Reverse Pride

Reverse pride isn’t humility.  Humility is humility.  Reverse pride is when you are prideful of the fact you aren’t better than anyone else.  We all know this idiom:

Pride goeth before the fall.

I didn’t think that really applied to me because I was on the floor, I would never be ‘worthy’ of the grace of God, to take part of the sacrifice Christ provided for me.  Which is why my thoughts when I do something less than Christ-like I hear, “It doesn’t matter, I’m going to hell anyway”  I wrote it off to self-esteem problems.  I’ve been reading a book called “The Miracle of Forgiveness” and in the beginning it talks about pride.  It talked about how pride is also telling God who/what/where/why anything that isn’t in your responsibility to change or judgement you can pass.  I realized in a moment of clarity I hadn’t just been telling myself I’m bad and unworthy but I’ve been telling Christ I’m bad and unworthy and the grace He secured with his blood isn’t going to save me.  EVERYONE will have a share of His grace, no matter what they’ve been in this life.  Life is eternal, growth is eternal, the Grace of Christ is eternal.  With this knowledge came the realization of there is absolutely nothing I can do about my future, well, other than be the best person I can be.  No matter how messed up I perceive myself to be.  I have no control, and I am not perfect and neither of those are within my grasp or prevue anyway so I’m trying to figure out how I can better utilize the time feeling like an eternal-bug-in-the-radiator kind of person.  I’m moving forward towards my future again, it’s nice.

This begs the question: Why do I feel this way?  I’m not a bad person (in comparison to like Hitler, Dahmer, and the ilk).  They’re going to receive grace.  I’m not ‘useless’ or a ‘waste of clay’.  Where do these thoughts come from?  Is it that sometimes when someone corrects you by calling you stupid, where every other time it just bounces off your psychic armor until one day the chink is displayed and you are mortally wounded?  I’ve called myself stupid most of the time when I do something wrong, from burning dinner and blowing a tire to stubbing my toe on something I’ve left on the floor.  I’m far from stupid.  I still compare myself to others and, yes, that’s wrong, but I’m finding out all the useless information I seem to gather has made me rather intelligent.  Not to be prideful, but my last IQ test (online) I hit in the high 120’s.  If I could do math it might be a little higher but I suck at math.  How can I be so easily fooled and so completely without guile that I would believe everything bad and evil that I am told both inside and outside my head?  The bigger question is, how to I seal up that chink so the darts of negativity aren’t hitting the pink flesh beneath?  I am correcting my thoughts when I become aware of them, I try to keep positive quotes handy on my phone, my notebook, my walls, but how can I paper the inside of my head with them?  Any suggestions?  Please share.

Crossing the Line

Sorry, I’ve been distant, silent even.  Mostly because I did something wonderful and it confused me.  Let me explain…..

I went on vacation with my family, it was a wedding onboard a cruise ship and we were invited to join the happy couple for the honeymoon.  We all had our own rooms of course.  I brought a long two books; one pleasure and one enlightening.  I chose the Enlightening book first.  Before the end of the first day at sea I grabbed my book and went up to the top deck, sunglass/reading glasses in hand and a hat and read.   Within the first ten pages I came across a statement (that I can’t quote because it’s not exactly what I read but what I needed to hear) to the effect of:

There comes a time when introspection becomes indulgent.

It struck me so perfectly at that moment and I realized, every aspect of me said it was time to move on and move forward.  There was nothing more I could do with the deep dives into who, what, and why that makes me who, what, and why I’ve become.  I needed to put myself out there and try to put into place what I have learned, to build on the foundation that I have laid and hopefully not have any dead bodies hidden in the cement.  At many points in life we need to stop and do the self evaluation/inventory/mind-tripping that helps us move to the next level, but I feel like I’m all caught up now….

Crossing that line, the invisible line between the two worlds instigated a miraculous change in my psyche: I’m happy, I’m hope-filled, I have more energy, I am making plans for my future and are anxiously waiting to put that plan into motion.  (Mom is still doing well, so things are still as they were).  Crossing that line also gave me the push I needed to start  whittling down my meds.  I’m off one of my anxiety pills completely, I’ve cut my Lexapro in half, I’m still taking all my puppy uppers (Welbutrin).

