Thomas and I were talking about how funny it is that we celebrate Columbus Day. It seems like an event that happened so long ago, but I suppose it was a pretty important discovery! It was bound to happen at some point, even if it wasn’t Columbus, but can you imagine the excitement he felt?
Some discoveries are ground breakers and world changers, but other discoveries can be less than pleasant. For example, this morning, Ginger returned to the front door after chasing a squirrel and frantically scratched and yipped, worried she might be separated from us forever. When I opened the door, this is what I saw:
I was less than pleased. My first thought was BLOOD! But then my heart sank as I realized my new paint job was damaged. Two minutes later, Thomas randomly decided to measure Lyla. We discovered she has grown a whole INCH in the past month! Mind blown! I squealed, and she jumped in my arms. She grabbed my face between her hands and said, “Now you’re happy, Mommy! Now you’re not sad about the door anymore!” And then she gave me a big Puppy Lick on my cheek. Yuk!
An hour later, I found yet another unpleasant surprise on my door: sidewalk chalk. Rough day for the front door.
Why won’t it come off?! Method spray and a sponge didn’t work. I was really frustrated by this point. Lyla, of course, offered a reasonable explanation: “Sorry, I was having so much fun, and I got carried away.”
The past month has been one of discovery for me. I’ve been assessing what triggers my downward spirals, what makes me happy and relaxed, and why I tick the way I do. It has been a very introspective time! Better late than never. In the past, I never thought about the way I worked, and I always joked that my husband and my college roommate knew me better than I knew myself. They could always make the right choices for me.
So yesterday I posed the question, “What do you need to let go of?” I thought hard about it for myself, but couldn’t pinpoint one thing.
Today it hit me: the word JUST.
I use it in my mind and even in conversation:
“I am JUST a stay at home mom.” I’m sure some of you gasped, and I agree. I probably couldn’t think of a more all-encompassing derogatory word for myself. It boxes me in and makes me feel trapped, like this is ALL I do, like this is all I AM. It belittles my job and all other moms out there and makes it seem like what we do is nothing, like it’s not hard, like it’s unimportant.
I hope that I never say just again! And I’m going to try to avoid thinking it, too. Another step towards getting healthy- positive thinking. Since becoming a mom, I’ve gone through an extreme identity crisis. Before kids, I participated in competitive sports, did commissioned paintings, and went on adventures all over the world with my husband. Those activities kind of evaporated once the kids arrived, leaving me reeling and confused, feeling empty inside. My self-esteem hit an all time low. Blogging has helped me empty my head of my thoughts since there were way too many of them swirling around up there.
Blogging has also helped me dream again, another important step in my recovery from depression. When I was drowning in darkness, I couldn’t think about the future. It didn’t exist for me. But now that my mind is clearing, I’m thinking about things I want to do.
I want to help others with my story and my voice.
I want to learn how to play the piano!
I want to become fluent in another language.
I want to enjoy painting again.
I see so many new doors I can walk through now, when before I was trapped in a suffocating black box.
I took a picture of this desperate prayer I wrote in Gracelaced this spring. What struck me today was the page beside my prayer, “AND IF NOT HE IS STILL GOOD.”
I still had many months of darkness to struggle through before getting help. I had not yet hit my all time low. But God was still good through those hard times. He guided us to a safe and wonderful neighborhood, put the right people into my life who knew how to help me, and he protected me. I am so thankful. And I don’t regret the journey because I know God will use it for his glory. He’s good at that. I truly hope I can shed light on depression and anxiety. I hope I can encourage others. I pray you discover his goodness personally for yourself. He holds your life in the palm of his hand and knows you by name.
You are valuable and loved.