Peace with Pain: Going Through Process

While meditating with God today He said something very striking. We spoke about the concept of choice. 

I reasoned that I feel like in certain things I don’t have an actual choice because choosing them means choosing a lack of peace. In which case, obviously I will not choose the option that doesn’t give me peace. Who would? He argued back that I technically have. I have chosen the unpeaceful route over and over again and I may choose it again tomorrow. 

Hmmmm….that is true. But I rebutted with thats because choosing God doesn’t give me peace either. And He responded with, “no, you have peace, you just also have pain.” 

I expect that Gods route means Him taking away all that is unpleasant. Process is process. There is no shortcut around the fire. God never said there wouldn’t be pain. 

Can you stand in pain, having peace that He who said He loves you, still loves you even though it still hurts? 

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

I am sad.
I am sad because I feel hopeless and defeated.
I feel hopeless and defeated because I don’t know how to continue with Jupiter.

Jupiter is my current coworker who I feel the same unhealthy attachment towards, as I have Artemis, and all the ones before her. My friends joke that I should stop leaving my house because clearly I have a radar that senses these people and that’s how I always manage to find them. But that’s besides the point.

I spoke to my therapist this week about how I just want to pull away from Jupiter completely because I am terrified of her hurting me one day. Lately, as my want for her has grown, I have found it harder to interact with her. I second guess everything I’m doing, and everything I say. I am so afraid of doing or saying something that may be unhealthy. The last time we were together we spent the first 15min in silence because I just didn’t know what to do. We’ve been on vacation for over a week and at the start of the break, I deleted her contact information from my phone so that I could not contact her at all. It’s the holidays and I felt like if I contact her then I would be ruining the holidays for her. Why do I feel that? I don’t know. Maybe because I always think so lowly of myself that I always fear that my presence is a contamination.

As school is about to open, and we are about to go back to work, I have been having dreams about us. Us being in the classroom, and her ignoring me, and me breaking down crying. Of course in reality we are perfectly fine on her end. She is not emotionally immature and so she is able to remember that I am real even after not seeing me or hearing from me in a week. Me on the other hand, I feel like I don’t even know who she is anymore.

I want her so much and I am ashamed. So what do I do when I know that following my heart will lead to an unhealthy abusive friendship, which will end with her leaving, but my brain doesn’t have the answer. I saw a Disney Short about the brain and the heart deciding where the man went. So if I have arrested my heart, and my brain is clueless, where can I go? I stay stuck.

If I just distance myself from her completely, after all she has shared with me, and the trust she has in me, she would feel hurt and betrayed. But if I stay and ruin it then I will feel rejected and abandoned.

God teach me how to be. I feel my insides shutting down. I am tired of hurting people, and I am tired of getting hurt. Teach me God how to get it right this time.

The Disney Short I was referring to!

A closer look into my break with my past attachment figure

If you have been following me then you have read my many posts about my last attachment figure, who I have taken to calling Artemis.

After many failed attempts to making our friendship work once she decided that she could be a friend but could no longer be in my life as an attachment figure, I asked her for a year long break back in March.

In March, the extent of my understanding was that I was too attached to her and behaved very unhealthily towards her. I figured that in a year apart from her, I should be able to lessen my attachment and thus be able to accept the new setup of our relationship.

About two weeks ago, I gained new understanding of what this break means, and I wanted to meditate on it before writing about it.

 

Shout out to my friends’ patience because they have been saying this since March, but it took me 8 months to understand and see.

In my mind, the goal of the break was that I would get healthy, that way when she comes back I will be able to emotionally handle our relationship without having the bad reactions that I use to have. After thinking about it two weeks ago, I realized that my goal was to essentially pick up where we left off, except I would be handling it better outwardly, even though inwardly I would still feel as hurt, abandoned, and alone as before.

Why would I want that.

Instead, the goal of the break should be to give myself the chance to find happiness outside of her and learn to live without her. The honest truth behind why this goal is hard for me hurts me, but I will say it nonetheless.

