Realign

With every answer, a dozen more questions will pop up. Mark and I were having a discussion about this driving back down from SD. I prayed for clarity and I got it at the last retreat. Things were good, and then stuff happens throughout the week. New questions come… With dying/blooming friendships, with uncertain people, with ministry, with my priorities.

  • Am I devoting enough time to becoming an effective MFT (though the program hasn’t started, this goal should still be a big priority and focus)
  • Where is my heart in ministry? Have I really, truly, with all my heart decided to commit to Renew? (I’m always questioning if I should stay)
  • Figure it out, and CUT OFF the trigger… it’s like a dangerous drug. It kills you, but you want it around… What am I suppose to do…
  • What kind of leaders would I want to follow? Who do I respect? Who’s safe… not many people are. I’m starting to see that.
  • How much SHOULD I care. When is it too much… Cause it’s starting to hurt.

Self-Care vs. Others-Care. The Closer speaker talked a lot about this. It’s unhealthy in either extreme. I can’t be effective in ministry and in loving people around me if I’m not taking care of myself. If I give all of myself and desperately try to love others, devoting all my thoughts to them, then I’ll suffer. Panic attacks, burdened, tired, drained, and depressed. I feel hopeless and ineffective like I’m incapable of being a good friend/person. I get cynical. The speaker touched on all of this.

More Clarity. CFSBC – Intimacy with God Retreat. Priorities. God, please realign my priorities with you. Help me fight my natural tendencies to act rashly. Help me care more about you and your will, then I do about other people. Reveal what is needed for me to fight well.

People. The weapon that trumps all weapons.

Did I say the right things or not?

Weakness to Perfection. Perfection in Love.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

I’ve had two people come up to me during retreat and tell me how they kept thinking that every message the speaker gave was like it was meant for me. And I have to say, I agree. I had my reservations about going to retreat. I was not in the best place. My episodes had been so terrifying that by Friday morning, I had to have an emergency therapy session over Facetime right before my ride came to get me. Confession after confession poured… EVERYTHING. Then she said,

“You never got to grieve over what happened to your 17-year-old self. It may have seemed like consent at the time, but it was abuse, wasn’t it?”

Then, I was crying all over again.

Wow… It wasn’t the clarity I was looking for, but maybe it was the clarity I needed. I thought that when I was saved, God had redeemed me from all the hurt. That he had healed me. But he only healed me spiritually. Emotionally, I was still suppressing the trauma from all the manipulation I experienced. And I blamed myself for it because I thought I should have known better. But really, I was a naïve child, innocent and then robbed. And 5 years later, I’m blaming myself all over again for things I didn’t do and feelings that weren’t in my control.

I kept asking God. Why? Why did it have to be THIS that you used to bring me low in order to know you? Why couldn’t I just be those Christians who grew up in church and got saved at a retreat site or something? Why did it have to be this traumatic, terrifying, ugly thing that makes me feel like nobody will ever want me again?

Strip me back of all my pride, my possessions till all I want and all I seek is your presence…That’s how the song goes. I built up a wall of accomplishments, cynicism, an “I’m-capable” attitude to hide it all. I ran behind the trees and hid from God like Adam and Eve. The mask was on for so long, I believed it was my real face. Then, God allowed all this into my life. My career was stripped. My abilities and talents meant nothing anymore. My people left me and friendships broke apart. My long time stable relationship became like a sail boat in a thunderstorm. Panic attacks. Depression. I literally stopped eating, breathing, and living.

“God gives grace to the humble… and He’ll humble you in order to extend that grace.” Thanks, God. It’s bittersweet, but I needed it.

Stripped of it all, I was faced with nothing but a desperation for God’s presence. I craved it. Thirst for it. Clawed my way through page after page of scripture. I needed the truth. I needed God’s truth. Advice: Never drop your shield.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil…In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To the end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication or all the saints.” –Ephesians 6:10-18

Satan will tempt you. Satan will lie to you. He will make you doubt God’s goodness and his character. He will make you question your safety. He will try to strike you down at every opportunity. Therefore, KNOW GOD. KNOW his character. KNOW his providences and his truth. Know your identity in him. Put on your armor and go into battle.

