I’ve had a lot of people ask me when I’m going to start blogging again about France, so I’ve decided to make it a part of my weekly routine. But let me confess something…when I miss a few weeks/months that means it is time to start praying for me. When life is hard in a beautiful place, it makes it hard to be honest. There’s a lot of unspoken pressure in our world that I’m sure you’ve felt online. Pressure to show life at its best, to make your life seem as good as your friends on Facebook, or to live up to the Pinterest and Instagram pics in your daily notifications. But real life is messy…even when you live somewhere amazing like France. Some of my darkest days in the last year have been while we lived in France or at the beach, and if I implied I was anything other than thrilled to be there the comments on my posts made me feel like I couldn’t share reality with friends. So, I shut down. I took my messy reality and I hid it behind beach pictures and whitewashed, stunted sentences.
I don’t share this to be a downer, but to be honest with those of you who really care about me, and maybe with a few of you out there who will read this and relate. Depression is a monster that lurks in plain sight, and I’ve seen more than I want of him, but moving away, going on a grand adventure, and pursuing your lifelong dreams does not fully kill the beast that haunts my steps. No, he’s there, waiting for me to feel vulnerable again, and he strikes most often when life is at its fullest. When all my dreams are coming true. When life is beautiful and feels too perfect, that’s when he attacks. I am awash in guilt, overwhelmed by how little I deserve this awesome life, and convinced I will ruin it. That’s where he settles in. He makes his home right in the middle of my “perfect” life, and within a few days it is all in shambles around me. I try to prop up the illusion, but that too is exhausting. It’s easier to hide, and let the beast take over.
Maybe you know someone who is usually on Facebook, or Instagram who is suddenly gone. Reach out to your friend, and let them know you were thinking about them. Don’t let them disappear without a trace. The best kinds of friends are those who see you in your pain, and let your reality be acknowledged. So, encourage them to speak their truth, and listen with ears that really hear. You don’t have to have answers. Listening is a powerful thing, and love can save a life.
Thanks for cheering me on,