Category Archives: Self Analysis

Why I Like Gaga

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Sitting here listening to Rhapsody.  Currently on my playlist is a LOT of Lady Gaga, Alanis Morissette, and Adele.  It’s a little difficult to explain my newfound fascination with Gaga.  This is another one of those, “Well, everybody hates her, she must be cool,” things, I’m afraid.  Harry Potter ended up being my absolute all-time favorite children’s stories, and I suspect the only reason I ever read them is because certain groups in the States decided JK Rowling was evil.

Being the perverse individual that I am, I had to read them for myself.  I’ve never been good at taking someone else’s word for it, and when I stopped stifling that part of my personality, well, all hell broke loose.  All of a sudden, I was researching religion, politics, and pop culture, and I found I was disagreeing with my former view on just about everything.

If you find this disturbing, believe me, it’s nothing compared to how I felt when it first started happening.  Harry Potter may have been the beginning of my conscious changes to what I’d believed, but something never quite felt right in my spirit.  Gaga isn’t exactly spiritual, but not too long ago, I did some research [idiot!] and found that although her music and videos are pretty weird and borderline offensive even for my newly opened mind, in her interviews, she makes sense.  You can tell she has a purpose beyond seeking attention, and that’s what I like about her.

I suspect she’s so over the top because her target audience is the outcast in all of us.  That whole Outcast thing resonates with me on a level that’s deep and wide.  I think we all have varying degrees of it, but I never really felt like I belonged where I am.  I live in a pretty small town in the Midwest, so I’m Bible Belt in Geography, but West Coast in spirit.  Sad but true.

The thing is, I always have been.  I spent almost 15 years trying to stuff my square self into a round hole and it nearly destroyed my spirit.  Sometimes I wonder how things would have been different if I’d never tried to be something I wasn’t, but I can’t complain too much.  I have an amazing family and a wonderful husband [who thankfully decided that my 180 degree turnaround on just about everything wasn’t a deal breaker].

If nothing else, at least now I know a little more about who I am.  I’m fast approaching 40, so I guess it’s about damn time I figured it out.  For a while, I was grieving and had a lot of anger.  I felt lied to and betrayed.  I was trying to find the exact opposite of everything I’d once believed and embracing that, just because it was opposite.  It didn’t take long to realize that wasn’t the right way to go about things, so I just chilled and decided to wait until the grieving process was over.

I’m not quite there yet, but I’m not so angry anymore.

So back to Gaga.  From the outside, it looks like she pulls the stunts she pulls for the attention, and I’d say at least part of it is.  I mean, if we’re honest, we all want attention and validation.  She can get people to look at her if she’s weird, and for her, it doesn’t seem to matter much if the attention is positive or negative.

For me, I’m more of a positive attention type.  I don’t like confrontation or a lot of drama in my outward life.  I don’t do the typical female back-stabbing catty bitch thing.  Don’t get me wrong, I feel some of that invisible rivalry that all women seem to have with each other, but I don’t like the way it makes me feel, so when the bitch in me looks at another woman and compares her size to mine, or her hair to mine, or whatever, I do acknowledge whatever I’m feeling [in other words, if I’m thinner, cuter, or whatever, I feel smug for a minute…or if she’s cuter, I feel a pang of jealousy] and move on.

Nobody talks about that in public, but I suspect there’s not a woman alive who doesn’t feel that at least part of the time.  I have the capacity to be vindictive and mean, selfish and bitchy, obnoxious and argumentative, and there are times when I give in to those parts of my personality.  But I’m also capable of being compassionate and kind, self-sacrificing and loving, peaceful and conciliatory.  I am darkness and light, and there are days when I am more dark than light.

But ordinarily, I try to focus on the light.  I work at being kind, at choosing mercy, compassion and love over being mean and choosing judgment, cruelty, and hate. I don’t always succeed.  Not too long ago I was mad enough I wanted to beat the living hell out of someone [whether physically or just verbally…didn’t really matter].  They’d taken advantage of my kindness and betrayed my trust and then blamed me for the whole situation.

In all honesty, I’m still stinging a little.  I haven’t quite let go and forgiven them yet.  But what I remembered yesterday is that no one comes into your life without a reason.  There’s a lesson to be learned, and sometimes those lessons suck.  I realized that part of my motivation in being kind was to make myself feel better.  I expected the person to be so grateful that I had chosen to be merciful that they would then do what I expected them to.

