No Longer Slaves --Voices of Lee

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Not a Slave

Psalm 91 NLT

1Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
3For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
4He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
8Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.
9If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
11For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
12They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
15When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
16I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”

I'm preaching this "GOSPEL" (which means "Good News") to myself today. PLEASE while you read this listen to my new video up to the top of this blogpost.  Listen to the words. "I'm no longer a slave to fear."

I confess to you I have had a delusional phobic fear and I m struggling mightily with it.  These words today point the way to peace.  I am preaching it and preaching it...just need to get my thick head around it, engulf it and take it in like an amoeba surrounds an enemy microbe and will surround it, engulf it, and digest it.  This fear is the enemy.  God's Word...His TRUE Word will be my buffer....He will stand between my fear and me.  He will make my path straight.
Please friends:
Pray for me today.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

From Mother's Day until Now

Once again, some time has passed since my last post.  I spent Mother's Day weekend with my dad. He and I are still grieving the loss of my mom on October 31st of last year.  Because Saturday and Sunday were to be very rainy we went on Friday and bought some flowering plants and potted a planter with them.  We took these and I also brought a Mother's Day card which I'd written in, safely enclosed in a zip lock bag and we went to the cemetery and spent some time, neatening up the plot and setting our gifts down.

On Saturday I requested that my dad take me to a mall not too far away.  Because it was steadily raining a fairly heavy rain, it seemed like the best option for spending our day.  I went in my wheelchair and was in some pain but it didn't stop me from enjoying every minute of it.  I hadn't been to a mall in at least 3 years so it was so much fun to look at everything.  I had sushi for lunch.  I think Dad enjoyed our time there also. 

On Sunday we went to my dad's church and I really enjoyed the service.  And the Sunday School class was great also and "oddly" it clicked right in with the sermon....This prompted a desire in me to study theses passages a little more deeply. I haven't yet had the opportunity to do this...but I will soon.

After church we ate at a nice diner and it was PACKED...it was not even 11:00 when we got there and there was a line of people waiting on an available table.  We got in eventually...service and food were great.  After dinner, Dad drove me back home. 

Today we are celebrating my daughter's 25th birthday.  I can't believe that or understand how it can be.  But yes, she is an adult.  My dad will be coming over for ice cream cake and to watch her open her gifts.

I have nothing profound to say today.  It's another day.  It's another day of dealing with pain.  It is what it is as my friend, Kate, likes to say.  It's also another day of struggling to keep from drowning in the sadness that plagues me.  I don't know why.  But it's there. Today should be a good day ...a day of celebration and happiness.
But will it be?  The jury is still out. And a lot of that answer does not depend on me.




Friday, May 12, 2017

Post from the Past: Suicide and the Mentally Ill

As I think over the possible topics I might cover right now; there is one that I feel is demanding attention. It is one that I've personally dealt with both as a friend and as a participant...and one that is difficult to talk about, both personally and socially, as it touches on the deepest and rawest part of our lives and emotions. And this is, as you've guessed probably from the title of the blog; suicide and the mentally ill.

Now, I'd like to explain this title a bit. I believe honestly that in some degree, everyone who commits suicide is mentally ill. Suicide is not a response that is naturally built in to our makeup....It is something that completely thwarts and opposes the very strong survival instinct that we have as creatures, designed by God. And I think therefore that whether or not it had been apparent or active prior to "the act, " that the person who does this, is ill. Now in the case of people leaping from a burning Twin Tower, no; those people were merely exchanging a possibly lingering and worse death for a quicker one...But there, the situation was probably hopeless for them, and so their actions were probably logical or based on panicked impulse.

However, this post will not be about suicides that appeared seemingly out of the blue. This is about the risk of suicide among those who suffer with pre-diagnosed mental illnesses, especially those amongst people with bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia. I will not deal so much with suicides amongst those suffering from medical depression, because, almost every suicide can be classified as springing from that problem.

The following is a quote from the website: Schizophrenia.Com. -which btw is a great resource for info and support on and for those involved in some manner with this disease.

