Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What it's like to be me.

If there is one thing that bothers me about people, it's that no one likes to be REAL. As in, show weakness, or inferiority, or failure, or struggles, or SIN.  I don't know anyone who enjoys broadcasting their failures, but everyone has them.  Everyone screws up, or has problems and struggles. The danger is when we try to hide them from others, put on a happy face, and act fine. That's what it is. Acting. And I am Public Enemy #1 for this. It's human nature, I think, to hide weaknesses and play up strengths. But it's just not REAL.

Our family has gone through a time of transition this year. Lots of minor changes that have made a huge impact on our lives. We've grown as a family, as parents, as a couple, and as ambassadors for Christ. Lots of good, heart-wrenching, difficult, but positive stuff.  We've really sought God's will and direction and He has answered faithfully. (He always does!) It's been an incredible year.

This morning, a sweet friend of mine met with me, and we shared our struggles, and we prayed together.  (Side note: I highly encourage every Christian woman to seek out at least one good, honest, loving friend to share your life with, keep you accountable, tell you when you are way the heck out in craycray-land, and PRAY with each other {Another side note: I said pray WITH each other. Not pray FOR each other. Although if you do the first, you can also do the second. But do it. Don't just say you will.} Lucky for me, I have more than one of those friends in my life).  In the course of our short catch-up conversation, she told me that when she looks at me, she sees a dream-come-true kind of life.  My family, my house, my job, my great haircut, etc...  and when she said that, there was no hint of jealousy, just love and admiration.  But her comment made me think.  Is that how people see me? Do people look at me and see the pretty, put-together, overall package of perfection? I have no idea, really, but I sure hope not. Because, I have ISSUES just like everyone else. I struggle with life. I struggle with my family, my marriage, my job, my attention span, my health.  And I want everyone to know.

This is what it's like to be me today. The inside of my body, from my ribs to my hips, is a hot mess. Like a battlefield. Like a nuclear war zone. Every.Single.Time.I.Eat.Food. I'm in a lot of pain. I'm frustrated. I'm literally at my wit's end. I have no answers. I've seen a specialist. We've done blood, we've done scans. I have scopes scheduled for next month. I expect no answers from those. Until then, I have medicine to "get me through." I have to make a choice at every single meal whether I want to deal with horrible stomach and intestinal pain and extreme discomfort for the next 5-6 hours, or take a pill that helps me digest food but makes me feel drunk.  Either way, something ain't right in there.

So what's it like to be me right now? It frickin' sucks. In a society that revolves around food and mealtimes, when food is your enemy, it's not much fun to be alive. When your stomach hurts all the time, it's hard to be pleasant. It's hard to tell someone that no, you can't eat the delicious-looking food they made for you because it makes you feel miserable.  It's hard to cook dinner for your family knowing you won't be eating it. It's hard to care much about anything or anyone else's problems. It's hard to focus on anything but the pain and after-effects of eating.  It's hard to live life.

I haven't always been this way. I've known about my dairy intolerance for years. I've always been able to control that by limiting or eliminating major dairy culprits from my diet. In the last three months, I've started experiencing more and worse symptoms, so I went super-strict and eliminated ALL dairy from my diet.  That includes almost all processed food, baked goods, and many seasonings.  But it didn't take away my symptoms this time. There is some other food that is tearing my insides to shreds. I tried for a few weeks to tough it out and just deal, and then my sweet, protective, worried husband put his foot down and made me call a doctor.

That's where I am right now. Waiting a month for my next round of tests. Until then, if you see me, I'll either be grumpy and in pain, or I'll be walking a little bit crooked. Or passed out on the ground because I couldn't decide which evil to choose so I just stopped eating altogether...

p.s. I'm not looking for advice or ideas or "it worked for so-and-so" or diets, so no need to leave comments to that effect. I won't publish them. Do feel free to leave encouraging bible verses and prayers! That is the REAL stuff I'm looking for!


Shelley Browning said...

Wow, I had no idea you were in this much pain. You will be in every prayer I pray. I am so sorry.

Jillian said...

"I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." {Rom. 8}

No matter how deep the darkness, his love is deeper still.