Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Losing It!

            Well, I think winter finally got the best of me.  I lost it earlier today to my husband (not because of him, just to him).  I was having “one of those days.” 

            And at first, I wasn’t going to say anything to him when he walked in after work.  I hate dumping negative things on him when he’s just come home to rest after a long day standing on his feet.  So I usually hold it all in.  I talk to myself and to the Lord a lot.  But my hubby hardly knows how bad I feel every day, how much of a failure I feel like, how much I hate that I can’t keep up with everything, how lonely I am. 
            So when he walked in today and asked how my day was, I gave a vague “fine” kind of answer. And I would’ve left it at that ... but then he added, “Not good?  Anything wrong?” 

            And that’s when I lost it.  I just went off on him, setting the table and getting the food on the plates and crying at the same time.  Just raw emotion and real feelings.  No spiritualizing it or softening it.  No “looking at the bright side” or finding the spiritual lesson in it all. 

            In tears, I began rambling all about how . . .

            “One of the kids wasn’t doing his work like he led me to believe . . . I feel like I can’t do anything well . . . I’m going to fail . . . I haven’t a friend in the world . . . My oldest friend got busy and stopped calling, and I need her friendship . . . I’m doing all I can to get this place in order, but I can’t do it . . . I live within these same four walls all day and it’s just getting smaller and smaller . . . I’ve been inside too long and I feel like I can’t breathe . . . I just need to feel like I can breathe again.  I need a real rest . . . And it’s hard having the government looking over your shoulder for the whole homeschooling thing . . . I can’t relax and just enjoy the process . . . I wish we could just go back to simpler times when life was about living, when education was about growing your food and learning to do the basic things of life instead of this rat race where we are all running and running but we don’t even know where we are going, and we are getting farther and farther away from each other . . . Now I’ve got the government to please and God to please.  And I’m trying to do my best but it never feels good enough . . . I’ve got no one to talk to . . . It’s just easier for me to give up on all friendships than to keep trying so hard and fail . . . I can’t wait till God comes back and ends this all . . .”      

            Oh yeah, I was in fine form.  I know that I said more, but I can’t remember what.  I think I blocked it out.  And I could’ve gone on even more . . .

            ... about how my family has all scattered, we’ve never been close anyway, and how I don’t seek comfort from my parents or lean on them . . . about how God is so silent right now in my life and how empty the air feels when I pray . . . about how I’m tired of being strong and convincing myself that I’m not aching inside . . . about how I watch my Gilmore Girls DVD’s all the time because they have become my “friends” . . . I’m so freakin’ pathetic . . . about how I watch out the window all the time to see if birds are in my backyard because I need the little bit of joy they add to my life ... about how tired I am always trying to find the silver lining, scraping down into the hard, dry earth with my fingernails to find any tiny nugget of joy that I can because I’m desperate for encouragement and hope . . . about how I’m tired of using all my brainpower just trying to be okay with this sucky, sucky life . . . about how sick it makes me to see the direction our country is going, how bad our morals have become and our food production practices, etc., etc., etc.  

            As I said, I didn’t say all of this, but I could have.  But I did vent all that I said in the first paragraph, and then some.  I haven’t been able to talk to anyone about this stuff for a long time, except God.  And as I talked on and on, my husband just stood there watching me sympathetically.  It almost felt like an out-of-body experience.  I could hear myself going on and on.  I wanted to shut up.  I wanted to stop crying.  But it just kept coming. 

            And as I talked – gaining more steam - I realized that I really needed to do this.  I really needed to share my burdens with someone else, someone who cared.  I really needed to let someone else shoulder my burden, to help me bear the crosses I have to bear. 

            Because I’m not super-human.  I can’t do it on my own.  I can’t always talk myself back into a good mood or a godly outlook. 

            Sometimes, I need to let someone else be there for me, let someone else be God’s arms that reach out and hold me.

            And while I was blathering on and on, as the tears spilled forth from my eyes, my dear husband did the best thing he could do ... 

            He just listened. 

            And then he pulled me close and held me as I cried.  His warm embrace became a safe place for me, a place to gather my bearings and the strength to face the world again. 

            He didn’t make me feel like I was losing it or like I was unstable and should be committed.  He didn’t try to solve my problems or talk me out of my negative feelings.  He just encouraged me with a few words, a warm embrace, and a few nods in the right places, letting me know that he heard me and that he cared for me. 

            And in response to my ongoing loneliness and lack of friends, he just whispered, “I like you.”  My goodness, do I love this man!  Thank you, Lord, for my wonderful husband and safe marriage!
            Sometimes, losing it to someone who really cares is the best thing we can do.  Because it’s when we find the comfort we need.  When we lose our footing and fall under the weight of our burdens and reach out for help, we find God’s encouragement through another person’s soothing words and warm embrace.  And our cross gets a little lighter. 

            And with a renewed sense of hope and encouragement, we are able to gather ourselves enough that we can stand back up again and carry on.  A little stronger, a little steadier, and a little lighter.  Thank God for those who walk this journey with us!  Thank God for the blessing that comes with "losing it."