Taking A Break From Transparency

I have been staring at a blank screen for some time now, trying to think of what to say, how to say it, or if I even actually want to say anything. But I need a distraction and at this moment writing is the only thing of which I can think to give me a brief one. The day is moving slow while my brain is moving fast and I need something to get them at the same pace before I am driven to insanity.

On a scale of brick wall to saran wrap, I am not sure how transparent I want to be right now. I have been relatively quiet about my life lately and that is not unintentional. Living my life so authentically and vulnerably for a while left me feeling a bit too exposed and brought on wounds I never expected to have scar my soul. For this current season of my life, I have been craving some privacy. I don’t know if that is going to backfire on me one day or not. I don’t know if it is a disordered choice or a healthy choice. I don’t know if it is an excuse or a necessity for survival. Whatever it is, for now it is what I am giving myself.

I have been trying to create a space for myself in this time of privacy; a space of no judgement or critiques or outside forces demeaning me in the process of me trying to find out who “me” even is. A space to simply be. To heal. To feel. To discover. To grow. To fall. To rise. To make mistakes. To have successes. A space where I am okay to just be alone with my thoughts without fear of what I will do with them or hate for the person who owns them. A safe space where I can retreat to in the storms of life and dance in during the celebrations of life. A space where I can unapologetically be me, whatever that looks like and however that sounds. A space to dream without borders. Where hearing the sky is the limit makes me feel claustrophobic. A space of freedom; freedom from fears of my future, guilt over my past, shame over my choices, hate over my appearance, obsessions over things that have no significance to my purpose on this earth. How am I doing with its creation? Lets just say I will not be posting it on Airbnb anytime soon. This space sounds like a dream on paper, but when executed by a mind that only remembers life in chaos and disorder, it is a nightmare. My heart is moving upstream trying to make this space a reality. It is growing weary but refuses to be defeated.

Some days I am okay with “hiding away” as some may call it. I am at peace with the solitude, the silence, the privacy, the secrecy. It requires me to listen to myself more, to spend more time with me, to learn me in a way I never have. It demands for me to own my decisions more, to think with more contemplation about each of my choices, to feel on a deeper level. It has given me more time to explore what is within, what I want for me, where I am, who I am. I am reading more than I ever have. I am researching what interests me more than I ever have (I have a dream trip to Italy planned out in detail). I am seeking out answers to lifelong questions more than I ever have. And most importantly, I am spending more time with God than I ever have. I have cried more tears to Him, yelled more words at Him, felt more emotions to Him, sung more songs to Him, given more heart to Him. The me I was showing so vulnerably with everyone else is now the me I give to Him every day without restraint or fear. He sees and hears it all; the horribly packaged-sometimes incoherent-emotionally messy-overwhelmingly pain filled-one breath away from giving up-mentally exhausted me. I have walked with Him on the sunny days and in the days of pouring rain (figuratively and literally) when the clouds tried to outdo what was releasing from my eyes. I have truly learned what it means for Him to be my CONSTANT, and that truth alone has brought tremendous peace to my ever changing, unpredictable, unstable self.

And then some days I am not okay with it. My silence begins to hurt. The loneliness breaks my heart. The choice to hide when I have fought my whole life to be seen brings me deeper into a world of pain. The weight of all that is left unspoken pushing me down. On those days all I want is to sit in a coffee shop with a friend and talk for hours without taking a breath about these past eight months. Spill all the secrets I have been forced to keep. Expose all the lies I have been telling. Reveal the truth of where I actually am emotionally, physically, and mentally. Take off the mask and show my tired, depressed, broken expression I have been covering up with forced smiles and good makeup. Ban “fines” and “goods” and “okays” from my vocabulary and utter the words of defeat and pain I have been hiding underneath perfectly worded captions. Speak what is in between the lines; the invisible words I keep hoping someone will be able to read. Let authenticity have its voice back.

And cry. All I want to do is cry with someone. To stop holding back the tears trying to prove my strength. To stop trying to patch the cracks of the dam that wants to break open to appear put together. Stop trying to suppress what needs to be released before it drowns me. The water is rising and I am losing space to breath. Eight months worth of disappointments, betrayal, hurtful words, pain, grief, anger, loss, broken dreams, fears come to life all dwelling inside of me yet to be expressed. It is taking its toll. The damage is being seen through my choices; the ones I am hiding, leaving unspoken, secluding myself so they do not get exposed. The choices I am CONSCIOUSLY making to escape what needs to be confronted.

This is where I am used to writing a vulnerable paragraph about exactly WHERE I am at the moment. I tell you about behaviors and thoughts and feelings. I let you in behind the closed doors of my mind. I let some light shine into the darkness through the revealing of truth. But today, that paragraph will not be written. This is a part of my journey, at least for now, I need to keep to myself. I am not yet willing to tear down the wall I have built. There are some things written on it I need to discover first.

But I will say this, I am where I am today because of MY decisions. I cannot blame a person or the anorexia or depression or OCD or anxiety. I am right where I have been heading. Yes, certain events and unfortunate circumstances triggered thoughts and fears, but ultimately, I chose how I wanted to handle them. I need to own it. And now I have to make another choice; what am I going to do about it?

I could easily give the answer everyone wants to hear that I am going to start heading back to the land of butterflies and rainbows waiting for me. We could end this blog on an uplifting note and return to life as if none of this was ever written and all is well. Or, I could tell you the truth that I have absolutely no idea what I am doing about where I am. I have no answers. I have no end. I am taking it all second by second and praying in one of those brief moments of time, God reveals something to me to help guide me home.

Until then…well, I am going to keep showing up for life. I will do my best to keep fighting even if I am barely able to stand. I will try my hardest to keep getting back up when I get knocked down. And with all the faith I have in me, I will keep believing one day I will not have to be in battle at all.

J.L.