Becoming and Unbecoming

Becoming and Unbecoming

I thought that by the time I was ready to write about this I would be able to present it as a glory story, all neat and tidy with a bow. I would have a nugget of sage advice for anyone that might be dealing with the same thing. If I waited for that I think I might never write again.

I always think I need to have things figured out before I can reflect on them, especially before hitting publish on a public post presenting that reflection. Maybe it is OK to not have this wrapped up with a bow? Maybe the journey, as much as I hate “journey” cliches, is worth more than the conclusion?

Looking back, I think it is clear that I have been rather depressed for most of my life. I won’t pretend to know the root causes. Some seasons of life have plunged me deeper into the darkness than others: both times postpartum, the loss of my Gramma, and most especially the loss of my brother. If I am honest with myself, I have been drowning ever since his death. I have been drowning and have been too stubborn and proud to ask for help. Slowly I shut down from my family, my irritability reached an all time high, and more and more I would find myself fighting off dark thoughts.

You should never have been a mother.

You aren’t doing enough.

They would be better off without you.

I can’t handle one more day in my skin.

Seeing how negatively this was affecting my ability to mother was what finally pushed me to seek help, and in December I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and prescribed Zoloft and referred to a therapist. Getting used to the medication was not easy. It relieved my anxiety almost immediately, but I think I was hiding my darkness behind the tense anxiety. I spent two weekends in January unable to leave my bed, battling the darkness head-on. But, in the midst of this despair I nearly completely neglected my faith. I stopped praying. I was unable to lean on God in my anguish and tried, quite futilely, to pull my own self out of darkness.

I am finally adjusting well. My anxiety is tempered. My despair is minimal. My motivation is returning. However, it is still obvious that I cannot take on too much, which will always been my tendency, without very quickly becoming overwhelmed and sinking. For now, I think that is OK. I think it is OK to have limits. To ease back into life. To reclaim myself, or possibly, just claim myself truly for the first time.

In much of my reflection I have finally understood that I have been burying myself for as long as I can remember. I had been pushing myself into a box that I did not fit into, hiding my deep emotions and my wonderful, dreamy idealism. This is going to be silly, but I am quite obsessed with Myers Briggs personality typing and for as long as I can remember I typed as an INTJ. I could see a lot of INTJ traits in myself, but there were a lot of things that didn’t fit. Recently, with fresh and honest eyes, I retook the test and it resulted in INFP and I have never felt so completely understood reading articles about the quirks to this type.

A dear friend shared a quote with me during one of my darkest moments in January.

“It’s not fair to treat people as if they are finished beings. Everyone is always becoming and unbecoming.” -Kathleen Winter

This is my battle cry of sorts. I am in the midst of my own unbecoming and becoming. I am undoing many years of self-loathing and learning to love myself in my own skin, as God made me.

So, no, I do not have this glory story to share like I hoped I might. My story is still being written, and probably, I will never be able to share the glorious ending with anyone still on this earth. But, I hope to share it in eternity.

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3 thoughts on “Becoming and Unbecoming

  1. I love you with all my heart. I know its hard battling depression just know you are not alone. to be honest with you Amanda I don’t know if i would have survived Jacobs death with out you. some days are harder than others but every day I try to find something to smile about. I am glad that you are praying again God would not abandon you. so don’t you abandon you either, I gave up trying to make sense of the tragedies in life and have finally accepted that happiness is just a word who’s meaning is what you make it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. On a Faith-based note, I was once reminded by a chaplain that sometimes, just maybe, all we can do is simply sit at the foot of the cross. Not say anything, not listen. Just sit. And, be still. That, in and of itself is a prayer. And, can be pretty emotionally powerful or cathartic. So, don’t let Satan plant the seeds of doubt that you weren’t “able” to pray – or, that you aren’t worthy. He will rob us of our joy in our lives, if we let him!

    On a mental health note – I absolutely applaud you taking steps to seek outside help. That takes a strong, courageous woman/person, not only to recognize you need help, but then to accept said help! It’s not quite the “end result” we look toward, but the here and now/the journey which should be our focus.

    You are amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

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