Buster Keaton & Brother Lawrence

Sometimes it seems like nothing goes wrong and I have a perfect day… key work SOMETIMES – usually scant and far a few (where did that saying from come – far a few?)

I’m usually good at seeing the bigger things in life – the trees in the forest – and mostly it is the things on the pathway that I trip on… usually… sometimes all the little ones seemingly play poker and I get hit with a royal flush… the days where every time I turn around there seems to be something… individually they are nothing – but when they come together they later watch the collective review and I’m sure they must be looking at the comedy they scripted for my day… and yes, it looks like a  Buster Keaton film (black and white silent film star worth seeing).

Someday later I will look back and get out a bowl of popcorn and tell the story of one day when…. to my grandchildren and in true grandparent fashion and there will be embellishments.

But on the day it is happening??  My friends who know me in person know that I am a kluts … seriously… I have an inner ear problem as a permanent leftover of my brain injury coming up on 20 years ago… and I am working hard to change this… today it seemed like everywhere I turned I was getting to know door frames or wall corners or slipping or tripping on well – dust! AND it just wasn’t my legs/feet that ganged up on me… my arms and hands joined the collective as well… I tried to put something somewhere… and missed… or  it slipped… or (thanks to my wonderful memory) would bring something into another room for a specific reason – get distracted about 3 seconds later (can we say ADHD) and then either forget why I came into that room – or seriously can’t remember what I brought – or where I left it about 10 seconds later…. (no joke)…. if you were to put microphones in my house you would hear a lot of “seriously Shauna” or “OK God – I know it’s here somewhere – please help me find it” said repeatedly.

By the time I’m now getting ready for bed and reflecting on my day… I’m de-stressing…
I didn’t really keep track of it until just a bit ago… kinda like the frog in water (I’ve heard not done)… put a frog in beaker of cold water and the frog is content – then put a bunson burner (the ones from high school chemistry) under the frog but at a low rate… the frog is still content and awhile later suddenly the frog croaks [pug totally on purpose]… so why? Well the frog was content – and the water was slowly rising – and the frog never noticed and suddenly the frog died because the water temperate was no longer compatible to it’s life.

One day of this can happen and for me – I don’t like the days when I don’t keep myself in tune with God – listening to the Holy Spirit – I’ve somehow tuned Him off…

Brother Lawrence expressed the highest moral wisdom when he testified that if he stumbled and fell he turned at once to God and said, “O Lord, this is what You may expect of me if You leave me to myself.” He then accepted forgiveness, thanked God and gave himself no further concern about the matter*

*Tozer, A. W., & Foster, M. E. (2007). Tozer on the Holy Spirit: A 366-day devotional. Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread

Here’s looking at a better day tomorrow…. I’m going to be more like Brother Lawerence I think I need to memorise his words – for it’s not just for the physical but also for the spiritual….

Learning to Learn & Coconuts

God’s will… something as a Christian I strive to do… I really do want to… I try to seek out His plan for me… and then when I think I have it – I try to do it… and many times fail.

As someone with mental health issues it can be very overwhelming. My anxiety goes up, my perfectionism jumps to the front of the line, fear of failure and with BPD inside I’m already planning an escape route because I just know I will mess up. I will disappoint people (again) and they will never want to be around me… Well I think you are seeing where I am going with this… I don’t even know where to start – I freeze or I fly…

During a devotional I came across Psalm 143:73 & then I had an epiphany!

Psalm 143:73 You made me; you created me.
Now give me the sense to follow your commands*

I had it backwards when it came to my thinking about doing God’s will! I was trying to do it by myself and then give it to God saying here it is but instead of being done properly it’s messed up (yup – see I’m too messed up – I’m a loser – I can’t do anything right – I bet God is ashamed of me)….

I needed to first learn how to learn God’s will…

okay – let me explain…

In God’s will say I’m going start using coconuts for making wonderful deserts for church meetings . It’s a way to serve in my church but the problem is when I get a coconut I don’t know what to do with it… I know I need to get it open – but how? I’ts hard – so maybe I need to bash it with my fists… try #2 run over it with my car… #3 drop it from the upper window of my house… #4 I use a drill and finally at least get the liquid out… but not the meat…

So how do I finally learn? I need to ask God to teach me so I can use the entire coconut both the milk and the meat and He shows me. So now I have learned and have the coconut skill ready to go!  Learn #1 accomplished

Now I need to use the readied coconut as God wants me to. What recipes does He chooses. There are so many out there – but I know that I can trust God to give me the correct one He wants me to use. Learn #2 accomplished

Hopefully I’ve explained it well enough that you and I need to learn to be able to learn. God won’t ask us to do more that we can handle – He will stretch us and we will accomplish more than we could ever hope to… we will grow in our faith… which brings us into better relationship with Him – and then He are assigned something else and God gives us what we need to…

*Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ps 119:73). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

 Edit*** From my devotions

 I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. 

