Tag: depression

The Potter’s House

March 20th, 2011 — 11:57pm

I wasn’t actually listening to the song tonight as I wrote but I thought the title fitting for this post. I’ve always adored the song because the lyrics just help me see that there’s always “someone” to help me in dire matters:

Verse 1:
In case you have fallen by the wayside of life;
dreams and visions shattered, You’re all broken inside.
You don’t have to stay in the shape that you’re in;
the potter wants to put you back together again,
oh, the potter wants to put you back together again.

Verse 2:
In case your situation has turned upside down,
and all that you’ve accomplished, is now on the ground.
You don’t have to stay in the shape that you’re in;
the potter wants to put you back together again,
oh, the potter wants to put you back together again.

You who are broken, stop by the potter’s house.
You who need mending, stop by the potter’s house;
give Him the fragments of your broken life,
my friend, the potter wants to put you back together again,
oh, the potter wants to put you back together again

Joy in the potter’s house.
Peace in the potter’s house.
Love in the potter’s house.
There is salvation in the potter’s house.
There is healing in the potter’s house.
There is deliverance in the potter’s house.
You’ll find everything you need in the potter’s house.

The potter wants to put you back together again,
oh, the potter wants to put you back together again.

I went to church today and even got there a little earlier than I have in the past and I realized that when I’m struggling and depressed, for some reason the last thing I ever think of is turning to prayer to help “put me back together again.” I have my little prayers throughout the day or if I’m ever contemplating that one day, I’m going to die and transform into another state of energy and existence, but when I’m in most need of real, focused prayer, my mind is on everything else. I can never sit down and really think things through and have a full “conversation” with God to guide me through the frustration.

However, this is really just a personality flaw in that I hate asking for help…from anyone and this is the reason why it is important that I always attend church and make Sundays a day of rest. It’s only by going to “the potter’s house” that I feel complete again and can see everyone of my struggles and troubles in the proper light. I’m not sensible enough to pray the way I need to when I need to, so I need to go somewhere specific to forcibly give my thoughts the clarity needed to make strong decisions and still remain a child of God.

My struggles with first-job: totally insignificant. My priorities true priorities have not changed since before my career began to make these upward strides and I know I can’t allow first-job to deter me from them. I need to get back into the Word and read like I want to learn again and I need to shift my focus on being the writer I want to be. I’ve got too many distractions swimming around me and as hard as it is to say it, I’ve got too many “worldly” people in who I turn to instead of turning to prayer.

I wrote 305 words today (last words:then it’s one less thing you have to worry about) and every one of them was made only by the grace of God. I need to remember this every time I write and I need to renew my focus on not just getting through this era of my life as I march onward to my life goals, but to march onward as a Christian. So, I’m going to take the fragments of my broken life and hand them to the Potter because only He can put me back together again and make me Dorienne I’m meant to be.

1 comment » | Jesus, On Me, Writing

I feel blessed

July 28th, 2010 — 10:14pm

I got promoted again today…that’s not why I feel blessed though.

Nine months ago, I found myself wallowing in a depression, the likes of which I had not experienced since before I was saved. In the passing weeks and months, He has blessed me time and time again, but…

I always found myself thinking back to that dark point in my life when I thought nothing would ever go right again and I thought I would simply sink lower and lower until the darkness consumed me. I often wondered why I had to go through all of that, why it had to be me, why I had to be brought so low before I was able to feel so high and, until recently, I had passed it off with the easy reason of knowing that one has to go down before going up, even though I never fully understood it. Today, however, it occurred to me why I had to go through my trial and why I will continue to go through trials as I travel through life.

To go through something is always worth telling or sympathizing, but to go through something, only to come out on top afterward is a testimony and this is what He wants. Not just someone to say, I’ve lived through X and survived, but a true light to the world who can I say I lived through X and triumphed!

Today, I was able to testify to someone, albeit in a more secular fashion than I would have preferred, and it was not until afterward that it occurred to me why I was made to suffer. Without my suffering, my doubt, my pain, I would have had nothing to tell this someone who so clearly was searching for guidance. With no hardship of my own, my advice would have been a lecture, not a testimony.

At nearly 26 years old, I have had a blessed life. I can’t remember ever going hungry a day in my life and, even though my mother tells me we were poor when I was a small child, I never once felt it. As yet, I have yet to miss a rent payment, even though I had gone four months without a job and, while my debt to income ratio is not where I would like it to be, I at least know it exists and can still make plans for the future without worrying about a seven-year black mark on name. I am an American who was raised during the 90s, who never saw life on welfare or drugs in my home or wanton acts by parental figures in my presence; I’ve lived a charmed life.

When I became saved, the first thing I wanted to do was bring someone else to Christ, anyone! But, few willing participants could be found. I won’t go so far as to say that I saved anyone today, but I love simply realizing why Jesus pushes us through trials and uncertainty: so that we can be lights to others wandering in the darkness.

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Well played, Old Man

July 19th, 2009 — 7:38pm

I didn’t make it to church today.

