SUICIDE

It’s a thought-provoking label. Suicide. Just thinking about it causes all sorts of problems. But here’us the deal. I have nothing to live for. I am the poorest of poor. I am Bipolar and constantly in the throes of Depression. I have no joy in my life. I am bored with the Internet, with TV, and with people. Because of my financial status I cannot go out to the forest to get in touch with nature. And the forest is only twenty minutes away! But I can’t afford the gas to go there. I can’t afford to get a much needed brake job.

My options are limited. I have no interest in anything: exercise, walking, shopping, eating, drinking, games, etc. My life is a waste of time. My memory is shot, I can’t work, my mind does not examine things right. I am busted cargo. Damaged goods. There is no hope. Even God is uninteresting. There used to be hope there. But now I can’t see it.

So what do I do? Sit on my ass and stare at the walls. There is no productive force in me anymore. I have no hobbies and I couldn’t afford one anyway. My life is worthless. If it weren’t for the fact that my ex and my son are alive I would have killed myself long ago. They are the only reason I am alive. For now. I don’t want to kill myself, but what else is there to do? I’m tired of this existence.

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Better Days

There are better days ahead. I know that. I sometimes forget that though. I get lost in my misery and can’t see the sun shining on the rooftops.

Yesterday I went to church – online. I can’t afford the gas to go to a regular church so I do online church. It’s quite convenient actually. You can choose to attend a live stream with the praise music, the prayers, and the filler moments, or, you can view past sermons without all the hub-bub. A stripped-down sermon with just the meaty juicy truth. I chose the stripped-down sermon.

It was centered on the book of Daniel. I am, in fact, working my way through a series focused on the book of Daniel. This episode was on chapter two. The pastor labeled this installment “Crises”. It covered the events of Nebuchadnezzer demanding that his wise men tell him about a dream he had. And he wanted them to tell him what the dream was first of all and then interpret the dream for him. The chief astrologer told Nebuchadnezzer that what he asked was impossible, only the gods could know what the dream was and they didn’t share that information with mortal man.

Nebuchadnezzer was very wroth and ordered the killing of ALL of his wise men, including Daniel and his friends. But, Daniel was wise and asked the guard if he could speak with the king and ask why the hurry? The guard accepted Daniel’s request and soon Daniel was facing Nebuchadnezzer. When the opportunity arose, Daniel asked the king for some time to take care of this challenge and the king granted Daniel time.

Back in his quarters, Daniel came together with his friends and they brainstormed and decided to pray to the Living God and ask him for help. That evening Daniel was given a vision of the king’s dream and the interpretation. The next day he went to the king and the rest is history.

The crux of the message the pastor was trying to convey is this: How you act in times of crisis does not “define” who you are, but instead, it is a reflection of who you are. There is a key difference between the two. Your character is not defined by crises it is revealed by crises. Your character is shaped and molded through time, through your daily experience. As you go through each day you are given opportunities to choose and your choices, accumulated, shape who you are. So it is important to make deliberate choices. Choices that are the result of careful thought and reflection.

You don’t expect a child to make tough choices, but you do expect them to learn from their mistakes. And why do we not expect adults to have learned from their mistakes and make informed decisions? Aren’t we adults better equipped for considerate thought? Shouldn’t we be making better decisions than we did when we were young? Shouldn’t we rely on rational thought rather than emotions?

So, if we want to act rationally in moments of crises, we must harvest good decision-making practices. We must continually strive to learn from our mistakes and learn to judge a situation with keen eyes and a thoughtful understanding. Daniel showed that. He did not panic and get all emotional when the heat was on. Daniel, cooly and calmly, addressed the situation and was rewarded with his life. He went on to be one of the most powerful men in the kingdom.

Let’s try and remember, it is not circumstances that define our fate. It is the choices we make in those times of crises that reflect our character. And our character is shaped by the choices we make on a daily basis.

Please feel free to visit these online resources for bible study and worhsip.

Crossroads Community Church – scroll down to see the message library.

Indian Rocks Baptist – Current series link

Faith Church – message library

Just a note: I don’t ascribe to any one denomination. I think most all have merit. And if you want to turn me on to your church, please, feel free to offer suggestions. I  will be happy to include the information in future posts.

If all else fails…

I have been struggling lately. I am in quite a mess of depression. Nothing inspires me. Nothing interests me. Nothing soothes me.

