Category Archives: Bipolar

Do Wha Diddy Diddy Dumb Diddy Doo …

Well there’s an eye catching little title. Nothing to do with this post.

Except for that first word, “do.”

And perhaps, the “Wha.”.

(Leave it to me to get something obscure from a song lyric).

The “do” and the “wha” refers to the “do what?” of my life.  Because so often I’m questioning what I do or don’t do. Am I doing right? And if I’m doing right, am I doing right?

Let me explain. And I’d better hurry up, before I lose you. One of my primary issues is keeping boundaries. And it’s not just the fact that people can take advantage of me. I volunteer myself and my resources. Nobody asked! It’s “What do YOU need?” versus “What do I need?” Then, when everybody’s happy, and I do mean ev.er.y.body, then  I’ll sit down and do my stuff. Complaining all the while, don’tcha know. But to do otherwise, to ignore someone’s need, to leave someone unsatisfied, feels very selfish, and just plain wrong. Sound familiar? (Cough: Martha)

This hurts me. Because after a while I’m feeling disjointed, disoriented, disorganized, and dissatisfied. It’s feeling like life is out of control. My laundry is weeks overdue, I haven’t made that phone call or done my writing, and I’m neglecting my job search and exploration. But maybe that’s the point. In seeing to someone else’s needs, I get to put off the things I need to do, or face, or feel. But that only works for so long. Soon I am in dire straits, and worse, blaming you.

So what is my business? How do I know? What is my responsibility, to you, or to me?

To know this, it starts with prayer. A common prayer of mine is the prayer Paul prayed at the time he was converted to Christianity (and isn’t that putting it mildly?). Having persecuted Jesus and His followers,, and having just condoned the stoning of Stephen, Paul (as Saul) meets Jesus on the road to Damascus.

And he trembling and astonished said, Lord,what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. (Acts 9:6)

Simple, huh? Just ask God, and He will lead.

So why don’t I do it? Why don’t I make a habit of taking the time, first thing in the morning, to ask what He’d like me to do during my day? Why don’t I pause, before I say “yes,” or volunteer myself? It only takes a moment. Is it because I think I know better what’s best? Is it because I enjoy that adrenaline rush that says “Ooh, what have I gotten myself into?” “It sure has gotten hot in here.” Or, “Where’s the fire extinguisher?”

But there are concrete things He’s asked of me. I don’t need to pause and wait to be told; it’s in the Book. I can pray for others, one of the finest things that can be done for another human being. I can study and meditate upon God’s word. I can serve in my local church. I can spend time with other people the Lord has given me. And I can do my laundry.

Ok, perhaps that last was my mother talking. But you get the gist. There are many things I don’t make time for, and end up a mess. And if you’re like me, you’re spending time recuperating from time with others as much as you’re actually spending time with them (see: introvert). Maybe more. So you still don’t get things done.

It doesn’t mean I can’t drop everything in the event of an emergency, but it does mean that God has specific tasks for me. He has helped me, through a long history of anxiety, depression, and bipolar illness, to figure out what I need to do to take care of myself. He has helped me to know when it’s time to take steps forward in my recovery, and when I’ve taken on too much. He’s given me specific people, family and friends who know me well. They can see if I am “off,” they can give me that refreshing of the spirit that only a true friend can give, and it is mutual, I hope. If I’m neglecting all of that, or ignoring red flags, a lot of sour notes will ensue. And it’s not just me on the piano, or the Mexican food I just ate.

This is not to mention the fact that if my “good deeds” do proceed from my flesh, and not from the Spirit’s call, it’s not worth a whole lot. I am thoughtful of the following scripture in Romans 8:5-8:

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

There is a whole lot in that there little portion of scripture! Among other things, it makes me evaluate things: Is my motive selfish, even when I appear to be focused on others? Am I looking to be comfortable, to be honored, to be liked? Am I trying, in my flesh, to make others happy? Maybe God’s intent is for that person to seek their own solution, or to sit with their own discomfort. Or, more than likely, for them to turn to Him, rather than to this friend who wants to make “aw better.” Sometimes, making it easier on someone else is not making it easier. It’s not just the two-year-old who needs to know they can do it themselves. And sometimes the attempt to “mother” someone does more harm than good. After all, “mother” and “smother” are pretty close.

Of course, there is such a thing as analyzing something to death. Sometimes I am procrastinating. Sometimes I am “enabling.”

But sometimes, I’m just loving.

And isn’t that what Christ has begged for us to do all along? As it is written:

And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 2 John 5:

 

 

Ulla – Beyond the Yellow Brick Road

I hate to write this. And after many revisions, trying to articulate this clearly, I am just going to click “Publish,” and call it good. After one more read, then I will. And then one more.

Our Dear Ulla, a fellow bipolar blogger known as “Blahpolar,” who entertained us, saddened us, instructed us, inflamed us, embarrassed us, left us. She took her life, and now she’s gone.

I loved you right away, Ulla, loved reading your irreverent prose. The F bombs, the rants, the things we all want to say but can’t. The extremes of anger and sadness. I wanted to loosen my lips, but not THAT much. Being around it, I started to think it. I have no way to explain, only that it wasn’t good for me and the life I was trying to live. So I left off reading your daily blog. I tried reading you once a week, but I couldn’t. I tried to help, but my solution being God and godly things made you REALLY mad. You had your reasons, and I understood, but that was all I had to offer. So I popped in now and then, said hi, reminded you I still cared, but was it enough?

Ulla was as out there as anyone with bipolar could be. She called herself the bipolar dyke. I know some of my Christian friends would wonder, how can you love someone like that, who is out and proud and loud and bipolar and gay and “heathen,”and what if you catch it? Funny, huh? Not really. After all, there but for the grace of God my desire and passion could be for a woman. It can’t be an easy road. My response is more a tilt of the head, and then, so, what else are you about?

As everyone, I was shocked to find out you had left us, Ulla. Let’s just say it right out, you killed yourself. Why? I am so surprised at your choice. You were so strong, so determined! You had a purpose and that purpose was keeping US alive. Oh Ulla. What tipped you over the edge? But I understand, too. When you’re that depressed, you DON’T have a choice over your thoughts, your morbidity, and yes, your choices. And you, my friend, I am sure you looked at the whole thing practically, logically. I don’t believe you were one bit impulsive or emotional about it.

Where are you now? According to my faith, once you are gone you are gone, and if you’ve not chosen Jesus, you are really gone, to Hell, with no way back. But how could I tell you that? Besides, you knew, right? You’d been steeped in religion at one point in your life. I think. Am I remembering right? And shouldn’t I have said something, directly to you, sooner, more emphatically, more empathetically? I had my blogs about salvation, did you read them? But I should have said, Ulla, please, listen to ME. I should have begged, or at least, been a bother.

