A fragile, aging, petite woman just came to check on me and left my couch with a slight smile and “the look”. She is the most powerful person I know. She does not have social status or great wealth but she has a heart that you do not want to disappoint. I love to have the company but only for a short time. I am an addict. It hurts to be around people and to pretend to be someone I am not. I have battled drugs for many years. I have also been sober for many years. What I want to talk about today is my relapse into prescription medication. The tonic transfusion that has taken over my body was actually a concoction by my rheumatologist who eventually sent me to a pain doctor. This is where life became jumbled. My entire spirit and individuality changed. I was very satisfied at first but then I needed more medication to maintain my pain-free status. I started to take more pills and began to run out before my prescription was ready. Every month there would be some sort of withdrawal which is rigorous and cruel. I have Lupus so some of the symptoms overlap and you feel like you are having a flare every month. I sit here like a sad little girl with no direction. I am so powerless and angry. The drugs push me down deeper and deeper and I can see no way out. I abruptly have to climb out of this madness.
How do we escape bondage and begin to move toward freedom in those sinful areas of our life? Well, I don’t know. You can read books, seminars or even listen to the doctors. I am here to tell you only you can do it. So many things in this life overshadow our godly hearts and minds but he is the only one who can take this pain away. I still need some of the drugs and I fight everyday to stay strong. But honestly I do not do a good job at it. Living with a drug problem and a chronic illness I have to choose to take only the minimum amount of drugs to keep my disease in place. If you are going through this, I wish you could fight with me. We all need to hear someone’s story.
We are but dust-born into a physical body that has already “fallen” and prone to cause problems for the soul.(PS.103:14).
It has been a while since I have discussed the brutal impact Lupus has habitually interfered with during my life. Today has been a total breakdown and I stayed in bed for most of it. Why the sadness infringes on my plans, I don’t know. My last infection, about 3 weeks ago left me with 2 weeks of antibiotics. I thought I was in the clear but redness hit my face and neck like supersonic colors. Of course I got my fever blister and only a little sore in my mouth but nothing like usual. My legs and ankles have become so inflated at times I can barely walk. I do have my special shoes but they are so decrepid I can’t even go to the mailbox in them. So embarrassing but I love them! My main concern now is my lungs. I am very short of breath and my inhaler just is not cutting it.
I am sorry for anyone going through any chronic illness. People will never know the sadness that everyday brings. Some days are so unbearable I can’t even put it into words. The people in our life have to continue their routine obligations so the sadness and guilt become overwhelming. You hurt so bad that your focus on God can quickly disappear and allow the enemy to move right in. I get fearful at times when I am alone. I worry about the future and I can quickly feel my mood change. I fear that I do not love this person that I see. I feel shame for some of the failures in my life. But God sees a desire to love us through our shame and guilt. But, I feel guilt and shame for not always remembering that. Hang tight you tenacious strong survivors. I love you all.
What do the children see?
A shaggy blonde boy with dirty fingernails and huge bright blue eyes smiling as he is making a hotdog. His parents are yelling in the background over misbehaviour by another child. He deflects this screaming and runs out to join his friends who are waiting outside to play. Children begin to develop road maps in the brain. Patterns they embed to help them feel safe in times of trauma. These safe places become a place to hide. Children begin to stop questioning and growing because they run to their safe place which offers no way for them to express their own views or ask questions. The children finally separate. They learn no one is in control. The parent’s authority and credibility are now threatened.
What do the children see?
In school we teach children answers to questions with questions. We are taught to criticize books and research. Criticism becomes the center of learning in their educational world. They become very skilled at it. Therefore as a teen we criticize everything and criticism becomes a way of finding answers and questioning beliefs. But on this thin line is also cynicism. It draws conclusions but it trashes beliefs. We must keep them questioning and thinking. Performance is empowering and they must be encouraged to express their own views so their fears are numerous but warranted.
What do the children see?
In Nick Pollard’s book, “Why do they do That”, he talks about the parallels of drugs and pain. We all reach for the Tylenol or heroin in some cases, but when it wears off the pain is greater. Many will try other ways that don’t work. The pain remains and grows. It is much like emotional pain that cannot be taken away by itself. It can be scary and lead to a downward spiral. We must teach our children that all pain cannot be taken away. They must live through it to grow, thrive and transform.
What do I want my children to see?
A love so deep that even in silence they can still hear my voice. I would love to hear your reaction or responses. Please let me know what you think.
As a women I am constantly aware of my deep, inner feelings. I am always looking out for my own needs and was.. It is important to me that others love me the same way. If we did not love ourselves we would not be concerned about being rejected, hurt, or mistreated. We all want to be accepted. Our need is not to love ourselves more but to love the image and direction God has given us.
