorities, new career, new outlook. Overwhelming but so exciting! I’m learning to walk by faith, not sight.
Who is this girl? As for today… Sometimes I would rather fall on my face than walk by faith. There’s a kind of security that comes along with certainty, even if it means scraped knees.
I wish I had a great reason for why I’ve been procrastinating when it comes to blogging lately…that I had some amazing story about where I’ve been. But the truth is, I’ve been here. I’ve been hiding.
My default setting is black and white. If it’s not good, it’s bad. It’s either right or wrong. But I’m trying to learn there is room for grey. That things don’t always fit in a perfect little checkbox, and that’s ok. Sometimes things are neither good or bad, they just are.
It’s not easy. There are days (and weeks and months and even years) I avoid things entirely rather than admitting to myself they are anything but perfect. There are times when it feels like everything is just plain wrong. And there are the moments when I find myself searching for the middle, but have no idea what it even looks like. (Which frustrates me because I SHOULD know, I’m a smart girl. Which makes me feel bad because the whole point is to not judge things as good or bad. Which means I am failing at not judging. And on and on, in a never-ending cycle.)
So I have been keeping myself busy for the last couple of weeks in order to avoid thinking and the unpleasant, not-so-perfect feelings it brings. Which is why I am exhausted from searching for a dress to wear to a wedding on Saturday when I ALREADY BOUGHT THE PERFECT DRESS TWO MONTHS AGO. But there could be a more perfect one out there… and if not, there might still be better shoes than the ones in my closet, or jewelry that I won’t even realize I need until I see it…
Was this a good or bad use of my time? Neither, it’s just how I chose to spend it. (Does anyone actually believe that though? Is it only me fighting an eye roll?) I often explain to my counselor that this is much healthier than my old methods of coping, like doing shots of vodka. She never really seems convinced that it’s a solution. And I guess there are more helpful, less exhausting ways to deal with my feelings…like actually feeling them. Like sitting with them, even though it’s uncomfortable. Like bringing them to God and trusting Him to walk me through it, rather than around it.
So here I am, back where I left off. Ready to stop hiding and keep fighting…not to be perfect, but to be real. To be who God made me.