Underneath the trappings we’re decaying

My personal Bible study is going through the Book of Revelations. There are 7 church’s addressed each receive praise and instructions. Philadelphia gets a lot of praise but Sardis gets a lot of warnings including that while they seem alive they are really dead.

I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. (Rev 3:1)

From my commentary:

We cover up the dead places in ourselves with all sorts of regalia. We fill the emptiness with fine clothing, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, or relationships in which the other is set up as god. Underneath the trappings, though, we’re decaying.*

To me at least this soooo takes me to my mental health issues… For years I had been trying to fulfil the void inside that could only be filled by God… instead, I sought my self-worth in what I was performing and trying to show-off how important I was… trying to feel special and acknowledged by those around me….

Underneath the trappings, though, we’re decaying.

I had a huge dead place inside – and for me – the longer I chose to avoid it – the bigger it became… until I finally reached a point where the void was so big, I slipped off the edge and fell into it… and was forced to deal with it… and have God save me… but not before I hit the bottom with my depression, anxiety and BPD to the point of suicidal thoughts that would haunt me daily for months and months… and they still pop-up from out of nowhere still and can leave me quivering – literally, physically inside I feel like a taser or something has hit me…

I’m working the way out of the void with God’s help, however, there are scars… working and battling with God in the void isn’t easy… physically my brain is actually changed… I need – require medications to keep me from returning and falling back into the void…

Is it a case of lack of faith? No… Is a diabetic lacking faith by using insulin?

And just like a diabetic – somedays are better than others… it depends on way too many factors to list…

The good news is – I have God on my side… if I stay close to Him – listen to His spirit whispering to my heart and soul words of wisdom, I’m okay – even on the days which are not so good…

And prayer, but just not alone – I have a support network in place – I can send out a text message and know they are also praying on my behalf…

Growth – I am actively (well hopefully more days than not) seeking God’s will through not only reading my devotions but also in a group with women doing a 12-step from Celebrate Recovery – I do not have any personal gain by mentioning this other than knowing it works. The women in my groups have all different ways we have met – substance abuse, sexual abuse, anger, food addiction, codependency… but the one things we do have – a growing faith in God and building a network to support each other…

 

*Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Job’s Story and My Integrity

There once was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz. He was blameless—a man of complete integrity.

Satan had been going to and forth over the earth (and he still does this today). God and he talk and Job comes up in the conversation….

So God says I give you permission to change his situation and see if Job will curse me… and Job lost everything and so close together would have thought text messages had already been invented…

He lost 1 thing and only 1 servant escaped to tell Job and to make matters worse – before #1 had finished speaking a 2nd servant came to tell him about another loss but before he could finish speaking and a 3rd servant came to report another loss and before this servant finished speaking #4 came in with the final but most horrific news that all of his son’s and daughter’s had been killed.

Job’s response? He went into morning – shaving his head and beard, tore his close and then… then… Job fell to the ground and WORSHIPED – some may already know those well-quoted words:

Naked I came into this world – naked I will depart.

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away – BLESSED be the name of the Lord…

Satan didn’t break Job… He didn’t curse… He worshipped…

Then God proudly (as any parent would do) shows Job off… That Job is the best man on earth, blameless, high integrity…

Satan basically does a double dog dare you with God… God allows satan to take away Job’s health hoping to see that Job would finally curse God…

He is covered from head to toes with boils…

He found himself alone – His wife starts to nag him to curse God and give up and confess already!

Job’s friends come to support him and when they see how horrible Job’s body is… They morn just like Job had earlier… And they all stay silent for 7 days…

His friend’s, who came to support him, don’t understand him – surely God is punishing Job – they tell him to ask forgiveness and be done with it… most of the rest of Job is banter back and forth between Job and his “friends”.

The end of chapter 26 and into 27 Job speaks some words of truth at his friends… Job 27

Job 27 2:6 is what really caught and quickened my heart today…

2 “As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice,
the Almighty, who has made my life bitter,
3 as long as I have life within me,
the breath of God in my nostrils,
4 my lips will not say anything wicked,
and my tongue will not utter lies.
5 I will never admit you (Job’s friends) are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity.
6 I will maintain my innocence and never let go of it;
my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.”

