Tag: depression


the Mondayest Monday ever


Hey y’all.  First, thanks for the well wishes, prayers, and concern.  I’m happy to report that I’m doing a little better.  I skipped church just because last year when I had this thing, every time I thought I was getting better and went somewhere, I’d end up taking a backset, so I decided not to risk it.

Of course, then Monday I had an appointment with the orthopedic doc to see about my left forefinger that’s been painful and

stiff for about six months now.  Not only that, but guys, it was POURING rain!  Not warm rain, either, but that kind of rain that says, “Hey there.  Just wanted to let you know, cold weather is coming.  Get used to it.  Next time you see me, I might be SNOW!”

Sheesh!  I was doing okay in the main waiting room that was packed out until someone who smelled like a month-old ashtray came in and sat somewhere near me.  I never saw who it was and didn’t really care, but they had to have been sitting right behind me in the row of chairs lined up back-to-back.  ARGH!  That started me coughing and that knocked crud loose that then kept me coughing and if you’ve never had lung crud fly up and hit your tonsils every time you cough, you just don’t know how important is it to be able to spit.

I know, I know.  That’s GROSS, but people, facts is facts.  I didn’t have any tissue so I just dealt with it the best I could, but soon, people were shooting me those worried glances that say I wonder what she’s got?  I continued to cough and hack until I was sweating, which is always lovely, right?  After about an hour, they called me back to an exam room, where I was finally able to calm down after coughing through all the questions from the nurse.  She felt so bad for me she was like, “Just nod.”  Ha.

So, yeah, I was there three hours just to have X-rays and be told there was the beginnings of arthritis in the tip of my finger, be asked a dozen times if the finger was locking (no, No, NO!) to then have the doctor come in (after his PA) and physically TRY to get it to lock (me, wincing & grimacing the entire time) while beginning to explain to me, “There’s this thing called ‘trigger finger’ that…” to which I replied, “Yeah, I know.  I had surgery for that on the other hand.”

He was surprised and had to make me show him the scar from the surgery HE did about 7 years ago.  ** insert eye roll here **  Granted, it had been about 4 years since I’d been in there and then I saw a different doc, but still, he could have at least flipped through my file.

Since I told them I really wasn’t supposed to take acetaminophen or ibuprofen because it can make my CGM (continuous glucose monitor) give false readings, they were like, “So you haven’t been taking anything for pain?”  No.  “Well, there’s not much we can do until the arthritis gets worse.”

Nice.  You couldn’t have told me that two hours ago?

Argh!  I then proceeded to march out of there in an extremely pissed manner, slam into my car and cry.  I was just SO upset at the way they blew me off and at having to wait so long to get such crappy news and with the rain beating down on my red-hot red Challenger, I guess I had fallen into a puddle of depression while sitting in there hoping they would do something to ease the pain.  Then, as ashamed as I am to admit, I called Tommy to let him know what the doctor had said and when he was at a loss for words, I was kinda ugly with him.

He wanted to meet me for lunch, but was very unclear about his intentions so I didn’t know he was coming to the sandwich shop beside where I was going to pick up the bare-minimum groceries we had to have.  I cooled down a little in there, but it was still raining when I came out, so I was still in a funk-nasty mood as I loaded the trunk.  Opening that made me mad at myself because I had forgotten to take two big boxes of clothes to the donation center.

 

I’m telling you guys, I was just a foul person to be around for those hours yesterday.

Being such a foolish, discouraged and disgusted person!  I was driving toward the road when Tommy called and asked if I’d forgotten about him.  I had no clue what he was talking about when he explained he was in the shop eating his lunch, watching me leave out the window.  I fussed at him for not being more clear as I pulled around there to park and walk inside.

I wasn’t hungry, so I just sat with him, trying to stop being such an unpleasant person.  At that point, I was just plain ol’ depressed.  If you don’t live with chronic depression, you won’t understand how it can sometimes just consume you out of the blue like this, but I’m learning to recognize all the triggers.  When they all line up like this, it can be overwhelming, but at least now I don’t let it take over.  I can stop and realize it’s just because things are “out of whack” and things will get better.  After that, it’s a matter of not beating myself up too much for acting on the feeling.  Seriously.  I am really mad at myself for letting it get ahold of me so bad yesterday.

 

 

 

Tommy ended up coming home from work, even though I said no when he asked if I wanted him to.  I’m pretty sure, though, he was thinking about doing it anyway since because of the rain, the contractors weren’t working.  I felt bad though until I realized that.  I hate when he feels like he needs to physically come console me as if I’m an emotional invalid, but then again…I was kinda acting like one.

Forgive me, Lord!!

We ended up having a nice evening.  I slowly got over the foul mood and we spent the time dealing with some personal phone calls he had needed to make and putting his KeySmart together and repairing a hole in the awesome Eddie Bauer down jacket I’d got him from Plato’s a while back.  You can’t even tell there was ever a hole there!

ABOVE IS SOME HELPFUL INFO FOR THOSE WHO LOVE A PERSON LIVING WITH DEPRESSION AND **YOU** IF YOU ARE THAT PERSON!!  EMAIL ME IF YOU WANT TO DISCUSS!

Ha, ha!  I know that doesn’t sound very refreshing or enjoyable, but in our lives, getting little things like that done is a big relief.  Those were things we could neither do alone, so it was nice to have the time to clear them off the to-do list!  Well, he could have probably got the KeySmart together himself, but those suckers are hard to handle so having an extra set of hands made it easier.  He loves it and even though I honestly didn’t even “need” one (because it turned out that I didn’t have as many keys as I thought I did!) they are really nice and with all his keys, it really made them all easier to deal with and fit in a pocket.

So even though the majority of my Monday really was super-Mondayish it ended in a much more almost-the-weekend way.

And thank God for that!

