Thursday, December 11, 2014

Play That Funky Music

It's a defeated feeling when you make a wrong choice. Especially if you know it's wrong as you do it. Deep inside you know it's not right, but you compromise and say "just this one time" or you justify your choice with what obviously are silly reasons. Silly and ridiculous to the "average" person. In that moment, why can't we step into the shoes of an "average" person?  What draws us in to making the choice we know is wrong?

This is a struggle I have. From taking the HOV in the mornings when it's just me in the car to taking that extra pill I'm not prescribed. With the HOV I said one morning "I'm running so late, just today and I won't do it again." With my medication I say "just this one pill right now. I won't take another. And it won't hurt me."

But those choices to hurt you. Maybe not in the natural. But it hurts your soul. You compromise your integrity and weaken your character. You may long forget that choice you made, but the consequences I just spoke of soak into your skin, penetrate into your veins and organs. I'm not being dramatic or tragic. I'm just being honest. Speaking my truth as I know it to be.

Again I go back to why. Self sabotage. Not caring for myself as I need to care and nurture my physical and emotional self. It's a cycle of repeating the care and attention you've received, or not received, in the past. You are in the moment, not thinking about your future but rather stuck in your past. The cycle of it doesn't matter, not really. But it does matter. To move forward you must understand that everything matters. Most importantly yourself.

I matter. I am deserving of love and care. And the most significant level of love and care begins and ends with what I give myself. That's what sticks to my soul. That's the record that plays in my mind when no one can hear and when no one's around.

I must change the record. Play a different tune. Find a song that is soothing and loving and that builds me up. So when the time comes and I'm in that moment about to make a choice, I hear that record in the background.

Cliche. Too many puns. Whatever. I'm choosing my music and these thoughts are the intro.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Scrambled Eggs

My thoughts are rambling, much like scrambled eggs, hence the title. I took a gigantic leap and told my fiance I was having difficulty properly taking my adderal as prescribed. Oh man was I met with a mouthful of questions. I was expecting a "wow, thanks for the honesty" but oh no. I got questions of why and when and for how long, questions you'd get if you confessed to an affair. I suppose this secretive adderall extravaganza I was having is similar to an affair.

So the result and solution to this potential road to addiction is he is dispensing my medication each morning. The unending questions were worth this support I received, his going out of the way, his agreement to help me. I encourage you to tell someone if you are having a similar problem with medication, activities, anything that could be of harm to you and the relationships around you. You may not get high-fives or great job, but you by the grace of God find a solution that helps you and an individual who will help hold you accountable. There is someone, you may have to search or go out on the longest limb you will ever find. But do it.

The burden I was carrying was greatly lifted. I found courage and honesty from and for myself. How empowering! So my scrambled thoughts have brought a realization that I have strength inside me that I would not have found without my struggle.

Strength from struggle. I accept.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Depression?

Often I wonder if my "depression" is all in my head, an excuse for laziness and excuses. An excuse to sleep all day, disconnect from the world, keep my house a mess...maybe this isn't depression. Maybe I'm a hermit. A lazy hermit.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Solitary Living

"Do you feel like we had a bad weekend?"
"No. Do you?"
"Yes."
Great. I'm a bad fiancée. I'm a bad person. I'm incapable of making anyone happy. Of course these are the things that began running through my head when I heard the word "yes."

I can't play dumb. I knew what he was talking about. I took my medicine and completely zoned out for a few hours while I crafted. Then I worked on a calendar I am creating online for a couple more hours. We hardly spoke. I hardly spoke. I wanted alone time. "Me time." Looking back, I see that this was a little selfish, but during those hours I wanted to be selfish. I did feel a few moments of guilt but I quickly got back to work.

The thing about it is if he wants to go golfing or work on this project with coworkers, I act like a brat and try to make him feel bad for leaving me because "we only have the weekends to spend with each other." And then the weekend comes and I want to be left alone. I want to stay home, watch television, read, craft -- all solitary activities.

Is this my depression creeping into my days? What does it mean to want to "be by myself" while being in close proximity to my fiancée? Simply, I don't know.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Clockwork Creative

I just woke up and looked at the clock to see it read 1:15 in the morning. Didn't I wake up at this time last night, and the night before? With every night I wake up around this time, it's creating a habit in my body that says, "Wake up now!" Causing me to wake up, only to keep the cycle going.

No more adderall, so that is a plus. Instead I'm taking my anxiety medicine, because perhaps that's why I'm waking up. My mind is anxious for the day to come. Which makes sense, because these wheels of mine almost never stop moving. I've done everything from worry to contemplate to wonder to taking medicine. I've done all but pray.

Recently God has shown me his grace in interesting ways, so maybe this is His way of bringing me to him. After all, how many distractions are there at 1:15 in the morning. "No time to pray, Kristin. Let me wake you up when there is nothing you can do to solve your worries, because your problems are fast asleep."