LOVE – .Love honestly. Love with vulnerability and rawness. Love even with all the risks laid out in front of you.

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:7)

and I’m not just talking about just a significant other. I’m talking about EVERYONE.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so must you love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35

It is God’s calling. We are intended to be the culmination of his love to the world.

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interest, but also to the interest of others” – Philippians 2: 3-4

I thought this retreat was about getting away from people and stressors in my life. But I find myself only wanting to think about people. Some specific and some not. And all I want is to fulfill this commandment. I’m anxious about my relationship and I’m anxious about broken friendships. But, maybe it’s because my heart was coveting these things. Time to let go. What happens will happen. It won’t matter what happens if I can’t at least love them in a way that will help them love God more.

Whether Ellis and I break up or stay together, my only goal should be to help him see Christ in the fullness of His glory. Whatever that means. And my other friendships? The same. The risk of people burning me and hurting me and leaving me will always be there. But LOVE them anyway. I count their walk and joy more important than my own. I have to… That’s sacrificial love. That’s Christ’s love, right?

I prayed months ago for God to help me love people sacrificially. And maybe this is the part where he equips me. Love in truth. Live to encourage. Be present for them always. Be like Jesus and GO to them. Serve them where THEY ARE AT. Not waiting for them to come here. I can’t count how many encouragement cards I wrote this weekend. And I don’t think I should stop there… There are so many people on my heart right now… How do I reach them all?

“It made a difference for that one…” Beautifully said. Thanks, Josh.

Stupid.

With every step forward, it’s twenty steps back.

I feel like throwing up except there’s nothing in my stomach. What did I eat yesterday? 3 chicken nuggets out of a box of 6. Yep, that’s about it. The beer later that night was probably a bad call. How pathetic… I said I wouldn’t drink. I said I’d try my best to eat even though I honestly couldn’t. I made so much progress in a day! Cling to scripture, good encouraging talks that were tough but necessary. I worked constantly to calm my heart because I kept hyperventilating all day. I did my BEST!

And then all my resolve broke.

All it took was one look. The way he whispered in her ear. That was the kicker. I had to run outside and punch a wall and jump up and down and BREATHE, BREATHE, BREATHE. I didn’t want him to feel paralyzed. So I gave him all the power and broke my own legs instead. I CAN’T GET UP.

I eventually walked out wobbling. I wasn’t drunk… Just light headed and panicking. I caught his eye and all I felt was pity and disappointment. How reckless of this girl. How stupid is she? How unworthy and undeserving she is of my affection.

No longer am I the level headed, fun friend he can trust and ask to process things with. Maybe I will never be that again. I’m too reckless with my heart and soul. Who would want to talk to someone like that…

GOD.

WHERE ARE YOU!? I keep begging. I keep asking. I keep trying to press in. Why, God, why? Why did you leave me?!

Whatever I did wrong, I’m SORRY! Whatever I’m still doing wrong, I’m SORRY! Whatever it is that you want me to do, I’ll DO IT! Please, please, please…. Please redeem me… Please don’t shut me out. Please hear me… Please save me…

Please don’t leave me like this… I don’t want to choose death over you… Why do you forsake me?

Did my God not save me? Did he not really bleed for me?? Was I never saved to begin with? Was it all fake this entire time? Why do I feel more broken then how I felt 5 years ago.

I’m spiraling. And I’m so scared of where it’ll lead. Will someone find my body at the bottom of some pit, cold and lifeless?

Psalm 88

O Lord, God of my salvation; I cry out day and night before you, Let my prayer come before you: incline your ear to my cry!

For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol. I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am a man who has no strength like the one set loose among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand. You have put me in the depths of the pit, in the regions dark and deep. Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and you overwhelm me with all your waves.

You have caused my companions to shun me; you have made me a horror to them. I am shut in so that I cannot escape; my eye grows dim through sorrow. Every day I call upon you, O LORD; I spread out my hands to you. Do you work wonder for the dead? DO the departed rise up to praise you? …

But I, O LORD, cry to you…

O LORD, why do you cast my soul away? Why do you hide your face from me? Afflicted and close to death from my youth up, I suffer your terrors; I am helpless. Your wrath has swept over me; your dreadful assaults destroy me. They surround me like a flood all day long; they close in on me together. You have cursed my beloved and my friend to shun me; my companions have become darkness.