{note:  I tried to link images that had credit URLs available, but not all of them did.  If one of these belongs to you, please contact me about removing or crediting it properly!  THANK YOU!}


the thing nobody wants to discuss


About that title… I had a post all-but ready to publish yesterday. I was looking for photos to use in it when I ran across something on my Facebook timeline. I have searched all through the year it happened and cannot find it. There are about 4 days missing and I even went back several years to see if it was there instead, but no. It was about something really important.

And tragic.

And controversial, of course.

I am SO upset that I can’t find that post because it linked to an article, which is what started the post in the first place. I debated just giving up on the idea of even writing about it at all, but guys, it’s REALLY important and I’m being serious here.

I feel like, as so often happens, the enemy is attempting to thwart something that would bring God glory, so even though I can’t find the post or article, even though I’ve spent literally almost FOUR HOURS looking for it, I’m going to go ahead and write about this.

I think there may be someone out there who needs to read what I have to say today. It’s something that feels like one of those “God nudges” so I’m not going to ignore it. Please bear with me since I will have to explain SO much because I don’t have the linked article!

I’ve found only one article that is even halfway similar to the post I mentioned in my FB status, so I’m going to put the text link here, but I’m not linking to the article. You’ll have to copy/paste into the address bar to read it and I encourage you to read it. I just don’t want to popularize it by linking it from my blog.

http: //www.rolereboot.org/culture-and-politics/details/2014-08-suicide-selfish-wanting-someone-live-pain/

The blog post I saw back then was just a few days after the suicide of Robin Williams. The lady’s point was that suicide was not selfish and I didn’t agree with her.

Now, before you get riled up at me, I didn’t start a debate with this woman. I merely created a status stating that I disagreed with no links to her or mention of her name, etc. I didn’t want to increase her pain since she linked her feelings to the loss of a parent by suicide. I didn’t and won’t even pretend to understand how one would begin to cope with such a tragedy. I was not and am not trying to pass judgment on her, her parent, RW or anyone else!

However, given the fact that RW’s decision to take his own life was linked to depression, and depression is something I know, I’m going to address it. I know depression well. Depression and I are like ** this **.

I’m not going to deny it. In my worst, most desperate moments of deep depression, I have pondered committing suicide myself. More than once. If you know anything about depression, you know how it can grip you, how it can strangle you and make you feel like there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for you to go on.

I want to interject here that my thoughts and opinions about all this are filtered through my faith in Jesus. If you do not consider Him to be your Savior, then you are not likely to understand my intentions here. Just be aware that you MUST use this faith-filter in order to even begin to know my intent.

I believe without doubt or hesitation that my faith in Christ is the only reason I didn’t go through with ending my life. Perhaps it was guilt over the thought that I would be disappointing Him if I carried it out. But when I had lived a couple of decades with depression, after I had resisted the temptation to get rid of my pain through suicide, I finally learned something that has kept me from ever seriously considering it again.

My life is not mine.

Before, when I was younger and would consider suicide, I could only think about how death might bring some peace to my aching heart. I thought about how not having me around would take undue stress off my family and loved ones. I thought about how things would stop being so hard, so painful, so worthless.

 

In short, I thought a whoooole lot about one thing: ME. I was too young and immature as a Christian– because yes, sometimes even us Christians think about ending it all– to realize that I am not the “owner” of my life.

That probably seems like a strange thing to anyone without faith in an eternal God and Creator. But here’s how it works… if I believe that God created all things, all humans, then I must recognize that God is the Giver of Life. If He gave this life to me, then in reality, it isn’t really mine, is it? Especially when you go further and add to this the realization that our lives, our time on earth, is just “borrowed” and we must one day, when this life is over (whether by our own hand or not) give an account for how we used our time here, it really sobers you up in a hurry. It makes you put down the spirit (as a liquor) of persecution, of pettiness, of self-focus and yes, selfishness.

While I pondered how I could not imagine dealing with one of my own parents committing suicide, the way this lady was, I then put my children in that spot. If I thought it would be hard for me to cope with, why on earth would I consider putting my own children through that? How utterly selfish and thoughtless of me! That thought is possibly more of what kept me from killing myself when I was a young mother. I couldn’t dream of doing such a thing to my babies.

It was later that I realized what sort of thing my suicide would be to God.

I believe that all things are created for a purpose. I think most Christians believe this. Even bad things can be turned into good ones through Christ. I have lived that doctrine out many times! So, if God created me, He gave me life and meant it as a gift, something precious to be treasured and used for His glory…then how dare I think I know when it should end and how dare I contemplate ending that life myself?

How dare I??

When I put it that way, I am stunned and ashamed that I ever even entertained such thoughts. And don’t get me wrong… I still fully understand what it’s like to be in such a deep pit, lost in such total darkness and in such great pain that you think there’s nothing left but death. I am not trivializing the way that feels at all.

I wouldn’t dare do that, either!

But…I am adding to it another thought. A thought beyond the temporary (but sometimes extremely too-long) pain that is depression. The realization that this is not my life. God gave it to me. He intended me to use it to glorify Him. What glory do I bring Him if I let desperation and depression SO overcome me that I take my own life? What glory is it if I dismiss His might and power to keep me safe, to direct my path, if I throw away the gift He gave me? Where is my faith if I let what I KNOW to be the work of my enemy destroy my faith that God is enough. That He is mighty enough to deliver me from this, just as He made a dry path through the Red Sea for Moses. Just as He provided a substitute sacrifice for Abraham as he prepared to prove his faith in God by sacrificing his only son, Isaac. Just as He closed the mouths of lions and kept Daniel safe and sound. Just as He walked in the fire where the three Hebrew men (who refused to bow to an idol) had been thrown. *

How??

Once my mind was healed enough to realize what suicide actually is to God… a virtual slap in the face. A statement that He actually doesn’t know best. That God can’t keep me safe or heal me. That He doesn’t care and the gift of life He gave is worth nothing to me.

And most tragic of all, that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross wasn’t enough for me.