"Suicide is unfortunately one of the leading causes of death for people with schizophrenia - but it is highly preventable! Upwards of 40% of people that have schizophrenia will attempt suicide at least once. Males with schizophrenia attempt suicide at a much higher rate than females; approximately 60% of them will make at least one attempt. The result of these attempts is that between 10% and 15% of people with schizophrenia have historically committed suicide."

Here is the link on the article where this quote may be found: http://www.schizophrenia.com/suicide.html

There is one more quote from this same article which I would like to include here:
"Suicide is not chosen; it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain." and then that article goes on to give a list of resources where people in this situation can go for the augmentation of their own, possibly scanty ones.

That article lists three specific "danger points" in the life of a person with schizophrenia when the threat of suicide is highest. And basically, as I read them it occurred to me that EVERY time is a dangerous time for a SZ person except when they've had it for quite a long time and are well-adjusted and well-managed on medications which they find to be helpful and tolerable. And even then, especially for someone with SZA (schizoaffective disorder which is a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, a concurrent diagnosis); there is always a danger for a person to slide into that pit of hopelessness and despair that the chronically ill face as they realize the finality of their diagnosis and live year after year without ever being free from it.

I do not wish to make this article a cut and dried list of statistics but want to share from my heart and experience about this topic.  I do want to make something clear; suicide is often a result of depression caused by the limitations on the sufferer's life caused by SZ.  It is sometimes chemical, sometimes situational.  However there are psychotic suicide attempts which differ from those springing from depression.  In a depressed person who is considering suicide, there is often an ambivalence.  Maybe they do not really want to die but are making a statement that they desperately need help.  So the attempt may be half hearted or using a method that might be survived or thwarted.  However a psychotic attempt is often not planned out, and often comes directly from the psychosis.  These attempts are more fearless, more dangerous and sadly, often more lethal.  These include such things as leaping in front of a car or train. I have made 4 suicide attempts.  2 were springing from unyielding sadness and two took place while floridly psychotic.  The two psychotic attempts were only survived by a miraculous act of God. They were much more dangerous.

But I would like to say, that if you are feeling suicidal at this time and you were maybe drawn to this article because of that; PLEASE go to where there is help. And there IS help, regardless of how you are feeling at this present time.

If your depression is based on a chemical problem, there are medications which can make an immense difference in how you are feeling, and will alleviate your suffering that this regard. If you don't have insurance and cannot afford these medicines, there are other avenues, such as state medical assistance; and the drug companies themselves will often, if approached by the patient or the patient's doctor or representative with a description of the need for their medicine, they will often offer free or greatly reduced in price medications. Obviously they cannot probably do this in every case or everyone would do this, but I personally know of several people who have gotten this type of assistance. And there are other resources, I'm sure, as well.

If your depression is based on problems like awful negative symptoms (which are things like tiredness, lack of energy and motivation, great difficulty in doing anything--including self care and the like, difficulty in taking pleasure in anything, poverty of thought or speech etc) which I often feel is as hard to live with than are the positive symptoms (hallucinations and delusions); then take heart. I struggled horribly with negative symptoms for quite a while, and finally got "sick and tired of being sick and tired" and studied up on various medicines, spoke to people in forums such as those offered to people who are diagnosed with SZ on schizophrenia.com, and decided for myself which medicines I felt might possibly help me. Fortunately I had a doctor who was open to trying this with me and she gradually switched me over to these medicines. And thank God!! They worked! My negative symptoms are HUGELY improved. And I've been able to lose 60 pounds of the weight I'd gained from meds and so forth.

In other words, "Don't choose a permanent solution for a problem which may be temporary or correctable." Fight for yourself. You are worth fighting for...regardless of how you feel now. The things you are feeling about yourself are things which your ILLNESS is telling you. I know you HATE that illness....so why listen to it?? Why take its advice??
In the side bar of my blog are some resources you should look into. And there are more listed in the article I linked above.
Blessings.
Cynthia