4 PM

Even if it is the right person, if it’s not the right time, it’s still wrong. It only works if it’s the right person AND it’s the right time.

So how does it apply? Which is it? The wrong person, the wrong time? The right person, but the wrong time? It doesn’t matter because we won’t know until it is the right person and the right time. Till everything is all in order and the cosmos align. And it will one day. Thanks Irwin.

Set your eyes on eternal promises, not just the promise that this will end, because it might not until you die. And even in that, God is good.

“God can save us, He will save us, but even if He doesn’t, to God be the Glory.”

Something else made me laugh. The more broken we are, the more it shows how perfect Jesus is. Damn, isn’t that the truth.

3 days (how ironic). That’s all it took for things to go from bad to worse. We’re going through Jonah in smallgroup. I never thought I’d relate so much to the prophet that everyone bags on. What or who is my Nineveh? Maybe it’s the decision itself. That’s the place I keep running away from. “Oh Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live,” says the prophet. What a drama queen. But I get it, Jonah. I really do. And though we hate on Jonah for many reasons, are we not like him? Complaining always, fighting the will of God, abiding half-heartedly, wishing we were dead rather than doing something we don’t want to do? If we were honest with ourselves, YES. We are exactly like that. Such is the condition of humanity, always fighting against the God we supposedly love, never truly comprehending his immense mercy and grace.

A MESSAGE TO MY LOST FRIEND. I don’t know if you will read this. Part of me hopes you will because maybe you thought to check up on me to see how I am from a distance, even if we may never talk again. But I read your post. “I wonder who will find me at the bottom of this dump,” you ask. My prayer is that it won’t be anybody but GOD. That you will find peace and courage to overcome what I’m putting you through, even if I have trouble doing it.

“The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned” (Psalm 34:22)

And again, I am so sorry. I would take it all back and just be your friend again. And I hope one day I can, and that you will allow me to, without fear or uncertainty of my intentions. Do not fear the people around you. Do not fear the rumors. Do not listen to the lies of Satan. Trust GOD. He redeems everyone. He already redeemed you. You are spotless in his eyes because of the blood of Christ. That’s very hard for me to believe right now, but I hope you will believe it. I will be sad when I see you because I will feel inferior and thrown away. I will feel like it isn’t fair because what I’m going through is worse than what you are going through. I will be broken hearted to know that it might take more a lot longer to heal than it would for you. And I really hope you would care enough to try to make my suffering easier, but please, please, please. Do not feel paralyzed on my account. That is the last thing I want you to feel.

Mark. “You choose to love the church despite it all.” Despite the mess, the agonizing hurt, the endless tears, and anger that wells, the seemingly unredeemable situations. We CHOOSE to love the church of God. Every. Single. Person.

Nobody wants a tainted girl.

What man would want a tainted girl? No man. That is very clear with the conversation last night. That I am too broken for anybody. That I make too many mistakes. That I will never be worth anything. Not a penny to any boy in their right mind.

Does God even want me? If he does, why is he so silent…

I know brokenness. I know it well. I’ve been used. I’ve been broken up with twice. I’ve been thrown away and tossed around and played with. I’ve been manipulated and forced and tricked into terrible things. And after all of that, I was able to get angry and blame and pick myself up. I could harden myself to those people and be okay.

So why can’t I do that now? Why is my heart still wringing for something that was made so clear will never happen? That I am not the one he deems worthy. That there is nothing in me worth pursuing, worth wanting. Do I love this person THAT much?! I can’t possibly! I cannot possibly… Please don’t allow me to love like this God…

I’ve stored up a library of reasons to give them up. Novels of all the ways it will go wrong. List and lists of all the things I find unattractive and annoying about this person. Recordings of every word he said that stung. I read them in my mind over and over hoping that it will all hurt enough to make me stop. Hoping that the logic might finally crush whatever I’m holding onto.

But I know the truth. That even if I can shut the feelings out and I can numb them over time, that if he ever snapped his fingers and took a step in my direction, I would light a match and set the whole library on fire.

And isn’t that horribly unhealthy? Isn’t it so pathetic to let someone have that much power over you?

