Mental Health with Prudence

When I am in the middle of a mental health battle everything can and usually does seem wrong – bad – against me – nothing is going right and “NEVER” will again… and we all know that this is bunk when we are at the other side of the battle… 

The battles are dark and potentially deadly… and because of the deadly part – wisdom needs to be used… 

Proverbs 8:5-6 (NIV)
You who are simple, gain prudence;

You who are foolish, set your hearts on it. 
Listen, for I [widsom] have trustworthy things to say;
I open my lips to speak what is right.

Prudence:
1: the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason
2: sagacity or shrewdness in the management of affairs
3: skill and good judgment in the use of resources
4: caution or circumspection as to danger or risk

So #2 doesn’t really apply here but the other 3 most certainly do! 

#1 Govern and reason – Reason and mental health – basically mortal enemies and not used as a pun – 2 Cor 10:3-5 How do these words, arguments line up with God’s words and truth? It isn’t just a thoughts game – it is a Spiritual battle! Battle plan – praying, praying and more praying – and reaching out to have my network pray… 
#3 Skill and judgments and resources – as a Christian I have my Bible and my trusting “Bible First Aid Kit” – memories of dark times I have been through with God – verses in the Bible that talk to me about how irrational my behavior and thoughts are
#4 Caution – Keeping in touch with family and friends – my support network really helps keep me from big slides… I am accountable to them and they help me if they see changes in my behavior… 

Journalling – for me – journalling is important – I can look back and see success and joy!

But how about the hard times? Aren’t those depressing? 

No – I get to look back and see how God got me through the hard times! I get to look back and see just how far God has brought me! I get to go back and know that God has already helped me fight bigger battles and won them – so I know that whatever battle I find myself in – God will get me through now… 

This is called WISDOM – knowledge is knowing something can happen – WISDOM is putting knowledge into practice… 

My Temple & Talk with God Today

Eze 44:5–8 Take careful note of the procedures for using the Temple’s entrances and exits. 6 And give these rebels, the people of Israel, this message from the Sovereign LORD: O people of Israel, enough of your detestable sins! 7 You have brought uncircumcised foreigners into my sanctuary—people who have no heart for God. In this way, you defiled my Temple even as you offered me my food, the fat and blood of sacrifices. In addition to all your other detestable sins, you have broken my covenant. 8 Instead of safeguarding my sacred rituals, you have hired foreigners to take charge of my sanctuary.

Back in Ezekiel’s day, God’s temple was a single building. Built with VERY specific measurements. Here the prophet’s role was to teach the Israelites not only how to physically rebuild God’s temple where Jehovah was going to return to but to also instruct the populations on how to change their ways when seeking forgiveness and worshipping God.

God has particular and well laid out rules (which no person actually keep which is why Jesus came as the final sin offering)…

Now, I deal with food addiction… food has always been a comfort for me… a way to stuff myself and my anxiety away… well – we all know what happens with that…

I have lost about 150 lbs in the last 5 years – but lately, the scale has been going the wrong way… I can easily pop off a few excuses (definition of excuse: skin of the truth stuffed with a lie) and humanly “justify” it

The reality is – my body IS God’s temple

God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple

1 Cor 3:16-17  16 Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in[a] you? 17 God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple

1 Cor 6:19-20 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

So- while I was talking with Him today – here is what we chatted about…

My child, you are reading about My temple – all the sacrifices, all the ways that were  necessary to purify the priests… verse 6 “enough of your detestable sins!” You have brought in things and defiled my temple – your body IS my temple! I have been nudging you about this – and even now I SHOUTING this and hitting you like a football linebacker! You have been ignoring my nudges – and are bearing the consequences of your disobedience… 

How many more times will you choose to not listen? the longer you choose to not listen, the quieter my Voice is to hear… 

Lord, You know my thoughts right now – You can see the turmoil stirring up inside! the fear of failing – “yet again” – all those voices of doubt… the feeling of being overwhelmed … But yet I know that with you NOTHING is impossible… You have helped me to build my rock based house – You have built is strong with bricks of truth, of testimony, with scripture that does not change, with the covenants which You hold true. You have supplied the mortar with the word of your testimony, of the miracles of have experienced, of your faithfulness, of Your love and it is my hope and with faith, I can use it to continue building… 