I am not wise enough to state or debate about whether committing suicide will keep you from entering Heaven. I know some people believe that as much as they believe the sun gives light, but I don’t. I admit that I could be wrong. ** chuckle ** We all know, I could certainly be wrong about a lot of things, especially something so spiritual and eternal as this. So I won’t debate it but I can’t think God would “undo” the promises made when a person accepted Him because they later became so despondent and so wracked with grief and pain that they made a foolish, albeit eternal, choice. Again, I DO NOT KNOW THIS and I’m only stating my opinion. You decide for yourself if you must ponder the question.

I am so thankful that my mind is no longer so clouded. That even when I am deeply depressed I can remember Who I belong to. Yes, I do STILL get depressed. Not sad, not discouraged, but deeply grieved and almost physically unable to smile it seems. Depression for me is hugely physical and not just emotional or psychological. It’s like having a heavy black cloth thrown over me that I must fight to get out from under. When I’m there, in the darkness which can feel completely isolated, I can recall that God made me and He DOES have a purpose for me. Then I can ponder what He wants me to learn from this season.

I hope my rambling and sharing has helped someone out there. I hope it speaks to your heart and prods you to look at God’s word for healing. EVEN when He doesn’t “cure” your depression, you can still rest in Him knowing that He doesn’t forsake and He knows the plans He has for us… plans for good and not harm; plans for a purpose and to bring us to right where He needs us to be.

As I like to say, I don’t have to understand it. I just have to trust God with it.

Email me if you have questions or want to talk through anything.

Blessings…

  • scripture references for the miracles mentioned in this post:
    Exodus 14:16

Genesis 22:3-14

Daniel 6

Daniel 3

 

Additional encouraging scripture:

1 Corinthians 10:13

2 Thessalonians 3:3

Hebrews 10:23

Isaiah 12:2

1 Thessalonians 5:24


watching God do His thang… (& other random mind dumps)


Okay, so you guys know, if you know ME or if you’ve read here much at all, that I am a “retired” homeschool mom of two twenty-something sons.  Yeah, I’ve been “retired” for quite some time!

Homeschooling was the greatest, most best decision we ever made.  Yes, even though I had plenty of days when I was quite certain it was the WORST decision we ever made.  I think as a mom OR dad, wanting to do the very best for your children, we all have those doubts when trying to determine what’s best for our kids.  Even though we were happy having the boys at home and I loved being a stay-at-home mom teaching my boys, there were still days that it seemed like a really baaaad choice!  There are probably those moments in anything we pursue that is ultimately good.

I would never say I was a “great” homeschool mother.  I wouldn’t even say I was “good” at it most days.  But I tried my best to meet the needs of my children.  I know families with 8+ children who have a whole posse of little virtuoso in a variety of areas.  Music, mathematics, communication, entrepreneurship… you name it.  Many of those kids are now doing extremely well in their adult lives.  My boys are no exception to that.  I feel like, at least for me, this is the litmus test as to whether homeschooling was a success.

While my youngest son chose not to finish high school, he is still doing well.  He never attended any other type of school than at home.  My boys have quite different personalities and while our eldest enjoyed learning at home, our youngest had a different bent.  He wanted nothing to do with anything that came hard to him.  If it wasn’t easy or something he was extremely interested in, he just didn’t want to do it at all.  And he was several times more stubborn than his mother, so this made continuing his education at home very difficult.

I don’t want to rehash old problems or bring up too much from a really hard time in our family, but our baby became very rebellious, very hateful toward me specifically.  I’m not sure if that was just because I was the “authority” figure  for the large part of his life at that time (since I was also his ‘teacher’) or if it was more personally directed at me, but it was very obvious and it broke my heart.

By the time he was 14 or 15, he began to just refuse to do his lessons.  He had a car by this time, one he had bought himself and was working on to have ready by the time he got his license, so of course, he spent a ton of time doing that.  When he’d  refuse to read anything else, no matter how hard I’d tried to find literature that would interest him, he would devour anything about his car without hesitation.  And yes, I did try to allow as much as I could for the how-to car reading to count toward his school, but that wouldn’t fill all the requirements.  But no matter what we threatened or how hard we explained why he needed to do the other work, he would just refuse.  He wasn’t super-in-your-face with his refusal, but he’d sit for hours NOT doing the work you gave him.

Needless to say, I was frustrated beyond words and it became harder and harder to deal with.  It didn’t make it any easier that the boys’ father wasn’t really a disciplinarian in that area.  I’m trying NOT to sound disrespectful or like I am bashing Tommy, but he just wasn’t involved with schooling very much.  He felt that was my job, my territory, and when I would come to him with concerns or problems,  he just wasn’t very helpful in addressing them.  I think he felt like he and Casey were more alike and Corey and I were alike so he usually seemed to “side” with Casey.  I say “sided” because that’s how it felt.  In hindsight, I think Tommy just didn’t know what to do, he wasn’t fully aware of how bad things had become and that’s what informed his actions.  The way most things go in parenting, we always just do the best we know how at the time and I think that’s what happened here.

All these years later, we discovered that there were things happening in Casey’s life that we had absolutely no clue about.  He shut himself off from us and seeing how he rebelled even more if we tried to approach him, we just gave him space.  We had no clue he needed us to break through his walls, to be praying for him in specific ways, to help him navigate some horrible things.  When I was made aware of this stuff, just a few years ago, it broke my heart all over again.  What kind of mother am I to not know??  To not see how much my child needed his parents to intervene??  Even if he was pushing me away with all his might, how could I not know how much he was hurting?  Those thoughts bring the tears, even now.  Nothing is more heartbreaking as a mother than to realize you failed your child in such a huge way.

deep sigh

All of that to say, even with all this failure and heartbreak, I don’t regret homeschooling my boys.  And to see them today, both successful in their jobs, both contributing, functional adults in spite of their “lack of socialization” (pshh!) is a balm to my mama-soul!

