I always want to write about hard times on my blog. It helps me to get through it. But suddenly there are hard times on my plate that I don’t know how to write about. I don’t know who to paint in a positive light and who to paint in a negative light. These are hard times that make me question who I am, and if I am the person I always thought I was.
But. I am in a new room now. I am here for ten days or so until I fly to Oregon where I will probably get sick. Oh well.
I don’t know what will happen after that. I don’t know if I will be able to come back to Bridgewater College next fall.
This is what you should know about me: Sometimes I have mental breakdowns. A moment when I am so overcome with grief and emotion that I am incapable of making a rational decision. (In all honesty, it reminds me of being thirteen again.)
This has resulted in me:
-Okay, pretty much just skipping classes. It’s not like it happens a lot.
-But one time, the second-worst one I ever had, I slept in my car in a parking lot of the chapel at school until 3:00 in the morning.
-The worst was yesterday. But my sister was with me. So I survived and didn’t do anything terrible.
I called Esta on the phone, and this is what I told her.
You know those peanut butter m&m’s, that have the candy coating on the outside and the peanut butter on the inside? That’s what I feel like. Only instead of peanut butter inside I have mud. People like to be around me, because they like my candy coating, but when I live with them for a while the candy coating wears off and all they taste is the mud.
(By mud, I basically mean that I have mental breakdowns, I get depressed, and I have trouble being as mature as I feel a regular 20-year-old should be.)
Esta said to me….
Emily, you do have a candy coating. You do have a layer of muck under that. But underneith the muck is the real Emily. That is the Emily who writes books and makes hard decisions. If people reject you, it is because they haven’t seen the real Emily beneith the muck yet.
That struck me. Of course God wouldn’t make me a person of candy coating and muck. Yes I have had hard circumstances, and yes they have hurt me in strange mental ways that make me feel inferior to your average strong-hearted Joe. That is my layer of muck. But I can’t let that muck sufficate the real Emily benieth it.
That is why I am writing this blog post. Hard decision #1. I am being honest about my layer of muck. Honest to everyone.
Hang in there!
I don’t want to diminish your struggle and your obvious pain. But… everyone has trouble with roommates. At least, everyone I know has, at some point in their life had friction with the people they live with. Everyone feels unloveable and unloved, at some point.
I’m an extreme introvert. I went thru most of my sophomore year in college, not talking to my dorm roommate. I don’t know why, except it was a way to maintain some sort of ‘skin,’ some sort of distance between myself and an intrusive, very stressful outside world. It took me a long time to come to terms with my introversion, to find ways to function in a world where most people are more physically outgoing/social than I am.
I’ve been married over 30 years, very successfully. I just spent 6 days on a ‘girls week out’ traveling with a girlfriend. It was a blast, and proved (to myself) that I could do it.
Don’t give up hope. God uses our weaknesses as well as our strengths. Thank heavens! 🙂
Emily dear… I have something to say. It’s a secret, so don’t tell.
(99.9% of the people in the world have a layer of muck beneath their thin candy coating. And the other .1% are just so good at covering up that no statisticians have ever quite been able to catch their muckyness.)
Okay, so not so much a secret. But really, it’s true. The real problem is that half the people in the world never acknowledge that truth, and keep trying to live out of the thin candy coating, rather than digging down and living out of the real them way down underneath the muck. Because to get to that real person, you have to dig through the muck, and face the muck, and deal with it, and that’s no fun.
So here’s to facing the muck.
(And btw, in case you haven’t caught on yet, I really, really like the whole candy coating/muck analogy. Go Esta.) 🙂
I get depressed too, where I melt into a puddle and am incapable of thinking or functioning well. I call those times ‘melt downs.’ All the candy coating gets dissolved, and the muck is exposed for everyone to see. It stumps some people, but the real friends who value you stay in the dark to hold you and wipe your tears and talk to God with you. And afterward, your heart is that bit bigger and wiser and fuller, and you have more to give again. I hope you find this to be your reality. Hugs to you!
Hooray for not letting the muck suffocate the real Emily! All of us have muck, some people just refuse to admit to theirs which gives it more power in their life. I know it feels awful sometimes, but I also know that you are stronger than you know.
Emily, I came to your blog via your mom’s blog, whom I’ve read for several years now. You may not realize this, but your willingness to go public and talk about dealing with such issues as possible chemical imbalances and possible mental illnesses/breakdowns marks you as an extraordinary young woman with emotional strength far beyond your years. My husband was diagnosed with severe ADHD (a form of mental illness in adults) several years ago, and in his case the prescribed medication and therapy to learn to utilize both sides of his brain properly has made an extraordinary difference in both his life and mine. There are all kinds of ways to manage such challenges medically, emotionally, physically, and spiritually~~good for you for seeking help and for choosing to be open about it so that others who fear coming forward may come to know that there’s help through your openness and willingness to share your journey.
The other thing? I am positive you already know this, but to have medical issues with depression, bipolar disease, ADHD, schizophrenia, and many other mental challenges is no different spiritually than having any other physical challenges such as being born without an arm or to have a tendency to catch every virus that goes around. : ) In other words, many sincere religious people act like any form of mental challenges are somehow “sinful.” Such a belief is foolish and harmful~~and it keeps many people from getting the medical (and often psychological) help they need in order for their brain to get well.
You go, girl! Thanks for sharing your journey with us~~we are honored and privileged that you have done so.