All I wanted was for them to get better, to deal with an addiction and get over their dysfunction, but what I realized was that this is what I would do if I were in the situation.  I’ve already learned about addiction…I know the consequences [and was fortunate enough NOT to have to learn that one the hard way] so I expected the person to learn the same lesson…and right NOW. But the time may not be right for them.  I don’t like watching people self-destruct, but even though I genuinely wanted what I saw as best for them, it’s not my place to decide.  I became wrapped up in their drama and took some of the burden on myself to try to ‘fix it’. I only wanted to help, but in the process, I forgot to take into consideration whether or not they wanted help.

For me, it’s entirely too easy to take on drama from others and because I care about people, I want to help them deal with their issues.  The problem is, a lot of people don’t want to get over their stuff, especially if they find their identity in their crazy.  I do that sometimes, too.  This is my crazy and here I am, writing about it [although I AM trying to figure it out so I can deal with it and get over it.]

I’ve struggled for years with finding the strength to drag myself out of chronic depression, lack of motivation, constant self-doubt, self-loathing, and a plethora of other neuroses, and there are times when that’s how I identify myself.  Maybe that’s part of the reason some of this garbage still lingers.  Hmmm.

I’ve managed to conquer some of my issues, but some of them still kick my ass.  I know for someone who doesn’t have the problem of wanting something but not quite having what it takes to drag themselves up by the boot straps and go for it, I have to be a hot steaming mess to look at.  I would be a trigger for anyone who has managed to fight their way out of difficult circumstances and “make something of themselves” because I’ve had a relatively easy life, and yet I struggle every day to find the willingness to give it another shot to reach my dreams.

And maybe that’s why I like Gaga, and JK Rowling, because they’ve managed to live their dreams, and at least in Rowling’s case, against the odds.  Gaga was willing to completely reinvent herself to get what she wanted, and in the process, found a calling to rally the outcast in all of us.  To say, “If I can be this weird and over-the-top and still be successful, maybe you’re not as effed up as you think.”  In her public antics, I find myself.  The Shelbi who wants to be who she really is, and damn the consequences.  For someone who cares entirely too much what people think of her, Gaga is an inspiration.  I can tell she wants to be liked, but I really think it’s more important to her to be a beacon to the outcasts.  To say out loud and proud, “Be who you are, not what people expect.”

I guess my mission for now is to learn how to be who I am, my most authentic self, and stop worrying whether or not you’re going to like me, love me, hate me, or be ashamed of me, and maybe, in my own small way, encourage others to do the same.

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Random Musing

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As I sit here, I literally have no idea what I want to write about, only that I have the urge.

So much has changed in my heart in the past month, that it’s really too profound for words.  Well, my words anyway.  I guess I’ll tell you about where I was so maybe where I am now will make a little more sense.

A month ago, my main emotions were frustration, anger, and rage.  I had built walls around my heart in an attempt to protect myself from being hurt again.  It’s so ironic that in trying to protect myself, I prevented myself from healing, and blocked the love that was there all along.

When you build walls, you fuck everything up.  It’s like I was trying to keep the bad stuff out, but during the building process, the bad stuff was walled up inside me, and couldn’t get out.

It was like putting a band-aid on a wound that is festering and infected and oozing shit everywhere.  It was one of those things that needed to be aired out and maybe have some maggots put in it to eat away the dead flesh, and there I was with my piece of latex, a little gauze pad, and no triple antibiotic ointment, trying to take care of it myself.

By keeping it covered, I was allowing it to rule my life.

The weird thing is [well, weird to me, anyway] I was angry and hurt and aching and oozing shit everywhere, and I was honest with God about my anger, but I never hated him.  I didn’t understand why I was going through so much garbage, but I always really wanted to believe in the God I met when I first became a Christian.

When i first gave my life to Jesus, I was so filled with love and energy.  I was young and stupid, so I spewed it everywhere, including on people who might have responded better to a smaller dose of my enthusiasm.  Heh.  Live and learn, right?

Somewhere along the way, I started putting humans on pedestals, though, and I guess maybe I fell into a little idol worship?  The idolatry, if that’s what it was, was never intentional, though.  I thought that’s what I was supposed to do, and no one ever told me different.

