I have very sadly neglected this blog for many, many weeks now. Most of the summer, actually. There are a few reasons for this, but the biggest is that I have spent much of this summer "existing" instead of living.
When Ryan left for Basic Training in the Air Force, I shut down emotionally. I didn't know how to handle him being gone, and instead of just facing the heartache, I ran from it. I tried not to think about him, but since everything reminded me of him, I ended up trying not to think at all. I say I tried not to think about him, but it was really just the actuality of him being gone that I couldn't face--I spent a lot of time thinking about him "from an angle," if you will. I became obsessed with a couple of Facebook pages that offered support for those whose husbands/sons/boyfriends/etc. were in Basic Training. I spent hours poring over information about what to do in San Antonio when I went out for graduation weekend. I searched the internet constantly for information on military moves and housing in California. These things made me feel closer to him, more a part of his world, without making me actually face any of the emotions I was running from.
The main problem with shutting off one kind of emotion, is that all emotion seems to run down the same pipeline. If you stuff a plug in that pipe, the bad stuff gets backed up in there and the good stuff gets stuck with it. Block pain, block joy. Ignore the nervousness and you'll miss the peace.
Now, I'm not saying it's good to dwell on pain and nervousness and fear. But experiencing them and letting them flow through you and then out is part of life, and when you bottle them up they just get worse. Ask me how I know. ;-)
About once a week I would break down and cry, Usually either after Ryan called or when I was waiting for him to call. It was like I suddenly let the plug out for awhile, let most things drain out, and then stuffed the plug back in for another week or so. But when all those bottled emotions were coming out, I only seemed to get the bad ones; the good ones had apparently evaporated.
Maybe you're starting to see why it's a bad coping method.
The worst part, though, is that one of the primary ways I recognize the Spirit of God is through feelings. When I attempted to block those hard emotions that I didn't want to face, I was also blocking all the peace, love, and reassurance I could have been receiving from my Heavenly Father.
Spending a weekend with Ryan in San Antonio for his graduation from Basic Training helped me realize how much I had been blocking. I was suddenly so happy, happy in a way I hadn't been able to be since he left--not only because he was gone, but because I was blocking all strong emotions.
I've recommitted this week to living instead of just existing, and I'm not only happier, I'm more productive. And I've suddenly started noticing things I could blog about again, which means I'm actually thinking (amazing, I know). And though I'm still missing my husband (hopefully only a couple more weeks until I can move to California), I know I'll get more out of my last couple weeks here with my family and my daughter than I have out of most of the summer.