Here’s the Rub…

This blog is killing two birds with one stone. In all of the hustle and bustle, I completely spaced New Music Thursdays! Not important in the grand scheme of things, but hearing Norah Jones through “new ears,” not once-but twice in one weekend initiated a foray into her unique, jazzy, vintage sound.

I had always linked this tune with roads untaken. As much as my addictions took years from my life-my social anxiety has robbed me of much, much more. I find it ironic that getting sober brought on a new list of phobias and nervous ticks – I pick at my skin when anxious, am completely incapable of dealing with any kind of stress, and would rather have a root canal than travel sans Jesse, my golden retriver. I am a germ phobe extraordinaire, a dog hypochondriac and feel uncomfortable (make that extremely uncomfortable) around people I do not know.

1450868_670242899675796_1120820745_n Jesse, to the left. Our beloved Dylan to the right of our son-may He await me at the Rainbow Bridge

What we regret in our lives is never as painful as chances, opportunities not taken. With Social Anxiety, you are forced to cancel plans depending upon just how strong you feel on that particular day. Interestingly enough, my nerves are their worst in the evening, which I attribute to the notion that I am not fully awake for the first four hours after rising. If you want to give me bad news, do so as the sun rises-with any luck? I won’t remember what you said by noon.

I was completely uninhibited as a child-thinking nothing of knocking on doors, asking the neighbors to bake me cookies. I had a sense of myself from very early on, and as a young girl, my father doted on my propensity to not take crap from any person, place or inanimate object. I learned quickly that pleasing dad meant everything. I yearned to make him proud, he was a nurturing father to me, despite many less than ideal situations; such as, my mother-who was pathologically jealous of our closeness. And herein lies the rub:

In your formative years, you have nothing but the reactions of others to mold and guide you in your very human quest to be loved, to fit in. When your own mother dislikes you? Well, let’s just say I was at an extreme disadvantage. Later in life, Satan’s Seed (aka, my sister)did not miss an opportunity to berate, humiliate or gaslight me-I sunk further into depression.

There is hope and I am here to say things are so much better on the other side of recovery from narcissistic abuse. You begin to see the very things the narc disliked about you (pure and total jealousy) are the very same things that others will love. I did my research, and once I felt I knew enough, I dug deep into the Word. A combination of incredible support from my husband and friends, a return to a creativity I thought had left me long before-and a deep faith in Jesus led me out of the muck and mire that is codependency.

I don’t care who you are, your opinion of me has much more to do with you than any other factor. I am no fence sitter-folks either love me or hate me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Be of good cheer, God is in control~

At Work Forces…

I laughed out loud last evening when I heard that Rage Against the Machine was banned from the set of Saturday Night Live. Apparently, their politics don’t mix-go figure.

I am here to tell you a few things that are FACT, so much so that you can look these things up on USA.gov-and that is what I finally told my brother. Frankly, I sent him a text telling him that there is a high probability of martial law in the very near future. I am going to share the following video, as I find it fair, balanced and from very reliable sources.

As far as I can surmise, and this being my opinion based on certain facts-I think it fair to say that George W. Bush is missing. His Twitter account is now marked private, and his own wife is not following him. Not much to go on, but if you are privy to the QAnon boards, this makes total and complete sense. I also believe that after John McCain and Herbert Walker Bush’s executions, George W. was the next in line, due to the severity of his involvement with 9/11. The mainstream media does not want you to know that 9/11 was a fraud, perpetuated by the very same government we elected. This is treason in its highest form, and horribly upsetting, the lives lost-families torn apart!

Here is what I have found about the Martial Law issue. Basically, we have a curfew and will have the United States military, united with veterans who can freely join in the movement, as can citizens-just like you and me.

See something, say something.

Have two weeks of supplies ready at any given time. Medications, water, First Aid, cash.

President Trump and the US military are fighting as we speak. Fighting to bring our country back to its people, fighting for our very lives.

There is nothing to fear, God’s got this. #WWG1WGA

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The Christ Child

Be patient with me, I am mid allergy flare (stupid dust from the wood stove) and my eyes are closing as we speak. I haven’t written in some time, as I try not to force anything, if I don’t feel it? I move on, baby, I move on! Plenty of things to keep my busy around a mildly run down farm house. A two hundred year old one, at that. I need to paint, my entire house no less-and have a kazillion things to fix, mend or glue. I mean, bathroom floor, refinishing our hardwood floors, the list goes on.