God knew Job but more importantly, Job knew God. Job intrinsically knew God and the law of God… How to live in and stay in peace with God.

[Job grieved… He lost a lot… I can maybe empathize a bit… I have been dealing with a lot of loss with my mental health… A job I can no longer do which I really loved… Financial loss… my relationships with my family has changed, especially with my husband (he’s such a saint)… Loss of some friends… A very, very different daily, weekly, etc schedule… A changed way to live… ]

Now I have 3 trains of thoughts..

1. Staying true with friends. If Job were my friend how would my support be? I’d like to think I would stick with them through thick and thin, but would I question and wonder about their integrity?

I’m pretty sure that the answer would be no I would not… According to: Matt 5:45

For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.

There are areas in our lives that are totally out of our control. That doesn’t mean someone has lost their integrity! And I’d like to think I’m a support person…

2. How long would my integrity last? Actually, do I start with integrity? I’m not perfect in anybody’s imagination! I blow it. I make mistakes… And I have to suffer with the consequences of my previous choices.

However, sometimes I’m dealing with something that’s the results of the actions of others or just fate. When it’s because of the later, how would I handle it?

There are times though that no one else supports or is ready to back you on something… And just like Job you don’t waiver…

With mental health it’s so SO easy to doubt myself… To wonder if what I’m seeing or interpreting is truth or not… Second guessing, okay 100th time guessing…

My likely first reaction would be blaming myself as I’m must have done something wrong. Everything is always my fault… And I want to isolate…

Oh and let’s not forget anxiety… Yup, anxiety from all sides… kick in my BPD and a real fun mental health is going full tilt… My thoughts can be twisting around like Taz does in a Bugs Bunny cartoon…

I’ve been dealing with my mental health issues for coming up on 4 years. I like to think (okay let’s be kinder to myself) I know looking back I’ve changed, both for the negative but mostly positive.

Knowing that as I work and walk with God, as I get to understand how life should and can be lived, my identity in Christ will not be in question… Mostly to myself.

3. I’ve been on a rejoice journey lately with God… As in rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice…

It doesn’t matter what situation I’m in or at… God’s pretty clear…Phil 4:4 Rejoice to the Lord always and again I say rejoice!

So, Job was a very excellent role model…

Oh, in the end, God doubles what Job had lost…

Routines, Jesus & Spirals

My Christian routine has been off lately… Hubby retired, living in a new place, family needs… new commitments, times of sharing with friends, other personal trials… oh – don’t forget that I still deal with Mental Health Issues – and the cherry on the top – a brain injury… (the coconut – ADHD)

I NEED routine – I need numbers – literally…. 6 – that’s my morning number… brushing my teeth, washing my face and so forth… hopefully there will not be any distraction or my number counting goes out the window… Pockets or 5 or 6 when leaving the house – 4 pockets (keys, phone, wallets, hair) + hubby knows where I will be, water, anything else (usually placed so I will stumble over it on my way out)…

“Pockets” or 5 or 6 when leaving the house – 4 pockets (keys, phone, wallets, hair) + 5 hubby knows where I will be,  6 water, anything else (jacket) (usually placed so I will stumble over it on my way out)…

I NEED connection –  I LOVE Celebrate Recovery – It has been life changing for me… I had a good routine going this past fall – Step Study Tuesday nights, CR meeting on Thursday’s, Church on Sunday’s…. but this year we had troubles with weather – WAY more snow and freezing weather and missed many nights of both Tuesday and Thursday – I missed so many Tuesday that I dropped out of the 12 step  – There is a special sister bond that happens during a Step Study and I didn’t want to break what was already going on between them… I really missed that… {BPD trigger #1)

Someone, who I find as a good mentor, had mentioned going for coffee with me – and to me the way it was said to lead me to believe in a couple of weeks…. As you can read between the lines – it hasn’t happened… {BPD trigger #2}

