At the beginning of this week I felt as though I was unravelling. My mind was on some kind of helter skelter that sent me downwards in dizzying circles before I realised what was happening.
It was a horrible feeling.
It wasn’t my depression ramping up, but something different. Maybe anxiety with a bit of rigid thinking and a few little compulsive leanings.
I noted it.
I didn’t panic.
I noted my fear about it.
And then I took some action.
I deactivated my personal facebook account – sometimes it all just feels too loud and I feel consumed by my desire to be part of my friend’s lives.
I started listening to early music every time I was in the car- mostly recorders – because it’s steady and beautiful and emotionally that’s good.
I chose to spend time with some local friends. A cup of tea one evening with one. Lunch at a cafe with another.
I worked consistently.
I tried to be present with my children.
I took some exercise and several times a day stepped out into the garden just to breathe the air and the blue sky.
It took a couple of days to get to the quiet place where I could try to understand what was going on, and then as I listened to another woman speak online about failure and grace, I realised what was behind my downward spirals.
It has been a huge part of my life for a few years, and I thought I’d moved out from under its shadow, but it had come back. A little disguised, but once the speaker called it out it was obvious to me.
I don’t know if you’re like me, but I am a huge self-shamer. I heap blame on myself for all kinds of things. And once the blame is there I view myself as a bad and hopeless person and so I reason I might as well be that person. So for example, if I said I’d not eat any biscuits but then I have one, that clearly shows me that I have no willpower, no discipline in any area of my life and so I might as well eat all the biscuits and the chocolate bar, and then I’ll feel as bad as I deserve to feel. Or I don’t make a great dinner for my kids and so I feel shame that I’m a bad mother, and I’m neglecting them. Or I don’t do the work I’d planned to do, so I blame myself for being lazy or fickle, when in fact I’m just tired or doing other things that mattered more.
It’s amazing how blaming and shaming ourselves for little things can turn them into big things which we then think tell us every (bad) thing we need to know about ourselves.
I was letting shame tell me lies and I was believing them.
I have nothing to be ashamed of.
I am a daughter of the King, a disciple of Jesus, and I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
My word(s) for this year is take hold, from the verse in 1 Timothy 6 v 19;
‘Take hold of the life that is truly life’
So that’s what I’m doing today. I’m wrapping God’s grace around me and I’m telling shame it has no place here.