I am afraid that if I give myself the chance to experience life without her at the center of my actions and thoughts, then I will realize at the end of the break that I will be ok if we don’t resume a relationship. For as long as I love her like an object then I get to want her, need her, desire her, so strongly, with a passion that helps touch the always present emptiness inside of me. When she becomes a person, then I gain the freedom to say that despite the love that burns in my heart for her, our season of relationship is over.

I feel like I have a definition of love, colored with dependency. In order for me to feel loved, I need to feel like someone holds me in their thoughts and needs me. Similarly, I express love in that very stifling way, where I try to always be present and around.

So what do I do now?

I decided to start by actually following her on instagram. I visit her page all the time, the only difference is that now she knows that I am looking. I didn’t want her to know because I was trying to show her that I am less dependent so she could take me back. But now I know thats not the goal anymore. In the beginning, I needed to stay away from her page because seeing her with certain people, moving on, hurt me. Now it doesn’t. I literally just visit her page out of the compulsive need to feel close to her. Visiting the page is just a symptom of another deep problem. The symptom will always arise. Even when I stayed off for two months, at two months and a day I was back to obsessively visiting it. Therefore, I wanted to follow her, so I did. Whether secretly visiting, or visiting on and off, I still have to fix the underlying problem either way.

I will end this post by saying that I know that dependent love is not love. If I only feel ok about someone pursuing something for as long as it does not hurt me then that is not love. If I want someone to be somewhere, where they are not experiencing their full potential, but them leaving means I get inconvenienced, than it is not love if I don’t encourage them to leave.

I need to love myself by encouraging myself to go, to move on, to soar. I need to love myself by giving myself the chance to learn to love like God. It’s not about Artemis, it’s about me. It’s my fears, my needs, my issues. I will love Artemis, and every other “Artemis” that was or will be, as people, and not objects, when I love myself.

Goal Reflection #1

I have been super excited for Sunday. I could not wait to sit down and have the time to think about how I did on my goals and what new ones to set. So without further ado I am going to write how I did on each goal below the goal. If you want to know why I set each goal you can take a look at last week’s post Here.
Last Week Goals:

1. I will visit my last attachment figures (lets call her Artemis) social media page only four times this week.
-I visited her page five times this week which is still a SIGNIFICANT decrease from the amount of times I was visiting her page before my goal. This week, this goal helped me see just how often I was running to her page for comfort and coping. At the same time I miss her so much. But do I miss “Object Artemis” or “Artemis Artemis.” Definitely both. There are moments where I am eager to share a new hair product or talk to her about something I only feel comfortable speaking with her about. Then there are moments where the emptiness feels like it’s going to swallow me and I wish she were there to set up tent inside of her. This month is her birthday and I know that the best thing I can do is not wish her happy birthday. I think because I am still so confused, she will sense that and even that minor complication on her birthday is not ok. I don’t want her to have to think about if she should say thank you and what both saying it and not saying it will mean. She knows I know it’s her birthday and she knows I love her and thats enough.

2. I will let Jupiter lead our interactions this week by mostly only interacting with her after she interacts with me.
-Yea I failed at this goal at the beginning of the week. BUT BUT BUT something else amazing happened that I don’t know how to explain. On Monday and Tuesday I offered some options for Jupiter and I to hang together and she agreed but didn’t follow up with it. There are lots of reasons as to why that is, but the most important thing is that despite me knowing that, I still felt rejected and HURT. I had a very emotional therapy session on Wednesday as a result. And in that session I was learning how to accept when another person doesn’t want the same things out of a relationship that I do. How that doesn’t mean that the person doesn’t want me or doesn’t love and care about me. But that what I want from them they just are not in a position to give.

I don’t think I quite understand this yet. During session I was just super confused as to what that meant because if what I want is for us to be close friends and she doesn’t want that then that means she doesn’t want me. Session ended with my therapist informing me that I just don’t know what I want. The following two days though something happened in me that I have never experienced with an attachment figure. Jupiter was talking to me about some of her insecurities in a close friendship of hers and I was being a safe space for her to talk and sharing ideas on how she could make the best out of that close friendship. And it wasn’t until after that I realized WAIT. I just spent the past hour hearing her talk about her love for her other friend and their closeness and not once did I ever get jealous. Heck, not once did I ever cross my mind. It was like my only concern or care was her, and how she was feeling and at the end of it, I just went on with my workday.