Queue the Mental Health…. My Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) kicks into gear…. which triggers the anxiety  – depression follows – then the BPD voices get stronger… repeat… {BPD is somewhat quickly described as – I hate you don’t leave me + much more}

I find I’m sliding down a non-ending spiral slide… spiral slide

One huge issue is to even realise I have started spiralling… God never leaves us going down in a spiral – He always has a way for us to step off… The farther we go though, the harder & longer we have to battle back up…

This isn’t a physical battle… There is nothing physical I can push or punch or lockout or throw away… It’s a Spiritual battle… full on… and God has given me what I need to fight…

But once I do realise it… I have tools…

God’s peace (Phil 4:4-8)

The Armour of God (Eph 6)

Thought control (2 Cor 10:3-5)

Deciding if the thoughts and voices in my head are true or not – are they from God or not? Thoughts are from 1 of 2 places – God or Satan – I validate them – is what I am thinking something God or Jesus would say to me? Is it something I would say about or to someone I love?  My way to figure out if I should be allowing this is – take all my thoughts to God…
2 Cor 10:3-5  verse 3 We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

The good news is – we already know the finish to the war- read the end of the book – GOD WINS!

Jesus coming and dying on the cross in our place gave us BACK the authority that Adam had lost to Satan back at Eden –  MEANING that Satan has NO hold on me.

Satan is a SORE LOSER and will use anything and everything he can – including what is said and thought between our ears… a friend says – Satan needs to get out as he’s been living in my head rent free… He will still win some battles but NOT the war…

Is it easy? Not a chance… Sometimes after something is over I look back and realise I could have handled “this” way better with God in control. Sometimes I don’t trust God (I know this sounds stupid – and it is – but I can view God based on people I trust – mentors – and they aren’t perfect. Sometimes pride gets in the way – sometimes false humility, sometimes I feel the need to “brag” about where God and I are at and how I solved my problem basically myself and with just a little bit of God’s help… sometimes I simply don’t see what I should be seeing… accountability partners might come and try to gently suggest areas I need to work on in my walk with God… Sometimes I need my sponsor or friend or, of course, hubby to give me a swift kick in the keester.

Routine – that’s what I need to start figuring out… including a scheduled time with God… from where I am now… So – God – I have my agenda out…

 

 

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.

Flickering Flame

For the past week I’ve been an inpatient at our local hospital…  In the psych ward…  Major med adjustments…  Tonight hubby will pick me up on a weekend pass…  Next week towards the end of the week I should be released…  Then the next phase of this journey will continue…  Trying to establish a daily routine…  Which is harder than it sounds…  Mostly it will be do an activity,  rest,  repeat…  I will be using coping strategies I have picked up during the last 2 months…  I will have my meds and the extra when required…
And I have my faith…  Without that I would be dead already…

I toying with the idea of attending church on Sunday…  Partly the stigma for mental illness often runs deep in churches…  Let me pray for you! Have faith! Be strong!

Now,  I do believe in miracles and healing from God…  I’ve seen too many miracles not to believe…

But I also know that Paul had an affliction – and he had incredible faith…  Timothy had a stomach ailment,  David & Elisha suffered from depression…

I don’t believe in the nothing bad should happen to me as in a Christian false faith…

Christians, I believe, are given trials to endure as a way to show His light during these dark times…

And yes, my light has flickered several times… But there is still a flame…
flickering flame

Duck season or Wabbit season?

