Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Bitterness: The Boomerang of Emotions


Bitterness isn't the only emotion that does this, of course. There are lots of emotions to come back around moments after you throw them away as hard as you can. But to each villain is own vice, as Edward Rochester would say, and mine is towards bitterness.

I wonder when it first started. I think we all have a favorite failing. I think it's written in our personality and life experiences like a thread in a tapestry. Because there are faults I have to fight all day every day to stop and there are other things I'll never be and I don't even have to think about. We are each our own strange little creatures with our own mountains to climb.

So as I've discussed, my journey in and out of bitterness about my headaches was slow. When my headaches first started I wasn't bitter. I had no idea what was going on and what was ahead. Sometimes I read journal entries from that time and I think "Oh poor little thing, you have no idea what is coming and how the long the road will be." And then I think about the future Megan who will think I was a fool for thinking that way because she knows what's waiting for me. Cheerful thoughts. So the bitterness came slowly after a couple months. I think it started when I had to stop working. That was a big adjustment to make. I'd love being a dental hygienist and the idea of being a stay-at-home invalid was very depressing. It felt like failure but even then it was a temporary solution. If I wasn't working I'd have loads of time for doctors and treatments and it would be over before I knew it. But we know it wasn't and a seed of disappointment was planted and turned into bitterness.

This stayed and worsened for the next three years. It got stronger and better at hiding itself from me. I thought I was being strong and tough. But I was angry and mad and bitter and those aren't the same things. In June two years go, I finally got it. God was allowing this to happen. This was my cross to bear. And He was enough. He was enough to get me through it. It wasn't too much because he'd give it to me and He would give me the strength to get through it.

Then it got better for a while. People noticed a change. I was kinder and smiled more and was happier even if I wasn't feeling better and then something happened. I think the pain got to me. I had started to get slowly progressively worse and I think I just lost it. Maybe it was also try to get pregnant. Either way bitterness came creeping in and I didn't even notice it. I'd stopped praying for God to heal me and I thought I was just giving him space. I didn't want to get mad at him for not answering my prayers so I wasn't praying them. I was just skipping the fight by not even talking to Him. I know I'm a genius. It started to feel like hope was for loser. As every hipster knows, he who cares and tries the least is the coolest.

Anyway I started to wake up when I went to visit Lauren in Raleigh. We were talking about bitterness and I said "Yeah I used to be really bitter. But I'm over it?"
And she said full of love and I'm sure not aware what her words meant to me "And you aren't anymore?"
Ouch. I started the painful process of looking at myself. Was I bitter? No, that was impossible because I'd already dealt with that feeling one time. So it was gone forever. But I'd really just pulled a classic Megan.
Can't see it, don't feel it!! Works like a charm until the unseen feelings get organized and all pounce at once. It's super fun when that happens.

So anyway I'm finally crawling back out of that dumb hole but I'm trying to be wiser this time. I'll be looking for it when it comes back. Because it will. It's so hard to stay positive. I have two setting.
1. April Ludgate- I hate everything. No one talk to me.

 or 2. Leslie Knope- The world is sunshine and rainbow and I want to marry it.
(There is no in-between.)
Anyway time to turn the feeling switch to full flow as I turn into Leslie Knope.