You may not know, but Corey, our eldest, recently moved with his wife to the Cincinnati area for a new job.  The company found his profile on LinkedIn and sent a request for his application!  Out of the blue.  Realizing this, as a homeschool mom, was a real boost for me personally.  I mean, after all the naysayers either aloud or privately saying my children would suffer from our choosing to teach them at home?  I thank God for this affirmation that we did what we should have at the time.

Casey and Corey have always worked together in their grandpa’s business (my dad), which is a combination of various plumbing-related things.  They’ve sort of grown up in the trade, working summers from the time they were barely teenagers to the year Corey put off his graduation in order to help my dad when his only other employee at the time (my father-in-law) had suffered a heart attack and dad sorely needed the help.  Corey was not quite 17 when he made that decision and because we homeschooled, it was totally possible to do this.

When Corey left to take this job, it left Casey with a role he hadn’t ever filled before.  And let me say, this was a job too good for Corey to pass.  It was higher pay with commissions and bonuses, less stress of being responsible for both office work and keeping track of and working on jobs and less being resented because to others, it seemed Corey was doing less because of his time doing office work.  There’s also benefits like retirement and 401k plans that aren’t available with my dad’s business and room to advance.  There’s also a respect that Corey didn’t get here at home.  No one who knows the situation could possibly fault him for taking the job.  As much as it pained me to see him move, I can’t deny that in so many other areas, he’s a lot better off than he was here.

It really took him leaving for my dad and Casey to realize how much Corey was actually doing.  So as far as the resentment shown when Corey informed them he was leaving, there’s now a respect that had never been shown before.  It always hurt me so much to know that the boys, both of them, were dealing with so much stress and tension from my dad, who seemed to not understand or be willing to admit that doing things the same old way weren’t working.  Any new idea the boys came up with was met with scorn and most times, ridicule so they had to continue doing things a more difficult way while bearing the weight of their grandfather’s disapproval.

I love my dad, don’t get me wrong.  But he can be impossibly bullheaded sometimes.  Like most of us, I guess, only… well, more so!  I think now that these changes have been made, he’s beginning to see that there need to be new ways of doing things than he’s done all his adult life with his various businesses.  I just hope Casey can continue to urge him to make the changes.  Casey is much better at communicating or at least confronting my dad than Corey was.  Casey will get in his face and tell him when he’s being irrational  or stubborn where Corey would just bite his tongue and let Pap carry on his own path.  Overall, I think Corey’s leaving has been a positive thing all around.  I had been very worried that it would be only negative here at home, with the business. but it seems to have ushered in some new realizations so I’m hopeful things will be better here as well.

Casey is now having to step us as more of the salesman for the company, the “people-person”, which had been Corey’s role most of the time.  And granted, I think both the boys would agree that Corey has an easier time with that than Casey most of the time.  Although Casey is learning and he does very well most of the time anyway, it doesn’t come as naturally to him as it does Corey.  It’s been good to see Casey maturing in the way he sees the business now that he doesn’t have his brother to leave all that to.  Maybe I’m a little biased since I am the eldest in my family, but I think it’s just easy for the younger to leave things up to the elder.  It’s like a natural role so when there’s never an opportunity for the younger to take the lead, they will continue to let the older sibling tend to those things.  It’s not that Casey is unable, it’s just that he’d never really had to before, so in all, it’s a good thing, I believe.

In case you’re wondering about that title, it was intended to refer to how things just fell into place with Corey moving and getting this job.  He has all this time he never had before and he’s figuring out what to do with himself.  That’s a good problem to have.  Granted, some of that no-time-for-himself thing was because he was also serving as youth pastor at his church here.  Not only was he dealing with all the stuff from the business, he had kids calling on him at all hours with various issues plus all the activities that were most of the time scheduled by someone else without consulting Corey first.  It was just a lot on his plate.

But the whole thing with this new job just sort of happened all at once.  They contacted him, he sent a resume, then went up for an interview, the next week he went for another interview and then the offer letter came.  All that happened in less than a month beginning around the first week of November and then they wanted him to start in January!  They had to settle their house, pack it up and get rid of what they weren’t keeping, deal with settling Corey’s part of the business, find an apartment and figure out how to get moved up there all at once!  It was crazy times, let me tell ya!

And this poor mom had like ZERO time to adjust to all this.  I mean, like I’ve said, I never dreamed either of my boys would move out of town, let alone out of state!  And even if I thought one of them might move, I always figured that would be Casey, not Corey.  It was like total shock!

Thankfully, I got to spend time with them after Tommy and I helped the kids find an apartment, so we had first-hand knowledge of where they were and what kind of place they had, what type of area they lived in and all that.  I think they really appreciated our help.  It all went so smoothly, with only 4 of them (Melissa’s uncle and cousin came to help) unloading the UHaul and getting done right ahead of the snowy rain?  That was just God, y’all.  He was just working through the entire thing.

They went from a 1400 square foot home with a full finished basement to a 1000 square foot apartment with a small storage room about the size of a closet!  Needless to say, they got rid of a ton of stuff.  Their apartment is nice, cozy but roomy enough for them.  It’s also roomy enough to house a few guests for a few days (or a week.. I stayed with them almost a week at the end of January).  Ha.  Their dog, Timber the Australian Shepherd, has adjusted extremely well.  Even with the company changing start dates on Corey and having him start a couple days before he even had his work van organized, he’s done really well and has been noticed by the management and owners.

Casey seems to have adjusted to the new role he has and although he’s working a lot, he’s doing well, too.  I would honestly be tickled if he would move up there and take a job with this company too.  They recruited Corey because of his experience in plumbing and the fact that he has his Master Plumber license and they have just started expanding their business into plumbing and need licensed plumbers!  But Casey doesn’t seem interested and that may have more to do with his wife, I don’t know.  Shoot, if Tommy wasn’t less than five years from retirement, I would be pushing him to move up there and apply with this company.  It’s been voted one of the top businesses in Cincinnati several years in a row and anyone who knows about it says it is an awesome company.  They really have a stellar reputation and they do business in such a no-nonsense way that seeks to accommodate customers while also taking great care of their employees.  They have an open-door policy among management, which in this company means there are NO doors in their offices!  How cool is that?  You won’t find many companies that think this way!