GodTube

I decided to sit and read a book by one of my favorite authors, Grace Livingston Hill, so I put YouTube on with a song list on and settled in…

  • Music – check!
  • Book – check!
  • Snack and something to drink – check check!!
  • Dog tucked in under blanket and snuggled in – check

Ready to read… And then YouTube started or should I say GodTube started… Song after song… Reminder of the depth of God’s love... Balm to my heart and soul… Refreshment for my mind… Strengthening my resolve… – making it so much easier to be still and know that He is God

It turned out I clearly needed worship time with God more than reading a book so I can fulfill the greatest commandments…

Luke 10:27 He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ ; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

Regardless of mental health issues or not – GodTube is just what we need – when we need  – even if we weren’t aware we needed it…

I Don’t Want to Adult

Today marks 2 years since my last admission ended… Major medication changes… It took many months to get to the right combo but it was well on its way…

I had to trust my psych that he knew what he was doing… 

With God it’s the same thing… I have to trust Him…

Picture a sweet little girl, say little Shirley Temple…  Skipping down a garden path and she finds a weed. She knows that weeds don’t belong in a garden so she pulls it out, goes to where the gardener is working and asks what to do with it. He points out a bucket and she simply goes to it, drops it in then goes on skipping down the path…

Oh, to have a child like faith… So simple… 

See something not right, ask and get instruction, believe instruction, follow instruction, continue on as before as if nothing had happened but wiser in how to deal with this issue again…

Matthew 18:1b-5  He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me

When dealing with mental health issues, somedays simple instructions have been all I could do… Get out of bed, go eat something, try to do something to distract (from list prepared for days like these), if needed find someone to talk to, take the dog for a walk, feed the dog, play with the dog…

These are days I don’t want to adult… Actually, I honestly can’t adult, especially when my brain chemistry isn’t correct… 

That’s why there are help lines, suicide lines, web sites…

But I do trust God..  it doesn’t have to make sense… If I find something I don’t understand I just need to go with it…

God’s got a 100% average…

Hello God… It’s About Time

God and I had a beyond incredible time today! The Holy Spirit was involved and if I thought I knew what what the Spirit groans for me was… I was floating in a rubber tube down a creek… Instead I was in the fastest boat… ever… my chest is still feeling it hours later… (Romans 8:27-28)

Back story… Sometimes life just seems to happen all at once… pressure from multiple areas of life… I battle with mental health issues and a brain injury as well as some physical aspects. Some days just suck… So I felt God telling me I needed to work on my integrity (my personal challenge started Nov 1/17… CR chips as accomplishments)

And there are really 2 well maybe 3 types of integrity…

  1. False humility type (people wanting to be seen for how close they are to God)
  2. Living a life of integrity but more like just doing it because they were told they should
  3. Really living out load… Actively trying, falling, learning why, getting up, dusting oneself off and get going again

In some areas I was wondering if I was more of a 2 than a 3 and a good smattering of 1…

So today was a good a time as any to spend quality time with God and see about getting more three’s…

We spent enough good time – I actually sent hubby a msg to eat out and come home later… I didn’t want it to end…

God was gracious but also fair in every aspect of what was dealt with…

I journaled while it was going on… I wrote something from my heart and mind and then, before I had finished writing, into my mind would come a Bible verse…

I would bring up something and really ask without a clue something would suddenly come… I’d still be finishing my part and be nodding as what I “hearing” was just the perfect response I needed… And I’d need another Kleenex…

We repeated this over and over again… I filled a lot of pages and used a good size box of Kleenex…

Just Hello God

I started with just “Hello God” and before I finished writing those 2 words I was crying…

And I felt Him say to me “It’s about time”…

The only thing that I will share is that:

I changed my journalling to more an actual talk… As if He was sitting across from me… But He wasn’t there… He was before, behind, holding me in the shadow of His hand…and in my heart…

Integrity How To Lesson

INTEGRITY… My new theme idea, goal, challenge, blue chip at CR…

So what is integrity? This word that God has laid strongly on my heart?

