Today is not a good day to be alone with myself. I am struggling to find my way out of a hole I began digging the moment I woke up. And despite my attempts to keep them at bay, bad thoughts invade like a thousand bees, attacking my emotions and setting them on fire with each sting.
Comfort to me on a day like this is losing myself in the sheets of my bed, hunkered down in the darkness of my room; all noise and time and life itself just stopping to allow a few moments of relief. But it's impossible to do this with four kids and a husband and laundry to fold and dishes to do. So I reflect on which sting is itching and burning the most at this point, and leave the others to swell and run their course and do whatever bee stings do until I can attend them as well.
My attention focuses on the swollen sting, the one on the most tender place of my being - my heart; the one which seems to stick around for awhile, unable to release its poison and heal itself over time. Thoughts drift back to a time when life was less complicated and more complicated, and in a sense didn't make any sense. I had friends but most of them weren't really true friends and some were in and out of my life like driftwood on a treacherous sea. Some I haven't seen or talked to in years, some have just re-entered my life but are just the same as they've always been. And some have changed as much as I have.
I think back to everything I was able to do - everything I had, and I find myself desiring to have that old life again. Not tied to anything, just having fun. I miss it. I miss the freedom of being able to just get up and go and I miss some of the attention I got from men and I miss drinking with friends on Friday nights. Or at least I think I do. I am often blind-sighted by these nostalgic feelings of my life from before and I always forget about the associated pain and sadness which I was drowning in for as long as I can remember.
I scratch a little more now, trying to squeeze out all this poison because I know somehow it's not good to leave these thoughts alone to fester.
I am trying to remember the good things about my life before and I wonder what exactly it is that I'm really missing. I see people who were around back then and wonder if they've changed (for better or worse) as much as I have. I pray that some of them really have turned their lives around but I notice that some of them haven't. It's actually kind of sad. And some have situations that have changed but their environment and behavior has not and that's even more sad. I can't imagine not feeling like my entire life didn't have to change when my situation did. In my old life, I had money. And I had lots of friends. And I did what I wanted to do. I drank a lot also and I went through each day without much care.
So what is it that I'm missing?
The answer comes quickly as the last little bit of poison oozes out. Everything that I keep thinking about from my past is nothing. It means nothing. Yes I had money....but I spent it on unimportant things. Yes I had freedom...but it was to do things I shouldn't have been doing. Free will is only as good as the choices you make when using it. All of the things I think of when I get that desire to have my life the way it was are in actuality lies from the devil himself. At first glance, they are always so glamorous and attractive. They somehow manifest some sense of elation and desire within me. But those feelings are fleeting as I notice that the shininess I perceive from them is really just the devil blinding me with florescent light, enough to make it so I miss the cracks in the surface of these imagined treasures and the superficial reality they represent. But I see it just in time to remember that I am not his any longer. Tempt me he may but I don't miss him.
Below is a poem I rattled out of my head this afternoon. Good, bad, whatever. It is what it is.
I hear the devil knocking at my door
He shows me glamor from my life before
He shows me sex
Alcohol, money, and power
He's there knocking
Hour after hour
And I'm sitting here
Finding it hard not to think
What exactly pulls me back from the brink
Of that distant life, so long ago
It's here somewhere
But I just don't know
What is it that I'm missing anyway?
Why do I feel so sad inside
How can I figure out so much
When I have so little time?
Pounding now, on my door
He's waiting, waiting as he was before
Giving me memories, nostalgia that won't quit
I want to open up and take that trip
Take that hand extended to me
Go back to that life where I was free
Free to do whatever I wanted
No babies, no husband, nothing I loved
Just me and myself, withering away
Going through the motions of each passing day
Blindly searching for something new
Despairing in darkness as sinners do
What is it that I'm missing anyway?
The silent ticking of each passing day?
Being filled with anger and sadness and pain?
Sins of the world pouring down like rain?
Knocking louder at my door-
But Satan, I've told you many times before
No matter what, you can't have me
I belong to Jesus - for eternity.