“Like I always do”

Insanity is often defined as doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. Been there done that. Still do it. But some other things have occurred to me lately that expand on that. One glaring thing has been my obsessive need to control everyone and everything around me in an attempt to maintain my protective comfort zone bubble. That bubble burst last summer, and I have to remind myself sometimes every few minutes that I can’t put it back together. Nor should I even try.

Another aspect of that is perfectionism. Or better yet, perfectionism on top of thinking you can and/or have to do everything. That’s another bubble of mine that burst last summer and almost got me and Jamie arrested. Ok, that’s an exaggeration. (Why must I look up that word to spell it correctly? Every.Single.Time?) It would just have been a ticket. And I should tell that story sometime. Anyway, point is, it is not weakness to need help. You can’t do everything, and you can’t do everything perfectly.

You can’t hear if you’re not listening

There is a story behind that picture. I was scheduled to play at church this past Sunday, and there were several emails throughout the week regarding the song lineup. The first had to do with one particular song (video below) that only really had 3 instrumental parts: drums, bass, and keyboard. Bradford said that I would be playing keyboard. I laughed at that part of the email. He added not to worry that the keyboards would be tracked, and I just had to look like I was playing. Which made me laugh more because if I could fake playing a trumpet in college, I could definitely fake play keyboards. After listening to the song I thought that if I still had a keyboard and the time to practice (and the sheet music), I could have played it for real. But people thought I was really playing. Those who mentioned to me how cool it was that I play keyboards too got to hear the truth that I was keysyncing (like lipsyncing). And that was the only song I didn’t screw up. :cheesy: And I was glad to do it because otherwise I would have only been doing vocals, and I couldn’t do the clapping right. Plus clapping hurts my hands. Regardless, it gave me something to do with my hands.

Before rehearsal last Thursday as Bradford led us in a devotional, he summed up Pastor’s Nate’s sermon from the previous Sunday (which I missed).

Just because God is silent does not mean He isn’t active.

My experience has been that whenever I am going through a hard trial or a period of depression, God is not only silent, but He seems absent. I feel like I am completely alone and overwhelmed. Once it passes, I can then see that God was there the whole time working while I was wallowing in fear and/or self-pity. I’m starting to see, or hear, that He isn’t always silent in the pit.

I usually have ministry hangover the day after I play at church. Yesterday was no exception, and life compounded it. I felt it when I (finally) got out of bed, and I started praying while I showered. My shower is my “prayer closet” because generally speaking, I can be alone without interruption. This is also why I named my shower “the confessional.” So I was praying and as it progressed, I began praying about my self-will. I don’t remember what I asked, but I remember hearing the answer. I have already been set free.

Jesus is stronger than my self-will.

I have a hard time remembering that. Partially because of self-will. Partially because of bad theology. But hearing it helped. I immediately felt peace. And then life reared its head again, and the peace was gone. But over and over and over all day, I went back to my prayer time and reminded myself of what God spoke to me, and it got me through.

Pastor Benji said something during his sermon Sunday morning that really made an impression on me.

If I didn’t already know what the Bible has to say about my self-will, I don’t think I would have heard God’s voice as I did.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14:26 ESV)

But additionally, I don’t think I would have heard it if I hadn’t been willing to hear something that might not be what I want to hear. Nor do I think I would have heard it if I wasn’t willing to give up my self-will. And I wouldn’t be willing to give up my self-will if living according to my will worked.

Living the dream

One line. At :28. By Blair. :)

So there I was right, on my way to the dentist to get my permanent crown when I had a thought. The thought was 2 years in the making, but I was finally going to go through with it. Probably. To ensure I would, I texted Petra to see if she had anything going on. See, it also wasn’t something I was going to do solo. haha. She didn’t so I told her what I was planning, and she was all like “I gotta see this!”

I decided to get my nose pierced.

I’m pretty sure we had discussed it before, but it seemed to genuinely shock her. But, she was going to base her decision on my experience.

With his finger all up in my nose. :)

With his finger all up in my nose. :)

What is up with that spare tire I am carrying around?

What is up with that spare tire I am carrying around?

Oh. My. Word. At least he warned me about what to expect. The actual piercing didn’t really hurt that bad. It was getting the ring in that was the issue. You know, because I’m not going to be normal. I have really thick cartilage. So it took some work to get the ring in. Then Petra says, “You have blood on your boob.” Wait. What? When he got the bleeding pretty much stopped and I looked down, I was all like “Holy crap!” It wasn’t just on my boob. It was all down my shirt. I said I was going to wear it to rehearsal like a badge of honor, but I didn’t. I changed.

