back from the bush!

A week a way from the city in the bush lands of Arrowhead Provincial Park. It was nice to spend time away from the house the house work ( it is there; big  time now being back and having camping laundry and cleaning to do).  I was a little jittery and I had a few nights that I didn’t sleep.  Those were the bad things, but I coped.   I spent some time alone.  I spent some time with one of my close friends and told her about my condition. She seem to take it ok.  She doesn’t understand it all but she listened.  I spent some quality time with my former Pastor and made some connections that I couldn`t make in my mind which I’ll talk about later.  I also learned some basic life lessons. 

First the life lessons.  When jogging through the bush, on the hiking and cycling trail, do not look up at the large wood pecker in the tree.  Tree roots on the path will trip you and I did a fantastic fall and roll.  When all stopped I was on my back thinking “what the? how did I get here!”  looking at the bird looking at the silly human on the ground No cuts just dirt.  Second life lesson.  Don`t jog with your mouth open, you will catch flys!  Don`t ask how I know!  And what ever I coughed up had better only have been a deer fly–uck.

The connections.  Have you ever been sick and forgot how to take care of yourself?  You get a sore throat, cough, or flu.  You forget to take vitamin C you forget the Advil, or what ever cold/flu remedy you use.  And someone comes along and says why not take what you usually take when your sick—- and you say oh I forgot.  Then smack yourself in the head like that will make things sink in better. When I am heading in a down period.  The devil ( and I am going to call it what it is) will confuse me.  I feel I have a strong faith. I feel God is close to me. I feel a need to be close to him, and I fully give my heart and soul to the creator of the earth and me. That is my statement of faith.  But when I start to fall, he confuses me, he wants me to doubt what I believe and he wants me to lose faith in all that is precious to me.  The faith I have, my marriage, my abilities to be a mother, a lover, a cook, a functioning working women.   I forget the devil likes to confuse me.  I forget how to fight back. I forget how to see the dark from the view of the light, I forget that I can talk myself out of the panic, and anxiety.  I forget that I have good meds to help, and I forget who I am sometimes.  And sometimes I don’t want to remember any of these things cause at that moment you can say I have a mental flu and can’t function.   It all seems too hard and in the darkness I can hide. But in the darkness is the lies and the pain and there is no peace.  So I get up, I must fight back, I must keep my eyes on the light, I must talk myself out of the panic, and take my meds, call my friends,  and pray, and most of all remember I am a functioning, loving person in a dark place that will not swallow me up, because God loves me and you.  There is a line from scripture that says

John 16:33

New International Version (NIV)  Jesus speaking.

   33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

The world is owned in by the prince of darkness, but Jesus overcome him through his suffering and death and resurrection. We can rely on him when we are confused. God has our back.

Does that keep me out of dark holes.  No — God (pardon the country reference) didn’t promise you a rose garden. We struggle cause this world is not perfect. This world is fallen. We will struggle and fall and get up and fall again, and we will get weary but BUT we are loved and we will persevere, and we will fight the good fight. And on the days when we can’t fight pray and God will fight for you.

That sounds like pretty high and mighty words.  But they are God’s words and they are reality.

I will have days I forget with my mental flu; so to speak. I will need my husband to go with me look after me, the darkness will crowd in, but the light will always shine and this is not how God wants me to live my life.  Hiding in the darkness afraid to go forth and conquer.  Maybe not mountains some days, but bit by bit it will happen. Do what you can, all you have to do is your bit.

I am a mixture of positive and negative.  I do believe what I write I also believe that I am far from out of the woods.  I was to the doctors today for my follow up visit.  She feels I am not out of the woods either and has upped my medication for the third time.  She also wants me to be taking my emergency meds more often and not just when I have gone around the bend.  I find this discouraging.  I thought I was doing better but I was slipping today.  I don’t want the meds but I have to.    It is apart of the fighting.  It tires one out. I will take my new dose of meds and see what happens.  I will have a follow up visit with my doctor at the end of September and I will see where I stand then.  If you are in this fight.  Hang on. The fight isn’t easy and it can rip at everything you hold dear.  It has for me but God has put somethings together for me. I hope soon I can have it all together.  I have much more to say about thorns in one’s sides. I hope you’ll come back