This time last year, such a statement would have initiated a barrage of texts, e-mails and phone calls regarding my whereabouts that I would have felt it necessary to release a public statement to let my family know that I was okay. Nowadays, however, things are different. No one calls because it’s not such a rare occurrence any longer.

I’ve been telling myself for months, “I’m not losing my faith. I’m just going through some things right now.” What these “things” are, I don’t know and, as much as I pray about it, these “things” aren’t revealing themselves to me. All I do know is that has been getting easier and easier to skip that which held such an importance to me less than eight months ago and, when I woke up this morning, I had wondered if it was even “necessary” to go to church again. We’ve had another death in our family and, today especially, I just didn’t see the point in going to church.

Some time in 2008, I’d made a “deal” of sorts with God after losing Edrith and also MawMaw in such quick succession; I just didn’t want to go to anymore funerals until I turned 25. This entire time, I’ve known that I can’t actually deal with God, since I’ve got nothing of any real value to offer except my submission, which I should be giving anyway, but I’d made my deal last year, praying that I could just live life for two years without going to yet another funeral; saying goodbye to yet another person. I’ve experienced loss in the past two years, but I hadn’t needed to attend any homegoings. My birthday is not until the end of September and yet, here I am.

When I’d heard what had happened, I immediately thought of my deal and prayed for a very long time about what I’d done so wrong that I couldn’t have until at least my 25th birthday without having to deal with another loss. It wasn’t until this morning, however, that it occurred to me (really occurred to me) that there never was any “deal.” People come and people go as He sees fit and He had seen to it that I had the time I needed to grow up a little more before having to deal with it once again. But, what truly got to me this morning was the growing depression and thoughts that “none of this mattered,” that eventually I’d lose everyone I loved and no amount of church was going to change the inevitable. And, that’s when I started to cry.

I’ve always classified tears into three categories: “small tears” that occur when I shed a few over the birth of a child or when friends marry, “pain tears” that occur when I’m in such physical pain that there doesn’t seem to be anything else I can do, and then there are “real tears” that follow overwhelming depression and sadness. My tears this morning fell into that latter group and it angered me because I hate when I cry “real tears.” Joy or pain can be expressed, but mourning depression is something that I try to hold in as much as possible out of sheer frustration that I can be reduced to tears over something that simply encompasses my own thoughts bouncing against one another until I hit a low and I cannot pull myself out of it.

So, this morning, I lay in my bed, crying these real tears and thinking aloud that there really wasn’t a point to any of “it” anymore and I had no reason to even give “it” anymore thought because God hadn’t cared about my deal and He wasn’t answering me in the time that I wanted Him to answer and, even if He did speak to me, I knew I wasn’t going to like the answer. I must say, looking back hours later, it was very dark moment for me; one I used to experience all the time before I had first come to the church and had hoped I would never see again.

As complete frustration over these nonsensical real tears willed me to stop crying altogether, I lay there half-listening to a CD I’d made a couple weeks ago and wondered if I’d ever feel like myself ever again after recognizing that God doesn’t make “deals” with people. And, that was when the sappiest of songs started to echo through my boombox…

Now, I’ve been listening to Michael Jackson songs non-stop for the past three weeks and I know that’s a subject worth prayer in itself, but for this song to come on when it did… I felt a smile pull at my lips and I had to shake my head at the simultaneous “on-timeness” of God and simple coincidence. MJ’s “Keep the Faith” had come up on the CD.

Again, I’d been listening to MJ songs for close to a month straight and I’d probably played that song twenty times since I’d dug out my Dangerous album, but…when I lay wondering what the point of all of “it” was, when I lay thinking that no path I could take was ever going to bring me fully into Christ’s light, when I lay crying about God not answering my questions, the title of the song spoke to me: Keep the Faith. It sounds almost laughable when I write it because it’s not even a Christian song, but simply hearing the beginning of it and remembering the title right when I did felt like something only He could do for me in a moment so dire.

And so, in hearing this song that had both saccharine sappiness and inspiration weaved within it, I let out a laugh and rose from my bed thinking, “Well played, Old Man.”

I didn’t make it to church today, but I have this renewed vigor in my approach towards it, nevertheless. I began studying my Sunday School lesson for next week tonight, a feat I hadn’t accomplished since I started teaching again and, regardless of the fact that I know I’ve got greater and more painful losses coming my way in the upcoming years, I feel strong. The logical side of my mind is saying, “Dorienne, it was just a coincidence. The song comes on after ‘Give Into Me’ on your ‘MJ-Sleep’ CD. It’s just a coincidence.” but whenever I think of coincidences in relation to religious matters, I consider my favorite The X-Files quote coming from Mulder: “If coincidences are just coincidences, why do they feel so contrived?”

I was in a very, very low place this morning and God spoke to me in a manner, in a way that only He could and He told me, quite clearly, that even though the road ahead looks rough, I need to keep the faith. I can only chuckle to myself when I think about it. Well played, Old Man…

2 comments » | Deep Thought, Jesus

Things Fall Apart

February 24th, 2008 — 11:22am


It’s not official yet, but I feel it coming.

