Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Real Talk...

I’ve been noticing it all over Blog Land…crafters have lost their ‘mojo’. Many of my blogging buddies are not blogging any more, a few have actually closed their blogs. And it’s obvious that I haven’t been posting like I used to. I can’t speak for everyone else, but I can share what has been going on with me…

Our Pastor challenged us to become ‘transparent’ to ‘take off the mask’ and let people know who we really are. Scary thought, huh? I know it scared me. I realize that I will never meet most of you, but I hope that sharing a little more of ME, may be helpful to someone.

Most of you know that I was caring for my Dad for the latter part of 2009 until May 2010, when he passed away. My Dad had Alzheimer’s and I got to watch him slowly slip away. We had good days and we had some awfully bad days, but always, I knew the day would come, when he would leave me for good. And as hard as that was to deal with, I prayed and then I talked to him and I told him every day we were together how much I loved him and how much I appreciated all he did for me. My dad was the only person on this earth who knew all my secret thoughts and dreams. We had a very special relationship and even though I was so very sad to let him go, on May 15th, I said my goodbyes, I kissed him, I told him he was handsome, I told him I loved him and I walked out of his room. Less than 24 hours later, he was gone. I was prepared for this…I had several months to deal with it…right? Wrong. The days following my dad’s passing would see me spiraling out of control into a deep dark place called Depression.

I really was prepared for my dad to die. I was not prepared for what was to follow his death…family members questioning my integrity and motives…family drama! I was completely blind-sided by this and I felt that the best way for me to take care of me, was to completely shut down. And that is what I did. I shut down and I shut out….I stopped taking care of me, I let myself go, I let my house go, I shut out my family. I did the bare minimum for everything. My health was jeopardized, so was my marriage, my finances were strained, and I put my friendships on hold. I would go into my studio alone and sit for hours. Attempting to create anything was a complete disaster, so I decided to just stop trying. But since I was recently accepted onto the Design Team for an e-zine, I knew I had to push myself to create to meet my deadlines. And sometimes, the ‘clouds would part and the sun would shine’ and I would create something to share on my blog.

I got tired of wearing the “everything is just fine” mask…because clearly everything was not just fine. So I asked for prayer. I talked to people at my church. I got a tight circle of friends and family around me and I just kept PUSH-ing. Praying Until Something Happened…Well, I am happy to report that something has happened…God showed up, just when I was ready to give up. Through much prayer and many tears, I am finding my way back to myself again. I’ve had a lot of time to think and there will be some changes in my life in the months to come. But,I don’t have dark days anymore and I’m in my studio, with music playing and I’m organizing things and looking at all my stuff. Every day I’m doing some small thing to help myself get back on track…choosing to eat well, exercising, reading my Bible, volunteering at Church, spending time with my girls.

I want to thank each of you who prayed for my family and me. You will never know how much I appreciate it. I also want to apologize to those of you, who sent me e-mails that were never answered, and to those of you who phoned me and I didn’t return your calls. I wasn’t myself and I felt that staying closed off was the best way to handle this monster. And that is exactly what depression is, a monster. So, I guess the ‘take away’ from all of this is, be true to yourself. Listen to what’s inside your heart and mind and follow that. If you feel like something is wrong, it probably is. Seek help. Talk to someone. I hope my sharing this will help someone.

I am so appreciative to all of you Bloggers who stop by and leave comments, means a lot to me.

Take care now. Until next time…



Kim Burmeister said...

Oh, Barb! I am so sorry you had to go through that. I am soooo happy to hear that God has helped you get back from it. I am here whenever you can share with us. Your work is as beautiful as you are. I am so glad we got to meet at CHA a couple years ago. In addition, I am here if you need to talk. I will continue to pray for you.

Thanks for sharing this with us. It takes a lot of courage to do so.

God Bless and BIG HUGS!

Jeanne said...

Big, big hugs for you, Barb! I'm sorry to hear that you've been having such a hard time, too. Thank you so much for sharing, I know it was hard to do. In being transparent, you show others that they are not alone and that is the worst thing about depression, it makes you feel like no one will understand. Talking about it breaks the cycle. You have so much courage! I'm so proud of you! I wish I could give you a huge hug right now. Please know that, like Kim, if ever you want to talk/email, I'm right here!


stampmonkey said...

Ditto what Kim and Jeanne had to say. I've noticed your absence of blog updates, but figured you were just in a super busy time (my reason for not blogging/visiting blogs)...never dreamed that you were having such a difficult personal struggle.

I am so sorry that you found yourself in such a downward spiral and were so withdrawn, but am very relieved that you've been encouraged to get the help you need and are on the path toward being your creative, fun, and happy self again. The Lord will never leave you; He's there with you through every high and low...I'm so glad that you can feel His presence once again.

You will continue to be in my prayers, sweet friend.

Much love and hugs,