July Week Two

Feeling a bit better today.  Back at work after a quiet weekend.  Managed to get a lot of work done around the house and in the yard.  I spent most of Sunday gathering all our camping stuff for our yearly week-long camping trip.  I look forward to it every year.  I spent a lot of time sitting with my husband this weekend , around campfires in our back yard discussing; of all things, my illness– again.  I am so lucky to have an understanding supportive husband, who loves me to death. He is my rock, my friend, my love.  We put into place some fail safes for me.  That sounds weird, but if you suffer from depression you need to set up some rules and guidelines.  Depression is a mix up of chemicals in my brain.  So to put it into common terms, sometimes I don’t think straight and get emotional and confused and need to have rules to rely on to help me.  For instance, I have had a number of panic attacks in stores. or when I am on my own, I seem to get overwhelmed when by myself in public.  I don’t shop by myself,  kids or husband or friends are always with me.  If I am panicking at work. I call my husband he talks me down.  If I am taking my “incase of emergency drugs” (anti anxiety pills) I have to let my husband know, to monitor me, as they are super strong and addictive.  I feel like a little kid under supervision but the alternative ???!!!.  Having a freak out in a store by myself is worse than being chaperoned .  Having my bosses find out I am having an anxiety attack at work, is worse than making  an emergency phone call from the bathroom to my husband.  I will be done work soon for the next 4 and half weeks for summer and I am nervous about having time on my hands.  I have volunteered to assist my church as a secretary if there is holiday coverage needed.  I am planning to paint the house, and then I will start my summer cleaning, rearranging furniture, cleaning out closets.  The bottom line. This is effecting all aspects of my life even though I am trying not to.  I feel like I am living in someone elses body, like some weird movie but the body just doesn’t fit right.   Somedays  I feel like checking into a hospital and staring at the walls for weeks on end,  I am worn out.  Sometimes I almost feel like me – (but never really back to it).  We shall see what vacation does for me.  A chance to run more, maybe sleep more, more time with family.  On the good side of the vacation I will be vacationing with some good friends and one of them a pastor. He married us and baptized our kids.  I am looking forward to catching up with them and I have some things I need to discuss with him.  In my pondering, and readings, I have come to some cross roads in my thinking, in my faith.  I am having problem reconciling a couple of bible concepts with how some writers have interpreted them.  Maybe while away my friend can help me settle it.  So I leave you this week with more questions and statements than directions.  But remember God is faithful the sun always rises and the moon is always there at night.  I hope if you are suffering you continue to read, I hope you continue to trust God, or try to,  I hope you find some peace, rest, and comfort.   Bless you on your journey.

One Day in July

Feeling down today. Feeling like what is the use, friends must be feeling like not again!  I am suffering in silence.  I contacted EAP got a busy signal, (can you believe it!)  When one does get through they can make an apt for you for an assessment in 2 to 3 weeks.  I emailed another counciller and made contact I just have to get up the nerve to actually call make an appointment and speak to someone.  That is the hardest thing to do — three days not haven’t mustered up the nerve.  It all makes no sence and I don’t know what to do with myself,  cause even the kids  don’t want to hear about it.  So I take my emergency meds., they help but the lonelyness hangs on. Being sad is one thing but the lonelyness is relatively new.   I understand my friends son’s suicide, cause it was all our fault.  No one has time to look after our mentally ill.  No one has the care or love; that is the bottom line we communicate through computers, texting, email.  You see the words in print but not the passion or desperation in their voice.  That is the honest truth. Darkness became his companion, and when that happens the loving words of the parents can’t penitrate- I know they tried.  The dark voices do not relent. 

But people just don’t care for people. That is a really negative attitude. I know that it is the darkness talking, but it is not so much a lie.  When the lie of darkness talks to me I can see it most times, cause God‘s light shows it for what it is.  But today. I am hurting deep in my soul, and we are supposed to persevere. Struggle on. Climb the mountain.  Fight the good fight.  Follow through.  Carry on. Go the distance. Its just that sometimes I forget why.  Mostly I forget who God is.  And frequently,  I forget who I am in Him. and now I hardly remember the me I used to be.  

   My husband talks a good fight. But to be honest, I am tired, and could care less about fighting this.  I am not suicidal, but I understand how someone gets there, I can see the path traveled.  I am worn out.  We as a society must take the brunt of the responsibility. If we truly loved people and cared we would be there for those who are really hurting.  We  need to be a society that does not spend its time keeping busy, or playing but a society that cares for the young, the old, the ill.  We need to talk to them, love them, and be there to talk them down.