This is first somewhat tangible thing I have ever wanted, but cannot have. I have to admit, it is odd feeling; not getting what I want. I am an only child, loved by my single parent mother who once told me her reason for living was to have me. I always get what I want.

I have been doing this a lot with my posts lately. I start one and then weeks later I come back to it when I am really ready to write, but by that time whatever had sparked the initial post has passed and now I am in a new element.

Currently, I am procrastinating on everything. I have a paper due at noon and I should be at church right now, but I am procrastinating on both. Procrastination has always ruled over every facet of my life and it does not seem to be relenting any time soon.

I need to blame something so I will blame my brain’s ever-increasing siege under ADHD. It has gotten so bad that I can barely focus on anything for more than five minutes unless it is always changing and presenting something new. Perhaps that is the real reason I give up on posts five lines into them; by the time I get ready to type what I want to say, my attention has already waned.

The ADHD, this lack of attention, sometimes troubles me. I end up procrastinating on the things that I want to do. I want to read an incredible story on fanfiction.net, but by the time I bring it up and reach for the next chapter, I have already lost interest. I want to respond to each review of Flight that I get as soon as I see them, but the time it takes to click the ‘respond’ button and think of what to say, I have already lost interest. My attention span has grown so short, I lack the capacity to even watch television. I want to watch new episodes of Law & Order, but even if I am able to overcome the act of finding the remote control, turning to the right channel and blocking out any other disturbance so that I can actual watch the program, I lose interest 30-seconds into the first commercial break. It is getting bad and things are “falling apart” all around me as a result.

Not really, I guess. I could shape up at any moment, but by the time I take initiative to do so, something else piques my interest and I forget what I am supposed to be doing. Stories are lost that way, as are great passages of books. By the time I reach for the post-it note to remind myself to type up my idea later, it is already forgotten. Like now, I took a moment to create a proper paragraph break and now my interest in this post is waning. But, procrastination rules my life and, as my paper and church are both waiting for me, I will still continue.

My mouse broke on Friday night. It simply stopped scrolling after 4 years of continuous use. I searched for close to an hour on BestBuy, Target and even the dreaded Walmart before finding an adequate match for what I have already got. I find, unfortunately, that my wireless keyboard/mouse combo does not like to be separated from themselves. For example, if the mouse is disconnected, the keyboard stops working. Absolute bull if you ask me, but I guess that is how Logitech gets you in the end.

I started at BestBuy yesterday knowing they would have more than what they offered on their site, but was sorely disappointed. The closest thing they had was seventy dollars and after living a year on less than 25K as a salary, $70 for a keyboard just wasn’t going to fly. I then trekked all the way into a different county to seek for what I had found on the Walmart site, but surprise, surprise it wasn’t there. Either they had not restocked it or they just couldn’t be bothered to have it out when the site clearly stated it would be available. It serves me right for even thinking of purchasing at the corrupt, homogenize-the-world emblem of capitalism crushing all others for the sake of “progress.” I found the object of my desire at an Office Max after parking nearer to it than the BestBuy to which I had digressed to return in order to buy the overpriced combination. I not only found it in a bright, clean atmosphere, I was assisted by employees who A) could be found and B) knew what they were doing. Living in a “Walmart” world has jaded me to what actual service should be.

I then went home, not wanting to go through the steps of having to get used to new controls on a new keyboard, but found that the new mouse worked off the same signal of the old combo. So, I ended up spending $40 for a simple mouse, but in the end, I get to keep what I want and also have a new keyboard ready once I wear out this one.

Though I was able to remedy my mouse “issue” fairly quickly, the “ordeal” reminded me of the time my glasses broke. I had been writing for half the night and then placed my hands at my temples as I tried to properly imagine a scene and felt something loosen on my face. I pulled away my hands and my glasses came with them, in two pieces. I remember staring at the broken pieces, one arm of the set still holding onto its single spectacle, and not knowing what to do. I had no back-up glasses; why would I need them? The glasses are back-ups for my contacts, but there I sat for a full minute in shock and disbelief. I remember realizing how greatly I took the sense of sight for granted.

I cannot see much without glasses and, the idea of having only my contacts to use, especially when my eyes were already tired, was just not acceptable. I always need a back-up plan. I always need some sense of control. My eye doctor finally got back in touch with me, after I had nearly blown up his emergency number, nearly in tears with each call, and I was able to get a new pair. I had learned many things that day: Things I truly take for granted are so forgotten that I would never even think of them when considering things I take for granted. I also learned that glasses and contacts have two different prescriptions. I know it has to do with the physics behind the fact that glasses sit just before the eye and contacts sit directly against the eye lens, but the argument I had to have on the phone with the lady at Lens Crafters pissed me off nonetheless.

Looking back on my original purpose for this original post, I realize that many of my dreams may not be feasible and that I am still without a back up plan. I was not rejected and I got what I wanted, which had me in this “Oh praises be to the king of kings!” mode for a few days as I ran on the feeling that I was finally on the path which God had set me, but the reality of the situation has hit me in spades and, I am not sure if it has got to do with the overwhelming depression that is mostly like this side of bipolar affecting me now, but suddenly I am saddened about what lies in my future.

