I started this blog about two weeks ago, but I was too afraid to tell anyone – not my family, not my friends, not even strangers at the grocery store that I seem to be able to share oddly personal moments with. But yesterday I finally asked about a dozen of my friends and my beautiful sister to read and give me some feedback. I was instantly terrified. I am racked with self-doubt all the time. It’s a little bit crazy, but the second I say something or write an e-mail that discloses my emotional status, I immediately regret it sending it. What if I worded it badly? What if they think I’m crazy, or silly? What if they hate me for my weakness or idiosyncracies, of which I have more than a few?
Yesterday, I was like a little kid waiting for Santa, constantly running to see if there were any new developments under the Christmas tree since the last peek – only for me, it was checking my Blackberry every few minutes to see if anyone responded, as if everyone I sent a message to must have immediately read my blog and responded. And the most amazing thing happened: within an hour, I had a message from one of my dear friends, and she told me she loved it. Reading her short and beautifully sweet message, I knew I would “go public.” God used a few words to quell my crazy fears and prove that he has truly blessed me with amazing friends. Their love for my (and mine for them) is just a tiny speck of the love that we’ll know in heaven.
It has been an indescribable experience the last two days. Maybe somebody I invited to Mabbat really hates it but just won’t say it, but the people who responded already were so encouraging. Your words have alternately caused me to grin like a fool, cry, thank God for putting you in my life, and laugh with joy! You have spoken some of the most beautiful things I have ever heard, and I am still astonished at them. And to my sister: you are the most amazing of all. You have strength that I have always envied, both emotionally and physically, and your determination has always inspired me, no matter how much I picked on you!
I want to say, “I wish I had known I would get that kind of support when it seemed to hurt the worst,” but I realize two things immediately in saying that. First, I was too afraid to ask for help, so I didn’t. I’m not sure how much I’ve changed much in that regard. I struggle to speak the right words unless I’m writing them, so most of the time I still find it incredibly hard to say, “I’m not okay today.” I know without doubt that I could have had all the help and support that I needed, but I was in too dark and isolated a place to be able to ask for it. This was entirely a black hole of my own creation, and it was the worst kind of self-centeredness I have ever known. It’s also really tempting to fall into when I have a bad day.
Second, second-guessing and wishing to change the past are completely ineffective pastimes. My second-guessing is the exact psychosis that made me afraid to share this blog with anyone. We all find ourselves wanting to change some part of our past at some point, but we only have to read Ecclesiastes (or if you prefer, listen to the Byrds) to realize that every era in our lives has a purpose, some more obvious than others. Focusing too much on the past and its pain is a large part of the depression that kept me from moving forward at all. Not that I am running yet – I stumble a lot and daily – but I am learning how to let go of the past, a skill I know my husband will be ecstatically grateful for.
Weirdly, confidence has never been my strong point. I’m guessing that a lot of my friends will find that odd because I know a lot of them think it is a strength I possess. Good, bad or ugly, I often follow the fake-it-til-you-make-it maxim. But really, I’m a wimp at heart, and it makes me even more thankful to be surrounded by such amazing people.