I looked up to the pastor of the church I was going to, and since he obviously knew more scripture and had a college degree under his belt, I followed him without question.

I see now that it was the ‘without question’ part that may have screwed me all up.  Of course, later on in the relationship, I did start to question, and it wasn’t long before I fell out of favor with the guy.

That was the hardest part for me.  I’ve never been much for following blindly and ‘because I said so’ will only work so long and then I’ll start giving you shit, or decide you’re full of shit, and move on.

It was different with him, because I loved him very much.  I have an excellent father, but the pastor was like a spiritual father, and so I felt very close to him.  My own dad never withdrew his love from me, and the Bible says that God will never leave or forsake you, so when the pastor of the church did just that, it fucked me all up, you know?

The wound apparently went a lot deeper than I thought.  I guess because I had seen the pastor as a father figure and God is called the Father, I placed the pastor’s actions and motivations onto God.  That pastor wanted to control his congregation with an iron fist.  He tried [unsuccessfully, by the way] to beat us into submission.

I don’t know how others reacted, but since he was my first pastor, I didn’t know that what he did wasn’t typical, and my heart broke.  That sounds cheesy, but it’s true.  I was shattered, and it messed up my relationship with God in a big way.

I think I internalized the rejection from the pastor and expected the same from God.  So I wanted His love and acceptance more than anything, but I believed that He had taken it away from me.

The only thing that kept me from turning away from God completely was the fact that I knew Him, sincerely and in such a way that it’s one of those things where you tell a person who has never experienced what you have, “You’ll know it when you feel it.”

I had known Him, and I knew that he was out there, but I couldn’t find him anymore.  I tried for years to re-connect with that first love, and I couldn’t.

It wasn’t something that I intentionally did, but as the damage to my heart grew through the emotional abuse of the pastor, I didn’t realize what was happening, so I just noticed that things weren’t like they used to be.  I couldn’t feel God’s presence as strongly as I had, and I didn’t know what the problem was.

I went to the pastor for help, and all he said was, “That just happens sometimes.”  I searched my heart for sin, but there really wasn’t any rebellion that I knew about.  I tried to figure it out, but what was happening to me was so insidious that I just couldn’t put my finger on what was going on.

Part of it was the legalism that the pastor was teaching.  When you try to ‘obey the law’ you get really judgmental and it just sucks.  If your list of ‘don’ts’ is longer than your list of ‘dos’, you need to rethink your priorities.

I can plead ignorance and be truthful, because I honestly didn’t know better, but damn I was annoying, and probably damaged some people with the garbage I was taught.

So the legalism [which is another name for judgmental asshole-ism] was a definite barrier between God and me, but once I got out of that, I still couldn’t find Him anywhere.

I’m dragging this out, but it’s partly so I can try to figure it out, too, so bear with me.  We’re in therapy, here!

See, I’m thinking that wounds inflicted by others can create barriers between a person and God, too.  It’s not that God put the barrier up, I did it, and I know that, but I don’t think my issue was so much a ‘sin’ issue in the sense that I was doing wrong and knew it.

I was confused and hurt and forlorn and lost, and it was because of something that had been done to me, not by me.

I prayed, literally for years, that God would show me what I needed to do, or that he would bring someone into my life that would show me where I had gone wrong and help me get back on the right track.

I wasn’t faithful about it, but as I searched other religions, I kept praying that if I was on the wrong track, that He would change my direction.  I just never let go of the hope that I could find Him again in this big mess, and what do you know?

Today, things are more clear to me than they’ve ever been.  I’m still an idiot, but I’ve learned some amazing things in the past month.  I can talk to people about God and not feel like a liar or hypocrite, because the walls are gone and I can hear him again, and feel him again, and I know now that he never left me, but when I built my wall to keep the hurt out, it kept him out, too.

He was always there, though, waiting patiently, and chucking a little love in through the cracks in the mortar so that eventually, I would tear the walls down willingly and finally  be completely unprotected, but completely safe in His arms.

I’m absolutely in awe, and totally humbled by God’s love for me, and I hope and pray that I never forget again Who it is that I follow.

Blindsided

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Well, this is a surprise.  For the past few days, I’ve been more irritable than usual which is usually the first sign of depression for me.  Last night, I realized I felt sad.  I don’t know why it takes me a while to figure this out, but it kind of sneaks up on me when I’m not looking, you know?