I see myself forty and alone, with some money in my pocket because I write and win a few contests here and there, but without real friends any longer and no desire to have or even foster a child and living on just because God hasn’t decided it is time for me to come home yet. It is a very depressing future, but I cannot see a way out of it.

My mother has just called as I happened to glance at my phone, knowing that she was going to call since I had not appeared at church. I always think it’s funny when that happens.

I have more to say, I guess. More about writing, more about ADHD and BPD and OCD that continually plague my life, but I think I have hit the last possible moment to make something happen on this paper. Perhaps I’ll have more to say later, but then again…I will probably end up procrastinating on writing it.

1 comment » | Deep Thought, On Me

Still struggling

December 29th, 2007 — 11:15pm

Time has been passing me by so quickly these days it seems like I get home from church, then wake up Monday morning and then only a few minutes pass before I’m right back to a new Monday. I suppose the time warp is really not really much more than a combination of procrastination and stress. What is really irritating that is I procrastinate procrastinating and I am stressed over things that really should not be stressing me at all. In fact, it is really all the stress that is slowly but surely eating away at me.

I worry about what I am going to do with the rest of my life. I have a lot of dreams, but there are millions of people in this world with dreams just as big if not bigger that go unrealized everyday. Am I doomed to become one of them? What am I going to do if this “writing thing” doesn’t work out? I can see myself slowly disintegrating from the absolute doldrums of a nine to five job that is so boring that every day I wish for death just so I could stop working. I also see myself living that life all alone. I think I could make it without knowing my dreams if I just was not so alone all the time, but it is so hard to separate my “old self” from my “new self” that when I go out to meet people, I end up finding myself attracted to the same old people with whom I shouldn’t be associating. It’s very depressing.

I can’t keep to commitments, even the really important ones that I have every intention of keeping. I chalk this up to procrastination. Even as I type, I procrastinate. It seems to be etched into my very soul and then I realize all the planning I do to keep from procrastinating is just a new form of procrastination in itself. I keep meaning to do this for people, spend time with people, call people, heck, do things for myself, but it never gets done. I suppose I could use the tired excuse of fatigue being the reason I don’t do what I should, but that just feels, for lack of a better word, lame.

It’s been about three or four weeks since I started this post. Sadly not much has changed in my life regards to my recent depression. Actually, that is not quite true. If anything, I feel like I’m spiraling to a new low. I’ve only just now even wanted to write anything. When I get depressed to the point that I don’t even want to write, it just depresses me even more.

I feel like Flight is a disaster. There are points as I re-read it, I just want to pitch the entire project. The reviews I’ve been getting are always positive, but the part of my psyche that judges everything I do too harshly, looks at every word of every chapter as complete tripe. I haven’t updated it in weeks, and while a part of me truly wants to the words, “what’s the point?” keep billowing through my head.

MawMaw died two weeks ago. Her homegoing was last Friday.

I’ll be honest in saying I did not cry as hard as I did for Edrith, but I’m certain it’s because I’m all cried out at this point. When I first heard the malpractice, I wanted to burst into tears right there and then, but as there still seemed like a glimmer of hope existed, I didn’t. I cried when I called Caprica. I could hear her crying on the other end and I just kept thinking, “We just lost Edrith…” I could say that this doesn’t seem fair, but so rarely in my life have I seen anything that could qualify as “fair,” that it is ridiculous for me to get into it. All I can say, is that I’m less saddened by the fact that she’s no longer in pain and no longer struggling. I, however, continue in both regards.

I had a list of things I wanted to talk about in this post: more members of Edrith’s family have joined the church and I burst into tears each time they do; I feel like I’m only going through the motions when it comes to church; the fact that I want to tank the book; my urge to write combined with my lack of motivation and the idea that bipolar disorder could be the cause of my doldrums; I’m not in the mood for any of those.

Something that did happen about three or four weeks ago was mightily troubling, though. We had an afternoon service one Sunday and I’d told myself the Thursday before it that I wasn’t going and that I would not be swayed by a change in mood come Sunday afternoon. And I didn’t. That afternoon, instead of second service, I was in my apartment looking for a church video of our choir singing Stephen Hurd’s “Revelation 19.1” and I had prepared myself for what, or should I say, who I was going to see.

I’d found a video of our choir singing from September. It was the last time Edrith sang with us. I was all right for the first few minutes of forwarding to see which specific service the video was from, but then I burst into tears and continued crying for the rest of the day. The only thing I could to was let the video play and have my own personal, second service as I watched and listened to a sermon from months earlier. I thought I had been prepared to see her, alive and well, but I was not. A part of me wonders if I’ll ever get over this; another part does not want to get over anything because then it feels like she’s gone forever. It’s just still so hard coming to the realization I’ll never see her again in this life. Which brings me back to MawMaw…

When I’d first met her, a year earlier, she’d said to me “Hi. I’m Grandma.” I already had a grandmother, so she was “MawMaw” to me then and had been until two weeks ago. It feels like I can’t properly mourn her because my tears for Edrith have not yet dried. It’s times like these that I’m happy I’m saved because I can’t imagine how else to get through something like this.