I am a big music buff. I love my music. I listen to everything from classical to oldies to country to rock. And nothing is relieving this malaise. This numbness of thought.

I have no appetite. I only want to drink. But I have to stop drinking soda. It is killing my gut. The reason I am so thirsty is simple: the pills I am on cause extreme thirst. And it has been getting more extreme over the past few months. Whereas I used to drink 3 gallons of liquids a day, I am now up to 3 1/4 gallons a day. It’s nuts. I wake up in the middle of the night to drink. Not alcohol. Soda. Or chocolate milk. Or even lemon water. But the point is I am insanely thirsty.

I was working on a short story for a book I will publish “someday.” But I have no desire to write. I have no desire to research. I have no desire to be on the Internet, Facebook, or WordPress. I am standing without. Yet, people look at me and think, “There’s nothing wrong with him.” That is the stigma we mentally ill folk have to live with. The broken pieces are all inside the mind. Far away from prying eyes.

How do we get it through to those regular Joes and Joanies that we are suffering? I do not wish this on anybody, but boy would I love for everyone to have a touch of mental illness for a day. Feel what I am feeling. Live in despair for just a day. Feel the highs, the lows and the numbness.

I am listening to music that I used to close my eyes to and drift off in bliss. But that isn’t anywhere close to what I’m feeling today. The music does nothing for me. In fact, it is an annoyance to some extent. It’s like children playing outside of your window when you are trying to sleep or read. Music just fills the void. Keeps my mind off of itself.

If all else fails……try God. But God is not interesting to me right now. I just want to sleep away this terrible dream I am having. To keep my mind off of itself.  To avoid all of “this.”

Today’s Bible Verse was on Suffering

Suffering for Christ

I did some Bible reading today (I get daily emails from Bible Gateway) because today’s Bible verse grabbed my attention.

“Philippians 1:29 – [NIV Bible]

For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only

to believe in him, but also to suffer for him,…”

This passage conflicted me. I’ve heard about suffering for Christ before, many times in fact, but today it sparked an interest. I just had to look deeper into it. So I went on a hunt. Mind you, it was not a thorough excursion but merely a curiosity thing. What I found was the usual: people suffering for disobeying God; Job suffering; and Paul suffering for Christ because of his commission.

But what I also found through using the study helps was this:

Job 36:15 —

“But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction. [NIV Bible]

Life Lessons – Charles Stanley..

“God wants to use our afflictions, and the way He delivers us from them, to lead us into a deeper and richer relationship with Him. We should treat adversity as a bridge to a closer walk with God.”

Stanley’s idea touched me. Years ago, when I first heard about us having to suffer for Christ I was bothered. Isn’t He supposed to deliver us from this stuff? Why do I have to live my entire life suffering?

I still have issues with that. Just because Jesus died for me shouldn’t mean I have to live my entire life suffering. But Stanley says this will lead us to a closer relationship with God. And that’s cool. So I am trying to open up my mind and grab this thing and embrace it. Maybe my suffering won’t be so bad. Maybe I won’t be as bad off as Job.

So, I looked further and found this:

Colossians 1:24

[ Paul’s Labor for the Church ] Now I rejoice in what I am

suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still

lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of

his body, which is the church

Paul is actually “rejoicing” in his suffering. Job didn’t do that, and God had mercy on him. But how can Paul be so gleeful in his persecutions?

1 Peter 4:13

But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings

of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

There’s the answer. I have to change my focus. I have to look for the future – to God’s second coming. I have been so busy just living day to day, barely making ends meet – suffering – that I have lost sight of the prize at the end of the race.

I guess we can suffer without being miserable. But, for me, that will be awfully hard. Because….I am miserable just being here in this life. Again, my focus is not on the hereafter, but on today. I guess focusing on today could be good if I were to be accomplishing my mission step by step, day by day, but I am not. I am sitting here wasting away like a good little mentally ill person. OKAY! So enough to the negative stuff. Let’s get on to some happy stuff.

Paul’s motivation for enduring suffering was to benefit and build Christ’s church. That must be my attitude as well. And my mission. To build Christ’s church. How do I do that when I am homebound? How much can I do? How much is expected of me?

Charles Stanley again comes to the rescue:

“To live the Christian life is to allow Jesus to liveHis life in and through us.”

