Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ulla – Beyond the Yellow Brick Road

I happened back on this blog post I’d written in 2016, because I saw something while tripping around WP, that reminded me of Ulla, a WordPress friend who’d committed suicide. I re-read what I wrote, and maybe now I am not so judgmental as I was back then, even though I clearly know that I loved her with all my heart. Please read, and then read my comment to follow. Thanks!

Walking After Midnight:

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…

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Stuff to do: 4/12/20

Since I am slightly hypomanic, this is a list of things I thought of that you could do if you were bored. I am never bored. I wish I was bored. This list is full of stuff I could make time to do myself, but I am busy playing on Facebook and working on my Pampered Chef business and talking to people on the phone (I don’t like talking to people on the phone) and learning my new diabetic Way Of Life.

Here ’tis, I may get to this list eventually. Some of it I have done in the past. I wrote this list for a friend.

  1. Sit on the couch with a hot cup of tea or coffee and a pad of paper. Make a LONG list of things you’ve always thought about doing. Stuff that doesn’t have to make sense or be practical, just things that have occurred to you over the years. LONG LONG LONG enough list to keep you busy for weeks. Spend half an hour each day (or more if the topic is interesting) exploring or doing each of the activities (of course some activities we can’t go out and do right now). ie Crocheting, rock climbing, archaeology, detective writing. After you have fully explored an item, or as much as you would like to, check it off your list. Maybe start a page in your notebook for each activity listing what you did to explore it, ie read a book, did an internet search, called an archaeologist, checked online, watched a how-to video, called a  friend who crochets or has a son who is a doctor, make a list of supplies you would need to get to do the activity, call a professional who does it as if you are a newspaper reporter, etc.
  2. Or maybe it’s a trip you want to go on. Study it – geological, sociological, historical, archaeological, hysterical (Oh. Wait. That’s me).
  3. Connect with people other ways than in person– phone, computer, letters, making greeting cards, recording music or your voice speaking to them. Make a list of people you’ve lost touch with, or need to make amends with. Start checking their names off as you get in touch with them.
  4. Start writing that book you were thinking of writing (if you had been). Get an old 3 ring notebook, spiral is fine too, Write chapter titles or headings, one on each page, a foreword page, a table of contents page (or whatever), a dedication page … I like to do this by hand on wide ruled 3 ring notebook paper and be messy. It makes me feel accomplished. I call it “Making a dummy book” and it can lead to “Making a real book.” Once the skeleton is finished, you can start writing a chapter, if you wish. Start with whatever chapter you wish. Write only 3 words, just one scene, a summary, a song the character is thinking of, or a memory they’re having (or you’re having). Or maybe a chapter will fly out of your fingers and run for 3 pages.
  5. Or maybe you are more about art, you’d rather draw than write. You could do a children’s book instead. Same way – old notebook, rough sketch on each page, foreword, dedication, etc etc… Whatever you would like! Illustrate it! Crumple the pages! Glue stuff to the inside – glitter, matchbooks, artifacts, love notes.
  6. (Also personal to my friend): I also picture a picnic with your hubby and you on a blanket in the middle of the living room with bird song playing from the speakers.

So, that’s that  😀

I hope y’all are doing great. Leave me a note! Sorry I haven’t been by  😦

In response to a friend’s comments on a quiz she took:

My friend took a quiz which did not produce the results she thought she would like, regarding her “Word for the year” toward which she should strive.

I responded to her that “sometimes teachers give pop quizzes just to make sure we are paying attention. They aren’t worth as much as tests, and sometimes they don’t even count.”

“How about ‘What word fits what God wants us to strive toward this year?’

My word would be consistency – right around the word faithfulness. LOL.”

Of course, this led me to do a little soul searching myself. And already I am whining. Faithfulness is not something I like. I prefer, “Do it until it no longer feels good.”

Course, that does not pay the bills, sigh…

Notice I am not promising anything in regard to whether or not I am going to be consistent on here! Of course, I’d like to be consistent here.

It just never happens.

And that’s depressing!

More on this later.

Maybe.