I don’t know if I’m ready to go down another 10mg on my Lexapro.  This last jump down brought up the realization that I don’t really have the skills that I thought I had when  I was fully medicated, and emotions are starting to break through the chemical barricades.  I’m getting caught in the angry loops, but I have more success of talking myself out of them before I spin out of control.  I get overwhelmed and stymied easily , but if I just plug away at it, it gets done.  I’ve had to put some exercises into place so I could deal with the mental stuff, one of those is writing every day.  Which brings me back to the confusion….

For the longest time I used this blog as an integral part of my self exploration.  Anything too private was taken care of in my journal, and I’m back to journaling now too, but if continual introspection is self indulgent, it’s not something I should be engaging in if I want to move forward in my life.  And I’ve made some major strides in my life from March to now, but I didn’t know if I should start a new blog post-depression to write all the plans and the executions with both successes and failures or if I should just continue here; or should I do it at all?  I miss it, so I need to keep doing it .  I found that blogging my personal truths out into the world is an act of courage and bravery that makes me feel more courageous and brave in the real world. I think it’s not self indulgent if it isn’t wallowing in the dark but instead sharing the joy and excitement of rediscovering my life now that I’m outside the void.

Any input from my readers would be helpful.  Please,

Entitled to Surrender

I’ve been looking for a definition that encompasses my meaning and feelings for the word entitled.  Microsoft wasn’t helpful, nor were the additional sites it sent me to.  Merriam Webster Dictionary  was accurate but didn’t quite go far enough.  I went to the Urban Dictionary and it was almost spot on but the language used on the site isn’t as refined as I would prefer it for my use here.  So, I’m going to give you my definition:

Entitled

The belief of when you are doing something that benefits the whole you should be compensated, taken care of and/or relieved from your efforts from time to time.

That said, I’ve been fighting with this concept all through the holidays.  It really hit home when my nephew gave his 18 month old nephew an iPad mini.  I’ve wanted one for like ever but I never have the money in hand at the best time to buy so I’ve just made due with my iPhone and my Kindle.  Honestly, this almost brought me to tears.  It shouldn’t but it did.  I feel like I’m completely forgotten by the outskirts of the family.  The Grandkids know what a handful their Grandmother is but as long as it doesn’t impact their schedule or cause them any hardship they deign to visit for an hour or so or call once every eclipse. [Don’t get offended, I’m not done yet.]  After I wiped the tears away about the give before anyone could see them, I started to get angry.  I’m doing all the heavy lifting both emotionally and a good portion of the time physically but the 18 month old is entitled to an iPad to help him learn his ABCs.   (I’ve got an opinion on that but it’s not suitable for this forum….I’ll have it on Psyche-Stew soon.  Then on top of all of this, my sisters have been pulling back and recognizing I need a break but only willing to dole it out in one to four hour increments.  I need a Freaking Vacation….one that doesn’t include Mom, or a massage, or even just a weekend away so I don’t have the constant static of the baby monitor hissing in my ear while I’m trying to sleep.  But mostly the recognize it but are too busy to do anything about it.

So, for kicks and giggles I sat down and figured out just what I feel I’m entitled to.  We have someone during the day to take care of Mom, which is very helpful for me. However, that leaves me with 18 hours a day M-F and 24 hours per day for the weekend when Mom is all mine.  I would want the three of us to rotate the weekends, for the sisters to come three to four times a week to spend time with Mom so she’s not completely glommed onto me all the time, help with cleaning the house and cooking [because, honestly, I suck at both]. send me to a spa on a regular basis and understanding when I reach out to them for help and/or support I don’t get a litany of the things they’re doing and a bright “Hang in there” before I hang up.