 

Not Always or Every & God Sees

I’m just like everyone – we all want to feel wanted, special. needed. loved. And for people with Borderline Personality Disorder this is very true but the self-hatred and the polar opposite is also true  – My 2 second teaching version of BPD is – I hate you – DON’T LEAVE ME!!

The “I hate you” is a coping method of pushing you away because we know that eventually you wiil so let’s just get it over this now, but we really are desperate for a friend.

BPD is a severe diagnosis – 1 of  everty 10 people diagnosed  will die from suidice

If someone you know or love has been diagnosed please take the time to read up on it. There are many really good YouTube video’s

There are  500 plus ways to be diagnosed so it’s not a one size fits all illness but there are 2 basic categories everyone ends up – rage or quiet. Some information online say 4 – either way it’s serious. My BPD is always there. Ready to jump out. Sometimes I catch it and sometimes I don’t until later.

I am blessed as I have a great resource network that I have built up over the last 3 years. The best one by far is Celebrate Recovery it is a Christian 12 step. I’ve posted the link here. I hadn’t heard of it until I really needed it and when I did I was emotionally, spiritually and literally physically dead.

I was emotionally, spiritually and literally almost physically dead.

But I took ownership of me. Was it easy? NO – absolutely – categorically  NO! 

I took mental health classes thorough my local mental health and I did the homework. I attended CR week after week.Sometimes I sat in my car for 1/2 hour to even open the door. I attended CR when I was allowed out on phys on passes. I did the 12 steps twice and I’m on my third. I attended church – I joined a small group from church. I built my network of support. New friends.

I changed my thinking behaviors – insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. If you want change you need to change the script.

I stopped using words like EVERY and ALWAYS – Every time I open a box of cereal it splits open and falls on the floor? EVERY TIME?? umm…well , you know like… twice
I ALWAYS get scratched by my friends cat? ALWAYS – well – only when I sit on her favorite chair…

I was challenged to think of 3 things to thankful for – right now…. you do it too…

  1. I have access to a computer
  2. I am in a place where I am sheltered so I can actually use a computer, so I’m not in the rain or snow or dessert
  3. I have clothes I am wearing right now

Get the idea? Small things count! Build your list – keep adding to it… maybe you can look out the window and see a bird or a tree or…

I have been dealing with this for just over 3 years now. It’s a SLOW process – It’s a hard and rocky pathway.

BPD people need other BPD people & we need other “normal” people (do they actually exist?)  okay how about other people who are dealing with other issues but no BPD so we can sort of aim for what we want to be….

A lot of people quote Jeremiah 29:11 I like 11 to 14

 Jer 29:11-11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity

Captivity that pretty much describes how I felt 3 years ago… a churning, boiling black pit – my own personal hell on earth trying to drag me down for good, It came close.

I started off this blog talking more about how everyone (in this case every fits) wants to be needed, and I have found that I am needed – but as God needs me – this isn’t a wishy-washy statement. God built me from the zygote on up. I have desires and passions inside of me just waiting to be used – I have talents. God isn’t going to push those aside and tell me to do something I have no desire to do (unless I need to learn more about humbling).

To not use my talent is a waste. I may fumble a bit while learning to utilize it – but at least I am using it.

As for being noticed – yes – I am being noticed. God is watching and I know that’s more than enough.

Buster Keaton, Brother Lawrence & Popcorn

January 9. 2017

Sometimes it seems like nothing goes wrong and I have a perfect day… key work SOMETIMES – usually scant and far a few (where did that saying from come – far a few?)

I’m usually good at seeing the bigger things in life – the trees in the forest – and mostly it is the things on the pathway that I trip on… usually… sometimes all the little ones seemingly play poker and I get hit with a royal flush… the days where every time I turn around there seems to be something… individually they are nothing – but when they come together they later watch the collective review and I’m sure they must be looking at the comedy they scripted for my day… and yes, it looks like a  Buster Keaton film (black and white silent film star worth seeing).

Someday later I will look back and get out a bowl of popcorn and tell the story of one day when…. to my grandchildren and in true grandparent fashion and there will be embellishments.

