Thursday, September 27, 2012

In which I Choose to Feel

Back when I was sick last summer, I realized why people got addicted to things. I mean, I got it on some level because my dad was an addict. He sacrificed everything for his addiction. His family, his savings, his life. And he did the first two more than once. More than once my mom left my dad. More than once they lost everything. And after ten years of being clean, he gave into the temptation again. And that time it killed him.

I can make zero justification for my dad's choices. People used to tell me when I was a kid that he "did his best." I think they were trying to justify their inaction when they knew he was hurting me. No, he didn't. And if he did? His best sucked. Don't get me wrong, I have a few good memories. But I have more memories of being afraid. Of hiding. Of losing everything I loved. Of leaving my friends because we had to run and hide from him. Of getting frantic messages that he was missing that last time he fell back into cocaine. Of the heartache of the intervention. Of my mom's voice when she called to tell me he died suddenly. Of not knowing what to tell the pastor to say at his funeral.

Which brings me back to being sick last summer when we lost Garrett. Everything hurt. Everything. My body. My soul. My brain. My emotions. Nothing didn't hurt. It even hurt to look in the mirror at my ravaged self. Heck, it hurt other people to look at me. I can see the temptation of pain pills. Of alcohol. Of anything to numb the pain of the empty nursery and my four year old's heartache. To make it so I didn't feel my husband watching me like I might disappear.

But you know what? I choose to be awake. I choose to feel. I choose to live. I choose to hurt. I choose to love. I choose joy. Some of that is my own strength. I'm pretty tough in a lot of ways. Focused. Determined. But you know what it really is? Grace. Like Paul in 1 Corinthians 15. I work hard to be who I am. But it's not me. It's the grace of God.

But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.

This post is my contribution to the SheLoves Synchroblog Awake. Click here to read other stories on this theme and to add yours.


  1. Thank you for sharing your story. It's so scary sometimes to choose to feel when life has left us scarred. But not to feel is to die in some small way, so we choose life and hope even in the midst of pain to find joy. Peace to you, friend.

  2. It's beautiful that you chose to be awake, even to pain. That's some mature, "spiritually solid food" right there. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thank you so much. It means so much to me that you took the time to read and comment and share.

  4. Beauty from ashes. God is so good.

  5. Sharaze, wow ... this is so hard, but so beautiful. Thank you for sharing some of your story.