It’s been flooding around my town. Roads are closed. School has been canceled and we’ve all been anxiously watching the flood reports waiting for the water to crest and recede so we can get back to the normal flow of our lives.
For the past few weeks and ongoing I’ve been bleeding, before which time I was sure I was pregnant, not Psychosomatic Pregnancy Disorder sure but actually really sure. I had all the symptoms. I was even knitting for heck sake. But my body and repeated tests are telling me I’m not, at least not anymore. And I’d love to be.
I’m not that sad about a possible lost pregnancy I was never sure was real. Dan and I have waited years for me to recover mentally and physically from Magoo’s birth and have come to a point where I’m finally ready again but patient.
The problem came about 5 days after my cycle started and my anxiety and panic went through the roof. I’ve been off my post partum meds for months with smooth sailing and suddenly I found myself in that dark place, the place where I shake and throw up, cry and let my mind terrorize me, the place where I visit every doctor I know and end up back on my meds.
Although doctors like to say that bleeding for 3 weeks can be normal and that nausea in the mornings, elevated anxiety, ravenous hunger, exhaustion, catastrophic breakouts, a slippery pulse, and the 27 other things I was feeling before my cycle started don’t necessarily indicate pregnancy, I feel pretty sure that my dark place is a result of a microscopic baby who just wasn’t ready to come live with us but instead tripped my wacky hormone breaker on his way out the door.
When I’m in that place it feels as though I will never return to normalcy, that darkness, fear and panic are valid because the world is just a scary awful place. What helps me cope is Dan, Dan who is so sure that the flood will crest and I’ll return to myself again, Dan who remembers who I really am and loves me. And it’s not just Dan. I have a huge support group of family and friends. People have been coming out of the woodwork to make meals, bring flowers, give hugs while I sob and remind me that they know me and that this is NOT normal. I’ve even gotten several emails from people who I know and some who read this blog and could tell that something was not right. Thank you so much. I’ve been too overwhelmed to respond to everyone.
When my mind is in this place, it’s hard to believe that the world is a place worth living in. It’s hard to believe that I am good enough or worthy enough because if I were better or had more faith then I’d feel peace from my Heavenly Father.
Which brings me to my lesson on Sunday. On Saturday night when it became apparent I was in full scale meltdown mode I called and asked a friend to sub teaching my 14 and 15 year old girls’ class at church. Then I took a look at the lesson. It was about individual worth, how the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. It was about how we all may feel broken or unlovable at times but that God loves us all the time and that we each have a spark within us, a mission that only we can complete.
I knew that the timing of the lesson was no accident. It was filled with truth that I desperately needed to hear and I knew I had to teach it. So I went to church, tissues in hand, and taught the girls in complete tearful breakdown mode. I told them that I was teaching them even though I was having a rough time because I wanted to show them that their leaders are not always prefect. We tend to sit up there and teach about God’s love and the peace you feel when you’re doing what’s right and the joyous news of the gospel and the examples we show and the standards we set are high. I wanted them to know that each one of them was of great worth and that even when they were in the lowest depths of the dark places of their lives, they were still loved, they were still good people and it is those times that they need to rely on their faith and on their past experiences of joy and peace to get them through until the floods of darkness crest and recede.
I read them the story of Snowman, the old grey beaten-down horse who turned out to be a champion show jumper, and I promised them that they could do great things with their lives and that I knew in my heart that I could do great things too, even if I couldn’t feel it right then. My hope for them and for all of you is that you never feel that your struggles or heartaches are an indication of your worth. You are not your trials. Sometimes I think we all act so perfect on the surface that when we struggle, we doubt our divine nature and the huge gift we are and can be to so many people in this world.
I hope they got the message, rather than thinking, “Wow. Kathryn’s really lost it.” I think they did.
But whether or not I’ve lost it, I know I’ll find it again and I have a lot going for me. I do have a great work to do. Even if the only thing I ever do is make these two people, my life will be a raging success.