Eisley Antalya · Life · loss and heartache · mommahood

The part where I gave up.

Until 2014, I have prided myself in being “adaptive”.  5.5 years ago I had our first baby after what (at the time, before having lost a baby) I felt was the worst birth/labor ever., 14 months later we lost our Eisley-girl, 14 months after that the birth of our surprise/gift Shailo, 28 months later we had our sweet Everly!

Aside from having 4 BEAUTIFUL babies… we have moved 8 times, one of which was overseas (during my pregnancy with Everly) where I attended a counseling school. We have each had jobs simultaneously, or we have struggled along as Ted had worked his bum off. Add college for Ted for 3 of those years. Add unpredictable grief. Add all of life’s in betweens…

I felt I had (we had) taken the ebbs and flows of life pretty darn well …*pat pat pat*…

Until 2014… we entered 2014 having just moved back from Amsterdam to no home, nothing but a few boxes of memorabilia in storage. Our plans of moving to Alaska suddenly changed and we found ourselves living with family… again. (They are amazing thankfully, we were so blessed!) We had Everly just shy of 2 months into the new year, and that was INCREDIBLE. We added baby number 3 (4th baby, really. … will I ever be able to just be okay saying the number of kiddos that are with me? Probably not….) and Ted had to go back to work just a few days later. We also went through the process of finding and buying a home. Many  5 hour drives (round trip) to visit homes, and then finally at the end of May we moved and have since planted some roots.

We have a home…

And then it happened… the adaptive, roll-with-the-punches Jami snapped this fall. I have lost it.  I guess I had huge expectations that we would now have time to process the dark times of our life in a healthy way… FINALLY. And that we would have more time as a family period. But honestly, our life is so insanely busy right now, that we barely have had time to process everyday life let alone the really gnarly parts.

Also the whole “keeping the me in mommy…” I haven’t done but maybe 5 things for myself this fall, like blogging, it’s been way too long! Normally by the beginning of a new year I share a post with beautiful moments throughout our year and also a new word for our year. I’m really not in a place to do that right now. My positivity is really quenched. Maybe someday soon, or maybe this is as good as it is going to get this time around. And I’m okay with that…

This is just a season in our lives, one that I know I will look back on and be so grateful for A) making it out alive and B) I hope to make it out a stronger person … and as a stronger family. But I guess I’m kind of over the surviving and I really want to deal with the fact that we. have. lost our. child. Our Eisley-girl.. I want to STOP and just BE sometimes.

It’s ugly, it’s messy, it’s painful. I’m unbearably miserable to be around (Ted basically pushed me out the door to have time alone and to write).  I go to bed feeling guilty and I wake feeling overwhelmed…wondering how I can keep putting my family through this debilitating depression, anxiety and anger. I wish someone could shake me and scream “get ahold of yourself woman!” and I’d just simply snap out of it. But i know it’s not the simple.

I feel guilt and an ache inside when I look at my beautiful little girl as a smile brightens her face… this twinge of guilt knowing that if I continue down this path, I will look back someday, and even now, and realize what a precious time in her life that I just allowed myself to survive, instead of truly live, breathe and enjoy  these precious and fleeting moments, like I used to.

For the first time since I’ve been a mother, and particularly since we’ve lost Eisley, I have completely lost myself… even physically look in the mirror and I cannot believe my eyes. Not just the weight, but my actual eyes, seem different. You know that saying “Your eyes are the window to your soul” … it sounds dramatic but it’s almost like even my body has had enough of me trying to hold everything together over these years. It’s like screw being adaptive! Let’s face this! Every season of life we’ve entered, even when it felt impossible I always been this “I’ve got this” person and I just did it. I don’t even know how, i just thought “Well, I can’t give up” and I (we) made it.

I’ve shared briefly and vaguely on the blog about my struggle with depression. But never this transparent. Perhaps because of the stigma attached to mental illness. And even as I write that “mental illness”, I cringe. It’s like I feel I’m saying “I’m weak” but in reality I know just how strong I’ve had to be. Even when it doesn’t feel that way. I have seen MANY family and friends walk through depression and they are some of the strongest people I know.

I hide it because frankly I feel ashamed.. I feel like there is this Jami everyone thinks they know, but that’s a version of me I want people to see. But even that facade is beginning to crumble. I find myself less and less able to hide… especially in a community where you are around people all. of. the. time. I want to hide away in our home, but I actually can’t, like it’s not even a possibility due to our schedules. Which maybe is a blessing in disguise (no). But I want to just hide away from the world. I don’t want people to see me failing and falling apart. (Yet, here I am sharing! HA!)

This is a part of my journey and my process. It isn’t for attention or for people to feel sorry for me. This is just me. I want to write it out loud (and believe me this isn’t everything). I also want others who struggle with depression and anxiety and anger to know YOU ARE NOT ALONE. No one wants to share this part of themselves. We always want to share the parts we feel we have all together, or appear to have figured out. I have a deep respect for those who are humble and honest with where they are at. It is beautiful to come together in these difficult and dark valleys as well as the mountain top experiences as well.

