Don’t Mistake Surviving for Thriving

Warning:  Raw emotions with some bad language.  Read at your own risk.  John, don’t read if you are going to use this against me.  Sorry Mom.


Benjamin went on his first road trip with a carload of his friends today.  I am so happy for his friendships.  I love his group.

I wish I could have seen them off.

I called him last night and asked him to text me when he left.  He didn’t remember to text me.  It’s OK.  I hope he has fun.


John texted me:

J:  Ur child just left with all hooligans on first road trip.  9:45 am

deep breath….grrrr….must be great for you, John, that you get to see him off, while I live here in exile 20 minutes away.

M:  Fucking great dude.  I fucking HATE that I can’t be at YOUR house to see him off. …

delete, delete, delete, delete

M:  Thanks.  I appreciate the update.

J:  Of course.  Dude, packed car.  Three in back.


delete, delete, delete, delete

J:  Luckily they r all thin.


Don’t mistake surviving for thriving.

It may look to the outside world that I’ve got things together…but the words and emotions I delete before they can reach the outside world are not so pretty.


For the last year I had been waking up with a painful sense of aloneness.

Two days ago I realized that the “painful sense of aloneness” was gone.  It left silently. It didn’t say a thing, it just left.  I think it left as an answer to my prayers.  I think it left because I continue to work to get better.  I think it left because I am hanging in and I will persist longer than the pain.

This morning I woke up, noticed it was gone, and noticed something different was in its place.  I didn’t wake up with a painful sense of aloneness, but something was there.  I can’t name it yet.

It’s Saturday so I decided to read in bed for a bit.  I haven’t had time to read much so doing this felt like a little luxury.  As I read I realized that reading could bump out that indescribable, unnamable thing I was feeling.

Maybe…if when I wake up, I go straight to a book, it will keep my awareness AWAY from that thing,  (I am numbing myself with a book.  It may be what I need to survive this stage.)

Don’t mistake surviving for thriving.


I want to thrive.

I will thrive.


  1.  For the outside world (You, my blog readers, are my confidants.  I tell you my inner secrets.  I know some of your own struggles…so I write as much to say, “I see you!” as I write to say, “See me.”) I need to keep up the positive face.  I wish we could all be 100% true all the time.  But really, the world can’t handle it.  We can’t go around saying everything we are thinking all the time.  Restraint can be good.
  2. I am very thankful for the excessive blessings I have in my life.  I really am thankful. I got John’s texts as I was doing a long run/walk.  Training for my third half marathon has begun.  As I walked I reminded myself that I JUST finished a full week with my boys.  I got to spend every waking hour with them for a full week.  I am absolutely thankful.
  3. In the whole scheme of the world, I can get over this.  I just read part of an interview with the actress Emilia Clarke.  She was lamenting how her fame has made her recognizable and how she can no longer do simple things alone:

…and she misses the mundane pleasures of, say, running errands for her mother.  “What I get most heartbroken about is that those opportunities are almost completely gone.”  Then she catches herself, and apologizes for moaning about the “champagne problems” of fame.  “If I were reading this I’d be like, ‘Cheer the fuck up, love.'”

So I am surviving well.


I get internally upset when people assume I chose to divorce or I chose to move out of our family home or I chose to go to a different church.  I get internally upset when people think this is easy or better for me.  Gosh…there was a whole other part of this blog I was going to write in which I was going to bash on the factors and people who I BLAME for my aloneness….but just being able to write a bit has relieved me of the need to rehash the past.

Thank you for listening my dear friends.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for texts and prayers and shared moments and listening and so much.


As I was writing….dear Sarah texted me and directed me to some music.  When I was in my summer of chemo she gave me a Natalie Maines CD.  When I listen to that music now I am reminded of the immense love I felt from so many people that summer.  She also gave me Brandi Carlile album.  And now she directed me to Florence and the Machine’s new album, here is one song “Hunger”.

At seventeen, I started to starve myself
I thought that love was a kind of emptiness
And at least I understood then the hunger I felt
And I didn’t have to call it loneliness
We all have a hunger
We all have a hunger
We all have a hunger
We all have a hunger
The hunger is desire.
The hunger is perhaps what The Divine has placed within us to bring us to the place where we DO thrive and flourish.

WHAT…what if….what if….I AM thriving?

Perhaps I need to tell myself, “Maria, don’t mistake thriving for surviving.”
God works in amazing and mysterious ways.
Don’t numb the morning feeling…”the hunger I felt and I didn’t have to call it loneliness.”

6 thoughts on “Don’t Mistake Surviving for Thriving

  1. Jesus says, “I will tell you: Here’s how it is in this world now that I have come… There will be great pain, and there will be great joy, In the end, joy wins. So if joy has to yet won, it is not yet the end.” Jesus is crucified. The pain is overwhelming—not the end. Jesus is risen—the joy is overwhelming. “it is the nature of joy that all questions grow silent, and nothing needs explaining.” We will see the goodness of God. The world will be re-born. Pain will be defeated. There will be no more questions.

    All this is from John Ortberg’s new book SOUL KEEPING. This book is really speaking to me, Maria. When I read your blog, I thought of this section John Ortberg wrote.

    Also, I am learning that my hunger and my starving myself for years has kept me away from God. The more I cling to just surviving—i.e.the more I try to control the world and make everything all right all by myself and by my very own, highly effective (note sarcasm here) coping methods—the more I push God away and my soul, my essence cannot cling to Him. I cannot thrive. I cannot have joy.

    But God never lets go of us. Through it all, our souls cling to Him and His right hand upholds us.

    Love you!


    • AMAZING Alice…thank you. I love this line from Ortberg “it is the nature of joy that all questions grow silent, and nothing needs explaining”. And you made me smile with your sacasm…I felt like I was looking into your face as I read. You inspire me in so many ways. Thankful for God bringing us together – my birthday sister. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for writing – for you and all of us.
      G says so often we here about people’s journeys AFTER the the hardship and trying to survive, not when they are in the midst of it, which for many of us never stops. Some days we are surviving, some days thriving, some days both.
      love to you for showing your true self.


  2. Hi Maria, just want you to know you are heard and understood. Whenever a new post from you appears in my email I know I must read it at once because it will contain something I need to hear. I appreciate your rawness and your transparency. If I had the technological know-how, I’d send you a link to a song I find meaningful. Have you listened to Carolyn Arends? I have two of her CDs and can’t tell you how much comfort I get from them. The song that came to mind as I read your latest post is “Only Love” on the Traveler’s album. She speaks in terms of continuing to beat herself up with all the things that break her heart, instead of trying to mend it with love.

    You are loved. Keep on writing. Keep on thriving.

    Liked by 1 person

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