Thursday, January 26, 2012

Poem- Different

I'm not the girl I was,
Won't stay around "just because".
I'll treat you with respect,
In return I expect,
You to embrace all my pieces...
The key to friendship that never ceases.
I'm a daughter of the King!
I won't settle for just any thing.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Great Quote

From Matthew Henry's Commentary:

There are many temptations to which being alone gives great advantage; but the communion of saints tends very much to their strength and safety. Satan took advantage by finding her near the forbidden tree. They that would not eat the forbidden fruit, must not come near the forbidden tree. Satan tempted Eve, that by her he might tempt Adam. It is his policy to send temptations by hands we do not suspect, and by those that have most influence upon us.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Church and God's House

I’ve spent the last 3 Sundays having severe panic attacks and now I know why. I love the church I go to and I am afraid I will lose it like I lost the last one. I have so many walls protecting my heart that I am afraid to take risks and be vulnerable. I want to do everything myself, having the attitude, “If God wants me to have medication, He will provide a job for me to pay for meds...”

I met with an Elder and Deacon (sounds like a joke… an Elder and Deacon went into a bar…) and started by telling rhem I didn’t want help. Without disclosing the details of our discussions, I went from crying, self-pity and bitterness to laughing, excitement and feeling Jesus’ love within an hour. The Spirit spoke to me through those men. I am being selfish. What if Jesus went to the cross without interacting with anybody, saying, “Nope, I am doing this myself (which He could have) and I am not having relationships with anyone! Too risky!”?

God created us for relationships. He pointed that out in the beginning of Genesis. There is no getting around that. A neat thing was during the meeting, we had discussed me wanting to help out in the Sunday School class for kids with disabilities (I would LOVE that!). On the way out, we passed a lady and the Elder told her I was interested in helping with that class. She said, “We (with the teacher) just prayed God would send someone special to help with that class! We JUST prayed that!” 

Here I am, Lord…. Send me.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lifelong Friends!

Michele Visits From Pennsylvania


Haven't seen her in 20 years! We picked up like we just talked last week. She has a 35 mm camera that made me DROOL! It was beautiful!!

We will literally be friends for life!

See... I Socialize!




 







Thursday, January 19, 2012

Court is Adjourned!

The day I had been dreading had arrived. I was sick with worry two days prior, thinking what a horrible person I am to be involved in a court case. After all, I am a law-abiding citizen! Back on August 19, 2011, I was pulled over for no seatbelt. The cop pulled me over and said, “Papers!” to which I should have said, “Scissors!” but this was not the time for humor. He asked if the address on my license was correct and since I had just moved SIXTEEN DAYS prior, I had not yet updated it, so I said no. My friends asked, ‘Why didn’t you say yes?”, BECAUSE I AM A LAW ABIDING CITIZEN!

So the cop let me go on the seatbelt violation, but issued a $115 ticket for not updating my address within TEN days. That is ridiculous- TEN days! I fought it, one, because I didn’t have the money to pay it, and two, I thought it was ridiculous. Rob informed me claiming ignorance doesn’t usually get you out of a citation… well, I was sure gonna try because TEN days is ridiculous (I’m getting redundant here).

My court date was set for today. The room was packed and I automatically thought "I am going to be here all afternoon". Rob went with me as I was petrified. I had nightmares that the judge misunderstood my speech, thought I cussed him out, and took me straight to jail! (Now if I wasn’t taking all my meds… that may have happened – just kidding. Shelly on medication is a beautiful thing!). Cops were huddled on one side of the room, while ‘the guilty’ were on the other. After calling maybe 20 names, (a couple who did not show up and therefore, now have a warrant for their arrest), the hearing officer called “Michael Weiss”. I am so use to being called Michael, I stood up. Besides if my father, Michael, was in the room, I was gonna prepare to run anyway!

The Hearing Officer called me to the bench. (The OJ Simpson trial was on when I was in college and whenever they called a sidebar, everyone yelled “SIDEBAR!” and took a drink. – I thought of that, but chose not to yell, SIDEBAR!!). Why was I being called up front when no one else had been? Uh oh… He asked if I changed the address on my license – “Yes, Sir”.  He asked if he could see it, so Rob handed me my purse and I showed it to him. He looked at the cop who had given me the citation and matter-of-factly told him he is throwing the case out. I had changed my address, period. It wasn’t up for discussion. And I signed a paper and was on my way.

I imagine heaven will be a lot like that. I have no specific scripture to back this up.... but I imagine people (and definitely Satan) will bring charges against me before the Ultimate Judge, my Heavenly Father… and God will say matter-of-factly He is throwing the charge out because Jesus paid my fine. There will be no room for debate, it will be final when God says I am innocent. In fact, He won’t even remember my confessed sin. What a wonderful feeling!

