Guess what. It’s okay to fall apart. There are times in life when we are going to be so discouraged, so tired, so worn out, so down to our last straw that we fall apart. And not just fall, but messily fall apart. This is normal, and I’m here to tell you that! There is no way that we can stay upbeat, happy, forgiving grievances all the time, always putting on a happy face 24/7. Nope. For the most part, we are fine, but when we feel we need to hide what is truly going on inside of us, we will eventually make ourselves sick. It’s okay to fall apart. It’s okay to wave and say, “hello, I’m not doing very well, I need help!” It’s okay to admit that your life is in shambles. It’s okay to have to get medical help, or professional counselling. Don’t try to save face, get help instead! Everyone falls apart at some point in their life, it’s part of life.
Have you ever felt that way? That you can’t possibly get up and face another day of your circumstances? I have felt that a few times in my life, and it was horrible. I can’t even begin to describe the pit in the middle of my stomach, and the anxiety I felt. I finally went to my family doctor and was on anti-depressants for a year, as well as seeing a registered counselor. It was nice to have someone to talk to, and get out all the angst I was feeling. It did help! Although I believe in God, and trust in help for all my needs, sometimes we also need to seek medical help. God helps us, but we also have to do our part. I am usually an optimist, and see the good in everything, but after pretending that everything in my marriage was okay for almost 10 years, I fell apart. And I fell hard. Is there anything worse for a Christian than to go through divorce? Maybe, but all the guilt and shame that was put on me almost killed me. I did suffer from suicidal thoughts, but thankfully that never came about. Not having to lie, and pretend everything was okay was a relief. Finally separating and living apart was another great relief. It took me a year before I was able to stop taking anti-depressants. I realized that in order to heal myself fully, I needed to forgive myself for my own failings, and forgive my ex for his failings. This was a turning point in my life, and I’m so grateful that I had God to lean on, and some really awesome family and friends.
Hurt happens to us all the time. People do things and say things that are mean. Some people ignore you. Some people will insult you. Some people will pretend they like you, and then say things behind your back. Some people will never say thank you, or acknowledge you. Some people will let you down. Some people will use you, and then throw you away when they’re done. Some people are fake friends. And some people are family that hurt you. This post isn’t for me to finger point and blame, because I have done and said things to hurt my own family as well. I am in the same boat. The point is – we tend TO BE HURT the most by family. I already wrote a post on that, so I’m not going to rehash all of that here, if you want to read more, then click here.
Do you know what AWOL means? It is the acronym for the military – “absence without leave”. Well, after the death of my mother, I went AWOL. How? I didn’t realize how traumatized I had been for the entire time she had been ill, and how the long sickness and death of my father- in-law affected me. I had recently retired from my job at MDA (which I am back working now, btw!) and my plan was to compose music, teach more, and write books. I managed to write over 250 piano compositions, and I also wrote and published a novel under the name “Vienna Lovett”. Nine months after I retired, my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV inflammatory breast cancer. I drove my mom to her cancer appointments for chemo, and also gave her daily shots. Just like that, my life was changed. My mom managed to live a little bit longer due to those treatments, but the quality of life just wasn’t the same. Two and a half years later, she died on October 18, 2013, at age 65. I had a lot of feelings to process, but because I had stifled my feelings for those years while mom was sick, I ended up with high blood pressure, and didn’t know it. I felt sick every day, had migraines daily, and had “lost it” in terms of coping with life.
THE STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL’S BACK
Five months before my mom died, my son informed me that he was going to live with his dad. I was fine with that, I had always told my son that he could live with his dad if he chose. So off he went. My mom had been in the hospital, but cried daily and wanted to come home. The hospital finally let her come home, because they knew she was at the end. Those two weeks were the most stressful in my life. She was so sick, and there was no way we could keep up the level of care needed for her. When I think back on that stress now, I’m surprised I managed to keep myself together. Eventually she ended up back at the hospital, and then at the hospice, where she died. A month later, my stepdad had to move back to the States. Because he wasn’t immediate family, he couldn’t stay in Canada. So, in less than a year, I had lost four very important people in my life. I crashed, and I crashed hard.
I BECAME A ZOMBIE AND DIDN’T DO ANYTHING
I went into survival mode, hiding deep within myself. My poor hubby was so patient with me, I’m so thankful for him. I didn’t want to talk, I didn’t want to eat, and I rarely cooked. I just didn’t do anything. He finally suggest that I get a part time job or something, so that I wasn’t stuck at home all day in my jammies. I took up his suggestion, but the part time job I applied for turned into a full time job, which saved me. I started working at a car dealership in Langley, Infinity, and I loved it. I was there for two years, and I started to slowly get my sanity back. I thrive on routine, so to get up early and get to work, and have things to do all day was a saving grace for me. I was still suffering from depression, sadness, and the shock of losing my mom, and I still didn’t do anything. I didn’t call, text, invite anyone over, or do anything for birthdays. Nothing. I did NOTHING. Not even for my grandkids. I had a few friends that would call me, and I’m grateful that they did, because I wasn’t reaching out. I just didn’t have the energy.
