Coming Out of the Deep Dark Pit
I’m a fake sometimes. I lie often. Most days, I just want to go to sleep and never wake up. I stopped writing about the deep pit of #Lyme Life, but I’m still struggling. When people ask me how I’m doing, I dodge the question most of the time or I just say, “ok.”
Seeing the light
Well, it’s not like in 2015 or even the deep pit of 2016, when I was basically bed to chair. I actually spoke 26 times in 2015! Unbelievable. Granted, about half of those events were telephone interviews that I did in my pjs, but I brought it. I brushed my teeth, sat up and delivered. I got on stage full of pain killers, but I did it!
2017 has been better, but so depressing. I can manage to keep the house fairly clean. There are just three adults and two dogs. I learned how to reserve enough energy to go out with my husband occasionally and I even drive to meetings once in a while. The problem is that I look fine and because I have that much energy, it seems like I should be able to do so much more.
I can see the light, but it’s like when you haven’t cleaned for a while and you put the lights on to see what needs to be done. You notice all the cobwebs in the corners of the ceiling. Or you’re going to have a cookout with friends and notice there isn’t enough furniture, the grill is too small and there isn’t any beer. I’m still coming up so short.
Asking for help
Asking for help is hard, but it is nearly devastating when you ask and get lip service. “Sure, I’ll do that,” without corresponding action is the worst. Asking improperly or in a round-about way doesn’t help soften the blow either. Because then, you think you’ve asked and the other person doesn’t. It’s worse.
It’s so isolating to be sick for a long time. People go on with their lives and they should, but we don’t reach out when we need them, it’s not rejection, even though it feels like it is. Feelings lie.
I want to do so much more and I know so many of you do too. We can get stuck in a cycle of defeat. There is an art to asking for help that I have yet to master, even with my own family. Thankfully, there are so many people online teaching communication skills and such things. Someday, it’ll be easy.
The Ladder of success
When I was young, I envisioned the ladder of success to be on the ground and set against a high wall and all you have to do is work hard at it and climb. Oh, I knew that there would be others and of course, I would give them a hand up on the way. I would certainly not step on anyone’s fingers as they climbed to pass me. My philosophy has always been to be a conduit of the goodness I have received from God.
God gave me a supernatural dream that saved my daughter’s life and gave me the strength to get out of personal sexual servitude after years of terrible deprivations and the brutality of human trafficking. We didn’t start on the ground. I was way under ground, but I started school two weeks after she was born and I went to nursing school the next summer. I was on the ground by then and I met a wonderful man, who would become my husband. Together, we have sought to serve people as that conduit of goodness to the people around us.
The ladder of success isn’t like any ladder you would ever construct. It’s full of broken rungs and it isn’t linear. Success is a fleeting intangible. We’d be trekking along and raising our kids and experience a church split. Then, our foray into real estate investing during the crash brought us back to earth. Then, Lyme disease and a hundred things in between. At this point, I’d be happy just to see the ground again.
I’m coming clean with my friends and family and you. Life has been rough. I thought if I wrote positive messages and said positive things that it would magically make it all better, but it hasn’t. Actually, I just feel like a fake. I often cry through posts that are meant to encourage. The intent is to encourage myself as much as anyone.
I keep getting invitations to speak. Thank God! But, people seem to expect me to be all together awesome and I’m not at all. I know my subject and I tailor every talk. Life is still messy. They say, “We love the work you’re doing.” I’m like, what? I sit in my pjs 80% of my waking hours alone. I want to be doing so much more, but I have difficulty grasping technology, have very little money, and far less energy than I’d need to do half of the things I want to do.
I will always do my best for my clients, but is that enough? It doesn’t feel like enough. I do my best for my family, but it doesn’t feel like enough. I can see the light, but it’s still out of reach and I don’t know how to get to the next step, how to shake the dust off.
There it is
I truly hope you have a very happy new year. Me too. I hope to be able to shake off the dust of this pit and turn around to show others how it’s done. It’s dark now, though.
Coming out of this deep dark pit is way harder that I could have imagined, but I know it will be worth it. I really hope you never have to experience anything like it, but if you do, you can rest assured that you are not alone and that I’ll be rooting for you to climb out and brush off the debris.