Winning Battles

This past weekend, I was “home alone”. No bad guys came along to make things exciting.  (Thank Goodness!)  It gave me time to sort out some things.  Not always a good thing.  When I am alone at home, I can sometimes fall too easily into despair.  The bad guys I fear are not human.  Rather, they are the wraiths of the past clawing at my mind.

I had to battle through some issues. No tears.  Just feelings of anger.  Anger that I still have not destroyed them altogether.  I went through journals from the past couple of years.  I pulled out some passages and tossed the rest of the notebooks.  Then, I went through the passages to try to make sense of them.

I am much better than when I wrote them. As I have healed my emotional issues, I notice a spiral motion.  For many years, it seemed I would be down and then circle around to not so bad and then to doing pretty well.  Then, I would continue on back to being down.  But, the down was always worse than the last time.  I feared getting to the bottom of the spiral and never making it back around to the good side.

A couple of things happened that changed the direction of the spiral. Slowly, the spiral has continued, but the direction has changed.  The difference is that now the spiral is going up.  The bad side is not as bad as last time.  And last time was not as bad as the time before that.  The pattern has continued long enough that I believe I will finally be free of the black hole that lingers out on the horizon of my mind.

What were the couple of things? The first occurred several years ago.  I was confronted with a mental health provider who tried to convince me that perhaps I was bipolar like my father.  I had completed the 15 question “yes or no” questionnaire.  I answered yes to three questions.  Yes, I have had racing thoughts.  Yes, I have overspent money and gotten in a bind.  Yes, I have gotten into arguments with others.  I answered no to the other twelve questions.  When he realized his insurance covered customer was about to get away unmedicated and not added to his case load and cash flow, he tried to declare that perhaps I was borderline.  If yes to those three questions make me borderline bipolar, this world is full of crazier-than-me-people.  I got mad and told him thanks but no thanks in a very not nice way.  I left and while driving away realized that I am not following in my father’s footsteps.  I am not even close to being mentally ill as I have always feared.

The second thing was something I did with his help. I determined that a fast was in order.  I needed to fast and pray and let God take care of something.  So, I fasted for three days.  I was physically ill by the third day.  I have blood sugar problems anyway, so it was a challenge from day one.  But, he supported and encouraged me.  And God gave me two things.  He resolved the problem I was fasting about specifically.  The unexpected thing can be summed up in this statement I wrote on the last evening.  “God, if the day comes when all I have is Your Salvation and my sanity, it will be enough.”

I knew then that I would be okay. That was a little over four years ago.  That is when the spiral started going up.  I have still had dark sides of the circle.  Each time has been less dark, less terrifying, and taken less time to get through.

The war is not over, but the tide has turned. Each battle is entered with more confidence of victory.  The wraiths will come again.  I will continue to sharpen my sword and hone my skill wielding it.  The day will come when I will hear them in the distance and they will not be allowed to cross into my mind.

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Aggravations

Sometimes I get really aggravated. Not about anything in particular.  Just everything in general.  The garbage service didn’t pick up my trash again.  I don’t know why and he isn’t answering the phone.  The rain storm caught me by surprise today and I got damp and chilled.  I watched the weather and the storm that came was not predicted by the weather man I was watching.  My shoulder is hurting for unknown reasons.  Hurting a lot.  My honey is going to be away for a few days coming up and I am going to miss him terribly.  I still have too many unresolved projects cluttering up my house and yard and life.  I can’t find a new pair of shoes that won’t hurt my foot and will look dressy enough for my taste.

See. Nothing major.  Just a lot of little things piled up.  When I see my list of complaints in black and white, they seem even more trivial.  I have loved ones going through very serious health problems.  I have friends in various personal crises.  There are terrible things happening out in the world at large.

But, sometimes I still have to stop and acknowledge that I have aggravations piling up and getting in the way of joy and thanksgiving. Just because my problems aren’t huge and not really problems at all, I still have to deal with them.  They are like the dripping faucet.  Something that needs to be fixed.  And next week will have another round of problems to deal with.  It is called life.

The up side of things today includes the following: I have steaks marinating and potatoes baking.  Yes, for Monday supper.  I have a great porch to sit on and rest my achy body.  I had a lot of hot water to take a shower and warm up and relieve some of my shoulder ache.  My honey is home.  He is going to help with the trash problem.  I got to visit with my daughter and her feller yesterday.  We had shrimp gumbo.   I have a crochet project I am enjoying.  I have an embroidery project I am enjoying.  I have a book to read I am enjoying.  I just heard that a dear friend got a cancer free report today.

So, I will be joyful and thankful and glad with life and the blessings generously given to me. The orchids are still raining down even when I am aggravated.  All I have to do is stop grumbling long enough to notice.  Out of the darkness of my thoughts and into the light…………………

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