I never thought of it that way before. I mean, heck, I’ve heard of allowing the Holy Spirit to take up residence in my heart and soul, but it never really came alive for me. But Jesus actually “living” in me and through me? That’s profound!

So, my reading took me to more verses and somehow I got to

Colossians 4:2 – Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

It always comes back to prayer.

That’s it! I don’t spend enough time praying. I spend too much time complaining and not enough time being thankful. I need an attitude adjustment and I need it now. What was possible for Paul is also possible for me. I just have to change my focus. Change my whole outlook. Change my mind.

Salvation is available for everyone. You only need to ask. Ask Jesus to come into your heart and to take up residence in there. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins and to save you through the renewing of your mind. Take the Roman Road to Salvation:

Romans 3:23 NKJV  – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 3:10 NKJV  – As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;
Romans 5:12 NKJV  – Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned–
Romans 6:23 NKJV  – For the wages of sin [is] death, but the gift of God [is] eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 5:8 NKJV  – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 10:9-10 NKJV  – that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation
Romans 10:13 NKJV  – For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

What to do after you’ve prayed that prayer.

Romans 10:17 NKJV  – So then faith [comes] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Go. Find Christian outlets, Christian people. Go to churches. Go online to churches and read, listen and watch videos. Immerse yourself in THE WORD. And then reach out to Christians for fellowship, companionship.

Here are some online resources to get you started:

Bible Gateway – https://www.biblegateway.com/

Community Crossroads Church – http://crossroadschurch.net/

Indian Rocks Baptist – http://www.indianrocks.org/

Asleep at the Wheel

No, this won’t be a post about the band. Sorry to mislead you. But I do feel like I have been asleep at the wheel these past few weeks. Lately I have been battling sleep issues and faith issues. Last night I finally went to sleep around 11pm. That sounds normal right? Well, consider I had been up for 32 hours. Not so normal anymore, huh? I go through these cycles where I am on a “normal” sleep routine for a few weeks and then out of nowhere I am caught up in the world of insomnia and it takes me up to a week to get back on track. The flip side of this is that there are days when I am so tired I don’t get out of bed until late in the afternoon. I have no explanation for any of this other than the fact that I am Bipolar and with that I experience many side effects from the pills they have me on. Anyway, this happens far too often for my comfort and it interferes with everything. It’s hard to make appointments because I never know if I am going to be in a cycle or not. I have canceled many appointments due to this problem.

My faith issues are a direct result of me not being a regular church-goer. I don’t have the money that it would take to pay for the gas to get me to church every Sunday. So, I try and do my own Bible Study online and it has been difficult. It is not easy to do this as a one-man-show. I need people to bounce ideas off of. I need other folks’ input. The big question at present concerns my salvation and my standing with God. I am certain that I have committed the “unpardonable sin”: blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. You see, I have anger problems (bipolar, hello) and when I have an episode I could care less who I am talking to and who the audience is – I will yell and scream and cuss and say all sorts of things. And, I think on one occasion I cussed out the Holy Ghost. And if Matthew 12:31 is accurate (Jesus speaking) then I am in pretty hot water.

“Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. “

So, reading this and not having the knowledge that, say, a pastor has, I am worried that my episode will be held against me and that I am going to hell. Simple as that.

It would be a shame if God is so anal that He does not take into consideration a person’s mental health when He judges a person’s faithfulness but the Bible is not clear on this. Jesus says that particular sin will not be forgiven, but does that carry over into my salvation? I mean, if – and it’s a big if – I were to be saved, would He look at me differently in heaven? Will I be sent to the back of the bus, pushed out of His immediate presence? Will this affect my opportunity to store up treasures in heaven?

What are your thoughts?

Passing Through

Passing Through

My dad went into the hospital. He had had two heart attacks in one day. They put him in ICU (Intensive Care Unit). I was three thousand miles away in Seattle, Washington. My sister called to tell me the news. It didn’t look good.

I had no money, so if I were to make there to Tampa to see him I would have to hitch-hike cross-country. I had done it many time before so it wasn’t that big a deal. But I was older now. The roads were far more dangerous. The world had changed.

Somebody convinced my mom that it would be a good idea to buy me a plane ticket so I could get there sooner. Just in case time was cut short. She was reluctant, but bought me a ticket.

When I got there a host of other family members were already there, weeping in their misery. Dad was loved by everyone. He was a true hero. Not some media darling or commercialized here, but a true hero. A man you could count on if ever there was a need. A man who came to the rescue many times when family issues arose. A man who lit up a room like a sun lights up the sky.

