Would the real Linz Smith please stand up

I couldn’t really tell anymore which the ‘real’ me was. Was it the bubbly smile joker or was it the tearful pathetic wife and mummy hiding in bed telling Carl he had to stay home because I couldn’t cope. It saddens me to say but actually it was the latter.

Rewind almost 5 years and we’d not long had Toby. Determined to get my figure back to the bay watch body in my head I was becoming a fitness fanatic,

I was verbally assaulting myself in the mirror, I was cutting meals out here, binging there

and making it all better by using laxatives as a way to purge myself. I shut God out of my life because he had allowed these terrible things to happen to me, I told myself I could pray or expect him to get me through. He had dropped me in the pit and toddled off.

I thought that if I shared with my loving prayer triplet, who I still met with, mostly for contact with the outside world but also for tea and their God stuff, that they would become accomplices to my deceit from Carl. They did not! In love (not received at the time) they informed me that if I didn’t tell Carl then they would. What terrible Christians! And I didn’t doubt that they were true to their word.

Thankfully I did choose to tell Carl all that I’d hidden from him and our next step was an appointment with my doctor which left me with the stamps on my head of ‘bulimic’ and ‘depression’ and a referral to an eating disorder unit.

With the benefit of hindsight it’s been interesting to see that being labelled as something almost gave me a free pass to carry on the behaviours, 4 hours of exercise was ok because I was a bulimic, skipping breakfast and lunch absolutely fine, I bulimic, the utter misuse of laxatives, actually not my fault, it’s because I’m bulimic.

And I’m not trying to down play the seriousness of an eating disorder or depression but for me those labels almost gave me permission to adopt the qualifying behaviours.

I became lost and isolated and I created my own reality where I was fully in control, I was doing no harm to myself or my children, as they were blissfully unaware, or so I thought. I became a comparrison Queen and my favourite ‘game’ to make Carl play was ‘how do I compare to her’. The sad thing was that he could never ‘win’.

My wake up came when, sitting in the bathroom I found myself in a cold sweat, ears ringing and blurred vision thinking I was going to pass out or die.

And for me that is when change began, I had hit rock bottom and finally I reached out, firstly to my husband and prayer triplet (who were incredible) then to the doctor and counsellors. I admitted I needed medication, which as a Christian is not easy to do, and I finally turned back to God who had been waiting for me all along.

So there you have it. A part of me laid out bare, and why? Because I am very aware that we; men, women, Christian and non, like to present ourselves as having it all together and when we don’t it can leave us feeling like failures, full of guilt and shame.

One of the sad things for me is that during that time period there are very few pictures of me, I hid in every sense of the word, this is one of very few, there is a hint of smile but nothing behind the eyes

So in a bid to lift the lid ever so slightly I’m showing some of my messy in the hope it may encourage others to show a bit of theirs and start a conversation….who’s first?

A moment such as this

I have finally come to realise that I live life waiting for the next thing. Believing that it’s the next thing which will make me truly happy.

So far that has been when I have a boyfriend, when we get engaged, married, when we have kiddo number 1, a bigger flat, kiddo number 2, a house and garden, kiddo 3, when I weigh a ridiculous weight which can’t be maintained, a bigger house and a bigger garden, when Carl finds a curacy, when we move to curacy, when we get some pets, kiddo 4, some more pets. I could go on but I think you get the picture.

And I think I am realising that it’s not the next thing which brings the fulfilment, there needs to be a way to look forward to the next thing whilst also fully enjoying the present. Is that possible?

When we had Abigail I was so desperate to be at the next stage that I ended up not fully enjoying the moment we were in with her, she’s now almost 18 months and I think most of that I wished away; when she’s crawling, walking, sleeping…then I can enjoy it more.

And my ‘ping’ moment came on my dog walk this afternoon, maybe being happy isn’t the outward thing I thought it was, maybe it’s internal. Maybe there is a way to learn to like me where I am at the moment rather than thinking the things I add to my life will bring happiness.

So here goes, I think I’m an alright person, I have a pretty good sense of humour, there are days I think I look ok, I’m good company and I take it as a compliment when Olivia (7) tells me I’m weird. Although she’s pretty bonkers too!

I think that’s enough for now, I don’t want to give myself a big head. But when you live life telling yourself you’re not good at this or that (I thought I’d be a terrible blogger) then you give up trying new things. “I’m not going to do well at this so why bother” and I realise it’s about me and it’s for me. Yes I hope my rambling speaks to someone else but for the most part it’s me finally realising I can do things which bring me pleasure and satisfaction.

So for this moment I am working on liking me as I currently am, while also working on making me the best me I can be.

Where there’s hope there’s life

So I have a confession to make…spoiler alert…I’m a Christian! I wonder if you guessed from the title of my blog, Footsteps to the Father. And what’s more, I’m married to a Vicar, I know, I lucked out there! His name is Smith, Carl Smith and he has a licence to preach. Cheesy I know but he’ll appreciate the Bond reference!

So there it is, I’m a Christian with a Vicar husband who is also a Christian, thankfully otherwise that would make his job slightly tricky, and we are trying to raise Christian kids without brain washing them. But don’t worry, I’m not going to bash you over the head with my Bible, pretty sure I’ve never hit anyone with a Bible despite what people thought during secondary school.

Anyway, I think I got off track.

I wanted to share with you a very personal picture that a special lady painted for me about 3 years ago. There have been times when life has been very dark for me and I wonder if part of the reason life seems so dark is because we physically and mentally look down, this picture reminds me to look up to where the light comes from. Instead of being in the pit and feeling there is no way out it calls me to lift my head up and to see there is light beyond the darkness.


What’s in a name?

Well apparently 2 hours of my life that’s what! 

I’m not quite sure why choosing a name for this blog was quite as difficult as it was but there you go. It has been named and I guess you could call this its birthing.

I’m stepping out into the confusing world of blogging, seriously, the set up alone was almost enough to put me off. I’m hoping to share a little of myself with you, warts and all (I don’t actually have any warts but I like the phrase) and I hope to get to know you a little too. I want to be honest about where life is at for me and remove some of the Facebook shine we all like to give our lives. My life is a bit messy, my house very messy, it’s quite noisy and sometimes we don’t like each other but hopefully it is also full of love, joy and thankfullness.

I look forward to sharing it with you, drop by and say hi.