I feel like I've been pretty honest about my journey with mental health, yet I don't always go around advertising it. I like to know that the treatments I'm receiving are indeed working as they should, so I like to drop the bomb on people to see if they've ever noticed without me expressly handing them the information. With that being said, I also try to keep things as positive as possible. I try to look at the blessings over the trials, the triumphs over the failures, the highs over the lows. I don't, however, want people to have the wrong impression of my life, their lives, or lives in general.
NO LIFE IS PERFECT.
Every single smiling face in an Instagram story, has a hidden truth that the camera didn't quite capture. EVERYONE goes through struggles. We ALL have moments of being bombarded with feelings of inadequacy, failure, and loss. I never want my social media posts to be misleading, in allowing others to believe that my life is perfect. Yet, at the same time, I want to avoid giving the enemy too much credit in the way of my life's journey. SO- I feel that posts such as this- are COMPLETELY NECESSARY!
Here's a glimpse into my current situation. Here is the information I feel is important to share, to give you the knowledge of good and evil... the struggle of balance between the mental illness and loving my life.
WE HAVE MICE
Ok. Just so you know, this is something that my husband isn't comfortable with me sharing because he doesn't want people to know we have mice. These are certainly NOT domesticated mice and are of the vermin variety, yet I have assured him that many people have had to deal with unwanted pests in their homes... especially when you have an old home as we do. With that being said, for most people it's simply a nuisance and nothing more; but for someone with an acute sense of smell, a toddler who likes to play on the floor, and who's struggling with mental illness, it's SO MUCH MORE than a nuisance.
I have been struggling to say the very least. My anxiety, OCD, and depression escalated when one (or more) of the mice ate some poison and crawled into the walls to die. Yes, the stench is unbearable for me when I'm home. I LOVE being a stay at home mom, but not when I can't stand to be in my home. The mice were in the laundry room, which is attached to our kitchen, which shares a wall with our library area. So, in a nutshell, half the house just reeks! I cannot cook in there, or do laundry, or pick out a book/movie/boardgame to enjoy. In essence, I feel like I've become a prisoner in my bedroom since it's the furthest room away from the stench. I have been calling exterminators for quotes, but have struggled with the finances for such a huge issue (avg being $300).
Regardless, we will pull from savings and do what we have to do to remedy the situation. Even so, my medications are just not strong enough to help me handle the level of stress I've been feeling. Anxiety disorders have a tendency to take a normally uncomfortable situation and make it debilitating. The OCD ticks have returned and I've literally cried over a sink with hands rubbed raw, because I simply can't stop washing them. And when you feel out of control like that, the depression hits and things that are inconveniences, become little soul crushers that make you want to retreat from life and sleep away the uncomfortable mess you find yourself in.
BUT THAT'S NOT THE ANSWER.
I REFUSE to give in to the illness, or to give up on the progress I've made over the past couple years. I find things that help me and do them until I can recenter myself. I pray. I find time to commune with God, whether it be reading or singing or just being still. I use essential oils to help calm me (it also helps with the smell). You have to find what works best for YOU!!! But I want you to know, when things get a little crazy and life just seems out of control, you don't have to fake it until you make it. BE HONEST! with yourself and how you're feeling, with your spouse or family, with the God who created you. YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!! Sometimes you just CANT smile for the picture, and that's ok. It's ok for people to know you're NOT ok. It's ok to feel NOT ok. But it's NOT ok to stay in that place.
KEEP MOVING FORWARD.
JUST KEEP SWIMMING.
KEEP ON KEEPIN ON.
NEVER GIVE UP.
Here's a passage that I find really helps me in these moments of life, when I'm just seeking some kind of PEACE in the midst of chaos. I pray it speaks to you and helps you in the moments when you can't find your smile. YOU'RE NOT ALONE.
Psalm 62:5-8 (CEV) says, "Only God gives INWARD PEACE and I depend on Him. God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe, and he is the fortress where I feel secure. God saves me and honors me. He is that mighty rock where I find safety. Trust God, my friends, and always tell him each one of your concerns. God is our place of safety."