😉

Speaking as someone with a mental health disorder, my illness can get worse because I’m trying to keep it quiet, and I’m embarrassed about it. This is partly because many people have stereotypes about those who say they have a mental illness. “If you would just _____,” or, “You’re so _____;” having no professional experience to say what you say, and all those negative messages add to the shame and blame we already feel for not being a normal productive member of society. Most of us try our hardest, we really do! So by the time we give in and realize we CAN’T do it by ourselves, our health has already deteriorated past what it needed to. And as far as being dangerous, a person who is shamed into avoiding help can possibly get to the point of being dangerous, to others, but most often, to themselves. Shamed for taking medication, some won’t take it, and again, this can lead to a person being out of control. Use a little compassion, try to understand, treat it like any other disease that requires medical attention. Spiritual intervention is extremely useful, but often it is not enough to treat the disease. You take insulin; that’s not in the Bible either. Have a heart.

Bleahhhhhh

So for about a nanosecond my Cymbalta seemed to be working. But I can attribute the blahs to being sick with a cold or “whatever.” Don’t really have much to say except that hopefully I will have much to say when I feel bettah.

“Make Betend” this is you …

Unless you live under a rock, which is under a rock, which is under a rock, you heard about the false alarm that sent the entire population of Hawaii, their family members and friends, state and federal officials, and, I would imagine, the person who pressed the button – TWICE – into panic!

Remember playing “make betend” as a child? Can you do that with this scenario? What if it was you and your family that received that alarm via your own precious cell phone? What’s the first thing that would come to your mind to do?

I’d like to think I’d be working on my phone list trying to convince any and all of my family and friends to accept the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, now! That would be my last and dying wish and nothing else would matter to me!

So why don’t I do that now?

My family knows the Gospel, they know that it is my fervent belief, but not being faced with a crisis makes the coming of the Lord seem far away, if it is thought to be real at all. My son assured me it was a “not yet” – he has a lot of living to do first before he repents of his sin and changes his life – or consents to it being changed.

But what if that missile was headed for him? What would he do? Would he remember to seek the Lord? Would he even have time?  What if there was no warning? as it is with most people, who simply die when it’s time – no warning, no planning. And certainly no time to reconsider. And certainly every death does not wait until someone is 70, or 80. Many people die “before their time.” But the Bible says it’s an appointment we must keep. From Hebrews 9:

2And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:  28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Check out this video for a family’s point of view of the incident:

https://www.cbsnews.com/videos/family-describes-panic-after-getting-missile-threat-alert-in-hawaii/

What would you do?

The Pahty’s ovahh…

Well I am safely back home from the Jubilee! I drove myself up and back, 690 miles round trip, which is a really big deal for me. But I just felt like God really wanted me to go (and at the very least, I wanted to go).

It strikes me at these things that very soon someday we will be having a “pahty” much like the Jubilee. Holy music, holy people, holy scripture, and, most of all, our Holy King, King Jesus! It will be the norm to feel at home, rather than feeling like we’re the exception to every rule, the odd ball out. And the shouting from the pulpit will be “HALLELUJAH!” not admonition.

Because sometimes at these meetings things get loud. We are reminded where we’re falling short. There’s a little pounding on the dais for emphasis (okay, sometimes a LOT!)

Will there even BE a podium in Heaven?

I personally can’t wait for every day to be a meeting, a gathering of like-minded souls, smiles all around, instant friendship and understanding!

Yep, that’s what I like about these meetings! I was sad to leave. But now that I’m home I get to go to another meeting – a prayer meeting at my own home church — a gathering of like-minded souls, smiles all around, instant friendship and understanding!

Now to choose between a nap and a shower ….  no time for both!

We’re havin’ a pahty …

I was able at the last minute to go to the Emerald Coast Jubilee in Milton Florida, near Pensacola. It’s a close to 6 Hour drive, or at least the way I drove it, LOL. I left yesterday, about 8 AM, and arrived at 2:30. Had a little talk with God on the way up, and he revealed to me something that will make a big difference  for me in my Christian walk. Lo and behold last night the preacher hit on much of what God had revealed to me. I love it when I ask God to show me something, and he does. Even though it’s not very pleasant (the information that I received about myself. Not pretty).But hallelujah that God has changed my heart, and is continuing to do so!