Then again, maybe you did know the Lord. Maybe you didn’t land in Hell. I believe that those of us who commit suicide ARE ill, and God takes that into account. Oh Lord. Oh Ulla.

And in some religions, it is GOOD to pray you into that good place. It is believed that you can take someone ordinarily destined for Hell, and pray for them, and they will go to Heaven. I know God can do anything, does do miracles. So I pray. Lord, have mercy. Lord, the ones I love, they didn’t understand. Lord, have mercy. It can’t hurt to pray, God wants us to pray, so I pray, Lord, have mercy.

Ulla, I am just so sorry I didn’t continue to be your friend. Survivor’s guilt, they call it. But not just that. I shoulda coulda woulda. You would now be telling me, F___ guilt. But there are some things I am actually guilty of. And you really were a friend to me. You did reach out to me. Or did I you? Regardless, we hit it off. And nothing I said was unacceptable, I was in a bad spot and you were my friend. And vice versa. I really should have done more. I’m so sorry Ulla. We are all asking, is there anything we could have done differently? Something that would have made you stay for one more day, a day things might have turned around for you? Oh yes I know this is totally self-centered of me, but would you please come back?

Ulla Ulla it just seems that if you had held on a little longer, you might have been okay. ECT does not work right away, you know that.  😦 What was it that tipped you over the edge? And was it the best decision? But how could it be?

That is one thing that haunts me. Whenever I find out that someone has committed suicide, I am so sad and horrified, but a part of me is envious, because I have what you have. And that thing that I have is the occasional hatred of life, so strong it can be overwhelming,  it can be all I can think of. The desire to leave, so strong.

But what you didn’t have is what I do have. The hope that no matter how bad things get, I have a future. A future in Heaven. I have Someone Who loves me, will love me forever. No matter who or what happens in my life, I have an assurance that is real enough that nothing else matters. Not my pain, not my misery, nor the endless days. And eventually those days change, and I am happy again, and can move forward. Write again, smile again, hope again. See that I matter.

I pray, as I said, that your endless days ended in Heaven. I pray that I can be a better friend.

But more than that, I wish you were here Ulla. You are so missed. I wish you were here.

 

 

 

♪♫ Here come those tears again

(5/31/15) (Completed 1/7/16)(Procrastinate much?)

Here come those tears again … Well, hopefully not too many tears.

See, I’m trying the food and fitness thing again. So far so good, 4 lb, which I suppose is better than nothing (do my clothes fit better? can I breathe better? Neh…)

And of course, being Spring, my thoughts have turned to romance …

***

OK – that is as far as I got back in May, for both this post and for the fitness thing…

And the romance, for that matter.

Now here it is January and I started the fitness thing again back in December.

Now for the waah:

  1. Do I have to do this again??
    Yes, the doctor put me on a diet. And not just a diet. A low carb diet. Dang! Doesn’t he know it doesn’t work, that you are just going to cheat and end up even fatter? Doesn’t he know it is bad for the body? and worst of all, doesn’t he know that this often swings me into hypomania? But (here’s the re-BUT-tal… now I see where that word come from!) I have been doing it for over a month, not perfectly of course, and it is going pretty well. WITH exercise!
  2. I had such a horrible craving for cake last nite!
    What prompted it? Seeing a picture of birthday cake.
    I used to buy a whole cake at the grocery store and almost flaunt it as I plopped it down at the register. I figured if I looked happy they would think I was buying it for a birthday boy or girl.
    So why don’t I just have one piece? Ah, in theory that would be great! Except for that mildly addictive (and that’s putting it mildly) personality of mine.
  3. I was going to do housework but have an overwhelming urge to nap. Which would be fine except …
  4. The maintenance people have a generator going right outside my door, the volume of which overrides the white noise of the fan I would generally have going while I sleep.
  5. I’m still not going to do housework.
    So there. Cuz you know once I start, I will keep going til it’s all done (Remember that “mildly” thing?) I just don’t want to do all that. Even though that sense of pride and accomplishment would be so good. Nope, nuh uh. Not going to.
  6. I have to pee again, dang it!
  7. I’m sure there is a seven because I felt so whiny when I started this post.
  8. But at least I did accomplish something!

♪♫I’m goin’ to Jackson(ville)♪♫

That’s right. Leg One of my journey. Actually, leg two, but who’s counting.

Leg One was exploring via the internet:
I. Apartment rental sites,

A. Apartment Subsidy Sites

B. Regular apartment sites.

C. Roommate sites.

D. Can’t make the durn format format.

II. Churches.

A. Friend ‘A”s church

B. Friend “B’s” church.

C. Other churches.

III.Geography of Jacksonville sites

A. Blogs

B. Wiki

C. Educational sites

D. TMI sites.

E. Medical care

F. That does not go under “Geography,” start over!

G. No.

IV. History of Jacksonville sites.

A. I never did like history.

V. “Meet ups” sites

A. Writers.

VI. “Warnings for those moving to Jacksonville” sites.

A. Sinkholes

B. Weather

C. Unsavory characters.

VII. Speaking of warnings:

A. Bugs

B. Snakes.

LEG II:
A. I thought you said this was Leg 1.

B. Whatever.

A. Actually going there next month (um, you don’t really get the concept of an outline do you)

  1. Friend 1
  2. Friend 2
  3. Potential roommate
  4. Apartment hunting
  5. Food and amusement.
  6. Beach(es)
  7. B. Can’t make format behave.
  8. a. Whatever.
  9. Oh, the plane, the plane
  10. Weather
  11. a. Erika

B. Leg III

  1. Packing
  2. Staying w/ a friend hereup North.
  3. You didn’t know “hereup” was a word.
  4. Whereabouts and Howabouts unknown, but sometime mid November.
  5. OH – telling friends and leaving friends. That should be a little higher up.
  6. And so should praying for God’s will.
  7. “We got married in a fever…” lyrics stuck in head. Yeah, remember title? Hopefully your head will take over the lyrics so I can get rid of them!
  8. Oh and by the way, change can bring on symptoms of bipolar.

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.

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Hope you have a wonderful day today my friends! Independence Day whether far or near, freedom from lack and freedom from fear. Big hugs! I have had so much discouragement lately, and so hungry, and blowing up like a balloon! Time to take the doctor by the neck and say ok, my Friend, time to get me off this stuff and onto something that works! And preferably something that makes me LOSE weight! THAT would make me “happy,” lol…

As usual wanting to avoid holidays, partly habit, partly just so dog-gone depressed. Lord please help me! Here’s to a good rest-of-the-year, whattaya think? And no I am not toasting with alcohol. Been “independent” of that since December 1985, all glory to God!

