How Can I Keep My Sanity and Enjoy My Life? By A Power Outside of My Own.

Warning:  Today’s post is not going to be funny or upbeat.  I’m about to be serious (for once).

Mauerbauertraurigkeit – n. the inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends who you really like.

I saw this word on my Twitter feed today.

My husband and I were sitting at the table this morning talking about this problem I have.  He went downstairs, I checked Twitter, and there it was.

I had no idea that this word existed…. But I should have. (I also wasn’t sure it was a real word when I read it, so I looked it up here.)

When I was in the 8th grade, a close friend died.  Almost every year thereafter, until I was in my late 20’s, I lost another friend.  At one point, I attended a funeral every month for 5 months… none of which were for anyone over the age of 24.

I like to think that I’ve adapted well.  I want to believe that none of this “damaged” me.

But of course, that would be a lie.

Somewhere around my 28th or 29th birthday, I started distancing myself from people.  At this point, I had already pretty much dropped off the face of the planet for the friends that I had cared about the most during my childhood/teenage years.  I would call or text on birthdays or special occasions, but for the most part… I stayed away.

I had made new friends.  I had gotten close to other people.  And by then… I hardly saw them either.

I knew why I did this…  it’s the same reason that I can’t even take a shower without hugging my kids and telling them I love them beforehand.  I live with a constant fear that I’ll never see them again.

You would think that this fear would make me more inclined to spend as much time with my friends as possible.  But it doesn’t…  In reality, it makes it that much harder.

The only exceptions to this are my husband and my children.  With them, its the exact opposite.  My daughter will be going away to college in a few years, and I’m already having anxiety over not being able to hug her every day.

I went through a time where I really and truly believed that I was cursed.  That anyone I cared about was doomed to die.  It put such a fear in me that I was scared to death to be close to anyone…  and then I got pregnant.  I was 18 years old.  I lost the baby.  My fears were confirmed.

A couple months later, I found out I was pregnant again.  I went to a dark, dark place.  I didn’t want to love the child growing inside of me, I didn’t want to feel anything… but I did.  And I don’t even know how to put into words the depression that came over me.

Some women have postpartum depression.  I don’t think there’s even a word for what I went through.

I loved her so incredibly much….  I didn’t want to put my daughter down.  I didn’t want to let her out of my sight.  I had anxiety attacks when she started daycare.   My kids still can’t leave the house without me experiencing a momentary panicky feeling.

I know that this is irrational…  but I no longer know how to be any other way.

I did seek therapy on more than one occasion.  I was diagnosed with everything from PTSD to bi-polar disorder.  Every time I saw a new therapist they gave me a new diagnosis. Some gave me drugs… Nothing worked.   They gave me different drugs and increased my therapy sessions…  still didn’t work.

Now I am in no way saying that psychiatric therapy is not important.  I am the LAST person that is going to say that.  What I am going to say  is that for me, it couldn’t “cure” me and it couldn’t take away the fear.  (Actually, it often made it worse.)

And I am not “fixed.”

But I now only have a single moment of panic when I tell my kids good bye.  I don’t go through the rest of my day in fear.  I can text and call and see my friends without sinking into depression afterwards.  I don’t see them everyday now because I’m busy with kids or writing or the million other things that come up… it’s not because I’m purposefully pushing them away.

What has gotten me to this point?  What is making me better every single day?

I pray about it… And at times I even cry about it.

Crying does me no good.

Prayer is the only reason I still talk to anyone outside of my home.

You may not believe in the power of prayer, but I can tell you that it is the only thing that has given me the ability to enjoy (or even have a real) life.  There is no way that I would have been able to let my husband in…  he wouldn’t be my husband without it.   I would probably have smothered my kids to the point of them hating me, instead of being able to have the wonderful relationship that I do with both of them.

And I say this with all sincerity and humility because I do NOT have the power to overcome everything I have been through on my own.

If you knew my whole story…  Well, one… you’d probably call me a liar because sometimes – even I think back and have no idea how I made it through.  And two… you’d definitely think twice about not believing.