Definition of Integrity: “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.”

“S/he is known to be a person of integrity S/he is known to be a wo/man of integrity

Synonyms: honesty, probity, rectitude, honor, good character, principle(s), ethics, morals righteousness, morality, virtue, decency, fairness scrupulousness, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness

SYNONYMS DEFINED:

Rectitude: morally correct behavior or thinking:

Fairness: the quality of having strong moral principles; honesty and decency, impartial and just treatment or behavior without favoritism or discrimination.

Integrity – But just how can an intangible choice be physically manifested? Words are just words… Words can become actions… How do I know I’m succeeding?

Proverbs 2:1-7 My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands.

Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.

Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding.

Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures.

Then you will understand what it means to fear {awe} the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God.

For the Lord grants WISDOM!

From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.

Routine… Please don’t interrupt my routine or whatever was still left probably will be forgotten, unless it is blatantly the obvious… (Seriously I forget…)

Micah 6:8 O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.

The what is good… I’ve been taught values and principles since I was a wee little one… so good, well Jesus is good (perfect, love, etc)… And for me…

Would I offer Him…

I’m going to use the measuring rod of… If Jesus walked into the room and saw/heard whatever was happening… Would I offer Him to join me or try to cover it up…

God also tells me that there are 3 things He requires of me…

1 Do what is right I have a great book with 66 chapters that came with me as an instruction manual if I’m not sure and spend time with Him (see point 3) (and the “Golden rule”)

2. Love mercy (Dictionary: compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm)

Mercy… God has been very merciful in my life… Basically it’s was used when Jesus washed away my iniquities at the cross… and then over and over and over again when I deserved the consquences of my actions when I ask for new transgressions…

So to love mercy means I have to give it as well… The Lord’s Prayer… Forgive us our trespasses as WE (I) forgive others

3. Walk humbly with Him He’s been so merciful to me… He is love… He tells me that “I” matter to Him… Realistically… I don’t deserve even being in the same universe as Him… And I need to keep reminding myself of this… God deserves all the glory

Integrity: My challenge… I’ve put down my thoughts, they may need adjusting…

I’m setting the wall high… I can’t remember who said it but it was something like it’s better to be reaching for a high goal then a small one that’s easy to hit…

More integrity coming in future blogs…

Nudges

My sweet pooch, Ivory, would love to play outside all day except on really raining days… Unfortunately for her she needs to be with someone to watch her and my life gets in her way…

But when it’s time to do what must be “done” she gives me a nudges with her nose and until I put down or cease to do what I’m doing and she keeps nudging me until I start moving towards the door…

She follows me to the door and when I put my shoes on jacket on she eagerly starts going around in circles all the time watching me make sure I’m still getting ready… open the door and we are off!!!

As a Christian I, like anyone else, have the gift Jesus sent down shortly after he ascended to heaven… The Holy Spirit… I think of it as my Godly conscience, a connection to God with prayers, direction and decisions – even when I can’t utter a word because I’m overwhelmed for fabulous and not so fabulous reasons…

HE IS WHAT NUDGES ME

That inner (good inner) voice “speaks” with easy tasks like I should take my coat along even though it’s a sunny day… And sure enough it rains or gets cooler than expected or big decisions, life altering ones (not snap though).

Four years ago the bottom of my life was falling away. As a child, as a teen and as an adult years I would have spurts where I was closer to God, usually during the tough times… 

The Holy Spirit always nudges me in every situation… He probably pounded a bass drum, a fog horn, but I wasn’t listening, I was building with MY self-worth… I ignored Him…

When I hit the bottom I had a choice seek His help or just stay there and figure out a successful suicide…

God pulled me up… I’ve need really tuning into God…

Integrity… And being true to myself with myself and I will share my progress on my blog to show myself as accountable…

My daily marker will be did I at least try? I know there will be days I fall flat on my face… Failure, though, will be in not getting up again… I may not blog every day…

Integrity… I started November 1 I wasn’t yet sure of criteria yet… But I’ve had a lot of nudges that I’ve listened to, some I haven’t but

#1 I didn’t quit (huge accomplishment)

