I Felt Hopeful Last Night

August 25, 2017

I’m really tired so it’s hard to remember details, but last night, I felt really hopeful.

I felt like my life was good and I was going to be OK, and I felt happy and hopeful.

I just feel like it’s important to write that down and remember. Today wasn’t bad, but last night, there was a flash of incredible hopefulness.

Advertisements

When the Meds Work…

June 11, 2017

…they really work. I feel like a normal person again. I hope it lasts!

I’ll be traveling soon, so I’m not sure when I can check in but I will when I can!


That Afterward Feeling

May 1, 2017

I had a wonderful day today. I took my four-year-old nephew across the bay in the ferry into the big city, where we had lunch and “treats” (truth be told, he had way more treats than lunch, but aunties get to spoil people, right?). It was an absolutely beautiful sunny day and he had fun making up stories about his stuffed bunny, riding the ferry, passing close by bridges, seeing fire boats and police boats, eating ice cream, and much more. It was absolutely joyful.

He’s still in the cuddly stage and is a little small for his age, so he sits on my lap and holds my hand, and I have to bend way down to hear what he’s saying as he chatters along about everything. He has the adorable little-kid trait of not yet speaking in contractions. On the way back, he said, “I  cannot wait to tell Mommy and Daddy how much fun we had and everything we did that was so fun.” I’m a really good auntie!

It was wonderful. Then I came home and took a nap with my dog who is freshly washed and smells good and whose fur is so soft.

I couldn’t have asked for better.

So now, of course, my brain and its messed-up chemistry is kicking in. Now instead of realizing that it’s a blessing to be able to go home from a hot, busy, noisy day with a little boy I love and be alone and quiet, I am fixating on the fact that I’m alone. That no one would know right away if I lived or died. That there’s no one who puts me first in their life. That my nephew loves me but of course, his immediate family will always come first. I’ve managed to negate everything that was so special and wonderful about today.

Instead of realizing how wonderful I am to have such a wonderful dog, I’m worried about when she’ll die. She’s seven years old, barely, so she’s in the second half of her life but may have 5+ more years. And I’m wasting them by worrying about what I’ll do when she dies.

I don’t know if this is depression or growing up in an alcoholic family and always having to be prepared for the worst, because no one else was. I’m sure it’s b18222306_10155025134535700_2956203768163496233_noth. But I do not want this legacy any more. I need to find a way to change this; I am not willing to go through the rest of my life losing out on this joy.


Some Good Things

September 10, 2012

I’ve been working on gratitude lately.  Gratitude is tough for me and I’m not totally sure why.  I have some ideas which I’ll talk about in another post, but people who I trust tell me gratitude is important.  The Bible says so too.

I’ve been self-employed for five years now: this month is my anniversary of self-employment.  A couple of my friends recognized how hard I’ve worked (and it has been hard!) and are throwing a party for me.  A classy party, with dressing up and people saying good things about me.  I’m a little terrified and a little excited and a lot amazed.

I spent the weekend in Mendocino with two other amazing friends and rested and relaxed.  This was the view from the hammock.

There are some good things happening, and I’m trying to be aware.


Quickly

March 29, 2012

My life feels like it’s going by so quickly lately (and almost everyone I know feels that way – can’t we make some sort of deal to slow it down??)

I just got more work which, being self-employed, is fantastic, but leaves me with little thinking time.  Truthfully, I can usually use less thinking in my life, but it also leaves me with less prayer/talking to God time.  I’ve been thinking of doing the try to read the Bible in a year thing or the try to read a book in the Bible I’ve been wanting to read thing, but what seems to be working most for me is just to pick a little bit of it that is what I need to hear and have it roll around in my head for a while.  It can be dangerous to take things out of context, I know, so I am making sure I have read the context and that it is consistent with what I know about God.  (although so many things are so hard to know about God).

Anyway, after all that rambling, I’m thinking about Jeremiah today.  I’ve loved Jeremiah 29:11 for a long time: “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.”  I have had so many times when I’ve needed to know that God has these plans for me, just like he had them for the exiles.  But I also was struck by the part right after that verse: “2 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.”

It’s very intimate.  It makes me feel like God really wants to get to know me.  I mean, I know he does know me, but like he really wants me to be a participant in that.  It’s exciting and honoring.  Like if you have a friend of a friend you’ve admired who makes a point of getting to know you.  Only better because I already know somewhere inside of me how much God loves me.  And wants me to seek him.  Not sure about how that works though.  Maybe I’ll have more thoughts about it tomorrow.


Cushion

November 21, 2010

Whenever I’ve thought about my dog dying in the past, it’s felt like I was going to die.  He was one of my best friends for almost eleven years and there through so much of my struggles.  Also, I don’t deal well with loss.  I have worked myself up into anxiety attacks wondering when he was going to die – long before he was sick.  Now he’s gone, and I’m OK.

