Friday, July 4

be sad


“Be in love with your life. Every detail of it.” – Jack Kerouac

I resent the notion that we should always be happy. I have quotes like the one above pop into my Pinterest feed, and I scoff at them. Forcing happiness and optimism at all times is the surest way I know to be internally sad.

When I sit on the couch, wasted and teary from frustration, I think morbid things. I wish I’d lost a leg or an eye over my strength. I wonder how I am supposed to wake up tomorrow and go on.  

I will always remember the talks we got at my music and dance school.

“If you lose a limb or a finger, what will you do as plan B?”

Trawling the vocation guides, I listlessly decided on psychology or french teaching. As if I would lose a finger. Besides, music was already my plan B after ballet, and I had no intention of letting it slip from my grasp. I really had no interest whatsoever in plan C.

And now I would beg on my knees for plan C because I wound up with plan Z - except I won’t call it a plan, because I never conceived of it. To call ‘Z’ unpleasant is an understatement, because strength is the essential ingredient to almost everything. Even to sleep. The caged torment of being mentally sound but physically unable sometimes overwhelms me.

The reverse is even more challenging.

I wonder how to come to terms with Z?

The only way I know to deal with Z, is to acknowledge it and grieve. I let my cheeks get slippery wet without accusing myself of being sorry for myself. I cry because it’s the only way I can expel pain. Once I’ve wrung it out, I am released from exasperation. It is my favourite anti-depressant to date; side effect of puffy eyes is hardly worth mentioning.

Afterwards, I can pan out and see Z as a part of my life. It can only suffocate all that I think and do, if I allow it to. I zoom out and I see that right beside Z is my hilarious dog, my handsome husband, my urge to create left untouched, the discontent of man in every single situation, and the privilege it is to walk on earth for however many days I’m given. There’s something free about being empty and helpless, so openly so that I have to admit it. More moments seem beautiful because I’m less fixated on plan A, all consuming plan A.

The only way I can enjoy being alive, is to feel loss and sadness. I am most real and at peace when I depart from ‘got it together and loves life’ stoicism.
 My love of this Ecclesiastes quote grows with time,

“For everything there is a season and a time for ever matter under heaven.
...a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”

Chapter 4:3


  1. Yes and yes and yes. Seasons go forever though don't they? I've just started emailing an old pastor friend's teenage daughter with her progression into cfs. I'm showing her your beautiful honest blog and praying she can find solace here as I do in knowing you and feeling the relief of saying 'me too, oh me too!'

  2. Another great post sister. I think your suffering is (at least in part) for my comfort and no doubt for others too. The things you write out of your suffering are so often a balm to my own weary soul. The Lord's strength and sustaining grace to you and Ben.