- Carrie Usmar
Unanchored and Afraid
There are days that dark feeling is so strong. I want to let it be. I don’t feel like fighting it. And why do I have to? It was one of those days. My thoughts were out of control. The fear felt stifling and courage was not an option. I thought about how hard some days can be. My little girl is graduating preschool and there are some overwhelming decisions to be made. I didn’t want to do anything, any cleaning or organizing or all the things I needed to do. There is too much to do and so many choices. I can’t start any projects with kids around interrupting me. What is wrong with me? These negative thoughts went on and on. The indecisiveness settles in. The anxiety is strong. I can’t stop it. I don’t feel like stopping it.
I thought I’d have a cup of tea and go outside. Nature always helps me, brings me back to reality. I’ll go on Facebook or Instagram, maybe that will help put my mind on something else. It works for a few minutes, till I’m tired of being on my phone and it all comes back. I looked down at my teacup and it says “find your anchor” on it.
I feel angry. I don’t want to find my anchor. What is my anchor? What does that even mean? I don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I don’t want to see anyone, I know I need to, but I don’t want to. I wish I could write. But if I start doing that I get more frustrated with my kids interrupting me so it will have to wait.
My son comes close and asks me to help him get in the hammock next to me. You can see the joy in his face as he swings in it and sits next to me. I watch him while drinking my tea.
I started to think, okay,, being anchorless is not going to work for me. I am going to continue further and further into the darkness. So I decided to think of the good things, the positive things. I realized all I was doing was worrying, and thinking of negative things. I think about my kids, they are always a light. I thought about how far I’ve come. Too far to give in to the darkness.
Then, my son came over to me, he wants me to watch him ride his bike. It’s time to stop thinking and start being present with him. I can no longer process these feelings, or even let my mind run. I feel a little better as I move on with my day but something is eating at me.
After school, I decided to take a drive. Get lost somewhere. I felt lost. It’s not a nice feeling. Is lost a feeling? Well I felt unclear, uncertain, out of control, unsure of the future, scared, and anxious. I know going on these adventures helps me. One of my kids was exhausted and needed to sleep so this is my answer sometimes. I found a beautiful, peaceful, quiet dirt road. Not a person in sight. These are the best kind of roads. Just me and the sound of my minivan driving on the dirt.
We drove up to a beautiful pond and walked down to the water. I watched the wind blow the grass in the water and had this wave of feeling come over me. The words “I was lost but now I’m found” came to me. This is where I need to be. Nature always helps me reset. It’s easy to fill overwhelmed with decisions and life, and shut down. And this was a great reminder to me, that I have come a long way and I am here. I can keep going. I can seek the light. Of course 20 minutes later at home, I felt completely lost again. I felt frustrated with kids, whining, crying, don’t know what to make for dinner, don’t feel like cooking kind of crazy. It’s so easy to feel lost.
As I was writing all of this down, I had a real awakening. I remembered in the car I was listening to a song called Out of Hiding by Steffany Gretzinger. I decided to put the song on just to think for a minute. Sometimes when I am writing I wonder why am I writing all of this down, where am I going with this? She sings, “I’ll be your lighthouse when you’re lost at sea… I will illuminate everything…. “
I looked like that emoji with the big eyes, or a deer caught in the headlights, and then started sobbing. Wow. Why did I not even think of him? I sort of thought about him when the words I am found came to me by the pond. But I still felt unsettled. Like something was missing or wasn’t right. I didn’t think to talk to him at any point that day. I’ve been so busy, from a crazy adventure filled vacation, to event after event, I haven’t had time to think or feel. When I did feel down during that busy period, I just got busy again to try and move on. But when I am alone, which is a lot of the time when I’m at home with the kids, that’s when the darkness tries to take over. And that’s when I have no one to help me, or get me out of it but God.
I thought about my tea cup, find your anchor and I realized God is my anchor. He guides me. If I look to him, he will reveal the light from the darkness. I can’t keep letting the darkness settle in and feed me lies and believe them. God always brings me back to the light. He knows me and loves me just the way I am, brokenness and all. He is with me always, I am not alone.
I want you to know you are loved and your brokenness is loved. You may feel lost. It happens to all of us, you are not alone. Find your anchor, what brings you back home. For me, all of these actions, gratitude, nature, music, art, writing, bring me back to God and closer to him. He is my anchor. Yours may be different but I want to encourage you to find it. Make the time to do those activities that help you. At the end of the day, busyness is a coping mechanism. If you’re busy you don’t have to think. You don’t have to worry because you can go from thing to thing. But when there is nothing left to do, and your left in the quietness of your mind, it’s easy to let the darkness settle. To feel inadequate and alone. If you don’t explore those feelings you will never know how to cope with them. And when times get hard, and they always do, you won’t know how to climb your way out and find the light. So you get busy again and your stuck in the cycle feeling lost.
Remember there are always cracks in the darkness. There is always light trying to shine through. Don’t hide, or numb your pain. Feel it, process it, and try to understand it. It won’t go away till you face it. You got this my friend.