23 November 2016

The Rest

It was over two months ago that I flew to LA on my own. I was meeting a group of people – some I knew, some I didn't. I wasn't nervous. I guess I should be thankful that my anxiety is irrational. The scary things don't scare me. It might be easier if they did.

I welcomed the heat to my skin like an old friend. I had left a long summer behind, over 5,000 miles away, and was happy to see this one. This place I had known from a distance my whole life. 

Happiness hit me, like it does, but with the fog that the drugs promise. I'm figuring it out, I tell myself daily. There aren't enough resources for mental health, you know. Just drugs. The sun's rays fought through, resting on my eyes, lighting me up. What a place to absorb, a scene picked right out of The OC. I forced myself to believe it. A sky with its fresh coat of paint and that pool, a haven, whirring beneath us. How far I had come.

Rest takes many forms. For years I would tell people 'I'm an introvert.' I needed time on my own to recharge. Maybe I grew up, or changed, or trained myself to enjoy talking to people, because now I don't know what I am. Now I like time alone with others. Lying, sitting, standing, in comfortable silence with almost strangers. I am fine on my own, but then it scares me more than anything else. At what point do you tip over? By day five I was ready for the 11-hour, solo flight home.

Home to my new home. Home to my not home. I cried for a week, like I was 18 again, except I had no one to latch onto. I had responsibilities. My mum, instead, took the phone calls, and my God took the night calls. 

When does it start to feel okay again? When does something painful turn into something positive? Four months of misery in my mind, a weight on my head, somehow lifting without me even noticing. My rest – I saw friends more, made new ones, said yes, spoke up, answered, asked – adjusting to a fresh new way of life, richer than I could have ever imagined.  

Now perspective is sinking in. Hindsight – they say it's a wonderful thing. 

I realised I didn't need a home away from home. I didn't need a replacement mum and dad. I didn't need what they were dangling in front of me, but not quite offering. I didn't need church 24/7. I needed to be on my own, to be afraid, to push the boundaries of my faith and what it truly means to be a Christian – to step outside of my comfort zone. Why would I let anyone, or anything, else do that for me?

You have to thank God for the way He is so right about everything. Something shifted. I began to thank Him for it all. For all the stress, the tears, the time. Where would I have gone had I stayed where I was? Nowhere. He gave me the push I needed to go. And I came up for air.


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