Everyone knew something I didn’t. But I found out sooner than later. Dad wasn’t given much hope to survive. He was on life support machines with all manner of hoses going into his body and tons of wires coming out all over. He couldn’t talk – obviously. And he couldn’t eat. They fed him intravenously. The poor guy was on his death bed.

For two weeks I stayed by his side, icing him down, reading his notes and talking to him. I didn’t want to believe what was so obvious to everyone else. He was only 54 for damn’s sake! I was 28 and I was not ready to see my daddy off. But I could not stop what was already fore ordained. His kidneys were failing, his stats were not optimistic. He was dying right before my eyes.

In those two weeks there was no sign of him getting any better. There was no hope for his going home to tough it out again like he had done so many other times. This time it got the best of him.

I had moved away just six months prior. I had lived with him for ten years and watched him deteriorate over that time. When I got out of the Coast Guard, they had given him five years to live. And so together we battled through the diabetes and the heart attacks. We lived as full of lives as we could. We moved from California to Florida to be closer to my sister and my mom.

They had divorced when I was three. I was never told why. It was none of my business. I suspect it had something to do with my father being a flirt and my mother being a stone. They were about a incompatible as any couple could be. But they were both great people. They just couldn’t make it work.

Dad was in the military. His dad was in the military. His two brothers were both in the military. It provided a good life for them…..if you can handle the strict discipline and orderly lifestyle.

He could. He excelled in that environment. He was a lifer. Before they forced him into retirement, Dad made it to E-9; Chief Master Sergeant. The highest enlisted grade in the Air Force. He had served through Korea and Viet Nam. He saw action in both theaters. He was a munitions man – bombs and things. It was a good life. But as I said, they forced him out. Medical reasons. Diabetes.

This was before medicine got a handle on how to treat diabetes. This was when complications from diabetes included loss of sight, blood sugar episodes and heart attacks.

Dad was on 9 different medications. He took nitro-glycerin for his heart, he gave himself two shots every day of insulin (from pigs, beef and humans) and he took a host of other pills to manage his other diabetic issues. I watched him for ten years.

When I got out of the Coast Guard we planned the move to Florida. All was going well until we got to Texas. His foot had got a blister weeks before and it just wasn’t healing. We stopped in Waco, Texas to see our relatives, his brother Emil and all my cousins. It was there that dad decided to go to the VA hospital and have his foot checked out.

The doctors immediately admitted him and proceeded to experiment with his foot. A training crew had been brought in from DC or somewhere and without so much as a thank you, they cut off his toe. BUT, they did not take care of the wound. Within two days of him “coming home” to the apartment that I got, his toe exhibited signs of gangrene. We had to go back to the VA and have them fix it. But they again experimented and only cut out a canal and left some dead tissue to test out different medications to see if they would kill the infection.

It didn’t. They continued toying with it and now his foot had a huge crater in it with the edges being infected. Before long they had to chop off his leg at the knee. And that is how my dad lived for ten years. With a prosthetic because those doctors toyed with his foot instead of fixing it right to begin with. So I had real issues with him being in the VA hospital in Tampa. I had a hard time believing that he had no hope of coming home. I secretly wished I could just whisk him away to some “competent” facility where they would work miracles and my dad wouldn’t die.

But, that was not to be. He was dying and there was nothing anybody could do about it. Somehow word got to me that it was time to make a decision. And, that I would be the one to make it. This was not what I had hoped for nor expected when I got on that plane and flew to Tampa. I didn’t want to make the decision. Heck, I was the youngest of the bunch there. Why couldn’t my aunt or uncle or mother or someone else take the responsibility?

After they chopped off his leg, we stayed in Waco for two years and then moved back to California. Our trip to Florida just had to wait.

I don’t remember much about the in-between years in California, but I do remember we moved back to Campbell. A tiny enclave in the heart of San Jose. Campbell was where I went to high school before I joined the service. Dad had agreed to let me live with him after mom kicked me out of the house. I was fifteen.

She had been dating a guy that she met at work and brought him home one day and said, “I’m getting married!” To which I replied “Over my dead body!” She and I could not resolve our differences and so she kicked me out.