As it turns out? I love this old house. I treat her with kid gloves, and in return she gives me joy amidst the toil, a thank you of sorts, for continuing to love and respect what she once was, what she will be again, some day. I have done almost everything humanly possible to create a warm and inviting space-big, soft blankets strewn across our leather furniture. Each room an individual feel, no two rooms alike-that’s for sure. I suffer from depression at times, and it is my prayer to refinish her in a way befitting of her old, stoic beauty.

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This is our view from the deck at the pond.

So, finally getting to the point, I want to tell you that I was not myself over the last few weeks. Seasonal blues, combined with the side effects from my recent head injury and ensuing concussion (nausea, mood swings, headaches, and fatigue)put me in a place of utter despair.

I gave it all to God, and that helped immensely. Yet I still felt deeply saddened, as if the grief were going to swallow me whole-suffocate me with its deadly black cloak. I didn’t want to do, be, talk to or even participate in the holiday festivities. I had been depressed around this time of year before but this year? I had the added burden of wondering if we should be celebrating this holiday with pagan origins. I look at it this way: we know that 12/25 is not the date of Christ’s birthday, but we are celebrating our Lord and Savior as tradition has taught us for eons. I got into a quarrel with a Youtuber named Daniel Lee of Torah Restorations Ministries on his channel. This is what transpired, the cause and effect of an almost-ruined Christmas Eve:

Me: Merry Christmas Steve! (talking to another subscriber, not the MAN himself)

DANIEL: HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY SAY THAT TO SOMEONE KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT SATANIC RITUAL ABUSE!! DON’T CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS, MICHELE, DO WHAT JESUS DID, PRACTICE HONUKAH INSTEAD!!!

I want to preface the next few paragraphs by telling you that I was a big fan of his channel, and we had grown to be like brother and sister. So much so that he was planning on staying with us this Spring, as he tours the universities of the East Coast to preach his message.

Me: Daniel, calm down. I’m not judging others, not my job, and Merry Christmas? Really, Daniel.

DANIEL: NO! YOUR HUSBAND AND YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER….BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!

It was brutal, and on Christmas Eve, no less.

I dressed, unceremoniously for Christmas Eve service, we had to be early, as we were helping set up. I slowly went around, to each window, and plugged in the gorgeous wreaths. Nothing. I sat in the chapel while the band practiced, hoping the music would inspire me. Zilch.

Nope, it looked like I wasn’t going to rally for the cause. Christmas would come and go, and I would be left in the dust, blindsided by regret and pain. I held back tears as I sat for the service. The evening was beautiful, and as I watched the children take the stage in a haphazard way-I leaned forward, in order to see, in order to listen.

I watched as my pastor, Tony Blair, looked at the children on stage. His face softened, his eyes grew moist. He gazed at those precious little people, with such tangible joy and love-it was heart wrenching.

There are good people in this world-well meaning, honest human beings who truly care about the least of these. The world became a brighter place, instantaneously. As we lit our candles, one by one, I had drifted off to the landscape of the starry night in Bethlehem, and the very thought of the Christ child lifted me up and out of my inertia, my numbness.

Back at home, hours later, I sat in the dark and took in the beautiful Christmas tree, my dog and cats asleep beside it, dreaming of sugarplums-no doubt. I say there for some time and prayed.

I felt a bit of childhood whimsy, the spark of pure adrenaline a kid feels when they even think of Santa Claus. But this time? The floaty stomach and profound love in my heart was due to the love of my Lord and Savior, my Prince of Peace, my evening song-Emmanuel~

Into His Arms…

 

I have to start out by telling you I have consumed my happy juice and am a bit crosseyed at this time.  But praise Jesus, for he has given us every herb, plant and fruit bearing tree so that we will live healthy, peaceful lives.  Medicinal.  Used for my CPTSD, it can take me from despair to joy, and that my friends is worth its weight in gold.

I’ve been thinking about what is happening in this world, and obviously, it all but freaks me out.  After watching a video I shouldn’t have, I was overwhelmed-feeling as if the entire three ring circus was on my back.  First sad.  Then frantic.  Then Jesus.

I tell him, Jesus! I am clinging to your robes today, I need you badly!