One Day He’s Coming – O Glorious Day!

 

Cyberhymnal is a great site for finding lyrics to hymns, and the stories behind the songs. I find this stuff fascinating!

 

This morning in church we sang this hymn (youtube video at bottom of page). The hymn is based on Hebrews 9:28  So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises,
One day when sin was as black as could be,
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin,
Dwelt among men, my Example is He!

Refrain

Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me;
Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever;
One day He’s coming—O glorious day!

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain,
One day they nailed Him to die on the tree;
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected:
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He!

Refrain

One day they left Him alone in the garden,
One day He rested, from suffering free;
Angels came down o’er His tomb to keep vigil;
Hope of the hopeless, my Savior is He!

Refrain

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer,
One day the stone rolled away from the door;
Then He arose, over death He had conquered;
Now is ascended, my Lord evermore!

Refrain

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming,
One day the skies with His glories will shine;
Wonderful day, my belovèd ones bringing;
Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine!

Refrain

 

Cyberhymnal attributes the song’s words to  J. Wilbur Chapman. “Chap­man gave two po­ems (in­clud­ing this one) to Charles H. Marsh (MI­DIscore).around 1908. Marsh then wrote the tune, but there was dis­a­gree­ment over the co­py­right be­tween two pub­lish­ers. As a re­sult, this song was not pub­lished un­til 1911.”

Music: C

Here is a Youtube video of the song:

 

 

Does not play well with others …

 

You know, I don’t know how to be friends with more than one friend at a time. Same as having more than one boyfriend at a time; they get jealous and they expect you to tell them the truth, which will inevitably hurt them.

But some people insist on being your friend anyway and (here is where I get vague) I just can’t deal with being liked that much. Why don’t you just make it like when I was in Junior High School and nobody liked me and I was imbisible. Yes I know I said that funny but it’s because that’s how childish I feel when these particular issues come up. Honestly, it was torture being imbisible, too, but what I go through now is not fun either. I really can’t say much about the people and the issues because then I will be talking not-nice about someone and I’m not allowed to be not-nice.

Sigh.

I just want to play by myself. I want to read my book and that’s all.

Boundaries? What’s that?

 

 

 

 

In all thy ways …

January 3. I was reading Proverbs 3 today (I aim to read the Proverb that corresponds to the day each day. For example, today being the 3rd, I read Proverbs 3).

I had only read the first two verses and became instantly discouraged:

“My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.”

It wasn’t the “forget not my law” that tripped me up. It was the length of days and long life that I objected to. I am all for the peace part of it, but not so much the other. I started to pray:

Lord, the days are long enough. Why would I want to add to them? And long life? I just want to come Home to you. [As someone with a long history of depression and suicidality, living longer just does not appeal to me]. I’m tired, I’m always messing up, and I just don’t feel like I am getting – or giving – much out of life. So this year, help me to want to prolong the days and live a long life, so that I will have more time to serve You. I know you have work for me to do, give me the courage to do it. Show me what to do, give me the oomph to do it!

I kept reading. There is so much richness in this chapter, I thought to myself. Verse 5 was very familiar to me:

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

I nodded. Yep, I get that. I’d mess up a lot less if I gave that verse a little more heed.

Then verse 6 popped up, and it was one of those “aha” moments, as in, “Aha, I’ve never seen that verse before.”

But you know I have. I just never noticed it before. This is one way that God speaks to me. He brings the text alive as I am reading, and I may have seen it a hundred times, but the hundred and first time, God nudges me to pay attention: “Hey, Kat. This here is for you. Sit with this for a while.” It said:

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

In all my ways? Do I do that? And what does that mean, “acknowledge”?

Websters 1828 Dictionary says it is “To own or notice with particular regard.” So do I do that in all of my ways? Do I own or notice God with particular regard in my:

  • Family relationships
  • Work
  • Leisure
  • Driving
  • Church activities
  • Friendships
  • Service
  • Handling of money
  • Care of myself physically
  • Care of myself emotionally
  • Care of myself spiritually

In what ways could I improve?

