Tuesday, February 18, 2014

a minute to say something

i'm trying this new thing where i try to say what i feel instead of bottling it up inside.
sounds easy enough, right?

say what you mean,
say what you think,
say what's on your mind,
say what you feel.
but it is so much harder than that. 

because i am confronted with all these things, like:
  • the fear of the reaction(s) i will be met with
  • all the reasons i shouldn't say what i feel (like: i shouldn't feel this way, what right do i have?, that's not appropriate, what will people think?, i will upset someone if i let them know i feel this way, etc.)
  • those feeling don't matter/aren't valid (why are you even feeling this way in the first place?)

let's just assume everyone knows what happens when people bottle up their feelings and ask endless cycles of unrelenting questions internally (or worse, spin in never-ending shame-spirals).

so, let me start this blog post by saying, i have been struggling for the past month and a half.

i have been sad.
for no reason.
i have beat myself up.
for many reasons... that i convince myself are legitimate reasons, but are probably not.

and for several weeks, i simultaneously wanted to tell everyone--wanted to scream at them, don't you see how sad i am? don't you notice?-- and keep it a secret from everyone--nope, everything is normal over here. see how happy i am (not)?

i mean, what did i have to be sad about? no one in my family is sick or dying. i have a full-time job doing something i love and am passionate about. i even have health insurance. i am happily married. i have two dogs. i can afford a comfortable apartment and food to eat. i even have a nice vacation planned.

but i was still sad.
for no reason.
and i still beat myself up.
inside of my mind.

so, then, i finally told someone (my husband):
i'm not happy.
"have you been taking your vitamins?"
no. not consistently. (internal beating-up of self)
"well, you should. you know they help. remember last year?"
yeah. fine. but i think it could be more than that...
"well, try taking your vitamins first."

and i told someone else (a friend):
i haven't been myself lately. i think maybe it's SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
"well, the weather has been terrible."
yeah. (i simultaneously wish it was more than that and that it was that easy---let's blame the weather!)
"have you been exercising?"
no. i've felt like hibernating all the time. 
"haven't we all? but maybe you should try exercising."

great practical solutions. things i had been telling myself for weeks. i felt a bit better, but it wasn't enough somehow.

so, at church, when my priest announced he would offer special healing during communion, i thought about going over. maybe this was what i needed.
   but do i really need special healing or prayer because i'm sad?
   is that really worth praying over?
   look at the line. i bet people have problems far worse than mine. 
   maybe i just won't stop.

but i stopped.
and i waited.
and i reflected. i mean, what exactly would i say?
then, my turn came:

i've been struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder, and i just...i need help. 
wait. was is really that simple? 
as he placed his hands on my head and prayed, i felt tears forming.  
(they are forming as i type this)
so, i just gave in:
i let him hold my head and say the words i couldn't.
i let myself take a deep breathe and say "amen."
and when i stood up, i felt...better.

no completely prayer-solved-all-my-problems better
but better somehow.

because i had admitted i was struggling
(which was a step further than saying i was sad),
then i asked for help.

i hadn't been able to do that before.
i hadn't been able to say i needed help.
i wanted to solve my own problems.
but i wasn't.
i wanted to fix it.
but i couldn't.
and that made me feel like something was wrong with me.

but it's not.
i'm just struggling a little.
and that doesn't make me wrong.
or mean that i need fixing.
that makes me human.
that means i am me, exactly as i am.
and i am OK.

so, here is what i have to say:

God, the universe, my dear friends, my precious family,

sometimes, i am sad.
sometimes, i don't know why.
oftentimes, i don't want to talk about it because it frustrates me. 
that doesn't mean i don't want to talk to you 
   --although it may mean i don't have the energy for long conversations.
please don't take it personally. 

i have learned that while i seem extroverted
   --and i thrive on the energy of those around me--
i need recovery time
   --more of me is introverted than i previously thought-- 
i need to recharge.
sometimes, i need to do this completely alone.
sometimes, i may need you there. 
just to sit there with me. 
in silence. 
maybe you will even play with me hair or hug me...
maybe you won't.
and that's ok. 

sometimes, i am sad.
sometimes, i need help.
but don't try to fix me
   --try to be there for me instead.
let me feel your love. 
and i will be ok.  


  1. Hugs. So many hugs. And not "I'll-fix-it!" hugs, but just supportive, silent hugs. <3

  2. And if hugs don't do it, here's some Hedwig - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=740TB17Dsn0

  3. This is something I struggle with too. But you articulated it so beautifully. Like, so amazingly. *You're* amazing. Love you Mallory. :)

  4. You know *very* well how much I struggle with this. You have always, ALWAYS been there for me when I needed it, and you never tried to fix me. And I will always be there for you if you need it. And don't you forget it! Love you so much. <3 And very well articulated - you've always been so good at that. :-)