But on the day it is happening??  My friends who know me in person know that I am a kluts … seriously… I have an inner ear problem as a permanent leftover of my brain injury coming up on 20 years ago… and I am working hard to change this… today it seemed like everywhere I turned I was getting to know door frames or wall corners or slipping or tripping on well – dust! AND it just wasn’t my legs/feet that ganged up on me… my arms and hands joined the collective as well… I tried to put something somewhere… and missed… ot  it slipped… or (thanks to my wonderful memory) would bring something into another room for a specific reason – get distracted about 3 seconds later (can we say ADHD) and then either forget why I came into that room – or seriously can’t remember what I brought – or where I left it about 10 seconds later…. (no joke)…. if you were to put microphones in my house you would hear a lot of “seriously Shauna” or “OK God – I know it’s here somewhere – please help me find it” said repeatedly.

By the time I’m now getting ready for bed and reflecting on my day… I’m de-stressing… I didn’t really keep track of it until just a bit ago… kinda like the frog in water (I’ve heard not done)… put a frog in beaker of cold water and the frog is content – then put a bunson burner, the ones from high school chemistry) under the frog but at a low flag… the frog is still content and awhile later suddenly the frog croaks… so why? Well the frog was content – and the water was slowly rising – and the frog never noticed and suddenly the frog died because the water temperate was no longer compatible to it’s life.

One day of this can happen and for me – I don’t like the days when I don’t keep myself in tune with God – listening to the Holy Spirit – I’ve somehow tuned Him off…

Brother Lawrence expressed the highest moral wisdom when he testified that if he stumbled and fell he turned at once to God and said, “O Lord, this is what You may expect of me if You leave me to myself.” He then accepted forgiveness, thanked God and gave himself no further concern about the matter*

*Tozer, A. W., & Foster, M. E. (2007). Tozer on the Holy Spirit: A 366-day devotional. Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread

Here’s looking at a better day tomorrow…. I’m going to be more like Brother Lawerence

A Little of This, A Hard “That” & Stallions

God has been confirming where my ministry is… it is to women with mental health issues just like me. And that I will be in the trenches with them… for now at least, the physical healing has not been granted. I still deal with fatigue and down days. I have my network of accountability partners and my sponsor. I have Bible First Aid kit of verses that have given me comfort in the past. I can pray of course – and I have my sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.

A couple of weeks ago I  got rattled to my soul. Satan will use anything and everything to fire darts or arrows at us – and he landed a good one. I have been stable with my meds now for just over a year. During that time I had no suicidal thoughts and I was pretty secure in thinking I had victory over them. Not so I found out…. It rattled me so hard that I felt it spiritually, emotionally and physically. I literally felt like a taser gun had hit me and it lasted for many hours. It was humbling and an awakening to not take things for granted. I had friends and family praying for me.

I’ve been working on being more meek and weak so that it will be evident that God deserves the glory and not me. God can work better if I just let Him be in charge. It is by His strength.

But meek is not a wall flower type of person… meek really means strength under control – I recall reading that the analogy of  taking a wild stallion under control – the stallion still has it ability and power but now can be used to it’s full potential.

The church we attend has been growing and is continuing to grow … and I like how the church is doing it… it’s not just bring somebody type of idea – it’s more that as we grow we have needs in our church – everyone is equipped with God given talents – passions – desires – and as a church we are going to figure out what they are for everyone – and then look at how best each person can use their gifts.

I can foresee many stallions in our church…

My eager desire and hope being that I may never feel ashamed, but that now as ever I may do honour to Christ in my own person by fearless courage. Phil. 1:20*

*Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.

 

Downsizing or Upsizing

Dear hubby is nearing his retirement day… simply put… he’s finally found his body just can’t perform like it did 10years.

His ambition’s and dreams are those of a youthful 20 year old. He has the skill and knowledge of a 40 year old, but the body of an 80 year old. 

One of his gifts is service. Ask him to build something and it will be built correctly, as expected  (maybe a little better than expected) and it will last for a very very long time.

I have digressed. We’ve sold our house and for now we live in a cute 2 bedroom place at Zajac Children’s Ranch. And we’ve purchased a 32′ trailer on tourist campsite area. 

So we are going from smaller to even smallest. 

Moving to a 2 bedroom Gatekeepers cabin  we downgraded a lot… and what we still have to do is go through the unpack box as after living with most of them well…..

In my devotions I’ve been reading about what really is important

We’ve hunted for a few things which we relagated to the spare bedroom. 

To me life really isn’t about things anymore… OK I’m not perfect but I do know that I am nothe where I was…

Do I really need a bigger screen tv? And I have it because??? 

We haven’t had cable here and survived… 

Our Internet speed is SSS….   LLLLL…… OOOOO….. WWWW!!! 

(Which is a good thing or I might spend to much wasted time “surfing”)

What I’m trying to be better at is spend time with God Through….

      Worship – Study – Prayers

There is one working on and that’s more concentrated alone time with God.

