Tag Archive | Hope

Have Yourself An Anxious Little Christmas

I just want to share how much more manageable my holiday anxiety has been this year – probably better than it’s been in about 15 years. I’m sure being on Paxil for a year has helped a lot, and the realizations I had last month about my expectations for the holidays seem to have made a big difference as well.

Staying busy helps too. Frankly, I was so depressed last Christmas that it was hard for me to get off the couch and do anything. That doesn’t help my blues at all. I think the Lamotrigene prescription has helped here. It’s a mood stabilizer that’s made my highs lower and my lows higher. Not getting so low that I can’t function makes it easier to do the things that keep me from being so blue and anxious.

Being ABLE to be busier has helped so much. I was busy training and racing until the first week of December ended. I’ve been running sound for almost all the Sunday services and the Christmas cantata this month. I’ve also done a couple of funerals and a wedding.

I went to a ridiculous Christmas party for the church youth group last weekend where we played Dance Central 3 and the adults spent way too much time huddled in a corner laughing and playing with Poo Dough.

Then I drove five teenagers home from the party. They listened to the Classic Hip Hop channel on Sirius and marveled at songs they’d never heard before – songs from 1994 – before they were born…. (Seriously?) And they wrote profound Christmas wishes like “Poop” in the fog on my windows. Good times.

Just being with people, staying busy and laughing (the opposite of what you want to do when you’re depressed) makes such a big difference in how I feel. I think the mood stabilizer keeps me above that low end threshold that makes it hard to care if I’m taking care of myself or even to do it even when I want to.

I usually try to take some time off running at this time of year to let my body rest and heal some, but that time off is really bad timing for my anxiety. Even after my busy weekend, I was feeling the holiday squinkiness sneak in last Sunday night. But I did something I wasn’t able to do last year, I made myself get up early before work on Monday morning and run because I knew it would help. (And it did.) I knew it would help last year too, but I couldn’t get myself to do it.

I’ve also been wrestling with my feelings for Boo for the last couple of years. When I was in the depths of my depression last year, I got to the point where I couldn’t feel anything at all. When I started coming out of that, I had feelings again, but I had trouble figuring out exactly what those feelings were and what they were about.

I feel like I’ve about sorted all that out. For the last year I’ve assumed any bad feeling I have is sadness and unrequited love about that relationship. And so if I felt something bad, I thought it was about Boo, which made me think too hard and too much about Boo, which made me feel bad, which made me think too hard and too much about Boo, which made me feel bad….

But I had a big moment in therapy back in the spring when I realized that what I have always thought was the feeling I experience of “being in love” is very much the same feeling I have when I’m feeling anxiety. (This may be an important realization…. *snork*)

I still haven’t figured out why I feel like it’s so important to me to hang on to Boo. He’s never really done much to reciprocate those feelings I have for him. But there’s obviously something deep-seated in my need to hang onto him in some fashion and in the fears I have of letting my hopes for us go.

I wrote in a recent post that I wished “I had the courage to give up.”

For me, having the courage to let things go means being brave enough to stand on my own without having to use things and people as crutches, without having to try and control the outcome of every single thing in my life. I’m starting to feel like I’m strong enough to try and begin letting the Boo thing go.

I need to believe and trust that it’s the healthiest thing I can do. The Mr. Spock part of me knows that’s true. The disgusting, weak, clingy, needy, girly part of me is still afraid. That makes me a little anxious.

But that’s OK. I am better. And this Christmas is better – even when the anxiety still creeps in.

All I know is that I have my running clothes sitting out for tomorrow morning. I will run. I will breathe. I will calm my mind. I will keep getting better. I will keep getting stronger. And maybe one day I’ll even find something to value in the weak, clingy, needy, girly part of me.

And to you, I hope if you’re depressed or anxious or lonely or scared this Christmas, that you’ll know you’re not alone. Love is all around you, even when it doesn’t seem like it. Just keep slogging through and know that it won’t always be like this. We’ll hold each other up until then.

Much love, friends!