I genuinely and sincerely just cared about her. And whatever friendship role I was playing it just felt natural and contentful. I didn’t feel the need to push for more, neither did I feel insecure that because she has all of that love for her friend, there is not enough love or care for me. She wasn’t an object that I needed to gain, but a person that I truly saw and care about. The joy in my heart at this realization is bursting from out of me!!! I, am naturally and organically forming a real healthy friendship with someone that I initially unhealthily bonded too. Me, I am doing that. And because of that, Thursday and Friday I didn’t need to be conscious of this goal and how to actively do that. I knew who I was in the friendship, where I belonged, and just lived my life in that confidence. Does this mean I will never have BPD related issues with Jupiter now, idk, but I know that there is hope that BPD does not have to control my relationships.

3. I will choose one coworker this week and take time getting to know them a bit better.
– I did this! It was awesome getting to know someone else and experiencing how not every friendship has to be close but that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be superficial either.

This Weeks Goals:

1. I will visit Artemis Social Media Page only four times this week.
– I am keeping this goal because everything I wrote about last week concerning this goal still rings true. I am a lot more bonded to Artemis than any other attachment figure because for a period of time Artemis actually tried and succeeded at fulfilling the longings of my heart, though they are impossible to continuously fulfill. Nevertheless, it’s like with her I tasted how good life can be to have those needs met, and I struggle with deeply believing that it is not possible to get what I want, and I struggle with accepting that even if it were possible she will never want to be in my life in that capacity again. I gave myself to her more than I have ever given myself to anyone else and so forming a healthy bond to her is extremely hard and extremely painful because it feels like a lot of loss. In therapy I try not to talk about her often because there are other parts of my life that need healing, but when she does come up it’s one of the rare times my therapist sees me cry because the emotions that come with her are overwhelming.

So again, my head wants to have a healthy bond with her because it understands how much more satisfying healthy is. Parts of my heart want a healthy bond because it loves her as she is. But the part of my heart where that lil girl resides very much would still be throwing tantrums and acting out if I let her, at the thought of having Artemis in a capacity less than what she experienced and wants. So with Artemis the baby steps are very much impactful. And if I can start lessening the dependence through less interaction on her page, then I am doing good.

2. I will be in control of my happiness not people.
– With my recent victory concerning Jupiter. I have to be careful of not allowing my interactions with her determine if I am happy or sad. I am going to set the tone for the kind of day I want to have and operate out of that.

I’m only setting two goals this week and am excited to see what I learn from them!

Seeing Leah in Me: Part 2

The more I study the story of Leah, the more I realize that this is going to turn into a series. God is revealing so much to me, and my heart has been feeling so full spending time in my bible. I haven’t felt anything inside of me for a while now. But when I’m reading and studying the story I feel a mixture of ache and hope for a future that was often eclipsed by my depression.

If you have not read Part 1: you can do so here, as that sets the stage for this next post.

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As I have been reading, though this journey originally started with how I am coming to see myself in Leah, I believe that an even more accurate representation of myself is painted by separating the child inside of me and my adult self. While reading about Leah, the similarities between Rachel and I became too much to ignore.

I will try my best to include all relevant information but for a better understanding I suggest reading Genesis 29-30.

Background:
When Jacob arrived in the Land of his Uncle Laban, he fell in love with Rachel, Laban’s daughter, at first sight. Totally enamored, he agreed to work for Laban a total of 7 years in exchange for Rachel’s hand in marriage. At the end of the 7 years, Laban tricked Jacob by disguising his elder daughter Leah, and bringing her into the wedding chamber that night.

SSUP23Top Jacob who was probably drunk and excited from the wedding festivities did not realize He christened a marriage with Leah and not Rachel until the morning. Jacob was furious, but Laban explained that it is not their custom to marry the younger daughter before the elder daughter. Jacob agreed to marrying Rachel the following week, in exchange for another 7 years working for Laban.