So this morning [this afternoon, actually] I was pissed off for no reason.  It was bad.  I felt the same rage I do when I’m on steroids, which is white hot in intensity.

I’ve been wanting to run away again.  This has happened before, and it scared the hell out of me the first time, let me tell you.  I’ve made a commitment to my husband and kids to be here until the end of time, so wanting to run away and start a new life can be, um, disconcerting at the least.

I don’t really want to find a new family [been there, done that, you know?] but I want to run away and start over by myself.  Minus the pressure, I guess?  Only being responsible for and to myself sounds like a dream.  It would be for a week or two, maybe a month or two, but then I’d want to come back to my family.

I think I need to get away for a while, and I don’t really see any way to accomplish it, you know?

I’m having a lot of anxiety about these damn scholarship applications for nursing school.  I’ve been out of the workforce for over ten years, so letters of recommendation have to come from friends, ’cause that’s all I have.  Also, I’ve only got until July 2nd to get the forms mailed out to people and get them back, which makes me nervous, too.

I was excited about actually having a career and being a ‘professional’ and making a decent wage only a week ago.  Now I’m scared as hell and just want to be an artist.  Maybe writing and art are my fallback dreams when real life gets too difficult? Fuck if I know what the deal is.

Depression also makes me want to write.  Not being depressed makes me want to get out and live.  It looks like I can’t have it both ways, doesn’t it?  I’m just sad and confused about life.  My religion [well Christianity] is pretty much gone.  I still believe in God, but I think I’m more agnostic than Christian now.  I guess I’m just not wired up to be closed-minded.

I should have known it was a bad fit 13 years ago, but I loved Steve and figured since I didn’t really have a religion of my own, I’d try his.  It seemed to work for a while, as long as I didn’t ask any of the hard questions, as long as I just accepted on faith that the Bible was true, that it was God breathed.  Well, maybe it was God inspired, but men wrote it, and in my experience, men [and women] are a pretty fucked up lot and their heart issues tend to run over into other areas.

So I think some of those men had preconceived ideas about right and wrong and stuck them in there, thinking they must have come from God.  I think most people have a picture of God in their minds that is really a big mirror.  As I’ve gotten less judgmental and more loving, ‘God’ has begun to care less about a person’s religion and more about their hearts.

It just makes sense to me that if an Atheist is a great humanitarian and does a lot to help out the human race, then they’d be a helluva lot better in God’s eyes than a lot of Christians I know.  That totally takes Jesus out of the picture, and that’s what would get me into trouble with Christians, but somehow I think Jesus himself would approve.

He was all about ripping the religious leaders a new one by telling the general population that they could all come to God and didn’t need to be great followers of the law.  And yet, many of the Christians of today have begun to make the faith all about obeying the laws.  Even making it so that no one who doesn’t accept Christ as savior gets to heaven is following a ‘law.’

In my eyes, it’s just as evil as the people who said you must be circumcised to become one of God’s people [interestingly, the Jewish faith acknowledges that non-Jews can go to heaven, and they have fewer rules to follow than Jews do.  How the fuck did Christians get so backward?  Jesus came to show that anyone could come to God, and we’ve made it that no one can, except the ‘few,’ which of course doesn’t include any other faiths.]

It’s been at least a month since I went to church.  I had to go to a ladies’ Bible study a couple of Thursdays ago, and it was difficult.  I’m not angry at Jesus or God, ’cause I know that they didn’t cause their followers to become stupid shits.  Like I said, a person’s religion is just a mirror of their own hearts, and if their hearts are judgmental, closed-minded, or vengeance oriented, then their religion becomes that, too.

That’s why some people of all religions [even atheists] ‘get it.’ They believe the same basic things because their hearts are true.  The names they give their ‘creator’ or higher power are irrelevant because at the heart, the beliefs are the same.  And some people of all religions are idiots, and their religions follow suit.

The sad thing is, there are a lot of sincere Christians [like I was] who believe the crap they’ve been taught and embrace the ugliness of another person’s heart, accepting it as Truth, when it’s just a pitiful lie.  They try to make it fit, but end up like I did: depressed, miserable, and desperately thinking/praying, “There’s got to be more than this.”

