A Thing After A Thing After A Thing

Thank God for the honest women, the ones who bare their murky times and remind me the power of doing the same. In the last 24 hours my newsfeed has delivered posts from a half-dozen women I admire – Stephanie BirchLaura McKowen, Holly WhitakerCeleste Yvonne – The Ultimate Mom ChallengeThe Joy Warrior, Melissa Urban – each in their own way copping to the thing I can rarely bring myself to say outright, which is “I’m struggling.” Their posts reflect feeling everything from small to sucky, paralyzed + in pain, drowning and doubting and aching the big ache.

I feel all of this. I feel like, for the last few months, it’s been a thing after a thing after a thing and I’m solidly off-kilter. There was the failed Great “Hey, Let’s Taper Off Our Anti-Depressants!” Experiment. The pressure to do more, in every facet of my life. Ongoing family blending pains. A flooded finished basement and the resulting hassle and expense. Hubby in the emergency room with alllllll the symptoms of a heart attack (all was fine, thankfully, though he did self-diagose as undersexed🤦‍♀️). Pre-teen social media blunders that make you question your ability to mom. The professional gig I wanted but didn’t get. The bigger house I want but can’t afford. The distance in relationships where I crave closeness. The fact that my mother went to a freakin’ Trump rally. The fact that my pants don’t fit. The dark and distorted and self-defeating ways my mind works, even after these 5 years of sobriety. 

Not one of these is big enough to knock me out on its own. But, man, when it’s a thing after a thing after a thing – it’s like they band together like a pack of wolves taking down a bison and all I want to do is crawl in bed, put a kitty on my lap, and go to sleep for about four straight days. Instead, what I am doing is being pissy and unproductive, avoidant and isolating, and eating a gallon of leftover beef stroganoff for lunch when I should be eating a salad.

I know, I know – this all sounds pretty whiny when you step back and check it against the big picture. But to ignore pain because we think it doesn’t qualify as such is foolish; suffering is suffering is suffering, and we have to admit it before it makes us literally, physically sick.

In journalism school, we said, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” In recovery it’s, “We’re only as sick as our secrets.” JEFF BROWN says: “There’s nothing to hide and nowhere to hide it.” 

So here I am, taking the struggle to the open air, leaning on my sisters who are in it, too, and reminding us all that we will get to the other side. We always do. Especially when we do it together. 

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