Sometimes the trials don’t end. Then what? I have struggled with choosing a topic to write on this month. I wanted to focus on something upbeat and uplifting rather than the drabness of my past posts on depression, anxiety, and child loss. I feel like a broken record of doom and gloom. I want so badly to highlight the fun, vibrant, humerus, optimistic part of myself that usually prevails in my personality.
I also cannot find it in myself to be disingenuous. The less-than-rosy experiences of my life have made it nearly impossible for me to paint on a smile and sing a pretty song about how the hard times are short and fleeting and the days of gentle sunlight glinting upon our joyful faces are boundless. It’s just not reality. And, for me, that is not the season of life I find myself in. Some trials, do not end. And sometimes, optimism and reserves remain depleted for a time.
That’s where I find myself these days. Physically sick with no answers or end in sight. Emotionally exhausted by depression, anxiety, and panic disorder. Resigned to the numbness of shock by yet another major house flood- our 4th since December 2020. And heartbroken by having to watch my child suffer, fight, and claw her way through mental illness. As a family, our reserves of fortitude and resilience are empty.
We cling together. That’s how we’re getting through and have always gotten through all of it. So much of our experiences together throughout our married life have been unfathomable. We do not understand why hardships we are asked to endure keep coming one after the next with little to zero time to catch our breath. Honestly, we ask ourselves regularly, why? Why do we seem to be enduring so much more than others? Maybe that is a myopic and selfish question. We clearly don’t know the depths of others’ hardships and the struggles they are enduring day in and day out.
At this juncture in my life, I feel myself with the strong desire to look outward to give and lift and serve others but find I have little to no strength to follow through with my desire. A thought came to me as I was contemplating this frustrating dichotomy – the desire without the reserves to execute. Maybe, the most helpful and true thing I can give at this depleted season of my life is honesty. Raw unfiltered honesty about the realities of chronic illness, unrelenting trials, and moving forward despite it all.
The movement isn’t pretty. It’s messy, it’s imperfect, it’s slow and chaotic. But it’s movement. Maybe that is resilience? Maybe me sharing that stripped-down version of my personal reality can shed light on others who struggle in similar ways. Maybe that can help you realize, if you struggle in similar ways, that you aren’t broken. You aren’t alone. You are doing the very best that you can, just like me. And that is enough.
I guess I’m learning, that when I feel like I have nothing to offer the world, I can give my honesty. Maybe that is exactly what is need for someone out there to feel like they can keep moving forward too.