Seen: Beer-Lahai-Roi

JACKIE LEA SOMMERS

I have been slowly re-reading through the New Testament, and today it struck me that I kept reading the phrase “Jesus looked at [him/her].” I searched it online, and indeed, it’s found in all four gospels. We read of Jesus looking at his disciples with lessons, at Zacchaeus with an unexpected greeting, at Peter with a christening of a new name, at a rich young man, the story recorded as “Jesus, looking at him, loved him.”

I can only speak for myself, but: I want to be seen. 

It made me think of another story, this from the Old Testament. Hagar, an Egyptian servant, is used and abused and, pregnant, she flees. But an angel of the Lord finds her near a spring in the wilderness, where she is told the Lord has listened to her affliction.

seenSo she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her…

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The Trauma of Online Dating & Its Aftermath: a Hasty Poem

Certain words
are the overpowering cologne
of men who let me down,

And even when you say them, I only smell deception.

I cry like Niagara just to wash myself clean
Of foolishness, of judgment.

I should have known no one could love me like that.

I fight.
I fear.
I withdraw.

But you catch me by my collar when I turn to run.

You crawl into my darkness with soothing, silly words that make me wonder if maybe someday

All we will fight about is what to name our kids,
And all we will worry about is what to eat for breakfast.

Pep Talk for Myself

Gosh, this is just as true today as it was one year ago.

JACKIE LEA SOMMERS

This whole online dating thing has reminded me so much of Who I Am.

A girl woman who feels deeply, isn’t wired to be surface-level or casual, who tries to balance strength and vulnerability. Who likes herself.

Isn’t that so great? I LIKE MYSELF.

I feel like I have sort of been on the outs with myself for a few years now. I am recovering a friendship with ME. I sound like I’m about to grab a microphone and give a motivational speech, and I know it sounds so cheesy, but I don’t care. I like myself. I like myself!

I am this imperfect, dorky, confident, intelligent, playful, fun, opinionated, powerful woman, and I like myself. I have so much to learn, so many ways to grow, and that is exciting to me too.

May was a tornado. But I am still standing.

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The Truth Is I Hurt

The truth is that lately I keep trashing drafts of sad blog posts in lieu of more hopeful ones. The truth is this is more of a fake-it-till-you-make-it scheme and a way for this website to be a place of light and not darkness. But the truth also is that vulnerability is always what has made space for healing in my life, so this post is going to be the truth. 

I’m taking a new medication, one where I take a week’s worth of the medication on one day. I’ve chosen Saturdays because the next 36 hours are full of fatigue and, for me, irritability, moodiness, low self-esteem, feelings of failure, and so. much. crying.

Today I went to Target. It was raining and I had to find a semi-dry cart. The lady in electronics wasted my time, which annoyed me, then in the 30 seconds it took to print a gift registry, someone took my cart.

On a normal day, this would have been annoying– maybe even funny!– but today, in the hours following my medication, it triggered a near-meltdown. I abandoned three of my four tasks, then started sobbing in my car. I was angry and sad and warm and I felt ugly and unlovable and like a failure.

This happens basically every weekend now. I basically sleep for a day and a half, and in the times I am awake, I cry.

I know, I know. I’m working with all my doctors on it. It’s honestly been hard to nail down exactly what the issue is, especially when I have so many new meds. Getting three major diagnoses in the course of several months has been SO GOOD, but also, well, overwhelming.

I have to remind myself constantly that I am a work in progress, and the fact that I never give up is the best way for me to judge success right now. If I were judging by pain-free days, anxiety-free days, great self esteem, weight loss, how much time I dedicate to writing, etc., I would feel miserable. So I am clinging to the fact that I persevere.

OCD has flared up.
Fibro has flared up.
Arthritis has flared up.
Depression has flared up.

It feels like an onslaught.

But I persevere. I plan, process, do my best to encourage friends. I try to be honest with myself, I rest when I need to, and I research solutions. I ask for help.

That one’s huge. Asking for help.

So there you have it. That’s the truth about how I’ve really been lately. Those other posts aren’t lies. I have had many happy days, I’m getting great sleep, my friends are the most incredible people.

And sometimes it helps to write about tulips instead of tears.

But I’m in the business of sharing first. I want to give others the gift of saying, “Me too.” So: I have been having awful weekends, a lot of physical pain, and pangs of OCD and depression. That’s where I’m at. How about you?

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