Battle of the Emotions

girl at windowAs some have noticed, I have fallen incredibly silent since I’ve gone down for the count with my foot surgery.  It may not have been noticed as much over here at the Zebra Chronicles, but the Autism Diary page and our other sites have definitely seen a drastic shift in activity over the last month.  I’ve been battling a slow recovery that keeps taking bad turns, hurtful situations with some extended family, a feeling of defeat and being trapped from being home bound for so long, and trying to juggle continuing to be there for the boys in spite of it all.  I’ve also been facing the challenge of keeping up with their schooling and their social development while being pinned to the couch still for most of the day due to pain and mobility issues.  The truth though is that as much as I tried to hide behind a few funny memes and some surface level conversation here and there, my biggest battle goes much deeper than all that surface stuff.  I’ve been battling emotions lately that come from all across the spectrum of life at all different ranges of severity and I have been trying to hide it for a variety of reasons.

The two that came up the most for me if I were to be honest with myself were

1) Trying to save face and pretend like I am fine.  I am supposed to have it all together.  I am supposed to be the one that can handle all this.  The one that is use to it, and can take it like a pro.  If I keep telling myself that, maybe I will start to believe it as much as my friends seem to.  And if I start to believe it, maybe just maybe it will start coming true?

and

2) Trying to keep a happy tone going for my friends and for DogForDavid as a whole.  I have worked too hard for too long to be a source of encouragement and positivity.  I want to be a person that can help lift others up when they are down and help them see that the sun really is going to shine again even when they may be facing their darkest days.  Knowing that, I really didn’t want to risk throwing it all away now with a range of posts about the darker side of life.  I kept telling myself that if I publicly let on that I was dealing with issues like depression, grief, anger, hopelessness, and the like that I would be letting everyone down and ruining my chance to be able to minister to others again in the future with encouragement and hope.

Philippians 4 encouragement_blog readyBy allowing myself to be so focused on what others might think, or how I may come across to them, I was forgetting something (and someOne) very important.  I was forgetting to let go and just trust God.  I was forgetting about one of my favorite promises in the Bible.  The one about how God will give us peace that surpasses all understanding if we just turn to Him.  The days I would start to remember that, I would allow my thoughts and my depression to turn it into an attack instead of recognizing the encouraging reminders and promises that they are.  I would say to myself, I haven’t been doing well about reading my Bible on a regular basis, or I haven’t really been keeping up with matters of faith or trusting God, and as a result, I would let those precious words slip right out of my hands and into the darkness that was surrounding me.

I know very well that I am not perfect and only human, and I understand others know that too and that it’s okay, and even important, to show my shortcomings and humanness from time to time.  However, I have never been comfortable with truly letting people into the inner core of my heart and thoughts unless I had something positive and encouraging to say that I hoped would be of help or encouragement to the reader/listener.  True, I have stepped out of my comfort zone a few very rare times… most of which have been here on this site, but I have never truly been able to shake the torment of feeling the pressure to keep up a good face and positive energy on my sites and with my friends as much as possible.  Considering that finding the silver lining and the sunshine part of life is something I thrive in with just about everything I have faced, that task isn’t always a daunting one for me to accomplish.

559929_453790487989602_293406818_nHowever, in times like the ones I’ve been facing over the last month, the darker side of emotions and weakness have been pounding down my doors and creeping in through the cracks.  When the tough emotions start taking over, slowly weakening your resolve, your hope, your resistance…  staying positive and upbeat starts to become about more than just finding the silver lining or putting on a smile.  It becomes a real battle for hope and life.  One that can get dark and ugly at times, and other times can simply weaken you to the point of wanting to crawl under a rock and hide it out… waiting for brighter days to appear again.  Too much time under that rock though can take the zeal and enthusiasm out of a person.  It can steal their hope of a brighter tomorrow and make their already dark days even darker.  In turn, that makes the battle turn into an all out war if the person wants to see the light of day again (figuratively speaking).  The worse part?  That war isn’t against other people, situations, sickness, or even bad days.  It’s against our very selves and the voices we have let reign in our heads for too long.  Voices from the devil that lie to us, steal our joy and self-esteem, and that can render us weak and powerless if we listen to them.
The good news with all of this though is that as long as you’re still breathing, it is never too late to turn things around.  We can’t do it alone and it won’t happen over night, but it can definitely been done.  For me, when I found myself starting to lose the battle with depression and fear, no matter how hard I was trying to fight back against them both, I chose to change my battle plan to hiding under that proverbial rock.  I’ve been hiding there for a while now and doing what I can to hide that fact from as many as I can.  Giving brief glimpses here and there to very few people out of sheer need to not be alone, but then returning to my rock to hide anyway.  Through some well timed devotions, some encouraging songs, boost of faith, friends that cared enough to not leave me alone, and a care package from a friend who knows the darkness and shadows of this road far too well herself but continues to have victory over them, I am slowly pulling out from under the rock and finding my footing once again.

Spoon from AlexThank-you to all who have kept me and my boys in your hearts and prayers.  I truly appreciate it.  And a very special thank-you to the friend who sent the care package.  You know who you are, and I want you to know how much you and your friendship mean to me.  By the way, I am wearing my extra spoon around my neck. 😉  I also have put the verse cards and the little book in the little purse and are keeping them close for encouragement and reminders to hang in there.  Thank-you, from the bottom of my heart. ❤

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