I spent some time in the woods today. This morning we were with my cousin and his amazing sons. My husband and children helped them add some home improvements to a stick shelter. No grown-ups were allowed inside the den, but forest ‘cooking’ was on offer and those of us outside the den discussed the best ways of helping our children learn coding and basic electronics.
This afternoon I was on my own in a glade so beautiful I had to gaze at the grass splashes on the edges of the stream, sit against the pines and take apart a cone or two. Silence and not silence. And in my mind, so much noise.
The woods helped. I went back to the family and showed all my husband’s family the spot I’d found, before Going on a Bear Hunt with them which might have involved searching for elusive Gruffalos and those pesky squirrels who could throw pine cones anywhere the children were going. Healing time alone and healing time with others.
I wish I did not need so much healing time when I want to be present for family, for friends, for God.
I am feeling like a broken mirror today. Needing huge resources for recharging, space, food, thinking time, and yet too scared to handle the pieces of mirror in case they cause more pain. Maybe it won’t fit together the way I want it to. I am not useful enough to those around me. I am fearful of everything and almost out of emotional energy. I am scared of the children and their constant questions. Did I sign up for this many repeated inane questions? I do not want to tell you if we are nearly there, and everything you say shows you are not listening or looking around you and I wish I could help you but you’ll have to just try a bit harder, eat a bit more, be a bit kinder or wait a bit longer. I have a wonderful idea for a book, but am scared of working on it too much in case it crashes and that starts hurting too. I have found myself stuttering frequently today and on the verge of tears so much that the crying inside must be almost audible. It terrifies me.
The pieces are sharp, but they don’t stop reflecting. Reflecting what? The image of God? Of goodness? Of hope and transformation? Of the journey so far? I want to grind them to sand and start again and God says ‘just be’ even though I want to melt into the landscape. I can’t have alcohol on my medication: it transforms my head into a perfect storm. One more reason to get well as fast as possible. I can’t concentrate for long either. It is like burning out matches one at a time in quick succession. Many little burnouts. Perhaps I have pushed myself too much lately. Travel. Packing. Timings. Sociability. Responsibility. Concern. I may need a day or two without the children, but that also means guilt, worry and preparation.
I went down to the woods today, and I didn’t go in disguise. I went as me, because honesty is all I have. I told God I was angry, that I couldn’t fathom how I got to this place of extreme anxiety and crippling depression. That I love my friends and family dearly and hate letting them all down. That I want to be better. That I ache for better things for those around me first, so that my healing is not jumping the queue.
God didn’t mind that I felt like a broken mirror and that I couldn’t hold all the pieces. He just reminded me that he can. And so I asked him to hold them for me and make them into something he can use. Reflecting something of him in all kinds of directions.
This is your forty days in the wilderness. It may last longer than forty days, and it will be full of difficulty and pain. But you will make it through. Whatever you need to heal, is the right thing. I’m praying for you.
thank you, so grateful for prayers – there are truly differences in how I cope when people pray for me x