Dad was a bachelor. He hadn’t had many companions after he and mom divorced. So having a kid move in with him was a challenge. I was unfazed. I was happy to live with my dad. For all my life I had looked up to him even though I only got to see him on a few occasions. We got along famously. Especially when I showed an interest in the military.

At school, I joined the ROTC and learned all about the military, its customs, expectations and all that sort of stuff. And I enjoyed it. Playing soldier was exciting. By my second year I was named leader of the class. I was on cloud nine.

It was short-lived. I had been cutting art class and got caught by the dean of boys. He asked me where I was supposed to be and I smarted off and told him “I dunno. Where do you think I should be?” And from there it quickly dissipated. The whole thing. My dad was called and I was expelled from school. They wanted to make an example out of me. And then my dad asked me where I wanted to go? The Army. Navy. Marines. Air Force. Or, Coast Guard. I was not in my right mind as this happened so fast and so I decided on the Coast Guard because I liked water. What a stupid move. But then, any move at that time was wrong. I should have asked for some time to think it over. Anyway, within weeks I was in the Coast Guard marching and drilling and barking out “yes, sirs” and “no, sirs”.

During this time Dad was slowly getting worse. While I was in Alaska he had a blood sugar attack and drove himself from Lake Tahoe all the way to Reno, where the closest VA hospital was. His blood sugar was in the 400 range and the doctors told him that they knew of no way he could be driving because with that b.s. level he should be dead.

He also had a heart attack in this time. As I recall, it was his first one.

So the decision was left to me to make. The doctor said I had two choices: I could either take him off of life support now and let him pass quietly or I could keep him on the machines, but, this second option would give us extra time for a price – he would be in great pain as his kidneys died first. So there really was no choice at all. I would have to tell them to pull the plug.

I didn’t want to do it. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye FOREVER to my father. It wasn’t fair. My dad was loved by everyone and he loved everybody too. He wasn’t a criminal. A jerk. A boozer. He wasn’t anything like that. He was a decent, loving man who only wanted the best for people and they loved him for it. But, I went home that night and cried myself to sleep.

The next day I went up to that room and talked to my dad. It would be the last time we would be alone – together. Later, all the family would gather in the room to send him off. And I would have to tell the doctor to take dad off of life support.

The hour came when it was to be done. I had already talked to dad about it and he was ready. I don’t know how anyone could be ready to die, but he was fully aware of what was to happen and he was okay with it.

My heart sunk. Okay, let’s do this. The nurses came in and did all the dirty work: they pulled all the electrodes, yanked out the tubes and then left the room for the rest of us to deal with. My uncle couldn’t handle it, it was too devastating for him, so he left and took my dad’s sister with him. Poor Louise, she didn’t even get to say goodbye to her brother. Dad’s other sister was there, my Aunt Gertie. She was somber, like everyone else in the room. We looked at dad and I could tell, we were all wondering how much time we had left with him.

He couldn’t speak. His throat was left raw by that darned tube they had down his throat. Dad did manage to get out a few words – “chocolate shake”. I was ready to go get him a shake at the 7-eleven just a couple minutes walk from the hospital but everybody freaked out and made me stay in the room. They were worried that dad would die before I got back, so, dad suffered and thirsted because everybody was so scared of him dying “suddenly”.

Well “suddenly” never came. What did come was some damned smelly hospital food. For some reason the VA thought dad would “enjoy” a last meal. But it stunk so bad, dad almost threw up as did I.

We stood there, lost in our embarrassment for what seemed like eight hours. Plenty of time to have gone to the store to get dad a chocolate shake. That bothered me. But who could have predicted how long he would live?

As the time wore on, his vitals started dropping. He was starting to breathe shallower and shallower. And as the hours passed his attention span dwindled as well. He was slowly succumbing to the inevitable.

There wasn’t much talking going on that day. Sure, there were the expected “I love you’s” and such but we really didn’t connect with him. It was sad to watch and be a part of.

When he finally “gave up the ghost” it was a shocker. It was not at all like what they show in the movies or on tv. He passed quietly and peacefully, but, his body lunged out for one last breath and that was freaky. And then, when I least expected it, his spirit passed through my abdomen and then went away. It was the coolest thing. My thoughts on death were pretty tame before, just assembled the beliefs that Hollywood offered. But to be there and go through it, and, to have his spirit pass through my body – that was special. No words can tell how that moment has impacted my life. I question everybody’s take on it now: the Christians and other religious folk; the doctors and their click; the Hollywood moguls and the way they depict life and death. I question it all. Reality is far more sophisticated than what I was taught.