My heart hurts, mostly because I couldn’t imagine hurting even more so closely to a previous loss, but there’s more to it. The Mass Choir sang at her homegoing and at one point, her second granddaughter had come to be hugged by her godmother in choir stands. There is something so heartbreaking about listening to a five-year-old cry for the loss of a loved one. You think that someone so young can’t really understand what’s going on, but they really can.

I think what had been bothering me most when I first started writing this post, weeks ago, is that I mourn so thoroughly, but I feel like I don’t even have a right to mourn so hard. Edrith was a friend, but she was not my best. MawMaw was MawMaw, but she wasn’t my grandmother. I feels like I don’t have the right to cry so hard for them, but I can’t help it because I loved them both so much. What’s even worse, is that I cry even harder because I know my time is coming too. I know one day I’ll be sitting in the front row of our church crying over my own mother or my own grandmother, father, step-father, step-brothers, cousins, friends…Death is coming and there’s no way out of it. There’s no escaping it. I hate not having control of something in my life. I don’t fear what happens after death. It’s the act of dying that causes my heartbeat to race like it did when I almost drowned when I was eight years old. The only thing I can do about it is pray for Jesus to give me strength throughout the rest of my Christian walk.

A new fire feels lit, though. I want to write again and I yearn to be published.

Of the six goals, I laid out for myself last January, only one was partially completed. I finished a novel and “submitted” it to the world. Sadly, it’s not publishable, but I still did it. This year, the goals are still very much the same: get fit, graduate, write and stay neat. I will not however dwell over these goals by reading the post several times and forget them as soon as the month of January had ended. I’ll just say that I aim to be a better person and just do it. We’ll see how this goes.

This is the first time I am entering a new year in this deep of a “low” and my hope is that ringing in the new year in the house of the Lord will diminish some of that and pull me up so that I have the desire to do what I need to do.

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So…this is grief

October 6th, 2007 — 11:40am

I was enjoying my Saturday morning; simply lying there as the sun streamed in through my window, completely comfortable. Warm and cool at the same time and lying against my soft pillows on a bed with more feather bed and egg crate mattresses than anyone could ever need. I hadn’t slept-in on any given day in weeks and yesterday, upon hearing that my choir practice had been moved to later in the day, I rejoiced at knowing that, for once, I would get to enjoy my Saturday morning.

As I lied in the bed, I considered all the things that I could get done today: write a little, check website stats, see if anyone’s left any book comments, go to the church business meeting, go to work, Gallery Hop tonight as the finale of my birthday celebrations…Today was going to be a good day.

The call between my mother and I:

(My cell rings to the tune of Law and Order)
Me: Yes?
Mother: Hi…did I wake you?
Me: Kind of.
Mother: Oh…I guess you haven’t heard yet.
Me: Heard what?
Mother: Well…Sister Edrith passed away last night.
Me: What?
(It takes me a moment to bring her face to the name and then I’m confused. She just turned 36 a couple weeks ago. Only old people pass away. What the hell does she mean “pass away?”)
Me: What? What d’you mean pass away?
Mother: She passed away. She was in a car accident last night and she was killed.

Something else was said by my mother, but I’m not sure what. All I can really remember these hours later is the feel of immense pressure bearing down on my chest. That’s what it feels like. Grief.

It didn’t make sense. That’s what I kept telling myself. It just didn’t make any sense. Edrith is a good person and she’s got a lot to do. She’s the Sunday School teacher for our adult class, she’s a lead soprano in our “young adult” choir, she wants to still get married and have children, she wants to begin a wedding planning business; she’s got a lot to do.

My mother kept talking as the initial tears began to spring from my eyes. “When we’ve done what we’re supposed to do, God takes us. You know, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” I heard the words, but my body shook as it still shakes now, making it very difficult for me to type. How could she be dead? I just saw her on Tuesday. I shared my Matthew Henry commentary with her during Teacher’s Meeting because she hadn’t brought hers. I had meant to ask her if she had just come from work that night and if that was why she hadn’t brought her things with her. What am I supposed to do now? My mother kept saying “I know. I just had my own…”

Then, I started to cry out loud. I’d never heard my own cry of grief and now that I reflect back on it, I suppose it sounds as it should. A long wail followed by gasps and gasps of screaming and gurgling in the back of my throat as my mind could no longer prepare words to describe what my heart was feeling. I just set down the phone and started to cry and scream. I couldn’t see anything and my thoughts were simply “How could this have happened?” “What do you mean pass away?” “She couldn’t be dead. I just saw her?” “This doesn’t make any sense.”

I couldn’t collect myself. Me, Dorienne, I couldn’t collect myself. I can pull it together in any situation, I am the strong one, I am the leader, and yet I couldn’t collect myself. I told my mother, who could be heard sniffing softly through the phone was talking, but I couldn’t hear her. I told her I would call her back. I needed to collect myself.

I went to the bathroom, but I had a temper tantrum and slapped and kicked anything close to me. I banged against the shower door and kicked at the walls and stomped my feet and cried and cried and cried. It just wasn’t fair.

