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Archive for September, 2008

Alive

The fog has lifted and the depression has parted, and I am now walking between the waves and functioning like a normal human being should.  I got so much work for Shaunti done today.  I had creativity, as well.

I made the executive decision to go off Zyprexa and back on Seroquel.  My depression had spiraled out of control while I was on Zyprexa.  Some days I would get up in the morning, plop myself down in my favorite chair and just stare off into space.  No motivation, no creativity, no nothing.  Just trying to figure out why I’m alive and what my purpose is here.

I hope I feel this good for my speaking gig on Friday.

Last Sunday they had a healing service at church.  Scott and I went forward for healing.  I went up for my diabetes, specifically, but I told God to heal anything He wanted.  Now, I’m a terrible over-eater.  I’m hungry a lot of the time, and I am an emotional eater.  I am nervous as all heck about Friday, and normally I’d be pigging out.  But ever since Sunday, I have had very little appetite.  I feel good – I don’t feel like I’m sick, but the desire to eat constantly has simply vanished.  I even tried to eat when I wasn’t hungry (a litmus test for God’s healing, I suppose) and I couldn’t eat.  Maybe this is how God wants to heal me of my diabetes – by helping me to eating more healthfully.

I’m not going to question this to death, I’m going to accept it and claim it as God’s hand on my life.

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Prayer

I have friends who are prayer warriors.  You know the type I’m talking about, right?  The kind who spend hours doing business with God, who pray all day in their heads.  They believe there’s a spiritual battle going on, and they need to fight against it.  I have deep respect but have to admit… I’m not one of them.

Prayer has always been hard for me.  I once freaked out my youth pastor by telling him I felt like I was “talking to the air.”  (And then spent ten years wondering why he didn’t like me?!)  Do I believe in prayer?  Sure.  Do I believe God answers prayer?  Yes and no.  I believe He answers prayers that are in our best interest.  The problem is not that I don’t believe in God or God’s ability to respond.  I guess I just see myself as small and unimportant, one face out of billions.  What could I possibly matter?

I cringe even as I say that, because I know it’s not true.  Yeah, I’m small but to God I’m definitely not important.  But I still feel like I’m “talking to the air” sometimes.

In my mind, I have an image of me.  I’ll admit it’s about 40 pounds lighter.  But I’m a woman of God, a woman of prayer, and I’m leading people closer to Jesus.  As much as I long to be on a stage teaching people (and yet frightened of it, too), that’s not what I’m talking about.  I have that glow.  Have you ever met someone and you just knew they were a Christian?  That’s what I want.  I want that glow.  I want the peace and joy of God all over my face.  I want to look forward to prayer, even desire it,

I’m really tired of talking to the air.

I admire strong women with gentle spirits.  My mentor, Shaunti, is one of them.  My good friend Linda is one of them (though I sometimes pick on her for thinking up worst-case scenarios).  Beth Moore is another.  Dannah Gresh.  Strong women, gentle spirits.  That’s what I want.  Where do I line up to get some of that?

How do I grasp the power of prayer and make it a part of my life that is more important than the air I breathe, or the water I drink?  The clincher is, I can’t get that out of a book or by watching Beth Moore on TV.  I can only get it on my knees.

Just me and the air… chatting up a storm.

Sometimes I pray… and I don’t expect an answer, and I wonder what point is it to even pray if you don’t believe your prayer will get answered?  My cousin, Jay, has ALS.  He’s a quadraplegic with a breathing tube.  He’s not going to get better.  Praying for his healing without ceasing…  well, I’m not sure I can do that.  I know he WILL be healed, in Heaven.  But on earth, it won’t happen.  Even if they found a cure for ALS tomorrow, it would be too late for Jay.

Just talking to the air.

Praying that my 14-year-old niece would make better choices for her life and stop going down a path of destruction.  But we have free will, and nobody knows how to use it better than she does.  God won’t reach down and stop her free will.

More air.

I’m tired of talking to the air.

God, help me understand prayer and desire it in my life.  It’s the only prayer I can muster right now.

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Update on Life

I am struggling to find something to write, and yet I feel as though I SHOULD write, so, here goes…

Last week our car died on the corner of a country road.  I put my foot on the gas and the engine revved, but it wouldn’t go anywhere.  Then all the dashboard lights came on and the steering went.  A nice man who lived across the street came over and pushed me into his driveway to my little Chevy wouldn’t get pulverized.  I spent the next 90 minutes or so sitting in this guy’s front yard, trying to reach my husband and our insurance company (the newly rescued AIG!)  Eventually, I got a ride and the car got a tow.  Turns out it was the fuel pump that died, to the tune of up to $400.  Amusing, considering I bought the car for $500.  But you get what you pay for, so I guess I’m going to have to eat $400.

