This is the lie I told this morning at church…
In response to the question “How are you today?” – my answer was “fine, thank you.” Or some version of that several dozen times as I greeted different people. I smiled and lied to each of them.
The honest answer would have been…
“I’m exhausted and worried. My son is retreating further into himself every day, and I feel like he is taking us all with him as we try to figure out how to help him. It took every ounce of strength I had just to get myself here.”
But that honest answer is probably more than most people want to hear. And it is also more than I tend to want most people to know. I am an introvert and self-sufficient. I am slow to let people in, and even slower to ask for or accept help. I have worried that telling the messy truth will elicit one of two responses from people – either running away as fast as they can, or inviting themselves in with offers of help and support. Neither scenario is particularly appealing. As much as that is true, it is also true that continuing to tell people that everything is “fine” is not sustainable.
So this blog is where I can shout “I AM NOT FINE. WE ARE NOT FINE. WE ARE ALL A LITTLE BROKEN!” It is a safe way for this introvert to reach out into the world and to let people in. It is where I can acknowledge that in order to have the strength and energy to get my son the help he needs and the healing my entire family needs, I need to be willing to ask for and accept some help.
For those of you who know our family in “real life”, the truth is we are struggling each and every day. Struggling to help our son, while keeping things as “normal” as possible for our daughter. Struggling to make the time and space needed for our kids, while also being good partners to each other and daughter/son/brother/sister/friend/employee/boss to so many other people. We are not fine. We are struggling and we are broken, but we are fighting. We aren’t entirely sure at this point what our son is battling against, but we are close to having some answers and we know there is a long, hard battle ahead for all of us. We know we need our personal village. We know that we have so often in the past been the ones to offer support, and now we need to be willing accept some support.
For those of you who have come across this blog, but don’t know us in “real life”, the truth is we are struggling each and every day and we know we aren’t alone. Whatever your personal battle may be, I hope that following along on our journey will give you comfort. I hope that you will find the strength to reach out to your own personal village and accept the grace they may offer to you.