Monday, June 28, 2010

Peace and Ativan

“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” ~ Unknown

If you know me well I have probably sent you a card with this quote or even a magnet or you have seen it posted on my old blog as a favorite or you’ve seen it on my own refrigerator. It speaks to me. All of us are in the midst of “noise, trouble or hard work” most of our lives. If we can’t find peace in the midst of those things we might survive, but there would be no rest or joy or hope.

When I think of the opposite of peace the word “crazy” comes to mind. We overuse this word when we speak to one another about people and circumstances and lots of other things. The word actually means to be of unsound mind, mad, insane, erratic . . . “ Over the past months I have had hours and even a few days when I slipped very close to the edge of this kind of crazy. It’s the most frightening thing I have ever experienced. I live right outside of a formal diagnoses of OCD anyways. The lack of control in my life right now in all areas is almost paralyzing. Thankfully there have been other events in my life up to this point that showed me the wisdom in seeking good counsel during times of crisis. I began this several months ago and was also referred to a medical doctor for my complete inability to shut my brain off and sleep and to help me deal with the panic attack feelings and growing depression. All of these things have also compounded the physical pain from my fibromyalgia and ongoing gynecological issues.

Here’s the thing–If you have called me or emailed me or read this blog I have most likely come across as pretty strong and coping generally as well as could be expected. I’m coming clean. The most complicated issue in the midst of Danica’s diagnosis and ongoing issues has been my faith. My inability to reconcile what’s happening with Danica with what I believe about God has made me a little nuts. And shouldn’t a prayer or a word of truth be my Ativan? Isn’t Jesus supposed to be my antidepressant? I have made very few allowances for our grief, anger and pain. I have been able to “fake” it on many levels even in my own mind and heart. This week as I recovered from a very frightening episode I had last Monday I began to talk to trusted people, and they all had the same response. IT’S NORMAL, AND IT’S OK! My husband held me as I cried, and he told me how relieved he was I finally showed some cracks. Long periods of extreme stress with little or no rest or recovery change your brain and it’s chemistry. This hasn’t changed who God is or even who I am fundamentally. It’s a scientific fact. I have always been a Mary. If you know about these sisters from the Bible and you know me you will agree. My entire life I have needed times of solitude, reading, writing, prayer, nature, art and poetry. I have needed to feed my spirit even more than my body. I become physically sick when this doesn’t happen for me. Essentially everything that charges my battery and makes me able to be a good wife, mother, friend and employee happens when I am away from people and activity. I have had no charge for so long, and my brain and my body and my spirit have short circuited. I don’t see a spiritual retreat in my near future or any kind of real reprieve but just admitting the “crazy” out loud is a good step for me.

This trip to Cincinnati tomorrow is our family vacation. It’s two days away, one of which is travel and a very stressful hospital visit and the other is a day at the zoo in what is forecasted to be 95 degree weather. We are as excited as if we were headed to the beach for a week. We have all needed to get out of this house. We have all needed to look forward to something. It may end up being 80% stress and only 20% fun but that’s more than we’ve been having for awhile, and we’ll take it!

Thank you for continuing to pray for us. I have felt a peace that passes understanding this week, and I know this has come from so many of you faithfully lifting us up. Danica has had a good week. I believe this helps us head into our difficult appointment tomorrow. It gives us a calmness as we ask our hard questions and listen to tough facts. We will continue to rest in His faithfulness, and I will take an Ativan when needed!

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Written Thursday, June 17th, 2010

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