I think a lot of people wrongly begin to believe that following Jesus, or believing in God is evil.  It’s not the divine that is evil, it’s the heart of the person spewing the bullshit that is evil.

It’s funny, because Jesus said you have to be ‘born again’ in order to be able to see the kingdom of heaven.

The kingdom of heaven is right here, and after you have the ‘epiphany,’ a point in your life where you embrace love over hate, you can see pieces of heaven everywhere.  Your heart has joy because you begin to be able to look upon even the unloveliest with love and compassion.

Jesus was a magnificent example of what that looks like.  He loved his enemies and accepted his fate, probably knowing that by dying his teachings would live on.  He probably hoped that as time continued, that more and more people would look at his example of love and see the truth in what he did.  He wanted others to experience the kingdom of God as much as he did.

The church of 400 or so CE wanted to control the people, so they distorted his message and used it to control people, the same way the Pharisees did in Jesus’s day.  Sad, but true.

Jesus was a son of God the same way that we all are sons and daughters of God.  He ‘got it’ more than we do, and that’s why he is such a great example to aspire to.  That’s it, though.  Any one of any religion can look at Jesus, or Buddha, or Gandhi, plus various other great souls, and find the truth.  If you follow Buddha, guess what?  You’re following what Jesus taught.  And if you follow Jesus, guess what?  You’re following what Buddha taught.

And I didn’t make that up, either.

What sucks, though, is as you can see, I don’t really fit in at church anymore, and that’s where my friends are.  So I’m alone again, and that makes me depressed.  I can’t go back to the way I was before, because I know better now.  But that leaves me floundering about because my husband is still a Christian [although a good one] and wouldn’t go into a different religion.

My kids ask about going to church, and I feel guilty because I don’t take them.  But hearing what they teach makes me angry, and I don’t think I can deal with it on a regular basis, you know?  I certainly don’t want my kids exposed to the negative side of Christianity, either.

I could go to a Unity Church if they had one here, but the nearest one is an hour and a half away.  I guess I could ‘attend’ an online church, but that doesn’t answer the need my kids have.

It’s funny how when I’m depressed, I always struggle with religion.  I know that I need some kind of faith/religion in my life.  I’m ‘spiritual’ I guess 😉 but Christianity in evangelical terms doesn’t fit me anymore.

I think I may be nearing a ‘coming out’ post/talk/e-mail or something to my friends.  I’ve broached the topic with one of my friends, but I lose the words in anger.  I still feel betrayed by the religion, I guess.  I’ve been trying to reconcile my beliefs with continuing to attend my church, but my church bases its entire faith on believing that Jesus is the only Son [capital S] of God, the Savior of the world, and the only way to heaven.

Is it even possible to reconcile myself to that?

Jeez.

Well, I’m still depressed, still confused, still angry, and still.  So I guess I’ll probably be blogging again until this lifts.

Ouch.

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We survived the youth retreat this past weekend, and I actually like teenagers!

Steve and I were youth leaders a looooong time ago, and we were horrible at it, but I’m finding out that we also had a horrible group of teenagers.  They were very critical of us and our techniques, and they didn’t really participate, but we might not have sucked as much as we thought, because the group of teens this weekend actually liked us.

Go figure.  I’ve been avoiding teenagers for ten years or so now, not realizing that the group of teens we had were not representative of all teenagers.  Live and learn, right?

In other news, my joint pain is back.  It hurts as bad as it did before I took the steroids.  Apparently, the prednisone I was on is out of my system.  I started hurting over the weekend and now it’s bordering on ridiculous again.

We’re not doing steroids again [maybe never, those things suck BAD] but ibuprofen isn’t doing much.  Um, actually, I can’t tell that it’s doing anything.  I went to the Doctor yesterday and he said that I have some kind of inflammatory joint disease, but we have no idea which one it might be because all of my blood tests are normal.

Nice.

At least he believes that there’s something not right, though.  The hardest thing to deal with is when you tell someone that you hurt and they act like it’s all in your head.  This may be a psychosomatic thing with me, I honestly don’t know, but the pain is real.

In a way, I’m hoping that this is just a mental thing, because if it is, then maybe it will go away, right?  I don’t know.  I’ve been making plans about going back to college.  I’m planning to go to nursing school, and maybe I’m more nervous about it than I think.

