Friday, September 21, 2012
Thursday, September 20, 2012
I met Jen first thing this morning to have her switch my SIM card to an old “dumb” phone. Last night, I had emailed Jen, who called AT&T and was told it sounded like I needed a new SIM card for the phone to make calls. Still, I needed a workable phone until I could find a replacement. Jen put the card in the old phone and it didn’t work, so we concluded the SIM card was preventing my phone from calling. I had accepted I would only have a phone that made calls for awhile since the MAC store told me I either had to pay $99 to get my screen fixed, or pay $245 to upgrade early and renew my contract for a new phone. I was thinking I would be financially strapped again just to get a phone to make calls.
I went to the AT&T store where the guy told me the problem was my SIM card was for my old iPhone that I hadn’t used since January 2011. I argued with him, and asked him to please just let me have a new SIM card, I have been using this iPhone for months. He kept telling me it wouldn’t work… blah, blah, blah. So I got a bit assertive, and told him to just call AT&T as they made notes on my account when Jen called them last night that ‘customer was to get a FREE SIM card ".So he called, while I prayed I would accept whatever the outcome was, and know God was in control. YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THE GUY'S FACE AS HE SAID ON THE PHONE, “Oh, so you DO have that SIM card number and she has been using the phone…” I prayed for God to keep me from sticking my tongue out and saying, “na na na na na na!! Told you!” I kept my composure. He put in a new SIM card and not only is my phone calling out again, it is as good as new! The screen is fine! GOD IS SO GOOD! Throughout all this, I did not get depressed. I was tempted to stay in bed and ‘give up’, but after the AT&T store, I raced to Bible study, telling the story and giving God all the glory!
at 1:01 PM
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
On the surface, I am having a bad day. My iPhone died and my laptop is still dying. I sat in the Apple store for 2 hours trying to fix my phone and lusting over the new products I want so much. I pouted, I childishly thought how unfair it is I can’t have the latest MAC products… I’m a writer! I need MAC and Levenger stuff! Now I don’t have a working phone… what if I need to call 911? I’m going to stay in bed and sink back into a depression. NO! I REFUSE TO LET THIS GET MY DOWN! I am focusing on the blessings… I love my home, I am safe, warm, part of a great church, have true, caring friends, and a book series in publication. Jireh and Addy are happy and healthy, I have a car, money in the bank, food in the pantry… and I have a Bible to comfort me.
I’m fine. I won’t let this pull me down.
I am working on several writing projects, including an autobiography/story... Here is the rough draft intro... please tell me what you think. Would you want to read more?
She's a writer who loves Jesus above all else. That is all she wants to reveal. But her writing indicates her life has been challenging, taking her into areas good girls don't frequent. A hellish childhood scarred her for life, physically altering her mind and her heart. She wanders aImlessly through the fields of her head, treading places no one has visited… so no one relates, and without having her dysfunctional background - years, no… a lifetime of hurtful messages, left orphaned in the world, trying desperately to reach her mom, but her mom pulled away after messages that she was a failure… not worth saving her life. So she wanders, she spent months completely isolated, and a lifetime of loneliness… places she has seen, images and experiences a single, Christian lady should know nothing about… but her carnal, sinful side has been wooed by the enemy. For the most part, she has devoted her life to Jesus, but sometimes, especially in the past, sometimes, she wandered off on her own… and found worldly wonders filled with initial excitement followed by inevitable emptiness. This is the story of her world.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Still no depression – thank God. Motivated. Organizing all the writing on my laptop and, somewhat, trying to get to my writing material crowding my home. So much writing!! Love reading my words written throughout the years, knowing God has been grooming me to share what wisdom He has given me through my life experiences. Growth through pain… so much pain resulted in valuable wisdom and growth. God always turns what the Enemy intends to hurt me into precious blessings. I am so thankful!
*This entry was cut short as I received an email asking if I could come help out at church… OF COURSE I WILL J. When people help you, it is a HONOR to serve them…
Monday, September 17, 2012
Happy 19th Birthday, Seminole!
I have never loved as deeply as I loved Sem,
Never felt such heart-wrenching pain as the day that I lost him.
