Friday Feels: November 2018

I can't believe this is actually my first post of this month! Things have been pretty crazy for me lately - and while I know I say that pretty much all the time, I've also come to accept that the frequency of the twists and turns in my life doesn't negate their existence.

November has been an adventure for me because certain things are finally starting to play out and I feel so much like I'm in limbo. My van is truly on it's last legs; when I drive it, it literally sounds like a toddler carrying a box of legos. It's bad. But right now it's still running - which means that while much of my life lately consists of constant tire and fluid checks, at least I'm still able to get the girls and I to our appointments.

Speaking of which, due to various circumstances, including another scary week of my mom being in the hospital, neither Eden or I have been able to attend therapy in the last couple of weeks - and boy are we missing it! For me, it's showing up in a pretty deep depression that killed my motivation and drove my pain levels through the roof in the last couple of weeks - for her, it's showing up in increased boundary-testing and sometimes outright defiance.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel, and I can literally see God's plan for my family coming together. I can't wait to be able to share more of it with you guys, but for right now, some things are just best kept under wraps. In the meantime, I think Friday Feels is a spectacular way to come back from the unplanned hiatus of the last week, don't you?

I love that we're starting November with my favorite random emotion generator - and that I can use this time to get my head straight after having had so much going on all at once!

1. Annoyed:
I've had a ton going on in my life this year, and sometimes I feel like the landscape of my life is changing too fast for me to keep up with. It's terrifying. But all the same, if I stop to look, I can already see how even the things that frustrate me are working for the good. I can literally see the building blocks being set in place, literally see the changes working out just in time for one thing to feed the next, to feed the next, and so on.

So if I can see that, then why am I so afraid? Why do I feel so precarious, so uncertain? And with God showing Himself in my life in such huge ways that I don't even feel like I can share them  with the people around me (sometimes not even with the people playing extremely important roles in my life), how dare I feel even the slightest bit of doubt? My lack of faith and trust are driving me crazy - I'm like a child crying over being hungry, while laying in the kitchen floor as my Father cooks dinner right in front of me.

I still have so much growing to do.

2. Anxious:
My mother just spent a week in the hospital. She's of very fragile health, so this was another thing to be worried over. She looks like the live-action version of Mama Coco from the Disney Pixar movie ... except that my once pleasantly plump mother is now a stoop-shouldered, crepe-papered, clumsy, bruised, bitter, belligerent woman barely able to break 100 pounds on the scale. She's showing all the early signs of dementia, which sucks because her mother is currently in the end stages of Alzheimer's and isn't expected to hold on for more than a few months at best.

I won't even get into how utterly horrifying that is for me personally, and how my soul very literally quakes with fear at the idea that that might be my own future.

In the meantime, I'm kept awake at night with these (among other) anxieties - How will I tell my mother when her mother is gone? I'm honestly not sure my mother can take that news. And if she doesn't take it well ... then how do I tell my daughters? Will I be burying both my grandmother and my mother?

3. Confused:
With the overwhelm of everything going on, I've been battling a recurrence of my PTSD symptoms - not that they had really gone away, but they're much worse lately - I was remarking to my therapist earlier today that I had been in a situation where I was hypervigilant enough to be sitting in a room, trembling with anxiety, completely aware of every person surrounding me, and still able to hear the swish of paper towels as a cleaning lady worked in a room down the hall from where I was. I've been battling a loss of motivation, a drop in hope. Increased brain fog, irritability, exhaustion ... pain.

So how is it that I'm struggling so much and yet so incredibly hopeful?

4. Dismal:
It occurred to me recently while I was struggling through dinner on what I like to refer to as a "ten day" that I'm only 34 years old. Not like I didn't know that and suddenly realized it, but that I realized I'm only 34. The average lifespan of an American woman is around 80 years old, and both of my grandmothers surpassed 80. One of my grandmothers is still alive.

That means I could have about 50 years left in my life. 50 more years of chronic pain? 50 more years?? You guys, that's 18,250 days.

Nothing has ever discouraged me more.

5. Distant:
I've talked about this here before, but because it's what I've been feeling (or not feeling?) lately, I suppose it's worth mentioning again.

Emotional numbness (sometimes complete dissociation) is both a blessing and a curse - a curse because it makes it harder to feel even the good things in my life: hope, joy, enthusiasm, motivation, energy. Love. But it's a blessing too, because it cuts me off from the harder things that would otherwise make it just about impossible for me to function. Guilt, shame, grief, sadness, pain, fear. Brokenness.

