Just keep swimming—Dory.
When my blended-but-I-thought-was-doing-well-family spun out of control; my world was shaken to the core.
There was a potent mix of rage, helplessness, and intense pain—each of the three taking turns, sometimes all at once to wreak havoc on my daily life. I was desperate to put things back into order. Back into the world I know.
Through gritted teeth, I strived, planned, strategized what I thought were sound plans to solve the problems. Nothing works. Things got worse. I felt everything which I was holding in my hands; slipped, fell and crashed into pieces…and I can’t save a single piece.
As my inner world plunged further into darkness, I was aware that if it continues to fall, I will go into deep depression. The intense pain in my heart was paralysing me. Don’t even talk about relationship reconciliation, don’t even talk about healing, don’t even, anything. I can no longer think straight. I just want the pain to stop. STOP.
I knew I have to come up for air—survival became my mode.
Just keep swimming became my daily focus just to survive the moment.
I need to avoid dwelling on the pain for now.
If it’s watching episode after episode of Frasier and laugh for that one hour, so be it.
If it’s eating that dark chocolate, so be it.
If it’s going out more to enjoy good meals with my husband, so be it.
Anything to avoid that dark, knife-holding grip dragging the blade across my heart, again and again.
I can empathise maybe one of the reasons why people turn to alcohol and regularly drink themselves into a stupor, even if they knew that it’s not a solution—they just want to escape the pain. And perhaps sadly, instead of reaching out for help, their hands reach out for the bottle instead.
My ‘just keep swimming’ was interlaced between sitcom, dark chocolate, good food escapism and a newfound community of Christian brothers and sisters who I didn’t know one day I would need so badly.
Sure I have the head knowledge that it’s important to have a support network, but it’s only when I experienced the support that I knew these people are one of my lifelines.
Were we great friends before this that ‘warrants’ their kindness? Were they part of a formal support network group? Nope. But these group of people in their own ways demonstrated Christ’s command to ‘love one another’, and they showered me with their time, a listening ear, and prayers.
A lot of times, it felt like I’m swimming against the current. I swam with tears in my eyes, and when I’m tired, I’m grateful that God was there waiting for me while I floated around, feeling defeated.
It’s been six months since the first strike of chaos. Who knows what is around the corner? But hope on the unshakeable God gave me enough strength and kept me swimming.
‘When life gets you down, just keep swimming’ doesn’t mean to suppress or act as if nothing is wrong. And please, it certainly is not a de-motivational ‘chin up’, ‘you can do it’ ignore your pain and get on with life kind of thing.
What it ultimately means—don’t give up. Seek help, reach out, please don’t ever give up on hope.
20 days writing prompt series. Day five: Hook ‘Em With a Quote’