Sticks and Stones

Today I lied to myself and I lied to my son.

“Sweetheart mom in not feeling well.  Could you phone auntie Tammy and get her to take you to church?”.  I told myself that the headache I had was possibly becoming a migraine and the stiffness in my hips would make it just too much to get through a church service today.  Slowly the bedroom door closed and it would be one more Sunday without mom. Usually it was because of illness but not today.

I got up and as I started to move around I realized that the headache was only minor and the joints were not as swollen as I’d made them out to be.  I was in pain but the truth was that I was depressed.  I’d felt it growing over the last few weeks and had tried to combat it with getting out and doing some walks, talking daily to friends and making sure I washed my hair, did my face and got on with my life. Slowly I have felt the fatigue shrouding me in a mist that has been pulling me away to where even just the act of getting ready in the morning leaves me exhausted.  I am still able to break through and be grateful for the beauty of something as simple as the apple festival I went to yesterday.  It was a real challenge to make myself go but I know I had to counter balance the urge to cocoon.  It was a gorgeous fall afternoon and the setting on the river bank and all the people and children bustling about was really wonderful.  You felt connected with real life, but it was life you could observe and interact with only as much as you were willing.

This morning, the thought of a room full of worshippers, the singing and all the spiritual, emotional and physical engagement was too much.  I have such a wonderful group of people but I am so afraid of the depression being too close to the surface and the emotions churning around. I knew that lifting my face to God would have me in tears.  I do not want to cry.  I have no reason to cry.  OK we all have reasons but I want to be normal.   After going through a divorce and a couple of years of surgeries and ill health I want, more than anything to find normal.  I don’t want my normal to be sadness.  I want all the sadness gone and a clean slate, new skin, a fresh beginning.

In the back of my head I hear the echo of one divorce care leaders’ statements, “Divorce leaves scars that never go away.”  I was shocked.  I did not want to hear that. I don’t want scars. I don’t want sadness.  I want,…. I don’t know what I want but I know I am tired.

A study came out that the brain cannot tell the difference between physical and emotional pain. I saw that in play when my son was in football. A boy would miss a pass or mess up a tackle and would fall.  He would grab his leg or lie on his back and either wince or not move.  It wasn’t intentional. He felt pain but as the medic explained, the humiliation or upset sometimes translated into the boy thinking he was physically hurt. He wasn’t faking. The old saying about sticks and stones is wrong. Names can hurt you.  Sorrow can ail your bones.

This last month (months, years) has been hectic with good and bad things.  As I go through this season I will label the pain for what it is.  It will pass. It has before and it will again.

My prayers are with all of you as you go through your seasons.

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