Sink or Float
All week long, I’ve circled the pool, eyeing the water and coming close to dipping a toe in. But not quite. A dip will break the surface. There are things under there that can grab me. The water is still, so I can see what’s below. Some of the things I tied down with bricks are working their way up. Doubts. I consider confronting them, but I’m not sure if they’ll sink or if I will.
There are things left unsaid. They’ll find their way onto the pages of someone else’s story. Nicole’s, most likely. But what about my story? I’m trying so hard not to hear the doubts. They’re clever and convincing. They play chess with emotions. Say it or don’t say it. Chew on it. Hide. Don’t lie, but don’t ever come completely out of the cave. There’s that little secret thing that makes it where you can exit quietly and then be angry when no one notices. Hold that like an ace up your sleeve so you can use it again when things get iffy. Hold onto it like your therapist can’t see it. But maybe she does. Maybe she has all along. If you hide it today, it has to stay hidden.
Loneliness waves from the shadows and crooks his finger. He’s so predictable that it’s almost comforting to think about curling up with him. He doesn’t ask questions or criticize. He wants company badly enough to accept anyone. It’s so easy.
I don’t want to go to him, so I dip my toes in the water. “Let’s do this.”
Missing the Murky
I wrote the piece above months ago when I was about to stop going to therapy. It was the only thing I wrote during that time that I never shared with my therapist. The lure of loneliness is strong. If it becomes your crutch, you can actually miss it when you start doing better.
I’ve been studying the gift of desperation this week, both in re:generation and in my women’s Bible study. And I see a pattern in my past. When I think I’ve beaten my demons, I stop seeking help. And then I wander back into my cave, at first out of habit, and then out of fear. I don’t have to tell anyone how I’m feeling when I’m there. I don’t have to deal with how I’m feeling.
Trust the Process
They say it all the time and even comment on how often they say it. Trust the process. After six weeks, I feel so strong, not tempted by my cave. I feel connected to my group leaders and fellow group members. My habits are better, my quiet time is solid. I’m even praying again. It would be so easy now to throw out my chest and declare myself well. We have a few bottles of antibiotics in our medicine cabinet with one or two pills left in them for this exact reason. When the symptoms settle, we think we’re healed.
But I’m staying the course, trusting the process. There really are things still tied down that I’m not excited to see coming to the surface. But I’m going to face them, and I’m not alone.
Do you find isolation comforting?