Thursday, December 23, 2010

Depression!

There I said it... it kinda feels like a bad word sometimes.  It has been something I have struggled with before.  The kind where I did not want to get out of bed and when the cloud started to clear, I looked in the mirror and said, "oh, this is what normal people feel like!"  And I find myself struggling with it again.
This depression did not come out of no where and throw me into the pit for no reason.  I can see all the circumstances that have happened in the last 8 months and know exactly why I am struggling with it.  I've been wrestling with the question of medicine or no medicine for the last month or so.  As one of the girls in my life said, "you have thoroughly convinced me you should take it and thoroughly convinced me your shouldn't!"  Both doctors I talked to said, "yes I would prescribe it to you, but ultimately you have to decide if you want to take it."  And I am thankful that the question I am answering is not... Am I depressed?  The answer to that question is yes!  It is not only the question of... Should I take medication to deal with it?
And so the processing began.  I prayed & journaled, I sought counsel, I processed, I talked to doctors, I got the prescription, and I didn't get it filled.  At the end of the day I really only had one question to answer... Is this part of the story God is writing for me?  Does He want me to take it?  I know for some that sounds too spiritual and that God would be fine with me taking it.  And I agree with you, I don't believe that medication is bad.  I don't think it is wrong to take them.  But I know me and I know that putting my hope in them would not work out well.  I know that they might or might not work.  I know what I was like when I was on them before.  The day I realized they had really taken affect was the night I saw Saving Private Ryan in the theater.  The movie is over, the lights come up and EVERY person in the theater is blowing their nose, wiping tears, or still sobbing.  Everyone but one!  I had not shed a single tear through the entire movie.  And people, that's crazy because I cry at hallmark commercials!
And so I have spent the last month really thinking about it and listening.  And for now the answer is not to take them. It's not a closed case... just for today.  I am so on a day to day functioning here.
But, I know that I am depressed and so that means I have some things that I need to be doing to do what I can to not fall into a huge pit of darkness.  I may still end up there... but I'm trying to do my part.
I'm making my time with the Lord a priority.  Making sure that I am getting big doses of His truth.  Journaling about how I am feeling and laying it all out honestly before Him.
I'm talking about it.  Not just with Him but with people in my life.  It has been all out transparency.  At times it is some ugly cries!  But it has been so great to get the stuff out there and not allow it to fester in the darkness. Light does a number on the lies the enemy wants us to believe! And I am so thankful for friends who will let me be where I am, listen, and also call me to truth and at times action.
I am sleeping and eating normally.  At times I have to be careful with sugar because right now it seems to be putting lows a little lower.  Not easy for me with my sweet tooth that creeps in.
I'm also having to make moment by moment choices.  There are times when I am tired and just want some time to be alone and so I choose not to go to a party or hang out with people.  And other times I know I have to force myself past my anxiety and fears and get out there and be with others.  It has been a mix this holiday season with parties.  But all in all I think a good mix.
I'm also making a list. A list of the ways that God surprises me with how He is choosing to meet my needs.  He has been so creative an amazing with how He has chosen to take care of me and encourage me.  It took some time for me to get to where I was seeing it.  I had this expectations in my head on what it would look like when I went through a hard time... exactly who would be walking with me through it and how.  I didn't totally realize I had those expectations until I was finding myself hurt and disappointed.  And so it took some time for me to realize that God is the one who promises to meet my needs and will provide what I need and I needed to release everyone and let the Lord provide.  And so I started watching and it has been really cool to see all the different ways and different people He is using to encourage me and walk with me through this time.

Thankful for a God who knows me so intimately and loves me with an unfailing love.
And I am thankful that I do feel HOPE in the midst of this depression.
Merry Christmas friends!

VERSES OF COMFORT

Psalm 46
Psalm 32:7-8
Isaiah 26:3-4
Psalm 33:20-22
Psalm 18:1-6
Habakkuk 3:17-19
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Daniel 3:15-18
Isaiah 40:28-31
Isaiah 41:10
2 Corinthians 1:3
Psalm 71:20-21
Romans 5:1-5
Psalm 3:3-5
Galatians 6:1-3
Psalm 63:1-8
Psalm 73:21-26
Psalm 30:10-12
Isaiah 55:8-13
Romans 8:35-39
Psalm 34:4-10,18-20
Lamentations 3:19-25
1 Peter 4:12-13
Isaiah 61:1-3
Job 19:25
Psalm 23
Zephaniah 3:17
Matthew 5:3-12
Psalm 27
Revelations 19:11
2 Corinthians 4:7-11
Jeremiah 17:7-8
Isaiah 46:4
Revelation 21:1-4
2 Corinthians 1:8-10
Revelation 22:1-5
Psalm 119:9-16,49-52,67-72,76,82,123
James 1:2-4
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Lunar Eclipse

I'm a little tired today because I did decide to get up and attempt to get pics of the lunar eclipse.  It was pretty fun.  I probably should have just stayed up... but I tried the sleep, alarm, pictures, back to sleep method.  WOW, a little painful!
But I think worth it!  Here are some of my pics.
I got up at 2am of the total eclipse part and then decided to stay up to watch the moon appear again.  ENJOY!