Anyway, I guess all this is just to give God ALL the credit for working things out so well.  For helping me deal with my anxiety over the sudden move, for making things smooth out here at home as well as for Corey in his new home and job.  Now, if the boys would just allow God to move and work in repairing their relationship, I’d be super-thrilled!  Over the last few years, the boys have seemed to get this growing tension in their relationship.  I think it’s been partially due to dealing with dad and the stress of working with him and each other and the changes that came with their marriages and adding new family members.  Casey and Mel were almost like brother and sister when Corey first got married.  It was good to see him be so at ease with her and watch them have fun being around each other.

I think after Casey moved into the basement of my parents’ old house (where Corey and Mel lived–the three of them bought the house together for some reason I’ll never understand–my dad arranged the whole thing) things seemed to change and I don’t know why.  Maybe it was the dynamics or maybe the proximity?  I just don’t know.

Things just change over time, and I know that.  I just never dreamed they would drift so far apart or that one would push the other away.  Growing up, they were each other’s best friend.  As they began to get a little older, into double digits I guess, they spent more time with other people, had the chance to make other friends.  Corey, like I said, is just generally more outgoing and quick to extend himself to make a friend.  Not that he tried to leave Casey behind.  It wasn’t like that at all.  Most of the time, Casey was included in whatever Corey did, whoever Corey hung out with.  I guess maybe as time went on, Casey began to feel like he was in Corey’s shadow?  I don’t know why.  At least, I never saw Corey treat Casey with anything other than patience.  Maybe I didn’t see everything.  I don’t know.

I mean, obviously with the things that Casey got into when he hit the teens without me even having a clue, how would I know what was really happening?  Did I miss things between them, right under my nose too?  I tried so hard to do everything I could to help them learn and have fun and do the things they wanted.  How did I mess it up so bad?

How could I fail so bad?  So big?  Our one son barely acknowledges us most of the time and has many times brought his brother to tears the way he’s shut him out, shoved him away in the past 3-4 years.  Why did I not know he was struggling with something dark and evil?  He was a teenager.  He was surly and aloof.  We thought he needed his space.  We gave him his space and apparently the space for this evil to get an even tighter grip.  He grew more and more hateful toward me.  He seemed to just despise me and I didn’t know why.  I thought it had to do with school, but apparently the evil had given him more fuel to just add to his resentment toward me.  I have been so hurt, so heartbroken over the way he’s treated me.

My response to hurt, after it goes on for awhile, is to just shut down.  To just shut myself off from the hurt by avoiding it, the person causing it, to steel myself to it.  So I just tried to keep from losing it.  After trying to reach out to him, trying to show him how much I cared and having him push me away, I just quit trying.  I avoided him or shut my emotions off when it came to talking to him.  Maybe he saw that as proof that whatever horrible thing he thought of me was true?  I don’t know.   It was just the only way I knew to deal with it.   So yeah, I guess I just allowed my heart to harden, to turn to stone  a little bit.

If you read about The Dark Secret, the really depressing, maddening thing that was going on in our marriage for almost 20 years at the time all this was happening, you might realize, I was hardly hanging on to reality sometimes.  It was all I could do to keep from losing it most days.  Add to that the awful state our finance tend to stay in.. more so now than when the kids were at home.  I guess it’s because the both of us have so many stupid medical bills, take so much medicine now, but for some reason, we seem to never have enough money.  We really don’t splurge on anything, but still we always have to juggle the bills trying to keep from going under.

All of that is a lot for my brain.  I have a really hard time not being dismally depressed.  I have to constantly tell myself I am blessed.  I have a lot to be thankful for.  Then I get a notice that the bank balance is dismal, or a reminder that my youngest son doesn’t like me or a bad blood sugar or I run out of a medicine knowing I have to wait for the next paycheck to get my refill…  that’s all it takes for me to just slide down into the pit a little further.

Soooo…after explaining my title and now sorta obliterating it with my random bout of ‘the dumps’, let me say that I still cling to the fact that God loves me.  He has my best interests at heart in everything He leads me to and leads me through.  I don’t know why I tend so heavily toward depression.  I don’t know why my relationship with my youngest son is such a mess or why we didn’t know he needed us to rescue him from himself when he was a kid.  I don’t know why we have to constantly struggle to make ends meet.  Why we can’t ever rest because we can’t seem to keep our bills paid.  I don’t know why we had to endure all those years, those decades with our marriage in shambles.  I don’t know why He kept us together through all that other than to receive the healing we did.  To show us that it’s never too late.

So as I sit here, in tears, hurting and wishing I understood, wishing things weren’t the way they are but having no clue how to change it.  Worrying how we’ll pay for things, if I’ll ever not hurt when I’m with my baby son, if I’ll ever be able to have all my kids together, daughters-in-law included, and not have to worry that they’re trading barbs or if what they’re saying carries a double meaning, worrying that we will have spent our entire marriage scrapping, struggling to have enough money to pay bills and buy medicine.  Feeling SO tired of worrying.  So guilty that I worry when I am supposed to trust God.  Feeling like such a failure in so many, many ways….  just know that later, maybe not tomorrow, but later, soon… I will be better.  I’ll realize things aren’t as dismal as they seem, that God’s still got me.

God always has me.  This I know.  <3

 


you are not your past


Have you heard that before?  Maybe you heard something like this: “Don’t look back at your past, you’re not going that way” or “You can’t have a brighter future if you keep living in the past.”

