His mercy endures forever…

So when you have someone pass….you think of the usual reactions.  Grief, sadness, regret, but also hope that the person if they gave their lives to Christ are not in pain anymore.  Sort of a mixed bag that likes to open up on it’s own…like excruciatingly slowly.  But I’ve been dealing with a couple of emotions I wasn’t expecting…

The first, thankfully, is hope.  Hope that I can do better.  Hope that things are going to turn out ok.  Hope that the pain is eventually going to become not as piercing, though it will always be there in some respect.  And I guess in a way that helps us to not forget…

The second one caught me by surprise.  Guilt.  I was expecting it in regards to things I could have done or not done, said or not said, ect.  But I wasn’t expecting a guilt of being…well alive.  Dad was honestly healthier than I was when he was first diagnosed.  It feels unfair that I – 330lbs, pre-diabetic, unmotivated – should have outlasted my daddy.

Heck I’m crying.   Ah well, type through the tears I guess.

The third has come very recently.  Fear, but a very specific kind of fear.  The fear of getting cancer.  The fear of, in essence, dying before my mom and making her go through the pain of losing a family member again.  I prayed that God would let me not do that to her, and I know that it’s gonna be ok but like I can’t help feel like I hold the key to either helping mom  get better or sink her into despair.  More guilt I guess but that’s besides the point.  Fear of cancer.

I know very specifically that my father’s side has a history of cancer, and after a few appointments I’m learning more and more possible markers that I may be susceptible to.  My brain, in an attempt to calm myself down. starts to analyze what tests and cancer screenings I need to take in order to keep up. But also while I do this, my head starts to feel a bit light.  My eyes get heavy too – as I tend to get sleepy when I’m emotionally high strung.

I guess the point is that….whenever I think that I am “ok” something else happens to sorta snap me into the reality of what is really going on.  And I’m so glad I have Jesus Christ for when I am ok and when I am not ok, which is pretty all the time but I don’t see it.  More and more as I get older, possibly even “wiser”, I realize how much I need Jesus.  His mercy, His grace, His comfort, are really the only reasons I can do anything.  If it were up to me in my self I’d pretty much be in a ball somewhere in a mental institution.  But I’m not.  And no disrespect to those who are, you gotta do what lets you be well.

And I suppose this is the fourth emotion that I wasn’t expecting, literally til this very second.  Gratitude.  Christ died for me, I have hope.  He gave me my daddy to help me in the times before I had meds to be able to graduate college.  He gave me my mom, and gave mom me, so that we wouldn’t be alone after daddy died.  He had me go through my mental illness to be able to help daddy when he had troubles toward the end of his time here on earth.  He got me fired like two weeks before daddy got diagnosed, so that I could spend an entire year and a half taking care of him.  And I would not change day of that for how much it hurt.

Anyway, I ramble.  I guess the long and the short of it is this…

 

Psalms 136:1 – Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

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Crazy month

I haven’t posted a lot in social media recently because I’ve been dealing with quite a few things. God has been good and faithful through all of them, and He’s given me the amazing support structure of my mom and church family.

One thing I’ve been realizing was how isolated I’ve been, and how much I have actually not been reaching out about it, especially to my church family. But fortunately that’s changing.

So yeah. I won’t go into crazy detail but it was crazy when it was at it’s worse. Then we realize it might be just hormones making things worse. And we’ve been working with that as well.

God is good.

Staying secure in Him…

… or tying to at least.

I have had a quite interesting couple of weeks. It seems like my mental issues have been rearing their head up recently, and God has been dealing with me on several things. I would imagine those things are connected. I don’t like change, and I’m guessing my body doesn’t either. Somehow my brain prefers what is familiar to what is beneficial: to change in a positive way becomes harder than the current behavior that is having the negative effect. So I imagine as a result of trying to change things, my body goes “Hold up this is different, set the alarm bells!”

The sad thing is that I’m sure in some way, my OCD brain thinks it’s trying to do something that will help my health…but it doesn’t. It does the opposite. Often times the best thing is to let it go… but my brain doesn’t want to. It’s like having a zit and picking at it.

