Sanity – You WILL Lose It {The Grove: Sanity}

Here’s a heads up. If you don’t already know this, you probably should…

You are going to lose it.

Yep. It’s pretty much guaranteed. It may come during a global move or in the throes of culture-shock, in the thick of re-entry, or in the middle of a hard and unexpected season of your cross-cultural life.

Maybe you’ll experience it during all of the above.

But at some point you will reach your breaking point, whatever that looks like for you.

And guess what. That’s not the worst part.

The worst is when you beat yourself up and down for losing it.

The worst is when you look around at other women and wonder why they seem to have it all together.

The worst is when you feel like there’s something wrong with you that you can’t handle this, that you’re not good enough, not strong enough, not meant for this.

The worst is when you feel like a loser mom, wife, or woman for acting the way you did, and you pile on the shame.

The worst is this shame because it just makes you lose it more often.

The worst is when you keep it all to yourself, afraid to let others know how much you’re hurting, how fragile you feel.

The worst is when you don’t know where to turn for help, when you feel stuck and alone.

The worst is the doubt that slithers in, whispering, “It’s always going to be like this… Things are never going to change… You’re never going to change… God, he may not come through for you…”

THAT is the worst.

I believe with all my heart that everyone needs to receive the best possible training and be absolutely diligent in setting boundaries and investing intentionally in soul care. These will help immensely with the state of your sanity.

But…

Even with the best training, boundaries and soul care, you will still reach a breaking point. Something will be more than you can handle. Something will blindside you, overwhelm you, leave you cracking.

I think if we accept this, we’ll handle it better when it does happen. We won’t heap on the shame or hide out in our brokenness.

What if “losing it” was not a stigma to avoid, but an acknowledged part of the journey? What if we could openly say, “I’m going through this right now, and I feel ashamed, but I also know this is life. I need you to walk with me toward Jesus right now”?

What if that was the atmosphere we created and lived in?

Maybe you want to share, but perhaps you don’t know how to articulate the root problem or identify the reason you are not okay.

I’d say people (myself included) reach their breaking points, they feel their sanity slipping, their well-being withering for one of these reasons:

  1. Something you did or didn’t do. It’s eating you up. The “if only’s” haunt you. Regret wakes with you, follows you, sleeps with you.
  1. Something someone else did. You’ve tried to let it go, to forgive, but the pain sneaks back, the bitterness silently boiling…
  1. It’s just too much. You are worn out. The stress doesn’t stop. You are the camel, and it’s that one. more. straw.
  1. You don’t believe in your completeness. All you see is lack, a need to be more, to do more, to be better. You are never enough.
  1. Loss. A dream. A plan. An idea of “this is how life will be.” A relationship. A community. An identity. A loved one. These losses can be an ache that won’t leave. And what about the losses that feel too “worldly” to grieve? Your home. Your possessions. Your comforts. Your proximity to family. Your financial security.
  1. Fear. The unknowns, they’re killing you. You see all the ways it could fall apart. You worry and pray, worry and pray. You ask, but deep down, you’re afraid the answer will be “no” and you’ll be left hanging with the life you fear.

I don’t dare have pat answers for any of these. I offer them as a means to help you identify what you’re struggling with, and to say that these are all very real reasons to reach your breaking point.

Which of these has caused a breaking point in you? What would you add to the list?

I know that when I’ve been at one of these points in my life, I’ve usually known exactly what I needed. To forgive. To rest. To grieve. To let go. To trust. To find help.

It’s usually obvious and easy to know what you need. It’s the opposite of easy to actually do it. To truly live and experience it.

That, my friend, can only happen through the unique road to healing that God has just for you, for me.

The worst thing is not reaching your breaking point, it’s not “losing it.”

The worst is believing that healing and hope are not for you. Because they are. Healing and hope are yours. They belong to you in the name of Jesus. Will you believe him for that? Will you cry out and ask him for healing and hope?

The Grove here at Velvet Ashes is a place to share. It’s a time to open up and find that you are not alone, that your struggles are real reasons to be “not okay.” It’s a place for us to come alongside each other and walk toward Jesus together.

We’re here to believe for you that healing and hope are yours.

What has you feeling like your sanity is slipping and your well-being withering?  

Or have you been there in the past? What has your road to healing and hope looked like?

If you’re looking for a hand of help, check out our Resources for the Valley and consider spending time at a place like Link Care (this is a personal recommendation, not an affiliated relationship).

*****

This is what we call The Grove.  It’s where we all gather to share our thoughts, our words, and our art on our weekly prompt.  So join us in the comments.  Show us your art work by adding an image. And link up your own blog posts on this week’s prompt.  Click here for details and instructions.

18 Comments

  1. Beth Everett June 4, 2015

    Beautiful and gracious as always, Danielle. Thank you!

    1. Danielle Wheeler June 4, 2015

      And thank YOU, as always, for your sweet encouragement.  And your post… wow, we’re living parallel lives right now.  Thinking of you!

