8 things you don’t know about me.

Have you seen this game around Facebook lately? Someone gives you a number and you have to write that many things about yourself? I got the number 8 from my friend Libby. I’m finishing my assignment on here instead, and retitling the game:
“8 things you probably already know about me because I keep a blog and also talk about myself a lot.”

1. I have a real, true, absolute fear of cotton balls. I do not keep them in my house, nor do I ever touch them. It makes me sick just typing this out.

2. Giving birth to Clara was the best experience of my entire life. I would go through labor and birth a million times over being pregnant again.

3. This one is hard to admit. I struggle with deep depression and anxiety when I’m pregnant. I’ve noticed myself slipping back into that same dark place with this pregnancy, but knowing the signs and understanding that it is a real problem, not just me being anti-social, has helped a lot with the coping. I had never heard of pregnancy depression before I had Clara, and didn’t even know it was happening until after she was born. I remember feeling complete euphoria the first few days after I delivered her, and then noticing a few months later that the feeling still hadn’t gone away. I realized then that it wasn’t euphoria: it was just normal me. But it had been so long – 40+ weeks – since I’d been myself that I didn’t even recognize what was happening. Depressed Jessie is a stranger to me. Phone calls and texts stress me out. Checking e-mail and Facebook induces hyperventilation, because what if someone wants to see me or is upset about something or just wants more than I can offer? I don’t gain much weight when I’m pregnant and I suspect the main reasons are because I don’t sleep well, I’m not hungry, and I worry all. day. long. It’s hard to take care of myself during this time in life, and it’s embarrassing to admit how much I struggle with pregnancy when I know I should be thankful for the chance to carry a child. It’s embarrassing to admit any of this, actually. But that leads me to number 4.

4. I am thankful for this depression. In the past, I’ve never understood people who were depressed or fought mental illness, or even just extremely introverted; I mostly considered them weak. Or boring. God has used this hurting time in my life to soften me, to pull me inward, and to teach me the importance of walking lightly through other people’s lives. My pregnancy with Clara revealed a lot. It helped shift my priorities, taught me how to know a true friend (a lot of people didn’t really dig depressed Jessie), and peeled back the painful raw truth of my utter dependence on God’s promises to see me through the dark times.
I am not strong. 
He is. 
I am not perfect.
He is. 
I am not able to do all things. 
He is. 
Those promises have held true during this time of pregnancy with my son, and created room in my heart for a grace towards others, and myself, that I’ve never had before.
And for that, I am so so thankful.

5. I’m nervous to give birth again. But not because I’m scared. Clara’s labor and delivery were perfect. Perfect. I have never felt so empowered or grateful or strong or loved in all my life, and I’m nervous that my son’s delivery will fall short of all that. It’s a silly fear, and I know that when the day comes it will be exactly as it should, but still… I am nervous. I want to re-live August 22, 2012, but I can’t. I have to unclench my fists from any imagined control over this baby or his arrival, and that is surprisingly difficult. I also have to recognize that part of this worry is hormone induced anxiety, and separate myself from these crippling fears and their whispered lies of inadequacy and disaster. Fear is not a real thing; it is a premeditated emotion over an imagined future. What foolishness to dwell there! But still…grace from God to me, and grace from me to me, because He offered it first. Being patient with myself is a hard (and humbling) lesson to learn.

6. This semester of school has been a joke. Not only am I almost done with my degree (remember senioritis? It’s definitely still a thing), but I’m writing and directing a musical for kids, raising a toddler on my own half the time, and due with this new little guy in January. To say that my studies have been an afterthought would be an understatement. And I hate that. I used to relish my time alone on campus, spending hours writing and doing homework in empty corners of the university library, a little world of academia unto myself. But I can’t do that anymore. I can’t do it all. And, in part because I fight so hard against the numbing pain of depression anyways, I refuse to even try doing it all. I do not care about my grades. I am doing the bare minimum in classes that I signed up for because I knew I was talented enough to skate through them, and I will continue to turn in sub par work until I graduate in a few weeks. I really hope my professors don’t read this, and I feel terrible that this is what it’s all come to, but if I have to choose between holding my sick baby all night or turning in a great paper, the choice comes (terribly) easily.

7. Last year I SWORE to Sam, up one side and down another, hands held high in both surrender and pledge, that I would NEVER EVER WRITE AND DIRECT ANOTHER PLAY FOR THOSE DAMN KIDS AGAIN. I had already done it four years in a row and enough was enough.

In other news, are you coming to see Charlotte’s Web this weekend?!
It’s playing on the stage at Eagle High School on Friday at 7pm, then Saturday at 1pm and 7pm. Tickets are $5 at the door.
I adapted E.B. White’s classic story into a play as part of an independent project for school credit. My friend Cassidy helped me direct it and my friend Clint designed all the sets and costumes. I also wrote song lyrics and Clint composed original music for the guitar and banjo. It’s a full length musical starring kindergarten through 5th graders at an Arts magnet school. We’ve been rehearsing for 10 weeks and it’s going to be pretty great.
And let’s just say Sam Horney isn’t always impressed with my life decisions…

8. I still wake up hungry in the middle of the night and want a bowl of cereal, just like I did during most of my childhood. And sometimes when I’m out in the quiet, dark kitchen, my mouth watering at the sound of frosted mini wheats clinking into my bowl, I miss living with my parents and my six siblings. Because someone else would have always been up with me 🙂 But then I crawl back in bed next to Sam, who rolls over with a sigh and tangles his legs up with mine, and with my belly full of mini wheats and his son, I fall back asleep in the warmth and appreciation of what my own family is becoming.
One Horney little baby at a time.

{Pregnant with Clara —>}

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