Monday, November 28, 2016

On My Mind

I'm going to publish this mainly because I truly believe in it's content --- even though it's a post from last week.  Things have transpired and I did get some help from some dear friends --- that I cherish.  However, I've had much thought, and I've processed things almost incessantly.  My depression has somewhat subsided, I don't feel like I'm spiraling out of control.  When you feel so alone in the world  - a world that feels cold, detached, and uncaring, it's a devastating feeling.  I know some of you can relate.  Missing loved ones, spending holidays by yourself, and being broke to boot - feels like hitting a bottom where hope is concerned.  I made it through, of course  but not without pain.  I don't like emotional pain.  Who does?  But I had to ask myself many questions, and I did not like some of them.  I did not like it because some of them were in regards to my being angry with myself.  Those kinds of queries are never easy to admit.  But if I am anything I am honest, and this includes with myself.  Those are the hardest questions to face.  But they must be faced if we are to be forthright with our true selves.  I surely don't want to be a type of person that blames others for my own crap.  I refuse to do that.  So, I have to own what's mine.  Yeah, I've been pretty miserable lately, and yes, I have been upset with myself.  I"m not going to wallow in it, but it is true.  It's going to take time to get out of this financial mess.  I'm going to struggle.  That is fine.  I own that,  much as I don't want to, I have to.  Difficult times, bring about, and expose real truths.  That's just what I've been through.  I always strive to learn from life.  It's a passion of mine.  People show their true colors when you're in need - believe you me.  It's in our best interest to discover what roles people play in your life, or you'll be let down, for sure.  I'll say one bit of a little wisdom that I learned that's not new news but that is a truth -- when people show you who they are -- BELIEVE THEM.  *********************************************************************************

LIFE is difficult - this is a great truth.  I cannot remember where I read this, but I recall it sharply - and it bumbles around my dark mind.  This month has been pure unadulterated hell.  I have had no money basically since the third, and anyone that's ever been broke knows, money is life.  You have no choices without funds.  Everything you want to do and NEED to do evaporates without funds.  Your chances are eliminated, your choices are reduced to basically nothing - and life pretty much ceases to exist.  However, I've done my best to take this with a grain of salt - and go on - the hardest part is truly finding out who cares for you and who doesn't.  Because when the chips are truly down, you find out what's up.  An you find out quick who's in your corner.....and who's not.  You even find out who's supportive and who's not.  It's actually sort of interesting watching it all unfold if you can stomach it ---- because believe you me - it hurts.  Especially when you're a giver.  I'd never leave one of my friends in the position I'm in.  I just wouldn't.  This is what friends are for.  At least in my mind, maybe I have got this thing mixed up or inaccurate in my mind - but to me, when we are at an all time low - aren't we supposed to help pick each other up?  Not because we're "supposed" to - but out of the goodness of our hearts?

See I'm real confused right now.  Real confused and hurt.  I guess I'm naive.  However, I still would not change who I am for anything in the world.  I believe whole-heartedly that this is the way that God designed us.  We were put on this earth to help each other.  Not to be selfish and self-seeking.  We were put here to unite and support each other.  This is how my heart works.  If I knew that some one was struggling like I've struggled this month --- and I had money to share, there is no way that I'd not have helped him or her.  And I'd joyously have done it.  Do you think this has been done for me?  I guess you can answer that by reading this post.  I've had a few compassionate people come to my aid - dear people that I call true friends - the others, my feelings have changed about entirely.

You may ask yourself... isn't she having expectations?  I've asked myself the same question.  I don't expect people to help me, and I fully realize that not everyone has the same heart that I do.  Yet, I question - what does lifelong friendships mean?  I am totally perplexed.  I've had basically strangers help me, meet basic needs, and have more compassion!

My heart is heavy, and I'm quite depressed.  Yes I realize that this is no one's responsibility - and these are MY problems.  I'm a BIG girl.  But where is the compassion?  Where is the concern?

I have so called friends (and I'm rethinking this believe me) that wouldn't buy me food if I were hungry.  I'm hurt and I'm angry.  Maybe I'm out of line, I don't know alls I know is that I'm really done.  I'm done with selfish people.  I'm done with people that judge me.  If you haven't walked in my shoes - and lived in my skin you have no right.  I'm doing the best I can.  Yeah, I've made mistakes, but does this matter when it comes to survival?  It shouldn't.  When I am someones friend, it's an unconditional love.  My friendships are everything to me.... but then again I'm rethinking this too.  I certainly seem to give to much of my heart to people that clearly don't deserve it.  This is going to stop.  I don't even care if this looks, smells, or appears like self-pity, because it's not.  It's just cold, hard, FACTS.  The fact of the matter is that I'd help my friends if they were in my situation, and they could really care less if I have enough.  Very few, if any of them have verbalized "Ghee Gina I'm sorry your having such a difficult time"....  it's just like "oh well".  I suppose I'm just supposed to be okay with being flat ass broke for weeks on end.  I guess it's no ones problem but my own.  This is the kind of world that we live in now.  I guess I'd better get used to it, Christian or not.  It's dog eat dog.

I guess I"m the real fool here.  Maybe I'm completely off track.  I don't know - maybe I'm just an odd bird in wanting to help others when they struggle.  God forbid that I get a blessing out of lightening some oneness load.  I must be a lunatic.

All's I know is that my heart is hurt.  Oh I'm learning alright.  I refuse to let it turn into a resentment - that's why I'm writing.  Call me crazy but I will let this go.

I will be spending Thanksgiving by myself this  year.  My friend will bring me a plate of food.  I'll survive.  I received two invites, but I don't have the gas to go.  So, I'll stay home and watch T.V. with my cat.  I'm learning about people, people that say that they love you.  I'm learning more and more about life and how hard it is without family.  Even with family it's hard......depends upon the family.  God will see me through.  He always does.  There's about 10 more days left of the month, and I don't exactly know if next month will be better or not.  It should be.  Regardless,  I'm going to move on with my life.  I'm just going to carefully reconsider who I call my friend.

Maybe I"m totally wrong, maybe I'm completely off base.  I know that there are people that are in WAY worse circumstances than me --- please, I know this.  So please don't judge me in that way.  This is not a pity party.  It's my attempt to process what my heart feels, and my head thinks.  I also know, unequivocally that I 'm going through this for a reason - things always happen for a reason -- and that this is only for a season.  Things will get better.  Of all the populace, I shouldn't have to justify myself with you all.... my hope should stand for itself.  It's mostly the state of the world that has me so upset, and now self-focused most humans are nowadays.  It just makes me wonder what Jesus would think, and what it's doing to His heart?  Cause I know it's hurting mine.

