I'd like to clarify something - I own my inactivity, my stalemate with Heaven. It is "me" centered, and it is largely affected by the way I perceive things. Knowing it and owning it might just be the first step in conquering it. This is the anatomy of my inactivity.
Three years ago, I called and asked my husband to come home from work and take the kids somewhere, anywhere. I had been preparing for my second thyroid scan and it had really done a number on me. I did not have the mental or physical energy to think or care about another living soul, let alone me. When he arrived the house seemed oppressive to me. My soul suddenly became claustrophobic, and all I could think was that I needed to get out, to clear my head.
I remember telling my husband I just needed to leave. And then I added quietly, "I don't know if I'm coming back."
Such is the effect of no thyroid in your system. I loathe prepping for that scan more than anything because the effects seem to last forever. It takes 6 weeks of no meds before you can have your scan and then it takes the drugs another 6 weeks to build back up in your system. It is essentially three months of hell. For everyone.
Now you know why I'm waiting another 2 years before I subject us all to that special kind of torture again.
Back to that particular day, I grabbed my husband's keys (because hello! better gas mileage, and I'm nothing if not practical - even in depression) and my purse. As I backed out of the driveway watching my husband stand in the doorway, I heaved a sigh from my toes and put the car in drive not really knowing if I would come back.
I made it about a mile down the road before the dam burst and the sobs wracked out of me. At this time I was still on speaking terms with my Maker. I pulled over and leaning forward peering up to the heavens through the glass of my husband's windshield, I told Him, "I cannot do this. This, THIS is too hard! And I think I know hard." I collapsed against the steering wheel, my body trembling with the force of my admission. I sat there holding on that wheel for dear life and cried until the tears couldn't come any more. And then I drove aimlessly for another three hours.
Somehow depression tricks you into thinking that your problems are heavier than the heaviest burden, that no one in the history of time has ever felt the weight of your sadness to this magnitude, because how could they even begin to bear it if they had? We all have hard things in our life, at least I choose to believe we do - it's just that some people's hard things are more obvious than other's.
Some of our hard things during those dark days: I'd been through one bout of my own cancer, had a bonus baby, and my son had been through one major surgery a year over the past 4 years. Going through this cancer screening put me over the edge, emotionally and physically. And so, I told God that He had overestimated my abilities and that He couldn't possibly make me do this. It just wasn't fair, you see?
I don't think He bought it, because one week later my son underwent a critical operation and was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive tumor. One that had the potential to be life-threatening. I still had two more weeks of prepping for my scan and I badly wanted to back out so I'd have my wits about me. But somehow, I knew. I knew my cancer was back. The scan was just a formality that confirmed my suspicions.
These were the darkest days I've ever had. I couldn't help but feel I'd brought it all on by opening my big mouth, and bam! right there I added guilt to the avalanche of depression. And then Ty had two major infections that could've claimed him, taken him back home. And bam! right there I added fear.
That was the start of my decline. The fact that our neighborhood felt powerless to know what to do and so did not visit him (except for a few people) or feel comfortable interacting with him was just the icing on the cake. It was when my choice was made.
I was transported back to that day in the car, the day that I actually shook my fist at God and said, "I can't. I CAN'T! I cannot do this hard thing." And instead of being struck with the realization that - with God - I could, I really COULD! I chose to feel the full weight of my burden, to carry it myself, thankyouverymuch. So I turned inward, and let the anger come. And Anger was more than happy to show God the door.
Since then Ty has had two more major surgeries and is now facing a possible third or even fourth surgery. For now there doesn't seem to be an end in sight to visibility of our hard things. The bar has been raised, and the question remains - will I rise to meet it?
The ironic thing is, prior to this turn of events our family had been at our spiritual peak. We were closer than we'd ever been and the loving Spirit in our home was palpable. Then it was as if we were thrown a cosmic Pop Quiz and I was found wanting. I flunked it. Quite completely.
So now that you know how I've come down this path, know that I'm considering doing a little retracing of my steps. I'm not quite sure I'm up to the task or that I'm humble enough to be successful but sharing my experience is my way of owning up to it. Here's to giving it a shot.
I truly admire those who face life-changing adversity with grace (especially Nie). They give me perspective and fill me with hope that it can be done.