In all my years I never would have guessed that my dad would die at 54. Nor did I expect to be the one to kill him, to cut off his life. It’s a damnable thing: this existence. It’s been 27 years and it still hurts.

Not Again – Please

Had another blowout yesterday. It happened at the grocery store. I was quite wroth and I cussed and yelled in front of everybody, even children. And I didn’t care. Said so. I was really, really mad. In those moments I could care less if Jesus, himself, was standing next to me. Later I came to my senses and am saddened by my behavior but that does me no good when I am “in the moment.” It’s not like I can turn it off and on  like a faucet. Something triggers my anger and there’s no turning it off. Except time. It took me over an hour and a half to come out of it. A complete change of scenery helped. Maybe if I can remember to leave where I am and go somewhere unrelated and somewhere neutral. Maybe that can help. I will have to try and remember that for next time.

 

Well, I’ve been making progress on my short story. Did a lot of research over the last couple of days. Now I can dive in and revamp the story and revamp the outline to guide me through the scenes. This new program, Scrivener, is really just so cool. Back in the old days I would have papers strewn about the living room with notes and research and bits of the story and I’d have to scramble to  find the right paper for what I needed at the time. Now, I have it all digitized and organized and within one mouse click away and it is split-screen too so I can keep on my page without losing my place and, still go find the research papers and all of that. This is just so cool.

 

Still waiting for the weather to warm up so I can go walking. I am on blood thinners and that makes me get cold faster and stay cold longer. So in order for me to go out I have to break out the wool socks (two pair), the thermals, the sweatshirts, etc. I end up putting on three layers of clothes just so I don’t have to freeze – in 40 degree weather. Honestly, you’d think I was bracing for freezing temps. And then it just isn’t fun anymore. So I stay cooped up inside all winter and gain weight. LOL. In truth, I eat less in the winter. Last night I had a sandwich for dinner. The night before I had HALF a sandwich for dinner. Just enough to take my pills. I am tired of food. Well, almost all food. I really like fruit. Give me a bushel of berries and I’m a happy camper. I can eat fruit all day long. But veggies and meat I am tired of.

 

So, yeah, that blowout. I hate being this way. Can you imagine how bad it could have been if I were not on my pills? Scary thought – I’ve seen what it’s like without my pills. And the police are just a phone call away. That’s what keeps me taking my pills. It gets ugly. I’m just a first class jerk/monster/ahole. Makes me glad I live in this day and age where there are technologies that can help people like me live a semi-normal life. Back in the wild west I’d have been shot by the sheriff of Anytown, U.S.A. and that would be the end of it. Think about it, there are tens of thousands of people walking around with mental health issues that, if we were back in the 1800s, we would have been locked up and placed in some hospital to wither away.  Even earlier in history and we would have been placed in dungeons and never heard from again. I’m counting my blessings.

Pieces

I don’t know how to feel “okay” anymore. Most of the time I am depressed and with that comes a lethargy, something that drains the life out of me. I find that I am not at all motivated. For instance, it takes a lot of effort to get up and cook.

Writing – for my book – is all but an empty promise to my self. It’s a three-pronged hook. 1) My memory can’t seem to find the connections to that vocabulary I used to have; 2) The creativity to come up with new scenes and dialogue is missing; and, 3) It’s all just a lot of work to get started on the projects. I have short stories that need to be fleshed out. I have poetry that needs to be revised. And I have details that need to be addressed regarding the book’s layout, format, font style, acknowledgments, indices, etc. Each step is a major struggle and I have talked my self out of it. I need a major turning around of my beliefs to get in there and fight it out.

It helps to peruse the blogs on WordPress and read how others are doing – what challenges they are overcoming, what beauty they see in life. I am almost jealous of the youth, for their worlds are ever ready, sitting out before them like blossoms in the morning dew just waiting for the sun to rise. I guess I miss that. That adventure and that is why I write. To regain that abandon, that wild and carefree existence.

Each of us has a voice. It can either be heard through painting, or cooking, or letter-writing, or restoring vintage automobiles, or nursing, or making scrapbooks. My voice is poetry – or “was” poetry. Something happened. Something stole my gift away from me. Try as I might, I cannot simply sit down and put pencil to paper and come up with the flashes of brilliance that marked my past. No longer can I turn a phrase as effortlessly as I used to. I have to work for it now. Even as I type this I take pause, regularly, to find the right words – and they just don’t come!