Be that person that those close to you can rely on.  Give from your heart.  Think about others needs.  Consider your neighbors struggles, with compassion.  We all need each other.

God Bless.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Unexpected Answers......

It's been a while since I've written.  I've had several new things develop.  I've began a new therapy, and I'm ever so excited (and hopeful) about it.  I had decided to change therapist's because of a multitude of inappropriate things that were taking place, the main thing was that I was not being heard.  Knowing from my own background -- a good therapist listens, whereas what I was experiencing was being told that what I felt was inaccurate.  That's a huge red flag.  My self-esteem might not be stellar but it isn't the lowest of low.... and I kept having that shoved down my throat.  If I know anything I am a survivor, and a damn good one at that - I may not have the greatest of coping skills, however they've gotten me through many a trauma.  Besides, I got very tired of hearing stories about other clients (no names were used of course) as if these stories were somehow useful to me.  Take it from me, if you feel like you're not being heard by your counselor or therapist, listen to your gut..... I couldn't even confront it because he would get mad if I spoke up.  There is some serious dysfunction there.  It was how he saw it, or I needed to see someone else... so that is what I did, and man what a blessing from God!!!

This new Doctor is a God send.  It is an answer to many a prayer.  I am doing what is called EMDR - Eye movement desensensitation reorganization.  It's a re-mapping of the brain memory strands.  I probably don't have that quite right, but you can google it, and read more information about it if you would like, but the basis of it is that you take traumatic memories and re-map them, reorganize them with other memories that aren't traumatic.  It's done through some touch (on your knees), and rapid eye movement.  The process involves activating both brain hemispheres.  I've had two sessions.  I'm so hopeful.  The thing that I see most out of what I've done so far is that I am not reacting to thing like I would have used to, and I'm much more emotionally balanced.  Just calmer.  It has really increased my dream life - which is what Doc said would happen ---- it's the brains way or reorganizing these traumatic events.

This therapy really is what I've prayed for because I've basically tried everything else.  I cannot remember who said it, I think it was Einstein, but "you cannot solve problems with the same brain that created them", and I truly believe this.  There has to be some form of intervention.  EMDR is my intervention.  It used a lot with PTSD - and really anyone with a traumatic background.  It's not widely known about - and is fairly new.  I urge you to check it out if if looks like something that might be of help.  It is extremely enlightening.

On the home front - Gracie (my tabby) has had bad, bad allergies.  I took her to the vet and got a steroid liquid and man talk about a fight to give a cat meds.  It did not work however, and it hurt my heart to have to basically wrestle her daily to get it in her little mouth.  Of course she thought she was being punished and it just killed me.  Half (if not more) of the medicine went flying all over the kitchen, it was a nightmare.  So now I have to take her back and get the shot which should have been given in the first place.  Another large vet bill and a 60 mile trip that freaks her out.  She cries all the way there and all the way back.  It's really fun folks.  I take her so far because it is so much more economical and I've been to this vet for years.  They really are less expensive than the one's here in town.

I've not been to church, every Sunday I wake up in awful pain.  This past weekend I was on day three of double dry socket.  I had two teeth pulled Wed.  Of course I got dry socket.  Life wouldn't be normal if it weren't difficult for me......LOL.  It's going to be yet another difficult month financially - and I'm so tired of it.  One would think that I'd be used to it by now - but you never get used to not having enough to get the things that you need, and never having anything left over.  I need a (financial) miracle.

It's all going to get better, it's just going to take time.  I was the one that shopped myself in to a nightmare and now am having to pay the financial consequences.  I have no one to blame but myself. The holy spirit warned me when I was spending without thought of consequences - and I did not heed the warning .... I proceeded to feed my disease.  I am so hopeful with this new therapy that my compulsions can be healed, and I can get my financial circumstances in order and stop using spending money that I don't have as an improper coping mechanism.  It's got me imprisoned right now with no money and no gasoline..... for three more days.  I don't feel sorry for myself - I'm not really angry, I sometimes feel defeated, but for the most part I just accept it and understand.  I don't know if this is "healthy" - or I'm in denial to be honest.  I don't know what I could do different actually.  It's done, I've made purchases this month on the cards that are saved in certain stores online - because I can't seem to stop myself.  I'm still hopeful!!!  Yes, damn it, I said hopeful!  If anyone spent as much time as I do alone, and broke --- well I tell you riding yourself of coping skills is not easy.  An perhaps that is just a justification I'm not certain - I try and be as honest with myself as I know how to be, alas, I'm human.

This will balance itself out.  I know it.  I will choose different behaviors.  I'm claiming it.  See Doc explained to me that the things that we did when we were at the age that we experienced the trauma - and lived the lives that we did --- were methods of survival during that time.  However, we grow up and we are not in that environment any longer.  We grow up yet we are still behaving, coping, and attempting to adjust in that same manner and it has now became a "symptom".  This is where a huge amount of depression, addiction, compulsiveness ---ect. comes from.  What once served us, now hurts us.  GOSH where has this information been all my life?????   Praise Jesus, I'm so filled with gratitude right now..... and I have been! It makes so much sense to me.  All of the things that I did as a child attempting to "not be seen", "avoid feeling", and "hide" - are now anxiety, fear, depression, and disconnection from everything.

Wow.  I say.  WOW.

The other side of this is that my intellect over serves me.  I over think everything.  It gets in the way of my relationship with God even.  It prevents me from asking for help.  It oft times keeps me isolated, and alone.  It really no longer serves me.  I need to find a balance between thought and feeling.  Trust is all bottled up in there as well.  I'm not sure how all of this will come about, but I do trust that it will.  I'm very hopeful, God has brought me this far.  If it hadn't of been for my ability to think quickly as a child, I would have never survived.  Now, however, it doesn't serve me as well.  It has become a symptom of discontent.

It never ceases to amaze me at how my Lord knows me.  The ways in which He answers prayer.  So unexpected and so beautifully.  My heart is tendered more and more each and every time, for I gain greater understanding of His heart.  An that my friends is amazing.

