Monday, March 9, 2015

For Good

Most of this winter has felt like keeping my head down to ride out the storm. It's not been all bad, but surely all intense-- both glowing moments and dark, but that leave me feeling parched emotionally.

It's funny how the most crucial times in life often feel the most nauseating while we are in them-- that is, before we know they are important.  We just. want. to be. done.  Or I do, at times. I'm hoping I'll look back at this vocationally confusing season of life, and appreciate my struggle for what it led to.

I'm not sure if I've talked much about my own story here, but to understand the present we must always take the past into account. We are all scarred and stunted, punctured and propelled in our own ways, ways that others might not guess.  

I slept 7 years of my life away, gripped in sleep's parasitic clutches, that gave my body no real rest.  I'm Narcoleptic. It feels strange not having mentioned it here before-- I even searched to make sure, and I haven't.  I've attempted plenty of times, draft after draft, but in the end my story seemed too big or messy to fully relay in one post.

Sidebar: Isn't that the lie we all believe?  That who we are, the pain we've felt, is just too much? Whatever our brand of suffering (I've become convinced that no two can be compared) we don't want to bare our hurt, or our old wounds to the world.  I've learned though, that if we can trust God with those things, the beauty he grows out of them will amaze and heal us (and others).

For the past 5 years (since I found a successful treatment for my disorder), my struggle has been figuring out how to live with a 7 year gap-- in my social, emotional and physical experiences.  How to move forward, and not let the bitterness that God has largely freed me from, to come creeping back up around my throat.  Because the truth is, that I missed a lot. A heck-ton of normal experiences that I sat on the bench and watched through a clouded haze of semi-consciousness.

Close friends (and people in general) grew distant in that time of my life, and I can't really blame them-- what I was going through was hard to understand. Cataplexy, a symptom that causes sudden loss of muscle tone as a reaction to emotion, robbed me clean of my joy and openess with others-- I couldn't laugh, get angry or embarrassed without my speech slurring, knees buckling, or full body collapse.  Not exactly an easy thing to explain to your teenage peers.  After even just a year of this (much less 7), I learned to disconnect, to stop feeling or interacting with anyone that might cause me to.  It's taken me years after successfully treating my Cataplexy to believe and trust that I could laugh, or allow myself to feel deeply again-- as I am particularly wired to do.  Thankfully, 5 years out though, I can say that I do. :)

Scars still remain, like they do with any trauma, both tangible and emotional. I didn't walk the expected academic road that our culture requires, or have the opportunity to develop my gifts in the safe, experimental environment of a school. I'm just now experiencing true, deep friendship (which I am so thankful for!) in my life. But if God can heal my heart (and he has), he can redeem my loss in this life, and even use my perspective and hurt to bring change and understanding.

I always think of Joseph when I think about my story, that he spent 11 years in slavery and God used him mightily-- surely my 7 lost years are redeemable too.  I do believe and have seen in my life, that he does use all things for our good.


  1. this is so interesting, as i have never heard or studied about some of these things. you are such a strong and inspiring lady.

    1. Thanks Abigail, most people haven't so you aren't alone! ;) I'd say we all face and process through our own brands of suffering (whatever that might be), hearing others stories of that are inspiring to me too!


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