Monthly Archives: January 2019

Follies and Shenanigans

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Tuesday evening, and we were already 3 hours or so behind schedule. No worries. We were laughing, cutting up, and ready to go. The trip was smooth sailing. We laughed, we ‘worked.’ Good times.

We roll into town right at 11:00 PM. Going trough downtown was an adventure. After fighting with the GPS for awhile, we finally arrive at the hotel.

Nothing else to report for the night.

Getting ready the next morning, we discover there is no hot water. Cold shower? I’ll take a hard pass.

On the way to training, we searched for some breakfast. McDonald’s. That will have to do. One rude employee, and disgusting diet cokes later, we are back in the car.

Back on track, and all is wel…wait, *somebody* just threw up into her McDonald’s bag.

That was a hiccup we weren’t expecting.

We find the venue and search for parking for a while. Score! We find a decent spot.

Training is going great, but we are in need of Diet Coke that is actually drinkable. We look on our phones and find a Walgreens nearby. After lunch we head out. We will just walk. Except our map apps are going crazy and we have no idea where to go. I guess we’ll drive. Ummm, what’s that orange thing on my windshield? Oh boy! A parking ticket! *apparently the yellow lines mean NO PARKING*. Oops.

Debit card fail. ūüė°ūüė°ūüė°

Switch rooms, great dinner. Bathroom episode that shall not be discussed.

Next morning, all is well. Beignets!! Yum. Walking in the rain to get the yumminess equals wet shoes. No bueno.

During lunch we set off in search of dry shoes. Shoe Carnival! Score! And Cane’s in the same parking lot. Double score! Dry shoes on feet, food ordered, and we are right on time to head back for more training.

Except we both had two birthdays before we got our food, so clearly we were late. No biggie. We just had to walk all the way up to the front, right next to the speaker, to get to our seats. It’s fine. I’m fine with the entire room of people looking at me. I’m not uncomfortable all.

And speaking of the entire room looking at me…at some point during one of the sessions, my partner in crime says to the speaker that I think the term ‘radical acceptance’ is ridiculous and cheesy. Of course he looks at me in disbelief. And now is when I say I will never, ever use that term with a client. Obviously, what pursues is an explanation that the meaning of the word ‘radical’ is mathematical in nature, and not a valley girl or surfer dude way of saying something is cool.

Again, I’m completely comfortable. Especially after I announce to the entire room that I don’t want anyone looking at me, and then I cover my face with my hand and bow my head. It’s all very normal.

As the second day of training is drawing to a close, we begin to get silly. There may have been handfuls of gummy savers shoved into mouths. And there may have been suggestions of a consultation team that includes a colleague to may or may not be unstable. Naturally, these things are beyond hilarious, and we cannot control our laughter.

In the end, it was a great trip, full of laughter, and I got to spend time getting to know more about my *radical* friend!

Communion

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The room is white, a magnificent white. Everything is softened. There no edges, all is smooth. It’s less of a room and more of a space. An infinite space, having no beginning and no end. There is nothing compromising the light. No shadows, no shading. Just glowing white.

Peace. Calm. Safety.

There is but one thing in the space. Two beings. Him and her. Me. They sit, we sit, on the ground, crossed legged, knees touching. Face to face, eye to eye, they see one another. We see.

It’s both they and we because I see it in third person, as an onlooker. I don’t see it as the one looking into the eyes of Jesus. I know it’s me, but I see the outside perspective.

We join hands. The savior of the world sits with me, only me, and holds my hands in his. Beauty in its purest form.

We begin our meal together. Jesus takes the bread in his hands, and gives me my portion. As he shares, he says, ‘This is my body, broken for you.”

We eat.

And then the cup. “This is my blood, poured out for you.”

We drink.

She takes it all in, the love and adoration. I take it in. It is his love that provides the white glow of the space. And it is eternal. The togetherness never ends. Him and her, Him and I, together forever. And that is the beauty and majesty of this forever moment.