Christmas-Light-Installation

 

Links of the Week – December 19, 2014

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* What Should We Call Me: New Year’s Eve

* 5 Things Women Wish Men Knew About Sex

* 6 True Stories That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity

* 26 People Who Redefined Relationship Goals In 2014

* A Copper Bedrail Could Cut Back On Infections For Hospital Patients

* Arthur Blank Recognizes Historic Football Moment

* Belly Watch: All I Want For Christmas – (Sniff!)

* Top 12 Mean-But-Funny Cakes

* TCM Christmas Classics Schedule

* I Might Need A Nap: Come Sit By Me – (Come share my light.)

* Could You Possibly Get A High School Diploma Now? – (See if you can pass this quiz!)

* This Is Why Your Wife Won’t Have Sex With You

* Here Are The 2014 Star Wars Snowflake Patterns You’re Looking For – (Awesomesauce!)

* Scribbles & Crumbs: hope through the hopeless – (It’s not the hap-happiest season of all…)

* eBay: Mickey Mantle Holiday Inn-Joplin Hotel Ash Tray – (Cool!)

* Handwritten Family Recipes Reprinted On Tea Towels – (Dawwwww!)

* Pirates Plan To Blend In With Scenery In New Alternate Camoflauge Jerseys – (Perfect!)

* Rosetta Fuels Debate On Origin Of Earth’s Oceans

* Signs You’re A Badass Bitch

* Take A Long Break With Lil Bub’s New Relaxing Video

* Cats Like Hats!

* What We Learned About Love – (Annnnnnd she writes my life…)

* Why Nice People Cling To Bad Boys (Or Girls)

* Where Does Loneliness Come From – ❤ ❤ ❤

* Learning To Let Go Of Past Hurts – 5 Ways To Move On

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Rounders, rounders
Children in the meadow
Finders, keepers
Trees are turning yellow

Heads-up, catcall
Crows in the reservoir
Jetstream, satellite
Maybe it’s the North Star

And it feels like coming home
Yeah it tingles on my skin
And it feels like coming home
It’s your love that draws me in

Left turn, subway
Blow it in their faces
Raise me up,
Undo my laces

Touch screen, paperback
Making tracks to meet you
Fur lined Anorak

Running cause it feels good

And you feel like coming home
Yeah you tingle on my skin
And you feel like coming home
It’s your love that draws me in

Home is where your heart meets mine
Home is where your heart meets mine
Home is where your heart meets mine

And you feel like coming home
Yeah you tingle on my skin
And it feels like coming home
Yeah, it tingles on my skin

And you feel like coming home
It’s your love that draws me in
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That’s What Christmas Is All About, Charlie Brown

One of the very best parts of Christmas, shining through the dark even in the worst of times, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” airs tonight at 8:30 on ABC. (Re-airs at 8pm on December 16th.)

2014 Christmas TV Schedule

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(*For Boo…)

Saint Mark Daily Advent Devotional – December 1, 2014

by Noey Barrera-Disler

World AIDS Day

Scripture: 2 Peter 1:1-11

Today, around the world and throughout the United States, communities will come together to observe the 26th Annual World AIDS Day.   The summer of 1987 was a turning point in my life.    That summer I lost my best friend, Todd, to AIDS.  We had made so many plans together and in less than 6 months, he was gone.  For a few days I just moved around in a daze and then I realized that our time together was a blessing no matter how short it was.  I realized then the importance of educating others about AIDS so that they would embrace our brothers and sisters with AIDS with love.

As Christians, we must educate and grow in our spiritual path.  Peter tells us in this Scripture the importance of growing our Christian character development.   Peter says it should be a priority for us because when we make Christian character development our daily pursuit….it will “insure that our lives are not wasted” (v. 8); it will “present a positive witness to others” (v. 10a); and it will “guarantee a rich welcome upon entering heaven” (v. 11). What path must we take to know the benefits associated with developing Christ-like character?  Becoming Christ-like begins with a personal and growing knowledge of Christ.  We will never ever come to know Christ as fully as is possible in this life, but we can grow our knowledge of Christ by studying and learning the Scriptures as we wait for eternal life.  Be more Christ-like today!

