Rain, Hope and One Mother of a Hard Day

and then it rained.

We’ve been having a drought around here.  I’ve written about it and the weather channel has mentioned it so it’s not a big secret.

When the heavens opened up with torrents of water on Saturday I gasped and took pictures of it through windows and open doors.

We let the kids play outside in the cool, wet backyard for hours and then plunged them in a bubble bath after warm cups of stovetop hot chocolate.

Kel and I kept looking at each other thinking, we made it! Made it through the crazy summer, the heat, the lack of routine and all the traveling.  Now fall was almost here, our salvation, our quenching rain, our return to the steady life.

We ended the day on the couch with Hunger Games and huge bowls of popcorn just like everyone else in America did on Saturday. It was blissful.

The next morning was supposed to be THE day, our no work, very sabbathy, family oriented day.

I wasn’t counting on the ghosts to come out of the closet.  I didn’t plan to fill up with anxiety and crippling fear about my memories of my mom and her death.

But the honest trust it that yesterday was ghosts and fears, one mother of a hard day.  I spent the day sifting through my mother’s illness and all the parts that were passed on to me.  Wondering and worrying, then worrying and wondering some more.

I wondered, as I often do, is this just an anxious day or the start of something worse?  The beginning of some terrible, final pronouncement on my life.

Yesterday was horrible, humbling and yet somehow absolutely normal.  You can’t go where I’ve gone and not wrestle with it sometimes.  You can’t ever totally get over it, it’s a piece of my puzzle that I have to work out somedays.

I had to ask for Kel’s help to get through the day without breaking apart.  I had to ask some friends to help me get a prescription filled.  I had to ask God over and over again to show me how I’m supposed to process this depression thing.

Will I have it forever?  Do I pray against it or come to terms with it?  Do other people think I’m crazy?  Should it really matter?

Am I see as one of THOSE people who need a pill to function?

Am I seen as one of THOSE people who has a messy family with a suicide on the record books?

I won’t pretend these questions don’t surface sometimes, that’s of no good to me, to my family or to the world.

Trusting God never means ignoring the pain for his glory, it’s all about plowing through the troubles of the world, that’s what brings the beauty.

The sun set on yesterday and today I long to climb a mountain, to surround myself in azure blue offset by marshmallow clouds.  To get perspective from somewhere higher than I can see right here, right now.  I want to climb and ponder and to return home with deeper perspective.

But these stolen moments in my closet office may be all I scrounge up today.  So I will breathe thanks for these few quiet moments, even though the cat is in my face and making my quiet moments smell like tuna breath.

Is it all better now?  All good?  All gone?  No, but there is always something fragrant and hopeful on the horizon, isn’t there?  May we never stop scanning the horizon for hope.

******

Now for a total change of pace, the Rug Giveaway announcement.

The winner (selected at random) is Brenna D!

Congrats, the Rug is yours!  Hooray!  Now I get to send you a rug and hug you in Chicago at the Story Conference.  A hug and a rug, it doesn’t get better, eh?  (it probably does)

Thanks to all for helping me with Facebook page numbers, you guys amaze me.

  • Lisa K

    Isn’t it weird how those days sneak up on you? The scars of anxiety and depression run so deep and somehow it’s like an old broken bone you feel when it’s rainy even though it’s been 25 years since you fell out of that tree. Maybe it’s a reminder we need to remember where we came from and so that we can learn that we can get through things although it’s hard. Or maybe I am over reaching to try to make sense out of something that doesn’t make sense.

    • http://leannepenny.wordpress.com leannepenny

      No I am pretty sure that makes total sense, we need to sift through stuff to learn from where we’ve been.

  • Sandi Haustein

    I appreciate your transparency, Leanne. I’ve been there, too.

    • Mark Allman

      Leanne,
      As one of those who has that messy family with a suicide I do have days where my father’s suicide catches me by surprise and the sandpaper on my soul just grinds. I feel a stigma at times from others and surprisingly it has been mostly within the family that those arrows have been flung. One thing I do believe is that no one is immune to darkness and depression no matter who they are. Some may think they are and some appear to be but the right type of stress and strain can drive anyone there. I wrote on Joy Cannis’s Blog that when I am soaked with darkness and despair the only way I survive is to feed myself God’s word, cling to him in prayer, and hide under his wing. I think another thing that helps me is to help others. That seems to burn that darkness away when I am doing things that benefit others. I sure appreciate the light of God’s blessing so much more through all of this.

      • http://leannepenny.wordpress.com leannepenny

        Very wise words, so easy to write and then sometimes so much harder to live out. I know I say I rely on God but I must confess on the hard days it’s so much easier to try to get by on my own will power. I guess I’m not a good wing hider.

        • http://twitter.com/Vaderalman Mark Allman (@Vaderalman)

          I agree. Sometimes when I am being pounded by despair I do not do any of this very good and survive only by the grace of God. It is easy for me sometimes when soaked with that despair to try to salve my soul in a pool of self pity.

  • staceydaze

    I took pictures of the rain too. Mine didn’t turn out as well as yours. (((hugs))) the fight is hard but worth it.

  • bethinthecity

    I slipped into a bad evening last night, and am battling my way out of it today. Well, I hope I’m on the way out! There are legitimate things in my life that are hard, but I’m still wondering. I wanted to talk to my doctor about going off my anti-depressant. I thought maybe I was ready. Now, of course, I doubt. I really don’t even know how I will know if I’m ready! It’s scary. I’m very thankful for the help of meds. I’m sorry you had such a bad day and I pray the week continues to find you feeling better.

  • http://leannepenny.wordpress.com leannepenny

    Thank you so much for sharing your common struggle with me. I wonder about going off mine too, all the time really, I feel like it would bolster my self esteem. Then I think, if I had asthma would I try to get off the inhaler? Why does it feel so different? More questions than answers here really.

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