Monday, May 22, 2017

Facing Fear

"We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot do."

I quite like this quote, and I admire Eleanor Roosevelt.  I have faced many a fear in my life - I've taught myself how to navigate major cities by myself on three separate occasions.  Well, me and God.  I certainly prayed my way through and was quite certainly terrified.  I had all of my worst fears come to fruition in one day in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in a blinding snow storm.  I was lost, my windshield wipers stopped working, I went UP and OFF ramp - and my car died.  It still didn't kill me.  : )  I was, however - emotionally exhausted when I got home, but thankful.  

Life is odd.  Our development in it is peculiar as well.  Our emotional states ebb and flow.  We can be at what seems like our mountain top at one time in our lives and virtually feel as if we're sinking at another point.  I am struggling with some of life's simpler things - the barest of essentials, decision making, and facing fears.  This may seem quite rudimental to some, but if you've ever battled with depression or anxiety --- then you'll know first hand how difficult it can be.  My plight as of late has been a loss of connection with any type of community - feeling alienated from life period.  An as I've mentioned before -- I know that if I'm going thru this, then there's others as well.  

Our society has gone through a huge transformation.  It's this digital age.  We no longer have 'real' friends, we have 'virtual' ones.  I don't know about anyone else, but this just doesn't cut it with me.  

I don't believe that this is healthy - nor is it beneficial for our souls growth.  Oh, most folks walk around like they're all ok, but I don't believe that they are.  I don't believe that the majority of us are as healthy, whole, contented, nor fulfilled as we "pretend" to be.  We weren't designed to accept or even have access to as much information as we are bombarded with on a daily basis -- and I think it causes a continual state of overwhelm in most people... it's just that no one is saying anything.  We've become, robotic.  I don't know about you, but this does not sit well with my spirit.  Nor my soul.  

See, I'm here, on this universe for my soul's evolution.  What I mean by that is, life is a journey.  It is a journey that we all take.  Hopefully we take it with some awareness of our experience of who we are, who we're becoming, who we aspire to be, and how we affect our fellow man.  We do not live on an Island.  What we do, or do not do -- it affects our neighbor.  Just like ripples in an ocean.  I'm not professing anything that isn't already known - but do we think of it often?  Or are we so self-centered and mindless that we think that the world revolves around us?  I sure hope not.  Many people that I see out in the world - seem to not be able to see past their phones.  I find this disarming.  God did not place us on this earth, for this kind of self-centered, mindless, ridiculous behavior.  

Therefore, it is no wonder I struggle with loneliness, isolation, and lack of community.  I am all too aware of what's out there.  Attempting to interact with this society is brutal.  More often than not -- you're not going to be able to make a friend.  Why?  Most likely because their phone is their constant companion.  People don't need people anymore.  Or at least they think they don't.  They're seriously mistaken.  This is why there were so many people in the locked unit at the hospital.  I was blown away at the amount of people there... and it's only going to get worse.  People on this earth are walking wounded... and have no one to interact with nor to get their needs met - and they don't even know it.  They believe they can get whatever they need through an app or via social media --- and they are so very disillusioned.

I am a empath, and a truth seeker.  I am intense.  I do things with great passion.  It is who I am.  I need people, despite the fact that I've always thought of myself as a lone wolf - I need people in my life for feedback.  It is despicably unfortunate that I now have to pay pretty much ever last person that is in my life - to be there.  But this is where society has taken us.  It makes me feel sick inside.  It must also make God cry.  I'll say again, He did NOT place us on this earth for this.  My heart aches for His.  

My hope, my grandest aspiration is that you put down your phone.  Or at least use it to call someone.  Make plans to do something face to face, and leave your phone alone.  Respect them enough to give them your full attention, and you might be surprised at how good you feel after you're done.  I had the immense pleasure of spending the afternoon with an old friend yesterday - and it was wonderful.  It was just what I'd been needing.  Human interaction without interruption.   How glorious.  God truly blessed me yesterday.  My hope is that you can (or have) the same experience.  

As for me, I'm going to get out there this week, and face my fears with Ms. Roosevelt in mind.  I don't believe it's too late for things to turn around, and I don't think that this world is going to self-destruct yet.  I'll never give up my hope.  

God's grace to you all.      

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Facing Darkness, Finding Hope

I was just released from the hospital last evening.  Depression had it's way with me, despite my greatest fight.  Sometimes even those of us that seem to have stellar hope, and strong faith - have to admit we've met a challenge we cannot surmount.  I'd been wrangling with the hope fight for a few weeks.  Oft times, as we gain in the process towards healing - we can have a backlash of pure fear.  This was the case for me.  Despite my best effort, the mental and emotional barrage got the best of me.  I just kept coming up empty in my attempts to see through - the finances, the courage that was needed to do what was being asked of me, and my internal dialogue.