Anyhow… I notice also that I’ve been drawn to watching dog and cat training videos…programs where they have behavioral problems and someone helps them remedy those…and I wonder if God is trying to tell me something. When I see their misbehavior, it’s very easy to see the reason when you’re on the outside. I can see it myself even. The dog is stressed so they destroy things: do something to release the energy. Cat is scratching and hand shy: have to show them that hands aren’t bad even though they’ve done bad things in the past, and so on… Do I have to treat myself like this? Do I have to step back, have God search me to find the problem, then try and change it? Do I use the techniques you’d use if it were an animal with emotional problems? Obviously Gods gotta do an inside change first but…do I have to just trust God that this could not be forever?? Hm…

And if you have gotten this far you know one of the things He’s been working on with me: talking. I talk and I don’t listen. Because silence frightens me…which makes quiet time with God a very nerve wracking idea…especially home alone. Heck even when I’m sitting with mom. My brain still goes…and it often turns into being scared… I’m a very frightened and insecure person… I just gotta trust in Him for that…..

All I can say is I’m glad God had me draw this so I could put this verse on it.

Getting past myself

I’m gonna ramble a little, but I guess the “too long, didn’t read” version is that I would love prayer to get past my obsession with self, and that fear of losing control. This and my mental health, because that has to do with it.

So as a society, we really have this notion of self. Self esteem, self reliance, self improvement, self love, ect ect ect. Part of this is good and a big part of it is NOT. And I feel like I’m kinda leaning on the not category. Part of that is sort of from “trauma” I guess and another is from being human….

I have OCD… so a lot of my life tends to be centered around keeping myself sane, or at least that’s what it feels like. Not watching/reading/hearing things that will make my OCD give me a panic attack, but also not feeling safe within my own head as well… Because of this, a lot of my activities revolve around keeping myself safe somehow. And I know in the world, as a Christian, that is pretty impossible. But that doesn’t mean I don’t try. My life has been very sheltered, and my answer often times when distressed is to shove myself back in my shell and hide as much as possible. And in that little corner of acceptable space, you can really only see what is inside your immediate peripheral.

I am isolated. It’s just me and my mom. Especially with my daddy dead for almost 2 years now from cancer…. Honestly if I didn’t have the internet and church friends I would have no one but my mother. This compounded with the fact I now currently have no job or schooling…..it’s just me. Me trying to keep me safe. Me trying to keep me safe from me sometimes.

When I was at my worst, I couldn’t really interact with people. I couldn’t try and witness because I panicked. I couldn’t fast because I obsessed on when to and when not to that I would panic. I couldn’t pray hardly (except in my head) because I would end up praying all night every night and not sleep…. And when I did my brain freaked out to make sure that I was INDEED praying to God and not accidentally someone else and…sheesh…

I almost have like a PTSD reaction to where when I want to talk about what my head was like I just freak out…. And like….it’s like I am so obsessed with trying to REGULATE myself….trying to keep myself UNDER CONTROL to the best of my knowledge and limited ability, that I don’t let God do what He wants to do….and my fear is that HE CAN’T. It doesn’t make sense that my fear makes it so that what I fear ends up happening????

What I’m trying to say is that I need help….I need Jesus help to get me off of me and focus on Him. Because I know when I lift my eyes up, or away from myself, the things that hold me back in terror aren’t as scary. Sometimes they’re not even there long because I ended up giving the thing more power than it actually had because of my fear…

Ironically it goes opposite ways too, because I’ve always had a big self loathing issue. I don’t take care of myself. I don’t do “maintenance.” I only focus on myself for things that are wrong with me and I need to

. But not like….as a person who is taking care of say a pet and making sure what is best for them. I’m focusing on myself like an abusive parent that needs to POLICE ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING TO MAKE SURE IT TURNS OUT OK. Those…those aren’t the same…

Jesus help me…

God took my big ol guilt and shame pile

One thing that I as a person have is a lot of guilt. That may have a bit to do with my OCD, where everything becomes a horrible thing that I do or don’t do.

After listening to Family Life Radio this morning, someone mentioned we don’t have to live with our guilt and shame. He took our shame upon Himself. We don’t have to continually punish ourselves for what we’ve been.

I asked God to take that and just boof. And then I felt like a 30 pound weight off my chest, and the Holy Spirit just sat on me and I loved it. I even haven’t been panicking at the usual things, it’s insane.