This I need to upsize…

Year 3

Three years ago today, January 3, 2014, was the first day I realized I was in serious trouble. January 3 – I recall answering a simple question out loud and then saying internally

“they have no idea I want to kill myself”

This wasn’t just dealing with the blues where I took medication for 6 or so months and did some online course and all would be well.

My world was about to change drastically.

Here I am 3 years later – and yes – there have been drastic changes – some I never would have imagined. It took over 2 years to find the right combination of medications – drug changes are NEVER fun. It’s not like  Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. It’s not barbaric… It is humbling though.

To realize that in many ways you are not in control:

  • a happy pill doesn’t exist
  • there is no magic day where the sunshine is just right to make it all go way
    • especially if you just take a nice walk and get some fresh air
  • your thoughts are going 1 million miles a minute
    • many of those thoughts can be of self- harm
    • many others are of suicide
  • many of your friends don’t know how to deal with it, so they move on
  • your family life changes
    • you HONESTLY believe your family would be SO MUCH BETTER OFF WITHOUT YOU
    • People who you had leaned on you – you now lean on them
  • at times you just want to curl up and die
    • you write suicide notes
    • you plan your funeral
  • your self-respect is gone
  • you are not who you were before all this
    • you will never be that person again
    • at 9 am you realize you are thirsty as you lie in bed
    • at 1 pm you are just more thirsty as you still lie in bed
    • having a shower is monumental
      • no joke
  • you can’t work – seriously you can’t
  • your brain is actually changed – there is a physical change
  • you are dealing with stigma
    • you realize you had been one of these people
      • people need education
  • you NEED medications
    • sometimes several
    • some have nasty side effects

Clinical Mental Health is a LIFELONG BATTLE


So – three years later – where am I at?

I’m stable – for 2 years I ran the gauntlet of admissions and med changes. I’ve been stable for just over a year.

I have 3 mental health diagnosis

  • Clinical depression
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Borderline Personality disorder (Quite type)

I’ve learned that mental health is a complex illness
some is genetics
some is environment

I’ve learned coping skills – about bad days and good days.

I’ve learned warning signs

My family has learned warning signs


The silver lining in all of this has been developing a good network of family and friends. I’ve learned about dealing with hurts and habits and hangups. I’ve learned about having a good network of family and friends.

About 5 months after my diagnosis I was in the hospital going through another medication changed. I had actually attempted suicide. My note was right on my phone – all they needed to do was swipe the screen. Obviously it didn’t work but my point is – I really couldn’t get much lower.

A friend of mine was celebrating his 60th birthday – his last thing on his bucket list and was on a different ward who I went to see – and I saw an old friend. She saw the hospital bracelet and talked to me – she invited me to CR at the church. I was released on Tuesday and on Thursday I went. There were a few people I knew from years ago – and I felt nothing other than acceptance. CR stands for Celebrate Recovery – a Christian version of the AA 12 steps but with 8 principals based on the Beatitudes of Christ. The 2nd step is what I remember from that first night

2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13)*

Sanity – that’s what I was needing. I don’t remember anything else from those first days other than love and acceptance and support. I left with a few phone numbers to be able to text people. My support network was starting to build.

I’m a very blessed person. I have a loving family. I have a great network of friends who accept me just as I am – no mask needed to pretend I’m okay.

I know without a doubt if I didn’t have my support in place I would very likely be dead or a statistics homeless person.

Am I preaching about CR? I guess I am – if you had figured out a way to win the lottery – wouldn’t you share it? Check it out – it something that has been going for 25+ years.

Celebrate Recovery

*Baker, John; Baker, John. Stepping Out of Denial into God’s Grace Participant’s Guide 1 (Celebrate Recovery) (Kindle Locations 116-118). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

 

Jan 1st, Hummer & Civic 

January 1st. The day we all make promises and goals and by February 1st…  yah…

The holidays of saying happy thoughts are over… people are not in touch… the promise of getting together drifts off…

And while fading away is socially acceptable… for people struggling with mental health it can be devastating… their “happy” chemicals which came from an expanded family/friends being together is gone and now they feel sadder…more alone… maybe it’s back to the “sadder” lever it was before the holidays… let me give you an idea…think about it… it’s like you now driving that beat up old clunker to work after borrowing a much better vehicle … maybe not an Hummer, but certainly an upgrade to a nice SUV … and now it’s disappointing… you wish you had it back…

That’s what I’m talking about… yes there are happy memories…but memories don’t physically hug you… they aren’t there in person..

I guess what I’m saying is… keep that vow to see them more often… sometimes a hug can do wonders for people like myself to get a hug or a phone call… because it means we get to drive a Honda Civic for a few days