[caption id="attachment_4496" align="alignleft" width="300"] This is what my broken heart looks like.[/caption]
Tonight was a great night. I got to spend time celebrating the launch of my friend's book. It was one of those mountaintop moments when you're bursting with pride because of your friend's success. I talked with friends, and a couple of them commented on how my personality is such that as soon as I make up my mind to do something, it's done. I don't see myself that way, to be honest. Mostly, I feel pretty weak-willed and unable. But I was really flattered, and it made me feel good to see that my friends think I'm capable of more than I do.
Then I came home, and without going into detail, something happened that sent me into a valley. There's an issue I've been struggling with for several years, and some days I do great, and other days, not so much. Now before you assume you know what it is, trust me, you don't. It's something that I keep very private, and I really don't want to share. Sorry. There are limits to things I'm vulnerable about. :)Besides, that's not the point. I was sitting there, feeling really sad. Trying not to cry. Trying to be strong. Trying to tell myself all of the logical reasons to move past what I was feeling. And I couldn't. I still can't, to be honest.So I did the only thing I know to do. For some people, it's taking a drink. Some eat a bag of chocolate. Others might go do something crazy. Me, I work. I find something productive to do that has a measurable result. Tonight, that was working on my office clearing project so I can sell my desk and finally get the treadmill in my office and have a treadmill desk. As I cleared off my desk, I could look at my desk and see the progress. I can't see the progress in my heart. As I worked, I thought a lot about the Brene Brown course I'm taking right now, and how she talks about how we numb our pain. For the first time, I realized that my productivity is how I numb my pain. I can't do anything about the thing that hurts, so I find something I can do something about. A lot of people turn to something self-destructive, but I turn to something I think is constructive. Except, as I'm starting to realize, it's just as destructive because I'm not really dealing with the thing that caused me pain to begin with. With that realization, I stopped working. I had definitely made progress on my office project, but the truth is, I still hurt. Ordinarily, my solution would have been to keep working until I felt nothing but exhaustion. Tonight I've chosen to let it out. To feel the pain. There's so much work I could do, but instead, I'm going to be brave. I'm going to make art, and I'm going to talk to God, and I'm going to cry- a lot.How do you numb your pain? And how do you learn to stop?