For those who have freedom in Christ, a wonderful song today. God bless you! For God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind! 2 Timothy 1:7

♪♫Good morning, Star Shine

♪♫the K says hello …

Hope you are all doing well. I haven’t written in a while, so I thought I’d say ♪♫hello! Life is hard lately. I started doing the food/fitness thing, went to a nutritionist and she said 1100 kcal and see you in 4-6 weeks! Yeah right. Has she not heard that there is such a thing as low metabolism when you starve someone? ♪♫hello!! “Ok, enough of the hellos already,” I can hear you from here! O-tay!

Anyway – it is tough. The diet/fitness. The anxiety! The sexual abuse maybe/maybe not thing. The depression-bipolar-anxiety thing. Yes I said anxiety already. Sigh-YUH! (and again).

So, I am not writing, and I don’t know if the not writing is helping or not. I do plan to do Nano Camp in July.

So, yeah. I’ve wanted to blog. And I miss you guys. I also had to stop most of my blogging friend notifications, so I am depending upon the Reader when I read. It is not the same as an email saying so-and-so posted. Definitely not. Did I tell you I miss you? But I was getting to be a worse mess than I am, and something had to go, call it a diagnostic test, in a way.

The meds are out of whack, I am pretty sure. I’m thinking about a second opinion. I’ve had a number of adjustments, and it is just not working. I am not hospital or partial-hospital bad, but almost.

I am also having difficulty regarding some of my ministries at church. One of them was bringing some people to choir practice and/or early to church. High maintenance people, emotionally, and I am the sponge. That had to go, even though it doesn’t “make sense,” after all, I’m going that way, right? Well, tough! It is hurting me and my sanity! Did I tell you how impossibly hard it is for me to say no? But I have to. I am going insane. That’s just one “minor” thing.

Did I tell you what is right? God goes with me wherever I go, whether I feel Him with me or not, see Psalm 139. Also, I have not drank or drugged or done anything self-destructive, except for talking to myself not-nicely, and I am working on that. Also, and this is not minor at all, I have some a-may-zing friends IRL (in real life)! It is so, so important in this mental health and spiritual journey. Get some!

What else. Did I tell you I miss you, and “here”? I miss writing, and sorting things out in my mind, and reading some of your blogs, and just hanging out. I may have to rethink this. But not today. Today, I am just “here.” That’s enough!

Well, I will just leave this at “that,” I’ve got things to do and people to see (a nice one. She helps). Ta, ta, and all that. LOVE AND PRAYERS for any of you reading this. xo and ttyl!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not a single act, but a habit.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not a single act, but a habit.”

— Aristotle

(This is what I’m trying to do w/ my food and fitness. The hard part is continuing it after summer is over! Every. Single. Year. Sigh… kb)

Don Charisma


«We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not a single act, but a habit.»

— Aristotle


DonCharisma.com-logo-4Charisma quotes are sponsored by DonCharisma.com – you dream it we built it … because – “anything is possible with Charisma”



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Just so’s you know…

I am doing a lot better today! It is a little miracle. I’ll take it!

Yesterday I felt so anxious and overwhelmed, hypomanic, and scared!

Today I feel normal. I went to an AA meeting, went for a walk (it was beautiful out!), and now I’m home. Eating a good lunch, gonna do dishes, then I have church (prayer meeting) tonight.

No panic, a little anxiety, no hypomania. Thank You God! I had a lot of people praying for me and I truly believe that helps!

Thanks all for listening to me yesterday! I will keep you posted.

♪♫ Hi Anxiety

For the past week, I have been experiencing a feeling of being chased. You know, that heart-in-your-throat, can’t-get-away kind of feeling that is sometimes associated with anxiety.

After that? I started having difficulty abstaining from a number of behaviors that I avoid very easily as a Christian, but not so much as someone whose medications are out of whack. Swearing, impatience, starting and not finishing blog entries … stuff like that. Oh, and barely refraining from throwing one’s phone through one’s television. Fantasizing about imbibing certain anesthetizing fluids and acting out shamelessly. Wanting to jump into my car right after payday, because, after all, I’m totally messing up, so why shouldn’t I? To go cross country and get all the bad behavior over with, because there’s no point trying to restrain myself. That, my dears, is hypomania.

It is the state of mind in which one knows better than to attempt installing one’s printer, if one wants not to destroy it, or to become totally undone. Just yesterday I was trying to synch my “my fitness pal” to my “map my walk,” and between my phone and my computer, I just about imploded. I did have an incredible melt down, the likes of which I have been working toward all week, all month, maybe all year. Honestly! Why can’t the… ok we won’t go there…

So I had a call in to my doctor’s nurse yesterday, and she called me back. Late, I might add. But I had forgotten to turn my ringer on. By the time I realized she had called, she was already leaving a message.

That’s one thing cell phones lack, that regular phones with answering machines don’t. A regular phone could be snatched up mid-message with an awkward “Hello? Hello?” But at least you could catch the person who was calling. With cell phones, you end up playing telephone tag for hours, sometimes days, and most times they call you back when they’re darn good and ready. See? “Darn.” I have a little self control.

But back to the phone call. That was about the time the phone almost lost its life. But of course, when I realized I could not throw it and get away with it, and there wasn’t a punching bag or a human nearby, yeah…  Instead of being angry, I dissolved into tears.

So then I couldn’t immediately call her back. It was pointless to even try. It’s very hard to convey one’s feelings and needs when one is sobbing. Well, on second thought, I could have communicated quite a lot that way, but not what I wanted to. After all, I do have a little self respect.

So today, I believe it was even before I opened my eyes, I was thinking the F word, which then caused me to start crying. Oh, it’s gonna be a fabulous day, I thought. I’m sorry, God, and please help me.

And then I started flagellating myself for saying sorry all the time but not changing anything. Yah. That kind of day.

One verse in the Bible says that out of the heart the mouth speaks. So this whole thing makes me feel like so much less of a Christian. I’m not even telling you about how I was trying not to shake the walls of the apartments on other side of mine with my hollering. Add consideration to self respect. I reeeeally am trying not to lose it.

For those of you who then want to say “Such thoughts, such speech and behavior would not occur to someone who truly knows and loves the Lord.” Well I’m glad it’s like that for you, truly. And maybe I’m not a Christian. Maybe I am just faking it. Putting on a big front. I guess I could use prayer instead of your judgment.

Oh, the joys of hypomania. I would love to take full advantage, and start cleaning my place, and doing whatever else needs doing, but I seem to have bypassed that stage of efficiency entirely, and progressed to the stage of irritability and ineptitude, and the unable-to-do-a-thing-right stage. Ohhhkay, see that run on sentence? Another symptom of hypomania. When it gets real bad, I don’t even use commas.

Anyway, had I not bypassed that efficiency stage, I’d be having this conversation with you in an apartment that was minus the dirty dishes and bags full of laundry. It would be pristine, sparkling. And I’d be a little less unhappy about this whole thing.

