Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Celebrate Recovery

(In case the video isn't showing you can see it here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-sUKoKQlEC4

 "I'm Melissa, I don't have an addiction but I'm dealing with grief."

"Hi Melissa."

I went to my first Celebrate Recovery meeting tonight. It's a Christian 12-step program, primarily intended for addict, both substance and relational, so I didn't think I'd fit. We watched a video, sang a worship song, said the 12 step creed, watched a video testimonial about sobriety, and then the men and women went into separate rooms for small groups.

"I don't know if the twelve steps are going to fit for me but I feel God told me to come. I haven't cried in two years..." and then I was overcome with hysterical crying for a few minutes. God knew the pain was there, I think I knew too, but I didn't know how to get it out. tonight it got out.

I've tried so many times. To cry, that is. I had three cry sessions since Grace was diagnosed. I can remember each one exactly. I was afraid that if I started crying I might never stop. By the time Bailey died I couldn't cry- and I felt terrible, like I was less than a human.

I had worked so hard to be strong for my kids, I was so good at putting on a brave smile, that I lost the ability to feel.

After I was done crying tonight in front of complete strangers I shared about Grace's diagnosis and how the video we watched really spoke to me. I hurt watching the coach push the kid so hard. It seemed so unfair. Why couldn't he be second place? What if he broke his spirit? What if the coach pushed too hard and hurt him? Why wasn't close enough good enough?

I was the football player with a burden to carry blindfolded and God was the coach not letting me rest, not helping lift the load, yelling at me. I felt intimidated by the coach. Then God spoke to me and asked me what would I have lost if I had given up half way through the field. He knew we had to reach the other side. And he was willing to push me to breaking to get there, because we had to get there. I had to get there and God knew it more than I did.

But being that strong has left me broken inside. The journey was painful. And I have not grieved it.

Apparently coming to a group where I can admit I am broken is going to be part of my healing. The prayer and worship will certainly be part. And hysterical crying, I think it will be a big part.

After we got home I was scrolling down Facebook and saw two of our little cancer friend's update. One family grieving. And other's little girl looked so small and sick. These aren't random "like" posts. These are kids we've hugged in the halls at the hospital.

And I hate cancer. I hate cancer. And the tears and the hysteria came out while on Facebook and they assaulted me when I wasn't ready. I hate that cancer can break families hearts. I hate that Bailey died. I hate that it leaves parents powerless. I hate that cancer broke Grace's GI tract. I hate that Luke panics that I'll get lost and not be there for him. I hate it all of it.

Now that the floodgates have been opened I can't stop crying. I don't know what to do with these emotions, I feel overwhelmed by them and out of control. I only know how to stuff them back inside, but I also know that bottling pain is a slow burning fire that is more dangerous than the open flame. I know because I've been at the brink of panic everyday but I can't find the fire to put out.

I don't know what to do with this pain, but I can't try to pretend I don't feel anymore.

 Thanks for letting me share that.

"Thanks for sharing Melissa."

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