No words…

Because someone broke into my house and stole my laptop.

With all my writing. And pictures.

The DVD player is missing, too, but I don’t care about that.

Because it’s not about the object.

It’s about the contents.

Hitting the pawn shops tomorrow. Hoping for the best.

Hope wasn’t on the hard drive. It’s on the heart drive.

Advertisements

Shut up!

Shut Your Beak

I’m not her any more. I’m not.

I used to be her…

the one who blogged about being in a tar pit;
the one who wrote about how I was mad at God;
the one who got angry at my messy, sad excuse for a life;
the one who questioned if anyone was reading what I wrote,  let alone actually cared about it…or her;
the one who did a little of this and did a little of that and wrote when she felt like it;
the one who mostly ranted that she wasn’t getting her own way.

But I’m not her any more. I’m me. Oh, she is still in there somewhere, yammering from a mental trunk that  “This isn’t funny any more!” as she cries to be let back out.

But I’m driving the car now and I’m just going to keep her in there until she passes out from the lack of oxygen.

I’m not feeding her any more.
I’m not listening to her any more.
I’m not living with her any more.
I’m killing her off.

Why?

I’m not like that any more.

I’m no longer satisfied with the depressed life.
I’m no longer satisfied with the sad excuses, the lame, lackluster-ness.
I’m not letting her back out and she can’t make me. She can’t make me. She can’t make me.

I’m quitting that. All that.

That kind of melancholy.
That depression drama where a hangnail is enough to unhinge me.
That unrelenting gloom where even Wednesday Addams might be looking for the nearest exit.

I am unashamed of my past, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let her run my present or my future.

So, sad lady in the trunk, whining that you’re feeling a bit faint from dehydration and begging me to please not drive so fast because you’re hitting your head and it hurts so bad.

Shut the fuck up.

I’ve had enough of you.

I’m going to be happy now.

Just pretending

Just freaking out.I am a fake. I’m pretending to be normal, and if they find out, something bad will happen.

*****

This is the current mental conversation:

I can’t deal with this. Don’t say “can’t.” You can deal with this. You’re right. I can deal with this. [Five seconds pass.] I can’t deal with this. Yes, you can deal with this. This is nothing new. Life is hard. Life can be a challenge. Life is a challenge and if it’s not, you’re doing something wrong. It’s normal for life to be challenging. Okay? Okay. [Five seconds pass.] I can’t handle this. I just can’t. Yes, this is the part where you remember the Bible verses. “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”1 “Greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world.”2 Yes, those things are true. Faith is not a feeling. I am an overcomer. [Five seconds pass.] I can’t deal with this…

I think you get the picture.

*****

I sent a friend the following in an email earlier:

I’m not doing well. I feel like I’m going to be sick. All this stress is freaking me out. I want to cry and hide under the covers. I need…oh…I don’t know what I need. The last time I had an issue with a doctor and meds was when I ended up going off them–for three years. I know I’m being irrational and stupid. I know I’m acting like a baby, and I’m afraid that if I’m honest with them they’ll say something is really wrong with me and mess with my meds and then I’ll be fucked. Maybe something IS wrong with me. I’m being ridiculously paranoid about this. I’m sorry. Oh my God. I shouldn’t even send this to you. You’ll probably think I’m crazy, too. How much longer can I go on like this? Pretending to be normal?

This is the kind of thing going through my mind. I feel like I’m being tortured. Over and over. Freak out. Talk myself back from the ledge. Wind up again until I freak out. Talk myself back from the ledge. Repeat ad nauseum.

I know you think I’m doing well, that I’m being brave. I don’t feel well, or brave. I’m terrified. I am about *this* close to wrapping myself up in a blanket and hiding in my clothes closet. I don’t know what to do.

I have no idea how I’m going to get through this, but I have to. I have to. I have to. I can deal with this. I can’t deal with this. I can deal with this.

*****

I need Gandalf. I need a kindly, but fiercely protective savior who will pound down a staff in front of the balrog of my fears and say, “You. Shall. Not. Pass.” Because I’m having a really hard time here. Fortunately, I do have a Savior.