Rachel is described as the younger more attractive sister, in contrast with Leah, who is described as having weak eyes. The bible doesn’t say how Leah must have felt watching her younger sister be chosen over her, but for Laban to resort to deceit to marry off Leah, makes me feel like Leah must not have suitors that were interested in her. What the bible does make clear though is that Jacob loved Rachel way more than he loved Leah, and that both Leah and God felt the pain of this rejection. I will dig into this more later but for now suffice it to know that God comforted Leah by blessing her with children compared to Rachel’s Barrenness.

Seeing Rachel in the Child in me:
14 years. That’s how much of Jacob’s time it took securing Rachel as his wife. Despite Jacob expressing his love for Rachel in both word and deed here is what the bible has to say.

When Rachel saw that she was not having children for Jacob, she became jealous of her sister. She pleaded with Jacob, “Give me children, or i’ll die!” Then Jacob became furious with Rachel. “Am i God?” he asked. “He’s the one who has kept you from having children!” Genesis 30:1-2

I am ashamed to say that I exhibited the same intense jealousy towards my attachment figure and even sometimes my own siblings concerning my own mother’s affections. The thing with jealousy is that it clouds the reality of things. Whenever my attachment figure would express affection towards her Pastor (aka Spiritual Mom), or I would feel they had something that me and her didn’t, my emotions would go through the roof. One time it also led me to almost seriously harming myself. Like Rachel I could not see the expressed love that my attachment figure had for me, and I instead drove her away with my need and jealousy. But Jacob stayed and loved Rachel, continuously, she never did anything that lessened his devotion to her.

Once, Leah’s son, maybe about 4 years old at the time brought his mother some
mandrakes. Rachel asked her for the mandrakes, and said “I will let you sleep with Jacob tonight if you give me some of the mandrakes.” Imagine! She knew the power and authority she had over her husband, that she could even dictate when he does or doesn’t sleep with his first wife, her own sister, Leah, then use that to her advantage.

Unfortunately, though Jacob loved Rachel endlessly and unwavering, Rachel died before allowing herself to experience Bible-verses-to-overcome-Jealousyand walk in that love, purely, and wholeheartedly. When God finally granted her request for children, after the first child, she petitioned God again for another son. While giving birth to the second son, she died, and in her last breath named that son Benoni (son of my sorrow). How sad, she had everything and yet died trying to attain what she already had because jealousy made her insecure. She realized too late that her quest for children only brought her sorrow.

I have brought on myself increasing amounts of pain seeking the perfect mother and the perfect friend. In the process I have lost people who mean a great deal to me. I have tried adamantly to gain them back because I felt like I was missing what they offered me. But i’m not.

I have the most amazing mom and group of friends. Show me someone with better friends than me and I will probably not believe you. All five of my closest friends are so unique, and so caring, funny, ambitious, strong/perseverant, that when I allow myself to think on the beauty that is all of them, I am overwhelmed. I think about the patience that they all exhibited towards me in the throes of my illness. When I would get hospitalized, without a doubt I could phone one to bring me clothes. When I was hurting they all were there in the best way they knew how from studying for exams by my hospital bed, to massaging me and providing laughter. When I allowed my reactions to my attachment figure to cause me to withdraw from them, they never held it against me because they understood. But now I know better and understand better and don’t desire to portray that level of selfishness again.

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For when I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a (Wo)man, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11

By the Grace of God I did not die in my sorrow, and I have the opportunity to grow in giving love and experiencing love. I want to maximize on that opportunity.

Gaining Better Focus

I debated about whether I wanted to share my journal entry today. There is a therapeutic release in journaling, which is why I journal so often. However, when it comes to my blog, I have to think about why would I want to share this in a public space. Immediately, I began to feel that when I blog I am taking ownership of myself, and in a way forced to become more conscious of myself by way of knowing that I am in a sense exposed to the people who will stumble across my post. This provides it’s own growth value because I can look back and see a more orderly representation of my growth and this reminds me why I titled my blog “Evolving Perceptions.”

Today during church the Pastor ended by saying this year it won’t be so much about rebuking the devil, as it will be about using wisdom to discern his schemes, because last year it was not about a question of willpower but a question of focus.