That’s not just an inspirational thought some dude had to use in motivational speeches.  It’s biblical.  Isaiah wrote this jewel that God said to Jacob, the father of the nation of Israel:

Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?  
~Isaiah 43:18-19 ESV
Don't answer when your past comes calling.  It has nothing new to say.
I’m thinking about this because of a young friend I have.  He’s been “around” our family for years now, since he was in grade school.  He’s in his 20’s now and doing pretty good with a steady job.  He lives in the next town over, and he works full time, so he’s not here often.  Not nearly as much as he used to be, but occasionally, he’ll send me a message that often begins with Hey mama.  That’s what he calls me.  I love that he can feel that I’m here for him whenever.  I have fretted about and prayed over this boy for years.  Sometimes he gets way off track and worries me to death, but all I can do is pray.  And the Lord has pulled him back every time.  If I was actually his mom, I’d be a lot more proactive in trying to help him.  But with the distance and of course, his own family, it’s hard for me to do that…but I often wish I could really “mother” him, ya know?
I have this whole don’t-let-your-past-dictate-your-future thing on my mind because as best I can tell, my boy really has an issue with this.  I’ve known it for years.  He seems to feel he doesn’t measure up.  Even though he’s made a profession of faith and at one time was very faithful to be in church, he’s long since fallen away from that.  When things get really hairy in his life, that seems to be when he remembers that and I’ll get that inevitable hey mama message from him.
He’s a very closed individual, too, which makes it even harder to help him.  He often won’t tell me exactly what’s going on or he won’t tell me the whole story.  I have to guess or assume and just pray the best I know how.  He knows I will be here and I think he knows I’m not going to scold him or whatever.  I don’t understand why he won’t open up to me other than he just finds it extremely hard.
You can't read the next chapter if you keep re-reading the last one.
I can understand that, actually.  I used to be that way.  Now, most of the time, I feel as if I over-share.  Ha.  Or as if I have entrusted the wrong person with my very private, inner struggles.  Actually, I’m quite certain I’ve done that on more occasions that I care to think about, but once it’s done, you can’t undo it, so I try not to fret about that.
I’ve come to understand the value of unloading stuff by talking it out.  I’ve had professional folk to do that with a couple times, but end up feeling as if I’m wasting my money after awhile.  I mean, there’s only so much they can do unless you have like, major traumas that you’ve buried or something.  As a kid, I used to write.  I had NO close friends and no family that I could share with, so I wrote all that was on my heart.  I didn’t really know how to pray and unload all that stuff and somehow, it helped to transfer it from my head to paper.  At one time, I had several notebooks full of my thoughts.  Like a diary, but not very chronological.   Once my mother found them, and read them, when I was in high school, I stopped doing that completely and promptly burned all the notebooks I had.  For too many years after that, I had no real outlet for my feelings.  It’s just not good for a person to keep all those things bottled up inside, just as it’s not good to continuously talk about them if there is no positive feedback or forward-moving results.
And so, that’s where I am with my boy.  He’s worried about a health issue now and beginning to see that he hasn’t been really leading the best life he could or the kind of life he knows that he should.  But he insists on keeping everything close to the vest and won’t let anyone in completely.  It’s just frustrating to know someone needs to confide but just can’t bring themselves to do it.  *sigh*
If we hold onto the past, we are essentially building tall walls around ourselves.  We limit where we can go and what we can do within the confines of our past selves, our past way of life.
I know a lot of people, most are good friends, who were addicts in the past.  They do such a great work in sharing their testimony with others so they can see there is hope for change.  That they can break the chains of the addiction and become the person they want to be.  So these people do talk about their pasts.  Often, actually!  But they merely relate them so others can see how far they’ve come.
I guess that’s the difference between ‘living in the past’ and ‘growing out of it’.   In most cases, you would be hard-pressed to pick these people out as former addicts.  They neither look nor act anything at all like they did in their pasts.  It’s as if they are talking about another person entirely instead of themselves.  You look at them, healthy and happy and working for the good of others and think, “How could you be the same person you are describing to me?!”  But they are.  And that’s the power of recovery, especially recovery that comes through Jesus.  A recovery that comes through finding a true relationship with Christ heals more than your addictions.  It heals your mind and your spirit as well.  It’s a more complete healing instead of just taking away your drug or alcohol abuse.
You can't have a better tomorrow if you're still thinking about yesterday.
All this rambling and pondering to say this to anyone who might be struggling to leave the past behind them…it is a biblical principle!  I’ll leave you with a few more examples:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  
~2 Corinthians 5:17
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  
~Colossians 1:13-14
…But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
~Philippians 3:13-14
How do you let go of the past?  How do  you help others to let go?  What is your best advice for someone who struggles to let go or who is helping someone who can’t let go?
Blessings!
G~


of being a blogger: a plea for help!


Hey y’all.  I’m working so hard, trying to increase traffic here…build an audience, a subscription list, whatever else a successful blogger does.  Most of the time, I feel like I’m just flopping around, splashing water into the floor, making a mess.

blogging sites

I see some steadiness in the amount of traffic, so I suspect some of you are just awesomely loyal readers and probably close friends who stop by often to see what crazy thing I’ve posted.  I am so thankful for you!

I know I’ve said it before, but this blogging thing is a big deal to me.  I started it after months and months of stewing and praying about whether I should even try.  I’ve blogged off and on for about 16 years, so it seemed like the natural thing for me to do…try to monetize the thing I am so passionate about.  I felt (and still feel, btw) that God was really nudging me in this direction and so, even though I didn’t feel completely ready, I took the plunge.  I plopped down what little was left from our tax refund and started this site.

Looking back, a month later now, I see many mistakes.  I think most of them are easily overcome though and not the kind that will break me or the blog.  I still don’t understand stupid AdSense or why my husband can get an account with them like snap that and me, with my two (now three!) google accounts, can’t get any of them approved.  I’m not sure I’m missing much though.  I’m learning that AdSense isn’t the end-all-be-all it has been purported to be, so I have pursued other means of generating income through my blog.

blogging for a living

Some of them I am pleased about, and some I will be glad when I can be done with.  And no, for the record, I haven’t made a single cent so far.  That really concerns me, but I have to remind myself how new it all is.  I can’t do it all at once and I need to be patient.