Going into a mental "locked" institution is truly a shock to your psyche.  You are stripped of each and everything that makes you, you.  An I mean ---- stripped.  You have no awareness of time -- other than when meals are served, or groups are held, unless you go to the nurses station.  I was taken off all of my medications for a full 24 hour period and was in excruciating pain.  Unable to think, hardly able to move, I lay in bed most of this time, which allows for much contemplation.  Much of this time was spent however, in pure agony because of physical and emotional pain.  Such a shock to the system, and quite hard to comprehend it's purpose --- you tend to revolt.  Being that I had went in voluntarily -- I soon wanted out.  However, this is not the way things work.  The best that I could do, was hold on to what scriptures that I knew from memory -- and short "Help me Jesus" - prayers.

In this day and age so many people are addicted to their medications.... which I discovered was in part the reasons for removal of meds. This impart and also the wait to see the Psychiatrist to make necessary changes to said medications.  The wait was brutal.  Yet, I did endure it, I did make it through it - by the grace of God.  An even when I did receive my medications, often they were given late, my pain out of control, and unable to regain control of it because of the mismanagement of my meds.  During this time, you do the best that you can, and pray for the time when you'll find relief again.

What I was ever so aware of was that mental illness is rampant and I am a blessed individual.  Once I got past the initial 24 hour period, although still unable to fully think clearly - I attempted to participate in program activities.  I had gone to seek help/hope and I intended to participate as best as my mind could function.  I did so to the best of my ability.

What I gained from this experience is an enormity of gratitude for my life.  Gratitude for the things that were taken from me upon arrival.  Time.  My life.  My home.  My friends.  My cat.  My bible.  Choices.  Almost too many things to account.

I've contemplated since coming home the issues that perhaps brought me to this presuppose - and I had not acknowledged within me the anniversary of my Father's death, the tragedy of his passing.  I actually thought that this year it would be different - and it wouldn't hit me so hard.  I think it was "wishful" thinking....and in all actuality, I was not processing it, at all.  It's okay - sometimes things sneak up on us.  I have also noticed that I have been going between two worlds - and I know that I cannot keep doing this.

I've been going to a day type of treatment program -- which was required by my psych nurse.  I also have things/goals to achieve from Doc that are on a higher functioning level.  It feels like one is on a completely different level - than the other.  I feel as if I am being pulled into two totally opposite directions.  One higher functioning, one lower.  I understand why said goals were set - but I cannot continue in both levels.  It is confusing my psyche.  I need to remain on the higher functioning level - and stay there... and I recognize this.  An after this hospitalization --- I am certain of what I need.  This will require me to take action steps that I have thus far been unwilling to take, and by unwilling --- I mean afraid.  I've let fear and my comfort in isolation keep me stuck.  This is going to end.

I yearned for my bible while in the hospital --- I am so grateful to be home where I can feed on God's word again - and I am going to church tomorrow, regardless.  I've been indulging in doing exactly what I want -- and it has gotten me nowhere but sick.  I have got to do what needs to be done, and stand on God's Word for strength.  I can do what's being asked of me, if I swallow my pride - and face my fears.  Pride goest before the fall.... and that's what I did, I fell.

I apologize that this is so much about me --- I write in hope's that someone will understand - and can relate - and perhaps realize that even asking for help is OKAY.  No, being hospitalized is not easy.  It's hard.  But sometimes it has to be done.  I was contemplating suicide.  I had been for two weeks or so - on and off.  Thank goodness, I told someone before I actually made a plan or worse yet ---- acted it out.

AS with everything - there is a reason that this happened -- and yeah, I hit a bottom again.  It's okay.  I had a nurse there --- that probably helped me more than she'll ever know.  God put her there.  To be accepted, even in that state -- means everything.  That's exactly what she did.  Lovingly accepted me, as bad as I felt, in my then, state of mind.  Thank God for you sister.  There were a few people there that knew me, and were genuinely concerned about me.  I am not as alone as I oft think...  and neither are you.

Depression is ugly.  It lies to us.  It tries to tell us that we're nothing, and that we mean nothing to anyone.  It tells us we're broken, never to be made whole again.  Lies, all LIES!!!  Fight is with every fiber of your being.  Talk back to it ---- do something that you really enjoy - tell someone what is going on in your head.  Our worse enemy is our mind.  Albert Einstein said,  “The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.”  I totally believe this is true.  We need intervention/help.  

