When Self-Control Is In Short Supply

Have you ever tried to squeeze into too-small jeans, managed to get them over your hips, sucked in and zipped up only to realize that all that extra “you” is now spilling out over the top of the waistband?  

toddler squeezing into jeans

Sometimes that’s how life after loss feels.  

Too much emotion, too much baggage, too much EVERYTHING that has to fit inside a very narrow set of other people’s expectations and tolerance for self-expression.

I find that I CAN squeeze my words and actions into that skinny space-for awhile.  

But then sure as anything, the real me pops out the top and there I am-exposed to the world- warts and all.  

I’ve discovered that self-control is not a limitless commodity.  

Now before my Bible believing friends remind me that it is part of the fruit of the Spirit, I want to say this:  it sure is!  And because the Spirit of Jesus lives inside me I can promise you I am more self-controlled than I would otherwise be.


When every single word, action, thought and feeling has to be reined in every waking moment, there is not enough self-control this side of heaven to do THAT!


So I find that some days I just need to stay away from people.  Because if I don’t, I’m going to be ugly.

And other days I can do people but I can’t control my eating.

Still other days I can do people and count calories but memories leak out of my eyes and I blubber my way through until darkness brings sleep and relief.

There is just so much inside me now. 

So much that really can’t be laid bare or it would scare everyone else half to death.  

So I keep trying to squeeze myself into the constraints that make me fit for company.  

But beware- I might pop out any minute.  ❤


pain behind every tear

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

6 thoughts on “When Self-Control Is In Short Supply”

  1. I’m glad it’s the school summer holidays so I can give myself a break. I have noticed I have “popped out” more this last week, I guess the slowing down and not being around people loosened the lid.
    Short lived pop outs they may be butI feel so much better for them xxx


  2. Oh my can I relate to what you wrote. Logan died January 21st 2017 and nothing is normal. So many think it’s over, enough time has passed. But no part of me feels in control or past it. I am very bare about what I am feeling or experiencing in hopes that it helps someone else. BUT if people could see some of the hidden issues because of my grief could they handle it. I’m going to assume no since they can’t take the bits that I do show bare. Thank you for your honesty and care for those in this walk we wish we didn’t have to take. 💜Ann

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for that, Rhyl! I’m glad it helps. There’s a Shel Silverstein poem called “Masks” that I love. “She had blue skin and so did he, He kept it hid and so did she, They searched for blue their whole life through, They passed right by-and never knew.”

      I think if we let our real selves be seen we find we aren’t as unusual as we might suspect.

      You are always a courage speaker and I value your friendship. ❤


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