Not so good in recovery.
I woke up.
Evidently that was not supposed to happen. I lay there in recovery with huge, hot tears of disappointment. I felt heavy with dread.
My nurse was fussing around me, "are you in pain?". "No 'mam".
"Are you OK?", long pause....
"I was hoping I wouldn't wake up".
Evidently they don't get that very often.
She continued to check my vitals, and stay busy (I don't know with what, my face was turned away and I couldn't see through the tears.) She handed me a tissue and lay her hand on my arm. She leaned in close so she wouldn't be heard and shared her story. A time of hopelessness. A time when an emotional breakdown was looming. She shared how "without the Lord" she couldn't have made it. Her testimony and her caring were very real.
I used to be her. My very breath dependent on the Fathers presence and love.
I didn't have the strength to tell her that I was now the exception to the "God rule". The rule that says "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." or "He is able to do exceedingly above all we think or ask." She felt she had done her duty and passed me off to the next person.
How many people have I given the same genuine testimony to and then passed them on? Sharing all God has done in my life is an amazing story. A story of physical healing and deliverance from addiction. Stories of jail time I didn't have to serve. Of being forgiven for theft and destruction of property. Of moments of glory where I danced with joy and sang beautiful songs of praise. Such awesomeness. A place I thought I would dwell in for life and carry into eternity.
It wasn't her passing me on that is wrong. She did what she could. She may even be praying for me today (I can use all I can get).
In the time before this time, when I wasn't who I am, I would listen to and pray for others. Like her, I believed it wasn't me that was going to make the difference. I was only a vessel willing to be used. I did my part and then I passed them into the Fathers hands.
But I question that process now. There is a shallowness to it (at least on my part there was). I willingly listened to a persons struggles and pain and felt secure in the validity of the scriptures and prayers I offered.
But where was the love? Where was the "I'll get down in the dirt with you and stay until you walk out of this hole" kind of love?
I can question this now because I questioned it then. I gave what I could but I always knew I couldn't give my all.
They say that "you can't give away what you don't have."
I had and still have no love for myself. No belief in my worth or the probability of my ultimate victory over pain. So when I ministered to others I could only give what I had.
I would give, but in truth I did not want a homeless person living on my couch. I did not want a drug head destroying my perfect home. I did not want calls in the middle of the night from someone struggling with depression or whose child had just run away. I did not want to go the baby showers, weddings or be involved with the birthing process of the people I ministered to. I wanted to pray for them, give them all the "right answers" and not be bothered until next Wed. or Sun.
I lived a shallow Christian life, one void of true love.
I was trying to survive. I was dying with my own physical and emotional pain. My own children were drugging, lost and homeless. My heart was a vast chasm. My soul (my mind, my will and my emotions) were very "unwell".
And all around me were the same like-minded Christian people. Genuine on the outside. But I can barely name a hand-full who walk daily in genuine concern and love. These people are the ones who put their own physical need for sleep, food and shelter aside in order to walk beside and hold up the hurting.
I am a harsh and judgmental person. I am probably way off balance on this subject. I am sure I am judging others according to my own lack. I have never been willing to sacrifice "me and my comforts" for others and I just assume that others are just as selfish and self serving.
I am bitter. I lost my home, I lost my faith & I was destroyed by my "perfect storm". I was very transparent and many, many people know.
But only one person, in a church of over a thousand, has ever called or come to my home (two if you count my husband) to check on me, to pray with me, to give me hope.
What was I to say to that well meaning nurse? There are no words or amount of time to share my heart. So I just said "thank you" and let them roll me away. Back to the same life, the same pain, the same maze that I can't find a way out of and where I feel I will continue to slowly die.
When I started seeing my therapist in March he gave me an assignment to write myself a letter. It was to begin, "Dear Elle, there are some thing I've been needing to talk to you about...."
The letter could be long or short (bet you can't guess which one I went with ;). It could stop and restart. Spelling, punctuation, etc did not matter.
This was right up my alley and I thought "if this is what therapy is like I should be healed and normal in no time!!" (Unfortunately that has not been the case). But I knew I could write, and write I did. By the time I returned some 2 weeks later I think I had written 6 letters totalling 17 pages.
I would like share the first one I wrote. I left his office, bought a journal and headed to "my" park. I sat on a table near the water and wrote:
I am so sorry I have led you on this journey. If I had known the pain of your life would be so unbearable, I would have chosen much differently.
I wish I had known how short this life is and how quickly one can get to a place where it is just "too far" to turn back. A place that is "too close" to the end for change and for realizing what a lousy job of living you did.
There's so much I would change. Actually, there is very little I would keep. I wish I had paid more attention to the details. I wish I had memories, and moments to share with you. I have so little clarity and so many blank pages. So many blank years.
If I could send myself a song, just like I wrote myself a letter, what would it say?
I don't really know but this one has some good ideas. So here is a song from me to me.
"First Day of My Life" Bright Eyes
"This is the first day of my life
I swear I was born right in the doorway
I went out in the rain suddenly everything changed
They're spreading blankets on the beach
Yours is the first face that I saw
I think I was blind before I met you
Now I don't know where I am
I don't know where I've been
But I know where I want to go
And so I thought I'd let you know
That these things take forever
I'm especially slow
But I realize that I need you
And I wondered if I could come home
Remember the time you drove all night
Just to meet me in the morning
And I thought it was strange you said everything changed
You felt as if you'd just woke up
And you said "this is the first day of my life"
I'm glad I didn't die before I met you
But now I don't care I could go anywhere with you
I'd probably be happy"
So if you want to be with me
With these things there's no telling
We just have to wait and see
But I'd rather be working for a paycheck
Than waiting to win the lottery
Besides maybe this time is different
I mean I really think you like me"
Have a good one and call me sometime, elle