IMG_1622.JPG

We both wished she had gotten a shot when the needle was sticking through. And it was a HUGE needle. I commented that it was like blood donation needle. Because it was. Petra now refuses to get her nose pierced. I called her a puss. I mean really. She’s had 7 kids. What’s a big needle through the nose? ;) She’s getting tattoos first though. If she has no reaction to the ink, then I will feel it’s safe(ish) to get one. And maybe by then I will figure out what I want. Besides the mushroom cloud tramp stamp, that is. ;)

This is hilarious!

H/T to Stephen Altrogge.

Random Randomness of Random

I should just go ahead an announce a blog hiatus because every time I have ever done that I’ve been able to write. It’s not that I don’t have anything to write, it’s just organizing thoughts into something coherent. Of course, there will be no coherency in this post just because. ;)

I took off work Friday so I could take the hubster to court. Told him early in the week that I had the day off. Late Thursday night he informed me that he had another ride. Alrighty then. He nearly got arrested due to the county rescheduling and not letting anyone know but him. So he goes back in June and I will not be his transportation this time.

Since I had the day, I took care of some bidness at the insurance agent, and went to Chapel Hill to pick up my race packet for the Tar Hell 10 Miler.

I love how fancy it’s all personalized. More on the race later.

I was a little hungry and definitely thirsty, so I stopped in Pittsboro at Chatham Marketplace, and they had what I wanted. I decided to have some fun and sent my sponsor a text saying, “So I picked up a 6 pack for lunch…” I followed that up with this pic:

6-pack

After eating the second one, I sent Petra a text saying that I had just had a mouthgasm. Yes, it was that good.

About the 10 miler. I woke up at 4:30 am with abdominal cramps from hell. Same thing happened about a month ago. So rather than treating it as a stomach bug, I took some ibuprofen and the pain was gone around noon. I don’t know what is up with that crap, or the hot flash from hell that had me up from 2-3:30 this morning. My knee is hurt also so there was a valid(ish) reason for not racing other than the fact that I haven’t run in so long I don’t remember the last time I ran.

After the meds kicked in Saturday, the good idea fairy showed up and convinced me that since it was such a nice day it would be a great idea to wash and wax my car. I’m pretty sure running 10 miles would have been less painful. 4 hours, and I am still sore today. I got some good sleeps that night and didn’t wake up until 9 yesterday.

photo 3

Oh, and Amber hatched Easter Sunday:

2 are already spoken for, thank goodness. She had 4, but one didn’t make it.

Enjoy your Monday.

In which I take a break from the heavy stuff

I had to surrender to something over the weekend. KitKat.

I don’t know what on earth got into her, but she is different. I have accused her of being demon-possessed and have called her the spawn of Satan. She is just that eat up. But here lately, there has been a change in her attitude toward me. It started a few weeks ago where she started making a bee-line for the master bedroom whenever I opened up the door. One day she darted in there as I was on my way to the bathroom, and didn’t have time to pick her up and throw her out. And it is really hard to poop when you have a cat trying to get in your lap and to get you to pet her. I assumed she was just hungry because she gets friendly when she’s hungry.

It happened again, though not when I was pooping, that she wanted in the bedroom. I assumed she was hungry and refilled the food bowls – none of which were empty. Soon she was meowing and scratching on the door. So I gave her fresh water. No sooner did I get in bed than she was meowing and scratching on the door again. Crazy cat. This got more and more frequent, and rather than rename her “Dammit KitKat,” I gave in and put a food and water bowl and a litter box in the bedroom and let her move in.

Oh my word.

She is loving and playful. I had no idea that she knew how to cat. She’s still scabby and gross, but her personality makes up for it. It is so weird.

Aggravating my condition

I have asthma. I’ve probably had it my whole life, but wasn’t diagnosed until I was 29 and even then not officially until I was 30. That was also the first time I heard a doctor say “Oh my God!” during an examination of me. The official diagnosis that is when she listened to my lungs and immediately put me on the mist. Then she allergy tested me. Then she referred me to an allergy specialist who submitted me to the medical board to determine whether or not I was medically fit to remain in the Air Force. I was hoping to get the boot, but alas, I was only put on profile restricting me to stateside assignments only. That also meant I couldn’t deploy which I was ok with, but that played a big factor in my decision to get out when my time was up.