My big project for the day is cleaning out my office.  That may sound like no big deal to you, but you haven’t seen my office.  It’s pretty sad.  I probably wouldn’t even bother with it, except that I need a place to work on my book (the dining room table ain’t cuttin’ it!), and I need to prepare for a speaking gig I’m doing 2 weeks from today.

I started insulin yesterday, with the help of my brother-in-law, who used to inject my mother-in-law before she passed away.  Turns out the needle used to give me an insulin injection is actually smaller than the needle used to check my blood sugar.  I got used to stabbing myself in the fingers to check my sugar, so I think I will be able to get used to this.

Talk to you guys later!

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I went to a counseling session tonight only to find out it was my very last one.  A good marriage with a counselor is hard to find, so I’m more than a little disappointed.  I have only had one other truly great counselor, and that was a gal named Kelly.  I started seeing Kelly when I was in high school.  She counseled me individually and I was also in a support group for sexual abuse survivors which she facilitated.  She was the perfect teen counselor, because she was young, she listened to the music we listened to, watched the TV shows and movies we watched, and we all thought she was awesome.  I went back to her for a short time after I got married, too.

I question whether or not I’ll try to find another counselor.  Maybe it’s just time to move on and never look back.

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I have spent the day napping and working on a talk I have to give in a couple of weeks about my first book.  This is a big deal for me – I’m trying to become a client of a big speaking agency, and I’m trying to get the president of that agency to be my literary agent.  So I’ve been hunched over the dining room table writing out note cards this afternoon, and, because I’m an ADD victim, getting up for some much-needed breaks here and there.  I’m also starving, did I mention that?  I’m waiting for hubby to get home with some potato salad and corn on the cob to go with the burgers & dogs we’re making on the grill.  I also have two articles to write, and a book to work on.

I don’t know if this is a bipolar thing, or just a Julie thing, but I get overwhelmed very easily, even with good things.  I definitely don’t know how to take life one day at a time.  I always look up and what awaits me and feel like screaming.  And if I actually did scream, it would probably echo, since I feel like I’m at the foot of a giant mountain I have to climb.

It’s a little embarrassing, but it really doesn’t take much to get me to that point, either.  Knowing I have to clean up the kitchen after I cook sometimes makes me want to hide under the futon until either a) everything has rotted and can be thrown away, or b) my husband does it – the more logical choice.  I once had a dream where all of the kitchenware I owned was made of blue plastic, and when it came time to wash it, we threw it over the deck out back and turned the hose on it.  I’m thinking that would probably be more trouble than it’s worth, and not very sanitary.  But I wish life were that simple.  Just throw your clothes out in the yard, hose them down, and with any luck they’ll just try themselves.

Of course, I also once dreamed that I was stuck inside a grandfather clock, swinging on the pendulum thingy, and there was a midget standing outside the clock screaming at me.

I guess I shouldn’t take my dreams too literally.

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Statistics show that if one parent has bipolar disorder the chance of a child developing bipolar disorder goes up somewhat, to somewhere around 10-20%. If both parents are bipolar, the likelihood that a child will develop bipolar disorder at some point in their life approaches 50%.

I have a good friend who frequently likes to tell me how fortunate I am not to have children, because, after all, if I did, they’d probably be screwed up.  Now, I know my friend sounds mean, but she’s not.  She is certainly blunt, but has good intentions.  She has two teenagers, and when they were little, their dad suffered from deep depression and “flat-lined” emotionally.  Therefore, he had little interaction with them, and they were primarily raised by their incredibly stressed-out mom, my friend.  She recalls feeling like a “single mom” during that period.

And now her kids are, in her words, “screwed up.”  She begs and pleads with me not to have children, and she may very well get her wish, due to medical reasons.  But it does dredge up a painful issue for me.

Growing up, I dreamed of having a husband and a couple of kids.  I was your typical girl in that respect.  Long before the thought of writing books ever entered my mind, I knew I wanted to be a mom.  Now I’m 29 years old and my husband is 37 and I hear the clock ticking.

But having biological children seems so risky.  I wouldn’t wish my bipolar on my worst enemy, so how is it any better taking a chance on your kids inheriting it?  So I figure, well, I can always adopt.  But is it fair to raise a child with the roller coaster of emotions that is bipolar?

Is bipolar a sentence for loneliness and dreams lost?  When all the little pamphlets say that people with BP can live “happy, productive” lives, does that mean happy and productive by mentally ill standards?

Is trying to have a normal life too risky and dangerous?

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Never Forget

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