It helps to have a Crisis Plan.

This feeling creeps in and before I know it I don’t recognize myself.

My thoughts are cloudy. Sounds are muffled. I feel as though I am trapped inside a bubble.

My thoughts turn negative, my perception skewed to see the bad and not the good in almost everything.

Tears come very easily; yet, it isn’t about the spilled milk, or the dirty paw prints across the clean floor.

It takes days for it to register what this is.

And, then it hits me. October. This month. I hate this month.

October 29th looms large. The anniversary of my brother’s suicide.

First day of school

IU

Let's Dance

My favorite photo

Every year I tell myself I am not going to fall into this downward spiral. Every single year I say it won’t happen again. The depression, the cloudy head, the negative outlook. Yet, every year it creeps in and surprises me.

My husband notes a difference in me, my kids looks at me with confusion in their eyes. I become the weak one in the family; the one who must be tip toed around; the one with a short fuse. I don’t have as much energy to spend time with friends. I look at my full calendar and just want it all to go away.

I withdraw like a snail who hovers in her shell until the rains stop.

In response, I spend more time in silence listening for His Still Small Voice (1 Kings 19:11,12). I meditate on God’s word. I remind myself to get exercise and more sleep. I pair down my responsibilities so that I only do what is absolutely essential – food on the table, clean clothes, clean house, love and presence with my husband and children. And, I intentionally do not make any major decisions or take on any new commitments during this time.

After 11 years, I am learning what my “crisis plan” looks like.

I wish I understood the mechanics of all of this. Does my psyche/mind/spirit just know to do this? Is is a protection mechanism? Was the shock and trauma I experienced so big that I experience a PTSD type reaction every year at this time? I want to understand. Because maybe if I understand I can avoid the pain of this part of my journey. Maybe I can protect my family from having to see me like this.

Will I live the rest of my lifetime wishing the month of October away? Will it ever get any easier?

As I write this, I visualize the questions and confusion, the request for understanding and answers swarming up towards heaven, like bees from an angry hive. I imagine Jesus sitting with palms open ready to receive whatever my thoughts dish out.

He is patient and kind; he does not envy or boast; he is not arrogant or rude. He does not insist on his own way; he is not irritable or resentful; he does not rejoice at my wrongdoings, but rejoices with the truth. He bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. He never ends. (1 Cor 13:4-7, paraphrased)

For now I see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. (1 Cor 13:12, paraphrased)

His Truth brings me comfort. Even as I don’t yet fully know or understand how this chapter of my story fits into His eternal story, He does. And, that brings me comfort.

So, for now, I will sit with Him. And when the questions and confusion swarm, I will choose to lift them up into His open palms confident that He will receive them. I will choose to wait patiently in silence for His response. {I am tempted to wallow. Therefore, I must choose.}

The month of October may never get easier for me. But, over the course of the last twelve years, God and I have worked out a “crisis plan”.

I now feel as though I am sitting comfortably with a dear friend open and exposed. He sees me, the real me. I am not hiding anymore, and that feels good.

purposed for authenticity,

jana

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6 thoughts on “It helps to have a Crisis Plan.

  1. I’m glad you’re learning to identify this and remembering to take care of yourself. Remember to give yourself some slack, too. It’s ok to feel this way. (I know, it’s not always ok to act out those feelings, but the feelings themselves are allowed!) God knows and understands and aches with you. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? I wonder if it also has to do with the changing of the seasons. I remember reading before that a lot of people who struggle with depression or other similar challenges often find this time of year to be particularly difficult–less sunlight, shifts in weather and activity, etc. That probably doesn’t help! Miss seeing you around, friend!

  2. Corry’s memory must never fade from our lives. Through these memories, he lives on!
    Love to you and your famly,
    Shelley

  3. I remember, sweet friend, how you feel about October and have been praying for you (and the guys) for days. I am sorry that this is a burden you must bear, but I take comfort in knowing that it has been filtered through the fingers of the One Who knows you better than anyone else AND I KNOW that He will make something beautiful out of it :-) He is making you more like Jesus, so choosing to sit at His feet is THE best choice. (And I know you know that!)

    I miss you, girl. I’ve left life consume me and haven’t been in touch. I’m sorry about that. Let’s talk when you can. Know that I love you bunches and will continually lift you before our Father! xoxo

I would love to hear from you!