As I’m writing now, a friend of mine is IMing me. She wants to know when we’re going to Gallery Hop tonight. What can I tell her when I am only now able to form coherent thoughts?

…”oh, i’m sorry” is her response and then she asks who was it. It’s someone you’ll never meet because you’ve always been too high and mighty to humble yourself and come to church with me. That’s who it is.

I keep remembering my own thoughts that flew to mind as I cried. At one point I remember thinking “Jesus…I hate you.” That’s right. I thought that and it was almost as good as saying it. How could this have happened. How could He take my friend away from me? She had so much more to do. My mother had been saying to me God only takes when we’ve finished what we’re supposed to do, but I still say it’s crap. How could He have done this? It’s not fair. I’m not prepared.

We have a lot of sick and elderly in our church, and for them I was prepared. Someone had a seizure not two seats next to me in the choir stands last Sunday. For her, I was prepared. Our “mother” had a stroke a few weeks ago and is recovering. For her, I was prepared. So many of my “family” are over seventy and have been sick previously. For all of them, I was prepared. Not for Edrith. She’s my friend. I just saw her on Tuesday. I was going to see her today at our church business meeting. I was going to see tomorrow when we all consecrated for Sunday School and I was going to see her next Tuesday at Teacher’s Meeting. And now…

I don’t like not being prepared. I don’t like not having control. I kicked at the walls and pulled at my hair because I didn’t know what else to do. I’m so unprepared. It’s like I have no control over anything. I don’t like this. I need to be prepared. I need to be in control. I need to be prepared.

I remember thinking “Why do you do this to me Jesus? Why do you have us live only so that we die? Is this what my own life’s going to be like too? At the end, only a series of phone calls and gallons of tears shed? Why do you do this? It’s so unfair.”

What am I supposed to do? The one place I think I should go, church, is the one place I can’t. I associate her with church. I’ve been at that church for eighteen months and when I think of everything, from the seats to the fellowship hall to the steps to the parking lot, I think of her. What am I supposed to do now?

Last year about this time, we lost another member of our congregation. I had only just gotten to know her at that time, but it still hurt. Is this what you’re going to do Jesus? Are you going to take someone from me every fall? It’s so unfair. There was so much more she was going to do.

One of our choir’s songs just popped to mind and I have to collect myself again.
The struggle is over for you.
The struggle is over for you.
You’ve been in this place long enough
And the mountainside has been rough.
The struggle is over for you.

Dear Jesus…what am I supposed to do? It’s just so unfair. I was just talking to her. I can’t even remember the last things I said to her on Tuesday because it was so meaningless. It didn’t matter. I was just going to see her again on Saturday at the business meeting, so there was no reason to bother remembering what I’d said to her. It just doesn’t make any sense.

At one point I told myself I needed to get dressed, so I did. Everything except my glasses. It was as if I kept my eyes in this blur of the unseen, then I could delay reality. To put on my glasses or put in my contacts meant I’d have to see the world clearly and face the fact that our family had suffered this tragedy and the longer I delayed, the longer I could go without seeing it.

I just don’t know what to do. I still don’t know what to do. My mother called me back after I hadn’t called her and I answered after the second call. I barely remember what we talked about. I don’t want to see anybody at all. If I go without seeing anybody, then this can just be something in my mind; something that didn’t happen. More real than a dream, but something imaginary nonetheless.

I write all the time and I live in my head. I imagine things and perceive feelings and events that never happened all the time, and yet I am completely caught off guard. I had recently written about grief. It’s stages and what it was like when someone looked upon another who was grieving.
Something I had written months earlier:

“He was always out,” a voice said from the dining room doorway. Mrs. Whickfield, having recovered from the initial shock of hearing of her son’s death, stood just behind where the detectives sat, looking extremely distressed. Her blonde hair with its slivers of silver was tousled and standing on end in places, and blue eyes appeared dull behind the torrent of red in what should have been the whites of her eyes.

I find it almost laughable now to read the words. Once I dressed and finally digressed to put on my glasses, I took a look at myself in the mirror. My black hair stands on end in places from having been pulled at in fits of frustration and my brown eyes are laced with these traces of red lines everywhere. Months earlier, I could imagine grief, but…

Last Saturday, just one week to the day, I sat next to her as we prepared for our Mass Choir rehearsal and revealed to her that I had written a book. Her response: “Oh you go, girl! You gotta make your dreams come true. Like me and my business. I’m really looking into it too. I’m just imagining where I’d set up shop…” There was so much more she was supposed to do. I don’t understand why He would take her now. My mother kept saying that she had done what God had wanted her to do and he took her home, but we are selfish and we want her here with us. Mother said “God called her home and if there was ever a person I knew who deserved to be with her father, it’d be Edrith.” I just remember when our Sunday School lessons had brought us into Revelation and how she described the home of our heavenly father and how grand it would be. She spoke with such elation. I know she sits with Jesus never worrying, never crying, never stressing again, but…I’m still here and the shaking has returned as have the tears. I’m not prepared for this, like I’m not prepared for my own eventual end. Why doesn’t the fact that I know she’s at peace stop the sudden outbursts of tears? It just keeps happening and I don’t know what to do.