What does redemption in this even look like? If I could I would take it all back. I would take back all my words and all my confessions. I would kill it. I would labor day and night to kill the feelings and the temptation if I could only keep them as a friend… ALL I WANT IS MY FRIEND BACK…

Battle Royal

What brings us to tears will lead us to grace. Our pain is never wasted. – B.G.

Here’s the thing about prayer. The answers never come in the way you want. I prayed for clarity, and that’s what I got. Did it hurt like hell? Yes, it really really did.

The human condition has never been anything but a great messy battle. A war within yourself and against yourself. I would say that for the last 8 months or so, all I’ve done is charge into battle and get my ass kicked. BEATEN. BLOODY. BROKEN. And I did it again and again. Every single day. Now…. I want to be angry. I want to blame them. I know the struggle was always mine, but I’m justified to say that I was left alone to fight when my battle was no secret. I want to be bitter, and hardened, and angry. But I cannot. Because I know God’s heart… Because I don’t want my own heart to turn dark. Even though it would be easier. It would be soooo much easier. I want to say that they don’t deserve me caring at all.

“Screw them. You do you. If you have to make them the villain to get over it, then do it!” That’s the advice I’ve gotten. It’s a tempting option. Soooo, of this world… That’s not what God wants. I know that much. And I HAVE to choose the road less traveled.

All I’ve ever wanted was to love them correctly. Love them the way that God intended for me to love them, even in the muck and sin and struggle. All I wanted to do is be the friend they want and need. That when they need an ear, I’m there as a FRIEND. That when they need another’s opinion, I give them my thoughts and advice as a friend, ignoring what I feel and what I want. Because they are important and precious to me. Their happiness is important to me. Their well being is important to me. Not because I get butterflies in my stomach, but because I don’t believe that my relationship with them is a mere delusion I’m trying to force into reality. I DON’T want that reality.

Loving sacrificially is the hardest thing I’ve ever attempted. If I could ignore the Holy Spirit, I would not wish to love anybody this way. How did Jesus do it….

Guilt. The thoughts came swarming: I am beyond redemption. Everything is always my fault. I can’t do anything right. I’m so selfish that I can only choose my sin. Every person I meet is better off not having met me. I am condemned and bound to my dark thoughts. I WILL LOSE EVERYONE. God will take everybody away from me. I am not worth anybody’s love. I am not pretty enough. I am not smart enough. I am not godly enough. I cannot lead anybody to Christ. Maybe I’m not really a Christian at all. If I really loved God with all my heart, the choice would have been easy and clear.

I don’t want to be there again. I don’t want to stand on top of a building waiting for the fall because I can’t shut out my thoughts. I don’t want to think about swerving my car off the road every time I’m behind the wheel. I out of control. I don’t trust myself. I’m so terrified. So terrified that my thoughts will get the best of me…. “Jesus take the wheel” have never felt so real.

HOPE. My first reaction was that I have to leave and that this is the end of a wonderful thing. As hard and painful as the whole process has been and will be, there has to be HOPE. I have to believe that God is able to reconcile anything and anyone. To say that any situation is beyond God’s reach and power is to put God in a box. And God doesn’t simply get stored away like that. He is the Almighty on High.

I am scared, and I want to run away, but the voice in my ear keeps whispering that this friendship is still salvageable. That honest, genuine friendship is still possible. That you don’t have to excommunicate yourself or anybody… It keeps whispering hope. But… what if it’s false?

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. – Matthew 5:3-9

Wait.

The Weekend. Funny how sometimes the best thing for you is more people – like too much people kind of more people. This past weekend was a jam pack extrovert’s paradise. Large study groups, big parties, after-church hangouts (that’s a little more usual), and talks, talks, talks. So much talking and doing and going that there wasn’t enough time to let my thoughts wander. Cut off before the spiral had the chance to start.

Then today, the quiet came. And I’m still okay for the most part.

Out of sight out of mind. That was Maurice’s motto for the weekend. Never works for long. I keep thinking back to the beach ball analogy. Some things are like inflatable beach balls. You can try to shove them down underwater, but they always pop back up. The more you shove, the higher they spring.