To me, to acknowledge God means that I don’t just forge ahead with my life. I must “bring God along” in all my ways (paths). And I must also acknowledge that He is the author and the giver of it all. Kinda like at Christmas when you would rip into a present, and Mom would make me stop and acknowledge the giver. I didn’t even realize there was a giver, half the time. I was just so eager to get, get, get!

The verse says that if I do acknowledge God in all my ways, He will direct my paths. It is like what we were learning tonight in the lesson at church about David. He would ask God: Should I go here? or maybe here? Should I do battle with this people, or should I not? We also see plenty of examples in David’s life where he would fail to ask direction, fail to acknowledge God, and fail in his life. It was that simple for him.

Shouldn’t it be that simple for me?

*Prophy prophy joy joy

January 2. Today I went to the dentist. That is probably the most excitement that I’m going to have all year. No, seriously, I hope not. I had the panoramic x-rays, and then I guess they’re called bite wing x-rays, the ones where they angle pieces of cardboard in your mouth and make sure that you bite down on them hard and cut the inside of your mouth, again and again and again. Then I had a quick exam, and I was happy happy happy to hear that I would not have to have a deep cleaning, just a plain old prophy (short for “prophylactic cleaning”). It cost me $20 cash +3 dollars on my capital one card which is maxed out. Yeah I have issues with money. We may well did discuss those. Anyway I had no cavities and did not get a prize. Thank you Plackers! (pictured above)

 

I do want to thank the Lord that I have insurance that paid for the exam, the office also did the xrays for free because I had had a set done within the last year at the other dentists’ office, where they wanted to do a cleaning of my pocketbook. That’s a whole nother story. So thank You God for Your wonderful care for me!

The Little Boat That Could

 

I have lived in Portland, Maine, for most of my adult life, and on occasion my father would take my son Tom and I out to eat.

DiMillo’s was one place we went now and then. It is an actual boat on the water that has become a main attraction of the city: a floating restaurant! Great food! A little more money than the average restaurant, but totally worth it just for the experience; and did I mention? Great food!

Well, my father always liked to “treat” whenever we went out. Even when I had a good job, he would insist on paying the bill. I would offer to pay now and then but he would not allow it. Literally.

But I wanted to be able to express my affection and gratitude for all he had done for us over the years, and I realized that the only way I could do so was to be a bit sneaky. So one night he invited then-10-year-old Tom, and I and a few others, to DiMillo’s, and the plot was hatched. I was going to pay the bill, whether he liked it or not!

So, soon after we’d arrived and been seated, I excused myself “to go to the rest room,” and sought out our waitress. “No matter what he says or does, I am paying for the check,” I told her, and I gave her my debit card number in advance.

Well, come time to order, my father leans back and says, “get whatever you want.” My son Tom, who’d come to love lobster, decided to order not one, but TWO lazy lobsters. Lazy lobsters are one whole lobster taken out of the shell and served with a generous amount of butter and who knows what-all; it’s delicious, and at the time it was $25. a pop. “Tom,” I nearly hissed, thinking of my poor debit card, “I think ONE lazy lobster is sufficient.”

“Oh, no,” said Dad, patting his stomach and throwing an arm across Tom’s shoulders. “Let him get what he wants.” He smiled. I smiled. Tom got his two lazy lobsters.

Afterward, there was a full round of dessert. Coffee. Dad finished his last sip of water and looked around for the waitress. Took another sip of what was now cold coffee and grimaced. But not because of the coffee. Tom, full of lobster and ready to go run around on the wharf, was oblivious. My wallet was crying. Dad continued to crane his neck looking for the waitress.

Finally my father, visibly upset, got the waitress’s attention. “We’re WAITING on our CHECK.”

Beaming, and winking over at me, the waitress says, “The check’s taken care of, Sir.”

“WHAT?”

Her smile faltered a little. “It’s been paid. Your .. your daughter …”

He turned flashing eyes on me. “You did not.”

“I did.” I was smiling, but having a hard time holding it in place. He REALLY was not happy. I could tell by the look in his eyes.

