“I’m going on a mental holiday. I probably won’t answer your calls or return your emails. I doubt I’ll get dressed or do any household chores. I don’t plan on working or sewing. I definitely won’t wash my hair. I’ll probably cry. As a matter of fact, I’ll probably sob. If you really, truly need me, you’ll have to come to my house and drag me out of bed where I’ll be snuggling my precious children. But since I’ll be on a mental holiday, I can’t promise that I’ll react sanely if you interrupt me.”
That’s the status I really want to post on Facebook… instead I post, “Prayers, please. :)”
Recently, my family’s world has been turned upside-down by a life-altering tragedy. And for a few days, I was in a complete daze- sedated by drugs and reality. But life kept going. My phone kept ringing. My email kept filling up. People still had the same expectations of me. Didn’t they know? Didn’t they know that our lives were forever changed and I just need a moment to mourn? Nope- They didn’t know. They didn’t know because I pulled myself together, put on make up and braved the world, pretending nothing was wrong. I smiled; I laughed; I ached.
Why do we do that?? Women are infamous for the fake smile. Are we trying to protect ourselves from others or from reality? Instead of braving the world with the ever-exhausting fake smile, why don’t we let others see our pain? We’re all human. We all hurt sometimes. But we don’t shed that smile- we don’t show weakness. Strong Christian. Strong Mother. Strong Wife. Strong Woman. That’s a lot of pressure, y’all. That’s a lot of pressure on top of a broken heart and a family tragedy. Why is there shame with pain? Why can’t I just wallow for a while?
As I sit here, writing this, I see my husband (my rock) playing with my precious children (my joy) and I have to thank God (my strength) that we are all here together. And even though there are moments then I feel like I can’t breathe and my hands are shaking and my world is crumbling- I know that I DO have friends and family that will see us through this hard time… I know that my God is bigger than my problems and He will carry me through this hard time… When I’m ready to let them. But for right now, I want to be sad. I want to be angry. I want to feel miserable and guilty and sick and defeated. I also want to feel nothing and numbness and empty and alone. Anything but comfort and happiness. It’s too soon for happiness. I know that we will get there, but today, I’m taking a mental holiday. No fake smile, no braveness, and no make up to cover dark circles from sleepless nights. I don’t have the energy to pretend today. Today, I will cry.