When I was allergy tested, I tested positive (very positive) to 5 of the 8 molds used. The doctor went over the results with me ending with, “I don’t remember which of those 5 are outdoor and which are indoor, but both are covered and as long as you live in England, you are screwed.” That explained the foxhole incident when I was in mob school. I was given enough medication to survive without constant wheezing, and even got to the point by the last couple years there that I rarely needed albuteral because I was rarely having attacks. But harvest season was a whole different ball game. Harvesting killed me. Despite the daily steroid inhaler and the addition of allegra, I would be hitting the albuteral every couple of hours. Harvesting kicked up enough stuff into the air to aggravate my condition.

I have several conditions that get aggravated. The one that gets aggravated the most I think is my self-centeredness. Being honest with myself aggravates it even more than other people do, and other people aggravate it a lot. I mean, really. Other people just will not do what I want, when I want, and the way I want. The nerve. ;) Being honest with myself aggravates my condition by showing me how self-destructive my self-centeredness is. Particularly when my self-centeredness is feeding off of self-pity.

I think self-pity might be my drug of choice. It hurts to the point that I can’t take the pain, and so then I have to numb it with something. But my off button doesn’t work, so that my self-medication is just as destructive. It aggravates my condition. But it is familiar, and there is comfort in familiarity no matter how insane it is.

“Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”

While I will use a quote from Steel Magnolias at the drop of a hat, I can’t say that one is entirely true. Namely because I am not a big fan of tears. Sometimes I just get so overwhelmed that I just know a good cry will help. Problem is, sometimes I am totally distraught, but yet just too numb to have the meltdown I need.

On top of all the life going on around me, I got sick last week. At one point, I was real close to going to the ER. But the pain finally became less frequent and less severe thankfully before I had to take my daughter to her appointment. Now she had been asking for a bank account forever, and I told her I would take her to the bank after her appointment. So we did, and through the course of talking to the gentlemen setting everything up, he got to telling us stories. We laughed until we cried.

I felt so much better.

Someone told me that I should find something that will make me deep down belly laugh hard when I feel like I need to cry and can’t because I’ll get the same emotional release I need. I am definitely a believer now. Of course I have to over-analyze everything I do and experience, and this was no exception. I will, however, spare you that introspection and analyzation and just leave it as is.

Sometimes, I just need to laugh and laugh hard. Even when I hurt.

“I’m not crazy…”

“I’ve just been in a very bad mood for 40 years.”

You know you have reached a new level when your therapist’s eyes get real big, her mouth drops open, and she says, “Oh my God!” For once I had the migraine BEFORE I had the appointment with her. It’s usually after. Because that’s where everything gets brought out and processed rather than putting stuff away for later or never. It’s draining.

I decided that one more incident may land me in a psych ward. Seriously, there is just too much. My sponsor got a middle of the day crazy call from me, and I couldn’t even articulate what I was really feeling. But I was freaking out. Turns out it was a panic attack, but it was unlike my normal panic attacks. And I was a far cry from being able to process what I am able to reason out when I have some sense of mental stability.

There was crazy all right. A bazillion frantic “What am I going to about X, but then what about Y, and there just isn’t enough time for Z, but I have to do them all?!” Prayer wasn’t working. Meditation wasn’t working. Saying “Crisco’ll do you proud every time,” every time I passed a Crisco for US House sign wasn’t helping.

So it was call my sponsor or let the crazy keep building unabated and walk into work like that. Granted when I did get to work, one of the trainers asked me if I needed a hug. I wasn’t ok when I got there. I wasn’t ok when I left, but I did what my sponsor said and it helped.

I suspect that my body is addicted to adrenaline. That would explain why after a time of really high stress, I am plagued with panic attacks. Also it would explain the depression that follows the panic attacks which is yet to come. But I can’t say adrenaline is my drug of choice. Because it never has been.

Thanks for letting me share. Enjoy some Clairee and Ouiser.

“It takes courage to try.”

So there I was right, sitting at my desk at work and this cloud of despair descended on me from out of nowhere. Like I needed to just sit and meltdown with the ugly cry. And in my head I heard Data saying, “I no longer wish to have these emotions!” But, alas, I am not Data and can’t just be deactivated nor can I just turn off my emotion chip. I have to deal with them.

