Monthly Archives: July 2015

Imprisoned – part two

I guess I am still on the Paul and Silas idea – or God is – because I was led to the following scripture this morning:

Psalm 107:13-16 Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder.

I wonder sometimes, when God breaks the chains, if we stand there unbelieving. Instead of just shaking our arms and legs, and watching the chains fall away, we shake our heads, like this horse, and calmly chew our oats. Or trail mix, or whatever the case may be. God has freed us! We aren’t even tied loosely, and lookit us!

Speakin da which – I am considering a major move. I suppose it’s part geographical cure, and yes, I know, we take ourselves with us (wry grin). But is there always something wrong with that?

Seriously, I have my reasons, one of which is to escape these stupid Maine winters, I think 56 years of them is enough to know I don’t like them. I don’t need one more!

But I have other reasons …(quirks left eyebrow) (if it was capable of quirking).

Anyyyway… stay tuned …

(Thank you B is for Blessed for the scripture!)

Paul and Silas were imprisoned … are you?

I get so frustrated sometimes, don’t you, by the way mental illness affects your life? I think about the impact it has on my work and relationships. My future plans. My physical health. Even my housework is affected! But that doesn’t bother me as much. But those other things – I do feel imprisoned sometimes!

I was reading in the Bible today in Acts 16, where Paul and Silas had been thrown into prison. Verse 25 shows us, however, that Paul and Silas were anything but thrown by their imprisonment. If anything, they were joyful, for “at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.”

As I read this I thought, what am I but in prison? My bipolar and depression and anxiety lock me up soundly sometimes! The last thing I ever do is sing praises when I feel that way. Oh I will sing praises in church, and when I am thankful about something good, but do I truly praise God in all of my circumstances? And that made me think of another verse that makes me cringe. Ephesisans 5:20 says to give “thanks always for all things.” That’s even harder to swallow! How can I give thanks, when I’m all balled up, and feeling anything but thankful?

My experience today speaks to the wisdom of reading the Bible over and over. Because I’ve read that verse about Paul and Silas probably a hundred times. But I’d never really connected the fact that I am indeed imprisoned by my mental illness and its symptoms. Essentially all I ever do is moan about it. It never occurred to me to sing praises. And it’s not just a verse for everyone else; it’s for me.

But it’s also important not to just do it for the reward. Paul and Silas didn’t know that God was going to free them. They sang because that was what was in their hearts. The reason I need to do it is because God says so! Because it will please Him! And because I truly am thankful, despite my illness!

I can picture the ways I can give praise while I am in my bonds. I can smile more. I can learn to be calm, more grateful. I can exercise discipline in thanking God every day, and show my gratitude. I can be softer and gentler, and “act as if” I was thankful, until it was true. This is a skill I was taught in AA; and I can certainly apply it here.

I know people in my church who are like the above. You know they have a happy heart, despite their many challenges. Maybe I ought to hang out with them more; I already know how to be miserable!

Of course, I know it can benefit others, to hear me praise, and pray, in the midst of my woe. I know it helps me to be around it. And again, this will please God.

This doesn’t mean faking how things really are. I’ve done enough faking. That’s not what this is. This means a heart change. And guess Who can change my heart?

Not I! The Bible calls for us to pray: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10) This means to come to God and confess sin, and ask Him to change this heart. I love Ezekiel 36:26, where God promises: “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”

Hm, a stony heart. Sounds like a heart that can be stubborn.

But a heart of flesh?

That is what I want!

Number twelve is the loveliest …

Twelve is such a great number isn’t it? Twelve steps of AA, twelve months on the calendar, twelve in a dozen, and then there are the twelve quotes for writers.

We’ll get to that.

So, I’m done screaming now, which is good, and I guess I’m moving on (I had a good appointment with my therapist in other words, lol).

This month was supposed to be my Nano Camp (July) but I have allowed life (including a colonoscopy) to distract me. I hardly did my DBT homework either. So there is one month almost gone, never to be seen again  😦  I’m sure the time is not wasted, but it feels like it is!

