Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Dark Side

There's a place that I know
it's not pretty there, and few have ever gone.
If I show it to you now
will it make you run away?

Or will you stay?

Even if it hurts,
even if I try to push you out,
will you return?
And remind me who i really am...
Please remind me who i really am.

Everybody's got a dark side.
Do you love me?
Can you love mine?
Nobody's a picture perfect,
but we're worth it..
you know that we're worth it.
Will you love me?
Even with my dark side?
~Kelly Clarkson

I'm a pretty strong person.  I haven't always been that way.  But trials and just plain life has molded me into who I am.  Lately, sometimes, I get told how strong I am by other people, and I get told how "inspiring" I am that I can keep the faith during times as hard as these.

And sometimes I partly agree with those people.  Sometimes I marvel how I keep myself walking upright, and I think how much strength I have to function and keep the family strong and happy during times like these.

But as much as I don't want to admit it...I'm not always strong.  And today especially, I feel so weak.  I feel like the world sits on my shoulders made of glass, and at any moment I will shatter under the pressure. 

I know a lot of the time, (maybe even all the time,) Ryan feels this way, too.  He doesn't always articulate it, but I know that we are living our lives on the fine line of pretended normalcy and complete chaos.

Last week's bad news was a punch in the gut.  Ryan's meds aren't working anymore.  The tumors are growing.  We were moving forward at a good clip and now we have lost our footing and have to find our momentum all over again.

It isn't easy.

Part of me wants to crumble. 

Part of me is questioning everything. 

Part of me is really angry right now. 

Part of me is so scared it is literally paralyzed.

Thankfully, the greater part of me is staying strong.  It is continually nursing my weaker parts, encouraging myself to keep the faith.  The greater part of me believes in miracles, and angels, and that some things are meant to be.

For Ryan and I, one of the harder parts of all this is not being able to articulate our fears to one another.  I told Ryan the other day if he just needed to tourettes syndrome out all his fears and anger that I can take it...let it out.  He gave me a smirk and said, "I'm okay."  And instead of lamenting of what could be, or how completely scared out of our minds we are...we talk about how blessed we are.  We talk about how despite it all...we have each other and four amazing boys.  We talk about the undeniable feelings we have had in the past telling us that all will be well.

We talk about our faith.

We all have a dark pieces.  I don't know if it takes up an entire side of us...but somewhere in us lay the dark days...the sadness, the bitterness, the loss.

But just because I have a dark day, or a dark week, doesn't mean all is lost.  It doesn't define who I's just part of the process.  I've felt a lot of guilt the past couple days...guilt that I'm faltering and not the pillar of strength that I need to be for my husband, or my family, or my God.

I like to think that it is normal...or at least I hope it is.  When one is punched in the gut with bad news, one steps back for a moment to catch their bearings, right?

I'll fell better soon...and when I do...I'll be stronger.  I know it.  I'll tell the dark side to take a long walk off a short cliff and the only thing left will be my faith.

What other choice do I have?  Can I let the dark side win? 

Hell no.

You all are so kind to me.  I know many of you are saying to your screen, "Meri, be kinder to yourself!  It is ok to have bad days for crying out loud!"

And my response to that is this...

It goes both ways.  Can't you be kinder to YOURSELF too?  It's ok to have a bad day, a bad week or a bad month.  True strength comes from overcoming the bad days...not from pretending they don't exist.

This post is my small way of taking my own advice.

Thanks for the prayers by the way...I know they are part of what keeps me upright each and every day.  They make me stronger, and that is a blessing for sure.
(PS  I don't know why my font got suddenly bigger mid-blog, mid-sentence.  And now this PS is even bigger...I'm too exhausted to figure out why.)


  1. "True strength comes from overcoming the bad days...not from pretending they don't exist." that is perhaps one of the best and most profound things I have read in a long time, Meri. As always, thank you for sharing your words and thoughts. Sending love and light!

  2. I so needed to be asked that question...'can't you be kinder to yourself?' It's been a rough week and I've found myself being really hard on myself.

    Yes, everyone has to take a step back and gain their bearings before moving's the ability to take that next first step forward that makes us strong...and having the faith to know that there is a path to walk on, no matter if it can be seen beyond the next step or not.

    May God continue to hold you, guide you, comfort you, and wrap His arms around you!!!

  3. The only thing I can say is that you and Ryan inspire so many through your love. I often think of you two and it makes me know that there truly are selfless people out there making it through day after day together despite it all, but instead continuously being loving, caring, not beating each other down emotionally. I am inspired by you two. I am beyond sorry for what is happening right now, I continue to pray for your whole family and hope that at no point you feel alone in any of this...take care.

  4. I don't think God needs you to be his pillar of strength, I think he enjoys being yours... So let him. I can not even begin to pretend that i am in any way kind to myself, because I think I'm far from it, but I hope you do take your advice and be kind to you. The bad days won't be here forever, you will overcome them and then you will see your own strength. The the strength that we all see. Remember Tourette's syndrome it out goes for you too... We can handle it. SCL BABY!!!

  5. Sometimes I wish I could just come through and hug you and your family! You're always in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. Ditto to what Lora said. There would be something wrong if you DIDN'T have moments of doubt, fear, darkness. Like you said, the key is to overcome. Not pretend they don't exist. And We CAN take it, so spew away, Mama! We WANT to help you! That's what scl is about! :)

  7. My husband had cancer 3 yrs ago and just recently it's come back. Currently undergoing 6 months of chemo. So I do know how you feel except I only have one with type 1. Hang in there! There's no other choice.

  8. Meri, these blogs will be inspiration to generations of Schuhmachers. They will be in family histories, and church talks. They will be so grateful to hear the times you are struggling and how each time you over come your insecurities and trials.Knowing that you do not hide from grief and fear, but acknowledge it and then face it head on. You do not need to be strong all the time, even with your children. You can let them know you need them, and make them cuddle with you on the couch.


  9. Your family continues to be in my thoughts and prayers. I know what it is like to have a Dad fighting Dad first was diagnosed when I was 16 years old. I so agree with your definition of strength, "True strength comes from overcoming the bad days...not from pretending they don't exist". It's okay to have bad days and I agree with Lora to let God be your pillar of strength...keep relying on him to get you through this journey.

  10. Remember Meri, we can never measure up to God! It's not in the works, it's in our hearts. God already knows your every fear, worry and tear. I pray that you find peace in Him. I'll be praying for your family.

  11. Praying for a peace (& a strength) that passes all understanding.

  12. Hugs, Meri. I think about your family daily. Please know I am hoping and praying with you.

  13. Ignoring the bad. By experiencing it, you better enable yourself and your family to cope by experiencing all of the emotions that tag along with your journey. scl

  14. I think of you and your family everyday, I pray for you everyday. Through all your words, your love, strength and faith holds us all up. God keep you and your family in his embrace, and may he carry you when you feel like glass.

  15. I marvel at how you are walking upright too! Prayers for you all! Shar

  16. Just wanted to let you know that I continue praying for your family and keep you all in my thoughts. You and your family amaze me and inspire me so much...words really aren't enough.

  17. "Or will you stay?"

    Always. And now you have my cell phone number. ;)


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