There are a lot of issues, that’s for sure.  I’m having guilt for not loving being a stay at home mom.  I’ve been doing this for almost nine years, and I’ve never really enjoyed it.  I did it because I felt like I had to.  I felt like it was the best thing for my kids to have me at home and always available to them.

Now, I don’t know.  I’m pretty miserable, which makes me grumpy, resentful, and not very nice, so maybe it wasn’t the best choice after all?

I also have some issues with agoraphobia, and the thought of getting out every day by myself is both exciting and scary.

I’ve been trying to figure out why I’m scared of going out, and I think part of it is probably from being raped.  I really thought I had worked through all that crap, but now I’m realizing that it changed a lot more about me than I originally thought.

It doesn’t make sense to me that I should still be having issues because I feel like my rape wasn’t as, I don’t know, serious? as someone who was beaten, or raped by a stranger, or something.

I’m conflicted about the whole thing, because I went to the guy’s house intending to have sex with him.  I didn’t know it was going to hurt as bad as it did [I was really nervous, and he wasn’t very good at helping me relax] so I made him stop, and he did.  At first.

But I still wonder if he intended to ‘rape’ me, and if he didn’t, should I have reacted differently? Is my reaction to it what made it a rape?  During the sex, I felt like I wasn’t in my body anymore.  I remember laying there, staring at a digital clock with a red readout, wondering how long it would take for him to finish.

I could hear myself whimpering, but it was like it was happening to someone else.  After it happened, I went to the bathroom and cleaned the blood off my legs, and then I went out into the living room and talked to the guy until my friend came and picked me up.

A few days later, he called me and I broke up with him.  I don’t think he ever had a clue that he had done anything wrong.  Hell, my best friend told me that night that what had happened to me couldn’t be called ‘rape’ because I had gone there intending to have sex.

So now, some fourteen years later [good god, has it really been that long?] I’m still thinking that maybe it wasn’t rape in the strict sense of the term, so therefore it shouldn’t still be affecting me, you know?

But I’m afraid to go out by myself [or alone with my kids] because I know I can’t protect myself, or the kids, and my biggest fear is that something will happen to them.  I’m terrified when I take all three of them, because if two or three of them are walking, I can’t keep them all within arm’s reach, and someone could take one of them.

I’m terrified to take road trips to my parents’ house because if the van breaks down [it has 225,000 miles on it] something could happen to my kids, or something could happen to me and they would be all alone and vulnerable.

I never feel completely safe, except when Steve’s around [he’s a state trooper, which in police terms is a little like being a Marine in the military.  He knows a lot of ways to hurt people if he has to, and he’s usually armed, too.]  The rest of the time, there’s a low level of anxiety, and if I go out, it increases.  A lot.

So I wonder if this joint pain is a physical manifestation of my anxiety, and if so, how the hell do I get rid of it?  ‘Cause I hurt like hell.

More Health Crap

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Ah jeez.  I don’t update for over a month and all I got is a whine. For the past few months, I’ve been getting migraines.  I had one [a mild one] that lasted several days [hurt like it was thinking about getting worse, but never did] and then it was gone.

A few days later, my joints started hurting like hell, and as I’m typing this, my left hand feels stiff and weird, a little like it’s thinking about becoming numb [and not comfortably so] but not quite there.  Sluggish, if you will.

Oh yeah, my BP is still high.  I’ve been taking Toprol 50mgs for a while now, and I’ve been doing one of those little BP diaries to check my BP, pulse, and weight twice a day [I gain about 1-2.5 lbs of fluid every day.  Probably normal, but I never knew that before].  Anyway, it’s been around 130/84 every time I’ve checked it [that’s the average] but this morning it was 135/100.  Which for some reason annoys the hell out of me.

I’m not worried exactly, just frustrated that it’s still high.

But my joints and the amount of pain I’m in is a lot more than usual.  Mixing Tylenol and Ibuprofen doesn’t even touch the pain, which sucks, ’cause that’s all I’ve got.  Anyway, I went to the doctor today and asked her if this could all be one big disorder.

She did some basic blood work and is in the process of referring me to a Rheumatologist.  Oh yeah, I’m on Prednisone [a three week course] which should make for an interesting three weeks, eh?  I’ve taken a week’s worth before, and had no real side effects, so I’m curious to see if this time things will be different.

