It is a rare afternoon that I am home by 3:30 with no agenda stretching into the evening.
This is one of those afternoons, and yet, it has come with a cost. It cost me much pride, as I admitted to a group of people who were counting on me that I needed space tonight. Space to care for my family. Space to care for my heart. Space to breathe and reflect on where I am in the overwhelmingness of life right now.
I am grateful that this group is safe enough for me to share honestly. They heard me with much grace. It feels shameful and embarrassing to admit my struggle. I am trying to be kind to myself in acknowledging this need.
My heart has been in a difficult place these past few
weeks months, and I have kept on. I haven’t spent much time reflecting, figuring out, processing or caring for myself and those closest to me. I have done the next thing and the next and the one after that.
This is all well and good. We need to do the next thing. We need to keep commitments and obligations and feed our family and provide clean clothes for everyone to wear. We need to be able to be counted on.
Somewhere in there, though, I started to drown. Rather than reach out and speak up, I tried to manage. In all honesty, I don’t even know if I recognize well when I am drowning.
There is an article that surfaces in the summer about what it looks like when a child is drowning. I can relate to not being able to call out for help and not being able to move towards help. I know how it feels to focus all available energy on just trying to survive while quietly slipping away.
Emotional drowning and physical drowning feel eerily similar to me.
In this moment I am home from work. Three of the five at home kids are here doing after school stuff together. They are playing and romping and experiencing and resolving conflict. I can hear them through my closed bedroom door.
I sit on my bed in comfy clothes, laptop and blinds open, alternately tapping out words and thoughts and gazing up at the blue sky through the window. I try to be mindful in this space and not feel panic that it will end too soon.
Tonight I will be here for my husband and children. I will receive an evening of grace extended by those who had to make alternate plans because of me.
I can’t take it back and say never mind. Just kidding. I’m really fine.
I let them see.
We will meet together next week to process and discuss and figure out what’s next. I will have to face them in person in all of my broken vulnerability, not just through a group email.
I will choose to take this risk to reach out and be known.
To receive grace.