Colton Dixon Fool's Gold

Thursday, February 23, 2017

One of the Hardest Things

It's  11:58, and thus far I've only had an hour of disturbed sleep. I don't know why, really, that sleep has evaded me. I kind of was sad before I went to bed and found that scenes from my mottled past were replaying one after another: a veritable documentary of a fractured life.  And thinking those thoughts, remembering those things, brought pain and chin-high sadness. At the beginning of the night I had an anxiety attack and after debating about it for a long while, I took some Ativan....which I think was responsible for the hour of sleep that I got.  Now I'm awake, not anxious, however sadness lingers.

I think I used to have PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) due to the trauma I suffered as a consequence of my mental illness.  And now, I have great trauma which is springing from the horrors I have experienced with my hip becoming dislocated 9 times.  Both of those topics have "DO NOT DISTURB" signs posted prior to every memory that my cruel conscious mind digs up for my experiencing...again and again.  And most of the time I am busy with life or sleeping peacefully.  Most of the time. But now and then will come a night when the ashes of a memory are stirred and up bursts a flame which, if it is fed, will ignite a conflagration of pain.   

This morning, my case manager and I went out for breakfast and she told me that she had taken my book with her on her vacation last week and she said that she did nothing but read that book until it was done. She was riveted.  And she told me that when the book ended, she cried and wanted more than anything to give me a hug.  I was very touched by that. 

I must say that I have been greatly blessed by three of the case managers that I've had from this particular county office. I had very good relationships with each of them and bonded with them in a way that is particular to each of their personalities.  But I know that they each care a lot about me.  When my last TCM (targeted case manager) left, we both cried.  She was moving on to a new job in counseling and due to the nature of her work, it was not ethical for her to remain in touch with me.  I did bump into her twice after she left and both times we hugged and cried.  Even with the wonderful relationship I have with my current TCM, I still miss the last one and it pains me to think about not seeing her anymore. 

I don't know what I will do when my current lady leaves....It's so hard when a close relationship ends like that.  It doesn't seem fair that it has to end.  I mean we are friends....why should we not keep in touch?  I know all about propriety and boundaries and ethics.  I've said good bye to too many people...doctors, counselors, mental health workers, social workers by the score.  That's the problem with mental illness treatment.  They work hard at getting to  your heart and yet when either they or I move on, it is the end.  And it always hurts like hell.  The intimacy is supposed to be an artificial one ...but it almost always becomes real and maybe because I don't have any "real life" friends, all of my eggs are in these baskets and they always end up cracked and bleeding.

I have considered closing my heart.  Guarding myself from yet another attachment; yet another loss.  When my current TCM took the place of my special lady, I confess I did not have a good attitude toward her. I felt like "who is she to replace M---?"
I was terse and cold for a while.  I don't know if she was aware of it or not--I only halfway tried to hide my bad feelings toward her.  But she didn't give up.  And she wore me down.  We built a relationship...a little different than the one I had with M--- but it is a good one nonetheless.  I know that she cares about me and I have come to the place where I care about her too.  I can't think about losing her like I've lost the multitude of others....

Shakespeare said "It is better to have loved and lost, then never to have loved at all." And I suppose that is right...but the pain is formidable and I can't even think about yet another loss. With my father advancing in age and our relationship being as close as it is, I have prayed and asked God to have mercy and let me die first because I cannot face losing him. 

Lord, all these beloved ones that you have given me; professionals who have, despite their propriety, come to care about me, and me about them--I thank you for them and for the grace you have shown me through them. Cushion the blows Lord.  Soften the tearing away.  Help my heart not to grow cold or scarred.  And help me to know that just as I carry them in my heart, so they, too, remember me with fondness and caring.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Quiet Times and Quiet Hearts

If you've been waiting with bated breath to hear whether or not I accomplished my goals for last week the answer is YES ---I did!  I even practiced with my dip pens doing calligraphy.  I wrote a page of "a's " and there was not one that I would say is good.  This may take me longer than I thought.  But it was nice to use my equipment and not to feel like I should be doing something that I'm not!

The files for medical bills?  They were so easy to do that I wondered why I'd put it off for so long. 

I finally found a passage that called out for me to memorize it.  I'd considered many passages but none of them felt "right"...until I read Colossians 3:1-17. I encountered this in my reading plan in the Beyond Suffering Bible  which I recently ordered.  Today I pretty much nailed down verses 1-4 but still need fine tuning work.  This part of my New Year Goals has fallen a bit behind mostly because I was foundering in my search for the next passage to learn.  But now that I've found a passage that feels like it's calling to me, I am on my way again.

