Sometimes I hesitate to write from the dark places. It’s not natural and it’s not what I feel like doing. I’d prefer to “get to the other side” first, or in this case, out of the valley and up onto the mountain top, before I write about it.
There is one question women often ask and it always gnaws at me, whenever I share my story publicly; “In the midst of your depression, how do you find hope and comfort? When medications don’t work, what do you do?”
I feel like my response to the desperation I see in women’s eyes is always too trite. Too easy, because I’m speaking from the mountain top. I’m speaking from a place where medications have worked. I’m speaking from a place of healing.
So in order to better help formulate an authentic response to that question, tonight I’m going to attempt to share from my present journey in the valley.
Someday… maybe in a week or maybe in two years… I will write a wildly humorous post about what life after an ileostomy is REALLY like. It will be witty and comical and will entail all of the details that none of the medical websites, or even your doctor for that matter, will tell you. If you get uncomfortably squirmy at the mention of the word “poop” I will advise you to skip that post. I might even decide to write a follow up post to that post, titled, “The Top 15 Ways That Living with a Disability Prepares You for Motherhood”. Then we will laugh some more.
That day, however, is not today. Today everything is horrible, confusing, and discouraging. Almost every night has been spent in tears. I’ve never felt like a “mistake”, but these last two weeks, it’s taken every ounce of mental strength that I have to believe otherwise. I’ve lost 6 pounds in two weeks; partly from stress and depression I’m sure. It’s mentally draining trying to figure out how this revised body that I’m living in is functioning. I’ve had to face, head on, realities that starkly contrast the illusions if how I thought life would be for me, post surgery. I’ve had to hear the disappointment in Promise’s voice as she says, “I wish you had never had this surgery AND I wish you never had to take senekot.” I couldn’t agree with her more. I’ve been frustrated with God, wondering how this can all be “good” in my life? I’ve felt exhausted realizing that PHYSICAL HEALING MAY NEVER COME. Suddenly turning 30 years old in January might as well be equivalent to turning 90. I’ve been disappointed in my body and the time that it’s taking to figure all of this out. I’ve spent countless hours on the phone with medical suppliers, ostomy nurses, and the like, trying to find supplies that my body is not allergic to. At times, I’ve wanted to rip everything off, including my skin, because it just itches so bad! I’ve felt completely defeated as my Chiari has flared up, despite getting rid of the straining; as the burning at the base of my skull has gripped me, the pressure in my head resumes, and my arms and joints are too sore to even blow dry my hair (priorities, people, priorities)
I’ve wondered why God would allow me to be pushed to this extreme, after all I’ve already been through.
Tonight, my eyes fell on the title of one of my loved and worn devotionals, “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers.
“Utmost” by definition, means “pushed to your limit” or “extreme”.
And I was reminded, without even opening that little book, that that is the wonderful mystery of suffering. Somehow, by God allowing me to be pushed to my limit, to my extreme range of emotions, He is lifted higher in my life. It’s a mystery that I hope He will someday explain to me, but for now allows me, by His grace, to experience.
So what is my prayer tonight in this darkness? How am I taking another step forward?
“My utmost for your highest, Lord. My utmost for your highest.”