Don’t get me wrong, the price for my sin is unbearably high… so high that not only could I never pay it, it sickens me to think of the cost Jesus had to pay for my sin… yet He did it so I could live life to the fullest and spend eternity with Him.

Now that is priceless.

Edited to add: I love when my friends 'get my quirks' and accept me despite of them. This will sound ridiculous to those who DON'T know me well... When getting out of the car, Rob asked "Don't you want to take your iPad? You may get bored..." I LOVED THAT! Most people ask, "Why are you taking your iPad?" Jennifer does this too. If we are going on a long drive, she automatically brings me a can of Coke, knowing I am addicted to Coke. Neither Jen nor her husband drink Coke, yet they keep cases at their house just for me. I guess me not having a husband, it really touches my heart knowing I have friends who look out for me. One friend got me a Starbucks gift set for Christmas and the other got me a $50 gift card to Starbucks. Isn't that the coolest thing?

Feel Like a Hoodlum

Today is the day I have been dreading since August.I go to a traffic court hearing today at 2pm. When I moved here, I didn't change my address on my drivers license within 10 days so I got a $115 ticket.I'm fighting it because I was waiting until I received my next check on September 3, plus I had no idea that was a law!

God brought Exodus 4:12 "Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”  to my mind, the words he gave to Moses. 

Please keep me in your prayers.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Starbucks

Lady in Starbucks drive-thru told Jireh "let's use our inside voice" when Jireh barked at her. Guy told her (and me) Jireh was excited for her ice water, then handed me my Carmel Macchiato, at which time, I barked. Everyone laughed... except Jireh.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Trying To Explain Introversion

Correspondence with someone who said he could identify with me being an introverted hermit:

** I think you are much more social than me! My friend goes grocery shopping for me (she's an extreme couponer- spends $20 on $100 worth of food) because I hate going in stores. When I run errands with her, I sit in the car while she goes in and out of places. I only wrote 7 query letters to publishers Friday because she offered to take them to the post office for me. I am very much of a recluse and seriously considered looking into monastery living (found one in Texas that accept pets) but I'm not Catholic.

I don't have social anxiety. It's the opposite. I just don't like interacting with people on a shallow level. The coolest thing just happened- I asked God how I could help people without socializing and a good friend from childhood messaged me she needed advise because her kid was talking about killing himself. I love helping in areas of depression and suicide (I'm a licensed therapist) so we've been corresponding on what could be going on. I feel so good helping her! THEN someone just called thanking me for the blog I just posted, saying it really helped him... God answered my prayer!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Contemplative Introversion

Spending the day seeking the presence of God. Some quotes from what I'm reading:
"Expect God to answer your prayers, but stick around for the answer." - Blackaby
Don't forget what you ask God in prayer. Expect Him to answer, knowing He doesn't always give you the answer you want. Keeping a prayer journal helps you keep track of your conversations with God. Write your requests and reflect back on the list frequently to see how God is responding. You don't want to miss out on His answer, especially since His ways are much higher than ours. I write my requests every Sunday like this:
Mandi C. - health, answer to her chronic pain
Clay- work projects increasing, helping with family income.
Etc...
I pray through the list daily, then review what has God has done throughout the week. 

"God will let you know what He is doing in your life when and if you need to know." - Blackaby
God doesn't owe us an explanation for what He is doing or why He is doing it. We are here as part of His ultimate plan. It's not about us, our comfort, or happiness. Dr. Steve Brown has taught me a lot about this in His book, "God, Are You There?" (He also addresses depression and Christianity refreshingly and insightfully. If you never suffer, you will be unable to relate to Jesus as He suffered.)

I'm enjoying my Sunday, isolating (except for trip to dog park) and contemplating. Well, I was until I looked at my planner and saw all the social obligations I have this week, then I felt like an elephant sat on my chest. It's things I want to do... but it's too much. I don't like planning social commitments. The pressure of knowing I have to socialize contributes to my depression. I walk my dog at 5am everyday so I don't have to smile or make eye contact with people. My brain shuts down with too much stimulation. Last week at church, I had to step out because of all the whispering, people walking in and out, coughing, babies crying, candy wrappers cracking. I was talking to God but definitely was not being Godly! I had to leave. I don't like noise. I haven't turned my TV on since mid-October. I don't like interacting with people, except for a rare few. Rob has been my best (guy) friend for years because he is an introvert. I love watching him play guitar on stage... He doesn't look at people. He looks down, and I know he is concentrating on worshipping God with all His heart. He's alone with Jesus in his own little world. I love that about him. He gets me. I never dread socializing with him because there is no pressure for small talk. I called him today when feeling overwhelmed and he reminded me I am in control of how much and with who I socialize with. I needed to hear that.