*****

Scripture References:

1 Philippians 4:13
2 1 John 4:4

Five Minute Friday: Worship

Sunlight WorshipYou’ll know it after it happens, but probably not during.

It could happen anywhere. Dancing in a moonlit grove. Kneeling in a quiet cathedral. Chanting with some Tibetan Buddhists. Washing the dishes.

And you’re caught up in the moment, and the moment is forever, and the moment is a moment, and the moment is God. You’re dumbstruck, or you’re laughing, or you’re crying, or…well, you’re not really sure. You’re…just… worshiping.

Something catches you, and there’s a sense of realization, and thankfulness, and wonder. There’s a sense of stupefaction, and ecstasy, and joy. There’s a sense of inadequacy, and the simultaneous feeling that your inadequacy doesn’t matter.

*****5-minute-friday-1

What’s Five Minute Friday?

A blog-prompt project dreamt up by LisaJo Baker, which you can read about here. The basic idea is that you spend five minutes of writing, generally unedited (I correct typos, WAY too OCD not to do that), on a prompt that she provides just after midnight via a tweet, then spread the word, and link up. Interested? Join up. Enjoy a delightful assortment by clicking on the picture to the right.

Today’s Five Minute Friday selection is also, for today only, at the {in}courage website, which is here!

God-Sized Dreams: Wanting More

God-Sized-Button-150x150 I’m afraid to dream. I am.

This week’s assignment (being shared here) was:

Link-up your blog post sharing: What do you really want more of in your life? Will you dare to say it out loud? Hint: it probably means having less of something too {ex: more joy, less stress}.

So, for me, it’s pretty basic. I want more confidence that pursuing ANYTHING in the way of a future will not be constantly derailed by depression, OCD or ADHD.

Up to this point in my entire life, every single dream (Dreams? Let’s just ratchet that down to a vague idea.) I’ve ever entertained for more than a month has been yanked off the tracks by the mental illnesses I struggle with. (I’m not even getting treatment right now—not my choice–so that’s not helping.) I can’t bring myself to believe that all God wants for me is to make it through my days without killing myself. Puh-leeze…

I’m taking baby steps right now, just to fight the unrelenting numbness. It helps. This month, it’s getting out of bed every single day, without fail. (If you suffer from depression, or know anyone who does, you’ll realize how much of an accomplishment this is.) I’m helping my daughter with her homework. I’m trying to clean the house and keep up. I’m taking my prescriptions to fight the anemia and the high blood pressure.

I’m reading Holley’s book, You Are Made for a God-Sized Dream. It’s a great book—really, it is. I just have a hard time believing that I, too, can have a God-sized dream. I’ve already learned one super encouraging thing: that a God-sized dream isn’t necessarily a huge, Mother Teresa-like, documentary-movie-worthy dream you’re going to hear about on the news, or from the pulpit at church. Thank God, really, because that probably isn’t going to happen. Holley writes,

I believe everyone has God-sized dreams. It’s not about how big or small they are, because [God] creates each one to perfectly fit the size of your heart.

How hopeful is that? Pretty hopeful, if you ask me. So, I just keep plugging away. I just keep asking, “Okay, God, where are we going with this? What do You have for me? I know You have something for me, I do.”

***

I feel like a fake, but I’m linking up with Holley Gerth and other ladies pursuing God-sized dreams at her blog here.

Unashamed: Part Deux

UnashamedCompared to the time I wet my pants in second grade, it was nothing. (Yeah, we’ll talk about that another time. Maybe.)

It was the first day of first grade, in my new parochial school, Saint John the Baptist. My class had the lay teacher, Ms. Ditton. (There was a mix by then of both lay teachers and sisters.) She was one of the nicest teachers on the planet. (I’ve been blessed in that regard. I can’t remember really having a bad teacher. Less effective? Yes. Bad? Nope.)

I guess I was probably as terrified as a dorky nerd-ette could be. Lots of children (most of whom I didn’t know), new building that had multiple floors, having to sit at a desk that was probably a little too big. All curiosity and wonderment, confusion and not a little bit of awe.

