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.

Adrift

In your darkest hours, in your finest grief-this is where Jesus does His absolute bestest ever work.  Of course, when you are adrift in a sea of confusion, rage and betrayal?  You don’t want to think about how strong or wise or ethereal His love-you are way too busy crying, railing or even vicariously throwing inanimate objects at the wall.  Your heart hurts so bad you swear it will break, the tears so salty dehydration sets in.

The lights are out.  There is nothing of comfort, you can’t see your way through the pain.  But here’s the rub:  the only way around the feels is through the feels.  In other words, to quote Richard Gannon, “you gots to feel the feels.”

As I hike the Spicebush trail, I wonder at the miracle that God still loves me, despite my Irish sighing and in spite of my ineptitude. I am an Israelite, awash in the desert of my own making-complaining about this or that.  I catch myself, and ask forgiveness of Him.  I have always had exactly what I needed at every turn of the page.  In recent times, God has blessed us beyond measure-my husband’s new job, my Social Security disability granted, and, more importantly?  We are in love and, for the most part, healthy.

I always turn to Jesus, eventually.  I have struggled with depression and anxiety my entire life.  I wish I had learned to practice this habit much earlier in life.  Perhaps it may have spared me the alcoholism, drug addiction and suicidal ideation.

I wanted to end my life because I thought myself a loser.  A miscreant.  A nobody.

I couldn’t keep a friend, let alone a job.  I knew I was different, that I didn’t fit in, and that for the most part I wouldn’t be missed.  The emotional abuse endured at the hands of the people I loved and trusted the most would prove to be a deal breaker.

I broke, into a millions little pieces not unlike the mess you leave when you break a Christmas ornament.

Shattered.

woman holding broken mirror
I lost my friendships, my family, my identity in Christ.

I thought I was coming out of the woods, and I convinced myself that nothing bad would ever happen to me again because I was a child of God and I figured He’s seen me through the worst of it.

I was dreadfully wrong,

With the help of a mighty God I made it through each and every hairpin turn, but just as I was getting my bearings-another tragedy, another slip into isolation and chaos.  I noticed this, yes, but I also paid mind to the fact that with each and every arrow flung in my direction (the persecution comes from Satan, but God has the control) the more courageous I became.

One evening I called out His name, I couldn’t take another self sabotaging thought-my depression had resurfaced.

Please, Psalm 91…the arrows that fly by night…all that sort of thing.  HELP ME JESUS!!!!

And just as if I were taking out the trash, my body arched-my head flew back.  I had momentarily thought of that lion, the one who roars at the enemy-

I.  Am.  The.  Storm!!!

I.   Am.   The.   Storm.

I roared quietly, then not so quietly.

Together, Jesus and I are building my life back up-brick by brick.  He sustains me by the Living Waters and wipes the tears from my furrowed brows.

And then…I rally my senses, join forces with my soul and pick of my cross.

For I am His and for that?  Oh for that I am well pleased.

My Weapon of Choice…..

Scrolling through videos this morning, waiting for inspiration. This video caught my attention, and it is just perfect for the topic. What is your weapon of choice when the haters are getting you down? How do you escape the bullets shot in your direction? What do you do when cruelty and evil darken your door?

Of course, my weapon is the full armor of God. At least that is the first place I go…….for strength, love and compassion-wisdom, grace and peace. I
submerge myself in the scriptures, and there I find truth, a rare commodity in this day and age: but always on pointe, never changing-it comforts me to know that Jesus knows my heart, inside and out. I have faced challenges this past year that would break Hercules, yet I am stronger by the minute, so much so that I am not the same person I was mere weeks, months or years ago.

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He keeps me strong. On the straight and narrow. Do I slip up? Often. Does He forgive me? Indubitably.

And after I come out of my bible-induced trance? Why, I dance…..of course!

