Today in session my therapist asked me "do you ever write in your blog in the very moment your feeling something? Do you ever write in the moment of what you feel and show your struggles as it's happening?" My answer was no! I actually don't write as my struggles are happening. I first rationalize what I am feeling, come up with a solution, find empowerment over it, and then I post a blog about how I overcame it or in the process of the empowerment giving others hope along the way.
Most of my posts are positive, strong, willed and filled with empowerment over something hard I went through. I write always looking towards the light so that maybe no one will see the darker side.
I guess a part of me is afraid to sometimes show that I am struggling, or having a hard time moving through something. I imagine that comes from my past to where the only front I had was "I am fine and everything is great" or "I got through it and I don't need any help".
Truth be told? I am struggling and I have been for almost a year, especially in the past couple of months.
The things that happened over in the past year put a new wall up in front of me that caused me to isolate from friends, things that I used to love doing, places I loved to go to, being at the gym, or even showing up every weekend at church.
Something from my past surfaced over the past year, and it's almost like something switched off inside of me and I am struggling to get back to where I was; to turn the switch back on, but it's dark and I can't see where the switch is.
Something deep from my past surfaced and it changed something inside of me - or at least for the moment. I can feel it, its that feeling inside like something is missing and it hurts.
I am actually crying while writing this post, because I never thought how hard it would be to actually "show" or "admit" to struggle in front of a wide range of people who read my blog, and support my blog and my writings.
I guess a huge part of me wants to open up about the truth of my struggle because maybe by writing about it and being open about it; gives me more connection to grow, and move forward.
Before last year happened with the "situation" I was in with this other person - I was at the gym all the time, working out and staying fit. I went to church so much that I even think my Deacon wondered if I had a home besides the church. I went to coffee houses and hung out with my good and close friends. We would go shopping at the mall, or go to lunch together. I would love going out at night and doing things when my kids were busy with their stuff, and always being in company.
I had a wide range of connection with many people and for some reason this past year after all that I went through I have condensed it down to a very small support system, I pushed a lot of people away.
I stayed close by to those who know what hardness I am holding like my husband and my therapist and a few really close friends. I have isolated and became a prisoner to whatever part of my past surfaced because of what happened this past year.
For some reason, in this past year, I have re-built walls to protect myself. I am not saying I put up all my walls, but new ones have built around me, and we are working hard to figure it out why, and how to break those new walls down so that I can escape from whatever it is that grabbed a hold of me this past year.
I workout at home and don't go to the gym. I miss more church than I should and I miss it so much. I stopped talking to a handful of people I used to talk to, and push away new ones who try to come forward.
I go to therapy and I continue to heal, and my therapist has been so wonderful trying to help me and help figure out how we can move me out from behind the new walls that were built.
I don't sleep in my bedroom or bed and haven't since Christmas. I sleep on the couch every night in the livingroom with 3 pillows propped up like I am on guard constantly.
When a friend texts me asking me if I want to go out and do something, the answer is almost always "I can't, I am busy" - unless it's one of the few who know how to pull me out enough to get me to engage forward.
When I go out and do things, it's almost always by myself, because that way, I dont have to pretend to be strong or put on a front.
I am waiting for that switch to flip, or that something inside of me to just switch with a huge "WAKE UP BRAIN" and say "ahh there I am, this is the Karen I know". but something is stopping me and I don't know what.
I see the gym, I pass by it everyday, but something is stopping me from taking a step inside of it - maybe I am afraid of all the people who used to see me in there body building before say "wow she is not as strong anymore". Maybe because I feel weak, I feel I am not good enough to go to the gym.
I see the coffee-house, and love the coffee-house, but I drive right by it.
I see the phone calls come in, but I ignore it and leave my phone on silent.
I MISS the church,see the church, feel the church in my heart, but I stay up extra late on Saturday night forcing myself to sleep in on Sunday so I can wake up and say "maybe next week I'll go".
I have made some steps forward like a couple of weeks ago going to the church, and having lunch with one of my friends, but then I retract again and I don't know why.
I am struggling with something hard inside, and I don't know what it will take to flip the switch.
I am a mom, a very good mom. I make sure my kids are happy and have everything they need, and that everyone else in my life has what they need - but making the step for myself this past year has been hard.
I miss a lot of the things I used to enjoy, and I am trying to figure out what happened and why walls were built from whatever part of my past was surfaced out of this hard year.
I am struggling to find the old me, but I know I am here, I KNOW IT! I know it because at times I can feel it, but I need to heal something first, and we are trying to figure what that something is. Something is here for a reason, and I need to open myself to see it.
It's SO hard to admit having a hard time when people always see you as the strong one. It's SO hard to admit when I am having a hard time when people look up to me all the time "oh! Karen is so strong" "she is so empowered all the time", "WOW Karen, how do you do it?" "your writing is amazing, you have come so far in your healing" - and yes although all those are true, I am also struggling right now, and maybe I am the one who needs the support right now.
I am afraid to show this side of me in fear that if I show the struggle and weakness, it means I am weak and stuck. But maybe the first step is found to admitting the struggle, and that is why I am writing this tonight.
This past weekend I made some small steps .. I bought a book called "healing the child within" and maybe there is an answer to something that re-surfaced in this past year that needs healing and closure.
I bought a new agenda book and put a photo on the front of it that says "I am worthy".
I bought new sneakers today and they are sitting right there in the corner looking at me, waiting for its first run, and first stance as I lift weights again.
I will say this, even in the struggle right now - I am blessed for the people I do have and held onto during this hard time. I think without them, I would have sunk.
My therapist has been so incredibly supportive and filled with hope along side of me. We work so hard, and one of the things he told me today was "whatever it is that is here right now out of this hardness, does NOT define who you are, we all know what is there, I know what is there - a good good person worthy of so much".
I am blessed for my husband and his continued love and compassion for me. He is and always has been my rock and best friend.
With all the hardness and struggle I have never lost sight of what is right in front of me.
Truth be told, I am having a hard time right now, and struggling to find my way back out of what surfaced out of this hard year. It's like seeing something in front of you, but you can't grab a hold of it because something is blocking it, and it hurts so much that I can't grab it!
So . . . here is my first step in admitting that I am struggling and how hard it has been.
Don't get me wrong, I am not going down any bad paths or anything like that .. I am just struggling to find the old me back .. or better yet, maybe the answer is not about finding the old Karen, maybe it's about finding the new one - the one who would never sit here, write and admit that she was struggling because she felt she had to do it all on her own - and here I am, writing about it.
Taking this step, maybe I can write in my blog even more now .. because at least now I don't have to pretend to be strong, I can just be and know I have all the support right aside of me watching and waiting like me to take that huge step forward that I KNOW is there.
My therapist just said to me on the phone a few moments ago "you are going to be OKAY, we are going to figure this out" - thank you Andy, you always have the right words for me to grab a hold of and hold.
.. and that is the hope, and when I do find that switch and flip it, it's going to be one big celebration and a dance!
In the meantime, I stay connected, I open up, I stand with my support and accept their hand, shoulder and arms in a hug, and I accept that this blog writing tonight was a first step towards me!