Worth it?

by Mrs. Smith on September 24, 2018

Hi friends!! 
So, when you were in a difficult place and working on trying to get to a less-difficult place, has anyone ever tried to tell you “It’s hard, but it’s worth it…”
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and then, instead of being encouraged, you kinda wanted to kick them in the shins and tell ’em to shut up?
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…or is that just me? 🤣
If you have experienced that level of hard, keep reading. If you haven’t, none of this will make sense. You’ve had fair warning.
For those of you still reading, this is pretty great, you guys. I had an interesting, empowering epiphany today, and I sincerely hope it makes sense when I put it into words. You’ll benefit from a little backstory at this point. Sorry if it’s old news.
I’ve been on this PTSD recovery path for almost 5 years now. Five very long years. It seems like I get through one layer of crap, catch a breather but (darnit!) I’m not really functional at 100% yet, and then up comes an even worse layer of crap to deal with.
The last time I came up for air, things were pretty great. I felt refreshingly almost-normal for months and months, and there was just this tiny little hidden 10% where I couldn’t be authentically “me.” Compared to some of the low points, I thought it was great — and mostly, actually, I tried not to think about it.
But that 10% didn’t want to be left behind, so…
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…despite my best efforts to ignore it, up came another layer of crap.
This “layer” I’m working on now started ripping things up about 4 months ago. It started out small but it’s been increasingly ugly & intense. Flashbacks again. New memories getting un-repressed (which often, for me, means not simply “remembered” but “relived in vivid detail.”) Not sleeping well. Crying spells. Anxiety that makes it almost impossible to make simple decisions, like “hm, what should I wear today?” or “what shall we eat for dinner?” Deep, crushing depression at times. Wanting to not be alive. Sometimes wishing I didn’t have to get up and face the day. Sometimes feeling like my body is in outright rebellion and it just WON’T move, even if I want to.
That’s how it goes sometimes. This is my life, and I’m kind of done with hiding it. I miss blogging too much. So. You get the real deal now. Aren’t you so glad.
 Yes, I’m getting help. Lots and lots of it. I love my support network, it’s incredible. If you’re reading this, you’re probably part of it, so thank you!
This isn’t my first rodeo. I get it. Sometimes it gets “worse” before it gets better. Been there, done this, at least a dozen times. This layer is getting chipped away bit by bit and it won’t last forever. I’m kind of a professional patient, even if I’m not very patient patient at times.
So, that’s the back-story.
Today, I thought about that whole “it’s hard but it’s worth it” concept, and instead of shutting down how I really feel, I opened it up and just let it out.
I do NOT believe that anything this hard can possibly be “worth it.”
I just freaking don’t!!!
I have absolutely no context for what that would look like.
What could possibly be so wonderful that I could go through this kind of emotional hell and later, seeing all those months and years, the super-long days and nights, I’d high-five heaven and say, “Yep. Worth it.” How could I know how those struggles messed with these precious moments when my kids were still young and needed me so much, and mama just wasn’t all there…. I’d look at all that and somehow feel like what I gained through that was “worth it”?
NO WAY. There is nothing I can think of right now that I would willingly “buy” with this kind of price-tag.
But. I am completely committed to following this healing path all the way. Because I’m a stubborn ass donkey, basically. Also, PTSD taught me how to swear, apparently. Beware the written word!  

So, the epiphany? The “hmmmm… there’s an idea” lightbulb moment?

 What little seed did God plant in my mind when I went ahead and dug up the ground with my honesty?
I had this realization about my life…
Therapy and other helpful tools can fix the depression/anxiety/trigger issues. I’ve seen that happen, felt that happen.  There will be a time when PTSD gets under control (again) and the trauma gets all beautifully healed up (again). It probably won’t be that far in the future, if I had to guess.
It really does take a lot of work to get there, though, and the truth is:
There’s no guarantee that it’ll be “worth it!”
HA! There isn’t!!!!!!
Isn’t that a great epiphany????! Let me put it a different way.
It’s up to ME whether or not it ends up being “worth it.”
If I don’t make a conscious effort to create something I love,
it probably won’t be “worth it,”
so you can spare me your motivational memes, thanks…
That’s a choice I get to make.
Going through the motions and dealing with crap until it’s all nicely resolved does NOT guarantee anything other than… less crap!  Maybe!
I can be observant. I can dig deep along this journey and be on the lookout for what lights me up inside. In fact, I don’t need to wait for some mystical “all better” point in my future to figure that out. (Whether or not that “all better” place exists it currently in question, too, btw… But that’s a different post entirely.)
I bet I can cultivate so many little sources of beauty and joy and peace and love and gratitude and meaningful service along the way, wherever I am on this journey, that at the end of my life (which hopefully will be a good many years from now!) — I actually *will* look back on my near-death experience and the ultra-hard years of recovery that followed… and with great satisfaction say,
“Whaddayaknow? With God’s help, it WAS worth it.”
That’s the idea, anyway.
Heck, finding this epiphany and writing it out feels so good that, actually…
I would say that it probably was worth getting out of bed this morning and working through emotional crap-land and dealing with the stuff that led me to glean this gem. Today. Not generalizing this over the last 5 years, but yeah. It was worth it today.
Hm. Go figure!
It is especially worth it if it helps someone else… so, thanks for reading. Whether it’s PTSD or finals week or bereavement or a loved one’s mental illness or unemployment or a failing marriage or a teething baby or rebellious teens or the lack of kids  — whatever your hard thing is that you’re working through…
I bet with God’s help, you can figure out something to change, something to learn, someone to help later because of what you’re going through… I bet there COULD be a way somewhere down the road, for your continued efforts to stack up and eventually, somehow to make all that work “worth it.”
Let’s go ahead and try, anyway, and see what happens.
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