Open Up Your Eyes

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For the first time you can open your eyes
And see the world without your sorrow
Where no one knows the pain you left behind
And all the peace you could never find
Is waiting there to hold and keep you
Welcome to the first day of your life
Just open up your eyes, eyes
There is just something about this song (Open Up Your Eyes – Daughtry). ¬†This will be the third time I’ve written about it. ¬†Seems like something new is always grabbing my attention, and my heart. ¬†The last time I wrote about it, I was focused on the loved one who was left behind. ¬†But this time? ¬†I’m spellbound by the lyrics, “See the world without your sorrow, where no one knows the pain you left behind, and all the peace you could never find.”
 Seeing through sorrow.  Hidden pain.  Peace never found.
This steals my breath.
I don’t know how to make it through life, never able to leave sorrow behind to find peace. ¬†When depression sets in, it feels like I might not make it through the day. ¬†So a lifetime? ¬†How? ¬†I can’t even really form a complete thought about that.
Live the rest of my life in sorrow and pain Рand without peace?  No, thanks.
Seeing the world through sorrow-tinted glasses is dark and heavy. ¬†This is the thing that keeps me from seeing beauty in the world. ¬†It keeps me from laughing. ¬†It is the dark cloud that so many speak of when they feebly attempt to describe depression. ¬†It’s a thick blanket that seeks to suffocate. ¬†Seeing the world through this lens is devastating.
The hidden pain is hard. ¬†It’s hidden because it can’t be seen, but it’s also hidden because sometimes I choose to hide it. ¬†Sometimes it’s easier to hide it than to let it show. ¬†Sometimes it hurts so bad to keep it hidden, but I know the alternative will be even more painful. ¬†Sometimes I know this because I’ve already been shown that it’s not ok to bring it to the light. ¬†But when it stays hidden, the pain becomes physical. ¬†The brokenness of the heart permeates into the body, devouring every part. ¬†The heaviness in my chest, the ache in my head, the churning of my stomach, the weakness of my limbs. ¬†The crying. ¬†The shaking. ¬†The numbness. ¬†It’s all painful.
But here is the one that threatens everything – peace never found. ¬†Never? ¬†I have this picture in my mind of dark figures thrashing about, unable to escape their torment. ¬†They can’t wrestle their way out of it. ¬†They can’t unlock the chains. ¬†No amount of begging and pleading will release them from the grip of their tormentor. ¬†So it is with this mental illness thing. ¬†For me, it’s a constant battle in my mind. ¬†Who will win today? ¬†The sorrow and pain of depression, or the frantic and anxious pace of mania? ¬†Or will it be one of the savory days when all is calm? ¬†The calm feels like a facade most of the time. ¬†It’s merely the calm before the next storm. ¬†Or so it feels. ¬†Unrest. ¬†My mind is in a constant state of unrest. ¬†Peace is never found. ¬†But I keep telling myself that things will get better. ¬†It won’t always be this way. ¬†But what if it doesn’t? ¬†What if I am meant to spend my life without peace? ¬†What would I do?
Well, I would endure it.  I would endure it because inflicting pain on my four is more painful than living with my own.  The thought of the pain and sorrow, anger and confusion they would carry is too much.  I would choose to spend everyday of the rest of my life living with this lens of sorrow, this hidden pain, this absence of peace if that was my shield to protect them  And not just the four.  There are others, too.  The effects would be far-reaching Рmore so than I realize, I would imagine.
But herein lies the problem – right now, in this moment, I can say with all sincerity that I will endure my pain as long as I have to so that they won’t be introduced to their worst pain at my hands. ¬†But there are moments when all rationality is gone. ¬†There are moments when nothing else matters but making it stop. ¬†There are moments when the only thing to do is to escape it. ¬†But how? ¬†Pills? ¬†Drink? ¬†Sex? ¬†Or worse?
Opening up my eyes to a world without pain and sorrow sounds glorious.  And one day I will.  I have that hope.  I have that promise.  I just have to hang on until that day comes.

Invisibility

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I was sitting with my therapist yesterday…

*aside – Raise your hand if you’ve ever written something that began with ‘I was sitting with my therapist…’¬† Be honest.*

Seriously, yesterday was one of those sessions that stands out for one reason or another.¬† First of all, I realized when I left that I had been there for two hours!¬† Ummm, oops.¬† Sorry, A!¬† My bad.¬† A, you should have packed your bag, stood up, opened the door…hahahahaha

For real, to my point.

At some point during our conversation, I mentioned that I often feel invisible.  She pointed out the irony that, at the same time I feel invisible, I aim to not be seen.

How is that even a thing?

I should explain that I have this avoidant thing going on.  Think social anxiety on steroids.

Example 1: I won’t wear my scrubs anywhere other than work because I don’t want to draw any attention to myself.¬† Logically, I know that no one is paying any attention to me based upon what I’m wearing, nor do they care.¬† However, I feel like I’m walking around with a flashing neon sign over my head that says, “LOOK AT ME!¬† I’M DIFFERENT BECAUSE I’M NOT WEARING REGULAR CLOTHES!”

Example 2:¬† I would basically have to be bleeding out my eyeballs to get up and walk across a room full of people.¬† In a classroom, in church, in a conference, etc., I will be on the brink of needing ‘clean up on aisle 2’ before I will get out of my seat and walk to the exit – in front of everyone – to go to the restroom.¬† No way, Jos√©.

I don’t want public attention.¬† Please don’t make a fuss if I show up with a cake, or a plate of brownies.¬† And, for the love, do not take me to a restaurant on my birthday and have them sing to me!!!

*Having flashbacks of wearing a sombrero and ringing a cowbell  while the servers sang*

Happy chimichanga to you, and a cheese enchilada, too. Guacamole, chil√© con queso, hot tamales to you.¬† That’s our way to say, ‘Happy Birthday from Casa Ol√©’ Happy Birthday, dear Melissa, Happy Birthday to you!

*shudders*

A sombrero and a cowbell????¬† Are you kidding?¬† This is probably why I don’t want all eyes on me.¬† Humiliating.

While I don’t want to be the center attention – ever – I do want to be seen on a more personal level.¬† I want to make a difference in the lives of the people around me.¬† I don’t want to be seen for things I do, I want to be seen for the person I am.

If I give you a gift, I don’t want thanks or praise, and I certainly don’t expect you to reciprocate.¬† I simply want you to know that you are loved, that you are important.¬† I want you to feel love.

So, I guess I want to be seen as someone who builds others up, who supports others, who loves others.  This is what is important to me.

I was in my car this morning when a thought occurred to me.¬† Maybe I feel invisible because I work so hard to do things in a way that won’t bring a lot of attention to myself.¬† Maybe I don’t allow others to see me at all.¬† Maybe I fly so far below the radar, that I make myself undetectable.

Here’s the paradox – the thing I want to be known for the most – my love for others – is manifest in the exact things I don’t want to be recognized for.

And here’s the truth – I’m not actually invisible.¬† I am visible – to God, to my husband, to my children, to my mom, and I’m guessing to a few more.

I just have to believe it.