Readers old and new,
As I mentioned on my old blog (lynannecarroll.blogspot.com), I’ve been contemplating the move to WordPress for a long time. Now seemed a good time!
I do want to take a moment to apologize for my sudden, extensive hiatus on not only the blog, but virtually all forms of social media…even the Black Hole (aka Pinterest). Sorry!
Simple explanation: Astrid was born. She’s now almost 8 months old! (Great turn around time, right?! *Cries*)
Long explanation: I got stuck. Soul-stuck more than anything, drowning under the pressure of managing so many life changes–taking care of a newborn, cloth diapering, pumping (unsuccessfully)–and struggling with PPD. I was super anxious and honestly I didn’t think it was normal, but having learned how to hide my internal devastation, my OB didn’t perceive just how bad things were, and persuaded me to re-think things. If I was still struggling we could talk about medication.
The anxiety continued but, after about 2-3 months of getting into a routine, I was largely ok on that front. But starting out? I literally had (minor? not sure how to qualify) panic attacks at night because I was going it alone. I’d startle out of a dead sleep at the slightest hint of a fuss. (And let me just tell you, sleep deprivation is horrific. There were moments I woke in a panicked frenzy thinking I’d suffocated the baby, or because I looked down and couldn’t see/find her. Y’all. She was in her bassinet as she had been from day one.)
Apparently this is all fairly normal, but as the cycle continued long past 2-4 weeks, I began to think it would never get better. Days were easier, but similarly overwhelming; I felt like I was a failure, I had no idea what I was doing, I was super sore (yay stiches! Ha. Tmi? Sorry.), and I lived in constant fear I was going to somehow permanently ruin something about our daughter (the ambiguity here is indicative of how foggy I was).
On top of the anxiety was something darker–resentment and anger. I’m not ready to discuss that and honestly I may not ever be, but I was struggling.
And then of course PTSD issues resurfacing. So basically I was a basket case (or at least felt like it) and whenever I get that overwhelmed the first thing to go is the external world, starting with social media.
Spiritually I’ve been grappling with the disconnect behind my thoughts and my feelings–cognitively recognizing such and such to be true, but not experiencing that truth emotionally, like it was failing to reach me. And striving. Oh the striving against God.
“I want to do it my way.”
Here’s the thing. I’m not called to do things my way and I haven’t ever been. This kind of thinking, combined with a severe case of bull-headedness, led me to a place of shattering. I desperately needed the re-direct, but in the moments it came, I fought it. It hurt. I didn’t want to give up [insert thing]. I didn’t want to stop saying ‘nothing mattered’. I didn’t want to stop saying, “I don’t care.”
I don’t want to eat; no point. I don’t want to be civil; I’m angry (for no particularly identifiable reason other than rage is a state of being #ragesucks). I don’t want to talk about it, because nothing will change.
It doesn’t matter. There is no hope (cue cognitive rebuttal).
Yeah, THAT was my internal dialogue. I’m still struggling with some parts of said dialogue, BUT, and this changes everything: Jesus.
I know, I get it; you may not believe in Him. You may not even believe in the mere notion of God (or, conversely, you may believe in many gods). I do, and one thing I’ve learned about Jesus in my 10 year relationship with Him, is that He is sufficient.
Sometimes we think we need to wander and wallow in dark places to come to grips with pain–death, abuse, poverty, miscarriage, lack of understanding from others, loneliness, etc. It hit me how odd this is a few days ago. I dunno about you, but in my experience, walking through the dark didn’t get me anywhere but further in the dark, and the longer I lingered, the less hope, the less energy, and the less understanding I had.
‘Why is that?’ I thought to myself, and paused to ponder.
Because only light illuminates.
The way to better understand the dark/dark places is not to look at it from within the darkness, but to perceive it as it truly is: in the light. **
If I want to see something more clearly in a dark room, I get a flashlight, light a candle, flick the light switch; I don’t stumble around feeling all the furniture to map the object out in my mind.
Another concern: like mold, mildew, and mushrooms, bitterness grows in the dark. Distraction and apathy grow in the dark.
And I realized, ok, I don’t need to understand everything about [insert situation]. But, and this is one of the beautiful things about getting closer to Jesus, in and by His brightness I gain a greater understanding than I ever could have anyway.
You: Are these posts always going to be so…overtly religious? [Or…whatever you’re thinking because #notamindreader #doublynotsoovertheinternet]
Well, I’m not gonna promise anything other than honesty, and part of that means being real with you about who I am and what I’m going through. I want to blog about life, and that includes the spiritual realm. I want to blog about motherhood, about poetry, about novelling (and other writerly things), books, college/dorm life…and, because I can’t be told what to make of my blog, I refuse to abandon my love of the random.
Next month I’ll be sharing some goals for the Blog as well as in general. And I’m delighted as a pineapple to announce that I actually committed to a schedule #nice! Be on the looksee for posts every Tuesday and Saturday (I might do more in between, but honestly? Probably not.) #waytonotbeoverambitious <–this isn’t sarcasm, but it sounds like it
Until next time :)!
**I’m not saying that we shouldn’t strive to better understand difficult things so as to better respond to them; merely that our approach may seem beneficial to us when it actually isn’t.
What do you think about mucking through the dark? Any insights you’d like to share?
Tell me about yourself in the comments!