  2. Cyndi June 4, 2015

    So there right now.  Sobbing as I say goodbye to our college age children again.  Oldest son got married last weekend and I am processing that, and leaving him with his new bride, and realizing that I am going to miss all of those “newlywed” firsts…and it is just too much.  And right now I just want to chuck it all and scream and yell…And I feel guilty for feeling that way.  So I will plaster on the smile and get on the plane tomorrow and just keep going.  and sometime next week or next month I will blow my testimony in the grocery store…again.

    1. Danielle Wheeler June 4, 2015

      Oh, Cyndi.  Aching for you…  That’s a lot of very real pain and loss and grief.  I think God can handle it if you need to scream and yell.  Seriously.

      Thanks for your bravery to share how you’re really feeling.  I hear your loss of hope.  I pray for your journey.  I pray he’ll lead you to whatever it is he has to bring you hope and healing.

      And I’ll just throw this out there… Sometimes I think we get on planes because we think we HAVE to, that there isn’t any other option.  I know this is crazy with your flight being tomorrow, but I wonder if you could stay (even for a while) to find that hope and healing?

      1. Cyndi June 5, 2015

        Thank you for listening to my insane rant.  Unfortunately, this was a “had to”.  I keep telling myself that it’s not the end of the world…but sometimes it sure feels like it.

        Again, thank you for letting me vent my crazy emotions!

        1. Lauren Pinkston June 7, 2015

          Cyndi–I think grocery stores were made for losing our testimonies. And intersections. And back porches. Well, there. I’ve lost my testimony lots of times. I hear the pain in your words and I ache with you, but I also giggled a little at your wittiness–is that bad? The testimonies we lose are rewritten by greater ones. I hope this time gives you a new story of heartache and healing to tell with pride.

          1. Cyndi June 7, 2015

            Lauren,

            Laughter is my love language–I’ve always said that people don’t need to worry about me unless I lose my laughter.  I’m glad I made you giggle!  And we have to add anything that might possibly involve paperwork to the list of things that make me blow my testimony.  The words “I’m sorry ma’am, but you don’t have the right documents” (after I had visited the same office and talked to the same person just a day before to find out what I needed) are enough to send me into orbit.  Sometimes my prayer before I walk into a stressful situation is just “Lord, shut my mouth!”

    2. Jan in Mexico June 7, 2015

      Cyndi, I had to do the same exact thing a few days ago! My son got married on May 23rd, went on his honeymoon, came back and I got to see them for a few days and then had to leave them along with my other college-age son. It was heart wrenching this time. I’m praying for you, will you pray for me?? 🙂

      1. Cyndi June 7, 2015

        Jan, absolutely!  This “long distance momma” thing is SO hard!

  3. Elizabeth June 5, 2015

    I lost my mind this hot season. It would be easy to say it was the heat, but it wasn’t the heat. It was unforgiveness and a subsequent avoidance of God. It’s something I’ve been planning on writing about eventually, just haven’t had the time for it yet! Suffice it to say, the reason I lost my mind was not the external stuff I thought was bugging me so much. It was internal, inside my heart, in my need to “get right” with God, to receive His forgiveness for my angry attitudes, and finally to extend forgiveness to those I was angry at.

    1. Danielle Wheeler June 5, 2015

      “The reason I lost my mind was not the external stuff I thought was bugging me so much.”  Oh, this is so often true!!  I will so look forward to hearing more about your hot season.

      1. Elizabeth June 18, 2015

        Here it is, Danielle. 🙂 http://www.alifeoverseas.com/angry-mean-and-redeemed/

  4. Michele Womble June 5, 2015

    “Here’s a heads up. If you don’t already know this, you probably should…You are going to lose it.  Yep. It’s pretty much guaranteed.”

    Oh, yeah.  Wish it wasn’t true, but….

     

    1. Danielle Wheeler June 5, 2015

      Yeah, Michele, I wish it wasn’t true too!

      This is a little side note, but I have to remind myself that everyone reaches their breaking points, including those that are born and grow up and raise a family all in the same town.  Although there are different dynamics to cross-cultural living, we ALL face issues that make us “lose it.”  None of the 6 reasons are unique to overseas living…

      1. Michele Womble June 5, 2015

        ….and the phenomenon of expecting ourselves NOT to “lose it” and being shocked and ashamed when we do is also not unique to overseas living…

        we just have different dynamics feeding into the 6 points and the shame and how we deal with it…

  5. Brittany June 6, 2015

    Thank you for sharing. My tiny famiky of three is getting ready for the biggest move of our lives. This is what we want, and what we are called to do, but it’s not always easy. It’s funny, the little things we “lose it” over! So glad I’m not the only one!

  6. MaDonna June 7, 2015

    I found my head nodding in agreement, Danielle.

    “The worst thing is not reaching your breaking point, it’s not “losing it.” The worst is believing that healing and hope are not for you. ”  YES!!!!

    Needed that reminder, as the transition of moving sends some of those triggers spinning out of control causing my mind to start down the road to “breaking-point”. *exhale* and trust, *inhale* and trust, etc.

     

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