I think we often fall trap to the lie that if we share these things people will run from us or worse, stay and say something christian cliche when all I want to do is scream Do you not know the same Jesus I do?! He walked through the messy, the gnarly. I know I feel weary of the runners and cliche words hence sharing very little until now. (Unfortunately I have been a runner or a cliche talking fool myself at times!)

I didn’t make a huge list of goals this year, like last year and the years before. I actually have made very few (and that was only with the encouragement of my girl Britt!)

This fall I started believing that I just can’t do this anymore and to be honest, ALL of the members of my family have felt that. Jami – the me, the wife, the friend, the momma, the homemaker, etc…. she’s given up.

But I can’t stay here… I want to start believing that I can again even when it feels like I can’t.

Yet, I also want to be real and honest with where I am at and work through the things I need to as they come and even the moments that have past and are the darkest.

And I want to be gentle with myself along the way (I’m the hardest on myself…)

I also want to do more of the things that are me and that I love and miss.

This is a declaration…

And I’m saying it with faith because I truly don’t know how to get back up from here… but I WILL.

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For my wounded/confused/amazing husband, for my beautiful (probably traumatized) kiddos… for me.

Here’s to a year of BREAKTHROUGH …  here’s to 2015.

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14 thoughts on “The part where I gave up.

  1. I think I am just coming to terms with the fact that I have/ do struggle with depression, or something similar at times. Whether that was postnatal depression or not I can’t quite work out, but it’s a big deal to admit to it and recognise it. You’re really brave to admit how you feel and know that you want to keep going but don’t know how sometimes. I’ve not been through the same trauma as your family by far, and I think you’ve been amazingly strong.
    Honestly your post brought tears to my eyes for many reasons- just yesterday I had a really rough morning and so this resonates. I too feel like I’ve been ‘surviving’ and doing the bare minimum to get through what we need to do in everyday life- but recently I’ve been doing more ‘me’ things once the little ones are in bed, creating mostly, and writing helps me process, and it’s helping me to feel like I can ‘thrive’. I think that’s my hope for the year, to thrive more, to be a more intentional, present mother and follow what God wants for us.
    Praying for you. xx

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    1. I am so thankful to hear when others just GET this. To know I am not alone in this. Though, at the same time, I do not wish this on anyone. I love what you shared. Thank you, Zoe!

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  2. You will make it and YOU will be stronger. You are so open and honest. Please don’t ever feel week to ask for help, it takes a strong person to say I can’t do it alone and I NEED HELP> PLEASE HELP ME.

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  3. Praying for you to see the beauty in the brokenness. I so admire your honesty and transparency. Being real in the heartache and the struggle is no easy task, and I see such amazing strength that He has placed in you. Blessings as He continues to surround you, even when you long to isolate. <3

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  4. Life is just too damn hard sometimes… oh how it makes my heart break and ache, and my soul feel weary. He is there in that weariness and brokenness. He will put you back together again… he makes all things new. Keep letting everything thats going on in your heart continue to feel, shout, cry, laugh… inhale deeply the mercy of Christ. The healing amidst the suffering. Oh how He loves you with an unquenchable love. God’s heart comes alive when you create, and smile, and just breathe in this messy, beautiful life. He holds your sweet girl and never forgets.
    Make no apologies to Him… He knows the depths of your heart, and his grace covers over your fears and short comings. In motherhood and marriage. He WILL get you through.
    So many tears and hugs here. Praying for you.

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  5. hey. you are amazing. being honest with yourself about yourself is FRIGGIN HARD. I admire you a ton. So much transition in your life, so much.

    you rock, the end.

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    1. While I do agree that He can turn the terrible things that come our way into good and He does know what is best, that does not mean I believe that He causes these nightmares to be our reality. I believe we live in a fallen, sinful world where we’ve been given free will and a part of that free will is God letting go of the reigns, even in such things as what we’ve walked. He is faithful to show that He has suffered alongside us. He never wanted this for us, and He never caused this. It IS more than we can handle alone. He never promised we wouldn’t suffer. That saying has been one of the toughest things to hear, it’s so hard for me to swallow… and once I came to the realization that that isn’t true, that there will be seasons where we have WAY more than we can handle, I felt a burden lifted. Here’s a post that was uplifting to my crushed spirit. … http://natepyle.com/confronting-the-lie-god-wont-give-you-more-than-you-can-handle/#sthash.U8mcNDHK.dpbs

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      1. Sorry. Can’t agree w/that. Matthew 10 “Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. ” He knows. He wills. He has His reasons.

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  6. Wow. What a brave and honest post. I’m a new reader and so very sorry to read of your loss. It puts things into perspective and reminds me that we all have demons, struggles, love and sadness. But we also have strength. Even when we can’t muster it or don’t care enough to want to. It’s there and your post proves that.

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