But BOY, is that hard!!

Today, when I went to look at a “blogging schedule” thingie I got from the web, for today it says to post about relaxing.   BAHAHAHA!!  What is that even?!?  I don’t have time right now to relax, and certainly not about the state of my blog.  Some of these ‘blog helps’ aren’t really geared toward me, ya know?  Many of the blogs in these groups are about how to create a successful website, how to find a niche to build, how to monetize and market whatever you are selling.

I just wanna share life with my readers.  I want to encourage and inspire.  I want my readers to leave feeling better than they did when they pulled up my site.  I want them to find the courage to go on, the determination to stick it out.  The comfort of knowing they are not alone, the peace of knowing someone else out here has been where they are.  I want the person with t1d to find a friend, someone to commiserate with and rejoice in whatever victories we accomplish as PWD’s.  (persons with diabetes)

diabetes and depression

I want the homeschooling mom to know she can do it and I know she can because I did it.  I want her to know that the great mistake she feels she’s made is not the end. That she and her children are far better off just because she tried to teach them at home, whether she continues or not.  And no matter what, as long as she is trying to do her very best for her kids, she is a winner!

homeschooling

I want that couple who is struggling with some sexual incompatibility or physical problem to know they are not alone.  I want them to realize it’s okay to talk about it and that there are people out here who can help, both professionals and people like me who have been there, done that.  I want that woman to know she’s not the first or only one to be facing what she is, and that she need not bury herself in depression and self-hatred or guilt because there is hope.  I want to keep her and her husband from living the hell that we did for 30 years and to find healing and hope!

lasting marriage statisticslasting marriage statistics

More than all this, I want people to know there is hope, no matter what the situation is, there is hope.  There is peace to be had, no matter how big the mess or how damaged their soul, Peace is there for the asking in the person of Jesus Christ.  I want them to know that it is because of Jesus that I am alive today.  That I’m able to share and talk about the issues, struggles and problems in my life.  Ultimately, I believe this is the reason God has been urging me to write.

jesus loves me

I haven’t touched my book in over 6 months, but perhaps soon I’ll dig back into it.  I still feel He is calling me to write it, but I’m at another crossroad about which direction to take with it.  (ANY feedback would be appreciated on this, folks!!)  The book has lived in my head for many years as a sort-of memoir, a story of my life and how I have dealt with diabetes, the depression and all the other physical and emotional side effects of having a chronic disease for so long.  However, as we have come to this place of healing in our marriage, I feel THAT is also a topic that needs to be shared.  It, of course, is much more personal, deeply painful but ultimately hopeful since our long journey through this has ended with our beginning the healing process.  My conundrum is should these be separate or combined?

how to write a book

You probably didn’t know this, but I have a problem with compartmentalizing.  ha ha! Meaning, I can’t do it.  You may have noticed I began this post talking about the blog and now, here I am asking for input and suggestions for a direction of a book!  I need help with my wandering mind, my rambling style of writing.

I know there are some writers out there who read here occasionally.  I also know there are lots of readers who come here too.  I want to hear from you!    What appeals to you in a book?  What topics are you most interested in?  What are you most interested in learning more about?  Help me out!

I look forward to a great discussion and some awesome feedback and suggestions!  Let’s help each other!

Blessings,

G~


depression and type 1 diabetes


depression symptoms
Just a quick post to keep this in the forefront for my blog… it’s a sunny Saturday in my part of the world and yet I’m having to force myself outside.  This is the first gorgeous weekend day we have had all year.  So why am I so resistant to go out and enjoy it?
Depression.
Do I feel all sad and blue?  Not really.  Am I weepy and melancholy?  Nah.  I’m just plain BLAH today.
I recognize this and I realize it’s just one of the many symptoms of my depression.  I know I need to get out, and I actually HAVE to get out (need to pick up scripts at the pharmacy!) so I’m dressed, put my makeup on and fixed my hair.  I’ve made progress already!
And soon I’ll head out to do a few errands.  What I would love to do when I get home is go ride my bike, but I’m having a little problem with that right now.
Don’t laugh… I don’t want to get it out because neither Tommy nor I have ridden the bikes (on trainers in the house) all winter!!  If you want to do rides of 20 or more miles, at least in my case, you don’t need to “let yourself go to pot” and that’s exactly what I feel like we’ve done!
We were both either really busy or sick this winter, and we really didn’t need much en/discouragement to ditch the trainers.  So I’m ambivalent about the bike even though I LOVE riding and have wanted to get on the thing for months now.
Here’s the thing… I’m afraid that if I get on and find out how bad out of shape I am, I’ll get REALLY discouraged and feel even worse about it.  But ya see, I might just surprise myself.  And then again, I might not.
STOP LAUGHING!  You see how I get when I’m a little more depressed than usual?
Ah so… we shall see which part of me wins later.  The Naysayer or the Optimist.
Now that I’ve “said it out loud”, maybe I’ll be even more motivated to just do it!!
I promise to report back in.
Have a gorgeous day, my friends!
Blessings,
G~
..:EDIT/UPDATE!!:..
Okay, so I got my errands done without getting wiped out.  Thank God for that!  And I DIDN’T make the bike ride, however, I didn’t just flop either.  😉  My intention was to mow our terribly neglected yard, but when I got changed and went out to ask Tommy what the mower needed (oil check, etc?) we discovered that it was out of gas and both gas cans were empty.  Of course… so I headed back to town to fill the cans, came back and let Tommy fill the mower only to then find that SOMEone (who wasn’t me) had left the key on so the battery had run completely down.
Well, ya might as well laugh, right?  As I’ve said, I don’t really enjoy mowing the yard like I used to since I got my foot cut back in 2012 but I was going to do it because it needed doing and Tommy wouldn’t have time.  I’m not really that picky about much, but a yard that needs mowing just bugs the soup out of me!
So I mumbled something about it being a sign that I shouldn’t mow as I came in the house and piddled around til the thing had charged.  At last I finally got to mow only to almost have a panic attack (and I have never had a full blown one of those) when I got out on the steep-ish incline in front of the house.  I normally have some issues with that area, but after the accident, it was worse, but never this bad.  I just told Tommy I couldn’t mow that part.  He was cool about it, which is why I married him.  *pththt*
Now I’m back in the house cooking a bit so we can have a cookout tomorrow, hopefully with some of the kids if they’re not all busy right after church.
All in all, it’s been a good day.  Maybe we’ll both get our courage up and drag those bikes out tomorrow….