To sum it up, I want them to take over preferably all of the work and leave me with the praise and accolades I receive when people see me and I tell them what I do. Not much, really.  😉

NO ONE IS ENTITLED TO THAT.

The only thing I am entitled to is my life and my free agency.  Beyond that, if Iwant to be entitled to something Ihave to find it within myself to provide those accolades and care I crave.

That said…..

I surrender.

Merriam Webster got it right this time defining Surrender as:

Surrender

: to agree to stop fighting, hiding, resisting, etc., because you know that you will not win or succeed

: to give the control or use of (something) to someone else

: to allow something (such as a habit or desire) to influence or control you

I’m not talking about backing away from my commitment to my mother or to my family.  I’m not going to quit anything that I am already doing,  that is not an option unless I plan to surrender who I am entirely.  No, I mean I’m going to stop fighting with reality and waging a spiky-word warfare with unsuspecting siblings.  My life, for now, is to be here for Mom, and I can’t do that fully if I’m allowing unhelpful thoughts discourage me and distract me into thinking that I’m being taken advantage of by the whole family.  I surrender the  illusion of entitlement.  I realize everyone is doing the absolute most they feel they can do and I can’t ask, demand, or whine about them giving more.  I’m the one who volunteered for this, to be the caregiver, and I will continue to give until my service is complete  My choice.  My free agency.  And that is how it is for every persons life.  I know that kind of has an over tone of I’ll-show-them, but I’ll assure you it’s not.  I’m anxious to live my life, to get out and meet the oncoming trials head on and ready to wrestle them to the ground.  For the first time I think in ever I am going to put my needs (writing, meditation, mental health, etc.) before anyone else’s.  I will be my next caregiving opportunity, for that, I believe, I am entitled.

I’m Writing!!

Yes, I know blogging is a form of writing, but the stuff that I pull out of thin air, the writing that makes me feel like I am who I am meant to be, that’s the writing I’m talking about.  True, it’s not Chaucer or even Cartland, but it’s mine, it’s me and it’s wonderful!  I’ve had a really good day.  I mean, really good day emotionally, mentally the whole shebang.  Taking all but one of my social meds first thing in the morning is the best idea I’ve had in what feels like eons, but it’s working.

I know what I said earlier, in my last post that I wasn’t going to drop my class for school, but I talked it over with the one person that knows me better than anyone living, and she was a little shocked and made me think that the sleeping in the car had a few too many moving parts to it and it really wouldn’t be safe.  It turns out the knives I’ve bought are illegal to carry, but another friend of mine told me about some other tools that would be more effective and legal as all get out.  They’re called tactical pens and tactical flashlights. 

But I’m going to save that for another blog.  I just wanted to shout from the top of the Blog….I’M WRITING!!!

Wanting Vs. Doing Vs. Needing

I want……….

  • to go back to school to spiff up my phlebotomy credentials (long story)
  • to write at night and on weekends
  • to have a clean and neat room, with my bed made and laundry done
  • to go on hikes on weekends and maybe learn to Glamp from time to time
  • to make jewelry for gifts and for myself….maybe even to sell
  •  to keep working a full time job so I can have a full time pay

Vs.

I’m doing……….

  • 8hrs a day on a less than taxing job but still need to take a nap in my car
  • I’m registering for school but will have to do it in person instead of online, terrified I’ll sleep through it or fail
  • I clean my room by turning off the light and turning on the TV
  • I get out of bed late on weekends and then require a few naps to get through the day
  • The thought of pulling out and putting away all my jewelry making stuff is exhausting in itself
  • Honestly, I don’t know how I’ve been able to keep a full time job.

Okay, I’m tired right now. I really have no reason to be, other than I stayed up too late last night. But when I’m in these moods I wonder if I will ever be able to have a normal life, if I’ve ever had a normal life. My Mom is insistent that I just need to “push through” and “fight back” and basically “get over it” and I will be fine. Sometimes I think she’s right, very rarely, and I try and spin myself back out of control. I think I need a routine…a “doing” and slowly build from there. I keep changing this idea of what my day should look like beyond going to work, going home, going to bed, getting up and going to work, going home, going to bed.

