No, your eyes do not deceive you. I am indeed blogging. I know, it’s been months! And I know I owe y’all an explanation for why I’m now wearing glasses despite still being legally blind but I wanted to talk about something else in this post. It’s sort of in the vein of The Secularization of Emmy post.
First, I haven’t blogged for two big reasons: I’ve been busy because I actually have a social life now (whaaat?!) and because I’ve been knocked out by the weaning off of the hydrocortisone process. The latter will get its own post in a couple of weeks (once I get the final results).
In early September, I voluntarily agreed to host a group of lovely women I’d met over the last couple of months for a weekly get-together. We’re now in our second month and I haven’t missed a single week, even when I was completely wiped. I’m actually pretty proud of myself for that because I could’ve easily said, “I’m not feeling well… eh, I’ll postpone it.” But I didn’t. I don’t know if it’s the Benedictine in me or if it’s just the old Emmy coming out again… because I used to love to plan get-togethers and outings for friends. I’m what you call an ambivert (social introvert) but, while I tried to get my health and everything else in order, I shied away from it. Well, not anymore. The group (whom I refer to as “my girls”) continues to grow and I was invited to join another group of gals so… busy me.
It’s been wonderful and I’m learning so much about myself from these ladies. We differ greatly. The age range is roughly mid-late 20s to early 40s with a couple of older ladies who are young at heart. Some of are single, some are dating, most married. Some have children, some don’t. A few of us are religious (though, to my knowledge, I might be the only Catholic), most aren’t. Our political affiliations and views vary greatly though the majority are liberal. So, it’s been a learning process for someone who identified as a conservative, trad-leaning Catholic. And, no, that was not a typo. I did write “identified” in the past tense.
And this is why I’m writing this post. It stems from the series of tweets I shared yesterday after seeing that a priest said that most devout Catholic women don’t have mental health issues… and, boy, do I disagree with that. While I don’t consider myself a “devout Catholic” woman because this desolation has pushed me as far as it can without me saying I’m no longer Catholic, I know so many devout Catholic women who suffer from anxiety, PTSD, depression, etc. because of life circumstances or even chemical imbalances. My own depression (which started this past summer) seems to be tied to the use of the hydrocortisone. We’ll have to give my body some time to readjust with life without the daily use of those steroids (which I took for 3 years and a month) and see how my mental (and spiritual) health recover. Or doesn’t.
That disagreement led to be honest about what life has been since summer (which I’ve already mentioned in a past post). Like I said, I’m as far as I can get from where I was without abandoning the faith. I still keep up the bare minimum as an Oblate because I made those life-long promises and I’m someone who will honor those promises even when I don’t feel like it. I have yet to make it to Mass (though most of that has been due to health issues) but my SD has made it out to my home to hear my confession and bring the Eucharist. It’s been 2 months so I’m overdue but I’m trying.
“Lord, this is all I can do. Sorry.” That’s what’s going to be my motto for the foreseeable future. I can’t do more. Can I? Very much… but it take s a lot of mental strength and will power which I just lack. It’s all part of the depression. I jokingly say I have high-functioning depression because I can be there and “on” when I need to but it takes so much strength and effort to get myself to that place… and when I don’t have to, I’m just completely exhausted mentally, physically, and emotionally. Again, it might all be tied to the hydrocortisone and I just took my last dose this past Monday so give me a couple of weeks/months to see if there’s any improvement.
At the moment, I feel numb to the faith. I was so steeped in all things Catholic for nearly 17 years that I recognize which things are “good” and which are “bad.” I know which things go against the faith and I’ve been able to stop myself from doing stupid things. Not all the things but most of the things. I need to watch my feisty/sassy side a little more (it’s always been there but I had it mostly hidden for a long, long time). But, for the most part, I think I’ve done the best I can under the circumstances.
All of this feels like a sort of spiritual rebellion. I know where some of it stems from. I think God is allowing it so that I can see what life is without Him and what life will continue to be if I were to choose to completely walk away. It’s a very interesting crossroads I didn’t think I would see. And that crossroads doesn’t just include my spiritual life. It includes all areas of my life. All.
I’m still going to quote Mary Poppins and say, “First of all I would like to one thing quite clear. I never explain myself.” The Taylor Swift song lyrics on X/Twitter is a very Millennial thing for me to do and, yes, there’s a reason for them. But, like I said, I’m not explaining myself. When have I ever? lol. If you know, you know…
I know those and other recent heart emoji-filled posts on X (formerly known as Twitter) have made people wonder if I’m still discerning consecrated virginity and the answer is simply “no.” I’m going to leave it at that for now.
Look, I’m happy right now… or, at least as happy as I can be knowing there is this feeling emptiness because of the big obvious void in my life. No amount of dancing, singing, laughing, nor any swoon-worthy green eyes will fill that hole and I understand that. But that’s where I am right now and I’m trying to make sense of both the things that make me happy and make me feel alive with the gaping void on the other side.
I love my friends. My ride or die friends have stuck by me during this hard time while so many have bailed on me. I love the few Catholic friends who’ve stuck around. My oblate sister, one of my besties (the one I watched TSITP with this past summer), and the rest who are making sure I’m still hanging in there. I would not trade them for anything in the world. My new friends are also pushing me to be the best version of myself despite our big differences. They’re the type to call me out on my crud and keep my humility in check while willing to cut someone for messing with me. My girls have been responsible for my current social life and for me not falling back into that pit of depression I was in this summer.
I’m moving forward with my career, in a way. I still don’t know if I’m return to my “roots” but I’m having fun in the process of figuring it out. All I know is that I refuse to let the legal blindness keep me where I’ve been the past three years.
As my friend Rey recently said, I’m a cross between Taylor’s 1989 and Folklore albums — I’m “very pink and poppy and silly but good for heavy introspection.” And I don’t know a better description of who I am than that. lol. I’m being girly and silly and I’m loving life while also taking the time to reflect and try to move forward in the best way I can.
This is a big growing period for me. In a way I feel like I’m 20 years old again, with my life stretched out in front of me like a blank canvas awaiting to be painted. I have no idea what the final picture will be… I don’t know what colors or even what materials I’m going to use. But I’m excited for whatever will happen in the process.
People may be disappointed in me for “how far I’ve fallen” or for whatever reason but I’d like to ask those of you who feel that way to ask yourselves why. I’m just a girl with a blog. I’m human. I make mistakes. Life is not a linear journey. Sometimes we stray off the right path but we find ourselves way. Sometimes we just don’t.
No one but God knows why He’s allowing me to be in this place; why I keep “failing” or “not trying hard enough.” Only He knows if I’ll ever come back to what y’all are used to (via blog and social media) or if this is a growth period that will see me change in ways that people may not like but will be necessary. Maybe I’m simply a “lost cause” and there’s no return for me. I don’t know. All I know is that I haven’t given up on myself, even if others have. And I’m okay with that.
Anyway, that’s it. I gotta get ready before I spend some time with my girls.
I hope y’all have a lovely weekend!