One of the hardest things I have ever shared (Part 3)

One of the hardest things I have ever shared (Part 1)

One of the hardest things I have ever shared (Part 2)

I’ll be honest. I feel sick to my stomach right now. I am purging deep-rooted feelings from the deepest parts of my soul, and while they may seem like small things, they are triggering feelings that make my heart pulse wildly from my chest.

This is truly one of the hardest things I have done in a while. I want to stop. I want to delete them and pretend they’ve never happened, but the void is already there. They have been spoken.

I’m trying my hardest to have this post be the last for today. It may be more disjointed and fragmented than the previous ones, but it’s a synopsis of my feelings and feelings are the most fragmented parts of us.

After that time, I shared a little bit on one of my million old blogs about my mixed emotions and shared my uncertain future and our family timeline a bit. I apologize for all the links, but it will help if you need to be filled in and I won’t have to give you another bazillion-word post. 🙂 That time back in Oklahoma was humbling.  I felt rejected and useless, but I had just finished my last bought of depression and I refused to go back there. I was terrified of postpartum depression. I knew I was a likely candidate.

I feel blessed that I didn’t go directly there after Belle was born.  In fact, she was the reason I felt the spirit again.  For the first time in my life, I felt like God had left me.  Not during my childhood before I was “saved”, not during my depressions, not during my marital struggles — but when the people of God cut me into fragments. Did He not love me? What did I do that was so wrong? When Belle was born I cried, because I looked at her little face and I whispered, “You didn’t forget me.”

He didn’t.

Now, let me share with you about me. Today.

Lately, I feel like I’m trying to slip again. Due to my previous experience (hello, weight/numb brain) with medicine and my mother’s history with anti-depressants, therapies, anti-anxiety meds, pain killers, narcotics, etc — I don’t like to medicate myself.  I try to exercise, eat right, get sunshine, study, meditate, and give to others. Most days I win. Some days I don’t. I am frightened of the church, and it makes me cry every Sunday.  I think sometimes the pastor can see me from the stage.  Yes, I’m the crazy lady in church that cries the whole dang sermon. One day I will remember to bring Kleenex. Ha.

I don’t really like going out in public a lot, especially really crowded places. Life is more easily managed in small doses.  Most people consider me to be a really outgoing person, but in truth, I’m more introverted than you realize.  I’m highly self-aware and I lack the blatant confidence to do whatever I want whenever I want to do it.  I am highly talkative and social, but it is only when I am in a place where I feel comfortable.

Back in September I wrote this note:

Every day I fight the lie that I will never be enough. It is my own personal battle. The words are powerful. They tear through every positive thought and good intention with effortless ease and embed their sharp barbs deep within my soul. Some days I am not strong enough and they defeat me.

I must win.

Just this past week, I sent this email to my friend Kristen, who I have designated as a “sponsor” of a kind:

I just have to write this to someone who might understand. Why are there some days that you feel like you will never be enough? I don’t want my daughter to see me cry. I don’t want to lose my temper and toss the baby gate across the room simply because I’m just fed up with her carrying it all over the house. I don’t want to feel like I am nothing. It’s not every day. It’s not even every week. Just – sometimes – the feeling just hits you. I want to be my best, but I feel like I’m a failure. I start to cry, and my sweet little 21 month old wipes my tears and gives me a hug. She knows my needs.

I don’t want to burden you, and perhaps I should even send this — but I feel a little better throwing this out there — even if no one else knows or understands.

I am embarrassed to share that with you. I want to be a good mother. I don’t want her struggle with this, but I also see signs of deep empathy in her. I’m afraid she has inherited my personality. Is that a good thing? I know that she is going to spend a lot of time in deep sorrow, for things far beyond her control. She is going to hurt for the wounded and broken.  She is going to get her feelings hurt. She is going to spend a lot of time on her pillow.

I think that this is all I’m going to share for today.

Through all the pictures, crafts, recipes, and petty little notes lies a heart that is open and raw.  You don’t need to feel like you are alone. My heart bleeds through the lines.  I pray you know that you are loved, even in the midst of the panic and dark.

Thank you for listening. It means more to me than anything.  Also, if you ever text me, write me, or call me and I don’t immediately respond, it is one of those days. Bear with me. Some days are better than others.