#2 I admitted my slips and made amends

Next came some trials… A sore back which interfered me being away from CR big group and Step Sisters…

My Mental Health… I’m pushing through… It’s a struggle…

E V E R Y D A Y

I want to isolate, stay home, in bed… wrong thoughts coming at me…

Out came my daily accountability checklist… And I started going through it…

#1 Morning prayers… Thanking God… The armor of God – piece by piece… Other verses…

And I keep going down my list… Check box by check box…

When I am done, I have a lot of peace… I have Christian songs running in my head blocking out the negative thought. I put on Christian music…

And right now routine is needed:

I’m dealing with a situation/something in my life… Obviously, I wish I wasn’t… and it could turn out to be nothing or else something not if my choosing… And would be more than I can handle… and I will be listening for the Holy Spirit nudges

Huggles and loves and prayers…

If Only

I’m currently doing the 12-step program Celebrate Recovery offers. It’s actually my third time. Every time I do there’s always something more that God can work on with me.

We’re dealing with the lesson on POWERLESS – an acrostic on how we really need to depend on God and for God’s help with the issue… it looks at the past…

If only…. Only If…

Only if
I had noticed _____ the _____ would/wouldn’t have happened
If only I had known _____ that day I wish I could take back my words
That time spent would have been successful only if _______
If only I had done this or only if I had seen this or only if I had been there or only if somebody had…
You get the idea…

With my mental health… If only I had talked to _____ or done ______ or not done _____ then maybe I wouldn’t have had my mental breakdown.
(see true life confession at the bottom)

Hindsight is 20/20… We all make decisions we regret… A child thinks if only I hadn’t climbed that tree my arm wouldn’t have broken…

So do I how to deal with the “if only’s”

It’s simple but incredibly hard…

  • I repent
  • I talk to God… prayer…
  • I listen to God through Bible studying
  • Learn from them my if only or only if”
  • Ask God to help me to avoid doing it again
  • I talk to my sponsor accountability partners
  • I make amends

There will be consequences… (not judgements – boy tree > broken arm)
But also peace with God from spending time with God… Be still, and know that I am God Psalm 46:10
Phil 4:4-8 …Peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your heart in Christ Jesus…

Back to POWERLESS (CR acrostic)

P is pride yah… I had lots of pride… which lead to many “if only”

O Only if… It’s really easy for me to play the self-bashing game… Instead,  I confess to God, He already knows what I did so what’s the benefit of hiding it, He can help me understand why and guides me to what I should do next time or to make amends with those who were affected by my actions…

Worry… Both backwards and forwards… Back… I can stay trapped in the past… Forward… Is God involved? So I just need to trust His plan (it’s called faith)

In going to end the acrostic here… Want to learn more? Find a Celebrate Recovery

Battling the if only or only if is better done with support…

Thinking about doing it does seem easy… It’s the application that is soooo hard…

*****************************************************************************

Okay that above is a battle plan… seems easy simple steps… I know the application is hard and I need the Holy Spirit to give me a nudge or a kick in the butt when I need to use it…

Honestly – it is what I want to do with my heart… that’s the God part of my life – but there is a carnal part of me that just SCREAMS to ignore it – excuse it away (excuse = the skin of truth stuffed with a lie), the self I have inside will distract me… I will think of ways to “justify” my reasoning to ______

The New Testament talks a lot about the sinful person I have inside… It can block the butt kicks… I might feel them or I have not listened long enough to the Spirit in me that I don’t feel them…

This was pretty much what happened in my life… I stopped listening to God… could I have avoided the mental health crisis? I don’t know that what I am dealing with is VERY physical – my brain is literally changed  – why or how or ??? I’m not 100% sure… it’s a disease… why does someone end up being a diabetic? Was it one too many cookies or cakes? Could they have prevented it? Regardless…
Regardless – I am where I am… it wasn’t sudden – there were clues it was happening… it started early on in my life… it’s where I am… This is where God and I try hard to keep moving forward…

Besides…. 

If there isn’t a battle going on – there should be and I need to seek God again… life happens – living it is the hard part….

(CR… I have no affiliation with them other than acknowledging how profound a has changed my life)

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.

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…