Nothing’s sprung, per say. I just feel this uncomfortable tingling under my skin. A decision I left off at the side and didn’t want to look at. I saw a glimpse of hope in dragging out the timeline. But the clock ticks and I can’t have my head turned away forever. I keep thinking that if I can just solve this one little wrestle on the inside, then it will be okay. That in the future, I’ll be able to go through with it. But, I can’t kick it. And I’m not helping myself. If anything, it might be getting worse. Hopeful thoughts are dangerous thoughts sometimes.

God knows my wrestle and I trust him. But my nerves want to react. Run, hide, hold back, give in, do the deed, avoid doing the deed? Whatever. What does it look like to wait on the Lord with this?

Dream.

My dreams have been more vivid lately. Scary vivid. Most of the time, I don’t remember them. And if I do, I know that dreams are just dreams and I’m not usually affected by them. But for the past 3 days, I’ve woken up either angry, anxious, or scared. These aren’t weird convoluted stuff like monsters, fairies, or cartoon characters. Just normal dreams with a few guest appearances from random people from my past. And some not so random. Would I be crazy to think that maybe my subconscious is trying to tell me something?

No Breaks. Keep Running.

I’m gasping, my leg is cramping, and my lungs feel like they’re about to explode. But still, I have to run this race. There are no breaks. No rest stops. Lest I be swallowed up whole. The oasis is in front of me. I can see it. All I need to do is outrun the storm following behind. No breaks.

I’ve been like a lamb being dragged to the slaughter house. Wallowing and crying, anxious for the blade and the slicing that I believed will come. I was on edge about everything. I decided that maybe I needed a getaway. A break from Renew, a break from people, a break from whatever triggers are there that I cannot see. I didn’t want to spiral anymore.

When I mentioned to Ellis about going on a Prayer Retreat by myself, he was all for it. Time away from distractions and fear, processing with God and only God for hours and hours and hours. Get clarity, lay down my horribly gross sins, and find my identity in Christ. Just BEING creation with the creator. It’s a good idea. Then I mentioned taking a short break from Renew and maybe visiting some mega-church or something for a month. Low pressure, no obligations, and still worship God. I wasn’t planning to leave Renew but I needed to not feel like I’m going off the deep end every Sunday. I needed to get some air and fix myself since I’ve been failing in every way. I didn’t believe I can serve or be even a participant at Renew in the state I’m in.

Ellis’s response? “If you do that, you’re not going back

Then, he launched him into a whole spiel about how it doesn’t matter if we fail every single day, but we try anyways. That God already knows that we’re going to fail with people, that we suck, that we’ll have issues big and small in every season. He said he might not understand what I’m going through, but he was confident that this wasn’t the answer. Life is littered with angst and insecurity and fear and shame. We don’t cure ourselves by taking a breather. We don’t fix ourselves by not going to the church we are called to. Get closer to God by not going your church? Yea… that doesn’t make much sense. Was leaving Covina the right choice at the time? No. Was it good for me? Perhaps. Now, is leaving Renew, even for a little bit, the right choice? I’ve realized, No.

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:22-25

It isn’t that we need a break when we struggle. We don’t just drop our responsibilities as servants of Christ, to find ourselves again and fix ourselves. We don’t just sit and wallow at the back of the congregation when the service lets out because we’re suffering or struggling. We’re still called to do things and work and walk with people, DESPITE all the turmoil we’re feeling. And we may fail. It will feel like too much. We’ll get the urge to run away. We will trip and fall on our faces again and again and again. But we have an everlasting HOPE.

Hold on and keep running.

Some Change

The inevitability of change is something I’ve always been aware of. Yet, I can’t easily accept. People come and go. Friendships are shaped and reshaped. We grow up. We change. Like the smartphones we buy and sell and buy anew, we can’t get out of this cycle. I can’t get out of this cycle. I’m so deep in that I think I’m subconsciously waiting for something else to shift under my feet. Not waiting excitedly, but dreading.

My therapist keyed in on the word “secure” as I was talking. There are some people who I feel safe with, some who I don’t, and those who I just can’t figure out which side of the spectrum they lie. I’ve basically categorized everyone in my head (not that I’m going to name the order). But they keep changing from week to week. I’m never sure of anybody anymore. Who am I actually walking with when my feet are wobbly? Who will I call? This sudden insecurity leaves me completely lost every time I’m given an opportunity to hang out.