Thank you Jesus, sweet Jesus, for answering my prayers so eloquently as You always do!  I'm so filled with blessings for and to You at this time in my life I hardly know what to do with myself.  I know I'm healing Father, and I thank You so much.  Father, help me, help myself in every manner that I need to - Father and give it my best effort.  I pray for those that read this blog Father, that whatever healing that they  may have, or need be lifted up to you to Father, and bless them as You've so bountifully blessed me!  In Jesus name I pray,  Amen.

Monday, October 10, 2016

A matter of faith

This is today's reading from Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling."  In my current state of mind, it resonated with me deeply.  In doing so, I then realize that I cannot be alone.

Intellect, logic, ego - all the mindsets that we use to solve (and devise) and or problem solve, are ways in which I know for myself, that I ease God out.  'I got this one God' - I'll ask for help for the really heavy stuff...  This is oft times my line of thinking.  Yet - I want to tell myself I'm at peace, trusting the Father.  In truth, I'm only allowing Him to have access to certain parts of my life.  Then I wonder why I end up in some of the scrapes like I do.  I have more trust in my car than I'm allowing God.  That's scary and extremely hard to admit --- to myself and out loud.  Oh it's not a conscious thing, most of the time, it's more of an automatic thing.  More often than not, I'm not even aware that I'm doing it until I take the time to commune with God.  It is only through  prayer and a reading such as this that I realize  what I'm doing.  This is why this struck me so this morning.

I think in truth I'm living a "halfway" life. Halfway committed and halfway not.  Oh I love the Lord, don't get me wrong -- but I'm still doing it my way.  There is a level of surrender that isn't taking place here.  A degree of depth that I've not accepted.  I allow myself to be around people that say and do things that aren't in agreement with my values, and I blow it off.  I internalize it, because that stuff goes somewhere - it doesn't just vanish.  It affects us physically, I believe as a stressor.  I make excuses for lots of things merely because it's what I want, verses what I need.  I believe many of us do it.  Most of the things that I do and accept that are out of character for me are because of loneliness.  I accept people's behavior and especially their speech- to be around someone.  I am in such need of human contact that I compromise myself.  Here again -- another manifestation of the "I don't matter"..... syndrome.

I never expected this reading to bring so much thought this morning - yet I love it.  How earnestly I need the stimulation and quest.  I am displeased however to be hit with so much.

I truly want to depend upon God fully.  I once was much more focused and disciplined.  I was closer to God.  I have veered because of the loss of my beloved pastor.  I had great grief.  I can analysis this and know that this should not have had anything to do with my relationship to the Father - however, unfortunately it did.  I'm not proud of this - but grief does different things to different  people.  I'd never felt as close to God as I did with my previous pastor because I did not understand the heart of the Father like I do know.  However, this should not have changed.  I question myself, and as I already know - therein the truth lies in my trust issues once again.

I love God.  This is indisputable.  I am strong willed.  This is not a good combination.  I'm sure someone can relate.  Changing, transforming, is a process.  I came from the camp that was preached to that you have to do it yourself.... the psychology camp.  Two treatments and a Counseling background.  Lovers of Christ give believe that this is the work (completely) of God.  I get confused in this being that I'm such a child of growth.  It's a difficult transition.  It would be for anyone who's studied psychology.  Yet, I do have faith.  I do pray for change, especially wholeness.

If your throughly confused by now - don't feel alone.  I know that I need to merge my intellect and my will with what God wants for me.  I pray for God's will and not my own.  I always have since I've been a christian.  My problem is I don't always do different even though I want something different.... and I know all of us can relate to this.  We are not a perfect people.   I believe for the most part we have good hearts.

If you are like me and struggle with surrendering all, and what I mean by "all" is letting everything go to God.  I still get a tad anxious about the future, and try to manage some things on my own, don't despair.  God still loves us just the same.  Having complete faith in all things I think comes with experience.  He knows our hearts.  He knows with me the bottom-line is that I do trust Him, as best I can with my life experiences.  Our problems lie in our humanizing God.  We limit His ability to see past our frailty.  Our humanness.  The issues that I've been writing about are about faith.  He doesn't require a lot - a mustard seed - and most of us have so much more than that.  Praise God.  I'm going to put my focus upon trusting and leaning into Him more in these coming days.  I'm going to stop leaning on my own understanding, because I know that I really understand so little.  If only I didn't think so much, however this is how God made me.

Embrace who you are, and nurture your spirit as God would have you do.  Allow Him to love you and bless you, and may His glorious favor over shadow ever aspect of your life.  Let Him go before you and make a way, where there was none, blessing you all the days of your life.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Silencing the inner critic.

I've ran across these cool video's - from "The school of Life." There is everything you could possibly want to know from Philosophy greats to 'how to do drugs,' which I didn't watch but thought to myself - I probably could teach them a thing or two....

I chose this one because I believe that we all have inner voices that we contend with daily that wreak havoc on our lives.  I know that I do, and I battle with this daily.   For me, there are several different "types" of voices, some good, some brutal.  The most devastating ones, are self-hatred.  They tell me that I'm unworthy - unloveable- ugly - fat - disgusting - and a nobody.  I know who's voice this is.  I imagine if you have these kinds of voices, you too know who's voice it is.  It was whomever was your worst critic in your life.

I've pondered many an hour as to how to stop these voices.  I've put up mental barriers and imagined stop signs in my head.  I've even gone so far as to say STOP! out loud - in attempt to banish this barrage.  The banter is not something that is easily banished.  Most of us won't even admit that we have such an inner demon(s).

I can successfully say that as the video suggests, with wisdom (and age) some of the self-talk has gotten better.  However, some of the tougher critics remain.  I truly believe that these voices will be with me until the day that I die.  I think that the difficulty lies in not listening to them any longer.   I'm learning that what they say just isn't true.  It's never been true.  The whole basis of it's lies were spawn out of someone else's disturbed psyche.

I'm not talking about a neurosis type of "hearing voices"... but our own inner voice.  I like to call them "old tapes."  Things that were said to you from the past, opinions that you have of yourself, or ones that others have had of you.  Stuff that has stuck to you like super glue - and plays over and over in your head.  They're particularly nasty when you're down or having a rough time of it... and struggling to find good qualities about yourself.  It impedes your best intentions of attempting to think good or positive thought, and it often times can really make me angry.  Sometimes, the voices of the past will simply come from out of nowhere.  I can experience them even on a good day - when things are going well.