One positive that has come of this narcolepsy is my creativity. I am writing and transforming my worries into words, into something tangible that I can erase or rewrite or use completely incorrect punctuation at my leisure.

So what's next for me? Sleep isn't in my cards, but God has a deck of His own. It's to Him I will look, to Him I will ask, "Why in the world am I waking up at 1:15 every morning?"

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Woes of Adderall

So I did talk with my counselor about my adderall concerns, but I did not spill it all. I told her I was concerned I was becoming too dependent on it and was worried because I had problems with abusing it in college. At one point she said something to the effect of, "You'll start labeling yourself as an addict and then anytime you take it you'll feel a sense of guilt, and you'll start believing you have a problem which could actually lead to you having a problem." She said it more eloquently and professional and counselor-esk, but you get the idea.

Last night at 1 a.m. like clockwork I woke up and decided I was going to take an adderall and blog. The problem was my medicine was in my car which was in the garage because I left it there after running 9 miles after work. I contemplated going out to get it, but decided the inconvenience overruled the desire. Instead, I took an anxiety pill, which I am prescribed to take at night if needed, closed my eyes and calmed my mind myself, and eventually fell back asleep.

I have to be honest, today has been a struggle with it. I know there are steps I can take to help me deal with this current tug-and-pull I am experiencing. Not going outside to get my medicine is proof that I have the willpower and laziness to say no. I can keep my medicine in my car at night, and not bring it with me to work. These are helpful, but isn't this doing what my counselor was referring to -- treating myself as if I have a problem -- or am I finding tools to help me prevent a problem that is actually developing? I am interested to hear what my prescribing doctor thinks -- talking to him will take courage because he can simply stop prescribing the adderall, which I don't want to happen. Is this because it actually helps me, because I think it helps me, because I have a problem that convinces me that it's helping, a combination of the above, or something else I haven't yet realized? One thing is certain -- I am spending a lot of energy on contemplating this.

What do you think of all of this?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Room For Such

I've been waking up around 12:30/1:00 in the a.m. the past few nights. And not a groggy waking up. A full on alert, ready to do something waking up. So I've taken an adderall because it calms my mind, and I'll write or play a game on my phone or just lay on the couch and think and eventually I'll fall back asleep.

I know this is not how my medicine is prescribed and I don't want to take myself to the path I was on in college when I was taking 10, yes t-e-n, adderall a day. I feel it is a good idea to talk to my doctor about this because it would keep me honest, but I don't want him to take it away. Maybe there's a sleep medicine he could prescribe, or increase my anxiety medicine I am already taking. He'll know what's best.

I know I am not the only person taking antidepressants, antianxiety and ADHD medicine, and I can't possibly be the only one on this combination of drugs. There's hope in not being alone in this. But I do feel alone. I feel there are only two places I could open up about this - with my doctor and with my counselor. But part of me is afraid that a solution would be to stop taking the adderall, certainly at one in the morning, and possibly altogether. I believe this worrying is the addiction side of me.

Is this the beginning of a possible bad situation, where I slowly become more dependent on adderall? Is this a bad dependency or a natural dependency because of the nature of the drug? The more I think on this the more I'm led to talk with my doctor. I trust him and his judgement and I feel he genuinely wants what is best for me.

There is a lot to lose if I go down the wrong path. I'm in a good place. I have a well-paid job, a new house, a wedding I'm planning -- is taking adderall at one in the morning the start of risking it all?

I was leary to post this -- addiction is such a dirty little secret. But sharing this part of my journey is part of my journey. This is my truth, a struggle I am experiencing. This makes me human. In an odd way, I feel grounded by this struggle. I'm humbled. I'm vulnerable. But it is in this vulnerability that there is room for something new.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Emotional Justice

Last night I really opened up to my fiancĂ© about my family issues/troubles /catastrophe - whatever you want to call it. As we were winding down for the night I said “I love you”, very enthusiastically I might add. He asked why and one of my reasons I stated was that I could tell him anything. Big mistake. He replied with “not anything.” And I said “what?” knowing exactly what he was talking about, but who knew, maybe I’d get off lucky. He said, “Your family and why there is a divide. Your mother.” Oh the all elusive M word.

I don't really want to go into all that I told him, at least not in this post. But I found myself trying to state my case as to why I have no contact with her. And it wasn't just for him, it was for myself as well, as if what I know and experience isn't enough, as if counseling and antidepressants aren't enough reasons for my pain and decision. I found myself begging for understanding and emotional justice that would come only from him "getting it". Why isn't my truth enough? Why isn't that sad child I carry with me enough of a reason to live a life separate of my mother? A part of me feels like a bad daughter while the other is pissed as hell at how damaged I am emotionally and mentally.

When I think back on Beverly Engel's "Healing Your Emotional Self", she didn't write that book for bad daughters everywhere. I feel like if this were my father we were talking about (which, is a whole other story in itself) that it would be more acceptable to have cut ties. Absent fathers are common these days, but how common are absent mothers? Apparently common enough for Engel to write a book, a book that I delved into, heart first with no idea at the impact her words would make on me. That book did give me some emotional justice.

