It’s been almost 4 months since my world was turned upside down, since my daughter was shot (she survived), since we’ve had our own place to live, since…life was “normal”. I’m not going to lie. It’s rough sometimes. I have moments during the day where I struggle…really hard. I don’t like my thoughts and my thoughts really don’t like me. The “d” word hovers over my head for at least 83% of the day. I fight to keep an open heart, to keep communicating with my husband, to keep laughing with the children. I keep trying to pray and keep busy being creative and sometimes it helps.
Tuesday we started family counseling.
It felt like a band aid was ripped off of a wound. A wound that I thought was scabbed over and healing, but no. It’s still bleeding. I’ve been mad at myself because it still hurts to think about that night when bullets ripped through our home like a war zone injuring my oldest daughter. I should be over this by now, shouldn’t I? It feels like the whole world has gone crazy. Maybe it was already crazy and I finally woke up to it. I say that somewhat tongue in cheek. Of course the world is crazy…it’s just that it’s craziness wasn’t supposed to touch me and my family.
But it did.
I keep thinking about how I’m going to get through this period in my life. I believe things will get better, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that there are moments when it’s hard. I accept that. I accept the wave of emotions that come, I ride it and let it wash up on shore until the next wave rides in. My out of body beach experience.
I keep debating on how much to share. How deep do I go? Will it be too much? Will I be setting myself up for someone to take advantage of me? Then I remember the gift that God has given me.
The gift of creativity. It’s my prozac. It literally lifts my spirits and helps me to keep going. It takes my mind off of dark thoughts and just let’s me breathe. Almost as if I had run 50 miles and collapse out of exhaustion, and happiness and accomplishment. That’s how I feel when I’m able to be creative. My mind can run free, and feel the wind it’s hair…well…you know what I mean. If my mind had hair it would be blown by the imagination wind.
And it would be epic.
It is epic.
I am reminded of the conversation I had with my brother the other night. He is a VP at an engineering company. He is also a gifted musician, rapper, and producer who teaches awesome bible studies at our church. He’s also a father of 4 kids. He’s kind of awesome. So much so I call him my little big brother because I look up to him (literally and spiritually). We talked about the gift of hobbies, and creativity and art and how they literally can help us make it through life’s challenges. Expressing ourselves while in the midst of our journey can help with healing as well as encourage others. While hiding those parts of ourselves can feed the negative thoughts that we tell ourselves throughout the struggle or trial we are facing. I’m not going to lie, it’s hard to stay positive. But there are a few things I’m implementing to help me keep my head above water.
I am working on putting my health first:
- This is hard to admit but sometimes I won’t eat if I’m too busy. Sometimes I forget and sometimes I do it on purpose so I can keep working. I’ve done that with having to pee or get a drink of water. Now I try and stop, pee/eat/drink, and then continue on with what I was doing. I’m still not perfect at this but I’m getting better.
I make time to write in my journal/visit with friends/think/pray:
- This has always been important to me but I don’t think I really made it a priority even though I know that this is essential to my well being, creativity and overall happiness.
I’m giving myself some grace:
- This is by far the hardest thing for me to do. I’m working on not judging or criticizing myself for sleeping in, or not doing laundry, or not praying the most “holy” prayer. Essentially for being “human”. Right now things are messy and even get lost but I’m trying to let those things go and realize that my worth is not in how well I accomplish things but my worth is simply in who Christ made me to be.
Do you have any tactics that you use when you are feeling down?