Tom, oblivious, hopped down off his chair. “We ready to go?”

“We sure are, honey,” I said.

I’m still not sure that I did the right thing. I was proud to be able to “provide,” for once. But my dad really never liked that I’d done that. It was HIS job to take care of his baby girl, not the other way around.

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.

 

 

 

Whyy oh whine, AKA: I want my mommy!

Why do we cry when we’re angry?

(Because we want to kill something, and we know we can’t?)

And why do I try to accomplish ANYthing on a Monday?

Today on my list I had planned to try – again! – to get some insurance issues taken care of. I say “try” because this is not the first time I have found myself in tears because of these people. But what I am is MAD, not sad. Ok, maybe sad, too…

Every three months I get BOTOX® shots in my neck for my spasmodic torticollis. I found out that I can get reimbursed for the money I paid for the medicine by the BOTOX® folks, but I need certain documentation from the insurance company – which I can’t seem to get. I am also having a problem with how the doctor’s office billed me the first time, so there’s that.

We’re talking times two procedures! So theoretically I have $700. floating in front of my face like a carrot. And I sure could use those dollars to pay on my crredit cards! (I should write about credit cards. Talk about crying!)

So who am I going to bellyache at? The insurance company? The people who manufacture the BOTOX® ?

No. They aren’t going to help.

What I need is a “person.” Someone who can help me navigate the red tape  😦 Is there such a person? Cuz I am not going to get far crying! Urgh! I hate crying! Especially when it comes to having to do adult things!

(There. Ya feel better now?)

(A little)

(Does anyone out there feel sorry for me?)

(A little.)

(Good, do ya think you could send me the $700?)

Writing is as writers do

I’m channeling Forrest Gump’s “Stupid is as stupid does,” chiding myself for not writing what I’m “supposed to be” writing, and instead imposing my whining upon you, Dear Reader.

I worked on my writing a lot last month during Nano Camp (related to “National Novel Writing Month). It’s a young adult Christian novel, speaking of imposing. The stupid thing insists upon being written, though I am NOT a young adult novelist, nor even a novelist, really, if being published counts. I had started the book back in February? April? November? I forget … and had gotten in I think 15,000 words. So, for the July Nano Camp I brought it up to around 50k. It’s still a mess! I bought Scrivener, so I am hoping to get it into a more cohesive mess. One can hope.

But back to my point. I am looking online for spreadsheets to help me chart my lack of progress … HAHAHA! I came across this one, the Wrting And Revision Tracker by Jamie Raintree, and it looks good. And then there’s always Facebook, if I run out of ideas for putting things off. There’s also eating, bathing, and cleaning. 

The point again being that I’m not writing, yet, this month! And I really want to. There are probably another 10k words to be written, and a major rewrite/edit that needs to be done. There is a contest I’d like to enter with it (drums fingers). But here I am talking to you, sigh.

Anyway all this to say hi, there, my name is Procrastination, and how are you?

Seriously, how are you?

xo

And you give yourself away…

 

I have thought about writing a blog post many times since the last time I wrote a blog post. There’s a “should” about it, of course, after all, Dear Faithful Reader, I have left you in the lurch…

And there’s the “should” of, it’s good for me, and I’m a halfway decent writer, so…

And the “should” of, well I have lots to say! (Trust me, I do!)

And the “should” of, I’ve already spoken of my paranoias, the fear of who shall see it and either use it against me or know too much about me, or draw too many conclusions…

Ok, that isn’t exactly a “should” thing… more of a should not thing. But regardless, as in “real life” – I shut my mouth  😦

Which is WAY counterproductive!!! How mentally healthy is it to shut my mouth, whether in real life, or whether in using the gift I so love using – writing!