I've talked to people about overcoming this.  Some folks don't believe that they have any power over their thought life at all.  They tend to believe that it's just a stream of consciousness that has a life all of it's own.  I don't believe that this is true.  I say this because of the way that I used to think.  I was one Nancy negative.  What I mean by that is I had no belief in myself whatsoever.  Now I'm not going to tell you that I have the greatest thought life now - but it is a whole 180 degrees from what it used to be like.  I can remember when I first got into the half-way house in 1996 at Fellowship Club in St. Paul Minnesota - and it was my birthday.  When you first arrive and on your first dinner meal, you have to stand up and be introduced to the house.  I was absolutely terrified.  I just knew that when I stood up that the table would turn over.  Now that is some crazy thinking.  How could I, small as I was then - turn a huge table over?  But I was so afraid I was shaking.  My heart was pounding in my chest and I would have given anything to have been someone else, somewhere else.  Just a few weeks in detox, and going through withdrawal - I was one sick puppy - in a myriad of ways.  So,  I know it's possible to change your thinking.  I used to be afraid of everyone - and everything.

I would say if one thing has helped the most, it's prayer.  Of course I've had a great deal of therapy - and gained oodles of insight - but prayer and acceptance have helped the most.  I also did a great deal of meditation to change the perception that I had of myself.  However, I still struggle with things that I believe will be there for a long time.  Some stuff I think is just hard-wired.  For me anyway.  Just because my mind may think it - doesn't mean I have to believe it.  That's the beauty in this.  Don't own it.  Talk back to it!  A lot of the time I do... as crazy as that may sound, it's my way of defeating the negative and not letting it have power over me.  If I've ever known who I am, it's now - and I just don't have to believe that BS anymore.  It's my choice.

See - I love having options in life.  It's a beautiful thing.  I didn't used to understand that.  I was trapped in my family with no voice - and no options.  I didn't know how to serve a God that was really mean - and would get back at you -- that didn't make any sense to me.  When I made a mistake, He turned away from me....  How does that help me learn?  So what now I have to beg to be back in His good graces??  I cannot trust a God like that...  But at that time I did not understand what grace meant.  Now I do.  If you've read my blog - you know where I stand on this.  If not go back and read Grace 101.  It's all there -  God's not mad, He never was.  I'm not a Jew.  Grace is a free gift.

My hope for you is that you learn to conquer your inner critics.  What they say isn't true.  Don't believe what they tell you.  Find your way of proving them wrong.  Don't be afraid to tell someone about it.  There isn't anything to be ashamed of - we all have it, and if they tell you they don't - don't believe it.  We all have doubts about ourselves.  Even the highest of self-esteemed person has doubts.

For me, prayer and meditation has been the answer.  Quiet the mind, replace the negative with positive and pray for God to heal your mind.  Meditation is wonderful - it has SO many positive health benefits, especially dealing with brain stimulation.  It's also a fantastic way to listen to the holy spirit which is another voice in our mind and heart.  It will never lead you astray - and is the voice of all truth.  Guided meditations are wonderful, and so are Mindfulness meditations.  Here is one that I really like:

My hope is that you will try it, and like it too!
God Bless!!!

Monday, September 26, 2016

In Search of Acceptance.

So much thought this a.m.  I've been up since 2.  My mind has pretty much been ablaze since I saw my therapist last week.  I know what needs to be done - yet I am not certain how.  I suppose if I am brutally honest, along with not being certain as to the how - I'm afraid of what follows.  I'm not even fully certain what I mean by this.  All that I know is that we as humans maintain identities for ourselves throughout life.  We think of ourselves in various ways, and we become quite attached to these manifestations in our minds.  I am the survivor (from multiple things) of a mentally ill mother, along with various other things, which hindered my life in devastating ways.  I'm a survivor of trauma, and this is how it has  it has been for many years.  It has affected every aspect of my  life.  As  deeply as I regret, I believe that this has become my identity.  Actually I know that I've identified with it, because I've prided myself as becoming an overcomer.  But now - the deeper that I explore this --- and it's anguish - in attempts to free myself from it, there is  fear of letting it go.  I can only imagine how peculiar this must sound, and I admit that somewhat unwillingly......

Change involves  letting go of control of outcomes.  People whom have been traumatized have really difficult times with letting  go of control, especially in certain areas.  This is one for me.  Really - what will happen, who will I be if I idon'thave these issues?  Trust me I know how sick that sounds.  I've experienced so much loss in my life - I truly do not know.  Believe you me, I do not want to look at this.  This is about as humbling as it gets.

I know from my A.A. days that acceptance is crucial.  I have to stop looking for the proverbial "answer" as to why my mother did not love me.  I have to stop trying to figure this out intellectually.  There just are no easy of quick fix answers.  Besides that it's answers of the heart that I'm seeking - not answers in my mind.  My mind, my ever over functioning mind is just trying to make sense out of something that makes no sense.  My mother had a history - she had a childhood, she could only do what she knew - yes she treated me different than she did my brothers.  I cannot, cannot change this.  This is fact.  The sooner that I accept this - the better off I'll be.  Many families went through the same kind of circumstances with these very issues as I did.  Chances are my mother may  very well have had postpartum depression when it was unheard of.  I know that she was sick when she gave birth to me, and I was a very sick infant.  I failed to thrive and was hospitalized several times, and almost died.  I was sick as I grew up, hospitalized much of the time with bladder and kidney infections.  I'm sure that wasn't easy.  I demanded a lot of care.  I wouldn't eat.  I also know what my mom's childhood was like, and it was not pretty.  I would not have wanted to have been her.  There's just facts in there that I don't understand but even if I did, it wouldn't change anything!

What I've been through, my experience has made me who I am.  I like who I am.  One of the greatest compliments that I've ever gotten in my life was when I was counseling, and leaving a particular job. At the going away party, my supervisor said, "When I think of Gina, I think of the word integrity."  Who could ask for anything more? It's all I've ever really wanted to be perceived as in life, a person of integrity.

This is no easy process.  This letting go/acceptance process.  However it's got to be done.  I'm so tired of being defined by it (yes you can be both afraid and tired) and it's effects on my whole life.  I'm so tired of it affecting my relationships, friendships, and how I live my life.  I'm exhausted at how I search to fill the void where the bond with my mother should have been.  I'm exasperated at, all the while knowing my loneliness is based in an emotional ache that no single person can fill.  I've got to heal that myself - or forever be unfulfilled.