As I analyze the past relationship with my most recent attachment figure, I ask myself why was it so hard for me to see her as human. Why did I feel like I either needed to demonize or idolize her in order for me to better understand myself.

I can now see that it was an interplay between both my thought process and her somewhat grandiose personality.

The logic for me flows like this:

God gives me gift of person-> Person begins withdrawing from me-> SInce person was sent by God, all of their actions in my life must be orchestrated by God-> God is withdrawing person from me-> I did something wrong to lose gift -> Work harder to find what you are doing wrong and fix it so God brings person back

She unknowingly reinforced my thought process every time she said, “God is making me leave.” “God says we are purposeless” “God is ending the season” “God says us being apart is better for both me and you.” Most things she did in my life, if not all really, she backed up by saying she prayed over it and it was God influenced.

So I lost focus. I made her heart synonymous with Gods heart. I made her synonymous with God. Everything she did or did not do became a reflection of what God did or did not do. It made me feel I was in this losing battle against God. Therefore, when she tried to leave, God was leaving me.

But now as I gain more wisdom and insight and I look back over last year, what was more reflective of the truth is that, she wanted to help me love myself, but she realized that the way I needed her to be was something she could never be. And because she can be quite extra at times, she also believed that she felt responsible, as a vessel of Christ, to make things work. But that level of responsibility over an adult, coupled with the trials of her life became too much, and in an effort to rebalance herself she had to give up on me because I was too much. In the latter part of our relationship it wasn’t about me, it was about her, everything she did was for her, even if she doesn’t want to acknowledge that she needed to understandably be selfish, I am at a place where I can acknowledge that with understanding and acceptance. It wasn’t God doing this that and the third, it was her making a human decision to preserve herself.

I lost this focus in the relationship and turned her into a God because I needed to feel loved by God. It’s never about discerning if she was God led or devil led, but discerning whether in all things am I moving in a God led or devil led direction. It’s about me not her.

Sometimes all of this begs the questions for me if she ever actually loved me, or if I was just a misguided assignment. My therapist tries to say that it is impossible for her to have been as invested as she was in me and not to have loved me. I think for now, for my peace, I just answer my question with it doesn’t matter now.

However, with this new wisdom, I am able to look back through saved texts that I simply moved out of sight (she invested a lot of time in writing them that I didn’t want to delete them) and I find new compassion when reading them. I see true sincerity from the heart of a human that I was never able to fully see before as I tried interpreting her words through a God lens. I see GREAT care that sometimes when reading them I want to berate myself for being unable to see them before. Even as I read the texts where she began acknowledging that she was overwhelmed, I want to cry because I see her tiredness that could only stem from someone who cares and that truly feels like they are doing the best they can and still I get no better. I remember when I first read them, I read them with so much anger and hurt, because I felt like it was too late for her to claim being overwhelmed when she promised she would never give up, I wanted more and more. Now I see that for the circumstances of how we were in each others life and the fact that she had no relation to me she gave me a lot, and she tried.

Guard Your Heart

About two weeks ago I felt pushed to delve into and write about what it means to guard your heart. However, I couldn’t because there are just some aspects of my heart that were better left ignored, in my opinion, until there was an appropriate time, namely after the biggest exam in my life to date, passes.

209965I can’t help the unintentional triggers that cause me pain. I feel like I don’t have a choice in the instances where in the melting pot that is America, I inevitably pass people that speak her language, or eat her favorite cultural dessert.

I can’t help those, so I took the necessary steps to avoid intentional triggers. I removed everything of hers off my phone, from pictures to texts, and her presence off of my favorite social media sites.

In all of this though, my relationship with God suffered. I blame God for the ongoing state of pain I always find myself in. In my mind I saw the potential for the downfall of this relationship and when I tried to run away, I thought that it was Him teaching me how to stay and learn to love and accept love.

So naturally for me, as i’m sure many people like me with BPD, can relate to. What resulted was the inevitable investment of my entire self. My heart, my mind, I would have even invested my body if she wanted it, in exchange for her to do the impossible task of filling me unendingly. Of course at the time I did not know that I was engaging in this kind of relationship, however, soon after circumstances revealed the nature of my attachment, things went bad fast.