 

So, in answer to the questions you might ask me:

  1. Still glad I moved to Florida
  2. It’s very hot now, but I don’t mind it.
  3. This thing doesn’t want to format into 1. a.b.c. But oh well, how important is that.
  4. No I don’t have a boyfriend yet lol
  5. I do have a wonderful church now, it’s called Central Baptist Church, it’s in Orange Park, FL, and the pastor and the people are awesome.
  6. The pastor and his wife, having met with me, and having heard, really heard, who I am, and what my limitations are, assigned me a ministry. It is sending greeting cards to visitors, and to people God puts on my heart who may need encouragement.
  7. I feel like this is cheating, not having “7 ministries” (I keep saying but was I really?), and always feeling like I didn’t do them well enough.
  8. I feel that way too with the one ministry I do have – but I just force myself to deal with that. lol…
  9. I have not been able to stay on a good health regime in regard to my weight and exercise and nutrition. My NORMAL in other words lol.
  10. I have a “psychiatrist to prescribe my meds,” she s a Nurse Practitioner and basically prescribes the way I tell her to lol. My meds are the same as I used to take up North, and I’m still basically stable. A low level of depression but better that than hypo or all-out mania.
  11. As to counseling, I had an awesome counselor for a few months (miss you Tina!), but insurance refuses to acknowledge her.
  12. So I have not really wanted to try to get another one. Probably could use one but … (shrug)
  13. My writing is coming along. During this (July’s) Nanocamp, I am staying with it and am meeting local people who also are staying with it. So I have probably 3/4 of a young adult Christian novel written. “What?? Young adult??” Yeah, that’s exactly what I said! NOT my niche but apparently it wants to be written.
  14. My son, my son! Last but not least, he is happy! He has a sweet girlfriend and they are cohabiting, yeah, I’m not crazy about that part, I’d rather they would get married first (did I tell you she is sweet? And I am right in love with her 5 y.o. son!), but oh well, I am so glad he is happy. He also has a great job that he likes!! So life is good for him thank You God, and please be with them and help them!!
  15. And really not last or least, God. He is so present in my life, and tolerant, and I don’t know why He listens to my prayers, but apparently He does, and I just want to live (better) for Him!

So I guess that’s about it, hope that helps me get on a roll with writing here. I really do enjoy the interaction w/ everyone and I hope you are ok! Sorry I have been remiss, not just with saying my side, but in listening to yours.

 

xo

p.s. The title, well I guess I did not really address that part. Oh well, maybe next time. Ha ha! Have fun listening to the song anyway!

In Honor and Homage to the Orange

Congratulations to me on finally achieving official residence! Who knew that beyond paying for a month’s rent with security, you would have to pay almost as much to legitimately say you belong to the Orange Club!

Florida’s procedure for you to get your Florida driver’s license and registration is not hard, if you go at it three different times with three different sets of paperwork. And if the second time you end up at the doctor’s office scaring your friends half to death in the process (see previous blog post). Yep, fun for all.

But I digress. I got it! Homely picture and all! I expect I will make a concerted effort not to be caught speeding, because that poor Officer of the Law is going to drop dead laughing …While I disappear into the floorboard in humiliation. I know, I know, they said smile, not grimace! But I actually do have a good medical explanation for it…

You know I must tell you there is a very cute joke about two brothers named Home Lee and Ugg Lee … I’ll get around to it some day.

Anyway, in honor of this great milestone, I thought I would mention ten things (or more if I can think of them) that I have noticed about Florida:

  1. Everywhere, the speed limit is 45 mph. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the Publix parking lot, on Blanding Boulevard, or on one of the many “short cuts” through neighborhoods to get to said Publix. This speed limit is mostly seen In Writing but if it says something besides 45 then it is In Code.
  2. No matter the weather, people are going to wear flip flops. One of my friends jokes about having fur-lined flip flops in the winter, as it does on a rare occasion hit 32 degrees … Wait. You aren’t joking? Friends, she’s not joking. Those are fur-lined and they are worn.
  3. You don’t have to be in the closet if you’re a Christian. I’m told this is typical of anything below the Bible Belt but I am just in awe. “Merry Christmas!” is written across store windows. “God bless you!” is said by more than half of the cashiers as you go to leave the store.  Christ-mas music – about Jesus –  is playing on the Christian music station – in the POST OFFICE LOBBY! One Federal – FEDERAL – employee, we won’t say where –  wearing two pieces of cross-shaped jewelry says to you, loud enough for all to hear, that Jesus IS the reason for the season! Wow! And no-body blinks an eye! I love it!
  4. Ma’am and Sir. I marvel at it. These people call ME Ma’am. They don’t even know whether I qualify, it’s just Ma’am this, Ma’am that. When I pointed the “ma’am” out to a couple of ladies, both of them said their mamas would be disappointed in them if they did otherwise. Wow, up North, I’m sorry, but most people don’t seem to care what their mamas would say. Not. One. Whit.
  5. They also call you Sweetie, Honey, and Baby (yes, Baby!) whether they know you or not. Again, nobody blinks an eye.
  6. There really aren’t palm trees everywhere, it really isn’t sunny every day. In fact, it seems to rain at least once every day. But, it’s beautiful every day.
  7. They don’t use turn signals. Even more than they don’t in New England.
  8. Even here, some wise guy is going to put up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. I’m not knockin’ it, my own tree was up on November 20th this year!
  9. We already knew this, but … there are no Amato’s Real Italian Sandwich Shops.  😦 Just sayin’ …
  10. I like it here.  😀

Vertigo (Should be, VertiSTOP)

Ok, to satisfy your soul, Vertigo:

A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend’s wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Stars: James Stewart, Kim Novak,

I’ll let you look up the word Acrophobia. I think I know the definition but I want to get to what you REALLY want to hear about:

ME!

Last night I did not sleep very well. As happens sometimes when I don’t get enough sleep, I am a little groggy and dizzy the next day from the meds I have taken the night before (especially the dang Benadryl, I think). But, no biggie – a little coffee, a little fresh air and time, no sweat.
Well, I have some fresh eggs they gave me at church last nite, I take them and a coffee to a friend, Linda. And of course I get a coffee for myself; after all, it is Dunkin, and I am dressed and out the door. So, naturally.

Anyway, I go to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). I’m all excited because I finally have all the paperwork I need to transfer my license and registration to Florida’s. It has taken forevahhh!! One site said I could use either my divorce paper OR marriage license, so I send for the divorce paper, and come to find out no no, they want the marriage license. It takes literally a month to get each one. Between that and the knowledge that it’s going to cost a mint to change them over, yeah. I am just anxious to get this whole thing over with.

So anyway I get to the DMV, about 10 minutes from my friend’s house. My plan is to get out of the car about 20 minutes ahead of time and wait in line til the DMV opens. I got my coffee, I got my paperwork, I’m alllll set. The earlier you get there, theoretically the fewer people you will have in front of you.

Hey, it works in Maine.

And then it really hits me. Jeepers! Man! Sooo dizzy!

So, I sits and I sits and I sits some more in the car. I chug the whole large coffee. No help. In fact, the dizziness keeps getting worse and worse. I try anyway to get out and stand in line.