These are the times when I run, full throttle, all engines on to God.  I picture myself running in to his amazing hug, and hear him say There, there child.

I can’t do this Jesus.

I know too much, why do I know so much and when did you make the decision to take a scaredy cat like this girl, and lead her in the direction of Doom.  Real news.  Investigative reporting.  I have felt the Holy Spirit driving me in this direction, and some days?  Down with the ship I go.

He never pushes, never demands.

I come to the realization that He alone is my Lord and Savior.  He will not leave me nor forsake me.  He is in control.  

I take a long hot shower.  I plug in my tiny white lights strategically placed all over my home, to give comfort.  Put some cinnamon on the stove.  And then He takes me back to who I was before I got clean.  I am profoundly grateful.

I fall into His arms.

 

Uphill is Over, Folks…

I sat on the couch, my mouth ajar. Come again? ‘Scuse me? What the Harry?

How is it possible that seemingly overnight, my blog had 3,000 visitors, from all over the globe? How does one go from 50 views on average, to 2,328? There is no bravado or pride in my shock-quite the contrary, I am floored.

I looked over the last week of my life. The bad fall, trip to the ER, the head injury I am recovering from. Oh, it didn’t end there. After drinking Chia Kombucha, against my better judgment, I had a case of diverticulitis so ugly, I am still, three days later, passing gas. The pain began Saturday morning, in my gut; by Sunday it had travelled to the pit of my arm-leaving me to wonder: did I break a rib in the fall?

Anyhoosers, as I was crying out to Jesus yesterday, I knew. I knew within the fibers of my very being that the joy would indeed come in the morning. I thought back over the trials and triumphs He has brought me through. The common thread is an overabundance of joy after the lesson is learned. I know that He wanted my attention, and perhaps, had I given it to Him earlier, I could have avoided the shiner of a lifetime.

“God is going to bless us, Jesse. Just you wait and see-it’s going to be beautiful,” I sang just the morning before, to a golden retriever who’s soul, I am convinced, is a mate to my own.

We can be blinded by the negativity of the world, or we can live freely, moment by moment, clinging to the Grace of God. I believe there is a season and time for everything. I know that Trump is winning the war on evil-the evidence of SRA is daunting, and I was brutally reminded of God’s wish that I back off from digging any further-after seeing a clip of HRC, in a slasher movie, with Huma Aberdeen and a child. Yes. This is true. This is fact.

I turned my pc off and head down the stairs for God’s word.

He alone can seek vengeance, and vengeance will be His.

The Pill Mill……….

When I was younger, I was appalled at how many pills my mother took.  She was extremely ill, emphysema, cancer, osteoporosis.  She died at 59, after the doctors mistook an ovarian cyst to be scar tissue.  I wish I had known then what I now know.  Mary Lou had every symptom of Ovarian cancer, the extreme bloating, constipation, pain and upset stomach.  When the doctor came in to the waiting room, I had to be held back by my siblings-the jerk never listened to her, I was there when he did an exam after her complaining: he felt her stomach and abdomen-she was fully clothed, why bother right? I was there when he told her she was “fine, absolutely fine.”

What shocked me, after her death, was the bottles and bottles of Ativan-she took 4 a day, and I thought that to be too much, too addicting, too sedating.  Now?  I take Ativan daily.  As a prn.  Ironically, the first time I ever took one was the day of her funeral.  Surrounded by friends, I fell asleep on the couch-and didn’t wake up until the following morning.  What addict is going to turn that away?  It was easier to let the melodic pull of oblivion take me away, to dreamless sleep and few cares, if any.

Today I take 200 mg. of Zoloft, 2 mg. Suboxyne for opiate addiction (down from 8 mg. and let me tell you, it was rough, really rough to taper) and one Trazadone for sleep.   My husband thinks this appalling, but I have fought hard to maintain an appearance of normality-in an increasingly abnormal world.

I can tell you that as a nurse, EMT and hospice worker, I could not get into the Suboxyne program soon enough.  I was in a dirty city, walking the streets of dilapidated houses, children in various stages of undress, and very scary men, who gathered on street corners to deal their goods, help a friend in “need.”  I asked a few of them, but as white on rice as I look?  They didn’t touch me with a ten foot pole.  Looking back, I think they thought me a cop.