Memories live on, as does my love.
No doubt in my mind Sem’s with Jesus above.
He’s sitting for me at the heavenly gates-
I’m coming to you, Sem... it’s so hard to wait!
Saturday, September 15, 2012
I want my life back on track in a faster motion.
Something I hate is disappointing friends, especially those who have been good to me. I have trouble knowing how much compromise is
Anyway, a nice distraction is Jireh has been having blast with her doggie friends, and I’ve been snuggling with Addy. Both of those things make me happy. Change is scary, but I’m going go keep walking.
No turning back.
at 10:53 AM
Friday, September 14, 2012
Woke up for the second day NOT feeling the weight of depression. No rhyme or reason. Just as I never know why I fall into a dangerous clinical depression, I don’t know why I feel good. Too many factors involved other than external factors. That is a major area of misunderstanding with depression – people believe external factors play a bigger part than they do. There’s a difference between being ‘happy’ and ‘not depressed’. If I go to the beach, I am usually happy, but the depression always lingers. It rarely goes away. It’s a heavy, unexplainable weight that won’t dissipate, a tiredness, anhedonia hanging on throughout the day. The intensity may waver, but the heaviness rarely leaves. I think it has been 4 years since I have been not-actively-clinically-depressed. Yesterday, I woke up not feeling depressed- colors are brighter, feelings are more intense, sensations and thoughts are clearer. Basically, life is not dreadful and I am not consumed with how much I want to be with Jesus.
This is a great feeling, and if you have never experienced clinical depression, be thankful. Don’t take a lack of depression for granted. I know I never will again.
at 9:47 AM
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
On September 11, 2001, I was in Private Practice, interacting primarily with clients having disabilities severe enough to have them placed in Group Homes. I had the Today Show on in the background as I was working on billing and Medicare forms. Katie Couric announced a plane flew into one of the towers. I went to the TV in shock, and when I saw the building on fire, I called my friend Michele. It was early in the morning so she wasn’t her most pleasant self. I told her what happened.
Michele: Yeah, okay.
Me: Did you understand me?
Michele: Yes, a plane flew into one of the World Trade Center Towers. What do you want me to do about this, Shelly?
Me: Well, I… I just can’t believe it!
Michele: It’s awful. Okay. Now I have to get to work…
I hung up, thinking I was overreacting. If Michele didn’t think it was a big deal, I needed to calm down. Okay. Then, the other tower was hit, indicating we were being attacked! I called Michele back. She evidently saw my name on caller ID.
Michele: Yeeeeesssss, Shelly? (with sounds of irritation).
Me: THE SECOND TOWER WAS JUST HIT! IT IS INTENTIONAL!!
Michele: Look, I have bigger problems in my life. I am sorry you are upset, but there is nothing I can do about what is happening in New York…
So I hung up, and told myself this wasn’t a big deal. If it was, Michele would be reacting as I was. But it felt like a big deal. Childhood experiences have taught me not to trust my feelings, not to listen to my intuition, so I went about my day as if it was no big deal.
Later that day, I called another friend, Stacy. Now Stacy was freaking out! What if they hit Disney? Of course, they are going to bomb Orlando because so many people are here! I can’t stop watching the news!!! I’m afraid to leave the house!
Now THAT was more like it. I felt reassured with my feelings about the events.
Perspectives were different because life experiences were different. The day before, Michele had found out she was pregnant, which was completely unplanned. She was so much in shock, I had to go with her to buy THREE pregnancy tests as she refused to believe the first two. Michele was going through her own trauma and could not be concerned about anything else. Now, I call her once a year – on September 11th – to tease her about that day and we both crack up laughing as we reflect.
Life is like that. What matters to you may not matter to others, and vice versa. Mental illness stems from experiences, lack of coping strategies, PTSD, etc. The tiniest thing may upset me for a very good reason, yet other people may become confused and defensive at my reaction.
Forgive me for making this post about me. It should be in tribute to the people who were involved in 9-11. Then again, I guess in a way, it is.
God bless America!
