It's odd... the losing of one's self...the slow dissipation of what once made you alive replaced with monotony and numbness. I didn't wake up one morning gone. It was a slow bleed. A trickle like a finger that had been pricked and bled one drop at a time into a bandage that eventually seeped through the gauze. It caught me unawares.
Everyone who knows me and loves me saw it... saw the drip... rallied me... but they were unable to stop the bleed. I was pale. Ghastly in my soul. Grabbing furiously at bandaids and ointments...but the bleed continued. Books and quotes would lift me for a period but never sustained me into rising again. So...as us medical junkies would say...I bled out.
When one bleeds out, they die. They cannot be resuscitated. There is no hope. Their body is drained of all blood and sustenance to sustain life. I bled out. I can't put my finger on exactly what led to my demise. I was keeping a schedule that was more than insane. I got pregnant in the middle of that schedule at 38. I failed nursing school by 1 percentage point. I quit going to church due to my schedule. I lost my centering time with God. It was a myriad of things. Again...a slow steady trickle... of me not engaging in the things that make me alive and centered.
The sad part is that when my family reads this blog they will hurt... will blame themselves... but nothing could be further from the truth. Family shouldn't drain you... they should sustain you. In the months leading up to my final demise, it was my tribe that kept me alive with their love... it was cooking together... laughing together... being held when I didn't have it in me to ask for touch. They kept me alive. Eventually though, I had come to last the pint... and even those moments could no longer resuscitate me.
When I finally bled out, I quit. I kept my schedule. I worked. I tended to children and walked the garden with my husband. But I had quit. I was empty. Shell like. It was all as if I were watching my life from a stadium seat and the players were blurry. I never stopped. I never surrendered. I kept walking like a ghostly emaciated soul thinking no one noticed. Everyone noticed.
When the final drop hit the gauze, I hit the floor. I hit it so hard that the sound ricocheted through the halls until everyone could no longer ignore it and came running. There I lay... formless... small... and still.
God has often spoken to me through movie reels in my head so to speak. When I'm still He comes to my mind and shows me where He is... where He is moving. He came to me that day. I visualized him picking me up in his arms... carrying me to his lap... and placing my head on his chest. I cried. Sobbed really.... into his glory. He let me. He lifted my chin and looked into my eyes... and with his love said with no words..."I have you." Then he rocked me. Back and forth like I rock my little baby boy... gently... tenderly... for as long as I needed. I've never felt so secure. So accepted. So complete.
I feel like that day God gave me a transfusion of sorts. It wasn't several gallons... but it was a small slow drip of life again. A glimpse into the light from where I had be surviving...a place that I could walk into slowly and regain myself. Regain my thoughts. Regain my passions. Regain my relationships.
While I certainly was probably sad and depressed a bit, I was not clinically depressed. I did consult with my physician. I did talk through the issues at hand. I did admit I was 38 with crazy hormones after a newborn. He agreed. Ha! But no... this was burnout. Pure and Simple. Burnout takes you to places that are hard to bounce back from... because you are numb and you are weary. The thought of doing anything to get yourself back is too tiring and you'd rather just sit down. I get it.
Thing is... no one can save you... and they all want to because they all blame themselves when you're staring into space... but they can't. You have to save yourself. You have to take that one tiny, minute vestige of life you have left and grab onto something solid. God. It's the only way. It's the only lifeline. There are no quick fixes. There are no magic yoga poses that will make it disappear. It's freaking' hard work of the soul, the body, and mind. Oh God the mind. Yes... the mind will take you lower than you want to go when you are burnt out. It will lie to you. It will destroy you if you allow it. Don't. Let. It.
I know I'm not the only one. I've talked to you guys. In the last month. Mothers, single women, all walks... you're burnt crispy... and you're beating the hell out of yourself about it. Stop. Life beats us all down. We all hit the limit. I hope that you will grasp your limit before you do something stupid. I'm not even talking about hurting yourself, I'm talking about stupid decisions based on the angst and the numbness. Don't do that. Read this. Know you're normal. Know you're not alone. Know you are a warrior like the rest of us with real joys, real pain, real needs, and real despair.
It's the only way boo.
You can't get up off that floor anemic on your last drop of blood without help. Get your tribe together. Even if it's one friend. One advisor. One random therapist. Get help. Step off that floor and breathe. I promise you life is not as serious as it looks staring up from the linoleum. And when you are rising... be kind to your tribe. You've probably scared the crap out of them and they are staring at you like you've lost your marbles. It's ok. They love you. They want you back. But the only way back is through... and through you must go. Through the recovery of what makes you you. Through the recovery of building your physical reserves back up. Through the hard work of bringing your mind into subjection with what HE says about you. THAT is the biggest key. THAT is what will heal you.
I say to myself over and over throughout my days. "I can do all things through Him. He strengthens me." It's a mantra. It centers me. It reminds me that no matter what... I'm not going back to the floor. He's filled my body with all I need for the next round. Find your own mantra. Chant it to yourself. Then don't quit. You have too much to give. Too much to shine on the world. Too much to show in color. I believe in you. Hey, I'm WITH you. We can do this. We ARE doing this.
Warriors don't get victory unscathed. Some scars are necessary to be remembered as powerful and legendary. Wear your scars. Keep fighting.
Grace n Peace,