The medications I’m on boast a high success rate. But they should boast a high cost rate as well. The side effects are damning. But if I don’t take these meds I may end up in jail. You see, I’ve had the cops called on me because of my anger. I cannot set foot on Bank of America’s property because I had an exchange of words with the bank manager. And he called the cops. And, he called my employer. I am also blacklisted from working with that company anywhere in the U. S. And that wasn’t even the bad situation. I had the cops called on me at the Mental Health facility in our town and that just didn’t make sense to me. If I was having a mental breakdown you would think that that would be the place to get help. And looking back, that situation was really out of control. I don’t know how I managed to not go to jail that day. So, yeah, the meds keep me stable. But they also have robbed me of my life. The side effects are crazy.

First, I started having to pee frequently, like ten times a day. Then I started having the shakes. Soon I noticed I was gaining weight (30 pounds in two months). Before long I was not able to go to the gym and workout with weights anymore – I can’t even bench press 40 pounds! I can’t do one push-up. And that is not all, I am extremely thirsty, so much so that I take two bottles of water with me everywhere I go. I drink 3 gallons of liquids every day. Sometimes more. And then there is the cognitive confusion and mental degradation that I am experiencing. My short-term memory is shot: I have to make lists for everything; when I comment on other people’s blogs I continuously have to go back and reread their post so that I can properly comment. And my ability to come up with creative fodder is so damaged that it makes me want to cry. All this and more, because I have to take these meds. There is no going around it.

I recently went to go see my mom. My son and I stayed with her for two weeks and during that time I had a couple of blow-outs with her. I need my meds adjusted again. I can’t have my self getting out of control again. It’s just not worth it.

So today I am writing this in hopes that it will spawn some motivation. Motivation to get on that darned book and work on a few things. I used to be able to turn a phrase. I’d be happy now to just to be able to write enough to turn the page. LOL

Bipolar is a beeoottch and it is cruel. Thank God we’re not all this way. Thank goodness we are as different and varied as the blossoms and the wildlife. Each with our own talents and challenges. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and read this. I hope you stop by again and read some of my fiction or my poetry. I promise they are upbeat and full of good things. Not dark, dreary things like depression. Okay, there are a couple of poems that are dark. But hey, variety, right?!

Peace

Trust and Fear

I Have Issues With Trust

After posting yesterday’s blog I thought it might be a good idea to tackle my issues with Trust. Specifically, trusting the Lord.

It might have crossed people’s minds reading my blog that I am not a “good” Christian. And if you thought that, I would have to agree with you. I am a terrible Christian. Not one you would want to have as a poster child for the Faith. I cuss, I scream, I doubt, I fear, I do all sorts of things that are against the precepts of the Faith. But I do try…..occasionally.

I am not the Christian I once was. I used to be quite a devout follower. I could be seen everywhere with Bible in hand, at the ready. And I knew Scripture. I was good at it. I could quote you verse and I could tell you about the stories. And I believed. Strongly. But those days are gone. I have fallen away and I have forgotten.

Now the thing about forgetting, well, I can blame a lot of that on my medications but that is trivial. The real reason for my demise is fear. After my experience with the haunted house I began to fear the possibilities. I took my focus off of God being there to protect us and fight for us and I started thinking about Satan and his demons and how they so easily attacked that woman and her child. And we were powerless to stop him/them.

So, through the years that fear caused me to lose trust in the Lord. And then I ….excuse me, I’m searching for the word……I compounded the fear and distrust by adding in the reality that my mom, my dad, and my sister turned their backs on me when I was most vulnerable. If I couldn’t trust them how the heck am I supposed to trust someone I’ve never seen?!

So, today’s issue is Trusting the Lord.

When I seek out verse I usually use the New King James Bible. I began my journey with the King James Version, but that was too difficult at times to understand. So I moved on to the NIV Study Bible but that was and is “lacking” for me. I like the language of the old versions and the NKJV seems to fit well. I will add both the NKJV and NIV texts for a little perspective for you.

Let’s start with Proverbs.