Adrift

In your darkest hours, in your finest grief-this is where Jesus does His absolute bestest ever work.  Of course, when you are adrift in a sea of confusion, rage and betrayal?  You don’t want to think about how strong or wise or ethereal His love-you are way too busy crying, railing or even vicariously throwing inanimate objects at the wall.  Your heart hurts so bad you swear it will break, the tears so salty dehydration sets in.

The lights are out.  There is nothing of comfort, you can’t see your way through the pain.  But here’s the rub:  the only way around the feels is through the feels.  In other words, to quote Richard Gannon, “you gots to feel the feels.”

As I hike the Spicebush trail, I wonder at the miracle that God still loves me, despite my Irish sighing and in spite of my ineptitude. I am an Israelite, awash in the desert of my own making-complaining about this or that.  I catch myself, and ask forgiveness of Him.  I have always had exactly what I needed at every turn of the page.  In recent times, God has blessed us beyond measure-my husband’s new job, my Social Security disability granted, and, more importantly?  We are in love and, for the most part, healthy.

I always turn to Jesus, eventually.  I have struggled with depression and anxiety my entire life.  I wish I had learned to practice this habit much earlier in life.  Perhaps it may have spared me the alcoholism, drug addiction and suicidal ideation.

I wanted to end my life because I thought myself a loser.  A miscreant.  A nobody.

I couldn’t keep a friend, let alone a job.  I knew I was different, that I didn’t fit in, and that for the most part I wouldn’t be missed.  The emotional abuse endured at the hands of the people I loved and trusted the most would prove to be a deal breaker.

I broke, into a millions little pieces not unlike the mess you leave when you break a Christmas ornament.

Shattered.

woman holding broken mirror
I lost my friendships, my family, my identity in Christ.

I thought I was coming out of the woods, and I convinced myself that nothing bad would ever happen to me again because I was a child of God and I figured He’s seen me through the worst of it.

I was dreadfully wrong,

With the help of a mighty God I made it through each and every hairpin turn, but just as I was getting my bearings-another tragedy, another slip into isolation and chaos.  I noticed this, yes, but I also paid mind to the fact that with each and every arrow flung in my direction (the persecution comes from Satan, but God has the control) the more courageous I became.

One evening I called out His name, I couldn’t take another self sabotaging thought-my depression had resurfaced.

Please, Psalm 91…the arrows that fly by night…all that sort of thing.  HELP ME JESUS!!!!

And just as if I were taking out the trash, my body arched-my head flew back.  I had momentarily thought of that lion, the one who roars at the enemy-

I.  Am.  The.  Storm!!!

I.   Am.   The.   Storm.

I roared quietly, then not so quietly.

Together, Jesus and I are building my life back up-brick by brick.  He sustains me by the Living Waters and wipes the tears from my furrowed brows.

And then…I rally my senses, join forces with my soul and pick of my cross.

For I am His and for that?  Oh for that I am well pleased.

For Those Who Find Holidays Hell

I wasn’t sure if this was the version of the song that I wanted, but man am I glad I thought it through.  Miss K.D. Lang hits ever note, and then some.  I love her range, her twang-she’s chicken soup for the soul music.

Speaking of souls.

Mother of God this was a rough one-and I didn’t see it coming, to be frank.  Giving God alone the glory, I have managed to raise my head above the raging river that is my life.  Mercy me, shook me right out of my loafers.

I want this blog to offer hope to those who are suffering this season; I want to pick and choose each word, so I know that the love of Jesus that flows into me will then trickle on to you, beloved.

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I lay in bed, for five straight days.  Not so sure, but pretty sure it was the flu: I haven’t felt like this since, well since last year’s flu season.  I won’t even whisper about getting a flu shot, and would advise all mothers to educate themselves on the horror of what they are injecting into our children.  I pray with each passing day that Donald J. Trump will make headway in the battle against evil, transhumanism and genocidal ideations-you get my drift?