It also took me a while to settle on a Bible reading program.  I didn't really want to read the whole Bible this year and last year I read the New I wanted to find something that has some coherency to it...something that spans both Old and New Testaments and something that is not overwhelming in length but not too brief.  I recently purchased the Beyond Suffering Bible that Joni Eareckson put together for people who suffer and in that Bible is a reading is divided according to a list of topics and each topic has about 5 separate passages to be read. I have found these readings to be a perfect fit for my desired elements.

I also bought Joni's newest devotional, A Spectacle of Glory, God's Light Shining Through Me Every Day.  Joni's devotionals are thoughtful and have a depth you usually don't find in many "women's" devotional writers.  Joni's circumstances have pounded her down deep into the depths of God...Trite answers or giddy "girlfriend" talk are not found in her writings. The other devotional I am reading is another round of My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers...Oh, and I get an email segment of Diamonds in the Dust an earlier devotional by Joni as well.

The one area I still struggle with is to put together a solid prayer time. I breathe prayer all day long....but I'm unsatisfied with this. I feel I need to work on LISTENING more to the heart of God.  I want to have time to focus on His face and to have Him carve me into the woman He wants me to be.  I need to sit with my prayer beads and use them to help me to focus.

So these are the disciplines I've been using to keep myself on track this year thus far.  It is strange (or maybe not) that God had me wandering in a desert for a season before revealing the plan He wanted me to follow for this year's readings, memorization and now I need to be settled and connected in prayer.

Do you have a game plan in your Quiet Time?  Or are you one of those people who open the Bible to a random page and read a bit and then put it away without it ever sinking soul deep?  If you are, I would challenge you to choose a plan and stick to it.  Choose a book of the Bible to read and read a chapter a day until you finish the book.  OR go to  and choose one of their reading plans.  God is not a random or haphazard God....and He doesn't want us to be haphazard in our times of communion with Him.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

This and That

It's early morning.  3:15 to be exact.  Pain launched me from my comfortable bed and I sought relief in my recliner.  In fact, between the hours of 11:30-1:00 I switched back and forth from the recliner to the bed and back again several times.  I did my morning writing/exercise with my fountain pens...except I kept falling asleep with them in my hand, which isn't good. They will dry out and/or fall into the recliner and get damaged. So I put them away for now.

Today I take my third injection of Cosentyx. And I'm on my 4th day of Arava. Something's got to work soon.  If not?  How will I get through even one more week of this pain?  God will help me. He has before...usually not by removing the pain but my renewing my courage and awakening patience.

This morning I've had at least 20 "movies." I've mentioned movies in the past.  These are short visual hallucinations of scenes of all kinds just like seeing a movie clip without any sound. They leave you equally confused as if you saw a random movie short because you don't know anything about the movie so you really can't describe what you've seen afterward. Same with these. When all is well I see them infrequently or not at all...I would not say now that all is NOT well, just because I've seen them.  They are a yellow light. Caution. Not really a fearsome thing.  Just my mind reminding me that it is there and it is ill. 

In my last session with the psychiatrist's PA, we told her about the recurrence of movies and she said she was not at all surprised since I've recently lost my mom. For a while after that, they went away and capriciously they have returned. I'm not going to worry about it.  When they are not here I feel their missing a tooth that has been pulled.  The gap is noticeable and someone worrisome.  Something that is a part of gone.
But they tell me that lack is a good thing.

Yesterday when Eric went out to shovel snow I heard--clearly and loudly--my daughter coughing. Now my daughter lives two hours away and is not home....I heard the coughing again.  I went and looked around and didn't see anyone. "unless it's...." my old delusion rears its ugly head and whispers a suggestion. No, I won't go there.  Maybe it was a random auditory hallucination.

I have some bills to research and I've been putting them off.  I also need to get my filing system for this years EOBs and bills and receipts organized....So these two items I will make goals for this week when I am alone.  I may also take out my dip pens and play with them a bit.  I've had them and all the accompanying equipment since last summer and have not yet used them.  I think if I remove from my brain all expectation...all desire to do something beautiful and make my only expectation that I should take them out and use them....then maybe I can do it.  the reason I have not yet done it is that I will have to spread out either on the kitchen table or on the small computer desk we have. And knowing my hands, I will have to work for small increments of time and then leave and rest and then come back to do some more.  With DH home, there is no opportunity for that.

Our house is terribly short on space and surfaces are a premium.  My desk in my room---while ideally I would like to work there--not only is the top covered with stuff but underneath it is my O2 Concentrator and a stack of stuff that I keep within arm's reach of my recliner. Notebooks, Kindles, Bibles, tissue box, makeup etc....So there would be no way to put your knees under my desk either. So yes. The dip pen adventure is goal #3.

If those three things are the only things I accomplish this week, I will be happy.