I love each and every one of you.

More about April

22 thoughts on “One of the hardest things I have ever shared (Part 3)

  1. Mollyhornbuilders

    I enjoyed you sharing your story. It was quite refreshing. Lately Jonathan and I have been in a position where we are surrounded by deciet, manipulation, unauthenticity and I feel at times I am suffocating from lack of truth. Not that people have to share their stories but when they do, it’s nice to know they are truly representing themselves. A connection is so much easier to make when people don’t hide they are flawed because everyone can relate to that. Some people just don’t want to. Not sure if I’m explaining myself very well but oh well. I enjoy your blogs because you share your successes and beauty along with life. 🙂

    1. Anonymous

      Ha, well I am certainly flawed. I see what you are saying. When people lay behind masks, you can’t know what is real. Personally, I’d rather a person be him/herself and know they have issues than know a person who acts perfect. All that means is that the issues are hidden, because no one is perfect. They are just hiding. I hope that you and Jonathan get out of that situation soon – I don’t know him well, but I know that you are a really wonderful person and I don’t wish that on you!

  2. Jamie Banister

    I love you April. *hugs*

    1. Jamie Banister

      I hope you know how NOT-lightly I take those words. I am seriously so happy to know you. I wish I could be there to give you hugs and Ghirardelli cookies (nom). You are so brave for sharing your story. I certainly know that I’d have to be drunk as a skunk to go into all of my backstory shit (it’s ugly, man). I think we all have ugly stories (yours are pretty fugly though man) – and only a few of us are brave enough to confront them at all, much less publicly. Don’t sell yourself short. Bask in the fact that you’re free of these secrets, and that you are BRAVE.

      1. Anonymous

        I love you too, girl. I’m so glad we are friends.

  3. brittpickard

    I know that I don’t know you too well, just through Todd (who is a seriously awesome guy, by the way, but you already know that!), but I just want to thank you for sharing this. I struggle with severe anxiety and, sometimes, border on depression. I finally started taking something for it after many years of denying that I needed to. I’m so much better now and just hearing your story has inspired me so much more. I know that you know that you’re not alone, but also know that there is a mom right here that goes through those days of throwing the baby gate, too. I admire your strength and courage to write this. You are truly an inspiration and make me feel like I’m not not alone in this crazy ride.

    1. Anonymous

      Thank you. I’m so glad to know I’m not alone. I’m also really glad to know I’m not the only person who loses it and wants to throw everything against the wall.

  4. Gina

    Love you, April. You are not alone.

    1. Anonymous

      I love you too, Gina. I miss being in close proximity to you. I meant it earlier — I didn’t realize how lucky and blessed I was to have the friendship that I did at FBCK. Those lunch dates were some of my favorite memories! I miss laughing (and Marsha’s stories)!

  5. friend

    I think there is a great breakthrough here (Considering the glass is half full). Consider your experience with you mother as you were a child, now consider your daughter’s experience with you. There is a profound difference there. Both are based on struggle but one has a foundation built from strength. What you witnessed from your mom is very different from what your daughter is witnessing from you. My mom was an alcoholic. I had a bitter “I will never be like that” perspective growing up. My friend’s dad was a recovering alcoholic who struggled with depression but had a deep motivation to be something other than what his father was to him. My friend said he had a sympathetic “I hope I am as much of a fighter as that” perspective when he was growing up. Your daughter’s experience will be based on your intense desire to be differen,t which holds it’s foundation on your strength. You may just be giving her something you were unable to receive from your mother when you were growing up, the ability to have intense admiration in you and your strength. She may need that sometime later in her own life.

    “Without struggle, there is no progress.” -Fredrick Douglas

    Have you considered seeing a counselor? You may be experiencing bi-polar disorder or manic depressive disorder. This may even be what your mother experienced. I would recommend that if you do see a counselor and he/she diagnoses you with either the two that you get a second opinion with a counselor unaffiliated with the first one to make certain.

