13 October 2015

the view from the roundabout

When I began this long road to healing, a lot was happening at once - I'll stand in the roundabout and turn in a circle to look down each avenue, in order to give a bit more of a 3-dimensional view of my life at that time.

I tried really hard to be a good Christian.  Our family had recently served in Nigeria for two years as missionaries.  I loved serving in youth ministry, going to Bible studies, and singing on the worship team.  I faithfully attended church, adult Life Groups, taught preschool Sunday School, helped with Vacation Bible School and summer Junior Camp.  

I worked hard to take care of my family and home.  I cooked and baked (mostly from scratch), cleaned, drove my kids to and from piano, soccer, dance, play dates, and Wednesday night church activities.  I also cared for children in my home, so I would do activities with them, plan fun field trips and play dates.  I was a homeschooling mom involved in a homeschool co-op, so I spent a lot of time working with my children on their schoolwork, lesson planning for the classes I taught, and  sometimes developing my own lesson plans, to round out my children's education.  

At this time, too, I began to study online for my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education.  I took two or three classes a semester, so I spent a lot of time reading, writing, and working on other assignments for classes.

I had many friendships that I kept up with.  Periodically, I would plan group "coffee nights," where we would put our kids to bed and then leave dads in charge while we met for talk, laughter, and encouragement for a couple of hours.  I spent time regularly with many friends, during the day or evening.

I don't think anyone would have guessed at that time that I battled depression, that I was gripped by a terrible self-loathing, or that the outer shell of my life concealed a river of rage, constantly bubbling just under the surface.  In 2006, my private life slowly began to come apart at the seams as I found myself unable to keep functioning in the face of debilitating depression.  In hand with the feelings and beliefs about myself that I struggled with, I began to cultivate an eating disorder in 2007, and then to cut myself in 2008.  These behaviours served many purposes:  to dispel shame and self-loathing, to quiet unwelcome and disquieting thoughts in my head, to satisfy a desire to hurt myself, to be in control of something in my life, to defy God, to quell the desperate emotional pain I was becoming aware of.  I suffered with insomnia and anxiety; I often had suicidal thoughts. Around this time, I was also diagnosed with a mental illness.

No comments:

Post a Comment