I am sick. I have been sick for over a week and I can’t seem to get well. As I get physically worse, my mental state deteriorates as well. I am sad. I am overwhelmed. My brain doesn’t want to work right. I look around and wonder how I will ever crawl out of this mess?
It is in these low moments that I feel defeated. The lies begin to creep in and take over. The uglies show up.
I can’t ever truly escape the uglies, but it’s so much worse when I’m vulnerable and weakened.
Hope floats out, while darkness settles in. And my thoughts turn to running.
No, not running as in going out for a jog. The other kind of running. Running away. Whenever times get tough for me – whether it be from illness or sadness and depression, I think of what it would be like to run. To walk out the front door and not look back. To go someplace quiet and secluded and only for me. To be able to rest.
Of course I feel pangs of guilt at the thought of leaving behind my beloved littles. But I am so tired. And they would forgive me. (Probably not.)
I don’t feel like I have rested in over a decade.
It began with my first deployment in 2003, when I really learned about the evils and ills of this world. I listened to the stories our air crews told – like the story of the young woman in Iraq that we airlifted out for emergency care. Her husband, without any proof, determined she was cheating. His punishment was to push her into a burning pit of feces. 80% of her body was badly burned. She didn’t make it.
I watched good people go into harms way every day. I worried over my friends as they flew in and out of places where they were in harms way. I cried as I read reports of more of our young men and women killed.
My body and soul became weary in a way that I did not know was possible.
Until I had children. And one of them died. I wanted to die. I was never allowed to lose myself in the grief that threatened to destroy me because the other children needed me. So, I moved on, got better, found “happiness.” I coped.
That is where I live until moments like this break down the walls. In my period of desperate weakness, the uglies set to roost.
The uglies are my demons. The lies, the inadequacies, all harbored in low self esteem that I do my best to push as far down and out as I can. The uglies tell me that I am alone and no one loves me. That I’ve never been loved. I’ll never be good enough. I’m not smart. I’m invisible. That I could go away tomorrow and no one would notice. That I’m a bad mother, a bad friend, a bad person.
The uglies strip me of my best qualities. In these times I have little to no compassion for others. Compassion – the one gift I feel that I truly possess, I have to fight to retain.
But the scariest uglies are not the lies. The uglies that hurt the worst are the truths. These are the hardest for me to reconcile when I am vulnerable and in this state. The truths that I feel inside of me that can never be spoken, can never be shared, can never be.
Those are the thoughts that if spoken, if shared, if breathed into existence beyond the confines of my wounded soul would destroy the people I love the most. I would be truly alone.
And then I would die…
Thankfully, these times are fleeting. They are deep and come on strong, but are usually short in nature. Even as I write about it, I feel the fog lifting, and a sense of me returning. The extreme exhaustion remains, and I know that I can’t keep the uglies at bay for long when weakened.
When I am well again, I will cover them up and hide them deep. I will re-emerge from the dark cocoon that only I know exists, and for my loves, I will smile and do what has to be done.
The hollow will not win. The uglies will be beat.
Until they come round again.
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Chris Carter saysJanuary 12, 2015 at 11:35 am
My heart just hurts for yours. I am praying for you right this very minute- as you wallow in those uglies. It’s SO true that when we are left worn, weary and sick- our guard of all capable coping abilities expires, and our raw and real monsters come out to attack. Defeat, they may try- but as you so beautifully said at the end- you WILL come back from this. Those uglies will hide back in the corners of your soul, and you will pull yourself out of that dark hopeless dread and carry on.
Hold on mama. Hold on my friend. Trust that it WILL come. Freedom from the pit. Those pieces of your life, your heart and your mind are just that. PIECES. Thanking God there is many more pieces of you and your heart and your life that are worthy of LIGHT and LOVE and COMPASSION and HOPE.
Chris Carter recently posted…Devotional Diary: Angels
katbiggie saysJanuary 12, 2015 at 11:43 am
Thank you Chris. You don’t know how badly I needed to hear those words. I’m glad you were there for me this morning, right away. HOPE. It’s what keeps us afloat. Right? xoxoxo
Janine Huldie saysJanuary 12, 2015 at 11:47 am
First, I am seriously sorry you aren’t feeling well and was actually sick over New Year’s week and definitely was just miserable – nothing worse then being sick. Definitely hope you are feeling better both physically and mentally too very soon. Hugs and definitely thinking of you today , as well as sending good vibes your way.
Janine Huldie recently posted…Homework Conundrum – Pencils Before Markers for Lily
katbiggie saysJanuary 13, 2015 at 11:36 am
Nothing worse than being sick when you still have small children to take care of, right??? Thank you so much Janine. You are a light in my life.
Rachel @ Architecture of a Mom saysJanuary 12, 2015 at 12:25 pm
Oh Alexa! I am so sorry. Hugs! Know that every single person I know who has lost something struggles with the uglies! It just depends how well we hide it. Praying for you!
Rachel @ Architecture of a Mom recently posted…Menu Planning Monday 2015-01-12
katbiggie saysJanuary 13, 2015 at 11:36 am
Yes, you are right. Some people are master hiders! Thank you very much for your sweet words.
Tamara saysJanuary 12, 2015 at 3:26 pm
I know the uglies all too well. Mine are always creeping around and at this time of year, and while sick? They get bad.
I’ve never had depression, but I’ve had anxiety and the blues and the uglies.
As for the truths, I have them too. I think we wouldn’t really die, though.
Tamara recently posted…Grief As Big As An Ocean.
katbiggie saysJanuary 13, 2015 at 11:35 am
Maybe not, but some of my truths are pretty BAD. I have also suffered from terrible anxiety – which can be as bad or worse as depression. I wouldn’t leave my house for like a month once my anxiety got so bad. So I feel ya and I hate that you know about this too.
Jen saysJanuary 12, 2015 at 7:01 pm
So sorry to hear the uglies are at you this week. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve had a bad case of them myself recently (also enduring extended illness). I think we all struggle with the uglies at times, and I’m sure so many women will read these words thinking, “me, too.” For that honesty and bravery in showing us the dark places, you deserve credit. I’m praying for you as you fight through them to find Light!
Jen recently posted…“One Word” Disappointment
katbiggie saysJanuary 13, 2015 at 11:34 am
Thank you so very much. I too am sorry that you also know this feeling. I’m glad I shared this post – I almost did not post it. But I have received such amazing feedback and light from people who have taken the time to write back. Thank you!
Katie @ Pick Any Two saysJanuary 14, 2015 at 10:07 am
Oh, my heart aches for you. Though my life experiences have been very different from yours, I too know that feeling of just wanting to run, and also the one of feeling like there has been no rest for years. It is so draining—both physically and emotionally. You are right that eventually these uglies shall pass, and the next time they rear their disgusting heads, you will be stronger to face them than you were the previous time. But that doesn’t make the fight any easier.
Katie @ Pick Any Two recently posted…12 Thoughts You Have When You Learn You’re Pregnant with Baby #2
katbiggie saysJanuary 14, 2015 at 1:44 pm
Thank you for such a thoughtful reply. I can only hope I’m stronger the next time. I’m making some whole life changes that I hope will have a positive impact on my depression and anxiety levels. I suppose they can’t hurt if nothing else.
Liv saysJanuary 16, 2015 at 9:31 pm
Oh Alexa…I deal with a whole different kind of uglies…but yours put mine to shame. I wish I could actually give you a big hug, but this comment will have to do. Feel better hon.
Liv recently posted…Co-Parenting with a Bully