Monday, September 10, 2012
Today is National Suicide Prevention Day – something near and dear to my heart. I’ve been on both sides – the therapist talking a client out of taking his life, and the patient in the mental hospital for trying to take my own life. I had to take a break from private practice while I was having suicidal thoughts for the sake of being unable to put my own feelings aside to help others. Several years have passed, and I will renew my counseling license, but I don’t know if I will ever go back into private practice. I want to lobby and write about suicide prevention – how there are minimal (if any) resources to help, how the topic is so taboo, and how unspoken depressive feelings continue to be. If you reach out for help, you lose friendships, you are shunned by church members, you are an outcast, or you are placed in a mental hospital where they pump you with drugs to keep you compliant (I was personally on 9 medications at one time during an admission last year).
Right now, today, I am not suicidal. I haven’t been for awhile, and when I say ‘awhile’, I mean several weeks, maybe two months. Perhaps I should clarify… I haven’t wanted to die in two months. I rarely become suicidal anymore as I know God will not let me die on my time schedule – I must wait for His timing… and I hate that fact. On the other hand, ‘wanting to die’ is, for the most part, always in the back of my mind as I am anxious for heaven… anxious for pain and heartache to end. Anxious to finally go home.
So let me give you some hints if you are or ever become suicidal:
Be prepared to hear you don’t have enough faith in God or you need to pray more. Even prepare for being told you give Christians a bad name for wanting to die. My mother once told me I wasn’t a true Christian if I was suicidal… don’t listen to such foolishness. Your brain has neurochemicals, which can malfunction and alternate your thinking. Throw in medications, childhood trauma, and life stressors, depression happens to the best of us.
All of the experts say you should get help… problem is, there is no safe, secure place to get help, at least not in my experiences. I have determined that while I no longer tell people how I truly feel when I am in a serious depression (I’ve been betrayed too many times, I’ve lost too many friends…), I am determined to bring awareness, however I can, to mental illness, especially suicide and depression.
If you are suicidal, try to just focus on the next hour, even the next 5 minutes if you have to… just hang on. Life can change so quickly, your situation can improve in an instant…hold on. I know it hurts, it’s lonely, it’s painful… the sunshine hurts, smiling hurts, you don’t want to interact with people or take a shower or brush your teeth or do anything. I understand. And I am sorry I do not have any quick, easy answers… you just have to hold on. Somehow, find a way. Be careful what you do, be careful who you trust, and believe in yourself. Believe you can change your life… you can dream and make those dreams come true. Yes, it will take time… time can be your worse enemy or your best friend. Take time as you can handle it, even if it is five minutes at a time. Please, don’t give up. Don’t let go. Find the strength to keep fighting.
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Writing from iPhone. Sick today - Crohns, Migrain, anxiety. It's my parents' 49th anniversary and I can't call them to congratulate them since I have no way to reach them. Every holiday, my issues with them resurface and I get physically and mentally sick. But I'm determined to write every day. A writer writes, and I am a writer! But I feel awful so right now, this sleeper is going to sleep.
at 2:49 PM
Saturday, September 8, 2012
I made a deal with Karen – I would write all weekend and reward myself with a beach trip Monday. One of my writing resources glamorized sites where you submit an article and get quick cash. I need quick cash, so I planned on a minimal of 5 published articles, leaving money for the rest of the month with the rest going into the ‘moving to Tallahassee fund’. Seems I forgot a couple of bills when figuring my budget, which completely changed my mindset. My glass is half empty- stupid, petty things are irritating me: I bought the wrong coffee, the Florida State game is on a channel I can’t get, plus they are playing a team I never heard of… what happened to the familiar colleges we played when I was in school? What’s up with the ACC? Penn State is on – I’m not even letting my mind go to Jerry Sandusky – turn the channel – tennis is on… why the hell is tennis on? I’ll take a shower then write. Write about what? I obviously do not have the temperament of a hopeful, joyful, woman of God today? SO I can’t write a blog… I wanna go see that movie about the writer, what’s the name of it? And who is that handsome guy in it… Bradley Cooper, that’s him. No, I can’t sit through a movie. I have this Macbook on loan – I need to write… just write!