I was already in too deep to pull away, and she was already too scared to love me or care for me past the newly instated boundaries she felt compelled to enact. The result was a perpetual state of rejection and hurt like none other that I have ever faced.

It hurts so freaking bad. I feel like God must be punishing me for being such a bad person. I believe that he orchestrated all of this on purpose to break me. In my mind He must be punishing me because her joy and her peace has been restored, leading me to think that it was Him and her against me this entire time. And I’ve had other borderline relationships end but despite the pain, my internal sense of peace and connection to God, was never affected because things just made sense. This never and doesn’t make sense. So I run away.

guardheartsnoopy

Though I began by subconsciously running away, when God brought it to my consciousness with a post on my instagram that I’m running. And a follow up verse to show me how just to guard my heart, I ignore Him. Philippians 4:4-7

4 Be full of joy in the Lord always. I will say again, be full of joy.
5 Let everyone see that you are gentle and kind. The Lord is coming soon.
6 Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks.
7 And God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

I found it a cruel joke to be told that the way to guarding my heart is by having God’s peace. A peace that comes from not worrying about the trials in my heart, but instead praying for a God to do what He sees fit, when I’m scared that what seems fit to Him is punishing me because I am a bad person that does not exemplify His Glory in the way I live my life.

But yesterday, two weeks after this initial run in with God, my ways failed me, like they always do. My way of guarding my heart backfired, because I truly was always unable to do it alone. Though I thought I removed her from all social media platforms, yesterday night her blog showed up on my wordpress feed, because I completely forgot she had a blog. And like clockwork, just at the mere sight of her name, my heart sank. Everything I have been protecting myself from came rushing full force. I felt pressed at the thought of her noticing that I unfollowed her blog, and feared her thinking it was out of malice and not self-preservation, then saddened by the realization that she wouldn’t even care or give it thought because whereas she was able to stop caring for me, she still means so much to me.

So when I woke up this morning, with no desire to move, or eat, or breathe, I began to cry because I realized that I have to confront my hurt, and my heart, and that I have to do so with God. Removing reminders of her is a way of preventing constant bruising at wounds that are trying to heal, but that is not what guards the heart.

Guarding the heart has to be more, it is meant to be more. It is not trying to protect myself from heart grievances by instituting walls that keep everyone out and me locked in. Guarding my heart is a daily walk of prayer with the God who I am angry at. It is covering myself with prayer, and accepting His comfort. I didn’t know how deeply betrayed by God I felt, until I tried to sit and watch a sermon and anger boiled inside of me, then despondency, then finally waterworks to my friend, that revealed through my rambling that my soul is so unstable, because it recognizes it’s emptiness, and fears that God doesn’t recognize it too. That God doesn’t care about my pain or hurt because He thinks I deserve it. That God has His other children’s backs and I have to get the cinderella step-daughter treatment because I am just inherently vile. I believe that He would have her build me up and help me learn to love myself only to have her reach a point of being unable to love me to reflect the reality that I am unloveable.

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Guard my heart because from it flow the issues of my life. “Guarding my heart” against a relationship is not what this verse intends. Who we are does not flow from relationships but rather relationships reveal who we are. Guarding the heart means guarding the thoughts that we store up inside of ourselves that then color the lens through which we live.

Hence why it is only appropriate that Paul follows up his discussion about Gods’ peace with Philippians 4:8-9

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

The thoughts we think are important. Not seeing her name is not how I guard my heart. Dealing with the fact that I feel unloveable and unworthy of connection when I see her name, is guarding my heart, because then and only then will I stop equating my worth with the value I felt I had in our relationship. Then and only then will I be able to see her name without feeling that I will inevitably be rejected because that’s all I deserve. Once those thoughts have been replaced with new ones, I will not only truly heal from this past relationship, but will be better equipped and ready to handle not only new relationships, but different avenues that I may need to get to, that my stunted self-esteem has kept me from.

God must see something in me that makes Him pursue me, and it has to be more than wanting to punish me. Only by working with Him, and not against Him will I be able to purify my heart and gain His peace to help me grow.