My doctor retired, and I got a new one. The first thing she discovered when I finally went to see her was that I had high blood pressure. Oh my goodness. It was really bad. I started taking pills, and slowly but surely I started to get better. I started to feel like getting out of bed. I felt like cooking again. I felt like I could be social. I also was diagnosed with sleep apnea, which was affecting my health as well. These issues had been going on for years, and were untreated. No wonder I became a zombie! The point of telling you that – is if you are struggling with your mental health, your body will also suffer. Your anxiety, anger, and stress will come out in some shape or form of illness. It is different for everyone, so it’s so important that you figure out what is truly bothering you, and get help. And if you need to forgive? Forgive! I realized that first and foremost I was angry at my mom, because she refused to believe that she was sick, and was furious at me for not believing that God was going to heal her. It took me a long time to finally heal from that. Once someone is dead, you can’t argue, or sort it out, the chance for conversation, and healing is over. But guess what. I decided to forgive, and let all that pain and anger go. Being angry at someone who is dead is ridiculous, but it happens all the time. I’m not the only one, I’m sure. If I was still angry today, it would probably kill me! So, I’m telling you this story that you understand that it’s our emotions that make us sick. Anger kills. Anger is poison. Get rid of any old thoughts, or thought patterns that make you go back to past hurts. They are over. It doesn’t matter what you could have done, or should have done. That is in the past. Let it go. Take control of your life today, and let it be different. Let it be filled with love. Let it be filled with kindness. Let it be filled with grace.
I RETREATED IN GRIEF
After my mom passed away, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with ALS. It was another blow to deal with. For those who are reading this and are not from Canada, I want to point out that I live in BC (British Columbia) and my mother-in-law lived in AB (Alberta). For us to go visit would mean a 12-14 hour drive to get there. So, because of seasons and the length of time to drive up, it is more convenient to fly up. But not always affordable. We visited when we could, but each time it was so sad, as the disease was slowly taking over. When she passed away, I really retreated into grief. Irela was an amazing mother-in-law. She and I used to talk every Thursday for hours. It was awesome. When her hubby Ron was alive, I would call them after composing my latest piece, and they would listen over the phone. They were my greatest audience. I loved their support, and their love for me. I felt very close to Irela, and was devastated when she passed away. All of these events in my life were catastrophic, and I’m sure glad looking back that it is done with. After my mother-in-law passed away, I also lost my Grandmother, who died on my mom’s birthday. Yikes. I made it through, but not without some very dark, dark days. All of us have pain, all of us experience the sting of a death in our family, or our friends. It is part of life. We need to learn how to grieve, but then get back on track and live. I’m so glad that I was able to heal my body, which helped heal my mind, and in turn I was able to function again.
FORGIVENESS IS KEY
If you want to recover from hurt and pain in your life, you need to forgive. People are not perfect, and no matter how much you love someone, they can still hurt you. Family that are dying can hurt you. Forgiveness heals, it truly does. But once you decide to forgive, you need to deliberately choose to not think those thoughts again. Stop bringing up the past. Stop bringing up the pain. Stop bringing up the conversations. STOP. Forgive, FORGET, and then keep going. One little step….then another, then another. We don’t just snap back after one day, it can take years. In my case, it took me over two years, and then became even faster once my body was healthy. You need to take care of your emotional health as well as your physical health.
KEEP YOUR BODY HEALTHY
Did you know that food can really affect how you feel? So can having high blood pressure. So can sleep apnea. We can’t function properly if we are always tired and depressed. Those feelings are nothing to do with events or trauma, which is just our body’s response to not getting what we need: nutrition and sleep. So – we need to make sure that we stay healthy. I was just diagnosed with fatty liver, and have probably had it for over 4 years now. I can’t believe how much better I feel now that I’ve eliminated certain foods from my diet. On a side note, my hubby was diagnosed with diabetes, and is on medication. His depression is suddenly gone. GONE – poof, just like that. He probably should have been on medication since his twenties, I’m sure his life would have been completely different. Hindsight is always 20/20, but there is no reason to look back. All we can do is move forward today in what we learn, and what we know.
CRASH, BURN, FORGIVE, LIVE
We are all going to crash at some point. For some of you, it might be due to COVID 19, the pandemic we are in right now. It is hard to stay at home, and stay away from friends and family. It is hard to lose a job, it is hard to look after kids when they are usually at school, it is hard to have to cook more meals than you are used to preparing. It is harder to shop, when you have to wait in line for hours just to get in a store. It is stressful to not know if you will find everything you need at the shop – especially toilet paper! This is a very unusual time for all of us. But if we choose to look at the positives, and focus on what we do have, we will do much better. We live in a time that we ARE all connected, through media, wifi, the internet, zoom, snapchat, youtube, whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook. We literally CAN keep in touch with one another without leaving our homes. Let’s keep encouraging one another and loving one another the best way we know how. If you are crashing, tell someone. Don’t crash alone. Reach out for help, there is always a solution.
IF YOUR WORLD FALLS APART
One day your life might fall apart, and that’s okay. What is important to do is acknowledge the pain, acknowledge the anger, the frustration, the rage, and learn to let it go. Realize that staying angry will only make you sick. Check your physical health. Are there underlying issues you haven’t taken care of? You cannot get better or feel better until you take care of both your physical health, and mental health. And in my case, I couldn’t get better until my physical health was better, because it was impacting my mental health and my thought patterns. Life needs to be in balance, so don’t neglect either side.
YOU CAN GET WELL
I believe that we all want to feel well, and want to be healthy. Choose today to feel even better, by forgiving all those you are holding a grudge against. Get rid of extra poison you’ve been carrying around. Forgive the circumstances that happened to you that were out of your control. Forgive the wounds that have scarred you. Wounds heal, if you let them. Choose today to get back up, lose your pride, and get help. There is no shame in admitting you need help. Choose today to become healthy, you can do it! Don’t let another day go by that you remain unhealthy, or stuck. You wouldn’t let your child, or a pet slowly die in quicksand if you were able to save them, you’d get in there and help. Do the same for yourself. Grab that cord that is dangling in front of you, and pull yourself out. Choose today, right now, that you want to recover, and be healthy. Once you’ve made that decision, you WILL be able to get help. Do it today!
GOD ALWAYS HEALS
Let God help you heal. But remember, if you choose not to forgive, you will stay stuck, and have victim mentality. Forgive yourself first, and then choose to forgive others who have offended you. God is love – never forget!