Note: I never wanted this blog to be my personal diary and in fact 90% of my life is not shared online. I use my blog to record random insights, links, happenings, pics, projects, etc. It’s a place to sort out and store many things. Sometimes though, I reveal too much. I am opening myself up to the craziness in my head today simply because owning up to our lives is a pretty universal thing. When we look honestly at ourselves and try to uncover what is at the root of our unproductive or less worthy behavior, it hurts. I don’t expect comments dear family, it’s nice when you do, but this blog has never been about that. Rather, by posting this, may you knowingly smile and feel less alone. There is a shared familial bond between those who feel emotional pain and struggle and I provide the genetic link to Arnett craziness. On any given day I am a holy mess.
I am working hard at keeping my emotions in check. For the past few months I have been slipping into…I don’t know what. I believe the closest psych jargon is called ‘despair thinking’. Patterns of thinking that automatically go to the worst-case scenario. I have always had a tendency to do this but lately, well, it’s causing me to tear up more than once a day and the rational CS, the one who knows better, is using up a lot of energy in her private lectures and self-talk in trying to shake this off. This is what comes when we give up on denial and make a commitment to start facin' it. Where to put all that inevitable pain, eh? When we quit stuffing our feelings and emotions and DEAL, well, expect difficult days. My old ways of distracting myself or reaching for a cookie (more like 20), I miss that because as harmful as it was, it allowed me to live in denial. And denial, what a luxury. It allows me to pretend that I don’t see what is evident all around me.
Standing tall to all these feelings and the reality of my life without my knees buckling is tough, tough stuff. Hence, the weepiness.
But being depressed much of the time is really getting old. I am sick of my mopiness because in my better moments I know that despair and denial aren’t the only options available to me. There are other ways of thinking and feeling through all this facin’ it stuff that offer much more promise.
Sunday in Sacrament meeting a boy in his testimony said:
A friend once asked me 'What is your favorite thing about the Gospel?” And I thought about it for awhile and said, ‘It’s hope. Hope that I can change. Hope in Jesus Christ, that there is a reason and a plan’.
I love that too about the Gospel. I am still trying to work out how reality and optimism and hope jive. Is it an act of will or a gift of the spirit? Both?
Despair is a luxury. If I despair, I can drive a Yukon and watch bad television. Despair makes no demands on us; Hope demands everything.
The easy thing is to feel sorry for myself. But how do I be and do hopeful when I feel helpless? It's the helpless part that makes me feel hopeless. You see my dilemma.
Sometimes we get stuck in our thinking. Sometimes we need someone to listen to our convoluted or tortured thoughts and breathe perspective on them. Yesterday, when mine came tearfully tumbling out, someone listened and heard. He made it better and bearable by really listening and telling me to take up golf. Oddly enough, I'm better today. Thanks, brother #4.
I would not trade my brothers for all the pineapples in Hawaii.