We oft think that we fool ourselves.  Oh how we try.  We stay busy, we distract ourselves with this and that -- but there is always that little quite voice that whispers what we truly need, and it doesn't stop.  I want to live authentically and listen to it.  For me that voice is the Holy Spirit - and the voice of all truth.  It will never lead me astray.  God has never, ever let me down.  I know that I'm at this junction because it is where I need to be.  I deserve a better life, without so much discord and strife.  The problems that I have are all stemmed from my family issues.  I'm certain of this.  It's time, beyond time, to accept and move forward.  This weight is more than I can bare alone.

God knows my heart.  God knows my need - I am in agreement with Him in healing.  I trust Him.  He will guide me in what I need, be it people to help me heal - or whatever manifestations  I need.  He already has the prayer answered, in His eyes I'm already healed.  I thank Him for answering prayers that I cannot see yet, and the strength to get there.   May you too be blessed by my struggles, and my sharing,  Thank you Jesus.  God Bless you.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


I've been in much thought about my childhood as of late.  Not a subject that I particularly enjoy - but one that must be endured, especially as I work thru this current addictive process that I an incurring.  I gave up my credit cards - only to open up another charge account.  I'm not certain what I was thinking.  Oh I know what I was thinking - I want a new coffee table and a new rug for my new apartment - but how ridiculous?  It is so sneaky and pervasive.  I lie to myself - the denial is so strong.  I don't want to be accountable - and I want to have what I want, when I want it.   I want the control.  And that is it.  Control.

My recent session with my therapist was about the feelings associated with where I am at with my mom.  She's past now and I've not shed a single tear.  I know that this isn't normal.  However, I'm so conflicted.  I do miss her, but not the relationship that we had.  We had no relationship.  It was a facade.  A superficial facade.  This feels very sad and there are so many times when I am saddened because I did not have a real relationship with my mother.  This is compounded with multiple feelings.  Sadness, anger, rage - feelings of nothingness --- inadequacy, defectiveness, and shame.  Please know that my transparency - and the reasoning behind it is in the hope against hope that someone somewhere might be enlightened by my honesty.  There has to be others out there that had mother's like mine.  I know that there are because I've read about them at Psychology Today's website.  I've read other blogs about it and the comments.  I know that I'm not the only one.

My mother was evil.  So evil in fact that I've blocked out pretty much the entirety of my childhood.  I cannot remember hardly anything.  People share about "when I was 6"..... and I just sit there...astonished at how they can recall the information.  I remember hiding in closets, and under this huge claw footed dining room table that we had with a big table cloth on it.  I'd hide for hours on end.  I did not matter anyway - and I was invisible in my family.  My words did not matter, I had no voice. My presence did not matter - all I do remember was getting into trouble or being criticized by my mother, so why not hide?  It felt safer.  Safer than always being afraid.  Fear was all that I knew.  I was either being beaten up by my brothers, or yelled at by my mom.

Now this isn't the way that my brothers would tell it.  No, they saw a whole different life for me.  They believed that I was spoiled rotten.  It may have looked that way, but it didn't feel that way.  I don't know if either of them have ever read my blog (I doubt it) but I'd be surprised if they had.... my eldest brother hates me.  I'm not sure as to why.  He actually doesn't even know me.  I have cousin's and nieces that I have no contact with.  Quite dysfunctional.  What I did, I do not know.  Speak?  Try and be a person?  That must be it.  For I've never had a voice, and it was preferred.

At any rate - my addictive behaviors all stem from the family of origins.  I'm trying to heal.  Addiction is a pervasive illness.  It stems from a feeling of emptiness.  A void.  A lack.  What I like to call "The Black Whole."  It's shucked many people and many things into it, and they don't come back out.  It's wreaked havoc in my life for many a year.  It morphs and changes to suit the timing in my life.  I praise God that it's not drugs and alcohol now, but it's still got control of me, nonetheless.  It still wants fed.  It reminds me of a line from the movie, 'The Never Ending Story',  "Those who have no hope are easily controlled."  Yet I have hope.  At least I think I do.  Perhaps a part of me has given up because of the difficulty that I have in trusting.  It even affects my relationship  with God.  I really have a great deal of distain in saying/admitting this.  How does a person learn to trust when they couldn't trust one of the most important people in their lives???  An my father wasn't much help.  He did not protect me either.  My mother was in control.  Definitely.  She wore the pants in the family.  Sadly I say.

Somehow this will work itself out.  I did give up my cards - even if I did open up a line of credit - I only charged a small amount.  I don't have any intentions of charging more.  I know that I have to get this under control.  I work on trusting God everyday - and I don't even know if it's a lack of trust of God - or it's just lack of trust of myself.  I'm in some kind of process - and I'm not even sure what it is.

Things are going well, I've friends now at least.  My new home is wonderful, and I'm in church.  I actually had weekend plans last week.  People are coming to visit.  I have one friend I can see right now is only out for themselves - and I have got to axe that.  But things are going well, and I have goals.  I'm going to try and volunteer at the place where I go to therapy.  I'm going to go today.  I know that I will feel a lot better if I'm useful.

God will help me heal.  I've prayed for healing - and He will help me heal.  Writing helps.  Hope helps.  Being and getting in touch with my feelings associated with it, helps.  God will guide my steps.  This I do trust.  I know that God is doing for me what I cannot do for myself.  I believe, and I have faith that God helps me daily make better choices than I made the day before.  God is healing me where I don't have the answers.  I cannot undo what she did or didn't do.  Only God can do this.  I cannot make a relationship where there was none.  Only God can do this.  He will guide my steps and  heal my heart - like only God can do.  I have to just hold on, keep believing, and have faith.  Healing takes time, and I deserve it.  This is the hardest part to believe - that I matter, but I do.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Surrendering Out Loud

Anxiety.  In a word - it's fear.  Fear amped up.  I feel this more today that what I'd like, more as of late than I usually do.  Mostly it's because I have to give something that I truly enjoy -- up.   I have to give something up that I will still have to continue to do ----in a controlled fashion.   Having to do things that you are addicted to in a different way is damn hard.  I suppose it's why I'm feeling how I'm feeling today... sort of lost and out of sorts.  I really don't know where to begin to attempt to surrender this.  It isn't as if I've not been here before, because I have- with food, alcohol, drugs, and other negative behaviors.  Yet this sure feels different.  I'm not certain as to why.  The feelings of powerlessness are just difficult - I don't care how one slices it.  Powerlessness feels like defeat, like weakness, like the end of the line, and void of choices.  I just wonder how much of that vein of thought is my disease talking... because it doesn't want to let go?