So I am sure for all my good talk of God in previous posts  you are wondering  where is God in this? I always have to bring it back to Him.   He is always there. He is with me in this down period.  But how does that help ?  I pray. I feel him here. But I am still depressed.  God is holding me, but the chemicals in my brain are still messed up.  I do not feel evil around me God is protecting me from that, I just feel sadness, lonelyness  and disappointment.  As a society our cup does not overflow. We are like dry bones.

Happy Canada Day.

Since my last panic attack in my doctor’s office, I have been good.  I managed to get through a very stressful time at work and spent the long weekend with my family camping which has been wonderful.  It is always a reconnect with my kids and husband. No one else just us, hanging out, swimming at the beach, campfires, sleeping, reading, playing games.  It was a good time to spend together.  My kids are teens so they understand that Mom isn’t quite right.  They saw my breakdown, they have seen me shaky and panicked.  We spent some quality time together one on one and discussed what all this means and why I am going through what I am going through. They have been very supportive and were glad to have all the dots connected for them.  I am sad that I have to explain that Mom is losing it.  But they appreciated being told and treated like adults and in the end we all came closer.  God does take all things and use it to his good.  I have been good lately so it was a good time to talk and connect and plan our summer and how we want to handle the next wave if it comes.  

 A.W. Tozer wrote in his classic We travel an Appointed Way “to a child of God, there is no accident.  He travels an appointed way”  So how does my depression work to God’s good. My mind falls apart, my emotions betray me how can that be good?   How can any tragedy work to God’s good.  My father was hit by a car, died instantly.  How does that work to God’s good.  A family devastated by the needless death of the Father who held the family unit together.   That now lays in ruins, a brother doesn’t talk to others cause he never really recovered, grand children who never knew the love of a Grandfather.  A wife now a widow missing her beloved husband.  The pain of the broken-hearted in this life goes on and on and on.  Evil runs rampant. hurting, stealing, lieing. Where is the good in any of this. Where is the Love?   Where is the Grace?  Where is God?  Cause sometimes I feel he is very far away.

  We can have hope.  Romans 8:  22-27 and  31

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose.

More Than Conquerors

 31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

We have hope in that God who is greater than me on my best days, will look after me because he Loves me, created me.  I fail and I am in a fallen world.  Evil lives  in this world, but God loves us so abundantly that he takes our pain and makes it into joy.  If we trust him.  I take courage and comfort and strength from the promise that in the midst of the brokeness the Holy Spirit intercede for us with groaning that  corresponds to the depth of the pain I am in.  And when in the darkness no words can express the protection from  evil I need and the help I need.  This prayer partner in heaven is all-powerful and all-knowing whispering the things of God that I need to know and comunicating the things deep with in my heart and soul that I need to but can’t tell the Lord.  God had provided. God never breaks a promise.

Every bad turn, every broken moment till now, every tear I have shed brings me one more step closer to knowing and relying on God. God has taken the pain, the events of my life and gave me a chance to rely on him and in turn he loves me and protects me.  He is expanding my heart in a way I have never known God before.  I am seeing his shelter in the midst of this storm. He has prepared a cleft for me to hid in. ” I look to the mountains from where will my comfort come from- From the Lord the creator of heaven and earth. ”

These are the things that God has been reveling to my heart as I have prayed and meditated this long weekend.  It is the recovery after the latest storm.  Where you asses what the damaged is, and where the storm has left you.  It left me a little stronger, which is again part of Gods plan to take this storm and turn it into his good.  I don’t know where you are in the storms of your life, but God; if you ask, will take you by the hand and help you walk on the water,  so you can over come the swells and reach dry land.  Just Ask, Reach, hold onto.

I am drowning in the depths of despair the darkness closes in,

 but a light is reaching for me

I can scarcely kick to keep my head above the water, do I want to?

But a light is reaching for me.

I am tired, tired of the pain, the darkness, the hurt, the fighting, I do not want to fight the good fight anymore?

But a light is reaching for me.

Ok– I will take the light hand, it will not leave me, it keeps beckoning me, calling me.

But a light is reaching for me.

This energy! This Shock! This Love! This light!

But a light is reaching for me

This hope grabs my heart and leads me to my Lord. I sit upon the lap of Jesus like a child.

I lay my head upon his chest. Safe, no more to fight, shelter, in the love of the Lord. Peace.

                                                            Till next time peace be with you.