While I stand there trying to look like a normal person, I imagine them looking deep into my eyes from behind the counter saying “What are you ON, Woman!” and then giving a nod to the officers on duty. Them carting me off to the klink. Arresting me, taking my keys, losing my paperwork; the whole nine yards.
But I’ll be fine, I think to myself.
Yeah right, I counter… you’re a mess!!
After arguing with myself for about 10 minutes I go back to the car.  I have no legs to stand on. I’m weavy and dizzy and the feeling is not unlike the first time you get really drunk and have to lie down on the bed with your eyes closed – or  does that make it worse?? – and pray that you don’t puke. And one of your friends tells you that if you keep one foot on the floor you won’t throw up. Like that ever worked. I have been sober since I was 25, and I’m 56 now; I stillll remember. Oh yes.
So, I sit in the car under the Florida sun for 2 hours waiting for the feeling to pass. I can’t drive, even 25 feet away to a shady spot. I feel bad enough to want to call an ambulance because I am just trapped there! And beginning to get worried. I pray, bemoaning the fact that I WANT this car stuff done, I WANT my Florida orange license plate! Do you know how long I have been wanting that?? Poor God, probably covering His ears thinking, there goes Kat again, whining that she wants what she wants and she wants it now!! Ya know, Kat these are LUXURY problems … what about the missionaries trying to get by? What about the people who are sick or have lost loved ones, or don’t have the money to do what you are doing? Can you remember what it used to be like for you? Aren’t you being a little bit ungrateful? How about a lot ungrateful!
Now mind you the Florida sun today is not horridly hot, it is just burny. The temp outside is probably 70* but, you know, in the car, with no breeze etc., it is considerably warmer. I am feeling like a dog or a kid left behind for “just a few minutes.” Ok, I have air conditioning. I’m FINE. But the impact of the sun on my face is  pretty significant. And I can’t go anywhere. I can turn my body away from the sun but it’s not much help.
So I start texting my best friend up in Maine. I tell her what’s going on. About the dizziness. How I can hardly stand up, never mind walk, etc etc. Finally, I confess the whole truth: that I’m sitting in a parking lot and can’t go anywhere.
Of course, she can’t do anything from 1103 miles away (but who’s counting), but for some reason having her on the line makes it possible to figure out what I need to do. It is such a helpless feeling to know I can’t help her when she is up in Maine. Now the roles are in reverse.
Finally, I figure out that I can I call my friend Kim down here in Florida. I really only have two friends down here so far, friends that I could call for help, and one of them doesn’t have a car. So. Lucky Kim. It is SO hard to ask for help. I basically have to be desperate to ask. If she was the one asking I’d be there in a heartbeat but I hate hate hate to have to ask!!
So anyway, Kim comes and takes me to the Drs. Later, she and her son arrange to bring my car back to my apartment. So way above and beyond, I am so thankful!
The Dr. is new to me but he is good. So I get all checked out and everything is fine. BP, pulse, temperature, blood sugar, etc etc.
So he starts talking about vertigo. He talks like it isn’t a big deal, I mean, I suppose as long as you don’t insist upon getting behind the wheel of a dangerous weapon it isn’t a big deal. Just go lie down and you will get over it.
Basically it is benign and there is not a lot you can do about it or take for it. He showed me some exercises I can practice that will help me to cope with it. Some of these have to do with lining up the molecules in your inner ear or something like that. Shall we say  they will help you get a little equilibrium in your vestibulum or something like that? Ha ha…  But really my main concern throughout the whole thing was to know that I was ok, and he was able to reassure me. So I was happy.
So, now that you are all up to snuff, and have heard enough, I’ll tell you what acrophobia is. It’s a fear of heights.
You didn’t actually think I would leave you hanging, did you?

Whosover will …

For God so loved what was going to remain of the world in 2015, what the United States would become, the people who murder and rape and steal, the “foreigners” who migrate to our fair country; God, knowing full well what we would become in our own hearts, gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. So if you think you have done too much to be forgiven, or that it is too late, or that someone couldn’t possibly hear the Gospel from your lips, think again. Yes, I have kind of (!) paraphrased, but I hope that you know what I’m trying to say. God loved YOU a long long time before you were even conceived. Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Just some thoughts I was having.

I have thoughts a lot! But I talk myself out of writing them for stupid reasons…

Same as with writing my fiction; I wrote 450 words this morning, words I actually like. Why don’t I do that more often?

Ok berating yourself does not work so let’s not do it.

So, I hope all are well and all is well. Why not tell me how you are in the comments? I do care! xo

Remind me to talk to you about my doctor’s visit. No it isn’t fatal. Well, it can be if neglected. Ok, I will spoil the surprise. In not so many words he said I was fat. Ok, those are my words but whatever. (Again: berating yourself does not work).

Depression’s lies, part 2

Some really important stuff! to remember when you are depressed!

Sunny with a Chance of Clouds

The depression lies have been really loud these past few days.

Right now, depression is saying:

  • I’m unimportant.
  • I’m invisible.
  • I’m forgotten.


But Truth Says
:

I am important – so much so that Christ died for me.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

I am not invisible – God sees me. (El Roi – the God who sees)

Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.”[Hebrew: El-roi] She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?” So that well was named Beer-lahai-roi (which means “well of the Living One who sees me”). It can still be found between Kadesh and Bered. (Genesis 16:13-14)

I am not forgotten – I am engraved in the palms…

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