So anyway – I guess reading these writing quotes is one way to be inspired to write. Of course, inspiration is NOT THE SAME AS ACTUALLY WRITING, Kathleen! But when I do write it is like my depression doesn’t exist. My low self-esteem doesn’t exist. I feel like a worthwhile person, and like all the time I waste (read: disabled) doesn’t matter; I write, therefore I am! I am a worthwhile person! My life is not a waste! And my mental illness doesn’t matter. I don’t know how or why that is, and I don’t know why that isn’t more of a motivation to actually write … but anyway… here are the quotes, by “The Literacy Site

“Reading and writing, like everything else, improve with practice. And, of course, if there are no young readers and writers, there will shortly be no older ones. Literacy will be dead, and democracy–which many believe goes hand in hand with it–will be dead as well.”

-Margaret Atwood

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.”

-Gustave Flaubert

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”

-E.L. Doctorow

“To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music that words make.”

-Truman Capote

“Two hours of writing fiction leaves this writer completely drained. For these two hours he has been in a different place with totally different people.”

-Roald Dahl

“Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.”

-Isaac Asimov

“Writing is an extreme privilege but it’s also a gift. It’s a gift to yourself and it’s a gift of giving a story to someone.”

-Amy Tan

“The most difficult and complicated part of the writing process is the beginning.”

-A.B. Yehoshua

“I believe that writing is derivative. I think good writing comes from good reading.”

-Charles Kuralt

“Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is that  you’re having a relationship with your mind.”

-Natalie Goldberg

“Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul.”

-Meg Rosoff

Read more at http://blog.theliteracysite.com/quotes-about-writing/#mjgs3ajHYUEwYjDf.99

What to say when you feel like screaming

There are many people whom I have not told I have bipolar illness  It is hard to tell someone that you know cares about you and means well. Do you trust them? Will they reject you? Judge you? Will they say “So what? Buck up!” As many of you know, I have been writing about this issue in different ways throughout my blog [shrug]. Obviously I have not entirely resolved this.

These are people who know you and they don’t. They see a person who is “normal” who says they are struggling, but they think you are fine. And I’m responsible for that; I don’t say a word about what is really going on, I present myself well. It’s an automatic response that I learned growing up, and later, as a professional. .

Here is an example of such a relationship, in which the choice was to push them away, or to try to tell them. I wanted to tell them gently, but a part of me wanted to scream Can’t they just take my word for it that I can’t work right now, without my having to tell them why?

But on the other hand, how can I expect ANYone to understand whom I have not told? They can’t read my mind. But boy do I wish they could. It is so hard to explain to people, especially people I am not and will not be all that close to.

This is between a nice older couple, who has left our church in Maine to live in Florida, and myself. I am thinking of moving down and wanted to be in touch with them somewhat. Here’s their note (after we’d written back and forth a little) and my response.

Theirs:

“I think that the end of Aug. or in Sept. Son # 3 and the grand kids may come again … So when you know more (about your move or visit), let us know, and by then we may know more what they are going to do. But if they do come it will only be for A few days. We will help you in any way we can and you are welcome to stay here. I think you could find A job with your skill. looking forward to seeing you.”

Oo, it was the “I think you could find a job…” that got me. I’d told them multiple times that I was unable to work, but not exactly why. I’d mentioned the depression and anxiety; I’d done a lot of “implying;” but that was it. I thought, “Why do I have to explain! Why can’t they just accept what I said!” Sigh… But, I decided to be a little more direct, and see what happens.

So, here is my response. Will it work?

“I have bipolar illness along with some other things. There is a link below that explains what it is. I haven’t been able to work at all since a year ago May. Nursing wise I haven’t worked since 2010 I think it was. The last time as a nurse I did not know I was manic and I was dangerous to myself and others, even driving. My last job was as a cashier at a crafts store. Even that was too stressful for me. I have been working with Pastor and Mrs.X. on all of this since I started at [our church] in 06. Sometimes I do ok and sometimes not. It is easy to hide for short periods of time so you may not know that I am having symptoms. When it is bad I just don’t go to church at that time and I watch the service on the computer. I don’t talk about it because I feel embarrassed about not being able to do things. I tell very few people. It is also kind of hard to get into a conversation about it in the middle of church  🙂

What I do for work now is volunteer at church to the best of my ability at that particular time.  Sometimes I do a lot, sometimes a little. My resume looks like Swiss cheese right now.  😦 I can’t even keep my word anymore as far as work goes. As I said, it is very embarrassing! Anyway, as I mentioned, click here for information about bipolar disorder.

This Is It!

Yayyyy! We’re fast approaching an obscure little number: 190 posts!

And so, it’s time to make some very important decisions!