So there you have it. This is the quandary of the Christian who has bipolar disorder. Oh yes, the manic aspect and the depressive aspect are equally self-condemning, never mind concerning what other Christians might think. Is it any wonder that we hide ourselves from those Christians who don’t understand?

And yes I am tersely speaking with as much clarity and control as I possibly can. Who wouldn’t when other words want to fly out of one’s fingers?

So pray for me. Pray for proper medication management, and that I cause as little damage to myself and others, and things, as possible. In the meantime, I am fantasizing about being admitted to the hospital. Or of having it suggested to me, and replying with a long string of obscenities.

♪♫ Hi Anxiety …

Great Expectations?

Happy Sunday!

I came across a quote this morning that I really liked:

“Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows.”

– Michael Landon 

I like that quote, don’t you?

Speaking of “do it now,” my bucket list is real simple: Get through the day, and go to Paris. That’s not asking much, right?

This morning as I was cooking up some scrambled eggs, I noticed that I was also cooking the lid of the plastic (!!!) container I use for butter!

Sadness! Quickly I grabbed the lid and moved the pan of eggs, then checked to see if any of the melted plastic had adhered to the pan.

Nope. Thank You God! Yes, that was a prayer of thanksgiving, because, had it melted onto the pan, I’d have been more sad. 😦

The lid of the butter thing was quickly repaired (the hole covered with a piece of shipping tape), and put back in the fridge. I did not say it was well repaired. Just repaired. Anyway …

I also want to share another thought I read this morning from La vie est trop courte pour boire du mauvais vin

Noooo I have not taken up drinking wine, but I do like reading the different accounts of his travels, and looking at his photos.

His quote today:

It doesn’t matter how tatty your wings are… If you can fly… FLY!

The word “tatty” makes me think of the word “tattered,” or “damaged.” Check out the page and you’ll see the tattered butterfly that goes with the quote. Funnily enough, there is a French phrase, “Quelle dommage,” which sounds like the word “damage,” and can mean “What a shame!” or “What a pity!” But way down on the list of translations is the phrase, “How damaged!” So, let’s say that it means that… ok? And let’s fly!

Don’t mind me. It’s morning, which means, before noon, which means (speaking of flying) flight of ideas! It means you’ve got to expect a little less. Not only is it morning! Worse, it’s before 7 a.m! So you really need to expect less!

So, let’s fly! We may have tattered wings, as in the photo, but we can fly!

(Looks at the clock). No, really, let’s fly! It’s time for church!

(Flies off, flapping wings …)

* Michael Landon quote from Ritu at BUT I SMILE ANYWAY — Thank you Ritu!]

One more thing!

Grr! One more thing and I’m just gonna lose it! Jesus, Your Word says to cast my burdens at Your feet? Well, I’m casting them! Here ya go! Take them!

I watch as You pick them up carefully. “Ok, Kat,” You say. “Just remember. These are Mine, not yours. You gave them to Me, and you can’t have them back. Not unless I give them to you.”

How could this be, Lord? Shouldn’t I be able to handle them? These things I’m trying to do? Those people who need my help? But they’re so heavy on my shoulders, my neck! Ugh, what do I do?

“Keep putting them at my feet,” You say, “and all those things you have to do. I’ll carry them for you. I’ll tell you when to help Me. But you must give them to me first.”

And what about my mind, Lord! It’s making me crazy! First I think I’m fine, and then I’m not! What am I supposed to do?

“Place it all at My feet.”

But Lord, I can’t even do that! I get out of bed and my mind is already racing!

“Put everything at my feet. And spend a little time with Me.”

How, Lord? And how can You love me? I’m a mess.

“I love that mess. Now come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

That’s all I want, Lord.

“I know. So be still, and know that I am God. Cast your cares upon me, Kat, for I care for you.”

That’s all I want. Lord. But I’m supposed to be more like You, not this train wreck. And if I’m supposed to be like You, doesn’t that mean I need to give? I feel so overwhelmed. But how can I say no to those who need me?

“Even Moses had to learn say no. Remember, I was here for a specific purpose. I said, “I must work the works of him that sent me.” Why did God send you, Kat? So read My Word. Be still. And most of all, cast your care upon Me.”

“And while you’re at it, Kat, cast My care upon Me, too.”

References: Matthew 11:28, Psalm 46:10, 1 Peter 5:7, John 9:4

By His Grace

When I started this journey of recovery from alcoholism and mental illness, I was 25. I hit bottom, hard, and had a suicide attempt, after 3 months of so called sobriety, or what some people refer to as a “dry drunk.”
I had 3 beers that night, as I recall, the ole “liquid courage,” and then I used razor blades to cut both wrists. Each time I stopped bleeding, I would cut again, and again, until I passed out.
But at the last moment, I said “God, I don’t really want to die. But I don’t want to live. Please help me. I don’t want to go to Hell.”
That was quite a prayer, a desperate one, and one He answered almost before I’d finished saying it. But my Christian growth has proceeded more slowly than I would have hoped. I have been able to maintain my sobriety since that night, December 21, 1985. That is a huge feat. But my mental illness has been dogged in its pursuit of my soul. Even today I am facing those demons of memory and fear in regard to my history of sexual and other abuse.
Whose fault is it? And why, God? Those questions are not so important today. What matters is my relationship with Jesus Christ, and how I live from here on out, daily.
Soon after writing my blog post, Th’Abuse, yesterday, I heard echoes of reminder: “You faced this before, but not with Me. You will face this again, more layers of the onion, but this time, it’s different. You will face it with Me.”
And it’s true. I don’t have to face it alone this time. My suicide attempt was thirty years ago. Fifteen years after that, I asked Jesus to save my soul, and by the grace of Jesus Christ, He did.
My relationship with Him has grown slowly, oh, so much more slowly than I’ve wanted, but He has never moved. I have, but never Him. His promise: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5)
And so, this is my prayer today, as I embark still further upon this journey. Feel free to use it to help you on your own path. Psalm 143 reads:

Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.

And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.

For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead.

Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.

I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.

I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah.

Hear me speedily, O Lord: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.

Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.

Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me.

10 Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.

11 Quicken me, O Lord, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.

12 And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.

And amen.

♪♫ Life now is sweet …

Hi Kids!

Some of my friends will announce at the beginning of a post, “Trigger Warning!” when they’re about to write about something like suicide, or PTSD triggers, or the like.

Well I’d like to announce, “Scripture Warning!” Although, there aren’t many, and they aren’t too heavy, for those who are leery of that type of thing.

I have 3 (maybe four) blog posts on the fire that I am waiting to write, and I’m feeling a little pressure! The more serious ones I like to have a block of time to write, and to really concentrate. (I don’t want you to think I’m a total nimwit when I finally write them).

One has to do with the Secret Santa post I reblogged recently.