 



WELCOME!!!!!

Sorry.  Was I yelling?

I’m just SO EXCITED!  Welcome to Read More »


on the upswing?


Things have been going much better, at least depression-wise. I’m not sure why, I mean, physically I’m not doing anything really different…no new meds or vitamins. I’ve decided it’s justRead More »


dear Younger Me


I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by! It won’t be long til “D Day” and some of the kids are already asking me what I want to do for it.

As usual, I say that I’d rather just pretend it’s not here, but that never flies with them.

I dunno why getting older is such a thorn in my side. I mean, I know we all hate that feeling of getting older, not looking or feeling as good as we used to, seeing our children grow up before our eyes. Maybe it’s hard-wired into our natures to regret the passing of time?

But then again, I’m not totally against it. As I’ve gathered more years to myself, I have realized that all the time I spent wishing I was older, “I can’t wait”-ing for my first-born to walk/talk/whatever…what a foolish endeavor!

How awesome would it be to actually be able to go back in time to our younger selves and give them a head’s up?
Advice-for-my-younger-self
First, I’d tell Younger Me to learn patience. Don’t be so eager or insistent. Just let things happen, be prepared for whatever that is and enjoy each moment.
chill out!
Then I’d tell Her to take better care of her health. Don’t see the diabetes as a curse or an enemy. Just accept it as part of the plan God has for you, then do all you can to be healthy. Don’t fall into that rebelliousness that makes you say, “Who cares?! I’m going to eat what I want, I’m going to ignore my blood sugars.” I’d try to impress upon Her how mad she will be once she’s older and realizes she could have done so much better. I’d tell her despite the non-athletic nature of her parents and family to be active. To learn the benefits of exercise and how to do it regularly. Oh, Younger Me, it sure would have made these days and our future feel a lot better if only you had learned that.

Get into the habit of reading your Bible. Maybe then we won’t have such a sporadic study time. Learn to pray. Yes, I know. You weren’t really taught that nor will you find a really good resource for this in your church or family. Dig into scripture yourself. Ask people who seem to have a great prayer life. Maybe they don’t know you need to be taught.

Granted, since I was able to make it to the altar with my virginity intact (yes, I’m serious) obviously we did a fair job of guarding our purity. But trust me, there will be opportunities when you can still let things go too far. Don’t think only “the home plate” is sex. All those other bases count, too. Let me tell you that years down the road, IF you attempt to “home base” now, the aftermath could be catastrophic. Even though you waited for marriage, there will be a long, rough road ahead for you sexually, but don’t give up. Trust me…it will be worth it. Don’t give up.
dear younger self

Don’t give up. Nope. Do NOT give up. Put that on a loop in your head. You will need to hear it OFTEN.

Don’t buy the fairy tale that everything will be better once you’re married. Your life is tough at home, I know, you feel ignored and discounted. You feel like your opinions don’t matter, your preferences are wrong, your ideas are stupid. But getting married won’t change that. Even though that boy you finally marry will be your biggest supporter in the years ahead, it won’t change the fact that your family makes you feel worthless. Learn to find your own self worth. Find it not only in Jesus, but in your abilities and strengths. Don’t throw those away just because they are not affirmed by your parents.
your value
And then, when That Boy comes along who will fall for you immediately, don’t expect him to cure all your ills. Don’t expect that he can mend all the wounds you’ve accumulated to your heart over the years. Just love him better.

As for me, I regret the wasted time being mad at him for not “fixing” it all. You won’t realize that’s what you’re expecting, but it is. Your self worth will get so damaged growing up the way we did. Try and learn to lean on Jesus during those times. Don’t let the devil tell you lies about yourself. I know, I KNOW. It’s hard to do this as a child on your own, but try. Try harder than I did. Present Me is still fighting to deal with all the scars left by never feeling worthy.

Don’t let the betrayals of those you think are your real friends keep you from ever reaching out again. Maybe I should instead tell you to not expect everyone to be as deeply invested in the relationship as you are. Don’t toss your whole self into a friendship without measuring the other person’s dedication. Then, just be as good a friend as you can without expecting anything in return. That way, when they do hurt you, and they will, you won’t be quite as crushed. You won’t decide to lock everyone out and never find that ‘best friend’ you have always wanted.
some will never see you as good enough
I don’t think I’d have to say “Don’t worry about pleasing people.” because I don’t think we have a problem with that. I really need to ask one of my friends and see if that’s accurate. I mean, I don’t like letting people down once I’ve committed to something, but jumping through hoops just to make someone like me? I just don’t do that. But I think I will ask (and if any of the few who would be considered my friends are reading here, shoot, even if you THINK I’m your friend, chime in. send me a message or comment on this post!) …just to see if I’m anywhere close to right. I’m pretty sure that we don’t have to worry about being people pleasers.

Good job, Younger Me. You got one right!!
you're probably doing something right
So what other things would I tell my younger self, the Younger Me? I dunno… but it’s something to ponder.

What would you tell YOUR younger self if you could?

Ecclesiastes 4:13“Better was a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knew how to take advice.”