When you're in the middle of a thick fog, you can't see much else around you. I would sometimes hold my hand in front of my face, just to see if I still existed in that place. Because it's all around you, it's hard to see or think of anything else; but there isn't much to think about in a fog. It's like the color white - it isn't really a color, simply the absence of color. Fog is isn't something you focus on, it's the absence of focus and clarity. It's disorienting too, because you don't know if it stretches for only a few feet in front of you, or for miles.
I would attempt to apply the old adage "pinch yourself to know you're awake" but the pinch was often "Does this make me upset" and the answer was a resounding yes. Small things like Chris spending money that we didn't budget for would turn into huge arguments. It seemed as though if I let myself get upset, I got really upset. The floodgates on my emotions would spill wide open, and my anxiety would feel overwhelming. I would immediately be obsessed with not only the $20 he spent, but our entire budget; How that would affect what hadn't been paid yet. How much the last water bill was. How we need to fix the leaky toilet so our water bill would go down. How the part for the toilet will cost another $20, and how we probably shouldn't have eaten out the other night. Then it would spiral into an entire day of obsessive thoughts that I would attempt to silence by distracting myself with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and any blog or article I could find to read. Then Elliott, in an attempt to grab my attention, would either act out, or whine or throw a tantrum, and I would in turn attempt to distract myself from his behaviour by going deeper into whatever I had been reading.
By the time Chris would get home from work he would find me with my hair nearly pulled out and dinner nowhere in sight.
"I had a hard day" I would say. "Can you just figure it out?"
I knew he would choose the path of least resistance, because the poor man just got home from work to a stressed out wife and a child bouncing off the walls, but I had no strength to do the right thing, so it would be more fast food, or another meatloaf from Safeway, or another frozen pizza. And the guilt of the $10-25 we would spend would keep me up at night.
And so I would wake up the next day, after not enough sleep, and wish for the fog to return. It's easier to have an absence of thoughts when the thoughts are too hard.
Recently I was talking with a friend who is right in the middle of her own fog. She explained how she felt numb, but sometimes, out of nowhere she would notice that her spirit was worshipping. A song, a praise, or a prayer would erupt from her out of nowhere. As I reflected on that, I realized that I experienced the same thing, but hadn't given a name to it. There would be days that I would think of nothing, feel nothing, yet my soul would sing. The words would dance in my head and even spill onto my lips. What a beautiful way for the Lord to care for us.
I know God was in it with me. I knew it at the time, even though I couldn't feel it. And even though I couldn't see Him in the fog, it is obvious to me now just how close to me He was. As I have stepped out of it ~ Notice I say that I stepped out. The fog did not lift. It did not fade away. I made the choice to take Jesus' hand and step out~ I have been spending a lot of personal time with Jesus, and He has been outpouring His love and affection for me like I haven't experienced before. Or perhaps I have simply been able to appreciate it more.
The view from the mountain is so much sweeter after time spent in the valley.
Hi friends, thanks for reading along as I explain my journey back. Feel free to read my last post here which explains a bit more. I hope you'll join me as I continue to unpack what I've been thinking and feeling for the last few months. Blessings on you!