I text a few friends, “I can’t write!” and they remind me I have a book deal. I have 8 books being released in the Spring. I have a publisher, editor, illustrator… still, that doesn’t matter to me at this moment…I can’t write!
So I sit down and write what I can,
Portrayal of a writer – some kind of scam!
Nobody knows the fool that I am…
Still, I sit down, and write what I can.
I know, know. Everyone has bad days, moments of doubt… conflicting feelings. I am being honest, transparent…open… which are qualities of a writer.
In the writing mode... thanks to Macbook Pro. Mac is soooo worth the extra money. I want to write my own way to survival... a working computer is a must! So thankful for friend who loaned this to me. So much to write, to say, - writing uncensored with medication feels so 'right'. I may be ostracized, I may be praised, I may be seen as insane... but I am releasing the clutter in my mind. Some of it is not pretty, but all of it makes me who I am today, Finally, an outlet without rules... I am stretching out and living with my words...
at 9:49 AM
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Gabapentin – like speed or Adderall. Makes me intensely motivated, brain racing with thoughts and intentions to put into action. So much stimulation I don’t know which trajectory to follow. Can’t type fast enough. Praise You, God, for my intellect and interest, passion to share, for justice, to live for you… so antithetical to suicidal ideations. Same brain, inconsistent strategies… Gabapentin makes me want to utilize every minute of my days to leave a legacy, to share what God has shown me… to proclaim my depression has been the bridge connecting me to Jesus, such a wonderful blessing for Jesus to hem me in with no where to turn. Alone in this world. Multiple attempts to take my life, to quit… only to end up in hospitals where they tell you what you believe is wrong because they are so uncomfortable with not knowing the cure. You are not expecting a magical cure from man… but let me explore the existentialism of life, of people, society, why we are here… God won’t let me go to heaven until I complete the ‘to-do’ list in which He created me for. I want to know the ‘tasks’ so I can do them and go home as quickly as possible, but I see that is shamefully selfish. I am in this world to change the world… He created each of us to be part of His family, to be the Church… yet we are fools who chase our own desires, turning away from the Lord, not listening yet convincing ourselves we are obedient servants… we are wasting precious time and resources and gifts. Just a side note: I know I use too many ‘ands’ and will have to edit the ‘ands’ for pieces of publication… but my thoughts freely flow on this keyboard with ‘ands’ when I do not censor my content. I have so much to say… so many reasons to give this hurting world why they can have ultimate hope… not wanting to be viewed as some Jesus freak, yet wanting people to know I have been through such hardship, loneliness, pain, and agony… it all dissipates when I quiet myself and focus on Jesus. Come to Jesus and live. Jesus will fill you with His Spirit, and as weird as that sounds, there is no greater feeling, no comparable sensation that having, KNOWING His Spirit is in your heart. He fills your heart with warm lovelies and your mind with knowledge that is undeniably from Him… comfort, security, love. People need to know what a relationship with Jesus provides. I want to tell the world what they are missing, what they can have… yet I am a hypocrite who is consumed with the temporary things of this world. So much to share, so much to give… where do I begin?
at 10:14 AM
Me: We need to write a paper together on the neurological impact of cerebral palsy and depression.
Psychiatrist: You write it. I'll sign off on it.
Me: Seriously, I've always considered you a prodigy.
Psychiatrist gets iPhone, tells me to hold on. "Siri, define 'prodigy"....
Siri- "One who excels above others; a highly intelligent person."
Psychiatrist: "Awwww, THANK YOU!"
Told psychiatrist my plan to move to Tallahassee and lobby for mental health issues. He said, "If you are serious, I will lobby with you! I can catch a flight to Tally on Mondays and we can lobby. It is so needed!" I'm so excited!
at 8:47 AM
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
In Christianity, we must not only go on, we must know where we are going, we must know where we are going - what our goal is. It is essential that in going on in the Christian experience we have something definite in view, and we strike out for that one point… It is important that we do not lose sight of the starting point in a Christian life, and that we measure the steps already taken. But it is likewise necessary that the end be kept in view, and that the steps necessary to reach that goal always be kept before our eyes.
at 4:57 PM