I took this self vow that I would live more honestly. If someone said, 'How are you' I would respond honestly. Most days that means, 'I'm struggling.' I would tell people I have anxiety. I would show people our home, even if it's messy. I don't want it to be for pity. It's not pitiful. It's life, and sometimes it's really hard.
This new habit hasn't been without a lot of heartbreak. Lots of people love the realness. They appreciate hearing that other people are struggling. But, some people see the opening of vulnerability as an easy in. It's not always intentional. But, when I share my struggles and someone responds with how it's a spiritual deficit, a parenting deficit, a spousal deficit, and just about every other area of my life, it makes one want to retreat. Don't get me wrong. I am deficient in all those areas. I could make you a whole freaking list of where I fall short. But, my hope in being real isn't to shine light on my sucking at things. It's to shine light on how everyone feels not good enough. And, if we can stand together and say, 'yeah, me too' our shortcomings are much less scary. There's hope that maybe we aren't as big of failures as we sometimes feel.
This week we found out that Asher's scoliosis has gotten worse and we will begin casting to try to straighten his compensatory curve, and prevent his congenital curve from worsening as quickly to prolong surgery. We found out that he does indeed have a bar opposite his hemi vertebra guaranteeing both that the congenital curve will get worse, and that he will need surgery to correct it at some point. I LOVE having a definitive. I hate what it is.
When he is casted he can not take a bath, or be in water. I'm glad we're starting it going into the winter. But, the boy loves baths. The two weeks prior to casting are fall break so we're planning a trip to an indoor water park for a few days (the mid-west in October isn't conducive to outdoor water play). We like to try to do things to balance and redeem the hard.
I've been in avoidance mode since the appointment. Constantly checking facebook (despite the fact that I'm trying to take a break from it), e-mail, reading articles, anything I could find to fill my mind with fluffy things. I'm not interested in the countdown in my head.
So this evening, as I was making dinner, I wasn't that surprised to find myself fighting tears. I know where it ends every time. I don't know why I don't just allow myself to process it, work through it, and move forward. Everyone in my home would benefit from me changing this habit. I don't get much done. I don't spend much time actually focused on my kids. I just escape. Distraction is my drug of choice. It numbs things. It's free. Nobody else knows.
It, like other drugs, is temporary. It doesn't actually change reality. Eventually, I have to lay down in my bed, and all the things are still there, flooding my head. Vying for my attention. Preventing me from the escape I'm hoping for. Just closing my eyes for some hours. So I turn on mindless television, and fall asleep to that.
It works for a few days. But, at some point I'm doing something that demands me to not have a screen in front of me. And, I lose it. Fall apart. I desperately clamor for a way to go back to numb. But, it's too late. So I wade in. It's deep. Thick. Hard to make it through. And, it's all just compounded with all the other shit that was already there. Perhaps some day I'll be strong enough to just jump in from the beginning. I'll join all the other brave people getting dirty. I'm there today. The people with me are much kinder than those voices that tell me I can escape things. They remind me that I'm strong, and brave, and I can do hard things. And, I can be real about how much doing hard things sucks sometimes. This is one of those times.