Time for lunch. In those days, our school didn’t have a cafeteria. We went down to the basement, which doubled as a church “hall” where church-related clubs like Rosary Sodality, Legion of Mary, and the Knights of Columbus met for their meetings. There was a kitchen where actual lunch “ladies” prepared home cooked food. (No white uniforms, no hairnets, just dresses and aprons. For real. They were probably grandmothers from the parish.) We walked up to the open “window” and picked up a tray filled with honestly delicious food. Sloppy Joe sandwich (we never had that at home), and corn and something else obviously less memorable. Dessert was, I kid Little Debbie Star Crunchyou not, a Little Debbie Star Crunch Snack Cake (which remains a favorite of mine to this day)! We were instructed to take our trays back upstairs to our classroom to eat. (So much for food fights.)

I made it to the first floor landing when it happened. I don’t know how. I must’ve tripped, or had a hard time balancing the tray, or something. (I distinctly do NOT remember being tripped or any other boy-oriented nonsense.) But the next thing I knew, the tray was all over the floor and I was crying and some kids were laughing and Miss Ditton was drying my eyes and shushing them and giving me a hug and taking me back down for another tray. I think I was almost as sad about having someone else clean up my mess as I was for making it in the first place.

I think that was the first time I felt ashamed. It wasn’t the last. (I still haven’t talked about wetting my pants, but believe me when I tell you, it won’t end there. Nope.)

You see, I didn’t understand then, about the difference between shame and guilt. Even at the tender young age of six, I had developed an idea that something I did had a direct relationship to who I was. That doing something bad (yes, I know, it was really an accident) meant that I was bad.

How ridiculous.

As if our value as human beings can ever be determined by or the equivalent of our actions. Doing bad things can never diminish our worth, our inherent human value. Likewise, all the good things we are capable of doing, all the Mother-Teresa-Wanna-Be actions we’re adding up on the goody-goody scorecard can’t increase the value we, as human beings created by God, have as our personal endowment.

I had nothing to be ashamed of, and neither do you. (Even wetting your pants in the second grade.)

Dreamless

Forest Fire Ashes

My mouth is full of ashes. I’m choking on dust. I can’t breathe any more…

You, there. Yes, you, God. Up in the sky, in my heart, whatever. I’m mad at You. You already knew that. I know that much. I’m not dumb. I never said You didn’t give me gifts, I’m just saying I can’t use them. It never works out. I’m always caught in the starting gate, left out in the cold, stuck on base and never crossing home plate.

“If we persevere, we get the promise.”

Why do we only get the promise in heaven? Why do the evil seem so victorious now? Why are You so far away? I’m so, so, sick of this. Sheesh, these same attitudes are all over the Bible, and things don’t seem to have gotten any bit better. But I’m not taking that well right now. Feeling like the hero of a Bible story, while giving me good company, doesn’t make me feel better, it just makes me feel sick. Yay! “Hey David, and you, Jonah, why don’t you all come and join me and Job around the self-pity campfire so we can moan and groan about God and all He’s NOT done for us. It’s not like you haven’t spent time practicing!” Proverbs 13:12 tells us that it is the deferring of hope that makes our hearts sick, and that the fulfillment of longing is like a life-giving tree. I’m tired of being heartsick. I’m worn out. I don’t feel like I’m getting any of my longings fulfilled.

“He doesn’t hold back because He is not a kind master. He holds back because in the pursuit we become like Him.”

Really? I guess I’m to the point where I can no longer see how I’m becoming more like You. If anything, I’m becoming LESS like You. Grumbling, tired, and bitter. If You’re really on my side, and all things are supposed to be working out for my good, why isn’t that happening? Seriously, I’m forty-seven. How much longer do I have to wait?

You told me, yes You did, right there in Proverbs 37:4, that if I found my delight in You, You would give me my heart’s desire. Yup. You did. Still waiting. Really, do I have to be in a nursing home before anything good happens? What good will it do me then?

I don’t have a God-sized dream. I don’t have any dream anymore. Why bother? Everything is ashes and I’m tired of the sand and dust in my mouth.