I still choose indoors over outdoors, even on a gorgeous day. I still come to life when I talk about vision, passion, and Africa. I still make strange faces (and noises) without even realizing it. I still love deeply.
For the most part, I'm still the same me I was before my world shattered out from under my feet.
For the most part.
But there are a lot of ways I'm a different person than I was before my husband left me.
Emotional trauma changes us.
It changed me.
My life is forever split between before and after.
And after-me isn't the same as before-me.
Some of the changes are healthy, good, freeing.
But many aren't.
I "lived tired" before, but I still kept a fast (and full) rhythm in life and ministry. Now I simply don't have the energy to keep even half that pace. I've taken living tired to a whole new level while doing far less in a day than I've ever done.
My heart is more tender and my skin is less thick. Things that shouldn't hurt me, hurt me. My emotions are all over the place. I can spiral from high to low very quickly. And that scares me for a long list of reasons I'll never be able to share in this space.
Trust has always been the Achilles' heel of my life. But now I physically feel the fear of trusting in a way I can't even begin to describe.
I get overwhelmed far easier. By to-do lists, emails, appointments, the pile of books I want to read... everything. It all just overwhelms me. And by overwhelm, I mean incapacitate.
I tell people I have Fuzzy Brain Syndrome. I lose my concentration. I'm constantly distracted. I can't remember things---things I should remember. Things I want to remember. I so often can't even think of the word I'm trying to say. Not just occasionally. Frequently.
I'm just not the same person I used to be.
And, to be honest, I don't like who I've become.
I'm living with diminished capacity.
It's frightening, frustrating, angering, and crazy-making all at the same time.
And I'm starting to think it might not be temporary.
Maybe this isn't something I can bounce back from.
Maybe this is my new normal.
Which means I need to face yet another loss.
The loss of ... me.
Of who I am. How I am.
Before I can accept who I've become, I need to grieve the loss of who I was.
I need to let go of before-me.
And trust that God can still make something beautiful out of after-me.