My naked soul

    I just yesterday finished a book that resonated with me so deeply it has inspired me to write.  The book was “Best Kept Secret” by Amy Hatvany.  The plot is essentially about a woman, a mother, whose husband leaves her.  Forced to raise her son on her own, she spirals down into the world of addiction, specifically alcoholism.  The book chronicles not only her downward spiral but her recovery process as well.  That is what resonated with me- the recovery process. While I am not recovering from alcoholism, I am recovering from childhood sexual abuse, and the recovery process is in many ways the same.  As I was reading, and when I was finished I had a thought, a rather profound thought.  How many women are out there suffering? How many women that are someone’s wife, mother, daughter, friend, aunt, and coworker are addicted? How many are struggling with wounds so deep that they don’t know how or where to begin to voice or process the pain? How many of these women are hiding behind a smile and the pretense that life is a bowl of cherries?

      Why do we hide? Why do plaster a smile on our face and keep going? Why do we pretend that life is big bowl of cherries when inside we want to curl up and die?  The answer sounds so simple but is really quite complicated; we are full to the brim of shame and guilt. We believe so many lies about ourselves, that we don’t where to start looking for truth.  We are afraid that if we open and let out what is consuming us, we will be judged, rejected, and discarded like trash. Mommies fear losing their babies, wives fear losing their husbands, and we fear losing our families.   All this fear holds us back, heaps on more shame, guilt, and lies in a soul already overflowing.

                    Sometimes, something happens and we can’t hide any longer.  Some women get caught in their addiction and get put in treatment, others admit they have a problem and seek help. Some of us finally admit we are drowning in our pain and cry for help. Then the hard part really starts. Turns out living with the pain is easy, recovery is hard. I am going to share with you a bit about my recovery process, in hopes that a woman suffering somewhere will read this and find the courage and strength to get help.

                       Ripping open my soul and exploring the trash that lies there in front of a therapist has been and still is,  like being naked in front of a room full of people.  Admitting I have problems and pain is like exposing me to the worse possible weather elements imaginable. Admitting all the wrong I have done, and the hurt I have caused has been embarrassing and humbling. Asking forgiveness to those I have wronged is torture, forgiving myself sometimes seems like an unattainable goal.

                 The more shame and guilt I have uncovered and dealt with, the more that seems to float up to the surface.  I have had to learn to let it go, to be ok with me, to accept and love myself. For each lie I have uncovered, I have had to replace it with truth, and try that truth on and wear it until it becomes comfortable.   I believed the lie that in recovery there would no more dark moments. The truth is there has been dark moments and dark days. I have been frustrated with the journey, when I have taken steps back instead of steps forward; I have gotten so exhausted I think I can’t go another step. And sometimes the pain has been so bad I have begged God to let me die, or I have contemplated ways of doing it myself. I have wanted to curl up in my bed and take a break from life I have been so overwhelmed. I have worried my strong, loving husband to the point he has feared he would come home and find me dead. There have been days I am so anxious doing the simplest tasks has been like climbing Mt. Everest.  My relationships have changed, and as I have gotten rid of the all the pain, shame, and guilt I have been left with feeling of emptiness.

                        People have told me you go to God; He will take this away and deliver you. I have begged God to instantly heal me, to take all this way. He hasn’t, not any of it. He has made me walk every single difficult, tear ridden, painful, screaming step.  Only then did I find the healing.  I have been unable to pray anything but my tears sometimes, but I know each one has been precious to Him. I have lost my faith and my hope in Him, only to discover that He always gives me just enough grace and strength to go on.

                    Here is the silver lining: in all this there is hope. The eye of the hurricane is always calm, so know that somewhere in the midst of the storm raging inside you there is calm.  And as with all storms, this too shall one day pass.  Recovery is a process, and it can be a rather lengthy one.  Be patient with the process. Give yourself grace, and care, not harsh criticism. This has become an essential truth in my recovery process.  All that emptiness I feel I know will one day be filled up. I am discovering who I am without the shame, pain, lies, and guilt. I have less dark moments and dark days. When I do have them I find light and truth. You will too.   Remember this: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.   All of us have pain and struggles. Find a group, go to AA, get a good therapist or counselor, do what you need to do to be well. You are worth the time and energy.  God loves you, and even though it might seem like He has abandoned you, I can assure you He hasn’t.   Let your tears flow, pour out your heart to him.   He will give you the grace and strength you need to go on.  You, your tears, and your pain are incredibly precious to Him.  You can do this; you can recover and be well. I am, and if I can do it, you can to. Be well and be brave my reader friends

August 22, 2013. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.