Sorry, I get worked up about it.  Anyway, my husband and I did not attend my mother in law’s Thanksgiving.  In an effort to end the abuse, I have gone no contact and have felt much better ever since.  My husband appeared to be supportive, but the day came and he was forlorn.  Still angry about a miscommunication between us, he let me have it the other day.  Twisted every word I said, and slew nomenclatures I would prefer not to share-making turkey day the winner of the most God awful holiday ever award.

B-rutal.

My husband doesn’t do sick.  He says that seeing me sick makes him think of my mother in the final days of her life.  I mean, I was dehydrated and depressed, wrapped up in a ball of wet sheets-nothing to eat for three days, nightmare.

And then I felt well enough to open my King James bible.  I sought solace, comfort and wisdom.  Yet because of the trauma inflicted?  I felt as if God were angry with me, that Jesus didn’t love me anymore.  I am just now shaking that notion out of my head, as satan  is the father of all lies-and this was persecution in the form of spiritual warfare I have not experienced thus far.  It was if there was a struggle for my soul.  I fought back like the tigress God taught me to be.  I asked for prayer, I actually told my loved ones that I was struggling-and I never do that.  I don’t trust people, but let’s just say that Jesus showed me that the beloveds in my life are real and true and precious.

the-thin-crows

One evening, I stared at the ceiling and thought about what Jesus went through on that cross, even hours before.  Jesus was persecuted for the very same reasons that His believers are persecuted.  Immediately, I thought of the martyrs-the people all around this world who are suffering in the name of Jesus Christ.

In the year 1948, on a Sunday while I went to church I was kidnapped by the Communists.  I knew that even in the van of the secret police, I am in the hands of the Almighty God, and this gave quiet to  my heart.                                                                                                                        – Richard Wurmbrand, Voice of the Martyrs

For three years, Richard Wurmbrand sat alone in his prison cell set 30 feet below the ground.  Aside from short interactions with his guards, he saw and heard no one.  Yet in that dank and dark cell, he cried out to God and dreamt of beginning a new ministry that would serve Christians in Communist countries.  Within days of his release, he wrote his best selling memoir, Tortured For Christ.  Not long after he founded a mission called Jesus to the Communist World, which eventually turned into the organization Voice of the Martyrs.

I needed to pick up my cross, no matter the shape I was in.

I am reaching my arms out to father Abba, and He will catch me, this I know.

 

 

 

An Unkindness of Ravens

When I was frolicking in the New Age movement (please DON’T) I took notice that a cacophony of ravens followed me-from state to state in fact, and it took me some time to realize that this was not a good thing.  Between a well meaning Reiki Master (please DON’T) led me to Doreen Virtue’s angel cards, spirit guides, and the pineal gland.  

I came to my senses when I went to her immediately after being stalked by a naked, wild haired, crazy man-and she told me I created the scenario, you know, by thinking about it.  Kind of like The Secret, but backwards.  Most of you know I went through absolute hell getting out of such ridiculousness and evil.  The day of my plummet back into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I phoned my sister.

She never got back to me.

The same thing happened the day I was thrown down on my knees in utter sorrow, for the Holy Spirit had made it clear-I needed to apologize and repent.  I didn’t really have a choice in the matter-on my knees for what seemed like hours, repeating over and over:

I have grieved your heart.

I had never, nor do I hope to ever feel that sadness and despair again.

religious wall art inside building
When my anxieties multiply, your comforting calms me down. -Psalm 94:19

I had been praying recently, about trying to make things “right” with my sibling.  Abba answered that prayer rather quickly, as He reminded me that even though I have forgiven her, it doesn’t change who she is.  How could I possibly move forward without an apology, or even an attempt to  talk things out?

And what would become of my authentic self and the tough road walked to freedom from people who did not have my best interests at heart.  I cleaned the closet of close friendships, and wound up making new friendships.  And although I love my sister, and dearly miss my nieces and nephew?

I broke the chains that bound me.  I can never go back.

Never.

 

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.