Very recently the brazen, railing truth of a dear friend’s motto has come to my doorstep. Likely I have said this phrase hundreds of times. In personal conversations, in my mental storm, and even in business meetings.
What is obvious to me, is obvious to me.
With the finesse of a Mac truck, the reality of this reality came dancing into my living room just two nights ago and flattened me cold. How is it possible that if I know this to be true, that I, even I, forgot to remember.
In a previous post I mentioned that this past calendar year, well up until about last May, was one of the hardest, darkest times in my life. When I feel like a train wreck emotionally and physically I assume someone, meaning everyone, must be able to tell. Surely if I’m drowning it’s supremely clear to those around. And even though I live remotely and have referred to this locale, albeit beautiful, as “The Shining,” during the winter, certainly I must see enough people to warrant someone noticing that I’m crumbling at every corner. But……..no. What is obvious to me, is obvious to me.
Now I don’t mean to imply that it’s anyone’s responsibility necessarily, to notice and therefore fix me. I simply thought that because I felt like a trash yard complete with burning tires and an exploded smelter in the corner, that it was deeply obvious that I was barely holding it together most of the time. But, what is obvious to me, is indeed obvious to me.
Laid as the unintended foundation for this past season of life is the awkward, angled and painful adjustment to this new town that began in 2009. Surely if I have struggled this long with this same issue of needing to make sense in a dissonant locale that this, even this struggle, must be as subtle as a half time show. And there again we have it – what is obvious to me, is obvious to me.
My husband and I had a deeply difficult and real and worth it conversation two nights ago about this past year. What spurred this conversation was a comment he offered that mirrored the comments of two other friends. The meat of these comments was that they hadn’t realized how hard and awful this past year was for me. Needless to say, I was shocked. I mean, each day I felt I was falling apart completely and it wasn’t a roaring, awful sight to see for all those around me? I couldn’t blame anyone for not noticing as though it were their oversight – I mean, three fully different people said the same thing. So that left the common denominator – me – to be examined. I knew I wasn’t intentionally covering up or pretending to be holding it together. And as an established advanced communicator, certainly I had expressed how I was doing, or wasn’t doing, on enough occasions for those around me to have a sense of my struggle. Right?
But what is obvious to me, still is just obvious to me.
Tenacity is the accidental overcoat. It shields the internal struggle with an outside that appears to be in above average working order. My husband said that because I didn’t show my depression through more classic ways like laying on couch or not leaving the house and so on, that he really had limited sense of how bad it was. And this is from a man who loves me deeply and would do anything for me. However, even if I had wanted to respond to my life in those ways, I just couldn’t. Even when I was so ill I could barely stand, I had to make bottles and change diapers and provide meals and keep going because two other humans depend on me for everything. I couldn’t quit. There was no other person who could take over for me. I couldn’t check out or miss a day. By God and the shear willpower He gave me with His new mercies each morning, I survived each day.
Still I was shocked that what I knew to be painfully obvious just simply wasn’t.
So what do I do moving forward? How do I change my ways of showing need or explaining myself?