It’s almost time to leave for our church business meeting and I don’t know what to do. If I leave now, I suppose I can drive at a normal rate, right? Instead of speeding for once. I keep thinking, “Is this my punishment Lord? Is this what I get for not studying your Word enough for my own class? Is this my lesson for speeding throughout the city every single day? Is this some message you’re boring into me because I won’t listen?” I don’t hate Jesus and I haven’t lost my faith, but I’m still so unnerved that he could leave me this unprepared. I just don’t know what to do…So, I do what I always do in times of strife. I write. I write to bring these thoughts out of my mind, if only for a little while. I used to write poetry, but my mind cannot form even the freest free-verse right now. I can barely type at all, but I just need to write. It’s the only thing I can do to make some sense of this. To give it some perspective.

Mother kept saying that this is not something we’re meant to understand, but I still say it’s crap. I should get an answer. I want one now. I don’t want to wait for it. I deserve an answer!

She’s the third person I’ve ever known to die, but they are becoming increasingly worse as I get older. God, she just put her birthday money in the jar with me barely two Sundays ago…I didn’t know either of my grandfathers and I’d never met my mother’s cousin. I had only met my step-father’s mother once or twice and while I knew Kim, I didn’t really know her all that well. I saw that she looked a little sick, but I had only learned that she was on dialysis that Monday before, and had I known how truly sick she was, I might have been more prepared when Pastor announced from the pulpit that Sunday “Sister Kim passed away last night.” causing me to think “Who? No, that must have been some other Kim. Some Kim I didn’t know.” This is so much worse. We laughed together, worshipped together, prayed together. Wasn’t she just teasing me last Sunday because I had made it to Sunday School on time for two weeks in a row. God, what am I supposed to do?

Four of my own surgeries and now two deaths associated with Grant Hospital. I’ll never be able to go there again. I just…I don’t know.

I called Mother and told her I won’t be going to the church business meeting. I have to go to work today and I haven’t the strength to do both. I’ll be in the same place with which I had come to associate Edrith and I’ll fall to pieces again.

The first hints of a smile are trying to form, though face lacks the capacity to do it currently. When I spoke to my mother, she said something to me that makes me feel like all is not lost; that Jesus still hears me and still loves me even through my anger, frustration and sadness. She said to me, without me even mentioning that I didn’t know what to do, “You know what to do in times like this. Pray. We all have to pray. It’ll get you through this.” I needed to hear the words because I’ve realized I just kept saying it. That I didn’t know what to do. So, that’s what I’ll, now that I’ve written. I’ll pray about it and surely cry about it some more, but I think…I hope I’ll be okay.

It’s interesting because Pastor has always said that we never know when we’ll next get a chance to be in the house of the Lord. A part of me feels like if I had only known what was happening, I could have prayed about it right then and there and saved her, but I didn’t know. I would’ve known earlier today, but as my eyes fluttered open, I realized that my cell had been on vibrate all night and I turned it on to see I had missed several calls. I saw that my mother had called, but she’s always calling, so I turned the volume to normal and lied back against my pillows just as happy as I could be.

So many times earlier, I have prayed with all my strength and the Lord had delivered. It’s why I’m back with the church now. I had left when I was eighteen, insisting that I believed in God, but that he was not ever-present in my life and I had no reason to go to church. It wasn’t until I needed something, really, really needed something and literally fell on my knees praying for something specific, that I realized that God still listens to me. I asked for something specific; very specific and God delivered precisely what I needed. I would call it a miracle, but even now that seems far-fetched. I had prayed fervently weeks earlier as our church received some other terrible news. I had prayed and just said, “Jesus, it’s me again. I only really, really call out to you like this when it is most dire. Forget all the other little crap I’ve been asking about. This is what I need.” and He delivered yet again. If only I had known. I feel that I had only been awakened some time in the night when it happened; if I had just known, I could have prayed heartily again and there would only be need for a post about how great God is as opposed to my sorrow-filled lament.

My mother had told me earlier today that she thought Edrith was gone before they had even taken her to the hospital. I am just so despondent. I went to the bathroom and the toilet seat is broken. Now, I know what to do, but I just…

I just find it fascinating that this is what grief is like. I can imagine and ponder and theorize about anything this universe, but it’s not the same as actually experiencing it. I’m just…

I suppose I’m in awe.

6 comments » | Jesus, On Me


February 20th, 2007 — 11:06pm

The past week has been more than stressful for me. I missed church yesterday. I hadn’t meant to, and I was actually dressed, with Bible in hand and was heading out the door when I had the infinite intelligence to check the mail prior to leaving. The letter came today and while everything is not definite, it doesn’t look good. I was just so depressed that I just leaned against the wall below the stairs and cried for a good ten minutes. It was so terrible and I was simply depressed, but instead of just lying in a ball and crying for the rest of the day, I went to work. I needed to do about a million things, but only accomplished less than half, but the important thing was that I reset a lot of my priorities. I just wish I had done so without having to miss church. I feel like the rest of my week is going to feel like this and I feel like I’ve let down everyone in my life by missing for one day.

