Thursday, December 13, 2012

The post that got away

I haven't been around. I get that.

That's not to say that I haven't been writing, because I have. I just haven't been able to finish my thoughts. I have quite a few unpublished posts.

Right now I have a lot of crazy things going on, and so much of it is good! I want to share about those things, but I find myself preoccupied. There are some things I'm still sorting through. I wish I wasn't, but I am. I am facing moments of weakness and tests of my faith.

Part of the reason I write is to combat my inability to open up to people. It's not that I don't have a million wonderful, amazing, incredibly understanding and brilliant people in my life who can make me feel better, because I have those kinds of blessings coming out my ears! I just don't always share due to something I learned about myself after one of my friends died last year: I can't stand to make people I love sad.

That is true of a lot of people, but I take it to an extreme. It's part of a vicious cycle I often find myself in. After my friend died, I needed to talk about it. So I did. I talked to friends who were there for me, and it brought this strange and terrible sort of catharsis. It hurt, but saying things out loud helped ease some of the storm that was going on inside of me. But then I would look into the eyes of the people who loved me and see that they were hurting. For me. Because they loved me. It was like I broke them. My pain broke them. And it is a beautiful testament to the kind of love God has blessed me with to have friends so willing to hurt with me and for me, but I couldn't handle it. So I stopped.

I bottled up my emotions and pretended that I was able to approach one of the most devastating experiences of my life with ease and the same kind of positive attitude and strength that I applied to everything else. I stopped sharing my sadness. Or I'd share a little bit and then cut myself off and switch to talking about something happy. I'd give whoever was listening a good memory so that they could believe I was okay. So that the hurt would leave their eyes.

I spent a lot of time pretending. I spent so much time pretending that I didn't ever deal with my pain. Not fully, and not for a quite a while. By the time I really started to I was pretty shattered, and it was that much harder to put myself back together.

There was something to learn from that. About the importance of facing my demons. About the dangers of avoiding. About how the "fake it until you make it" thing only goes so far. And also about how you're a lot more likely to hurt your friends more if you're dealing with things they think you've already dealt with. I thank God for friends that stood by me when I was out of control. But that's another thing entirely.

The point of this history lesson is that I know better than to keep things in. Writing is a way to let things out without having to see the hurt it can cause, but when I can't even get my thoughts out in this way, I feel so very cowardly. I want so very much to be honest and brave. I want to write again. I need to. I will.

I don't know if this sufficiently explains my absence. That's what I set out to do with this post before it got away from me. Maybe it's more of an excuse, but it's also something of a promise. That I will try to do better. That's gotta count for something.


  1. Please keep writing. It is oh-so-good for you.

    And know that I will not be broken. I feel emotion and I hurt when you hurt. But also know (and I know you do) that I am SO STRONG and can endure so much.

    The first-responder in me can't help but prioritize feelings for the sake of the "patient" so I am here for you.

    I am so glad you are in my life and can't wait for you to be here next week!

    1. I am continually thankful for your friendship. I really can't express that enough. There is just no way.

      Even if I don't always take advantage of your strength, it is so very reassuring that it's there. I may not always say what I need to, but just knowing that I have the option means the world to me.

      I'm looking forward to seeing you again. Visits with friends like you are good for the soul.