I have a confession to make.
I’m still not okay.
I have to make that confession to myself.
You’re still not okay. And it’s okay.
I have really been struggling with guilt and shame this summer. I have put this expectation on myself that it’s been 3 plus years since Jackson died, and I should have gotten myself together by now. I feel like I do the bare minimum to get by sometimes and that’s all I have energy for right now. I’m still absentminded. I lose things all the time. I sleep too much. I should be attending all the services at church. Not to “punch my card”, but to have fellowship with people who love me and encourage me. I should be teaching the little kiddos again at church. I used to find so much joy in that. Some days it is a struggle just to manage the two children I have at home. Sometimes just attending on Sunday morning wears me out. I should be visiting more people who are shut in, but sometimes I feel like a shut in. I should be talking to my neighbors about how much God has helped me in incredible ways especially the last few years, but the idea of talking sometimes makes me tired.
I know depression. I’ve struggled with it since I was a teen. So am I depressed? Probably somewhat. I am also still actively grieving. The emotional exhaustion is just unreal. As Jackson’s caregiver for almost 5 years before he died, I was already overburdened. Then we had his terminal diagnosis to grapple with and before we could even start that, he died. I was not prepared at all for the emotional exhaustion that grief manifests. It takes incredible energy from me. I keep thinking to myself that I am not crying all the time now, I can do fun things, and I really try to enjoy the time with my two boys so I just be feeling better, right? But my back is still broken. The thought of shouldering any more weight, even an ounce more on some days, is beyond exhausting.
I am doing things to try to take care of myself. I am eating better and exercising more. I make mental lists of three things I need to do each day and sometimes I end up doing more. But I think I’ve been way too hard on myself. I am beating myself up for being lazy, tired, weary, not a good mom or wife. Maybe it’s Satan putting those thoughts in my head. Regardless, I’m going to try to be more gentle with myself. It’s hard to be this vulnerable for a variety of reasons, but when I feel like it’s put on my heart to share, I really try to share.
I’ve spent a lot of time with God this summer just being silent in his presence and especially when I run. Together with God, I have figured out a lot about myself and grief and life. Recently, I realized that I’m carrying all this guilt and I don’t need to! Jesus died for me so that I don’t have to carry it. So I’m trying to let go of things and remind myself that God is faithful in his promises.
Sometimes I make my sister proof read my blog because it’s hard to put vulnerable stuff out there without a little encouragement. She said this post made her think of Jesus saying “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Amen, sister, Amen.