I do have scars from my years of anxiety and depression and fear and shame. Scars that I kept hidden for many many years. Scars that might not be physical, but are wounds that healed improperly just the same.
But on the other hand, motherhood is a complicated title and arrangement that I wouldn’t have without those three beautiful, exhausting noodlemuffins. And while I’m not feeling up to the task most days, overwhelmed with the difficulty of raising these children to adulthood, keeping them safe and whole and kind and brave, and then letting them go off and make their own mistakes, I also cannot for a single minute imagine my life without them.
I wonder if she had someone tell her she was beautiful and worthy and loved by God. I wonder if she was afraid to tell her Christian friends, or if she had questioned her place in church. I wonder how long she lived, broken and shattered and hurting, before help found her.
Even when the illness is “good”, even when I’m “better” – the turning of the page on another year lived left me sad and frustrated thinking of all the years wasted; worrying that the years to come would also be disjointed and broken.
Battling with mental illness, can be a lot like living through that Holy Saturday. Repeatedly. Its dark and uncertain and full of fear. Its confusing and overwhelming and often feels as though everything is wrong and may never be right. And it’s so very, very easy to stay there, living repeatedly through Saturday. A form of Dante’s Limbo, routine and monotonous and seemingly without hope.
How many times have I called out to God to save me, save my friends, save my family? Save us. Save us. Save me from this illness. Save me from this pain. Save them from this heartache. Save us. Save us.
I texted a girlfriend recently. "I’m fighting the fight." I was OK, really – but tired and defeated and needed someone to know. Fighting the fight. It felt like the most honest four words I could string together. I’m here, I’m fighting. I’m not giving up, but gracious, it is a battle today.
But God is with me. And with you. Even when we give into fear, even when it overwhelms us, even when our souls and bodies give up, and even when our bodies bear the scars of fears past.
Between the cast of her eyes, the tone of her voice and the way she had touched me as though estimating the size of a horse in hands – it was abundantly clear that my body was . . . wrong. Defective. Obviously not as beautifully made as her daughter’s.