My father came to town yesterday and we had a nice talk. It wasn’t as stressful as I thought it was going to be and we actually had a conversation like a father and daughter should. I finally feel like that relationship is what it ought to be.

Training is still going and going and going. If the situation all works out, I’m still not sure what I’m going to do. I may have to go over the head of one of my professor’s….but honestly, it’s rather ridiculous to have just one section of a class that all majors would need. They could at least have the decency to hold the class at various times throughout the year. The school is supposed to be accommodating, but really it’s all crap.

I’m beginning Week Two of giving up TV.com forums in favor of more productive things. I also feel like this huge weight has been lifted off of me since now, I don’t feel like it’s imperative that watch House and SVU exactly when they come on so that I can comment on them later. I can now tape them and watch them at my leisure, like a normal human being.

Adventures in Vegetarianism #1
I have also decided that I am going to be a full-fledged vegetarian. I came to this idea this Saturday past and my last “meat” was a Wendy’s #6 Spicy Chicken sandwich, of which I have been having deep cravings ever since. It has been three days and I feel like I’m starting to crack, but I’m trying to remain diligent. The thing is, I’ve got to get this weight off of me. I can’t even say that it’s starting to get out of hand; it’s already out of hand, out of control, out of whatever. I normally try to cook and eat healthy, but eventually, I’ll get lazy and stop cooking and I end up hitting the vending machines at work or ordering 20-some wings from Donato’s or Wings Xtreme and devouring them all myself for dinner. But, what I have noticed is most of the things to which I turn when laziness begets poor eating habits are meats or foods with meat. Subs, wings, Skyline, Wendy’s #6…hmm, Wendy’s….they are all meat and I go to them time and time again. I figure if I just pull meat out of my diet altogether, I won’t even be able to go to those places. If I really face it, even though I hadn’t been eating red meat or pork for ages, I would always splurge when it came to subs and such. Even though I would adamantly say I refused to eat red meat, that buoyant voice always faded away as I sank my teeth in a Grinder. Taking all meat out of my diet means that if I slip and hit Skyline, it will have to be an active choice to eat meat, removing my ability to say, “well, this red meat’s okay, because I really can’t see it.” Either way, this is a big dietary change and although my mother reminded me that there are a lot of really fat vegetarians, I still think this has some potential.

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Sick of it…

November 27th, 2006 — 4:18pm

I’m just sick of it. All of it.

I’m sick of these “Tired Santa” commercials. Like I need another reason to feel less than festive during this holiday season. All I see on television are countless versions of Santa, completely stressed out because no one wants to sit on his lap and ask him for gifts or Santa being ignored by kids because they are so enamoured by by Best Buy or whatever gifts already under the tree, or the infamous Santa coming home early because “everyone” is giving one another gift cards from wherever. Ugh. I’m just sick of it. It’s nearly December and I am no where near being in the Christmas spirit.

I’m sick of dealing with everything that’s happened in the past four years. I feel like I should just get up and drive to a new state and start over with my life. Just find a new place to live, find a new church and just start over.

I cried today and they weren’t happy tears. I feel like I’m being punished and it doesn’t matter how many times I fall to my knees displaying my sorrow for my actions in the past, these things just keep coming back to bite me squarely in the ass.

Obsessions are heightening, yet depression is coming. I have less than three hundred dollars to my name, yet absolutely no manner of income. I want so little, but need so much. When does this get easy? When do I get to start living my life?

I don’t know. I’m just sick of it.

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Words of The Strokes

October 13th, 2006 — 8:00pm

Some days, the words of The Strokes, while not 100% applicable, can easily describe a day in my life:

What Ever Happened?

I want to be forgotten,
and I don’t want to be reminded.
You say “please don’t make this harder.”
No, I won’t yet.

I wanna be beside her.
She wanna be admired.
You say “please don’t make this harder.”
No, I won’t yet.

Oh dear, is it really all true?
Did they offend us and they want it to sound new?
Top ten ideas for countdown shows…
Whose culture is this and does anybody know?
I wait and tell myself “life ain’t chess,”
But no one comes in and yes, you’re alone…

You don’t miss me, I know.

Oh Tennessee, what did you write?
I come together in the middle of the night.
Oh that’s an ending that I can’t write, ’cause
I’ve got you to let me down.

I want to be forgotten,
and I don’t want to be reminded.
You say “please don’t make this harder.”
No, I won’t yet.

I want to be beside her.
She wanna be admired.
You say “please don’t make this harder.”
No, I won’t yet…

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I’m trying….but sometimes, it’s just so hard.

June 7th, 2006 — 4:59pm

Things have never looked so low in my life. I honestly think that if I weren’t truly putting everything in His hands right now, I’d be downing the remaining 800 Aleves in that bottle. It feels like things just could not get worse, but what’s funny is that I know it can. Relatively speaking, many people have bounced back from far worse than this. At least I have a game plan in place; at least I know what the next step is; at least I haven’t yet given up all hope. I could have to face all those problems in addition to my own. I’m trying to keep the faith; keep this idea that if I just leave to Jesus, everything will be all right, but sometimes, it’s just so hard….

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