Being Vulnerable

I have a history of being very vulnerable publicly. I have felt called to share my story to anyone who will listen because I know other people can gain insight, wisdom, and encouragement from someone who has “been there.” It’s just what I do. I also try to break through the stigmas that are out there and to be an advocate.

Then I take on new roles and have more “friends” on social media. I feel as though I shouldn’t be as honest because of this. I’m super grateful to know the new people that I know, and I know that God will use my words however he wants to, so here I am to share again.

Where to Start?

I LOVE fall. I love the smells, the tastes, the temperature changes, the colors, and the change in the air. It feels like a breath of fresh air after a long, hot summer. Summer is my second least favorite season (right under winter).

Right now I’m not feeling well so a lot of hard stuff is hitting me at once. Some of it is a good reminder for me.

For instance, I am coming up on my 5 year sobriety birthday. My last day of drinking was October 11th, so the 12th is my “birthday.” On October 13th , I checked myself into rehab for alcoholism. I had no idea how much my life would change that day. It was the hardest decision I had ever made but I knew I had to. I became someone I didn’t recognize, life was out of control, and I was miserable.

I honestly have really great memories of the rehab that I went to. I learned so much about alcoholism and addiction and made some great friends. It was kind of the “reset” that I needed to then come out and do the hard work of staying sober. The first year was the hardest, but I’m so grateful to be on this walk. I’m so grateful for the AA program, for my rehab, for my sponsors (especially my current one), and for sobriety in general. I’m thankful that my memory of getting sober is a positive one.

It all started because…

My brother committed a gruesome suicide on November 30, 2009. My brain changed that day which changed my whole life. PTSD is a real thing, and I will never be the same (I have PTSD from a few other things as well, but this one is the biggest).

I have come a LONG way, but I have daily battles that I don’t always talk about.

It was that day that my brain chemistry decided to become imbalanced.

I remember the first time I started drinking to feel differently. To escape. I was teaching at an inner city school in Dallas, I had three kids 4 and under, I had just lost Joey 7 months before, and we were living with my in-laws. The school required us to work a LOT and called us “Save the World Teachers.” I was grading papers one night and kept refilling my Coke Zero and rum…

For quite a few years I struggled with depression and severe anxiety.

I thought I would never teach again.

I went through so much to get to where I am today. Countless medication changes, countless counseling appointments, countless AA meetings, lots of self care, allowing myself to feel things that hurt, and honestly working so hard.

Jesus opened the door for me to teach last year and I am forever grateful. My heart is happy and at peace being in the classroom. I know He created me to love on my babies. He gifted me with the ability to do this well. I try to give him the credit, but I honestly often get lost in my spiritual struggles.

What do I mean by spiritual struggles?

Well I wrote a post early in the summer about the deconstruction of my faith, and I feel like I haven’t really made any progress (I would read that before continuing). In fact, I feel like I’m digging deeper and deeper and I truly don’t like it. I have been told countless times by people who have done the same that I will come out of this eventually and have a deeper understanding of truth. I’m just holding on for the ride.

I have shared this on social media (in a blog post) but haven’t shared it with certain friends because I thought I would be judged and looked down on for having these struggles (I’m sure some of them read my blog but haven’t said anything). I have felt incredibly isolated. I finally shared a little bit with some friends last night and they were encouraging and supportive. It was a breath of fresh air. I hope they can still be there when I share more of the darkness that I’m struggling through.

See You at the Pole was Wednesday at our school. I was incredibly resistant to going (I didn’t go… but part of it was because I was coming down sick). Ethan went and loved it, but the other two didn’t want to go and I couldn’t force them if I didn’t even want to go. I feel like I am failing my kids, but that’s for another post.

Sometimes I wonder what’s the point? There is so much death and destruction in the world and I don’t see change by praying. I see that God does what he’s going to do either way. Or maybe things just happen either way. All of the questions that I’ve heard of people having are now questions that I’m having. And the answers that I always gave people aren’t good enough.

I’m struggling with studying the Bible right now because I feel like it has been cherry picked for as long as it has been around and there’s so much that doesn’t make sense. There are actually some things in the Bible that people have used to abuse and torment others for centuries. When I do study it, I look at Jesus’ actual words. I also read the Psalms because I can relate to the words.

I do appreciate personal worship. I know that Jesus gets me even if no one else does. He’s there with me in the midst. I don’t spend as much time in personal worship as I used to, but it does happen. Part of the reason for it not happening as often is because of how busy I am. He’s there, though. I don’t need to be guilted into daily “quiet times” so I can check a box.

I don’t know what God is responsible for, what people are responsible for, or what is in the middle. I do know that I get sad and frustrated that God allows so many terrible things to happen daily and doesn’t step in. Is he really there? I know, I know… when Adam and Eve sinned, death and destruction came in… that’s what I’m always told. But I don’t know about that. I’m telling you, I’m questioning everything.

I would prefer to not be in this place of deconstructing. I truly hate it and wish I just felt the way I used to about God, the Bible, praying, etc. But I can’t help what has been started and have to follow it through. And I will probably never have the answers that I am searching for (at least not all of them). Sometimes I have to play nice and pretend in order to keep things wrapped up in a pretty bow, but days like today (being sick), I just can’t. There’s something about not feeling well that brings the honesty right out.

This is where I am today… I could use prayers for wisdom and discernment as I navigate this. Maybe God will change my heart. I guess time will tell.

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