Thursday, April 24, 2014

Can I Tell You a Secret?

I'm falling apart. I'm trying to hold all the broken bits together, but my hands are small and weak and tired. I'm too scared to tell you because I don't want you to call me the self pity queen or the drama queen, both of which I know too well I can be. 

I'm scared to let my guard down and release the illusion that I'm fine and in control. But the truth is...this isn't working. 

A speaker asks what we can quit and all I can think of is 'life.' Not forever, of course, but just for a bit. Just let me off the spinning wheel so I can catch my breath and have time to figure out the point of it all.

I eat, I sleep, I wake up (but never fully). I wash, I run late putting makeup on to hide, and cry it all off on the way to a job I'm too exhausted to do and therefore not proud of. A job I'm not sure I ever really believed in.

I'm spending stretched dollars on a last ditch effort to repair health that still isn't found. I officially surrender my addiction to coping with sugar (you laugh, but it might as well be cocaine for all the withdrawal). Nothing is helping yet, and I'm trying to stay positive, but deep down I'm scared this is just how it's going to be. Always hungry, always tired. Not because I'm not eating and sleeping well, but because my body is apparently giving me the finger after years of stress, neglect and abuse. I worry: What will I do if my last resort falls through?

There are days I look in the mirror and don't recognize her. Those days when I cope with thrifting - you know how I am. I like you to think I'm naturally thin, but really I've just been sick a long time and it's nothing to wish for...even though I did for years and now regret it. Maybe if I had sought help when the weight started dropping, I wouldn't be this far gone. But I didn't. I told God in my car on the highway, "I'd rather be sick than 'fat'." And so it continued. I've since repented, but consequences run deep.

It breaks my heart that you can't see what seems so obvious to me. That this version of me: exhausted, weak, too tired to care and too anxious when I not me at all. I wish you could know me at my best: when I made all manner of things and lived for little gestures to make anyone smile. It makes me wonder why you love me when the best parts of me are gone? I'm glad...but a little sad, too. I don't want to settle and I don't want you to settle for me. Please don't. I need you to hold out hope when I no longer can.

I don't know how to react when the doctor says I have the womb of an overweight 60 year old and kids may never happen. Am I sad? Angry? Relieved? I'm too tired to consider it anyway, so maybe it's just easier not to. But what about that little girl I saw in a waking dream in that season of deep sorrow so many years ago? The warmth and rosy pink hope that washed over me as I knew her name, Evangeline. Evangeline..."Good news". This is the secret I tell almost no one.

And in the midst of the wheel that keeps spinning, I'm still trying to grieve, or trying not to, I can't tell. A first friend. A year and two days later: a second Dad. I can't process how lucky I was to have them and how sad I am to have lost them so quickly. It makes all the other stuff seem trivial, and yet I know it's all hopelessly intertwined in this thing called life.

Now, sweet friends who once surrounded and whom we surrounded, have moved away one by one. Secrets once held close are scattered far and wide. Such a short, precious time. Can I really start over? Will I ever be so lucky again? 

I'm not giving up on God. I guess because I'm terribly stubborn and because He alone knows all my secrets, even the ones that would wear you out and make you want to leave. As loyal and faithful as I think I am, He is more. But when I'm honest, I do wonder where and why He hides His sweet presence sometimes. Sometimes when I feel I need it most. 

I wish I could be honest to your face, but the truth is...while I desperately long for your hugs, I push them away like the plague because I'm terrified that I will come undone in your arms. And while I long to be honest when you say, "How are you?", I try to talk around the real answer because I am incapable of trust. I avoid your eyes when I reply because I'm afraid that you will see my truth...or I will see your rejection.

The speaker asks what Emmanuel means to us and it's simply this: hope. That the One who has carried me this far will not let me go. It's the blood in my veins without which, life would have ended for me long ago. Does that sound like self pity and drama? I can't tell, but for once maybe I won't care.

- Thumb-tapped on my phone.  Please be gracious.

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