Back in May, I was ranting to you about my lost luggage (which did eventually show up, after a month!) and I was disappointed in myself and losing my temper so quickly. See, last time I left Rwanda I wasn't healthy. In fact, that's been true at several points in this journey, but I knew it was time to finally get some help. I was in the process of drafting the post below, and am finally getting around to finishing it up. So here we are.....
At the top of my list when I got home from Rwanda in March was to find a counselor. I knew something wasn't right. I wasn't right. I knew I needed to talk to someone, I knew I needed help untangling the knots I had tied inside and around myself.
I reached out to my pastor and he recommended a woman in Oklahoma; I made it a priority to meet with her as often as possible when I was in town. Before our first appointment, she asked my why I wanted to meet with her and what I was hoping to get out of our time together. I explained, I wanted to know that I wasn't crazy (or that, even if I was), there was a reason I was feeling this way. I wanted to know what it was and I wanted some tools to better handle it. At our first appointment, she gave me several pages of "homework" and, on our second appointment, I found out that I tested high for compassion fatigue and secondary trauma, I also showed signs of acute anxiety and depression. Finally.
I know that I haven't blogged much recently, but as I've started to dig myself out of this hole, trying to get back to myself, I've alluded to hard times and haven't really come right out and said what. The truth is, I don't know what, or don't know that I could put my finger on it being any one thing, in particular. It was more of a series of events, or warning signs, that I left unaddressed and that I used to isolate myself from... everything. It feels easier to keep quiet about it because I don't want to complain or I don't think people would understand or I don't want anyone to think I'm ungrateful or somehow unwilling. I wouldn't change a single thing about this crazy life. I just want to navigate it a little better. I don't want to bottom out every time things don't go my way. I want to remember who I am. Whose I am. And why we're here. Maybe I was (or am) supposed to be ashamed of the new diagnosis(?), but I, honestly, could not have been more excited just to know. My friend Becca speaks of "struggling under the weight of becoming" and YES, because, dang, becoming is messy.
“I have a lot of faith. But I am also afraid a lot, and have no real certainty about anything. I remembered something Father Tom had told me--that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.” -Anne Lamott
So, it's been a long season of transition, in so many ways, but with several more counseling appointments under my belt, a fresh journal, and all the oils, it feels like the light is returning. I do remember who I am (she's a'ight) and I am proud of who I'm becoming. As I unclench my fists, I remember how fun it is to just trust and see. It will maybe never be easy living a life half a world away from everything you've known, but right smack dab in the middle of (most) everything you love. Running a business will never be full steam ahead. And raising kids you didn't birth and relying on others to support you while you do it will always be... a challenge. And see, I've had this thing, this perfect idea of life, in my mind, and this desire to translate that. I've held this belief that I somehow owe that perfection in order to be loved or accepted. Worthy. But if I owe anything, I owe myself the truth. And the space and grace to become. Life doesn't always happen in the black, sometimes you have to dip into the red for a bit to find out who you are, BUT fun is allowed and hard doesn't equal failure, so you might as well throw your hands up and enjoy the ride.