So no matter what you are facing today/tomorrow --- remember you are not alone.  God will always hear you - and He answers prayer.  People care more than you think.  We cannot always believe what our minds tell us about ourselves.  Yes, pain is difficult, sometimes it's devastating -  I know.  But it doesn't last forever, I promise.  Sometimes all you need to do is say, "Jesus."

If you comment, I will answer you.  Thanks for reading -- God Bless you all.  <3

Friday, May 5, 2017

Quintessential Change

This beautiful passage found it's way to me yesterday morning.  I think we can all attest to it's rare beauty, raw authenticity, and voluptuous truth.  As for it's author, I am always, always in awe of Ms. Williamson's silken profundity.  Her words like velvet to the mind.  Her heart, always open, sharing her uttermost being with integrity and genuine risk.  Her universal voice speaks with love of and to mankind, with miracles in mind.  Her message, although not arduous, is that of love - period.  I've read four of her books, and adored each and every one.  Most I've read more than once, and have given them as gifts to treasured friends.  "The Gift of Change" - being the first, and, "A Return to Love", and also, "Illuminata - A Return to Prayer".  I would encourage anyone to read any of these publications, they are illuminating.

I had my session with Doc  - and I've been in rapid change cycles for the last two weeks. The messages, what I read in the Word, and the things that evolve in my life are just mind blowing.  I know intrinsically that I am right in the heart of my healing process.  It feels kind of wonderful and scary - all at the same time.  We are a conformed people, and what I mean by that is, that even though there are things that aren't good for us, don't feel good to us, we'll do them over, and over because they're familiar.  Most people had rather just stay the same as to risk change.  Change isn't easy - there are multiple factors involved, and often --- emotional pain from grief.  Each and everything that we let go of - is an actual (whether or not we acknowledge it or not) physical or emotional loss.  With change comes transformation - we become different human beings.  Hopefully, we become better - either in our thinking, emoting, perception, health, or prosperity.  However, not everyone can actually see change in this light.  Most people fear change, and therefor avoid it to their own demise.  An I state that because as humans we're hardwired for change, and to attempt to derail that process is futile.  In my humble opinion, we are born to adapt.  Adaptation is essential to/for us or we become dis-eased.  Alcoholism, addiction, cancer, etc.  The stress of not adapting I truly believe, will eventually destroy.

I am on the opposite of the spectrum.  I process in an attempt to seek change out of perceived brokenness because of my traumatic past. However, I over function in the seeking, due to a faulty belief system instilled in me from my childhood. I was never enough - ever.  The really sad thing is I haven't (YET) made peace with this.  I say this to say, they're aren't always concrete "blatant" answers.  Even though we may think we know what we need, sometimes it comes quite slowly - and it may come from a source that you never imagined.  An sometimes it's in the act of feverishly seeking that you'll never find your answers.  It usually comes through letting go, or just plain acceptance.  This is what I am finding.  I've sought 'the answers' so hard that my consequences and my dysfunctional behaviors have overtaken my life, at times.   This my friends, is never good.

Being an intelligent person is usually a positive thing.  However, when we think so hard we loose sight of God - it's never good.  This is what happens to me - and I know if is is my experience, I'm not alone.  This is why is so essential for me to stay grounded in the Word (Jesus) of God daily - because without my even recognizing it - I can and will head off into territory of the mind (body and spirit) where I have no business.  I'm not just talking about being disobedient.  There's that too, but I humbly admit --- I forget that I NEED God----BAD.  Because left to my own devices, I will crash and burn.  Jesus is The light, The truth, and The way --- and all of my healing has (and will) come through Him.   I will never, ever be perfect.  That isn't the point  folks.  No wear near.  Albeit --- my heart yearns for WHOLENESS.  It's been my quest since the beginning of addiction recovery - some 24 years ago.  I do know unequivocally, that I am close - so very, very, close now.  An I praise God for this.  My path has not been an easy one... but I wouldn't change any of it.  It has made me who I am, an even if I am not quite completely where I would like to be --- I like who I have become in and through this journey.  I owe so much to Jesus Christ.  An I will again give of what he's given me, as I try to do here, of my life in testimony, for Him.  I shouldn't even be alive.  Many a miracle I have  witnessed.  There's  more yet to come.  Praise GOD!!!!

Please listen to this video - the beginning of it is so beautiful - and explain so much our inmate need for Christ.  As always - you're all in my thoughts and prayers - I'll share with you again soon - God's precious grace and bountiful favor be upon you each and everyday of your lives.  God Bless 💖💗💖💕