I can’t really remember when this started. I used to be a really sensitive child. Even as a teenager my emotional instability was devastating to my personal life and to those in my life. But somewhere along the way, I lost that. I hardened. I developed a shell and tried…try really hard not to let people see how deeply they still hurt me. I don’t always succeed and there are certain hot buttons that will get to me every time, but overall, I put most of that crap behind me.
The drawback of this new emotional shell is that I am still that same emotional, sensitive girl on the inside. Every once in a while, the pressure of pretending I’m not breaking breaks me, and I feel like I’m melting.
The last few months of our lives has pushed me to an emotional point I have rarely felt before. Between the worry over baby girl and her early (though, thankfully healthy) arrival, my husband’s job loss when she was merely 3 weeks old, a diagnosis of skin cancer for me just 2 weeks after that, mounting medical bills, and nearly two straight months of unemployment, I felt like I was losing my mind.
I struggled to put up a brave front and convince every one that I was handling everything just fine. I tried not to cry or explode. I tried to believe that things would get better. But the truth is, I failed. Finally. I just lost it.
I screamed and threw my phone. I sent the kids to be with my mom for a day. I yelled my frustrations to my patiently listening husband. I confessed to him my worst thoughts: that I didn’t believe things would ever get easier for us, that I didn’t think we’d be okay. That even though I knew he was doing everything humanly possible, I felt a nagging thought that he was to blame.
It was horrible. I was horrible.
But then something of a miracle occurred. I felt better.
I didn’t feel so desperately alone.
I finally saw that he was in the same panicky, do-anything-it-takes place that I was.
My faith in him, in us was restored because I knew he wouldn’t let us completely fall apart.
I actually reached out for help, and when it came, I accepted it.
I took a few mental health days, and got away. I went to my safe havens and just breathed in deeply.
I learned that even though I only have 3 friends and an awesome family, those people are worth more than I ever give them credit for.
I confronted my horribly weak faith for what it is. I am not Job or David. When the world crumbles, I don’t have the kind of faith that says: I believe God is watching out for us. Sometimes, I feel like He is hunting us…and I don’t understand. And as horrible as that is to say aloud, it is also incredibly important. It reassures me, ultimately. Even if I believe God is a complete jerk, I still believe He’s there. That’s really saying something.
So, that’s why breaking is okay. Because sometimes, being broken is the only thing that allows you to stay sane. Sometimes being broken is the only thing that keeps you alive.
It has nothing to do with hope or faith or believing that things will get better or that they can’t get worse (because trust me, they can). It just has to do with the freedom of vulnerability. The freedom of being that little girl. Sure, no one liked her, but the truth is, I am still her. Pretending I’m not takes a lot of energy that I frankly don’t have these days.
And, you know what? That’s okay with me too.