This reminds me of a story told about a man who was born with an awful facial deformity. He grew up alone and lonely. When reaching adulthood, he decided to move from his town to begin a new life. On his way he discovered a beautiful mask that fit his face, making him look handsome. At first the mask was uncomfortable and he was afraid that people would find out who he really was, but he continued to wear the mask every day. In his new hometown, he made many friends and fell in love. But one day a wicked woman from his old home came to his town and discovered this man’s true identity. In front of his friends and fiancé, she forced him to remove his mask. When he removed the mask, it revealed a handsome face. His face had conformed to the mask!

Becoming Christ-like is analogous to this. Go ahead and put on Christ. At first it may feel unnatural or uncomfortable, and maybe you may think, “Who am I trying to fool?” But every day just keep putting on Christ and every day you will grow to look more like him.

Prayer:  Father, we give you thanks for your goodness and your guidance. We pray, Father, that you would give us eyes to read your Scriptures anew, that we would be more like you.  Amen.

Saint Mark United Methodist Church

Saint Mark Daily Advent Devotional – November 30, 2014

by Deanna Dennis

Scripture: Isaiah 64:1-9

Historians believe this lament from Isaiah was written after the Israelites returned to Jerusalem. But many Israelites are bitter because they feel their homecoming hasn’t been all that was prophesied.

They face drought, poor crops and enemy tribes. Even the “rebuilt” temple is a disappointment. The priests have simply re-stacked a pile of stones from the old temple ruins to form a structure that in no way rivals the former glory of Solomon’s temple. God has “hidden [God’s] face” from them.

In retrospect, God has done incredible things for the Israelites. God’s greatest promise that he would return them to their land as free people has been fulfilled. But they believe God did it wrong! They have forgotten God’s “awesome deeds.”

I’m just like those Israelites. I’m angry because God doesn’t hear my prayers. I can’t fathom that my will might not be what’s best for me. I forget all God has already done for me. I don’t have faith to believe that God may have a greater plan for me than I can even dream. I am like those newly freed Israelites. I “fade like a leaf” and “don’t call on [H]is name” because God hasn’t given me what I want or deserve.

But I find myself trying, with the same sighing resignation as the author of this passage, to grudgingly admit, “Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter…” This is my hope

Prayer: Dear God, so often I doubt you. I ignore all the awesome deeds you’ve done. Thank you for still loving me when I think I know more than you and when I lack faith because of my short-sightedness and lack of gratitude. Thank you for continuing to mold me into something greater than I can imagine. My hope lies in the remembrance that I am continually the work of your hand. Amen.

When Someone Shows You Who They Are, Believe Them

Thought this was probably aimed right at me and my stupid head and my crazy heart…

James Michael Sama

The title of this article is a quote by Maya Angelou. A quote that most of us probably think back on situations in our past and say “I should have listened to Maya.”

It is so difficult to find someone in today’s society that I think many of us get a little wide-eyed when somebody shows interest in us. Wow, this person makes me laugh! Wow, this person compliments me! Wow, this person is this or that, or maybe both this and that.

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Naturally, our attention may be grabbed and we could start spending time with this person. Maybe a date or two goes by and we are ignoring that thing they do with their mouth that is a little bit annoying, because whatever.

Then we are sort of brushing aside the fact that they have kind of a shady past with relationships, but clearly they are interested in you…

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What Counts

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The things that count cease being those that can be held in the hand and become only what can be held in the heart.”
– “Savoring Our Sobriety,” Emotional Sobriety
North Hollywood, Calif., August 1982

Jeter Proves Fairytales Do Happen

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees

Thank you, Derek! You’ve proved to me that fairytales DO still happen. I guess I can keep hope alive for at least one more day!

Absolutely amazing! Congratulations, Captain and thanks for all you’ve done for the game!

Derek Jeter Gets Walk-Off Winner In Final Yankee Stadium Game

Damages

I-Knew-I-Could-Fix-It

Does anybody make it into their 40s without being broken and scarred and disillusioned? How do you keep on going and have hope for a happy future? I want my story to have a happy ending.

Things That Make Me Happy