I was working as a private duty nurse, and volunteering at a local hospice.  I was starting to face withdrawal from OxyContin, and I didn’t want to be the girl who steals patient’s pills.  My cousin by marriage (not a normal person in that family) ran a methadone clinic, and rehab.  I had attended that rehab until our fearless leader Tony called me out on missing a class, in front of the entire room.  When you quit drinking you are wired out of your mind, so many emotions coming from one heart-it’s maddening and exciting at the same time.  I told him off, asked why he allowed drinkers and cokeheads to use in our meetings (was this even remotely fair to the others who were serious about recovery?) and slammed out the door.  He wasn’t going to use me as an example when people were slumped in their chairs, or re-dusting the entire room, like the energizer bunny on crack.

Anyway, back to Scott.  I called him from my  locked car that very day.  I told him where I was, and I asked if I could come to the methadone clinic to talk to him.  He shut me down, but two minutes later?  I heard a commercial about Suboxyne: it has served me well, saved my career and, most likely, my life.  My advice to anyone starting the program?  Start at a really low milligram, that way you won’t have to detox every time you take a step down.  I ended up calling my girlfriend one morning, I literally couldn’t move, I was that weak.

“I can’t take it.  Would you please take me to the doctor?”

The good doctor had taken me off, cold turkey.  We had argued about my use of cannabis, and I stormed out-only to return a week later, begging for mercy.  And, thankfully, that is exactly what I was given.

What I would like to say is, don’t let anyone convince you to go off of any medication you may be taking for your mental health, especially if the plan is working.  Do I like having to take meds on a daily basis?  NO.  But one day, perhaps, the stigma will stop.  No  matter, because I have come to the point where I just don’t care what others think.

It’s not their body.  It’s not their mind.  It’s none of their business.

Hesed Love

There are peaks and valleys in everyone’s lives-moments when we throw our heads back in laughter and joy; and those where we have to dust ourselves off, check for permanent damage and regain a grip on reality.

We had a wonderful weekend. Our Christmas party for our church was held locally, so we finally made it this year. I imagined dimmed lights and a D.J. I was dressed in an original Bob Mackie jacket, fur boots and a gold trimmed dress that takes my breath away-sadly, whilst trying to zip me in the back, Dwain broke the zipper-so I went wearing said dress anyway, safety pinned in the back. Black velvet. Vintage clothing, and luckily I bought it for 50 cents. Imagine my shock when we walk into a room lit up like the sun itself. I am morbidly overdressed, and the track lights are making me anxious. I consider wearing sunglasses, but can’t embarrass my husband like that, and trust me-I’ve tried.

So long as we love we serve, so long as we are loved by others,
I would almost say that we are indispensable; and no man is useless while he has a friend. -Robert Louis Stevenson

We didn’t dance, there was no music. No disco ball.

The food was fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Corn. Warm pineapple compote.

No booze. No hard drugs.

Just us and our belove brothers and sisters in Christ. We laughed until it hurt, shed a few tears of compassion-and loved one another. I won a door prize, which shocked the shat out of me. There was no hangover the next day, no remorse, and no time to waste-we were having good friends over for dinner, I had promised spaghetti and meatballs-and we prayed before they arrived, as they are facing hardship and heartache, in their unique valley of doom. We love them so much, it hurts to see them hurt.

I broke into tears over the parmesan cheese. Somehow, the conversation had turned to the Great Awakening, politics, the hardest stuff…and after carrying the weight of the world upon my shoulders (or so it seemed) I cracked. I began blubbering about the Bush funeral. I sat with my dear friend while she watched videos, articles and memes-convinced that I would hear what I have heard from day one- Fake News!!!!

But here is the profound conclusion I came to last evening:

If another truly loves you, and respects your thought process and ability to think for yourself? Chances are that you will be heard. Heard and loved, despite your words, despite the news. She took it all in, calmed my heart, heard me out.

Psalm 136 speaks of God’s steadfast love, which endures forever. The Hebrew word for this is Hesed love. It is repeated over and over in the Old Testament, and written twenty six times in Psalm 136 alone! While no modern word can fully capture the meaning; we translate it as “loving kindness,” “mercy,” or “loyalty.”

Hesed is a loved based on covenant commitment; love that is loyal and faithful. Even when God’s people sinned, He was faithful in loving them. His love for you will remain steadfast-a reality that provides the foundation, therock on which we place our entire lives.

Oh what a foundation it is!

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