Another (maybe two posts) is to finish the After Midnight series, in which I talk about the origin of the title of this blog.

Then there is another “serious” (It’s all relative) post, but I forget what it was. It’s written down somewhere. I think. Give me a break! I woke up rudely at 4:30 a.m. with a charlie horse (capital C?) 😦 I am not all there yet!

So, to catch you up. I have had 2 very sweet days! Saturday I think I might have mentioned – hanging out with my son, great weather, doing some work for the church, going to coffee w/ a few friends, then a family birthday party. It was awesome!

Sunday a little pressure. It is always busy on Sunday, but I really enjoyed it: A couple of church services, seeing my son again, a sweet little nap, great weather again. I tell ya it’s been a while since I’ve had 2 really good days in a row. And I really like it!

Today will be busy, but I plan to try not to complain, and just to love it.

This is a sure plan for disaster, right? I mean, if I do wind up having three good days in a row – well, we all know that that must mean I’m manic. HAHAHA!

Anyway, I hope you all have a really good day! Here is the song (lyrics and video) that is referenced in the title. It’s the first song that was running through my head so far – and how I feel at the mo. I think we sang it at church yesterday. The youtube video plays a little stuffier version of the song than I would like, but you get the gist. God is good!

Here are two verses of scripture that the song is based upon. And pardon the formatting! I can’t seem to fix it:

Psalm 116:6 The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Would you like to be saved today? Here’s how! Check out A Love Beyond All Limits! There is no better day than today to be saved!

And if no one has told you yet today that they love you, let me be the first!
Saved Saved

  1. I’ve found a Friend, who is all to me,
    His love is ever true;
    I love to tell how He lifted me
    And what His grace can do for you.

    • Refrain:
      Saved by His pow’r divine,
      Saved to new life sublime!
      Life now is sweet and my joy is complete,
      For I’m saved, saved, saved!
  2. He saves me from every sin and harm,
    Secures my soul each day;
    I’m leaning strong on His mighty arm;
    I know He’ll guide me all the way.
  3. When poor and needy and all alone,
    In love He said to me,
    “Come unto Me and I’ll lead you home,
    To live with Me eternally.”

Tha-RILLED today… :)

Tha-RILLED today.

Now as I typed that, I had a picture of Jo Anne Worley

saying that in my head. Anyone remember her? Sign in please! I bet she would be thrilled to still be remembered. Anyway…

Tha-RILLED! Why?

Well, I set 5 goals for today, and, I achieved them. Got right up from my rump shaped seat and did ’em.

  1. Did the dishes.
  2. Took a shower.
  3. Wrote. Yes, technically had to return to my rump-shaped seat but you know what I mean…
  4. Did DBT homework.
  5. Talked to God

Now looking at that list, it doesn’t look like a whole heck of a lot. But let me show you the list had I not set goals.

1.

Yes, that’s right. None of those things would have gotten done. Sure I would have fed my face, peed (see a previous post), played on Facebook. But seriously, that’s all I would have accomplished.

I’m excited. I could do this every day. Maybe make a new program for myself entitled “set 5 goals.” Wouldn’t that be great?

So why don’t I just stop there?

Because in my mind, it’s never good enough. If I can accomplish 5 goals a day, why not make it 6? Or 10?

And you all know what comes next.

Ahhhh I can’t do it. Why try. I’m no good anyway. It won’t last. And on and on ad infinitum.

Now why do I do that to myself?

Why can’t I just be tha-RILLED for having a good day?

So, back up, Kat. Take a deep breath. Look at that pretty, empty sink. Look at that marvelous word count. Realize that every time you practice DBT you are building skills to help you have the nice, full, rich, delicious life that you deserve to have. Regardless of the fact that you’re 56 years old. Don’t go there. Just breathe, and appreciate.

“What does the Bible say about Bipolar Disorder/Manic Depression?

This post is quite good. It addresses the legitimate medical AND spiritual concerns that need to be addressed when helping a person who has bipolar illness. I agree with the Bible about sin and holiness. But the person with bipolar and other mental illnesses needs proper medical supervision and treatment. Going without that is extremely dangerous.

THE WALL: a blog of Baptist Voice Ministries

Note: as with many psychological issues, there are often both a physical and spiritual aspect of manic depression / bipolar disorder. While we believe psychologists often miss the true spiritual nature of the sickness, we strongly encourage anyone suffering with a mental illness to seek medical attention and counseling.

Answer:“Bipolar disorder” is a name that first appeared in 1957 for a severe mental illness. Before that, the same illness was called “manic depressive illness” or “manic depression,” though that name only dates back to 1921. Neither term appears in the Bible, but the Bible teaches us a number of lessons we can apply to bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness characterized by severe mood fluctuations. These fluctuations go far beyond simply being “happy” or “sad.” The “manic” symptoms can include feelings of extreme euphoria, marked increase in risk-taking, racing thoughts, forced speech, and increased energy. The…

View original post 444 more words

♪♫Doo bee dee bee teeeee!!! ♪♫

Not the greatest title, is it?

But it got your attention, because here you are, reading my post!

So. The title. Does this help? Doo bee D.B.T.

It refers to D.B.T., which stands for “D.ialectical B.ehavioral T.herapy:

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a research-based, cognitive-behavioral treatment originally developed by Marsha Linehan at the University of Washington, to help clients with the suicidal and self-harm behaviors often seen in Borderline Personality Disorder … DBT has since then been modified as a treatment for other complex and challenging mental disorders that involve emotional dysregulation. (from: http://mindfulnesstherapy.org/dbt/)

D.B.T. is not entirely new to me. I vaguely remember being in a DBT group about 5 years ago. I suppose if I’d had more presence of mind at the time it would have “taken” better, but I didn’t, and it didn’t. I’m not even sure I finished the course. Typically, a round of DBT requires about a year of group work and education.

That seems pretty overwhelming to me, even after all this time. But I’ve decided to try again. And here is where my AA training leaps to the rescue and reminds me:  “One Day At A Time, Sweet Jesus.” (ok, the “Sweet Jesus” comes from a great song, and was ad-libbed into the phrase; I need Him more than any of this!).

Why am I returning to DBT? Well, there have been times since attending the group the first time that my therapist has referred to a DBT skill. Almost every time, my response is, “Huh?” And I really think that reviewing all of the skills could be really useful. Having gone through a recent intensive program of recovery, I have decided that it is time.

I am disgusted with myself, honestly, that I have needed more help. But I forget one thing: the nature of my illness is that I have no control over it. I can advocate for myself, I can comply with treatment, and I can seek out what I need. But as to the underlying condition, I am not responsible. Shame has no place. I will say that again: shame has no place. For those of us with mental health issues, we must remember:

We have a mental illness. It is not our fault.

Fortunately, I have a really good therapist that I’ve had since ’03. I am also in a great DBT group now. Maybe next week I’ll do better with the homework.