I’m rarely annoyed, but I’m easily stressed. It bugs me how low my capacity for people is now. I’ve spent a lot of time with people, hearing about their lives (which includes their problems). It’s a joy to process with them. But lately, I find myself fearing the load. I spent today listening to a friend rant for an hour, and I could feel my heart speeding and my head spinning. I don’t give feedback or have much to say or ask. I go blank. Where are the life-giving conversations and thoughtful questions and the lame puns?????? How can I be a friend if I can’t BE a friend?

Not to mention, my walls. Very few people get through my barriers and even though I feel bad for shutting the rest of the world out, I just can’t deal. There’s too much stuff. And even when I keep a few secure people around, I get the feeling those friendships are changing too. Nothing stays the same forever.

How so?

Well, #SassSquad (my group chat with Maurice and Willa) have been pretty quiet lately. The FOTD and QOTD just don’t have the same spirit stirring effect it used to. Or maybe, it’s what happens when more than one person in the group is silently struggling and/or are weary.

Some of my friendships have been put on pause if you can call it pause (since I don’t really believe in pause). They’ve been hard to keep up with, emotionally and time-wise. I think, slowly I’ll be taken off their lists of people they feel close to.

Not to mention all the people who either have left or are leaving. Helina, Patrick, Katie, Kevin, Steven, and more. Either getting married and moving away or answering God’s calling to serve and work. I’ve made my peace with these changes (mostly). I’ve had the time. It’s sad, but I’m happy for them. Life keeps going whether you’re ready or not. Even if it’s not your life. And I know there are others who are contemplating a move too. To escape. To move forward. To do some soul searching. As sad as I am that they might leave, it’s their lives and I hope they find what they’re looking for if they decide to pull the trigger and go. It’s just hard bracing yourself for news that may or may not come.

Lastly, there’s a friendship I’m still not sure if it would be better for my soul to let go of or keep. Both options feel correct and incorrect. Healthy and unhealthy. I’ve tried the in-between and I come out feeling torn up, drained, and angry all the time. The devil laughs and I shake my fists in fury. Prayer. Just lots of prayer…

Anxiety. I’ve mentioned this before: I never know what I’ll feel tomorrow.

This weekend was the worst. After a fairly chill Friday-Saturday, I visited a new church with two friends. It was fine and dandy. A little draining but that was no big deal, until the drive back when an unforeseen panic attack ensued. I knew that this new therapy thing was going to take time and that nobody is fixed in a day (or rather a month). And I knew that I would still have episodes of sadness and detachment. But it was as if I was back in Ben’s apartment replaying my first panic attack.

The paralysis, the trembles, the heavy breathing. I was looking at my hands on the steering wheel and all I thought was “this is not my hand….” My heartbeat thumped above the traffic noise. As I drove the rest of the way home, part of me really wished I had asked Greg to stay with me before he left for basketball. But I already felt like a downer and a burden so I told him to go.

Home. If I had sleeping pills, I would have downed the whole bottle. Instead, I just hugged my pillow and rolled around and around. I kept thinking about that week of insomnia 2 months prior, and how by the end of it I was standing atop of the Meridian Garage, contemplating the fall and the illusion of peace. Being alone had always been a safe haven for me. But that day, being alone was the most frightening thing. I was afraid of what I might do if nobody was there keeping me accountable. Let’s just say I’ve been told more than once I’m reckless.

The episode lasted 2 ½ days. After going out for awhile Sunday night, I finally fell asleep. I stayed in bed most of Monday. I couldn’t get up. Going out seemed improbable. My chest thumped every time I thought I might be stuck there forever. Paralysis is a b****… Tuesday came, and it was July 4th. I got myself hyped enough to go to a BBQ. Sitting in the pool helped. I think the upbeat spirit of the holiday and the environment got me out of the hole for a few hours. I’ve calmed. The symptoms subsided. At least for now.

It’s so easy to be angry at God because of our moods. The why’s and the what-are-you-doing-up-there. Do my cries reach His ears? They must. They do. I have to believe that. And I have to believe that there is a lesson. That there is a purpose to this whether it’s to increase faith, create empathy, or grant me understanding. There HAS to be more to this suffering.