Thursday, February 20, 2014

if grace is an ocean, we're all sinking

So yesterday, Michael and I got in a huge fight on my lunch break at work. I had already had an awful morning with my 8th grade and 6th grade classes, and he called me on my lunch break and gave me bad news. And I was so, so angry with him. We fought and fought and in all the fighting, I forgot to take my medication. I take all of my pills at 12:30 PM every day. But I was too busy fighting to remember. So I didn't. I took them at different times, I took them hours late, and my body got so confused. My brain got so confused. And I paid the price with a massive episode.

I think this episode was bad enough that maybe the details are too much for a blog post. I have no problems sharing, but my intention is not to throw a pity-party, to scare people, or to make people feel uncomfortable. So just know that it was a bad one, but I got through it.

So I'm okay today. Back on track and on time with my medication, reminded once and for all that my entire world needs to stop for 5 seconds every day at 12:30 PM so I can take my pills and be okay. I am okay.

So this is what I have to say today.

Life is so hard right now.

But yesterday, I played a game with my 1st graders that was so much fun I temporarily forgot that I was in the middle of a huge fight with my boyfriend. We walked back to their classroom singing a song we learned from Ghana, just because they loved it so much they couldn't stop singing it.

Yesterday, my co-workers listened to me as I shared with them how upset I was that my boyfriend and I were fighting. They listened and loved me so that I could get my head back on straight to teach my 1st graders.

Yesterday, my 5th graders saw that I was struggling and they behaved perfectly all afternoon. They saw my pain and they gave me the best gift that they could. Their quietness. Their calm. Their peace. Their joy.

Yesterday, my 8th graders needed a lot of discipline. But when I sat with them and spoke to them like adults, they listened. They really, really listened.

Yesterday, I danced like a lunatic in front of my choir class because I know it makes them giggle. Their giggles brighten up my day immensely.

Yesterday, my assistant at work listened and supported me like he always does. Oh, I am so grateful for that man and our friendship. I don't know what I would do without him. If only he was there all the time, instead of a few hours a week.

Yesterday, my roommate listened as I shared my heart and vented about my frustrating day. She listened and loved me and sent me a text message today encouraging me just the way I needed.

Yesterday, even though Michael and I got in a fight, as soon as I started having an episode (they start pretty much instantaneously), the fight was dropped and he loved me so hard and so deep and so true. He stayed on Skype with me all night, singing to me until I fell asleep. I love this man.

Yesterday, the only thing that brought me peace was Michael praying over me as I screamed and cried. I have not prayed in a long time. But in my madness and tears, I think I let God in for the first time in a long time.

So here I am, so tired today. But I see grace today. I have new eyes today. And I am trying to let God in and let His grace keep me afloat. Because His grace is everywhere. I just have to look for it.

And we are His portion, and He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
if His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking
And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
 I don't have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way He loves us.
Oh, how He loves us.

Monday, February 3, 2014

my own currently

Linking up with Anna Kate and the girls at A Mama Collective like I do every Monday - only this time I'm not following format. So here it is. My "currently."

Oh, how I wish I could sit down and just write a beautiful and inspiring blog post today.

But, oh, I am struggling.

Struggling to see past my current reality. Struggling to feel hope. Struggling to feel like I'm not drowning. Struggling to breathe.

I have been unhappy for quite a while. Really unhappy. I will never stop living in gratitude, and choosing thanksgiving over wallowing in self-pity, but I am not doing well.

After my surgery in November, I was so hopeful that that was the answer. Once we realized my uterus was full of polyps and my hormones were going crazy, we removed them and life was going to be different. My PMDD would start to regulate itself - maybe I would only have one period a month instead of two and my moods would change!

And don't get me wrong - things have been better. I have not had a single manic episode since my surgery, I have not threatened or wanted to hurt myself, I have not blacked out and failed to remember my own words and behavior the night before. And for this I am beyond grateful. But I think maybe a part of me had hoped I would be all better. The joyful, radiant, vibrant girl that I know myself to be would magically return.

But I'm not her. At least not yet. I'm suffering, and I am unhappy, and I couldn't tell you why.

Maybe it's the fact that all I want is to be married and a mother and that is still months and years away. Maybe it's the fact that I really feel trapped in my job. Maybe it's the fact that I don't like my current living situation. Maybe it's the fact that I'm so alone where I live - no community, no friends - only my TV and my job. Maybe it's the fact that I'm so overworked and exhausted all. the. time.

And I am so far from God. I have isolated myself from my friends and from Him. In December, I asked Him for help for the first time in a long time. I lied on my bedroom floor night after night in hysterical tears, screaming at Him, begging for help. And it never came. So I stopped asking. And I'm having a really, really hard time asking again. I know I'm not supposed to do it alone, but when you ask and He just turns away, what then? What next?

Everyone has been saying this is my dark night of the soul. So I bought myself the book Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross. I am ready to pick it up, I know I need to. I have also been told repeatedly by priests in confession to ask for the intercession of Mother Teresa. I know this is not a coincidence. Every priest I go to talks to me about Mother Teresa. She didn't experience any consolation or sense of God's presence for most of her life - and she never stopped praying or doing God's work. I ask for her prayers constantly, but I am certainly no Mother Teresa. I feel so selfish, like such a failure - like I am being so childish, just wanting God to make me feel better. But I'm telling you,  I can't do this anymore.

My therapist today has suggested I see my doctor again and change my anti-depressants or change the dosage again. My mom wants me to see my OB/GYN again and go on birth control finally. Both scare me a little. Is all of this because I am imbalanced? Am I depressed? Or am I supposed to make life changes that will make me happy? Am I inherently unhappy and chemically not ok or is it life situations that are just making me feel unhappy? With mental illness, it's so hard sometimes to see the difference between true, genuine sadness versus your brain just keeping you from being happy and maintaining itself in a state of depression. It's so much to go through in my mind and my heart, that I just feel like sitting still. I don't even feel like walking forward anymore. How much can one girl take?

This week, I've gotten my first speeding ticket, I've gotten into my first car accident, and my debit card was reproduced and money was stolen from my bank account. It's almost funny... in a sad, ironic way. How am I supposed to look at all of that on top of everything else and just keep walking? I've been feeling like life is one big blizzard and I've been taking one step at a time with my head down, just making it through one step at a time. I'm just starting to feel like the blizzard is too big. The snow is too deep. I want to just stand here and freeze.

But I know myself.

I will not give up. Even if I want to. I don't think I know how to give up.

So I will keep walking. And I will keep trying to let God in, even if I don't know how to anymore.