Some folks don't believe in addiction as a disease.  In reality dis-ease is a state of being.  A person certainly isn't at ease when under the spell of alcohol or drugs...... or whatever "it" may be.  Professionals such as myself are taught that alcoholism and addiction is a disease because it's a progressive disorder that eventually leads to death if there is no intervention.  There's actually five precise elements - five markers or factors that have to be met in order to be diagnosed just like a person with an emotional disorder or personality disorder in the DSM ---whatever level they are on now.  (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual)  There's a difference between abuse of chemicals, and addiction.  People throw these words around a lot and do not really know what they are stating medically, but it's understandable.  That is not what this blog is about.  However calling addiction a disease is not and does not let the addict or alcoholic off the hook, by any means.  He or she is still responsible for their recovery.  Just as I was, and am.  This shopping addiction has gotten me into one hell of a state financially.  I'm dealing with the consequences as I sit at the keyboard today.  It's not  pretty.  It's quite depressing, as well as devastating.

I've felt this coming on, this conglomeration of feelings - this process that I'm going through.  The only way that I know I can stop continuing to charge is by giving up these cards.  I've just got to do it.  There is no other way around it.  I am powerless.  The hard part for me is that I judge myself for it, and the crazy old tapes from my mother kick in - and I have all sorts of negative self blaming and judgement.  I don't need this.  I never needed that - I especially don't need it now.  This is hard enough.  If I could or knew how --- I'd erase everything that woman ever said that was negative to me.  That would be a tall order but at some point in my life, I've got to let it go, and heal from it.  I just wish upon wishing, I knew how.  No one knows how hard I've worked to rid myself of my past.  Grace has relieved a great deal of the shame, guilt, and intense anger that I once had towards my mother but I'm not completely free from the damage.  I praise God that I cannot remember most of my childhood - so that I don't have more to deal with than I do - because what I have is enough.  More than enough.  But apologetically - I digress.

I know in my mind logically that surrender is about winning.  I stand at the edge.  It's really the worst place to be, vacillating, having difficulty making any decision because of this horrible feeling of powerlessness.  I've got to make a decision.  Not making one is making me feel ill.  It's times like these that I think we ask ourselves, "how did I get here?"  It's a rhetorical question.  I'm smarter than this - but addiction has nothing to do with intelligence.  Most addicts are quite smart - quite ingenious actually.  But anyway -  part of my problem is that I'm trying to do this alone, and I need God's help.  More now than ever - I need His guidance, strength, and direction.  I cannot do this alone.  My intellect is my greatest weakness... and it's when I don't think about God.  Actually there isn't much to think about - I know what I need to do.  I've been stalling out of my own unwillingness.  Hoping there was another way.  However, there is not.  I know this.  Jesus will see me through.  He always has.  He always will.  I've certainly been through worse.

No matter what you  are struggling with today - as you see - we all struggle.  I am an addictive type of personality.  It has morphed into shopping now for me - and I have done some damage.  It's (Thank God) nothing that can't be corrected - with some discipline and tough choices, but I'll be okay.   We aren't  perfect people.  We're all flawed.  Some folks like to make you think that they're perfect, but somewhere they've got things they don't tell anyone stowed away as well.  It's human nature.  It's ok.  This is why we need a power greater than ourselves for strength, and hope.  Mine is Jesus.  I got lost in the problem for a second, as we do.  He understands how we are.  My independence is a character defect of mine.  Thank goodness I know it.

Father God, forgive me for getting lost in my own mind and forgetting that You're my greatest problem solver.  Thank you Father that you know what lies ahead and have already made a way where there was none.  Help me Father to stay centered in You and at peace during this time in my life as I face my financial consequences of my actions - for I know that You can do for me what I cannot do for myself.  Help me always be mindful of You, allow me to be able to bless others Father, as it be Your will.  Be with me and those that I love today and always, keep us safe - thank You Jesus -- in Jesus holy name, Amen.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Elements of Change.

As much as I welcome change in some areas of my life - there are those certain elements that I just want to fight with everything in me.  I've known for months that this change had/has to come about, however I'm having a great deal of difficulty surrendering to it.  Despite the fact that it has reeked havoc in my life, the consequences are great ---I just do not want to have to do this work.  It isn't that I cannot overcome this - because I know that I'm capable.  The fact of the matter is..... I don't want to, and I suppose if truth be told, I'm struggling with willingness.  This is really insane, and it's multilayered with emotions, behavior, as well as full well knowing that my life is not going to get better if I do not submit to how powerless I truly am with this mixed mass of issues.

Change is hard, no matter how we approach it.  Some people resolve themselves to never change - and man, am I grateful that I'm not one of them.  Depending upon the type of change -- it can be life altering.  Of course, much of it (as with most things in life) depends upon how we process it in our minds.  It depends upon how hard we fight it, what beliefs we have about it, and what we expect of the outcome.  This is true of everything.  Our own unique perception plays such a huge part.  Still knowing this, life can yet throw us curveballs.  I tend to believe that our intuition will warn us of possible roadblocks -- but sometimes we are taken off guard.  We as humans can't possibly be mindful of everything that could possibly go wrong.  With that said, therein lies the vulnerability of change.

People, especially friends, family, loved ones, and non-addictive types of folks often judge those of us that have lost control of chemicals (including alcohol, money, sex, etc.) so harshly --- because they just do not understand and cannot place themselves in the addicted person's shoes.   I'm a strong believer of "We fear what we do not understand."  Fear isn't an emotion that most folks are comfortable with either!  We mask it (just like emotional pain) as all sorts of other things - rage is easier, resentment is easier ...and so much more powerful as is anger.  Oft times anger and depression is unreleased grief and pain.  It amazes me how so much of the time, we'll forgo the root of the emotional distress for something else ( and sometimes it's like autopilot ) because what was allowed in our childhoods.  Most of the time, we're not even aware that we do it.  Talk about confusing - and destructive in relationships... the expressed emotions aren't even what's really going on with the person.  There can be no resolution!

I'm immensely grateful as I write this that I have done the work, and that I know myself.  Oh, please I'm far from being perfect at it - I still get scared at times.  Emotional work is hard, I don't care how you slice it because it is a risk.  The longer time goes on and we hide behind technology.... the less real we have to be (just my opinion.)  I'm blessed to have the few people that I have in my life that are genuine, know themselves, and aren't afraid to be real.  This is precious in this day and time.