I was really really sad at first, obviously.  I was with him while he passed away which was both wonderful and horribly difficult.  I thought that I would be paralyzed with grief, and asked everyone I knew who prayed to pray for me.  They did.  And I’m OK.  I’m remembering him with joy and love – I miss him, but it’s not overwhelming.  It feels like God has given me a cushion – like I was starting to fall and he took the rocks away and placed something soft in my path.  I have a huge fear of falling – literally and figuratively – and I thought this was going to be one of those falling into a pit times. I thought the bottom would fall out of my life and I’d go back into despair.  If anything, the bottom got higher.  I’m doing better than I have, EVER.  Literally EVER in my life.

I have absolutely no explanation for it other than people praying for me and God rescuing me.  To me, it feels every bit as miraculous as if God swooped down to catch me as I was falling off a cliff.  My companion of 10+ years who I loved so much and loved me is gone.  I’m single.  I’m cold because it’s winter, and I don’t do well with cold, dark, and impending holidays.  And yet, I’m not just “OK for me.”   I’m actually feeling totally emotionally stable.  This has never happened and part of me feels like taking out a full page ad in the newspaper because it’s so incredible.

There’s probably something in the Psalms that describes this feeling.


Family

June 28, 2010

My baby brother got married today.  He’s 8 years younger than me and, due to the dynamics of our family, I played a large part in raising him.  The family that was so incredibly dysfunctional when I was younger has grown and mellowed and aged.  My super controlling world-renowned artist uncle has Parkinson’s, and while it’s made him hardly able to walk and totally unable to sculpt, he’s now very encouraging and even told me as I left, “Great job being yourself.”  His wife, who used to routinely insult me and then insist that she was just kidding is older and wrinkled and very sweet.  My cousin survived an abusive marriage and is now married to another man and happy and pregnant and gardening.  Her adolescent son, who was molested by his father, has been adopted by his stepfather and is now an artist.

There were some difficult things going on.  My uncle was just dumped by his girlfriend of twenty years and looked horribly sad.  My other aunt has really bad hip problems and is walking like someone in her eighties, not someone who is 44.  My sister is still not very nice to me – although I did get to hold my beautiful 2 1/2 month old niece.  But most of it was OK, and that was what surprised me.

Artists have it rough, I think, and not just because it’s hard to make a living.  In fact, many of my relatives make a very good living with their art.  The tough thing about being an artist is that somehow – and I’m not sure how it works exactly – I think you have to feel things more strongly than most people.  Maybe in order to see the beauty in life to the level that you can express it creatively, you have to feel the sadness and the pain more than most people.  I’m not sure, but it’s something I’ve been trying to figure out for decades now.  Most of my family members are artists and they (we?  I sometimes include myself but not always) are, at the same time, incredibly blessed by their talent and tortured by it.

We took family photos and I was alone in them.  My brother and his now-wife were in the middle, of course.  My parents are still married (that in itself is a miracle) and were together.  My sister and brother-in-law held their baby.  And then there was me.  The extended family photos weren’t much better.  My aunt and uncle.  My other aunt and uncle.  My cousin, husband, and two kids.  My other cousin, husband and two kids.  My step-cousin and her boyfriend and their kid.  On the other side of the family were my recently-dumped uncle and my widowed grandmother so I wasn’t totally alone.

It’s still a struggle to not let that define me.  I can be the seventh wheel in my family and still be valuable.  My parents’ shelves are filled with photos: My brother and my new sister-in-law, my sister and her husband, my parents together.  Then there’s me and my dog.  Sometimes it’s horribly difficult to see that there – I feel like I’m not as good as the others because no one has yet wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.  I know that’s not true – that God doesn’t take these kinds of things into account – but God’s not there in a photo with me.  Sometimes I think to myself that eventually everyone will be widowed or divorced and we’ll all be alone but that just makes me feel mean and petty. Usually this happens when I’m angry with God for not bringing me what I’m praying for – a husband or release from loneliness.

The real truth is that if I had married any of the people I thought I wanted to marry, I would be miserable and probably a lot more broken than I am.  It’s likely that I wouldn’t be writing this blog because I’d still be depressed.  I definitely wouldn’t have learned that I can actually sit at home alone and be contented and sometimes even joyful.  I think the story that I am in right now is a miracle – a divine gift from God and a miracle of healing.  This may not last, knowing me, but right now I can say that I’d rather have that than what I used to think I wanted, even if it means standing alone in photos.  It’s hard, though, to look deeper into my life for the blessings and gifts and values, and not just take the easy way of pointing to a photo and counting that as my self-worth.