And I believe that we are all doing the very best that we can.

That goes for me, too.

I’ll keep you posted!

Did you forget already?

Yes, you. You are loved, no matter what. And you matter! Things that I heard over and over this week as I attended my partial hospital treatment program for mental illness.

I had determined that I was going to write you this brilliant summary of things I had learned that you might also find useful, but dang! I had too much fun today, and tomorrow will be very busy. So, I will just say that the program is helping, I’m learning a lot, and, I matter.

I did write a post on Facebook for my Christian brothers and sisters:

Many Christians who have depression, anxiety, OCD, or other mental health issues are silent about it. We may feel embarrassed or stigmatized, but these issues are real, medical problems, with emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual effects. It doesn’t mean “Boo hoo I broke a fingernail,” or “I don’t have enough chairs for Christmas dinner.” It doesn’t refer to the natural sadness we feel when we lose a loved one, or experience other life situations, although mental illness may also be involved. These diagnoses can be prolonged and even deadly when left untreated (For an example, see http://www.actlocallywaco.org/2015/03/24/hope-and-healing-regaining-life-from-major-depression/).

One thing that helps me with all of my struggles, including mental health issues, is the Word of God. In Psalm 23, the Bible speaks of the valley of the shadow of death. Those of us with mental illness walk that fine line all the time, between life and hope, and discouragement and even suicide. But God walks with us. We may not be aware, but He is there all the time, and ready to help and guide us.

There are also many people who can help us return to good health and a closer walk with God. It may be our pastor or a counselor, and sometimes a doctor is needed when we need medication and other treatment modalities. I believe that God has provided these resources, and we need not be ashamed if they are needed. This doesn’t mean we just go off on our own; we are still guided by the Word of God in our daily lives.

Psalm 23, as referred to above, is a great scripture to meditate upon:
1 The LORD is my shepherd ; I shall not want .
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies : thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

****

It seemed like what I wrote was going to promote a firestorm, and the first commenter did start out that way. It seemed she was saying that you don’t need medications, and said the whole usual blah blah … but in a later comment she started talking about oils and what not, and I’m like, wait a minute, that doesn’t jive with what you said initially. But I didn’t want to argue, so I just let it go. There were several other comments that were supportive and echoed what I had written.

So, kids, this is all you are going to get out of me this weekend, lol. Unless I can’t sleep later…

xo

So Rich Full and Free

Yesterday in my partial hospital program we saw a video that accompanied a workshop done by Mary Ellen Copeland (author of The Depression Workbook: a Guide for living with Depression and Manic Depression).

One of the things I responded to was that she said her program was geared to people “whose lives are not as rich and full as they want it to be.” I cried.

That would be me. That is what I am looking for and what depression/bipolar steals from me. I know some believe that the Lord, the Bible, and church ought to provide that all on their own, but I believe God has also trained up ad provided people who know mental illness and have compassion for them.

It is my dream that the church will seek to provide more of that compassion and understanding.

One organization that admittedly I don’t know much about is helping toward that.  It is called the Mental Health Grace Alliance and is training people in the church to help those with a mental illness. 🙂 I’m interested to see what they are able to accomplish. They are not in my area and if I was well enough I would work toward that. That’s the problem with these kinds of issues – can we be strong and capable for long enough to fight for ourselves and one another! I am grateful to those who can, and do!

Ok, enough for this morning, I can’t believe I am functioning enough to write this early in the day, lol…

New Plan (“… If you want to make God laugh…”)

Stupid depression.

Stupid laryngitis.

Have y’all ever had laryngitis? I don’t know about you but it makes me so mad! I want to communicate to my therapist, for example, and I say, “I’m so mad that I can’t talk and tell you how I feel!” He says, “What?”

I know. Funny. HAHA – except it’s not. I am not a big talker, mind you. I am happy sitting in a room full of people for 2 hours not saying a word, trust me. But when I can’t? GRRR! I want to throw things. It has been about 5 weeks now. I’ll get to that.

So anyway back to the depression. It had gotten increasingly worse (continued suicidality, hopelessness, anhedonia, lack of motivation, irritability, insomnia, isolation, etc etc), so finally a little more than a month ago my shrink increased my Abilify. Currently on Lamictal 200 mg, Trileptal 400 mg, Abilify 2.5 mg, among other non- psych drugs.

The med change still has not helped, so she has increased it again, to 3 mg. We are leery because I have gotten manic on it before; but other med adjustments/changes have either not helped or have had bad side effects. I wish I had a list of all the stupid meds I have been on.

I am also on the wait list to start outpatient hospitalization or intensive outpatient or however you want to call it. It has often helped before. I hate to have to do it but … (shrug) it is what it is.

Now the laryngitis. I’ve had it going on five weeks now. From the get-go the only symptoms have been the laryngitis and a dry cough. Barely productive of sputum (if you are a nurse and taking notes). I have also had an increase in my reflux (food and liquid backing up into my throat). My doctor and I discussed it and decided I should have an EGD (tube that goes down the throat and looks at the esophagus and stomach and etc – they can take pictures, take biopsies, etc). Still waiting on that appointment.

Oh, and the maintenance guy helped me to elevate the head of my bed on blocks, and my Nexium (medication for reflux) has been increased.

 

I think that’s about it.

Oh and just in case anyone wanted an explanation:

If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” – Woody Allen

Good morning!*

*Phew, it’s 11:59 and I made it in time to say “good morning,” lol…

Ah the little things that give us joy, or at least, a little frisson of delight. Ok, a mere sigh of relief, then; whattaya want for nothing? lol

Anyway I wanted to apologize for the lack of comments and “likes” on your blog posts lately. I do care! It’s just been a busy week that has challenged my level of depression a little more than it would normally. This week was our annual missions conference which I usually adore! This year it was more like I had to force myself to go and to be around people; although it did lift me up some and renew my faith and my spirits: PHEW!

Well anyway, enjoy your week. If you are of the prayerful persuasion, pray that I will get motivated to work on my novel this week. It is not like I don’t have time!!

xo

*Rats. It’s 12:01 and I am just now finishing. Oh well, c’est la vie…

Now that I’m no longer depressed …

I was “this close” to posting a picture of myself (I’m too shy!) from back in Autumn, when I was actually doing pretty good. In fact, I was kind of bragging about it, that my meds were pretty stable and, yeah right. Well, anyway, if you took a picture of me this morning, I would be wearing the same clothes as yesterday, sort of, and I would be jonesing to go back to bed.

