About a week and a half ago, I walked into my house on Sunday morning to find my college roommate, her wife, daughter, and mother sitting at my kitchen counter. It was the most shocking thing to open the door and see them in a setting in which I am not used to seeing them. I believe my exact reaction was, “HOLY SHIT!” (Sometimes I’m not great at censoring myself in front of my kids. #parentingfail)
As I attempted to take in the fact that, yes, you are in my kitchen, and no, I am not dreaming, I finally asked, “What are you doing here?” Her response was, “Once you told us what was going on with your mom, we knew we had to come out as soon as our schedules allowed. So. We’re here.”
As you know, Glennon Doyle Melton is one of my favorite writers/people, and she says this a lot: Just Show Up. And while it can mean a bunch of different things in many different situations, it is what Amber (and Karen and Devyn and Sue!) did for me. She just showed up.
A lot of beautiful souls have sent emails, texts, Facebook messages, and comments on the blog sending their love and prayers to me and my family as we trudge through this next chapter of our lives. Many are people who I don’t know well enough that they would fly 1,500 miles just to boost my spirits for less than three days, so the words are enough and I am so grateful for them. But there was something that passed in the hugs, lingered in the laughs, endured in the stories recounted for the millionth time that fully lifted me out of my depression.
It is OK to feel happiness even when part of you is sad.
I've been violently ill since Monday. It kind of amazes me how the human body can just reject everything and get it all out by any and all means possible. I’m fascinated by the human body in general. I often wonder why I didn't follow that interest and go into the field of biology. But I digress…
Because I have been so sick and on my own for the better part of two days, I've done a lot of thinking. Thinking about the difficulties that have come to pass recently. The heartaches. The binge sessions. The upset stomach that inevitably follows. The kind of person I have and haven’t been. The (now) 20 pounds I have gained.
And then Tuesday morning, I read this:
"The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation...it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize that they create their own love; they manufacture their own meaning; they generate their own motivation. For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: Know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you." ~Neil deGrasse Tyson
Sitting around and waiting for things to happen to me has never worked out. Create, manufacture, generate…these are the actions that bring about results. My mental and emotional health is at as much risk as my physical, and unless I choose to do something different, I will continue on this unsatisfying path where I ignore the people who love me, feel near-constant anxiety over what has not yet come to pass, not to mention that none of my pants fit. (Praise the gods for leggings and baggy sweaters!)
I think my body has sent me a message these last few days. “You’re getting cleaned out because the way you are treating me is ridiculous. I deserve better.” And even though it’s not the way I would have chosen to have done it, I am 10 pounds lighter today than I was Monday morning. I feel actual hunger for the first time in weeks. My heart and frame aren't so heavy. I hear my mind, body, and soul talking to me and, more importantly, I am listening.