The first one is whether to sign up for a paid website, and take this writing gig more seriously.

The second decision: whether or not to take a nap.

I know, I know, we shouldn’t rush things, right? I’ll admit, the second seems a lot more important in the scheme of things.

After all, “paid” is not part of my vocabulary. Not when “Free” is also available.

But honestly, I’d rather plan ahead for what will be a very long, illustrious, and successful career, than plant my feet any deeper on this particular blog site and have to uproot. Seems more logical to start now with my author’s page. After all, I’m going to be rich and famoose before you know it.

*Coughs*

Ok, maybe that sentence was filled with a little more bravado than I feel.

I don’t care. After all, the sooner I finish this post, the quicker I can take that nap.

HELP My Unbelief! : When Doubt is a Disorder

Very good for those who suffer or who know someone who does.

The OCD Christian

Having lived with OCD for quite some time and experienced a lot of diverse obsessional themes, I can tell you that any persistent or long held obsession is most certainly going to create a painful and debilitating level of anxiety which is often accompanied by depression.

Therefore, in order to demonstrate a level of respect and empathy for others, it will be important for those of us with OCD to recognize that while our obsessional themes may differ, this doesn’t mean that our experience is more legitimate or painful than that of others.

Which, is what brings me to the point of this blog: Religious OCD or Scrupulosity may not seem like a big deal to a person with OCD who isn’t a Christian but to those of us who have struggled with it, it is a very big deal.  It might not even seem to be all that big…

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♪♫ Just a dream, just a dream…

I have a blogging friend who has a blog post entitled “Just a Dream,” and every time a comment appears and I see that title, I hear that song in my head. So I guess I ought to just post to that effect and let you hear the song. Possibly that will make it go away lol. Check in will follow below:

SO! A dream. I had Propofol when I had my colonoscopy (see my previous blog entry about it, which has a pretty funny video by Damon Wayans and Lou Rawls), and I don’t remember a durn thing. I’ve had I think Versed before but there was a question that it was what made me vomit during my endoscopy (could have been other factors of course).

So, anyway, it’s not the colonoscopy that’s the problem, it’s the durn prep. Everyone tells you that but I still want to say it, lol. So, I had to take a whole bottle of Miralax, which works excellently if you want to feel like you are um, urinating through your, um, bottom. How’s that for as unoffending as possible. 😉 It actually is better than the old “Go-Lytely” they used to make you drink. And “Go-Lytely” is a misnomer, in case you were wondering (shudder).

I also had to be on clear liquids for an extra day this time, because the last time I prepped, it did not, um, work thoroughly. Now why can’t I just come out and say what needs to be said? Because poop and poop jokes are “not done, my dear.” Ok, I’ll go along with that, this time.

ANYway, the only result I’ve received from the doctor regarding the colonoscopy, so far, is that they found a large polyp in my ascending colon.

It’s not uncommon to find polyps, but they remove them during the colonoscopy, as polyps can sometimes become cancerous.. They will biopsy the thing (something they do routinely) and get back to me in 7-10 days.

WELL. After 2 days of clear liquids, I had developed a couple of food cravings. One, an Italian sandwich from Amatos (There is nothing like it, anywhere!)

And another craving I had, you guessed it:

No no, NO to Starbucks! It’s the DUNK, all the way. And with creamer. Because I could have had coffee those two days, up til 11:30 am. But I can’t drink coffee without my creamer. Nuh uh.

SO. Anyway. My good friend and I munch munched, but I could only eat half the sandwich. Still had room for half a

whoopie pie, which I love love love – again from Amatos (they have the 2nd best whoopie pie I can buy around here. Wicked Whoopie is the best).

(Did I ever tell you I have a problem with food? Well, only when I think about it. Otherwise, it’s CHOWWW TIIIIME!)

Ok, what else.

So anyway. I caught up w/ my friends, the IRL ones, and on the computer, in the evening. I went to bed around 10, read for a while, then zz…

And woke up 4 hours later.

Oh well. Was able to eat my other half sandwich at 5 a.m. (why not?) and refrained from eating the other half a whoopie pie because BOY does that stuff eat up my calorie allowance! (WHAT calorie allowance!)

Well, so that is me so far today, did you like it? Let me know. I’m gonna get ready to go to Staples this morning with a friend, and torture myself with all the things I’d like to have. (Staples is almost better than Amatos!).

Ciao!