I am a deeply religious person. I have quite a few friends who feel that it's an outdated superstition, an organized political 'lead the unthinking sheep to follow whatever I say' kind of thing, or just a horrible idea altogether. And that's okay. Whatever works for them and brings them peace is awesome. My faith and my religion work for me. Today, for some strange, stupid reason I feel like talking about it.
This is seriously one of my most tender, vulnerable spots, and I have no idea WHY I am talking about it here. A place the entire world can see it, mock it, ridicule it, or whatever. But here it is nonetheless. Call it a crazy chemical bi-polar compulsion? I don't know how else to understand why I am sitting here typing this up on Blogger.
I don't normally talk about this kind of thing, but today... Today I've been two days without my medication. I forgot to fill it Wednesday before my insurance stopped. And I forgot to fill it Friday, the day I ran out, then Saturday because I was distracted by walking home in the rain, and then Sunday - well, today I didn't forget, it was just Sunday and my pharmacy is closed. I refuse to go to Walgreens; they always screw up, they're rude, and I much prefer my pharmacy where they know me by name, are friendly, go to bat for my kids when there are insurance screw-ups, and they take the time to treat me like a human.
... I digress.
I'm super distractable today.
Because it's been two days without my anti-depressant, today was a bad day. A sobby, unstable, doggy-paddle like mad to keep my head above water day. A day that I couldn't wake up fully in between very vivid nightmares until I HAD to go to work. And even then I was/am dizzy and distracted and... well... attempting very hard via Xanex and mood stabilizer to appear normal to the world.
On the way to work, I had a conversation with God. I don't know if I was feeling guilty? I don't know a lot of things today, but I know this:
I know He loves me. I know he understands and knows what I am going through. I know that He hasn't forgotten me. I know He has a hand in everything going on in my life, putting people in place to support me when I can't deal on my own, cheering me on when I succeed, and loving me anyway when I am rebellious.
And oh am I rebellious some days.
And I am angry. So angry that on some days - like today - I want to turn in my temple recommend and scream and rail and say I HATE YOU!!! I HATE THIS! MAKE IT STOP ALREADY!
I do not like being mentally ill. I do not like not being in control of my emotions. I do not like that I have to take a xanex to handle little kids screaming in the store.
I am angry that I have to remind myself to breathe over one simple little mistake - regardless of what it is. Forgetting to sign a permission slip. Forgetting to have my son read. Not seeing a customer at the fitting room in time for me to count their clothes on their way out. (It's an anti-theft policy and I am far from perfect some days)
I'm especially angry right now that He didn't let me come home in April.
I remember very vividly my psychiatrist telling me bluntly and matter of factly how the choice I made had an extreme impact on my children, family, and friends. And how if I'd succeeded, it would have damaged them for the rest of their lives.
My best friend, also a therapist, telling me that I am my children's foundation. And if I'd removed myself from their lives, it would rip out their foundation and they'd flounder for a long time trying to re-establish and ground themselves.
I have had so many messages, outpouring of love, and supportive hugs, etc. People telling me how glad they are that I'm still here. How wonderful it is that I am open, that I talk about what I'm going through, that they don't feel alone. Complete strangers tell me what a difference I have made in their lives.
I don't understand this, it's humbling, it's amazing, and yet it's frustrating. Today... today I am trying so very hard to not belittle what others think and feel. I mean, I talk about this openly for a reason, right? Whatever that reason is... well, I don't know, except that I feel this compulsive need to talk about it, er, no, type about it. I only *talk* about it to a select few. Because that's real and face to face. Typing, well, that's to the nether. It's really weird for me when people come up to me in real life and want to discuss my blog.
But today is what it is. Today I feel like I want to let the world know that I KNOW that God loves me, but I am the person with the issues.
Now, I have never, not once, felt like God has considered me second class because I'm female. In fact, I think because I'm female that he has more trust in me and my abilities than I'm actually capable of doing.
But sometimes I wonder if He truly understands what this change in my chemicals is doing to me.
Logically, I know He does. I know that Christ suffered for me in the Garden of Gethsemane, right? And I know that the Atonement covers not only my sins of choice/mistakes/etc, but my physical imperfections, illnesses, and all other failings that make me imperfect during this lifetime. So of course He understands what I'm going through.
Today it doesn't feel like it.
For the first 40 years of my life, I have had priesthood blessings given to me for a great many things. Blessings of support during my husband's various illnesses, surgeries, severe health problems. Blessings of healing and peace during miscarriages, personal trials, etc.
Nearly all of those blessings stated that through my faith I would be healed. There were a few exceptions when the blessing specifically stated and commanded my body to heal, and within the next few hours, I was better. But most of the time it was predicated upon my faith.
