It all feels recent and yet distant.
Painful memories are less prominent (unless it is late at night).
Sleep has returned to a normal cycle.
Beautiful memories, ones from before illness finally fill my mind.
The missing remains, but it is blanketed at times with new coping skills.
Here is where my current mental battle remains...irrational fears are still very present, usually surfacing at bedtime.
At nineteen months out from experiencing one of my biggest fears become my reality...I am existing somewhere between wanting to dream of my future again and knowing dreams don't always come true.
It's a strange place to be; this in-between.
The place where tragedy has touched and changed me deeply, yet hopes linger.
When I am exhausted, strange thoughts and feelings can enter my mind. It isn't fully explainable, it is as though I am on the verge of dreaming of a new future, yet I am sabotaging it with crazy "worst fear" scenarios at the same time. My mind races off on a tangent. "What if?" How would I respond if my worst fears about the future came true (again)? Why would I respond that way? Over and over, the scenarios play out in my mind. I find myself frustrated over something that hasn't even happened. Irrational fears are a little discussed part of the grief process.
Any new happiness will always be tinged with my reality that loss occurs in this life. It is a mental battle to just experience the joy when it comes and not play out all the possible negative scenarios that could ruin it. The thought process is unwelcome yet unavoidable.
So I turn to Scripture. I read in my Bible and claim God's Word. Taking thoughts captive. Being reminded that He makes beauty from ashes. Resting under the safety of His wings and taking shelter there from the vicious cycle of thoughts and fears that want to grip my mind and steal my future happiness. Remembering that fear is not from God but is a weapon of the enemy, I lay my fears...rational and irrational both...at the foot of the cross.
The peace He gives cleanses my mind and heart.
I am currently residing in the in-between. Behind me lay ruins. A greatest fear realized through profound loss. Before me exists an immediate future I can neither predict nor control. Beyond that lies eternity, which is secured in Christ.
My responsibility is to be obedient to Christ, keep my mind steadfast on Him, and to trust Him for the details. I pray he enlarges my ability to fully experience hopes and dreams again and diminishes my "devil's advocate" mentality that constantly wants to remind me things in life are hard and won't go as planned. I depend on Him alone to balance knowledge of reality and the ability to dream of beauty again. In the meantime, I am fighting hard to live in the moment and enjoy the now.
I want renewal.
I want to dream without constant filter of fear and loss touching it.
For this in-between is where newness will sprout, if I allow it.