Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Struggles and Triumphs

I suffer and struggle with mental illness. I say suffer because there are times of great pain and I say struggle because I am a firm believer that I can ultimately control my thoughts and actions and when I fail it is frustrating. I am a Christian and want to lead a life that is Godly and honoring my Savior but many times lately I feel like I have fallen really short of that goal. Now my feelings can be very subjective - mainly because that is what feelings are. But maybe I can shed a better light on some things.

I have been told I am Bi-Polar, which explains a lot - of course I was told by one therapist/psych that he didn't want to "label" me. He was concerned that I would focus on the label, not thinking I would take the diagnosis and learn all I could so that I could help myself get better. Yeah, it made me want to dump his body into the cold river. See, I have Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde mood swings - it is not split personalities, just mood swings - and they can be rapid cycling, fine one minute and then something just tweaks the wrong way and a nuclear bomb goes off in my head and something ugly is born. Now it depends on what mindframe I am in on just how long that ugly thing stays - could be 15 min, could be 2 days. Needless to say it doesn't make me an enjoyable person to be around or even be for that matter. It doesn't make me happy and it certainly doesn't allow people to see God's light shining in me.

Yes there is medication I can take and I have in the past but am not currently because my husband and I were looking into getting my tubes untied so that we could have a child and I am not willing to take anti-psychotics while pregnant. But our hopes for that happening anytime soon have fallen through, which has been another frustration. I know God will work things in his time and I am committed to follow his lead. I was following a vitamin and mineral supplement regimen but finances have made getting those not a priority so it looks like it will be back on meds, because at least they are covered by health insurance. I am not thrilled with this because I do not like putting medications in my body if I can possibly help it. And am uneasy with stuff that affects your brain. Yes, they help and that is why I will be back on them for a bit.

I have struggled with mental illness and my faith for awhile. I couldn't see how any of my rages benefited God in anyway - if anything it showed how horrible a Christian could be. But when I am having one of my hateful, spiteful rages I still have clarity and there is a part that reaches out and up towards God. Those rages? They are getting shorter in length which is a comforting thing. You see, my struggles and suffering just help God's glory shine even brighter - it isn't from sin or guilt of sin that I suffer or struggle. Or at least, it isn't any one PERSON'S sin that suffer and struggle. Because there is sin in this world there will be hurt and strife. And I suppose I could point fingers - my parents, Their parents, THEIR parents and go along the line until I get to Adam and Eve. But in the end I am in control of ME and that is who I am going to concentrate on. So while I had a raging episode today it was shorter than others before and it led me to write this - after I listened to some uplifting music, which always helps me. Maybe it will help someone else.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ponderings and Whimsy

So here it is, November is half over and I have a whopping 2000 words done for Nanowrimo. It isn't that I haven't tried just everything decided it was going to take center stage and tapdance my dream to oblivion. Now granted I could get a total writer streak going and bang something out in the time that is left - OR - I could take a step back, re-evaluate some things and regroup for next year. Don't get me wrong, I have a beginning of a story series that I will work on but I am not sure I am going to push for the Nanowrimo. Now some may say, but Crystal quitters never win - and I would agree, but there is also that other wise saying - get out while you are still sane and live to fight another day. And that is what I am basically planning to do, live to write another day. Because realistically looking at it, I am stuck with the story that I have been working on. I have other stories banging on the door in my head for their turn and also I am trying to establish routines for not only normal living but also writing life. This blog was supposed to be one of them and you see just how well I keep up with writing on that daily. Which brings up another point - my life is not exciting, or at least it isn't awe-inspiring to me so I can't really see why anyone would want to read about what is going on in it daily.

Now granted I could write about the small collection of pets that we own - 2 dogs, 2 ferrets, 2 boa constrictors, 2 turtles, 2 Bearded Dragons, 9 ball pythons, 1 Tegu lizard, 1 corn snake and 1 cat. I won't even mention the rats because they are food for the snakes - although there are 2 that are sentimental favorites in the bunch that will probably be spared. I could write about my 2 wacky kids or my lovable but yet goofy husband (I think it is in the rule book somewhere that husbands must be this because all the women I know complain about this very feature in their husbands as well - lovingly complain I might add, because let's just be honest them making us laugh keeps us younger). I could expound on the head-banging, wall-climbing frustration and boredom that encompasses my mind at times when I try to find a job and it just isn't going anywhere. This in turn doesn't help my writing on any of my stories because negative energy tends to kill creative thoughts. Not to mention it makes dealing with mental illness a bit harder.

I do want to thank my friends though, those friends that are dear and have stuck by us during these really crappy times. I thank God every day for you and appreciate you more than you could ever know.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Well there ya go in a handbasket.......

So at the end of October I had gotten back my writing assignment and it pumped me up something good. I felt like a creative guru and was 10 feet tall and bullet-proof. I signed up for the National Novel Writing Month, a bit nervous but confident I could do this. Oh yeah, you KNOW I was gonna get taken out and QUICK! So here it is, 5 days into it and I have written 15oo words - 1500 - now that may seem good to you but I have to have 50,000 by the end of the month! Not to mention that the creative guru that was crowing genius not even a weak ago is comatose and glazed eyed in the corner of my brain. Hense the 1500+ words in 4 days (I have yet to write anything today, so there is hope yet!). But let's put this slump into perspective. I have also had to pack up some belongings and move myself out into the country to my mother's for a perspective job. Because while I would love to make a living writing, it just isn't happening right now and I need to help support my family and joy, joy the hog plant is hiring. So now I am 3 hours (not sure how many miles or how the crow flies) away from my family. I love my mother but she is a bitter, cranky old lady - and her yipping chihuahuas can be rather annoying. So can her obnoxious, alcoholic boyfriend. To say that the environment is not helping my creative flow is a bit of an understatement. Not to mention there is no internet there. So how am I able to post this you say? Easy, I escaped and luckily I am not totally out of the realm of civilization that the local library has wireless internet. I almost wept with joy and thanksgiving.

So I am still determined to get through this month and get this challenge done - I just now have to figure out how to get 2000 words done a day in order to have the 50,000 minimum at month's end. If I have more, yay me, but I can not have any less. And I am determined that if I have to be away from my family and go through this then I am going to at least accomplish this challenge of writing. Now don't get me wrong, I know it sounds like I am whining. And maybe I am to a degree, but I miss my family and think I am a little entitled to that. But I think God has a plan for us and this is just part of it, so in the end we are welcoming it. Maybe not as warmly or heartfelt as God would like us to, but we are still obeying and trusting that he has the gameplan mapped out and there is a touchdown and Super Bowl ring at the end of this.

Thing of it is, don't get discouraged when you feel the urge to start a project and then get problems or delays right off the bat. Could be they are tests to see if you have the staying power. Remember, Jesus had to endure more than any of us can imagine to save us from ourselves. What would have happened if one day after someone had told him he was a blasphemer one time too many and he said, "You know what? I quit, you all are on your own. You ungrateful little spoiled brats who are happy in your own filth." And then went back up to heaven and left us to our own devices. If you feel that something you are doing to TRULY God-driven and God-designed, DON'T GIVE UP. Trust me, you will be GREATLY rewarded. Look at Abraham and many others who trusted God, even when it seemed nuts, and didn't give up. In the end, all of this is going to be well worth it.