About Me

My photo
I now live in Victoria, after a couple years on the North Shore of Vancouver, and a (too) brief time in the prairies. Working as an artist, mother and wife (not necessarily in that order), i am striving to live well, to find the truth of God in all things, and to pass on this truth to others.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


i have a diagnosis.

the other day i was explaining to my friend lindsey how i have such a hard time with dirt and mess.  when i see something that is disorganized or obviously needs cleaning it is like visual noise.  it is gnawing and unforgiving and compels me to act.  to react.  so i clean.  and i tidy.  and, to be frank, i'm glad i do.

there are times however....times when a friend is coming over and i pull out the broom and pause.  i think "it would be much kinder if i did not sweep the floor.  it would express my ability to be in a messy home, to be hospitable when things don't look perfect, to be laid back.  it would help my friend who has a newborn and is a walking zombie, who i'm positive has not had a chance to sweep in a dog's age, that she is not alone.  that she is okay.  that she can invite me over to her house and i will be perfectly comfortable."  and all of these thoughts are true.  i really do not care if my friends have clean homes.  and i love it when people "drop by" and surprise me, dirty floors and dusty dressers and all.

but then do you know what i do?  i sweep.  because the floor is like a shrill scream to my eyes.  and although i love my friend, i will not be restful until the screaming stops.

lindsey said "there's a term for that - when senses cross.  it's synesthesia."  so, there it is.  i suffer from synesthesia.  next time you come over and notice my pillows have been fluffed, think of my poor synesthetic brain and have pity.  i'm sick.

and no, this effect does not seem to happen in other people's homes - just my own!

this afternoon i was standing at my kitchen sink, singing the words "i give it all to you God, trusting that you'll make something beautiful out of me" (do you know that song?).  i looked up to the sky and there was an eagle, soaring from the tall trees down the street and right over my home.  where do i live?!  i am currently looking through my front window to mountains pink with the setting sun.  across the street the japanese maples are gearing up for a brilliant showing of fall red.  the hibiscus is ending but the yard is still green green green.  when i read in the psalms the term "the land of the living", it is hard not to think i've arrived.  maybe i have.

i went to see a counsellor last week.  and another diagnosis, one slightly more medically sound than the synesthesia, is that i'm grieving.  i'm grieving the move from cloverdale to saskatoon that happened almost three years ago.  i did not allow myself to grieve it then because, as you read, i was so happy!  so blessed!  so surrounded by beautiful expressions of God's faithfulness on every side.  i shoved down the pain of the goodbyes.  of leaving family.  of leaving a place i knew how to get around.  of leaving being known.  down it went.

and then i moved again.  and up up up it came.  and with it, new grief.  old pain in new circumstance.

recently grief looks like me hiding.  i want to be alone.  i am sad.  i am emotional.  sometimes i wake up angry, or i walk through the day totally fine and then snap!  i'm so mad i don't know what to do with myself.  and tired.  bone tired.  i procrastinate as much as possible.  i watch tv.  i add another 'to-do' to the list, and procrastinate some more.

obviously, if you've known me more than 3 minutes, you will agree that this is not me.  i have become unrecognizable.  hence, the trip to the counsellor.

and things are better.  much better.  i have had some great time with friends, new and old, recently.  i have pushed myself out of the house.  i have rested well.  i have tackled some to-dos.  i have experienced joy and wonder and gratitude.  it feels good.  like taking a deep breath after months of shallow existence.

i seem to have needed permission to grieve.  from a health care professional.  from my husband.  from friends.  permission to be a little self-absorbed and hermit-like and escapist.  and now that the permission has been granted, i think i'm moving out of it.  maybe i'm just starting to expect less from myself.  i'm being gentle with my bruised heart.  recognizing that my desire for a nap and a movie could actually be a need.  and maybe it's okay to procrastinate the trip to walmart for another day.  walmart is not healing, no sir.

i give it all to you God, trusting that you'll make something beautiful out of me.

1 comment:

  1. At long last, Welcome to the world of shame resilience! I am not going to push, but you should really read the Gift of Imperfections. I read it again this summer with my life group reading more through God's eyes and what He says for our lives. I guess I am more of a non-fiction reader because I couldn't put the book down and it has been a long time since I have read a fiction book. Keep being messy my friend! You are enough!