Today, I skipped church because I have a social hangover and am throughly enjoying the day with the Lord. This showed me I need to keep my New Years Resolution of being more myself- say "no" to the social invitations that misalign with the Christian I want to be so I can reserve my energy for things that take priority...Like church.

Only introverts can understand introversion. I found that out first hand. Here is the link to an excellent article on introversion:
http://www.carlkingdom.com/10-myths-about-introverts

Friday, January 13, 2012

Checking Resolutions

New Years Resolutions coming along...read 2 books the first 2 weeks, memorized 2 Bible Verses the first 2 weeks... Now I gotta find Mac geeks to hang out at Starbucks with me, someone to go to the dog park with, and someone to go on photo shoots with. Still praying I get to American Counseling Association conference in March.

I Am A Writer


Thanks to Jennifer, I've done more work on Dillon and Friends in the past 2 hours than I've done in 20 years! Look out, Publishers!

I saw the psychiatrist Monday and was pleased to tell her I survived the holidays fine… I was just a bit upset my family refused to speak to me, cementing the fact that I no longer have a family, at least not relatives. (Ever notice how “cement” is like ‘cemetery”?)  So I proceeded to convince the doctor I reached out to Stacy, Rob and Jen whenever I felt myself crashing. I waited for her to write my prescriptions so I could be on my way. She then said she would like to talk to Jen (CRAP!!!) and would take the time to talk to her on the phone. CRAP! Wouldn’t you know, it did not go to voicemail – Jen answered and was honest with her, telling her I had some rough days… went into a bit more detail that I did, etc. In all fairness, the doctor and Jen have an agreement on my medication. Because of my history of suicide attempts, Jen gives me a week of meds at a time, so the doctor told Jen what dosage of each of my four meds she was giving me, and I was to bring the prescriptions right to Jen.

They then discussed my productivity, me searching for a publisher and/or a part time job, when my doctor asked Jen if she could help me with that. Jen has said all along if I write the query letters, she would attach my resume and a self addressed stamped envelope to mail to publishers. I felt that was a bit much to ask, until my psychiatrist said the following:

Me: Jen doesn’t understand why I can’t just send out a query letter or fill out an application…
Doctor: Maybe she can help you.
Me: Is that my depression? Or my ADD?
Doctor: Neither, not everything is due to your illness. You just don’t follow through.
Me: You hurt my feelings! You’re saying I am lazy/
Doctor: Why? I’m not saying you’re lazy… you just don’t like doing paperwork. I want a new job but I am unwilling to fill out the application. There’s nothing wrong with that.

And so I took Jen up on her offer to help. Seven query letters will be mailed today. My next venture? Within the next month, I will be doing a poetry reading at a local coffee house. I’m going to embrace my gift of writing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Snippets From Facebook Since Laptop Isn't Cooperating

Just finished writing query letter to promote Dillon and Friends to publishers. Determined to have another book published this year!

I love my new church. One of the Elders told me they are trying to find me a job in a bookstore (until I am ready to practice as a Licensed Therapist again)... Such Christ-like people!


Woo Hoo... doctor was very pleased with my handling depression and anxiety despite the holidays :).

Trying again: Anyone get a new iPhone for Christmas and willing to let me have their old one? I'm filing taxes today and may be able to pay you for it...

Maybe I can write a proposal letter to Apple, offering to create a program where business and schools understand the increased productivity resulting from individuals with disabilities having their products. I can cite examples from my own life where the absence of an iPhone and iMac has dramatically decreased my interaction and contribution to society.

Looks like my tax return won't cover a new iPhone, much less the trip to the ACA conference. Santa- you suck!

Well, God, can't be social without a phone that works...and can't write without a reliable laptop!

Shelly Weiss shared Kay Redfield Jamison's photo.
3 hours ago
“No amount of love can cure madness or unblacken one’s dark moods. Love can help, it can make the pain more tolerable, but, always, one is beholden to medication that may or may not always work and may or may not be bearable”
—Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Write!


I woke up with Revelation 19:9 on my mind. I didn’t know what the verse said, I just kept thinking ‘Revelation 19:9. After taking Jireh out, feeding Addy, making coffee, and reviewing my memory verse for the week, I looked up the passage.  This is what I read: Then the angel said to me, ‘Write’… I read it multiple times as the verse did not seem familiar. Yes, it does say, ‘Write’.

I searched Biblegateway.com for the verse so I could copy and paste it in my blog without writing the entire verse. Another surprise. Biblegateway.com had the word ‘this’ so the verse says, “Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”
Both are NIV Bibles, yet my Key Word Study Bible clearly says, Then the angel said to me, Write…”

I think I’ll stop analyzing and rechecking my Bible and Write!