Sunday, December 19, 2010

Choosing Christmas

Is it horrible to say that I am ready for 2010 to be over?  It kinda makes me sad that 2010 was such a difficult year.  I think the number itself just seems cool.  But I am ready.  I am ready to move on to 2011.
Now I realize I can't put a whole bunch of my hope in 2011 being this amazingly different year.  It might not be.  And the hard might not be over (although if I am honest, I am kinda banking that I am in the healing stages here.)
I don't like that I am dreading Christmas.  It is here... in just 6 days.  And yet it is going to be tough one.  A really hard reminder of who isn't here and all the loss. But I want to remember what this season is really all about and as much as I love the lights, giving, the cold weather, family, traditions, trees, fun movies, cider, and holidays treats it is about so much more.
It's about the life saving gift that was given for us.  That God came to us to make a way for us.  That in all the sadness I feel, in the battle with depression, in the moments when I just want to sit and cry... a reminder that He came to redeem all of that.  He came so I can have hope of what is to come.  Hope of the day when all of those things will be wiped away.  But to have that, He had to leave HEAVEN to dwell among us.  He had to choose to take the cup and choose to die.
I'm prayer for a miracle in my body... praying I can have joy in the midst of sorrow.  Praying I can celebrate and BELIEVE that He is writing a story far beyond what I can imagine.  And I know that with Him it is possible.  
Thank you Jesus for choosing Christmas!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

All Ye Faithful...

One of my all time favorite Christmas videos...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

No Pain...

We had our Staff Christmas Party last night.  It truly is one of the highlights of my year.  Especially the every-other-year just staff and significant others.  
You see... our pastor is the King of Fun!  And I don't just mean some simple games kind of fun.  It's the kind of fun where this kind of quote would be used...
"The only way that winning can stay sweet, is if losing stays painful"
We received an email yesterday with the "top 20 things you need to know for tonight's Christmas party!"
My favorite rule of the email was #14... 
"All rules are subject to later clarification, modification, unjust amendment, cruel interpretation and mockery at party designer's whim.  The law office of Howard, Crotty and Ward are not available for representation for you b/c they will be tainted by participation in the process."
We arrived to receive 200 tickets where we could bid on items.  But for every item you bid on, if you won, you also must "pay" for the item by performing the "task" that was on the card.  
And another great catch... every ticket that was put in an envelope would then be put in a really big pile and one drawn out, that person would have to perform ALL the "tasks."  
Another motto for the night, "things are not always as they seem."
There is not another Christmas party out there that is as intense as this one, and I love it.
A few of the things involved... carrot cake, fleeces, Family Feud, fruit loops, coats, luggage, SPAM, Deal or No Deal, singing, high kicks, creepy mustaches, and 52 swims.
I am sooo thankful that our pastor chooses to take the time to make our parties memorable.  
We laughed until our sides hurt and at the end, we were blessed to watch the generosity of one staff member give their "big prize" away.  What a gift to get to work with such an amazing group of people!

Spring is coming... Just not sure when!

WARNING... not a happy post!
Today was a really hard day.  I woke up sad and pretty much carried that feeling through most of my day.  This has just plain been a hard year.  I find myself wanting to hope 2011 gets here quick, like maybe it will bring some new perspective, some new happy something.  But I know deep down I can't rely on the turning of another year to bring what my heart desires.
I've had more change, loss, hurt, disappointment, and grief than I think I asked for!  And I want it to stop.  I want to be myself again.  I want to feel free again.  Happy again. Myself again.
And yet I know I can't force it.  I can't make myself move through this stuff any faster.  I can keep staying in the fight.  I can keep my eyes on truth.  I can keep talking and processing.  I can keep being honest (brutally apparently today) with where I am.
And after that... I have to trust.  Trust that the One who created me, who allowed these last 8 months, the One who I know loves me deeply, unconditionally, unchanging, and faithfully.
A friend reminded me that this is a season.  Although it sure seems like winter is holding on, and I can't see any blossoms or green popping through yet, spring will come.
I spent some time today at the arboretum.  There should have been a sign up that says... "if you are feeling depressed... DO NOT ENTER... most things inside are dead!"
It really was pretty yucky looking.  And honestly kinda made me more sad.  But, I was able to find a few blossoms and get a few pics that I like.


Spring is coming... just not sure when!
(Sorry to be such a downer!)