Road Map Meme

It’s Gonna Be Okay

What I love about the word of God is that it is living, it is alive. It brings new meaning to your life when you need it, and it knows just what to say.

This verse has meant so many things to me throughout all the seasons that I have rested myself upon it. Today it has yet again brought new meaning to my current circumstances.

Philippians 4:12-13 reads:

12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Paul from experience is saying that he learned the secret of making the best out of any situation. The secret is that as long as Christ is alive he can do all things. After living through abundance and the desolation of prisons, Paul realized that he will always make it, because as he also said, all things will work together for his good because he loves God.

I am learning the extent to which depression is an illness. That even on medication some days are just a bad day. When I get a migraine I medicate it and rest. On days like today when it feels like my heart will never smile again and the thought of doing something makes my chest physically hurt and breathing difficult, I am learning that sometimes I just need to rest.

People think depression is just a mood. Sadness is a mood that sometimes helping someone in need, or being grateful, or watching a comedy can help uplift the mood. But depression is an illness and sometimes those suggestions are equivalent to telling someone with a broken leg to run a marathon. The point is not whether or not they can do it, but realizing that doing it will cause a lot of pain that will result in detrimental effects to the persons overall healing and recovery.

I am beginning to see how on days like today my subconscious is probably working out something that is manifesting itself as depression. I see now why medication AND therapy is the preferred treatment because it is extremely hard to heal with just one.

In terms of productivity or ADL’s (activities of daily living) I failed. But i’m not upset because I have a strange internal peace. I was daydreaming about someone holding me and loving me and in the dream I was content. But after the above verse was brought to my attention I realized that I am instructed to both abound and suffer need. I have been brought low but as I continue to breathe and try to soothe the aches out of my chest I am also content because this is just as beautiful a season as the one in my head because God gave this season to me.

Perspective doesn’t make the pain lift, or make me happy, or even make me smile but it makes me able to close my eyes and continue to rock back and forth, breathing, knowing that it’s ok, instead of trying to run away and cause myself more harm.

Trusting the Process

I am afraid of process.

I feel like I am in a weird place where I am in a process with God and I have no concrete cognizance of which direction I am moving in.

I am so thankful to God for the ability to slow down. That I can afford to slow down because I do not have to worry about bills, children, school, or other stressors that would prevent me from doing so. It is a privilege that others do not have and I am thankful.

Earlier this week I made the decision to cancel my registration for my MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test). This was not a light decision because admitting I can’t when it comes to my schooling translates to me feeling worthless, like a failure.

But I can’t. There is a constant ache inside of me that no matter how I toss and turn it doesn’t let up. I find no pleasure in anything that gave me comfort down to my beloved Harry Potter books. It’s just an ache that I want to do anything to get rid of but realize nothing in my own power can take it away.

So I ride it out with God. I wake up around 5:15 afraid for the sun to come up, because I’m afraid of starting a new day realizing I am no closer to healing then I was the day before. I spend most of the day in bed, occasionally rising to do some activity with my nieces whose tutoring I had to stop because there is just nothing in me to give that level of attention. Around 6pm I begin to get hopeful because there is only 2 more hours left in the day for me and my nieces get picked up leaving me the freedom to totally immerse myself in my room. At 8 finally I praise God and be kind to myself that I made it another day, take off my glasses and go to sleep.

I get so tempted to beat myself up and verbally as well as physically abuse myself for my current state. But truth is, it really does hurt to breathe. Making it through the day without doing anything destructive or taking out my issues on someone else really does make me proud. I don’t want to admit that to myself, that breathing is all I’m capable of, but honestly it’s been the most loving thing I have done for myself in a while.

I know God is leading because He’s the only reason why I am able to remain calm and just breathe. I am so confused as to what is going on. Yes my attachment figure left, and the constant ache and pain I am learning to see is the turmoil of a child inside of me that feels like her mother abandoned her. But I, as the adult am able to understand and not let that child control me. I, as the adult though also hurt by the loss, recognizes that my child needs me to lead, and to parent her, and not let my hurt neglect her. Because I, as the adult know this extends deeper than this current loss, but to all the ones that came before it.

So I do my best to ride the wave with God and lead my child as God leads me.