The last year has been physically and emotionally tough. I had surgery and developed a large hematoma. I was released from the hospital while I was still complaining of significant pain. Three days later I was at the doctor. I had become bruised from my waist to my thighs. My wound had literally opened. They packed me with gauze and admitted me back into the hospital. I went to surgery for a debreidment. I left the hospital with a wound vac which heals or closes the wound from the inside out. Every three days I had to get it changed. The pain was the most unbearable bondage I have ever experienced. About three weeks with the machine, I was running a fever. My drainage was foul with the tint of infection. I was told so many times that my wound was healing nicely. I continued to run fever and have the foul odor. At one of my dressing changes the nurse pulled out a piece of gauze. The wound vac had pulled it up through the healing process and that part of my wound had not healed. It WAS infected. The gauze had been left in my abdomen at some point.
I could not work. I could not play with my children. I was a prisoner in my own house. Mistakes like that can change the way you see things. I began to justify my pain and laziness because I was damaged.. Instead of fighting, kicking and screaming at my physicians, I withdrew. My problems were being ignored. I did not like myself, so I began to feel mistreated and rejected. My problem still denies me from my life.
Don´t stop believing. Instead of denying our self-image, we need to receive Gods love and purpose. In her book”Lies People Believe,¨ Nancy Leigh Demoss writes Jesus says we need to give to others the same attention and care we would give ourself. Your situation does not describe you. I hope you never stop loving yourselves and believing the negative foothold the devil sneaks in.
Mental health is not a subject most of us do not talk about over coffee but, It could be a topic that we talk about around the water cooler at work. There is a stigma that follows that entire category. People genuinely enjoy talking about themselves but certain secrets we tend to hold onto tight. We deal with our mental health with stuff. God has empowered us to manage our lives for his glory. So, If we can talk about ourselves so freely then why do christians have a hard time-sharing their faith? Look around your community. We can empower people who may have a secret hidden way back in their memory.
When my older sister was around eight her class at camp was walking through the woods. She was a little behind her class with two of her friends. A man came out of the woods and grabbed her. He took off down the trail while running with her in his arms. The two boys she was with, had the instinct to chase after them. After a few moments he dropped her.
All types of relationships are needed to develop our faith. At the same school, I was assaulted. I was to young to remember so it shouldn´t affect me, right? Well it did. Even though I do not remember all the facts my memory kept it stored. For most of my life I was very introverted. I obsessed on my pain. I was quiet and shy. To fit in, I choose activities that forced me to be extraverted.
These memories were never worked through. We did not talk about it and everyone figured we were okay. I have experienced the unique characteristics that come with this memory. I have lived my life depressed. I was lucky to have support but hospital stays were very confusing and they really made me feel very alone.
Mental health affects everyone. Your experiences cannot be disputed by anyone. We must go out to the hopeless and pull them out of the place they are holding onto so tight. Godś grace has brought people in your life. It is a honor to share your faith. It is even more of an honor to walk with them so they will have a partner to be accountable to. Mathew 7:1 says ¨Do not judge or you too will be judged.¨ God uses the word hypocrite. So, we need to take the speck out of our own eyes.
Feel Good Together (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I want to say in advance that this is part of a painful glimpse into an always changing chaotic view of myself. Many know I have Lupus. And, I know there are many diseases out there that people are living with. Have you ever wondered how they feel? (mentally). What are you supposed to feel?
I am at a place that is empty. I have stopped feeling any emotion. I struggle through the day, Then, I get it back together before the kids come home from school. Now, as I recover, I know this place is the worst place I could be. Can you be that numb? I think so. So, when a person is in that state how can you help? Do you quietly think I am glad it’s not me or say you know you will get through this it just takes time.
I usually am an isolated person. I don’t like to talk on the phone or sit with people but, I have a overwhelming urge to help others. I have endured many different troubling life events. I think this is where I became reserved. Writing this post helps me share my feelings easier than if I were talking to someone about “how I feel”. I want to share this with you because people who are hurting might not know how to voice this. Professional help is a wonderful outlet that helps many people. But, this goes out to those who just can’t quite put your finger on what is wrong.
Even as I feel numb and depressed I know God is with me. It seems hard to accept but he is there. When you get to your dark place of your life please take a moment to pray. (or write to me!) I can’t tell you what your miracle might be but, I can tell you that being alive is a true miracle. You are the only one God made. There will be a change at some point. Being still and waiting is the hardest thing to do but that is what God has asked of us.