Maybe a big thing is that I’ve been letting that get in the way of letting Christ help me when I haven’t really forgiven myself…

A song of hope

I heard this song and I have to say that God gave me something that I hadn’t realized I’d been missing: hope. Not that I’ve been depressed or hopeless…but with my OCD always putting me two steps backward, I always found myself being sort of silently resigned that something would usually somehow end up going wrong. And that’s obviously not what God wants. He is our hope, He is our joy, He is our righteousness…

So yeah. I cried. A lot. And I needed it.

Arrested development

I’ve been putting off making this post over and over…but I figured I’d do a bit of musing. I don’t even know if it’ll be what I need to say but I’ll try.

I think I may be in denial of growing up.

I know it doesn’t make sense. Time obviously waits for no man, and that especially goes for me with my health as it stands. That being said I have noticed in that there have been times when I would talk about something I’ve always liked – like sonic or Pokémon or videogames in general – I’ve noticed mom say “are you still into that?” As in am I still in that phase? Have I still not become a grown up yet? I mean it’s almost the 30 year mark isn’t that switch gonna go soon?

That’s the thing that strikes me…it did for my mom. It probably did for my dad too. There was a switch. There was a change. Their minds changed and they “thought like adults.” That…has never happened for me. Not when I was 20 something, certainly not when I was a teen… Was there something I missed? Was there a section of adulthood that I skipped over?

Now thinking about it, I suppose my 5 or so year bout with ill mental health actually could explain it I guess… When I was going through that, I had to watch as wholesome things as possible to keep from panicking. Heck it even got to the point I watched Veggetales to calm me down… So comfort perhaps? Cute things, animals, videogames, adorable art…all of those things were my comfort in my youth. Maybe it’s been a matter of not being able to let those things go….and grow up.

Part of it too may well be that my mindset is incapable of changing unless I have different circumstances and life situations that force it… My OCD makes it then still difficult to do that….but I guess we will see…

I love the things I love. I just….I don’t want to be different sometimes. I don’t want to be weird. I want to be normal and have a normal life…. I just wanted to be liked by others around me, but they didn’t like me…. So I embraced my being weird. But now it’s deeper, in my head….

I want to be able to have a family and take care of them without fear the stress will make me have a mental breakdown…..I don’t know if that’s possible but…

I know with God all things are possible and I will trust in Him only by His grace but….yeah….. Yeah.

Had a full full week

Welp we had a very fun time last week! There was lots of activity, lots of good food, and lots of walking in the heat. So I’m pretty sore haha.

Here are a few little highlights.

I can honestly say I was a little concerned as others often are when getting together with lots of people for long periods, having to deal with each other when feeling uncomfortable, tired, and sweaty. But I am happy to report that there were no major issues, no big snaps, and just a good time all around.

Both mom and I have been a bit exhausted and constantly napping while trying to still be productive, and mom is way better at that than me.

Remembering your parent was also your parent

I remember a long time ago I did a little muse about how we as kids had to slowly learn that our parents were human. They weren’t infallible or perfect, they had issues and challenges just like we all do. Yet in that revelation also comes a balance of remembering that they indeed are still our parents.

As a child we find it easier to think our parents in terms of absolutes, either positive or negative. As teenagers that vernier tends to fade or get worse. Then as adults we start seeing them more as a human.

That tends to be my stage at 28 years still at home. I never forget that mom is my mother in the traditional sense, but sometimes I feel myself being preoccupied with the little details that are involved with living another person. They like to watch this TV show, they forget to do that, they remind me of that, I’m good at this, they’re good at that, ect. I thank God though that He humbles me from time to time in reminding me of all that Mom has done for me. As a person and as a parent.

Tapering off benzodiazepines, worried about withdrawal symptoms…

Yeah… basically I’m going off my anxiety meds that I currently take onto ones that are not habit forming or addictive. Very happy about that, but my body isn’t so much.

I noticed that I’m much more easily panicked and frightened, sometimes for no reason. This makes doing anything a bit more…difficult. Or it seems more difficult I guess. Lots of worry that I didn’t have before, lots of fears and “what if’s” that were more silent in my head trying to come to the forefront. It’s silly to me though that it happens because of chemicals in my brain and not so much me…anyway.

Please pray that God helps me stay stable while I’m tapering off.