Sometimes I can feel happiness in the moment simply because I can recognize what a blessing it is not to feel any of the rest.

6. Miserable:
It's almost funny, how powerless I feel sometimes. I'll sit with my therapist and tell her about what's going on in my life, what I'm feeling, how I'm struggling, how impatient I am with everything, and how hard it is for me to do everything I possibly can but still be unable to change so many things.

In the moment, she'll encourage me, remind me of what I have done, line up my accomplishments and the forward strides I've taken in the time I've been working with her. But I still see so much of what I need to do, where I want to go. She reminds me to look back at where I came from and give myself credit for being where I am as a person ... and yet ... it's so easy to get caught up in the journey left ahead and my uncertainty about how to get where I'm going.

7. Offended:
In an effort to be both honest and tactful, I'm just gonna say this and move on ... Any person who can walk away from a child without even bothering to look back is a piece of shit garbage excuse for a human.

8. Pessimistic:
I swear, this really is totally random, but I'll admit I'm pretty amused by how so many of this month's ten emotions were on the negative side, especially in light of how challenging things have been for me lately. I literally refresh the generator I use ten times, alphabetize the results, and then go from there - and I'm never less than amazed by how perfectly aligned the emotions that come up always are.

As for pessimism? I'll admit I've had more than my fair share lately of days where I'm in the dumps. What if this doesn't work out? What if that doesn't come through? What if this takes too long? What if that falls through before the next step is ready? And because so much of my life has been so hard, I almost expect it now - like I'm afraid of the light at the end of my tunnel, because in my experience that light is always a train.

9. Stubborn:
Despite the tendency to pessimism, the thing I think I'm most stubborn with lately is my sense of hope - I need it, otherwise I'll just lay down and quit, and I can't quit. My kids need me to not quit. So I hope, even when it's hard. Even when it all looks impossible. Even when I'm lost and broken and afraid.

I still make myself sit still, take a deep breath, and spend a few minutes believing that my day is coming, that things can and will turn around, that I have purpose, that God has a plan for my life and my family, and that in 2019, I'm going to end up with one hell of an amazing story to tell.

10. Timid:
Human emotions are weird though. The truth is, as stubborn as I am in hope, I'm also afraid of it. I hold onto it, cling to it, depend on it - but all the same, I've had a lot of disappointment and sadness over the years, and after a while, I think it's only human to begin to expect that.

Imagine walking out your front door on a beautiful morning, only to have an elephant sized bucket of crap tip over on your head. Imagine that happening randomly, about every couple of days or weeks, for maybe three decades.

How long would it take for you to be afraid to walk out the door, no matter how beautiful it looks outside, no matter how much you want to go outside, no matter how desperate you are for the sunshine?

My dog can be so desperate to get outside to potty that he'll tremble and shake with the effort of holding it - but when it's storming outside, he'd rather have his bowels burst than risk getting rained on.

I mean really, I'm only human.

If you're still reading this, thank you for sticking around. I appreciate you backing me up. It matters to me that you care enough to be here even when I'm struggling, even when I'm negative - and even when I've missed several posts because I couldn't bring myself to write them. Thank you.

What are you feeling lately?

If you liked this post, drop a comment below! I'd love your feedback, as well as the chance to interact with you! It would also be great if you could share the link to this post with your friends - it helps me connect with new readers, bringing new exposure to the Undaunted Army and what we hope to accomplish!

Speaking of the Army, I'd like to personally invite you to take your place among those who have bravely fought and survived the battles of life. Addiction, abuse, violence, divorce, parenting, illness, and other traumas are real battles too; those who suit up to fight every day have a right and an obligation to nurture their own health, well-being, and self-empowerment. I know how hard it can be to keep going - but there is strength in numbers, and as a member of the Undaunted Army, you have the hope of knowing that you will never have to fight your battles alone again. Let's keep in touch: become a member of the Undaunted Army to stay caught up on all the most important news.

Or, help me continue to make a difference in coaching others to connect with their Undaunted spirit through empowering women's romantic fiction. Invest in the bigger goal of the Undaunted Army for just $1 a month. You can also wear your Undaunted Pride right out in the open by sporting Undaunted Army merch!

However we stay connected, always know that my brand and the Undaunted Army are built on what I write and who I'm writing it for. "Love Stories and Lifestyle for the Undaunted Woman" isn't just a slogan or a tagline - it's a purpose and a goal, which is why, whether you're a first time reader or a long-time loyal follower ... from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for being here.