They told me that I should hear something within a week or so about the bloodwork.  In the meantime, I’m hoping that the steroids make me feel better.

I’ve had a lot of stuff going on here, hence the no entries for weeks on end thing.  I’ve worked up a schedule for weekdays that includes family time every night.  The kids love it.  They love knowing that every night is a special activity.  It’s easy stuff, that only lasts an hour or so, [except Wednesdays which is church night and goes on freaking forever].

It’s nothing big or elaborate, but it’s something that we do as a family together, and just in the couple of weeks we’ve been doing it, we’ve grown closer as a family.  I can’t tell you how great that is.  I wish we’d been doing it all along, but I’m not beating myself up about it [which is miraculous for me, eh?]

I haven’t been the greatest about living my life outside my head, so this is a big step for me.  I’m finished with counseling for now.  I usually have a severe bout of depression in the spring, so I’m going to plan to go back in March if I don’t need to see her before then.

I think it was an excellent idea.  My counsellor did a great job helping me to find solutions for certain stuff, and reassuring me that some of the stuff I feel guilty about is normal [and okay].   I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I want my life to be like, and that’s good.

So much of my life has been just waiting around for something to happen, and I’m actually making choices and setting goals for myself… getting of my ass and working for what I want for a change.

But you know, one of the things that helped me the most with my counsellor was the day I told her how scared I’d always been that the reason I’d never ‘accomplished’ anything in my life was because deep down I was lazy [be aware that I’m not talking about my husband and kids here.  I feel like their wonderful-ness is more about them, and doesn’t have much to do with me.  In other words, I have a wonderful life and I know it, I don’t take it for granted, but I didn’t do anything to make it that way.  I feel like I just got lucky, you know?]

She said she’d always thought that laziness usually translated into depression.  Something clicked and I realized that when I’m not feeling depressed, I am active and a pretty good worker.  It’s when the depression starts again that I don’t do much of anything.

You’d think that would give me an ‘out’ so when I’m feeling lazy, I can have an excuse, “Well, I’m just depressed.”  But in my mind, it just means that all those times I tried and failed, it wasn’t because there’s something psychically wrong with me, it was just the chemicals getting screwed up [in other words, some defect in my soul wasn’t what caused me not to finish my task.  There is something wrong with me, but it’s not my fault.  I don’t know if that makes sense or not, but I can’t tell you how good it feels not to hate myself for those times anymore] .

I think if I’d known that’s what was causing me to want to give up, I might have been able to fight it off a little better.  Instead, I thought that God was telling me not to go there, or that it wasn’t meant to be, or that I was no good at whatever it was I was trying to do because I suck at everything and I’ll never amount to anything.

Depression is a fucked-up illness, you know?

Anyway, that’s not even close to all the crap I’ve been working through, but I’m hurting like hell right now and need to go to bed.

If I’m not back tomorrow, I’ll at least let you know how the blood tests turn out, eh?

Therapy

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I start actual therapy next Tuesday.  I’ve finally accepted the fact that I can’t fix whatever this is on my own, and I’m hoping that a therapist can help.

She does ‘behavioral cognitive’ therapy. I rather suspect that this will be difficult.  I don’t really know what caused my brain to be so jacked up, or which thing[s] from my past sealed my fate, but I need to get over this, and maybe if I have someone to guide me, I’ll be more successful.

I’ve tried self-help for years. I’ve tried to get God to fix me, but he seems to think I need to do it the hard way [dammit].  I suck at consistency, so I’m hoping that having someone give me homework and check up on me every so often will get me over the hump, and maybe teach me how to finish what I start.

I’ve learned some things about myself in the past few months that have been discouraging.  I’ve realized that some of my thought processes are way off when compared with reality.

I’ve learned that in my mind, if I’m not the best at something, I’m a complete, worthless failure.  That’s not true, especially since you can never really be ‘the best’ at anything.  There’s always someone smarter, stronger, or better than you.  What I need to believe is that it doesn’t matter, that there’s room for being just good at something without the added pressure of being perfect.

Perfectionism sucks, and while it motivates some to work extra hard and push themselves more, it seems to paralyze me and prevent me from doing anything.  Life has become unbearable trying to live up to my impossible standards, and I can’t continue like this.

