I am in pain.
I am overwhelmed, and I need help.
And because for some reason completely unbeknownst to me I have decided to put all of this pain out into the ether for the world to see, I might as well tack on an embarrassing confession. A secret I’ve kept for years because it makes me appear to be the EXACT stereotype of the type of a woman I don’t really want to be:
Every few years I read “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert, and I highlight in a new color each time I read it to see what resonates with me at that time of my life. I go back to it like an old friend, it’s paperback cover worn from tracing the title’s letters over and over:
E A T. P R A Y. L O V E.
So simple. Like a mantra in and of itself. I pulled it off the shelf and I grabbed a highlighter. And I began to read. And echoed in the pages was the exact pain I was feeling. I read and highlighted for a few hours and had to stop because I couldn’t see through the tears anymore. And then this morning I picked it back up and I arrived at a passage that I have highlighted every time I’ve read this book. Its little rainbow flashing like a neon sign saying PAY ATTENTION, YOU– THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!!
So I ready my highlighter because I know I’m going to add another streak to the rainbow. I read:
I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it- I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t need the medication, I will love you, too. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.
And each time I read that, I offer up a prayer of thanks for the reminder that while many things have been taken from me, my belief that there is a higher power watching over me has not. And while it has become very very hard to reconcile over the last few years that there is a presence looking out for my well-being, I still believe it’s there.