I have been struggling for a while, into a state of depression, over what my purpose is. Somehow, in the current way of thinking, people are supposed to have a purpose, like it is divinely stamped on your forehead and you just can’t read it. We also, somehow think it is something big, such as you will save the world, or be CEO of Tesla.
Two years ago, I got very sick. I was diagnosed with gastroparesis after months of testing, and a feeding tube was put into my intestine. I had been so sick I had lost about 20 pounds in 2 months. They originally thought I had cancer, but quickly ruled that out. Gastroparesis is a condition, where the stomach does not work properly, and does not digest the food in timely manner. It makes the patient very sick. I have had it all my life but did not know it.
I spent almost 2 years in bed between being sick and the surgeries. My wonderful husband took care of everything. Living in Colorado at an altitude of 7000 ft, in a desert, I could not keep enough water down, even with the feeding tube and was in the hospital getting IV’s every month. We decided to move to Florida, in the humidity and sea level. I gained back the weight and started to be able to do things but could not seem to get off the couch.
My husband has “retired” at 47 to take me to Florida. He was still taking care of most things around the house. I had convinced myself that I had chronic fatigue. The formula that goes through a feeding tube is not food, it is corn syrup, milk, soy and vitamins. I had been through a lot in the past two years and I kept listing them off in my head. Of course I was tired, who wouldn’t be? And the friends and family I spoke to and listed these things off to, would only agree with me that I needed rest. The doctors even agreed with me, anesthesia can take as much as a year to wear off, especially if there were many surgeries. All the excuse I needed to lay on the couch and watch tv.
But I was depressed. Normally I have anxiety, and a panic disorder, but not depression. I blamed it on the side effects of the medications they give me for the panic disorder. It is one of the main side effects. In the depression, I could not think. I just kept feeling worthless, absolutely no value. It was a constant attempt to get off the couch and find something I wanted to do but the motivation was not there. It was a struggle to do anything. I could force myself, but then, right back on the couch.
Staying home at 47, was starting to depress my husband as well. We had plans to do things together but we really just watched tv together and did nothing. He decided it was time for him to go back to work. He needed a reason to get up in the morning as well. But he could go back to work, I can’t, I am on disability. A part time job just was not feasible since I have to take my son to school and work.
My husband and I sat down and had a long talk. He did not want me to feel like he was leaving when I needed him. But I told him that I actually did not need him anymore, not physically to take care of me. I could do it myself. I did not want to hurt his feelings by saying I did not need him. This was a long conversation, and we came to the realization that I used to be what I called a “homemaker”. I made a home for everyone and was the linch pin for the whole family. When my children grew up and my father passed away, I felt like my husband did not need taking care of and my job was over. But my husband did like to have me making a home. We liked that he went to work and I would do the chores, run errands, do repairs, whatever needed being done. I had always found satisfaction in keeping things neat and tidy and making sure everyone was comfortable in our home. No one ever yelled for a roll of toilet paper for 12 years. Everything was kept stocked.
I had let the world get in my head. People believe that if you stay at home, you are just a housewife. Just? No, I make a home. I taught my children, I am available when I am needed. I am not sure we wouldn’t have less problems in America if we had a person at home. People think this is sexist, but I do not make distinctions about which person would stay home, or if it were a grandparent. A linchpin. Don’t get me wrong, if this does not work for any family, that is between the people in the family. But the sacrifices are more than worth it, and sometimes it is less sacrifice than most people think.
But I let the world get in my head. I HAD a purpose all along. I should have been fighting to get back to it, instead of looking for a new purpose that did not exist. God gave me a purpose. One that fits our family well. I was depressed a feeling like I was in a prison, when I had the key all along. Isn’t that usually the way? Trusting in God the whole time that I was where I was supposed to be, but I didn’t. I am so glad that I have found it again.
This is going to be a whole new year, and I see it being so much better.