It’s past time to get over it.  I need to get better and move on to what I was created to do.  I hope the time is right this time.  I hope I’m ready to learn how to live.  I’m tired of being defeated every time I try something and end up less than perfect.

I don’t want to give up on my dreams, but I know that I’ll never realize any of them if I can’t get past the perfectionism.

I’m depressed again.  What I want more than anything is to crawl in a hole and sleep for a few months.  Last week, I was closer than I’ve ever been to running away from my family and just disappearing for a while.  The only thing that stopped me was that I couldn’t bear the thought of doing that to my kids.

I wanted to abandon them.  I still can’t believe I got to that point, and honestly, I’m not much better tonight.

I’ve had two migraines in the past four days, and another one is threatening now.  They seem to be related to whatever issue I’m trying to deal with here.  My guess is that it’s not nearly as bad as my body seems to think, but the trick is to convince my brain that it’s gonna be easier to just deal with it than continue to avoid it, you know?

I don’t even know how it’s possible to have as good a life as I have and be depressed, miserable, and wish for escape.  I pretty much loathe myself for it.  I’m full of anger and self hatred right now.

I tried to talk about it with Steve last night, and he tries to understand where I’m coming from, but he’s never been severely depressed.  He’s never questioned things the way I do.  He’s content no matter how bad his circumstances, and I seem never to be content no matter how good things are.

So I dunno.  We’ll see how things go next Tuesday and I’ll try to check back in to keep this thing updated with all my adventures.

Checking In

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I have to wait until August 18 to register the kids for school, but I’ve decided to take the plunge and send them. Honestly?  I think they’re gonna be fine.

I’ve worked out a brilliant way [if I do say so myself! 😉 ] to get some help doing the housework [which I hate, have I mentioned that?]  I’ve worked out a deal with my friend Lindsay where I watch her little boy in exchange for her cleaning my house.

Lindsay actually likes cleaning other people’s houses, so this is a good exchange, yes?  And she’s as anal about doing a good job as I am [I never start because if I can’t do it perfectly, and finish the whole thing, I lose my mind… Lindsay’s the same way, but when we’re together, I’m able to take time out to take care of the kids and she can continue working, which means that it’s lots more efficient, less time-consuming, and more fun because I have a compatible house-cleaning partner].

Steve and I used to work really well together before we got married.  What the hell is that about?  We used to have a system where we’d work in a complimentary fashion until all the work was done, then something weird happened, and we stopped getting along so well, and we started getting on each other’s nerves.

Makes me wonder if I have a passive-aggressive streak, because as I’m sitting here thinking about it, I think part of my motivation for not wanting to help him anymore is because I’m frustrated with him in some area of our lives and it’s a sick form of revenge.

How fucked up is that?  Jeez, I’m just not a very nice person, am I?  I don’t think it’s been a completely conscious thing, more a thing where I’m annoyed or frustrated and I don’t want to be around him, or listening to his ‘ideas’ about how I should conduct whatever task we’re doing.

I also have this thing where when I’m trying to talk, I’ll accidentally speak in half thoughts or forget what things are called [an example, you know those spotlight things that go around in circles that businesses sometimes use to draw attention to themselves when it’s dark?  We saw one of those one night, and the only word I could think of to call it was spigot…  Everyone laughed, including me, but I honestly couldn’t think of the word ‘spotlight’ to save my life.  I think it’s interesting that spigot and spotlight have many similarities in what letters they contain and the sounds involved…]

So anyway, whatever that’s called, I have it bad.  [I’m thinking dysphagia, but I could be wrong… and if I’m right?  Why the hell can I come up with complicated medical terms but not simple ones like cookie sheet, or cabinet?]

Sometimes it’s worse than others, but Steve gets irritated with me when I can’t express myself in the proper terms, and I get frustrated with him because he absolutely refuses to try to think like I do so that he can understand me [I’m convinced he could if he wanted to… probably not true, but there you go].

Another thing that’s weird, is I generally write better than I can speak, so it’s just getting the words to my freaking mouth that’s usually the problem.  I dunno, it’s weird to be me sometimes.

It’s gotten worse as I’ve gotten older, so maybe it has to do with having kids and only being half involved in any conversation going on because the other half is involved in watching the kids.  Let’s hope so, that way maybe there’s hope that it will get better…

Anyway, I’ve got some stuff to do, so I better go now.  Peace out, y’all.