Thursday, July 7, 2011

The man with no hat

Here's what's going on in my life all at the same time:

Ben graduated from high school
Seth's short film has become an internet success, opening BIG possibilities
Arley is having a baby in a few weeks
Matt moved to Mississippi yesterday

I've been dealing with lots of feelings. It's been an emotional roller coaster. So yesterday when Matt drove away, I stood in the driveway until I couldn't see his truck and then at least ten minutes longer just to be sure. And then I ran inside, got the comforter off his bed, the one that I made for him out of his high school t-shirts, and I cried. I sobbed. I wailed. I whimpered. All afternoon. Until my head hurt so bad and my whole face was puffy.

I am feeling very vulnerable these days. Fragile. I feel the fragility of life, that every moment of joy and wonder and pain is poignantly thin, like eggshell thin. Like bubble thin. And so intense. Life is swallowing me whole.

I have on-again/off-again battled depression over the course of my life. For a long time I was medicated for it. I remember when I stopped taking medication and I wasn't being "regulated," every little thing felt startlingly intense. I remember describing this to my doctor.

"It's like this", I said. "It's like you were a man wearing a hat for ten years. And one day you went out for a walk without the hat. And the feel of the wind on your bare head freaked you out because you hadn't felt wind for ten years."

He looked at me like, "You'll be back."

My friend Ashley blogged about feelings today:

here's a quote for you from my reading from "how al-anon works" yesterday, page 90. it is also important to be reminded that feelings aren't fact. no matter how intense the feelings may be, they are only feelings. they are reactions to, rather than reflections of, reality. therefore, they are not necessarily the best basis for decision-making. other people can help us to value the experience of our emotions without acting on them in ways that we might regret once the feelings have passed.

This is why I hid under Matt's covers and did not make any decisions yesterday. I was nothing but a bundle of feelings. I was not to be trusted out in the world. I was a raw nerve ending, and everything was too hard.

But at the same time, this is how I feel:

The harder life gets, the more God reminds me of his love. It's a strange thing but I'm so grateful.
- Donald Miller

When I was a little girl, I imagined the wind was God running his fingers through my hair, like my mother did at night. God telling me he loved me.

Have you ever felt loved and vulnerable at the same time? Grateful and fragile?

That's how I felt yesterday when Dennis came home from work with flowers because he knew I'd been home alone crying, even though I didn't tell him.

That's how I feel when I look at Arley's beautiful baby belly and try to imagine what a Worley girl will be like.

That's how I feel when I watch Seth and Ben's wonder and happiness over their great success.

That's how I felt when Matt scooped me up in his big arms before he climbed into his truck and drove off.

Like a man with no hat, in a stiff breeze.

1 comment:

  1. Karla, your vulnerability and incredible way with words are gifts that make all who know you better for it. I love you, friend!