I have to give up my credit cards.  This is where all of the above thought process came from.  It is not going to be easy.... because I spend/shop addictively.  I do it for a myriad of reasons - but it gives me the same "high", regardless.  In all honesty, I don't want to do this.... but I know that I have to.  It feels scary.  It feels unfair.  I'm not certain how it's unfair, other than I really like and enjoy it.  I know in my heart of hearts that it has to be done.  I will never get ahead if I don't.  I want a bright future, the way that things are going - this is not going to happen if I don't get this under control now.  As with anything that's done addictively - it's a dual edged sword.  It's all good when I'm purchasing the things that I want - but it doesn't take long at all for the remorse to set in.  I'm tired of the mass of feelings that go with it.  I'm tired of trying to justify it, (there just isn't any anymore) and the consequences are quite much.  I know too,  I am healthier than this, and smarter than this.  I just allow myself to get caught up in the moment or more like it "the lie."

Thursday is probably going to be "D" day for  me.  I see my therapist and it's already been discussed. I'm not certain how I feel inside (there is a conglomerate of emotions) however, seems like most of it is sadness and fear.  That may sound silly to some of you - but if you haven't been there ------don't judge.  I know that God has got me and I'll be okay.  Of this I'm sure.  Thank you Jesus.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

God is so good.

It's been an interesting couple of weeks since moving in, we've gotten through almost all of the boxes - my oh my how much stuff a person accumulates in a few years time.  I got nicknacks that I don't know what to do with, and don't want to discard, everywhere.  I had almost unlimited shelf space at the other apartment, thus creating lots of collecting of trinkets - and now that I've downsized, there just isn't a place to set them.  Oh well, I've got storage this time round, and I suppose that is where they'll land.  It's just that sometimes it's hard to part with the things that you love, especially the things that your used to seeing everyday...even if it is just to put them away for a while.  I'm a sentimental old fool I suppose - things remind me of events and people, and I like this.  I'm fully aware that people take priority over things, but for me they are connected at least in this life.

I'm going through medical stuff again, appointments and such.  I just found out yesterday that my thyroid is off.  Great... another medication.  More side affects.  I'm up now, after not sleeping - laying there thinking from 9:00 p.m (when I went to bed) and finally frustrated I got up at midnight.  This is a lovely side affect of the new med, no sleep.  However, it makes sense, because I've been horribly fatigued.  I just thought it was my fibromyalgia.  I'd went in last week almost in tears with this move asking for a B12 shot because I was so tired.  Life eh?  So we'll see what happens now.

I wanted to write because I've been so blessed this month.  I don't know how I'd of made it if it hadn't of been for the people in my life.  The thing is that it all happened so casually and so effortlessly.  I've been without money pretty much since the month began.  Attempting to pay the bills that I have and get by on my income is almost impossible.  I've had no extra - period in the last few months since I have not been able to work -- especially with that high rent that I was paying.  My money would hit, and as soon as I paid my bills,  I had little if no money left for food, gas, or anything else.  God has just always provided throughout the month somehow - be it credit cards or other sources.  But this month - in the last few days it's been friends.   I am so grateful for this.  I found myself with little food for the last few days of the month and God provided.  I knew that I would make it, I could find something to eat - it wouldn't be what I wanted to eat - but still, Id eat.  But I was blessed.  Gas money - food money, and more.  It's amazing to watch God work right in front of your eyes like this.  It humbles my heart.  I'm no one special - but He loves me still.  He loves me a lot and I know this, I know this because of His Word - and because of my life.  It isn't a life that one can really say is overly successful - but hey- I'm alive, I'm not throwing 6-7 pills down my throat 3-4 times a day anymore, I don't drink daily - and I'm not a bitter, angry, resentful wreck of a human being.  There's something to be said for this.  I could be.  But I'm not.  I cannot say that I love myself yet (that's going to take more work) but I do like who Gina is.  Believe it or not that took a tremendous amount of work to be able to say that, and mean it.  The amazing thing is that I know  peace today.  A peace that I've never known.  Peace from the grace of God.  That's already in my blog (earlier posts)....but I can't ever speak about it enough, it is so precious to me.

I do have a conundrum.  I don't recall if I ever mentioned that I was feeding a small brood of cats at my other apartment.  I cannot even remember how this started really.  I believe it began with a mother and her kittens.  I call her "Momma", she's a very sweet Calico that I of course felt for and began feeding a few years back, and it turned in to what is now 7 cats strong.  I'm still going back over there and feeding them.  I'm at a loss as to what to do with them.  They had became like my little family - and now I don't know what to do with them.  They are dependent upon me, and my landlord's wife is pretty adamant that the will starve if I don't continue to feed them.  Two of the males are pretty docile - and I believe at one point they have been  inside cats.  They used to run inside my apartment when I opened the door to feed them, and I know Momma cat had been inside before.  I'm 12 days out  and haven't a clue what to do for these felines.  They need a country home.  There are two of Momma's babies that are kind of wild, no one can touch them but me - and they all come running when I pull up.  I wish I knew what to do - from what I understand no kill shelters won't take ferrel cats.  At least that is what I've been told.  I'm going to pray about it.  God will answer my prayers.

I look forward to being better off financially - and getting my credit back on track.  I know that I can do this - I know I can.  It's interesting - it feels different in this new  space.  I don't feel as depressed - I don't know if it because everything is so new or what but it definitely has a different feel.  I'm so glad of that.  It feels like a new beginning in my life.  I'm all about new beginnings - and new chapters.  Praise God!  So far I've been so blessed -- I know it and I feel it and I thank God for it.  All I really want out of life at this point is for God to bless me so I can bless someone else, this has always been my prayer.  I don't care about grand schemes or big dreams, that's just not me.  Let me loose in nature, and let me help someone - that's the kind of stuff that makes me happy.  Cooking for people that I love.  Seeing the smiles on their faces  and hearing their "yums".  It's really simple for me.  Yes I think about complex things at times, but I will always be a simple girl.