Maybe one day, I will share my story here.  But for today…

I’m just going to celebrate having the opportunity to share this tiny part of it with you.

And I also want to thank Ericka Clay of TipsyLit and #toohumanpodcast for giving me the courage to write this post.  Because a surprising number of my followers are pretty anti-Christian and I’ve been afraid to post anything even semi related to my faith.

To be honest, I had read so many of your hate posts on people’s faiths that I took a week away from the blogging world because of it.  And not just your attacks on the Christian faith, but others as well.

Yes, I’m a Christian —  but contrary to what (sadly) so many of you believe — I love and respect people of all religious backgrounds and beliefs…  that’s what Christ calls us to do.  And I even love those who almost turned me away from blogging altogether.  (I pray for you every day  and I’ll continue to pray for you.)

And on a less “heavy” note…

Thanks for reading guys.

Happy Friday and I Hope You Have a Wonderful Weekend!

Jess

18 thoughts on “How Can I Keep My Sanity and Enjoy My Life? By A Power Outside of My Own.

  1. Jess, thank you. Our God is awesome. I read your post and am moved as always by your writing. Jesus said us that the world will hate us because of him; love them anyway. He loved them so much that He was willing to die. We know we will be ridiculed, but we also know we have the most potent offensive weapon against satan and his minions: Prayer and the Word of God. I’m glad you are able to pray for those who oppose Him, and I join with you in prayer, that the darkness covering them be lifted, that the Light that is Truth may shine on them, and that the Spirit of the Living God will call them forth into life. God bless you, Jess.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. An excellent post and a very brave thing to reveal a part of yourself in this way. I hope it was a cathartic experience and I have nothing but respect for you for being brave enough to write it. I have an odd relationship with religion – I was brought up in a fairly religious (Christian) home and I was an active member of the church throughout my childhood. I had a number of experiences that I couldn’t reconcile with faith and so I drifted away. I take a swipe at religion on occasion when I feel it is merited but I also have an enormous amount of respect for those who value it and who draw comfort from it. My parents (my mum in particular) got through some incredibly difficult times because of her faith and it fills me with joy to know people can have this kind of support through their faith. It’s not for me but that’s just me – so good on you for speaking your mind and revealing your own truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! I have to agree with you – there are times when it is merited to take a swipe at religion. I’ve done so myself on more than one occasion… the Christian church especially hasn’t always (and still doesn’t) respond in a way that I can stand behind. When the church promotes or responds with hate, fear, or anything other than love… it only feeds into all the reasons that people turn away. For me… my father is a Christian but I don’t remember there being a whole lot of “faith” or “religion” in my house when I was growing up. He began going to church regularly after he and my mom divorced. It was part of the change that I saw in him that drew me to church and to Christianity. And it was the way I was treated and the attitudes and injustices I saw in several of the churches I visited that pushed me away – on more than one occasion – for long periods of time. I thank God everyday for leading me to the church I attend now. I can’t say that there isn’t at least one person there that shares the same beliefs with those that turned me away in the past… but I can say that they are VERY outnumbered by those that really do work toward reflecting Christ.

      I really can’t say enough how much it means to me to get such a supportive response from someone who doesn’t share my beliefs. Thank you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Nik, for posting this. Your experience is so much like my own it’s not even funny. I think the hardest part about having faith for me was the fact that religion seemed to separate me from my faith, if that makes sense. All the man made rules and regulations seemed very different than what I learned about Jesus and his purpose for us in this world. Fortunately, we’ve joined a church that is very anti-religion and focuses on extending grace to to other people and loving them when they need it the most. This makes sense to me a lot more than the “let’s all dress up and look down on other people” mentality that often gets mistaken for true Christianity.

      Anyways, thank you for writing this in such an honest and respectful way. It’s really great to see a differing viewpoint that is meant to build up and not tear down. Have a great rest of your weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Episode Two: “Fighting the ‘F’ Word” | #toohuman podcast

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