I can be a real hot mess sometimes. Usually, my life runs semi-chaotically. Most of my plans are made the day of, my bed is never made, and I occasionally forget what month it is. I have a big ole jumbled up past, full of both good and bad, that I am still trying to fully heal from. Sometimes I panic…. over absolutely nothing. My thought patterns are completely absurd. My car was a health hazard for a couple of months. And all of these are things that I realllly don’t want other people to see.

I’m afraid of being “too much”. Being too much means that my struggles, inconsistencies, and doubts, exclude me from normal community. For a very long time, I assumed that if I just hid all of the parts of me that didn’t function all that well, people would assume I was doing okay,  and they would want to be friends with me. (Spoiler, that didn’t work). The truth is, when you only let people into your life at surface level, then surface level is where those friendships stay. People don’t love people who aren’t genuine. 

This last year, I’ve challenged myself to be someone who is honest. I want to be flawed, imperfect, and unpredictable. I want to be myself, even when I feel like “too much”.  Recently, I’ve really been putting that to the test. Most of you know that I have really struggled with high levels of anxiety, since just about forever. Life just seems to hit me a bit harder in the worry department. Things scare me, and so do people. However, my life has been radically more joyful, and worry-free these last 6 months or so. I have taken a real big step, and gone off of the last medication I have been on. (Lexapro, which I took to help curb anxiety). This stuff has helped me feel semi-sane for a long time, but also has some side-effects that I am no longer willing to put up with. And the truth is? I don’t need it anymore. 

I took this medication as a way to keep myself in check… as a way to keep myself semi-normal. I was very afraid that without this “mask of functionality” the people around me who love me the most would see into my struggle, and decide that I was too much of a mess for them. (Crazytowns, I know!!) But God has been taking me on a wild journey these past 6 months, bringing people into my life that accept me as I am, wholeheartedly. It is a revolutionary concept to me, but also a lil terrifying. 

I never know how to accept unconditional love. I don’t understand it, it is mind boggling. I don’t often love the “messy” side of myself, so how can I expect other people to love that in me?? And yet, they do!! 

   I have people in my life right now who know to check in with me every day or so, because they know how hard the medication withdrawal is. I have two, beautiful, amazing friends who “borrowed” my car, and completely detailed it. (Like that car was so gross😱😳) And they did it as a surprise, knowing how embarrassed I was at the state of my car. I have friends who have talked me down from a panic attack, and others who just let me process alllll of my thoughts out loud. I have friends who let me start freaking out on them, and only let it go for a bit, and then snap me back into reality. I have a friend who routinely lets me know how loved and appreciated I am. Some friends are out of state, and out of country, and still make me feel like a priority to them. Some of my friendships are so therapeutic that I feel like I ought to pay a fee at the end of a good convo. I am completely blown away by how much people can love, when you let them in. I never, ever will understand what I possibly could have done to deserve people like this in my life… but I think that I’m starting to understand that it might not be a question of “deserve”. 

   I wholeheartedly believe that the amazing people in my life right now are 100% a picture of the love that Christ has for all of us. My people can look into my mess, and still see something beautiful. Everyday, I learn to trust a bit more, to let people in on both the joyful side of me, and the messy side of me. Miraculously, they keep staying. I am loved. Very, very well. And it is crazy, and beautiful, and I’m just learning to soak it All up. 

So this is a long winded thank you. Thank you for every time you all have exceeded my expectations for what life in community could possibly look like. It’s 1 A:M on a Thursday night in august, I can’t sleep because of withdrawal insomnia, and I have never felt this loved by people who weren’t related to me (read “had to love me”) since maybe ever. I am so thankful. I am so happy. And I am learning to love you all back… Just give it some time. 

Love always, 

Mal

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