But I need more, so I can finally feel like my estrangement (God, I hate that word) is acceptable.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Six Miles to God

God has His own way of showing you the way. In my last post I wrote, 
God feels very far away. My Christian "practice", for lack of a better word, has been paused for some time now. There is a church down the street that I have thought about going to many times, but have yet to go. Why isn't God leading me there? I don't feel led anywhere. Where is He?
I started training for a marathon. It's in February. I've registered, and I've been training for a good two months now. I'm in it. One day at work, I was browsing the Internet trying to find some races nearby that I could incorporate into my training program. I found a 10K that fell on a Saturday that was in line with my long runs that I do on the weekend. The 10K was at none other than "the church down the street." The 10K was a fundraiser for their orphan mission in Africa. With a small smile and a quick wink to the One above, I registered for the race.

Last week I needed to go pick up my race packet at the church. No, it wasn't easy or exciting or wow-what-is-in-store-for-me invoking. I very clearly did not want to go to that church to pick up my packet. It was like there was a roadblock to my heart and I was helping to hold up the bricks. But I didn't have a choice -- I needed to pick up that damn packet. Plus it gave me a reason to leave work a little early. So off I went from my office to the church, my nerves getting a little tighter with every mile. I arrived at the church, and after circling the building a few times because I was literally lost, figuratively as well I suppose, I found the door I needed to go into to pick up my race packet.

As I'm walking up to the door, I find myself saying, "Let this feel like home." I swing open the door ready for my grand homecoming...and with much lackluster there is no music or bright flashing lights, just an old lady at a makeshift table stacked with t-shirts and race bibs. As I make my way to the table, I give the place a good once-over. It's clean and smells nice. Nothing like my house. A retraction is in order. God, let this feel like I'm in Your home. The woman at the table is friendly and I feel bad for thinking she's old. She hands me bib number 801 and a cotton t-shirt size small. Okay, medium. It's time to leave, my mission complete, the damn packet picked up. But I did not want to go. I felt something being there. 

Fast forward to race day which was just this past Saturday. I jog to the church and when I arrive, I hear music and the chatter of a small crowd. There are tents set up with cupcakes and coffee and water, and pictures of the orphans in Africa are displayed. There are kids running around a stage with an emcee who is reminding the crowd to enter into the prize drawing. There is a lightness in the air that carries itself to me, and I feel comfortable. I am by myself, cupcake in hand (that didn't take long), but I do not feel alone. With the race about to begin, I feel thankful I'm there. 

Along the race trails are poster boards with inspirational quotes and verses from the Bible. It's so clear to me that I am experiencing something far greater than myself. After 6 miles, God led me back to His tidy house, sweaty, tired and in fourth to last place. As I cross the finish line, I say, "I got it, God. Here I am."

Cupcake in hand, as I'm cooling off and taking a break before jogging back home, I know this is the testimony I will share with members of "the church down the street." He made me sweat for it, but lead me there He did.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ramblings about Growth and Struggle

Can there be growth without struggle?

I switch back and forth between contentment, anger, and sadness. One constant is that I always feel blessed. How can I feel sad and blessed at the same time? I really don't understand my emotions. I have a lot of really good things happening in my life, yet the sadness and often detachment remains. Maybe this is my cross to bear -- managing and understanding my conflicting emotions.

God feels very far away. My Christian "practice", for lack of a better word, has been paused for some time now. There is a church down the street that I have thought about going to many times, but have yet to go. Why isn't God leading me there? I don't feel led anywhere. Where is He?

Then, there's my ADHD management combined with my addictive personality makes taking habit-forming medication difficult. I found that my "key" hours of high productivity take place 2-3 hours after taking my Vyvanse. But it's supposed to work throughout the day. Not long after taking it, I soon find myself antsy and it's hard to stay on task and concentrate, the very thing the medicine is supposed to be helping with. I take a mid-day dose of Adderall, but I don't feel like that helps much either. I've continued to work out in the mornings, but the feel-good endorphins don't last long either. It's like something in my body is suppressing all of this "good" that is trying to run through me. What is that something?

As I sit here writing, I see that I am experiencing struggle. Does this mean I am growing? I don't feel like I'm growing. But until I started writing this, I didn't think I was struggling either. The stakes are so high right now; there is a lot to be lost if I break. I don't know how close I am to breaking, or if I'm even close at all. Is this anxiety? Is this premonition? I'm surprised at the number of question marks that are in this post.

My doctor said that journaling is a good thing, that it will help with my anxiety and sadness. But today it's opened a wound that I have to deal with for the rest of the day, while trying to be an adult, with laundry and cleaning and preparing for the week ahead needing to be done. Maybe I was better off in the dark, thinking that I wasn't struggling and wondering if I was still growing.