    Would you mind if I offer you a couple of worth while videos?

    http://www.ted.com/talks/kathryn_schulz_don_t_regret_regret.html

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html

    You have a great story believe it or not. Great in the sense that while no one has a perfect life you seem to have crossed through some very real obstacles in the beginning and have become a stronger person for them, but right now you are experiencing new challenges ahead that has provided no road map. You have become very vulnerable to the outside world in order to share what has been troubling you. And what if by sharing you just connected with a dozen or more women who have the same experience as you do and have found commonality with you (I’m not referring to myself.)? You blog might have just offered hope and healing to someone who thought she was struggling with this alone. She may never reveal herself to you but you can bet she will continue to follwing you very closely. Maybe not looking for a secret formula for elimating her own struggles but more so to find a partner to struggle with. There is great healing in that.

    Prayers to you.

    1. Anonymous

      I never thought of it in that way before. I’ve been so concerned that she would just see where I was failing – and not recognize the struggle, much less appreciate it. Thank you so much for your encouragement. I have a strong family history of depression and bipolar disorder, so it would not surprise me, I just don’t recall having anything I would term “manic.” Thank you and I will check out the links. 🙂

  6. Reginakae

    You and I are way more alike than either of us realize You should call me.

    1. Anonymous

      I will soon. I hope we can spend some time together when I come down again. 🙂

  7. Holly

    April,
    I know that we haven’t been friends very long. But, I feel that God has put you in my life for a reason. I, too, struggle with anxiety/depression and have been to hell and back. (Maybe not in the sense that you have) but I can understand where you are coming from. I want you to know what a light you are. I enjoy your posts, I enjoy your friendship and the fact that I get to be your friend — You are are in a church that I am sure is flawed because it is run by humans and as you well know by nature, we are a flawed people. BUT, the place you are now, is also full of some of the most considerate, passionate, and real people I have ever been blessed to know. Don’t be afraid to invest in them. I miss them dearly and they are, in my opinion, the best.
    You are a fantastic friend and I am so blessed to have you in my life. If you need a shoulder, I will be glad to be there…
    Love you!
    Holly

    1. April McGrew

      Holly –

      I feel the very same way about you. I feel like I can feel your heart with your messages and tweets and texts. After the first week of knowing you, I got the feeling that we will become very good friends. 🙂 You have a really, really kind heart – and you also have a spunk that I admire. 🙂 I think you’ll be able to teach me a lot about knowing our worth. I am really glad I found Eagle Heights – and I wish you were still here! I went to my first Ladies’ Bible Study today and I left there feeling very encouraged about this semester.

      I am looking forward to getting to know you even better – and I hope you know that I’ll always be here. 🙂 Love you.

  8. Matt Richard

    I admire your transparency and honesty. If everyone had guts enough to be this candid I think we would find the lyrics to one of my favorite Jill Phillips songs to be true: “Nobody’s got it all together.”

    1. April McGrew

      Matt – You are so right. Often we think we are the only ones with flaws – when “Nobody’s got it all together.” I have to remind myself of this when I feel like I’m all alone. Thanks for the reminder!

  9. kako

    Oh April, let me just tell you, I can’t even count on both hands and feet the many things I’ve thrown into my walls. I still have spots that I need to patch up (having an otterbox protects my phone but it sure wreaks havoc on my walls). I keep my personal struggles fairly close to my chest and without a “secret blog” not many people know about them, but at the risk of sounding like the countless other comments you’ve received regarding these posts I understand. You’re certainly braver than me, kudos to you for that and thank you for sharing. It makes me like you even more 🙂

    1. April McGrew

      Thanks. I hope my honesty doesn’t come back to bite me — but I almost feel like people can’t hurt what’s already an open book. I am so glad we’ve gotten to know each other!

  10. Sarah Halstead

    Wow, I just read them all. I am so sorry you have had such a rough life. I pray that you don’t slip into it again. You can fight this. That email you shared that you sent your friend, I could say that everyday. Every day I want to be a good mom, but then I find my self yelling and getting upset. I hate it. Thank you for sharing your story and I am here for you if you need to talk.

    1. April McGrew

      Thank you so much, my friend! I know you’re a great mom. I can see it in the way you write and capture your boys. It reassures me that I’m not the only one that completely loses it all too often! Thank you so much for your kindness. It means so much to me! 🙂

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