Wednesday, April 30, 2008

How am I doing?

To be honest, I haven’t really felt like writing much lately. That’s why it has been a bit since I did a post. Its been a long week. And when I mean long… well, let’s just say not good at all.

I went to my psychiatrist yesterday and we are increasing one of my medications, and he is trying me on something different to help with my anxiety. I left his office still dealing with a lot of anxiety, but got home and took something that helped me calm down. Then I made a big batch of cookies, just to keep my hands busy.

In the afternoon I went to see my counselor. When I got there, Tricia wasn’t back from her lunch break yet. When she got there, we made small chat while she put her stuff away and got ready for me. I told her frankly that I was dealing with a lot of anxiety at the moment. She asked why, and sitting there in the waiting room, I almost started to cry as I told her that it was a bad weekend. She asked me to wait a minute while she got set up in her office, then invited me in.

We talked a bit about the weekend. I laid everything on the table for her, and bluntly told her that I was struggling with some bad thoughts, that for my own safety I locked up my medications. I said that I still had access to them, but it was an impulse control so that I would keep myself from just going into the medicine cabinet before bed, or something, and just spur of the moment decide to take them.

It was a dark weekend. And I had to keep functioning because I had two choir concerts to get through. Between my responsibility to my choir in being there and singing, and Tricia having asked me to give her my word last week that I wouldn’t do anything to hurt myself, I was able to keep my head on straight enough not to do anything. Also that night that the temptation and thoughts were there the strongest, was the night that Dave and the kids were both home, and I was still holding onto enough sanity to know better than to do anything stupid.

Well, after hearing that, Tricia decided we needed to work on some therapy, and give me some help and insight into some of my thought processes, and why my thoughts go the way they do. She also wanted to help me start working on continuing to live and do the things I needed to, despite how I am feeling. To help me give myself credit for the things that I have gotten done. Also, she wanted to help me see how much I base my thoughts and feelings on how someone around me is doing or what they say.

She also gave me a worksheet about distorted thinking. There were a couple of styles she pinpointed for me as we talked.

1. Filtering: You take the negative details and magnify them while filtering out all the positive aspects of a situation.

2. Emotional Reasoning: You believe that what you feel must be true– automatically. If you feel stupid and boring, then you must be stupid and boring.

Talking through things helped me. And there were good things about what we went through in the office. She was able to help me see some more lies that I have been believing. Tricia also encouraged me to continue with “occupational therapy” and try to get one thing done a day… even if its just clean 1/4 of the kitchen counter, or fold one basket of laundry… and then give myself credit for that, rather than beating myself up for not doing more.

But, I didn’t realize it until I got home, but the longer I was in Tricia’s office, the worse I felt. My mood started tanking, and I really couldn’t control it.

By the time I got home, I was feeling pretty bad. I barely got my kids supper done and on the table. Then I fled to my room and dropped on the bed and cried. Part of the reason was because I just had been told that I might be able to get away for a weekend with my husband… alone just the two of us, but the plans didn’t work out. So there was some definite disappointment there. But the other part of it was just I didn’t see any hope. This whole weekend has felt that way… this whole week… no hope. And when you have been living in the dark for a while, you almost forget what hope looks like.

Finally, after I got the kids down I bundled up (really bundled up with blankets and all… it was freezing last night) and went outside. I made a bonfire in our fire pit and sat there for a while. It was a beautiful night. Even though it was cold, I could hear two owls calling back and forth. It was so cold and clear, the stars were brilliant. The fire was perfect, keeping me warm, and comforting me with its popping and crackling.

I sat there, warmed by the fire, surrounded by the sounds and beauty of God’s creation. For the longest time, I had trouble taking in all in. I just didn’t see it. The pain I was in numbed me. I was lost and alone, and couldn’t do anything to pull myself out of it.

Then it was like there was a flash of light. I could see all that God was doing around me in the world He created. And I started to cry out to Him. “Why are You taking care of all this stuff around me, but not me? Why am I still feeling this pain? Why do I have to hurt so badly? Why do I have to go through this.” All the why questions.

Then I poured out my heart. Telling Him about the pain, telling Him how much I want to be healed. How much I want this depression to lessen. How I wanted to be able to function as a wife and mom. How I wanted to be FREE. I prayed through Psalm 139 and parts of Psalm 91. I prayed for the faith to trust Him with everything. I told Him how frustrated I was that I found myself doubting Him, His Word and promises. After begging for Him to heal me, to hold me, to help me, and crying. I finally calmed down some, and was able to rest a bit. And slowly, just ever so slightly, I felt a little bit of His peace, deep inside.

It was enough.

Enough for me to rest last night and get some sleep. Enough to get me through this day. Enough for this moment.

And so I wait for the answer. I wait for the healing. I wait for God to show me where to go and what to do. I wait for Him to show me how He wants me to participate in what He is doing in me… even when I don’t see it. I wait, and ask for increased faith and trust in Him.
I am waiting.

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