As I have dealing with my birthday that was a couple of weeks ago, there have been a lot of feelings that I couldn’t pin down. As I began to analyze and dissect my thought and feelings, I started to see just how much the bipolar, schizophrenia, panic, anxiety, lupus and fibromyalgia were keeping me a prisoner. I was allowing fear to literally cripple me. I didn’t know who I was anymore. The enemy of my faith was literally killing me.
I was a stay at home mom from the beginning 14 years ago. I had plans of returning to work or doing volunteer work once my 3 children were all in school full time. Right after my youngest child was born 10 years ago I was diagnosed with the mental disorders. My plans started to crumble. My dreams crumbled. I tried to take care of a baby and 2 other children, all 2 years apart, and at the same time trying to manage a mind that was not my own. The physical diseases came in to play about 3 years ago. Fast forward to the now. I am still at home ALL. DAY. LONG. By myself for a good 7 hours, 5 or more days a week. I rarely leave the house and being that we moved out of state to Arizona last May, I don’t know anybody. I feel isolated and alone. When I do venture out it is mostly for doctor appointments. I get my hair cut every 6 weeks and grocery shop with my husband on Friday nights. I can’t sit through movies in a theater or at home without having to get up and leave because the anxiety and nervousness get to me. I have seen maybe 1 or 2 movies that I can think of over the last 5 or 6 years. I can’t even begin to watch anything unless it’s comedies or romance because everything else can trigger me. I have to even be careful for the music that I listen to because of triggers. Forget any other activities. It’s either my mind or my body and sometimes both that make things impossible. I have missed out on more events at school for my children than I can count. The heavy, burdensome guilt of not being the mom I think I should be or the wife I should be eats me apart daily. When I try my hardest it’s never good enough to outweigh the guilt. My dog has become one of my best friends. We talk a lot. This is my life.
About a week ago I decided enough was enough. I spent countless hours just being with Jesus and something in me felt alive again. I wasn’t going to change but I was going to pull from the depths of soul who I really am. Last Wednesday I marched right on down to the tattoo shop and got something beautiful on me that I had been wanting to get for years but was too scared to do. It was a liberating and powerful moment for me. Last night at the very last minute, I booked a flight to head to Utah to be with my parents. I had about 30 minutes to pack and flew, with my dog, for the very first time. Something I never thought I could do. Guess what? I did it. All by myself. This last minute trip was an emergency decision based on my overall health, mind and body. This was the first time I have been away on a trip, for me, from my husband and children in about 6 years. Maybe more. I am giving myself some much needed R&R and of course it didn’t help that there has been some tension between my husband and I and I just needed a mommy/wife break. I need to collect myself, recharge, and cry in my mamas arms. A change of scenery was needed and I had to get a break from the depressing life that has held me captive for so many years. I don’t know how long I will be away for yet. I know this person, Rachel, that has been crying out for so long to be out of it’s cage was starting to flap her wings. That latch that had been holding the door on that cage closed for so many years had unlocked. Finally feeling some freedom and breaking out of that comfort zone feels amazing. I am little unsure on how to let this wild child, that I knew was in there, out without ruffling to many of the feathers on the few people that are in my life. I think I’m just going to ease into it and let God take control of this creature, that is me. He created me perfect in His eyes and knew who I was going to be before I was conceived. I am leaving it up to Him to remove the guilt and to teach me how to forgive myself. I talk to my kids all the time about how God dosen’t want us comfortable or in a box. He wants us to live freely in Him and do what He created us to do. It is time for me to listen to my own advice. Change is good and sometimes needed. Jesus knew all this was going to go down. He just asks me to trust Him and that’s what I’m going to do.
Welcome to a new world Rachel. A new big and exciting world. An even better example for my babies and learning how to love that husband of mine, who has stuck with me for 16 years this Friday, unlike any other time yet.
So take care of yourself. It’s okay. You were placed here to love and cannot do that if you don’t first recognize and love this creation, that is you, as God has intended.
Psalm 139:13, Isaiah 43:1, Galations 5:1 and 2 Corinthians 3:17