All I Need is


Have you ever found yourself in a raw state of need? Isn't it funny how you don't see it coming? Well, maybe funny isn't the right word but you know what I mean. All of a sudden, you realize that you are absolutely dying of thirst. Perhaps you had noticed a vague feeling of cottonmouth before you found yourself in this dehydrated state, but there were people to see, things to do and places to go. There was no time to sit down and drink for goodness' sake. And besides, your job has always been to be on the look out for other empties around you, right?

Well, mine has. It's a lifetime habit I'm not exactly sure how to get over. Or if I even want to. The thing is, in order to fill anyone else's glass, you've gotta have a little left over to begin with.

Last weekend I attended Hutchmoot 2011, our second attempt at pulling off a three-dimensional Rabbit Room experience. Last year I wrote about my first HM experience here. This year, I made some great new friends, and had lots of time to get reacquainted with some older ones. It was, overall, a marvelous weekend. All the presenters gave wonderful talks. The food was terrific and the music superb. But still, I came away feeling like I'd missed out on half the beauty because of an episode I experienced Friday afternoon.

I was down in the kitchen chopping up heads of lettuce when I almost cut my finger. I only nicked my fingernail, but it was close enough to make me put down the knife for a second and walk out of the kitchen. When I came back in and started up again, my head was filled with accusation. I kept thinking how incapable I was of doing this simple task. I asked myself, "why don't you know how to tear up the lettuce?" like the person standing next to me was doing. Then I told myself that I was worthless in the kitchen, unlike everyone else around me who had not almost cut themselves.

The shame spiral of comparison continued until I had fully convinced myself that no one in the building cared about me and I left to go have a good cry in the women's bathroom. Now, part of my meltdown was triggered by hormones, but now that I've been home a week and thought about this past year I've realized some of the underlying issues which brought my rejection baggage to the surface this weekend. The good news is that I know where to take this luggage and who can bring healing to my hurting heart. The tough thing is the process.

I have gone to therapy before, but never consistently, and never for longer than a month or two. I do not like trying to find a new (good) counselor, and feeling like I have to tell my life story all over again. I am worried that I will struggle with depression the rest of my life and each time it will just get harder, 'cause sometimes it seems like life only gets sadder and if I can't handle it when I'm young, healthy and have good friends and family surrounding me, how will I cope when I get old, or sick, or when people I love start dying? Yes, I know that was an awfully long and poorly punctuated sentence. And I hope many people do not look long into the future with dismay like I just did, but it's where I'm at now and I don't wish to edit that.

I'm actually having a good day today. I have had some alone time, some writing and thinking time, even some prayer time. And the temperature is wonderful today, the sky beautiful. I am well rested and I love my kids and my husband today. So, that's also where I am.

It seems silly that one weekend could start me on the road to depression again, but as noted in my first paragraph, the signs were there before Hutchmoot came along. Plus, it was a weekend I looked forward to for an entire year and had crazy high expectations for. I am trying not to focus on the disappointment, to see the experience in a positive light, that this medicine needs to be taken and I had to see how ill my heart was before I could begin trying to find the cure.

There are some lovely stories coming from last weekend out there and I am enjoying hearing them all. I know there will be more to come and maybe even mine will begin to look brighter in the weeks ahead. I do not regret being a part of it at all and despite my times of sadness, I have seen fruit from HM. Fruit in the form of more writing and more inspiration.

And while inspiration may not be enough to put a smile on my face every time I recall HM 2011, it is enough for now, dear friends. It is enough for now.


Alyssa said...

Janna, your honesty is so comforting. I don't know that my Hutchmoot experience wasn't the same as yours overall, but I had a very difficult day on Friday as well, and many similar thoughts. Thanks for your voice of grace in the midst of melancholy. It's a voice we all need to hear.

tricia prinzi said...

I agree with Alyssa. Your honesty is comforting. And refreshing. I've often felt like, even in church (where the compassion of others is all around me), I have to say, "I'm fine" instead of tell the truth about my pain.... for fear that I'll look like a bottomless pit. I get stuck inside my own head and fear what people would think if they saw what was in there. Be encouraged, dear friend. I met you for the first time this weekend; a weekend of sadness for you. I am struck by your creativity, your warmth, and your wit. I enjoyed your company and I look forward to our continued friendship.

Anonymous said...

the thing is, there are people out there that "think" great things about their friends and never get a chance or take the chance to tell them. a person could probably carry around good thoughts for decades and not share the truth with their friends. the funny thing is, you assume there are no good thoughts out there when there is and it would probably make people feel better if they knew sometimes.

luaphacim said...

It's so nice to know that others struggle with insecurity, too. Even though I am a child of the King who has been given everything necessary for life and godliness, I still find myself going down that same path sometimes. I appreciate your honesty -- you probably didn't expect to encourage me, but you did. Thanks. :-)