Proverbs 29:25

The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. NKJV

Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. NIV

This is pretty straightforward, isn’t it? This speaks to me in many ways. Not only of being afraid of man, but also of being afraid in general. I never was a burly-man, a fighter. In fact, I’ve never been in a fight in my life, so I don’t know how it would feel to take a punch. In my younger years I just never put my self in any situation where there was the possibility of an altercation. I thought that people who fought were stupid and foolish. What does a man gain from beating up another man? Then, as I got older, I became more angry and I started to call out people and their bluffs and got myself into situations where there ‘could’ be an altercation. This has only happened about five times. And, never has my call been answered. Thankfully. Although I do think it would have been a good learning experience for me to have had my butt kicked just once so I knew what it was like and then I could forever have a reference to be able to relate to some people better. But that is moot. So “fear of man will prove to be a snare” – Yes, I do believe that a person who is in fear tends to not think accurately. And I can say from experience that fearing Satan is stupid. It binds you and causes you to push away from God. It causes me to trust God less and therein lies my dilemma: How do I trust God when my own family turned their back on me? The fear of God doing what my family did is so great.

The fear that God will turn His back on me is a biggie. There is a lot of evidence to show that He will not turn His back on me, but that is all “old history” – stuff from the Old Testament. But Lord, What have You done for me lately? How do I know that after all of my sins and my blasphemy – how do I know you won’t hang me out to dry? What if I have sinned the unpardonable sin? What then? Am I to take my lot with the devil? How can I be assured that “whoever trusts in the Lord will be kept safe?”

Isaiah 26:3

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. NKJV

You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you. NIV

Ah, there is the answer. Because if I trust in YOU, Lord, You will keep me in perfect peace. But how long must I prove that I trust you before you send that peace over me? Is the Holy Spirit still within me or has He fled due to my unworthiness and my fear? If He is there, how do I make Him flourish as He once did? How do I get back the power that was there in the beginning? My mind cannot be steadfast anymore because of my mental illness. I am a scatterbrain. I am angry. I am in fear. So then, can I ever again have that peace?

Isaiah 50:10

Who among you fears the Lord? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness And has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord And rely upon his God. NKJV

Who among you fears the Lord
and obeys the word of his servant?
Let the one who walks in the dark,
who has no light,
trust in the name of the Lord
and rely on their God. NIV

The only thing I fear about the Lord is that He will cast me into hell anyway – out of spite. Much like my family did when I was fifteen. This is not an easy fix. These passages make it look easy and simple, but it is not. It is a battle I have every day. And me, not being the fighter-type, I just give up and give in to the fear. I am not thinking straight. I am all screwed up. I ask questions that are stupid and believe the worst in everything. This is not an easy fix.

So there you are my friends. The great conundrum. I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. And I mean that literally. I am afraid of three things:

  • That God will turn His back on me – even if I do everything right
  • That God will turn His back on me – because I’ve committed the unpardonable sin
  • That God will turn His back on me – because no one can be trusted, my family saw to that.

So what do I do? How do I proceed? Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Send Help

(Sigh) I need a hobby. I’m bored most of the day. I’ve looked at the hobby lists on Wikipedia and nothing interests me. I’m worn out. Because of this illness I can’t write like I used to. The sentences just don’t come out right. Because of this illness my brain doesn’t hold onto information anymore. I can’t remember any of the computer programming I learned in college and trying to re-learn it is next to impossible, and, if I did learn some, what would I create? I’m so picky and so much of a perfectionist. I’m anal. Everything has to be just so, or useful. No frivolous nic-nacs here.

I want to write on this blog, but I feel like I am drawing at straws to put something interesting on paper. It’s a real pain. This diabolical – I”m sorry, I can’t find the words. Suffice it to say that I have high standards and I rarely reach them. It’s not the fault of my mental illness, it is in spite of my mental illness.

I don’t like watching tv. For the most part I find it a waste of time. Sure, there are a few shows or events that I will watch, but, they are very few. I like music and have over 5,000 songs in my collection but I don’t want to make it a hobby, that would be over-doing it. I don’t enjoy drawing anymore. Writing is not rewarding like it used to be, what with the lack of suitable skill to turn a phrase anymore. Gardening is out. Too hot in the summer – everything burns in the 100 degree heat. Collecting won’t work because there is no room to store things – we are growing out of the space we have now. Photography is out – I’m a terrible eye for composition. So what is left? What is there that can be done at home, that doesn’t take a lot of money to start and maintain, and what is creative enough to keep a mind at its edge?

Is my lack of interest in life due to being Bipolar? Send help.