For many years I thought I was a big flake. I was always so energized for the beginning of the school year to start in September. I would get all involved in everything. I had the time, the enthusiasm and the energy to do it all too. Then a few months go by and we enter November and suddenly it is hard to make it to any of my commitments. Everything seems overwhelming and I begin to not care much about anything anymore. The pressure in November mounts until December comes. The three days before my birthday seem to be the biggest stress of all. Then my birthday.....which you think would be the worst day of all, but I guess I resign that it is happening and it does feel good to have people wish you a happy birthday all day, so the day turns out fine. Then a few days later BAM! energy back, problem is most of my commitments are now over because they usually involved programs or events that occured on or right around my birthday making everyone too busy to celebrate me much at all. They have to cut something out you know! (Yeah, I know, poor me! wah wah wah.) Christmas is exciting and New Years brings with it a whole new vitality. January, my favorite month of the year! A crazy cycle eh? It has only taken me 38 years to see it too!
This year was a little different. I decided to be aware of every little detail of this strange cycle. Only a week before my son's 13th birthday I felt the black cloud creep into my life. I don't know what the connection to my first born son's birthday is except that he represents my first child and as he gets older he gets closer and closer to leaving me. (Yes, this IS all about me). I think I mourn the loss of, "when he will move out", every year. I told my husband that I probably won't shed a tear the day he really moves out because I have cried about it every year already! Talk about gearing up! This is shear madness. There were a few days in there I thought,
" Maybe I'll need to get on some antidepressants", but then the black cloud drifted away and I began to find my rhythm again.
My birthday was on Monday this year, so the Friday before it I decided to send the kids to school, see Garrett off to work and stay home alone. While no one was around I was very productive. I got laundry folded, made a crockpot dinner and tried my hand at homemade bread (which turned our great). Then as soon as everyone got home I escaped to the safe haven of my room and ducked under the bed covers. When Garrett came in and layed next to me I began to cry. I just cried and cried and cried. I knew this was coming and thought I would have done this all morning, but I guess I needed my man by my side to be sweet and understanding. He was:) and so I was safe. He held me in his arms and I felt the gloom lifting as the tears flowed out. What a great thing God did when he gave us the ability to cry. I have determined to cry whenever I feel the need and not apologize for it ever again! It was a sweet release. A much needed cleansing. I could breath a breath of fresh air for the first time in a month when I was done. The mourning and loss were over...............the cloud was lifting.
What didn't help? Asking friends to keep in touch extra through the month of November and not having them do it. It is really hard to put myself out there and ask for help because if I ask for help and expose the area of my weakness and then the need still goes unmet it just feeds right into my deep feelings of insignificance. If I don't ask and no one knows then at least I know why. The other thing that really rubs me raw are all the reasons why you "can't come" or "couldn't remember" around this time. I have heard them all, over the past 38 years, as to why this season is too busy for me to be remembered, but all I hear in there is that I wasn't important enough to be remembered. After all we do what we really want to do and we remember what we really want to remember (that is what repeats in my head). I guess some examples would be,"Sorry I forgot your birthday, I was so busy with such-n-such....." or 2 paragraphs detailing all the reasons why you were too busy these past weeks and couldn't possibly have found a way to send an email in this wired world we live in. I don't need an "oooops I forgot" birthday wish. You don't need to tell me you forgot, I already know that. It doesn't matter that it is 3 or 6 or 15 days late when you remember. A Happy Birthday is a Happy Birthday whenever it is remembered and no apology is necessary when you do remember after all! (there is no anger intended in this last paragraph, just raw facts and how they effect me during this time, sorry if the truth touches a nerve or two, I don't hold on to any of it after my birthday is over.....weird huh?)
Boy, am I glad this season is over for me. I hope to be better prepared next year so that it is not such a tough season to get through. Thanks to all those who prayed me through this season and for so many of you who sent emails. It meant the world to me!