Right now I’m thinking that Mediation is the direction I should be going in. Of course I can’t do that until I have a space cleaned in my room, which means I need to work in my room, which means I need to do my laundry and find a meditation pillow and make hand knotted-silk strung beads and a tassel for meditation……See how the wanting and the doing are always dancing?

I need to……….

  • JUST meditate

    • I don’t need a clean room to do it
    • I don’t need my laundry clean to do it
    • I don’t need a special pillow to do it
    • I don’t need specially strung beads to do it (yet, I want them because it means shopping and creating)

The only thing I need to do is make time. Or in my case take time.  And take comfort in the hope that the needful will allow for the mental space for doing the wanting.

Hello. My name is Pamela and I am a Compulsive Overeater……

I know. Crap!

I’ve started studying the steps.

I’ve yet to truly take one.

Abstinence sucks.

Cookies are no longer comfort, they are the enemy.

I know I have to do this, Heavenly Father has been preparing me to do this.

How do you make amends to yourself without chocolate or cheesecake?
Mmmmmm, chocolate cheesecake.

Serenity sounds like a nice place live. (not the space ship, the head space).

I’m tired of victimhood*, it’s time to be my own Superhero.

 

 

 

*I consider myself a victim of my own choices, the paths I’ve taken and the wounds I’ve never truly cared for.

Lulu Blue

My car is blue, and I call her Lulu.   Lulu has been having motivational problems.  The engin is fine, the tires are fine, the brakes are fine, the transmission, on the other hand, is whining like a school-boy after getting his family jewels rearranged for the first time.  It seemed like the perfect metaphor to depression for me.  I recognize the engagement of the mind, racing and racing, going around and around in circles, having everything needed for forward motivation.  Sometimes jolting forward and squealing the tires, sometimes just listlessly motoring along praying to get from point D to point E on the journey of life.  Feeling like you’re never going to get to H no matter how long you try.  Don’t even think about J, that’s completely out of the question.  I consulted a professional and he told me t get this stuff called Lucas Slip-Stop.  So, I picked up a bottle and poured it into Lulu’s transmission.  And we got traction again!  There was motivation without whining.  I had my Lulu back.

How is this like me….Seriously, you need me to spell it out.  I feel like my beat up old Chevy in so many ways, and it’s like the physical incarnation of my emotional persona.  I feel every single mile of the more than 200k miles it’s carried me through, and seriously, I’m tired of carrying it around with me. (Not Lulu though, I love Lulu, that car runs on tithing blessings).  Because of the weight of all the baggage, the dirt, the grim, gunk and other deteriorating factors in my life, I am weighed down, unmotivated to move forward.  Enter Lexapro, the pharmaceutical equivalent of Slip-Stop.  It arressted my decline and with increased use and improvement I’m able to engage better with the world.  I can even contemplate navigating my own life, I think for the first time.

Like an idiot I kept fogetting to take my social meds over this week.  And trust me it doesn’t take long for the seratonin to drain out like transmission fuid through a faulty seal.  Stuff happens at work and I’m spinning and upset, frustrated and incapable of focusing.  I was even in enough of a snit to want to quit today.  I thought I progressed enough so when something so predictable happens I shouldn’t be phased by it, it’s an indication that something is low or in need of topping off. The best and most remarkable thing is that even though I’m angry and I keep having to have to take refuge in my “happy place”  I’m still fundamentally, deep-down, hopefully happy. I’m a little worried that I won’t ever be able to get off these meds to be normal…or to what my semblance of normal should be…..but I know that I can and will get through it.

I’ve purhased a few new books:

Darkness Visible

Fixing depression through mindfulness

Jesus Wept

And another one I don’t knw the name of right now.

I recognize that I’m out of the darkness of the void but being firmly planted here on the bleeding edge of it is scary and I’m aware it’s going to take work, preparation and in sme cases a heroic effort not to fall back into depression’s strong, locked, comfortable ever-waiting arms.