Beyond the Pain Story

Dear Mama,

I am not the controversial type, but please hear me out. Too many mommy blogs and facebook page and twitter account owners out there chatter on and on about their pain, not realizing that 1) what you focus on is what you become, and 2) anything that you share from a space other than love fails to spread love. In my heart, I feel like these posts and articles and tweets and rants aren’t helpful. Not only are vulnerable and possibly broken beautiful souls not claiming greater wellness from reading the content, but additionally they are being dragged into the depths of a sorrow that they aren’t prepared to handle. Is it possible to have PTSD from carrying another’s hurt? I’m no psychologist, but it just might be. Follow pain story “content providers” for long enough, and get captured in the pain story.

I was captured in the pain story. Whether the pain is body, mind, or spirit – the journey feels so very isolating, and talking about it feels inclusive. You’re suddenly a part of something. Does it feel like a village? A tribe of support?? In some ways, it might be. Maybe. But maybe not.

I remember the first time that I typed #spoonie into my instagram search bar, hoping to find others like me who wanted more. Like, really, really, really wanted more. (Because we all know or have been the person that says that they want more but the actions prove otherwise.) My hashtag search results produced thousands of horrific pictures, with commentary below them that truly boggled my mind. Here and there, I would find a woman who had not claimed the pain story and had instead chosen to rewrite it. But there were far too few. And it crushed my soul to read those posts, or scroll through those galleries. So, I stopped.

Then I tried to volunteer for a few different organizations dedicated to a change-movement in women’s wellness. And it was like… ARGH! (Picture woman mentally running in the other direction.) Not only was it like diving into insta-spoonie-land all over again, but so much of their pain stories resonated with me. I have a history of abuse, addiction, poverty, an eating disorder, complicated pregnancy, autoimmune disharmony, and postpartum mood disorders. I’ve been a mess! And every time another pain story popped into my feed, I felt myself reliving history instead of searching for His story in it all. His story is so much more important than mine, than ours.

Chances are, you have experienced a pain or two and that’s why you follow my posts. But let me own something right here and now: I am not going to allow, nor will I ever allow, you to wear my pain. I am sharing from a space of having been healed and of daily re-healing. I stopped looking outside for support, and crept inside – into my relationship with myself and into the most important relationship of all: the relationship that I had (and have grown) with Jesus.

If you’re not a Christian, I hope that you won’t stop reading here.

raw
I am the girl in pink. I was released from 10 weeks of intensive physical therapy just two weeks before this hi-flying adventure in Cozumel last December.

And this is why… My soul felt weak. I was easily entrapped in pain. Living with a special child as an autoimmune mom… I had tapped out any resources left of my own. I needed fuel and nurture and security and most of all peace. After losing it (“it” being my mind), for what is hopefully the last time on my poor unsuspecting husband, I was one hundred percent sure I could absolutely not do mothering alone spiritually. Don’t do your mothering alone, please. The next best things to Jesus, are a good therapist (I’ve had three), chocolate (try raw and organic because you’ll feel less guilt – because really, do you need more?), and finding a community of vulnerable mom’s that refuse to be pain. Please.

The last few days, I’ve been putting together the blueprint for such a community. And if you pray, y’all – will you do me a favor and lift up the intention and the cause? Raw motherhood doesn’t mean we must always weep together. It means that sometimes we rise to the occasion in the discomfort and practice living through the discomfort, until it either becomes comfortable or joyful – or best yet, an experience to grow others from.

Claim what you want.

Rise.

Own where you are.

Rise.

Empower others to do the same.

Rise.

Please?

All My Love,
Mama J.

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