Saturday, October 22, 2011

On Not Leaping Before Grace

This isn't a post.  Not really. 

I haven't blogged or written a word in almost two weeks; that's never happened before.  My creative/writing brain is off somewhere... it has fled to the hills, or wherever it goes, and I don't have it in me to write something creative. So this is just an update, of sorts.

I've gotten so many 'where are you' and 'are you okay?' emails, and I appreciate each and every one of them.  Thank you, everyone, for all your heartfelt words of encouragement, advice and support.  I will try to respond to all of them, but truth be told I'm not on the computer much these days.

I'm okay. Mostly. Or, at least, I will be.

I'm in a kind of purgatory, an emotional limbo.  The anxiety is still there, and it sucks so much of my mental energy that I've scaled way back, simplified my life, focusing my energy on the thing that matters most: my family.

There is some kind of medical thing going on; the swollen lymph node in my neck that I wrote about in my last post is still there, and it is the source of most of my anxiety.  I don't have answers, not yet, as to what it is.  I'm getting lots of tests, talking to doctors and specialists. I'm not sticking my head in the sand and ignoring it, which would have been my old response to fear.  I'm talking to people - my close friends and family - and I'm not isolating, even though I want to.  Badly.

I don't get to go around things anymore; I don't hide in a bottle or curl up into a ball.  I'm mostly grateful to be sober, to be present and feel my feelings, work through this instead of skirting around it.  Whatever the outcome, I know this is a hurdle I'm meant to face; I'm learning, slowly, how to sit with fear, breathe and talk through it. Fear is forcing me to grow and stretch in ways I haven't had to do since I got sober. It hurts, but it's like the ache you feel after a tough workout - I feel a twinge of pride in the pain, knowing that I'm pushing myself towards something.  A breakthrough, not a breakdown.

Day to day life hasn't changed much at all. I shuttle the kids back and forth to activities, make small talk on the sidelines of soccer fields and birthday parties. I play with the kids, help with homework, administer baths and read bedtime stories. I pack lunches and prepare dinners; I show up where I'm needed, and I try mightily to be fully present for my kids.  Through all this an engine of fear churns madly in the background of my brain, and during the day I tuck it away, put my Mommy poker face on for the kids. 

Then I tuck them into bed, the house grows quiet and the engine churns louder - it's clanging and banging is a familiar soundtrack, now. 

I reach for other distractions - reading, exercising or sleeping, mostly.  Two things I don't do?  I don't drink or eat myself into oblivion.  I have to keep reminding myself that this is progress.

I've been thinking a lot about control, about how badly I want the hard stuff to be solved - tied up in a neat little package with a pretty bow on top.  So much of the challenges in the past few months have been completely outside my control.  My Dad's sudden death in June, and my unexplained health problem.  These things just are, and I can't think my way out of them.  Anxiety is my brain's way of trying to control the uncontrollable.

I ride the emotional ups and downs.  I sit with pain. I breathe through fear. I have gratitude for the peaceful moments. I hug my kids and my husband.  I talk and talk and talk. 

I try not to leap before grace. 

I don't know how much I will be writing here in the coming days. That's outside of my control, too. I know I can't force words that don't want to come.  I have faith they will come back, in their own time.

In the meantime, I wait. 


  1. love these words. and your transparency. Hearing your reflecting on how you would have handled this before and how you are aware and glad to be feeling and not numbing.

    This was a great quote that I can relate to:

    "I ride the emotional ups and downs. I sit with pain. I breathe through fear. I have gratitude for the peaceful moments. I hug my kids and my husband. I talk and talk and talk."

    Thinking of you. Sending endurance and peace, and thoughts for wisdom for those specialists who are analyzing on your behalf. Good to hear from you, as always. *HUG*

  2. Hugs to you across the miles my friend. God is with you every step of the journey.

    ~Hope from A Song Not Scored(it won't let me post with my blogger account!!)

  3. Praying for you!! Lots if love,be strong and keep doing what you can to take care of you!!

  4. Keep strong. Hope all goes well with the tests. Come back when you feel you're able to. We'll still be here x

  5. I am so sorry that things are so difficult right now. I am praying for you and your family.

  6. I am so glad you posted. I was about to be adding to the people checking where you were.

    You keep on doing what you are keeping on doing; and focus on what you know are the right things for you, right now.

    Don't worry about being 'creative' - your post is sublimely elegant for a lady saying she's not actually posting. And it is good to hear from you.

    And don't worry about us - we just do the worrying about you, OK?

    God bless.

  7. Thanks for the update. You have remained on my daily prayer list and will remain there. I will be praying for sober endurance and peace for you, as well as needed answers.

  8. "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well ..." (Juliane of Norwich)

  9. I'm so glad you posted. I have been worried about you, although I only "know" you through your writings. Please know that many well wishes are sent your way.

  10. I was exactly where you are now about a year and a half ago. Lump on my neck that was 'something' and not any more answers. I'm on the other side of the 'something' now (mostly). I try to remember in times like these what a doc who saw me for PPD said, "You've been through a lot of hard things. This is a hard thing. In the not too distant future you're going to look back at this hard thing just like the others and say, 'I made it through that.'" You're gonna do that with this. Whatever it is.


  11. This is genius: Anxiety is my brain's way of trying to control the uncontrollable.

    I'm so proud of you for how you're dealing with this. You would be a star pupil of a therapist.

    I'm here for you and understand 1000% if you ever need me.


  12. You are breaking through not breaking down.
    Hugs to you!

  13. I so relate to this post. Anxiety is my downfall. I go from A to Z with the horrible thoughts instantly if triggered. When it comes to medical dilemmas and death I am at my worst. I feel your pain and wish you the best with all you are facing. To be able to control the uncontrollable - now wouldn't that be nice...

  14. The 'not knowing' - yes, that is the worst. A fellow who didn't know what was going to happen next, prayed, 'You chart the path ahead of me, and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am.' (Ps. 139:3) You are never alone, dear lady. Never.

  15. Your prayers are my prayers...and faith is the right way forward on this difficult journey.
    With every hope, and prayers XXXXXXXOOOOOOO
    A Chris