Did anxiety come first or did depression? One thing I know is that they like to play together and play fiendish pranks…  It reminds me of Bugs Bunny arguing with Duffy Duck over who was the target for Elmer Fudd… Bugs Bunny Clip

Some days you wake up and depression has decided to take most of the energy away from you…  Except when anxiety has the second act and you find yourself scurring to the bathroom (sorry if TMI)…

Other times you can be sitting reading or working on a puzzle when wham! It’s like a rocket ship just launched inside you…  It might be a delayed reaction to something from earlier and other times it just comes – reason unknown…

I wish that brain scans were more able to track the neurochemistry that happens…  Maybe in another decade…  At least until then there are some medications which can help…  And therapies which are a longer term aide…

The Canadian system isn’t bad and there are therapies which can help…  It just can take a while to get into the system ones compared to the self funded…  Which isn’t an option when you are either on employment insurance or some sort of disability…

Either way it’s going to be a long and hard journey with many hills and valleys to get through …  I’m blessed in that I have a good personal support network of family and friends as well as  some good medical experts helping me walk through my current valley…

Out of the Blue

I’m finding that the brain is still such a mystery… ok – not a big surprise really – but still… just when I thought I was starting to understand and maybe gain a bit of control… WHAM!! Suicidal thoughts come out of the blue….

I was driving with friends and the car slid a bit when it hit a bit of road ice and instead of the expected “glup” feeling – I went to gee – how nice would it be if we were to crash and I were to die and end up in heaven free of the pain I have inside…

It wasn’t the first time I had suicidal or dark thoughts that day either… earlier I started to sink and gritted my teeth and hung on for a while until the Ativan worked… it wasn’t surprising that I might sink some after 2 day of meetings… but it still amazes me that it will come so quickly seemingly out of the blue…

My Toolbox

After a couple of hard days, and thanks to the prayers of friends,  I find myself tonight sleep in a place dedicated to  helping adults overcome mental health issues… 

Yesterday after working I was so fatigued in every sense that the darkness surrounded me and I wasn’t sure I could fight it off.  So at my case workers urging,  I again ended up at ER.

I heard once that if in your toolbox you online have a hammer then every issue gets treated like a nail…  And for this darkness a hammer is not the right tool…  I need to get other tools and put them in my toolbox and learn how and when to use them effectively…  That is what I’m hoping to find both here and as I will be continuing beyond my time here with other therapies and groups…

So here’s to adding new tools… 

The Slope

I find myself sitting on a slope.  I’m surrounded by a heavy darkness that is seeping into my soul…  Below me is a bottomless abyss. Above me is obscured by the darkness and I know it’s where I want to go…  Way above is THE ultimate goal,  namely heaven. 

I alone sitting here…  Scared to move as if I step wrong I will slide down…  I know there are ways to climb but I don’t have the skills… 

Even sitting here there are rumblings which can cause the ground to shift… The rumblings are the voices I hear in my mind…  All the negative talk that continually swirls around…  I try to distract myself so I won’t hear them…  But that only lasts for so long… 

Mentally I can’t utter positive talk to myself…  Every time I even think of one I feel a kick to my gut… And the words get stuck then disapate unspoken… 

Right now I just want to fall asleep wishing I can wake up in heaven….  Which is why I’m at the ER as I realize I still need help… My faithful husband is sitting beside me for support… 

Ping Pong…

That’s how I feel my life is right now – ping pong – and I’m the ball… getting hit from every which way – with no control and being thrown about by emotional upheaval…

Today I had suicidal thoughts again… I had SOOO thought I was past those… I would be one of the ones who had a single bout and triumphantly marched back to normal life again – never to be sucked back in… apparently I was wrong… and its going to be a much harder battle than I had thought…

So where does this put me? I’m supposed to show up for 2 hours tomorrow at work… part of my graduated return to work… Can’t you hear the conversation now?

How you been?
Ill…
How you doing today?
So far so good, no thoughts of suicide today… this makes 1 of 1 days in a row!!

I knew that days would be some up some down… I just didn’t know it would get this low again… at least not this soon…

So what triggered it? I’m guessing several things – one being the education tomorrow of my coworkers and putting in 2 hours… two of thinking too much… of not walking – and then trying to figure out why I can’t make myself walk… three of outside pressures…

For now I’m just going to try to breathe, be distracted and hope I can sleep soon… and I guess tackle the day tomorrow… one breath at a time… off to the land of distractions I go… I’m becoming such an expert farmer on Xbox…