Studying God’s Word lets us get to know God and His ways. The new year is the perfect time to start/continue daily devotional time in His Word. As it is written in Hebrews 4:12, For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sincere Apologies

Evidently, I am worrying some people with the tone of my recent blog entries. I am so sorry. I have been inconsiderate in not thinking of people who have no "experience" with depression and mental illness. From now on, I will refrain from emailing or posting on Facebook such heavy thoughts (except to Jen and Rob). I will still post to my website in hopes of educating and supporting others with similar issues, but will put a *Warning- Sensitive Material to caution readers.

Strap On Your Seatbelts

Strap on your seatbelts… this is my first 24 hours without one of three antidepressants. It’s about to get ugly, so you may not see me for awhile. I tend to act out on impulse when off my meds. I have one more days dosage of Cymbalta, which is about $50 per month, and another week of the other antidepressant and anti-anxiety meds.

Stacy (bless her heart) has offered to pay for all my prescriptions – she is such a caring and amazing friend… but I am sick of being the town moocher. As mentioned yesterday, I need to do my part, apply for as many jobs as I can while I have wifi and take it day by day. Without meds though, not sure how well I will interview! And someone may want to have bond money ready for me when I go to court in two weeks or else I could cuss out the judge. I am the first to admit… I AM MEAN without my meds. For those thinking I am being foolish for not taking them, I have about $80 until Feb 3, and have to pay $68 car insurance, $50 electric, gas, AND a $60 psychiatrist appointment on Monday.  Wifi is gonna hurt the most - $55 in 2 weeks. So $80 for meds isn’t in my plan, Just pray I don’t have to pay that $120 ticket for not changing my address. Otherwise, praise God I have a safe, heated home with food for Jireh and Addy. 

Edited to Add- *My traffic court date is 2 weeks from today at 2pm. Um, this may be bad as the meds will be out of my system by then.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Serious Stuff

What about credit for surviving the day despite my desire to end it all? Some days, that is all I can do. And you know what? Some days, that is MONUMENTAL! I've been doing good, especially through the holidays. I sometimes wish critics could trade places for me to see how they do in my situation. The first non-holiday day, I am passively accused of not doing my part in this situation because I failed to look for a job. "Read your blog. Even YOU said you have to do your part!" I responded, "Considering I was contemplating suicide the day before and I survived the day, I think I did pretty good!" Still, I know s/he doesn't think I am doing my part, and if I gave in to believing everyone felt that way, I'd say a few cuss words, along with "Okay, I'll show you what 'not doing my part' looks like!" and I'd stop fighting every freaking hour to survive. I'd give in to my desire to be in heaven NOW. I'd quit this foolish game.

Those who think I am bluffing only need to speak to my closest friends to know how serious my depression gets. I truly had this discussion with someone I trust completely, and who trusts me to call if I ever am about to act on my suicidal thoughts. I told him I can’t do this anymore. I’m done. I have no energy. I know God won’t let me overdose… and standing in front of a train is too scary for me (loud noises make me panic). How about ant poison? The stuff to shock a swimming pool? One by one, he patiently listed the practical reasons for not attempting suicide. He got me through another ‘crash’, letting me have a restful sleep. The next morning, I had hope the day would be different.

More bad news… I owe the IRS for an overpayment, and my court date for the $120 ticket I got in August is in 2 weeks. Want to know the crime I committed? Not changing the address on my license within 10 days. $120! I’m fighting it. So I made it through the day feeling a bit better than the night before… no suicidal thoughts. I go back to thinking if I take my own life, that would be like Jesus’ death on a cross for me was for nothing. I know this is not my life to take… it is God’s. I’m thankful for friends who talk me out of suicide in a non judgemental, practical manner. It means so much to be taken seriously during those times. I once had a ‘friend’ tell me to go ahead and kill myself. I talk about it so much, I should just do it. Luckily, someone else was there to talk some sense into me.

So, as I said, I made it through the day. I have to direct my anger somewhere, so I am now questioning my faith. What if I am wrong about perceiving God as a loving Father? To be honest, if I think too much about it, my gut tells me I am being foolish, that God is exactly who I have always known Him to be. Verse after verse rolls through my mind about His love, His faithfulness, and who I am in Him. I know it all to be truth.

But there’s no happy ending to this blog, except to say I have some AMAZING friends on Facebook. The comments I have received in response to saying ‘Prayers don’t seem to matter. I am questioning my faith” leave me speechless. I have many people rooting me on this time…many people who care… many people to fight for.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Reaching My Limit

Now I owe the IRS money, plus still have to go to court for my $120 no-address-change-within-ten-days ticket... Geeze. Guess the Counseling Conference in California, a new Macbook and iPhone and furniture are not in my future. I'm going off my meds and canceling my psychiatrist appointment. That'll save $150. Rob said I need my antidepressants and anti anxiety meds... HELLO? Do I look like they're helping?!