But still, yesterday I woke up in a fairly good mood, and I am cautiously optimistically looking forward to a few things. SPRING (pic from 5 years ago), in case you did not get the memo in the last few posts I’ve written. Lunch with a friend today. Saturday I got through Dad’s birthday (he’s been gone 7 years. 7 YEARS??). And I am pretty sure I will get through the anniversary of Mom’s death (March 12, will be 2 years). Oh sure no sweat  😦

Today I already chalked off something I wanted to accomplish (it’s only 8 a.m!). And I found a phone number I’ve been looking for for two weeks! Kyule!

So what else is going on this fine cloudy Maine morning? I don’t know but I do know that I was happy to be happy yesterday even for a few moments.

I don’t want to kid myself that being happy yesterday means that I am cured. I’m pretty much sure I am not, lol. I don’t want to kid myself that this uptick in mood necessarily won’t change to hypomania, sigh.

Oh I had so much to say when I clicked on the “+” sign for a new post.

I do want to thank you guys for posting your posts and for commenting your comments! Sa-WEET!

Ok, now that I’ve had my coffee (one of my favorite things) I think I’ll go back to bed for a while … oh what’s that on my Facebook?

I Don’t Wanna, Talk About It, Part II

Part of the reason I don’t wanna talk about it is I have awful laryngitis.

But also I am doing the censoring thing; I am depressed and I don’t wanna talk about it.  I really don’t want to hear myself whiiiiine … oh my gosh! Enough!

I have been thinking the last few days what I wanted to blog about and there are plenty of ideas but I don’t have the energy to write anything.

Sorry I haven’t been replying to your posts very much!

Be Not Afraid

One of the things I should have warned you about from the get-go (Ok, if you have read my “about” page, I did):

A lot of my posts, especially the ones with scripture, reflect something God has given ME to get through my day. I figure, if it helped me, why wouldn’t it help someone else?

Take it or leave it, this is one of those days, when I am walking with fear, discouragement, and confusion. And my depression is really kicking up. The funny thing about depression is that it’s a nice comfy pillow that somehow offers solace. A little bit and I am “unhappily” free falling into it. The more I have, the more I just surrender to it, and as any of you reading might guess, that is not a good thing.

But my spirit does not like that. Oh noes. My spirit craves freedom and peace. So after a while of that free falling feeling of doom and desire to “check out,” my spirit starts to grab for a hand hold, a foot hold.

And what it grabs at is God. Speaking of Satan, the Bible says in John 10:10: “The thief cometh not, but for to steal , and to kill, and to destroy:” But Jesus says, ” I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

That is a tall promise! And with bipolar, it’s real easy to disbelieve, because it does not seem that I have had anything near to an abundant life. Oh I can make a really long gratitude list, a valid one, but when I am in this place, I feel far from God and His love. And as I said in a recent post, I don’t want to invalidate my pain – it is real, and I am genuinely suffering. (Which makes it really hard to be around cheerful, spiritual people).

But as it often is with God – He will give me something to get through my day – not always in a wonderful big way but at least surviving for one more day, with the opportunity for things to get much better, to get back on higher ground.

Why did that happen today?

I think because I asked Him to, today. But sometimes I don’t even ask.

Next thing I know, after my prayer, somebody posts the following:

Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Well of course this verse grates across my very nerves. What do you mean be strong and have courage! Don’t you think I would, if I could?

And then the still small voice that returns me to a small degree of sanity reminds me of something I’ve come to know. And so my Facebook post went something like this:

Joshua 1:9 says, Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

I want to note that the expression, “God will not give you anything you can’t handle,” doesn’t mean you are supposed to go it alone. “I can do all things through Christ” means do the things He has given you, not what you think or what others think you are supposed to do. He also intends for you to handle it with Him, not alone. And, He has given you other people to help you – friends, family, medical people – He does not intend for you to go it alone! See verses below:

Deuteronomy 4:31
(For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.
Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and of a good courage , fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Joshua 1:5
There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
1 Kings 8:57
The LORD our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us:
1 Chronicles 28:20
And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage , and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed : for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.
Nehemiah 9:31
Nevertheless for thy great mercies’ sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God.
Hebrews 13:5
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have : for he hath said , I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Isaiah 41:10
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed ; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

This all reminded me of a song that comforts me:

Now, as I said, I am posting something that God gave me, for my comfort and help. I don’t know if it will help you, but you are welcome to it. Why not take a leap of faith, and see if it will?

My Jesus Addiction

I just read a blog post written by someone who struggles with pain management. See: Do you recognize your addictions? By: All Things Chronic. After I read it, I responded in the comment box provided, and as I thought, I wrote, and I wrote, and I wrote. And … well, you get the gist.

Then I realized that my thoughts would be better expressed in a blog post of my own. Never mind that my comments took up half a page! So, in that endeavor, my post blossomed into the eloquent mess below. And it growed and growed!

Now I’m just kinda thinking out loud and with no animosity, as far as I know. In response to the question, “Do you recognize your addictions?” I would answer that my greatest addiction is to the computer. And editing blog posts. And food. Honestly, food feels like pain relief sometimes. But I will address that in another post. Maybe.

In regard to pain management, that’s another story. I say, hopefully without pride, that I only take Tylenol®, and occasionally Ibuprofen, for relief of pain in my neck. (See my previous blog entry on Spasmodic Torticollis and Botox® treatments). This also helps with the various aches and pains of middle agedness. The decision to avoid anything stronger is due to my history of alcoholism. I was told early in my recovery that if I began to use tranquilizers and narcotics, I would likely become addicted to them, in the same way that I had been addicted to alcohol. Whether I would truly have this propensity, I don’t know, but understandably I am very cautious. Recovery from alcoholism was hard enough.

There are exceptions to my rule. I do take Xanax pre-procedure when I get my Botox shots every 3 months. I do love the feeling of sedation, I admit, and I often think, ohhh, if I could only feel this way all the time. Relaxed; “normal,” even. Which only tells me further that I could easily rely on it too much.

I haven’t really felt the same attraction to narcotics, however, because most often they will trigger a hypomanic episode. Weird, huh? And so, I use Tylenol®, even post-op. Even after dental work. Even after my C-section. Hypomania, which almost inevitably leads to a dangerous manic episode,  is not worth any amount of pain relief I might experience.

ANNNyway. That is neither here nor there. I wanted to answer the question about addictions, but I’m digressing from the primary thing that I wanted to discuss.

From a paragraph in the original blog post, written by All Things Chronic:

Since we seem to be in a never-ending political cycle, perhaps we should put more scrutiny on the addictions of our politicians.  I mean, if someone running for governor goes to church every day, ignoring the demands of the other areas of his life so he can worship his god, I think that would be an example of someone who is addicted to religion.

I bristled, because I would be considered by many to be a religious person. Perhaps I am even “addicted” to my religion. Because of my relationship with Jesus, I essentially attend church daily. I have even experienced withdrawal symptoms, so to speak, when I have backed off from practicing my faith for short periods of time. By that I mean that I experience more difficulty in my life, emotionally and even physically, and definitely, spiritually. My hands can even shake more (I have a tremor). I experience more anxiety, and I “need” my “fix.”

