I’m sitting in my front room in the 1.5 seater lounge that my sister left at my place when she moved to Mozambique. We call it ‘Aunty Kath’s Couch’ and there are strict rules about it because we had hoped to return it to her in very good condition when she moved home. But it has been seven years and there’s no sign of them coming back permanently. How long does a lounge chair last anyway?
The sun is streaming in the window and I have a big mug of steaming tea. The dishwasher is doing its thing and I can hear my girls playing at the other end of the house. Leigh is watching the footy and things are peaceful.
I thought I’d just take a minute to write to you, the people who read the things I’ve posted here over the past few years. Thanks for that- for reading, that is. You’ve been such an encouragement to me. I haven’t written much lately. For various reasons but mostly because life got harder and I felt too wobbly to put words down.
The wobbliness started about nine months ago. I had lost my spark. I was full of self-doubt and negative thinking. I panicked at small things and tasks and responsibilities that previously came easily were overwhelming and felt impossible.
The feelings came and went. I’d feel like my normal happy self for a few weeks. During those weeks I could get up early, make plans, feel optimistic about projects and manage the kids well. But then I’d slip back into the fog of fatigue, tears, anxiety and doubt.
I’ve been back and forth to the doctor about it and finally landed on a diagnosis of PMDD. That fits very well with how I’ve been feeling and the medication to treat it has been effective so far.
Another reason I haven’t written lately is that I have had so many big faith questions that I didn’t want to bother you with. When I sat down and tried to write, the only thing that poured out of me was questions about how we read the Bible. My belief in God and His goodness is strong, and my certainty about Jesus and the Holy Spirit have not wavered, but my brain is so curious lately and my thoughts run on crazy trains that I can’t even catch.
I really would like to write more often but it might not be good writing. I’m in a phase of life that is unfamiliar to me. I’ve always been an intense and deep-thinking person, but previously it came with a lot of laughter and self-assurance. These days I’m worried about the critic in the corner, tut-tutting at everything I do and say. That’s the third reason I stopped writing, and if I’m being honest, it’s the most significant one.
I’ve been talking all these things over with my professional supervisor, a woman I respect a great deal. She has urged me not to be afraid of the people who do not approve of me. She says if I stop writing because I’m scared of what they think of me, I bury my gifts and they won’t grow.
So here I am, trying to overcome fear.
Thank you for reading. I really like you a lot!