I've had plenty of random things trigger big emotions today. I'm not a fan of big emotions, especially when several different ones hit me in just a few hours span.
On the way to work this afternoon I was overcome by sadness. As I turned the corner to the street I work on, I saw two men on scaffolding and one man down below extremely exerted and struggling to lower the scaffolding. In January, when Cousin died, he fell from scaffolding at work that he was helping his guys to take down. It was the last thing they had to do before they went home for the day. I gasped and tears immediately sprung to my eyes. The sight and the subsequent intense emotion caught me off guard.
At work, I checked my email. There was one from my former pastor that had a link to something he had just written. The short version of what he had to say was that depression is a symptom of trusting your feelings rather than God. The long version, to be honest, made me a bit angry. When someone who has never dealt with depression tries to tell me why my depression isn't as big as it is or that it is my fault or that I'm just not enough of a Christian, I get really frustrated.
I wonder if these Christians who believe that depression is a sign of sin have ever read the Bible. What about the prophet Elisha (or maybe it was Elijah, I still to this day get those two mixed up!) who sat beneath a tree and told God to just kill him, that his life was over? God had to send an angel to tell him to sleep and eat and to minister to him. Or what about David, the man after God's heart? He was as extreme in his emotions as one could ever be. How many times does he, in his hurt, cry out to God and beg God to kill him? How many times does he ask God to kill his enemies? How many times does he make comments about despair and agony within him? And yet he knew God was faithful. And yet he still worshiped God in spirit and in truth. DESPITE the agony. Why can I not still know God is in control and worship Him even though often times my soul is in despair? Why is my hurt a sin in so many people's eyes? Wouldn't it be nice if people had to live a day in your skin before they were able to criticize your emotions?
Many years ago I heard it said that once you have been stalked, you will always live with one eye over your shoulder. At the time I didn't understand but thanks to abusive boyfriend, now I do understand that comment. Looking over my shoulder has been somewhat of a second nature to me for far too many years now. I'm not terrified like I used to be. I don't think every car or person behind me is out to get me like I used to. I am aware though of any car that has been behind me, including lane changes, for more than a mile. I have detoured on my way home from places just to be sure that I'm not being followed. While most of the time I feel fairly safe, sometimes I don't at all. Tonight was one of those nights.
I work in a really nice part of town. We joke that you are more likely to get pulled over there for something minor because the police need something to do to kill their time since they don't need to be out stopping crime. Tonight, however, the police didn't need to kill time. I don't know what happened, but something did. I saw 18 cops tonight, lights on, sirens off, blocking parking lot exits and several side streets in 1/4 mile radius as I was leaving work. As I got on the highway, I saw 2 more that I hadn't seen who were parked on the sidewalk next to my building where the light rail station is. They were definitely looking for someone. I was suddenly bombarded with icky feelings of insecurity and danger.
All of that comes to top off the fact that last night I realized that think I have been subconsciously sabotaging my recovery for the past week or so. I wasn't intentionally acting out but suddenly last night I realized that I have been restricting. I haven't been concentrating on it, I think that is what is scary. It comes so naturally that I don't realize I'm doing it sometimes. I realized simply because I had very little wine last night before I was aware that it was affecting me. I made a comment about being a total light weight last night and Hubby asked me what I had eaten. As I started going through my day I realized I hadn't had much at all to eat, and then I went through the previous several days and suddenly understood why the wine got to me so quickly. Had I not done that, I wouldn't have even realized that I was doing it.
I knew I have been unhappy with my body. I knew that I don't feel anywhere near summer body ready. But I also have known that having energy to enjoy my family again is better than fearing my body. I thought that since I have been acknowledging my and validating both my body and my emotions that I was in a good spot. And now I see that recovery still needs to be an active choice even when I think I'm handling things fairly well.
So that's my night. There are a lot of emotions swirling around in there, and a lot of thoughts as well. I'm not pushed over the edge, which is good. I'm a little overwhelmed still by feeling and especially so many things in such a short span of time. I'm reminding myself that feelings are ok, good even, and trying to embrace them rather than run from them. It is a little (ok, a LOT) scary and difficult too.