I told a friend recently that I have the emotional maturity of a 4 year old. It’s probably more like a 7 year old. It seems like when I think back that was the age when I began stuffing and avoiding “successfully.” It is also about the age I starting having panic attacks. I broke my leg just before I turned 7. There may be some correlation. Hmm. But I am digressing.

Bottom line is I have reached the point where my old coping skills don’t work, and I can’t just numb away the pain. When it comes, I have to feel it, and it will pass. Just like when I’m on top of the world happy, it will pass. When I’m scared, it will pass. When I’m all blah, it will pass. “To everything there is a season.”

There was a point last summer in the midst of the mess I came home to when I was just starting to go to Al-Anon where I was praying, and I asked God why he wasn’t helping me with all the crap I was going through. He said, “I’ve been sending other people to help you.” That stung. And it’s hard to go to and accept help when you’ve spent so many years hanging on for dear life to your own self-sufficiency. Even when it hasn’t ever worked. It’s irrational and insane doing the same thing(s) over and over expecting different results, but there is an illusion of comfort in the familiar. I wanted to keep doing things myself even though it was slowly killing me emotionally and physically. God was consistently answering my prayers, but not how I wanted Him to.

I hinted about a month ago that I have to completely change the way I think. Well, maybe that was more than a hint. But anyway, change is hard. Feeling is hard. But at least I am not going through it alone. Not that I ever really was alone, but it’s nice to finally take the walls down and trust people. Because if I am going to trust God completely, I’m going to have to trust him to give me people that I can trust.

Play on

If music be the food of love, play on;

Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, 1602

I was reading someone’s blog recently, and not only do I not remember whose blog it was, I don’t remember when. Could have been yesterday or several days ago. Anyway, the writer had a list of tips for bloggers, and one was write about what your passion is. Or something like that. That’s too broad of an area for me to niche. I may just be too ADHD. ;)

One Friday evening 2 or 3 weeks ago, James was sick and we were hungry, but I didn’t want to cook, and so I went to Lowes Food. As I was checking out, the young lady ringing me up asked, “Don’t you sing at New Hope?” She’s a New Hoper too, turns out, and I am slowly but surely losing the anonymity I used to enjoy in Sanford due to not knowing very many people. But, alas, I’ve made it. I’m a rock star. :cool: Of course, I’m not really, but it’s actually better because it isn’t about me.

I was in Food Lion the other night, and walked through the store singing along with whatever song was playing. I have no idea what it was, but it is just kind of funny to me that I feel comfortable enough to sing out loud (albeit softly) in a store. And without my kids. Even though I don’t remember the song, I remember just hearing it made me feel good. I’m sure it was from the 80’s. Did this yesterday at Food Lion also, and at one point even felt the need to apologize to the gentleman within earshot. ;)

A few mornings ago I was listening to the songs that were scheduled for the following Sunday on the way into work because I was on the schedule, and, oh, by the way, that was the closest I had come that week to practicing. One of the songs was a newer song containing an older hymn, Just as I Am. Since I knew the hymn portion, I was practicing the harmony vocals when just out of the blue, meltdown. 2 blocks from the front gate. Really? I didn’t melt down during any of the services that day, so it was all good. I did, however, have waaaayyyy too much coffee that morning resulting in my Beavis Cornholio impression for which I quickly apologized due to the inappropriateness of quoting Beavis & Butthead at church. I think they found that more humorous. I was off the chain.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I have always loved music and all kinds. Now, one of my goals for this year was to get a sponsor. I have one now, and Friday she told me to take some time over this weekend for myself just to relax. Well, who has time to relax when you are the only one with a driver’s license, and shopping needs to be done? I made the time. First of all, I shopped alone. This meant I was alone in the car for most of my running around which meant I could play Fleetwood Mac loudly and sing along just as loudly as I wanted. And I did it with the sunroof wide open. It was fabulous. Later at home, I sat on the front porch journaling and instagramming until sundown.

Music has a way of lifting my spirit when I’m feeling down. I can hear certain songs that will put a smile on my face no matter how down I feel. I can listen to certain genres and relax, which is why I often listen to classical when I am driving to and from work, and even sometimes at work. These are things I need to remember when I get into a funk or worry cycle, and then just listen to the music.

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