One of my best coping mechanisms in life has been to place tough junk in mental boxes. With lids. When I’m ready, by myself, and in a safe place, I take that box, remove the lid and sift through all the stuff my heart wasn’t ready to deal with… until that moment. I’m always by myself and in beautiful nature. My favorite place is in one of my hammock swings, or under my favorite big shade tree on a blanket… in my pajamas. Always in my pajamas.
Yesterday, I started removing lids and sifting through old plastic tubs from storage in preparation for my sweet niece’s documentary (sharing addiction differently).
I found so many things I didn’t know I had.
I found this old journal from my sophomore year. That was a tough one.
I found another journal from an even more difficult time in my marriage. That was tough too.
I found old letters from mother that I didn’t even know I had.
But what surprised me most was that I found several letters from mother that I never even opened. They were just stuffed in the tub beneath the lid. Unopened. That’s heavy.
I still haven’t opened them.
I think these were written after the final ugly junk that was so excruciatingly painful for me. That’s when I drew more of a definitive line in the sand with my boundaries. I had to for my own sanity.
I can’t remember receiving them, putting them away or why I didn’t open them.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about how many times she tried to tell me stuff I didn’t want to hear. I was tired of listening to all the heart wrenching junk about all her pain. The truth was I couldn’t carry the weight of her pain too.
I had my own.
Much of which she had unintentionally created. It was just too heavy for me.
I’ve thought many times, why didn’t she just put it in writing for me so I could open and sift through it on my terms, alone when I could handle it? Why did she keep trying to make me hear all the words filled with junk I didn’t want to hear.
It’s been 7 years since she passed. 7 years since her addiction loosened it’s death grip on me. 7 years since I began my true emotional and mental wellness journey. 7 years of healing a lifetime of pain.
Yesterday, I gathered all the letters I found (opened and unopened) from mother and placed them in a cardboard box. An Amazon box to be exact. There is no lid.
I’m sifting through the junk and digging deep…for the sweetness.
As I look back over these tough times, I am reminded of how grateful I am to no longer be back in any of them. I’m so grateful for healing. I’m so grateful for the ability to dig deep and find the beauty, the valuable life lessons, empathy and all the amazing people He has continually scattered throughout my life. ♥️