Thank you, all of you that read my posts.  It gladdens my heart.  It is for you that I write.  I just hope on some level I inspire.  This is my aim.  May God bless you richly - and heartily, and answer your prayers as He does mine.  Life is not random.  Take television and news-stories with a grain of salt - remember heartwarming, God filled things don't make front page news.  God is mostly suppressed in the media.  Remember that.  It's really easy to get caught up in worldly stuff.  It's really depressing.  God understands, but He can't hardly reach you there.  It's too noisy.  Try and sit quietly once in a while and see what He has to say.  This is the other part of prayers and meditation.  Quiet.  How else can He (or the holy spirit) speak to you?  We need quite time.  I hope you can find some.  It's the pathway to peace... precious peace.

God Bless you until next time.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hello and welcome to my new home!!!

Hello!!!! I apologize for taking such a long hiatus from writing!  Much has transpired.  Obviously I am now in a new home.  A miracle has taken place...a much prayed for miracle.  Despite my failings, (and I fail daily) God in is ineffable mercy has blessed me beyond measure.  I am in a brand new apartment - with much lower rent.  It will take a little time, but financially things will be much, much, better.

I have been ill.  My right kidney and my liver has some spots on it... and I'm getting that checked out but I had a few months of mind-blowing pain.  I had great difficulty with the medical community - and I find that many other's at this time are having problems with medical things also.... so at least I don't feel alone.  I had one physician never call about the results of a test that he ordered... which to me is just unacceptable.  I find our medical community is really substandard at best these days.  They want high dollar, but don't give the same in service.  Anyway.....that's been my experience as of late.

I've returned to Midland church, which is home.  It feels great to be worshiping again.  I really don't know why I ever stopped other than I needed to process the loss of Pastor.  I'm in a much better place with that than I've ever been.  Loosing someone that means so much to you - deserves time.  Give yourself what you need in life.

I have a new therapist.  I am still working my way to break free from my past.  I just want those of you that do follow my blog to know that I'm not going to do this the rest of my life.  It seems that the affects of the relationship that I had with my Mother is the taproot of a great deal of my "self-talk".  I am still in process of learning how to nurture myself - and it's not been the easiest of ventures.  I have a therapist now that nails me when I say derogatory things about myself or pertaining to myself, he just won't allow me to do it.  Oft times, I do not even know I'm speaking negatively, it's so ingrained into my psyche.  When all you've heard growing up is how stupid you are, it tends to stick.  Most of what damaged me in the dealings with my mother were her behaviors.  I was a very sensitive child, probably too much so.  I did not need punishment many times, because I would cry when she looked at me.  I "felt" her disappointment and disapproval.  I think sometimes that is worse than the latter.  I felt every bit of disgruntled feelings she had towards me, and I knew at a very young age that she did not love me.  I have a highly developed intuition.  I did even as a child.  I sensed things about people, who was safe and who was not.  I believe this is why I cannot remember - my brain protected me.  I am highly grateful.  There was a time that I tried to recall, I was hypnotized twice in college trying to recall my childhood - but it was unsuccessful both times.  I thank God for that.

I am currently working on understanding my limits with pain.  I have a tendency to over do  - and then suffer the consequences.  This is unhealthy.  I think to some degree I am not accepting my disability.  I mean who would want to?  It takes guts to admit ways in which you are vulnerable in any circumstance.  I thought I had the ability to be vulnerable - but I suppose there are always levels in which we don't want to go and this is one for me.  It makes me feel weak, and powerless.  As many  opportunities as I've had to experience powerlessness, one would think that I'd be used to it by now - but I'm just not.  It's not a comfortable feeling, I don't think for anyone.  Knowing that you are or have reached your limit and there is nothing further that you can do -- most of the time just feels helpless, and who on earth wants to feel that?  It feels lazy at times, and I'm far from lazy.  I suppose it has all sorts of connotations that aren't necessarily positive and this is hard.  I'm working on trying to be gentle with myself, and honor my body.  It's a work in progress.

The loneliness has finally abated for now.  I've had two rather large shopping spree's.  That's what I do when I feel totally alone in this world.  Alone, bored, and itching for something, someone, or some feeling to fill that huge void.  You all know what I'm talking about - that place where the grass is always greener, dropping everything and just getting in the car to destinations unknown?  That place where everything would be alright if we could just walk away from our troubles.  Well, when I shop - I go to that very place.  It's new, bright, shinny, and has nothing to do with now.  When I order online - I have something to look forward to, and when I get to go to a store, I'm lost in the moment (which sometimes last hours)... and then when I get the purchases home, I carry the feeling through because I have new things.  It's a straight up addiction for me.  I go into a kind of mode, my heart races, and my thinking changes.  I'm aware, but I don't want to be - and I don't listen to the opposing voice of reason.  I know that the voice of reason for me is the holy spirit.  I'm always sorry that I did not listen.  Especially because I know that it is the holy spirit, because it is trying to protect me.  Always to protect, guide, and instruct, and uphold truth.

I've been so busy lately with the move and all but I've gotten back into reading my Bible again.  For me, reading scriptures brings me back to my days with Pastor Paul - and the truth about my Jesus.  I love the living word and how it speaks to me.  I love how God will help me find passages that touch my heart and feed my soul right when I need them.  God is so amazing like that.  It blows my mind that I am still learning from the four years that I studied under Pastor Paul.  How blessed I am to have had his teaching for the time that I did.  It is just beyond words.  I will be grateful the rest of my life for that time at Midland.  It was truly a gift from God.

This apartment is a gift from God.  I've got a lot of things going on.... but alas, everything will work out.  I'm getting on a budget to try and fix this mess I've made - and I will do it with God's help.  I've got appointments to find out what these spots are on my kidneys and liver (scary) but it will all work out.  I have no doubt that God's got me.  I'm not going to work for awhile unless this really neat thing that's in the works - comes through - and I'm going to focus on some volunteer work.  I love doing volunteer work.  It's so rewarding, and the relationships that you make are extraordinary.  I might work with children this time.  I'm not certain just yet.

Whatever comes next will be a blessing.  This is my hope for you too.  That what ever you are dealing with that you have someone or something in you life that brings you joy.  This world is hard enough.  We need joy.  We need peace.  Most of all we need something or someone that we can call on outside of ourselves that is bigger than we are for our hope.  For me this is Christ.  It can be anything you need it to be.  However it's important that we believe in something or else life just gets to be too much.  I hope you have that.  I don't know what I'd do without God.  Being such an addictive type person - I believe I'd be deceased already.  Especially with both my parents being gone.  It's almost impossible out here alone.

So I wish you hope, peace, and health.  I hope you come back and join me.  We're all in this together - Grace, Peace, and many blessings from my new home!!!