I rely on Jesus for many things – including my tolerance of pain. He helps me to bear it, to function, and even to bless other people when I am suffering. Whether it’s physical, spiritual, or emotional pain, He is there for me. He’s also provided a Book, the Bible, that gives me peace, and even – pain relief. “When all else fails,” there’s prayer. Of course, that should be my first defense, but I’m stubborn. .

Do I practice my “religion” to the exclusion of other areas in my life? Well, I suppose that depends upon your perspective. Matthew 6:33  says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” All these things, to me, means “the demands of the other areas of [my] life.” Without Jesus, I will have no victory in anything else I seek to accomplish.

And, far above sustenance, there is the knowledge that there will come a day when Jesus will take me out of all this. The pain, the suffering and anxiety, the discouragement, and those days of mania. The stigma, the lost relationships, the confusion. Ooh, how often I long for and pray for that day! My hope is in eternity, where I will live forever joyous and pain free (physically and emotionally) with Jesus!

Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away .

I am reminded of the conversation that used to go around AA: “People say that I am brainwashed. So if that is true – that I’m brain washed – I am all for it – my brain NEEDED washing!” That’s even more true since I have come to know Jesus. My thinking process and behaviors as an alcoholic, and as the “natural man,” do not serve me any longer. And there are far more areas of my life that need work.
So I need a different way of thinking. And AA helped me with some of that change. But it did not provide for my eternity, and it was a different kind of dependence. For me, it was basically a band-aid. AA did start out as a program based upon Jesus and the Cross, called The Oxford Group. However, Alcoholics Anonymous became more secular, more humanistic, so that people would find it more palatable. A member in one of Maine’s local AA groups used to say that he would pray to a doorknob he named “George,” so that he was technically praying to “something.” Talk about idolatry! Apparently this “power greater than himself, as espoused in the AA program, kept him sober. He was unable to pray to a “god,” so this “god of his understanding” served him. How, I don’t know.
I think it’s a shame that the help so many desperately needed was dumbed down to the point of removing the hope of eternal salvation. Does AA serve any purpose? Oh yes – I was not ready for churchyness, and it kept me sober for a long time. Maybe God knew that I couldn’t stay sober and alive by conventional means. However, I shudder to think that I almost missed out on the whole point – Jesus!
I am still a whiny old brat sometimes in regard to my “hard life,” and I say that because in comparison to His suffering and dying on the cross for me, my angst and my pain are nothing. Isaiah 53:5  says: “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Who can say that they have suffered like Him? I am not saying that I don’t have pain and suffering; I’m just saying that there are times when I do need to buck up and live. When I can’t, I can’t, but I can seek Him, and eventually I can crawl out of my misery. Or He drags me. Always. Suicide is not an option!
I’m certainly not saying I’m perfect, just because I am “religious.”  I’m not even wonderful, yet (lol). But I am better than I was, thanks be to God, and not by anything I have done! Ephesians 2:8-9 says: “For by grace are ye saved through faith;and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” And Romans 6:23. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” It is a gift, not something I can earn.
I  have hope, even on my darkest days, even on those days when I push away all things “religion.” Thank God He never leaves me, even when I think I’m leaving Him!
And if that’s addiction, I’m all for it!

Ran-doom-ness

Trying to figure out what I am today. Bored? Depressed? Lazy?

The snow is falling UP!

So anyone would be depressed, and bored, and lazy.

Usually I am more than happy to avail myself of the excuse. Snowed in? Can’t go anywhere? no problem.

But today I am restless and I feel like I should be doing SOMEthing.

Like, writing a blog entry.

But I have nothing to say!

Yes I do. I have half a dozen ideas running around off the top of my head, and another dozen listed on an email to myself. Just pick one!

But I don’t want to! Or, they aren’t any good. Or, my head will not work today. Or or or.

OOH! A phone call!

I must be really desperate if I’m happy to get a phone call!

Especially since (ulp) it’s from my ex-husband.

Uh oh … could be bad news. OH maybe he’s returning my call from the other day (I needed an address for our son).

But, neither. He said that a family member was taking me up on the offer to call anytime if she needed help with anything.

Ulp. Am I up to it?

But, I did say that I would.

“Help me, God,” I say, as I dial the phone.

Get a voice mail, leave a message, hang up.

Well that is my mundacity for the day, and now I can say that I did something.

(struts, with thumbs hooked behind suspender straps)

Dawn will break

The photo shows an African proverb as follows: However long the night, The dawn will break.

It reminds me of some verses in Psalm 30 (highlighting mine)

1 I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up , and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. 2 O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. 3 O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive , that I should not go down to the pit. 4 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. 5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. 6 And in my prosperity I said , I shall never be moved . 7 LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled . 8 I cried to thee, OLORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication . 9 What profit is there in my blood, when I go downto the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth? 10 Hear , O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper . 11 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; 12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent . O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

Hoping you guys have a wonderful day., or at least a tolerable one! I know some of you are experiencing the “night,” but joy cometh in the morning. Just hold tight, and love one another,

Deuteronomy 4:29 

But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

More on Edison, less on coffee …

(I’ll explain. and re: the photo, no I do not iron, but I do do that backwards salute quite often.)

This morning I woke up and half-consciously pushed the button to my coffee maker, and,

nothing happened.

Or rather, a lot happened. I pushed the button off, then on again. Plugged and unplugged it. Tried another outlet. Opened the top to make sure there was water in the reservoir. Wiggled the rubber doo dah through which the water is supposed to glug glug push push …

And nearly cried.

And then I remembered that all I have is $3. on my credit card. IF indeed the card would actually go through with only $3. on it. Which, historically, might not.

Whined about it in a joking manner on Facebook.

Then let people know I really WAS NOT kidding.

Got a number of ha ha’s, and two people offered to buy me a new maker.

Either they love me, or they are afraid of me.

Ate breakfast, then decided to try the credit card at Dunkin Donuts, where it did (PRAISE THE LORD!) work!

Came home and posted that I had spend said $3. on Dunkin Donuts.

And as the Bible says, a number of people who had grieved with me then celebrated with me.

Then I finished the coffee, played on facebook some more, then did the Bible reading I was unable to think about doing until I was properly caffeinated. Listened to some spiritual music including:

which made me cry, as always. I spent some time in prayer, still crying. I have issues. Did you know I have issues? lol…

Then started reading some of the emails I had in my inbox, made a few replies, and then posted to one of the reply-ers:

Thomas Edison‘s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”

This is a little different from the quote I posted in another of my blogs. Anyway it is still a good way of looking at all our failures and false starts.

I guess.

Well anyway, hope y’all are having a good day. Mine started rather jerkily and un-thankfully, but I am doing ok now.