Well. For the last two years, every single blessing I have received has not stated anything about my faith. No matter which priesthood holder has given the blessing, from my husband, my brother, my home teacher, my bishop, even the Stake President when he came to visit out of the blue. (Not that one man's priesthood is more powerful than another's, it's just that I want to show the varying sources that God has used to tell me the exact same thing time and time again during the past two years.)
Every Single Blessing has said to work with my doctors and therapists. Every Single One has said the Lord knows and understands my challenges. That I will be supported and strengthened in fulfilling my duties as a wife and mother and personal growth. To rely on Him, etc, etc. I'm not going to go into the rest, it will sound like I am ungrateful and mocking some very personal stuff, which I'm not.
Not once have I been told that through my faith I would be healed. Not once has He said that some miracle would happen, that someone, somewhere, would have the magical answer for me and that I would be cured.
To be honest, that kind of makes me feel like I'm being punished somehow.
I remembered a line from my patriarchal blessing as I was having my chat with God. Or at Him. I don't know what you'd call it. That line says, "You will have challenges and trials. You were permitted to come here to experience them, and through them you will grow and be able to help those around you."
-- that word 'permitted' has always intrigued me. Permitted? To come and have trials? What kind of person was I before I came down here??? --
And I remembered an agnostic -- AGNOSTIC, people-- friend of mine saying, "Isn't this part of your belief, though? Don't you believe that God is giving you this trial for a reason?"
And ok, yes. Yes, I believe that. But today I don't want to grow and learn and help someone else. Today I just want to feel normal. I want to sleep normal hours. I want to play games with my kids, to be able to understand rules. To have patience with short-attention spanned little ones. To giggle and laugh. To remember AND ENJOY reading out loud to my kids.
Today I just don't feel capable of lifting where I stand. I don't feel capable of doing anything except smiling at people.
I just want God to fix me.
I know I'm being selfish, small minded, and stuck in the now. And oh how I am soooo not humble or teachable at the moment. Today I hate this. Today I hate everything.
I'm grateful for everything, too. I am. But right this minute, I just want this to stop. I'm tired of having to find my peace in the middle of the night. I'm tired of sleeping through my children's prime-time. I'm tired of having so much anxiety that I can't even handle being able to attend or run my son's birthday party. I'm tired of feeling guilty that I'm angry with God. Of knowing that He loves me anyway and is waiting for me to calm down, accept that He'll fix things in His own time, and maybe that time won't be until this life is over, dammit.
I'm human. I'm imperfect. I'm admitting that openly. Acknowledging my selfish thoughts, my very 15-yr-old stomping feet and "I know best, Let Me HAVE MY WAY!!"
You know, sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I didn't have religion. If I didn't believe what I believe. If I didn't feel God with me every minute of every day. What would that be like?
Would it really be any better than where I'm at now? Would this mental illness and drastic change in my life be easier to deal with? The same? Harder?
I can't answer those questions because I've never lived on that side of the question. And just because that non-belief works quite well for some people I know, I just... it's so hard for me to even comprehend.
But sometimes I wonder, you know? I know for sure I would have made some massively different choices in my youth. I am certain that I didn't end up an alcoholic drug-addict because of the values my mother and grandparents instilled. That's a very positive thing, in my opinion. I'm not puking in a gutter somewhere trying to score my next hit. I can honestly see myself there, though. Escape from life's pain through chemical help would have been so very easy if I didn't believe otherwise.
Ok, escape from my current pain would be so very easy through some chemical help. Which is why I avoid the alcohol aisles in the store. Which is why I only take a xanex when I absolutely HAVE to. And is probably why my body is allergic to Narcotics of any sort. Because I'd live in that bottle and never come out.
I don't even know what my point is, or if I even have one.
And frankly, after that emotional vomit, I am feeling a little less burdened, a little less of the weight of the world.
I don't know if I'm a little less angry or not. That ebbs and flows. But I'm a little more tired, and maybe that means I'll get some sleep tonight. Some honest, true, needed sleep. I hope. If not, I'll have to wait until I get my anti-depressants tomorrow.
I wish, I truly wish, that a footzone, my essential oils, my vitamins, and my diet change would be enough. I wish faith would be enough. I wish some line in the scriptures, in my patriarchal blessing, something, somewhere would just fix this.
As it is, I will keep fighting. That's what I do. I can't not. I was never inclined, nor raised to give up when it gets hard. I may want to. Ooooh, how badly I want to just give up and stare at the wall. But what good would that do anyone?
At least this way my kids know that hard happens. And you work through it. Man, I wish it were easier sometimes. But it is what it is. If nothing else, my kids have learned to help each other. To work with me. To learn self-reliance in many things that I wish they could have waited a few more years to have to learn.
Aww, whatever. I guess I'm done venting.
I posted a lot of my facebook thoughts and quotes from the past couple of months here in my blog. It seemed like the thing to do, just in case I end up losing those. Small, probably poorly written, they felt important to document here.