Isolation

10 11 2009

I have been hesitant to post anymore dark dreary posts, just because I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do. I’m supposed to be salt and light. All I am is sad and lonely tonight. Which is stupid. I spent all day with a friend, and we had five dogs in the house. Yesterday I went to the movies with a great friend and talked on the phone with three people. Saturday I had wonderful quality time with my husband. I had several “friend” encounters last week too.

But I feel different from everybody else. Even my friends. I attended two (!) meetings today, Alanon and ACOA and both of them, went late, left early, said nothing. I’m supposed to be in my “safe place” there and I just shut down. I don’t really even feel like writing now, I’m just doing it because I feel I must.

Right now is a season of sacrifice for my husband and I. He is working like crazy and going to school. I leave the house when he’s gone, I get home and he’s gone. I came home at 1:30 after my workout and meeting and I saw the three dirty pans that he left on the stove, the butter and sriracha he left on the counter and I wanted to cry because I had missed him. The man refuses to use a damn microwave. I make full meals when he’s gone, and put them in pyrex dishes so he can just heat it up when he has the time. He to reheat every component in a different pan, using different utensils. Keeping up with the dishes is a full time job but I don’t care, because it’s him. I love his particularity. He once put a single serving of frozen microwave lasagna in the oven for an hour and insisted it was worth it.

I don’t really feel like being with anybody but him, he’s the only one who really knows me. I force myself anyway because I know I need to. It’s all very codependent. When he is there I feel so full and complete and loved and perfected. When he is gone, the darkness closes me in. I know that God is really trying to get me to count on him and these are just terrible little growing pains. That’s why I force myself. Because I have to give God my effort. My trying and eventually, it will be true.

You see, my husband won’t always be there for me. I know he will be there as much as he possibly can but God is showing me that though he may not be there, God will provide me with friends, and life and fulfillment all ripe for the picking if I am willing to accept it.

I realized Saturday that the single most important thing after breathing in and out is giving my minutes, my hours, my days to the Lord and committed to doing so. I got busy today and I forgot. I pulled into the driveway at 8:15pm, and tried not to get my hopes up that my husband would be home yet because I know not to expect him till 11:30. But I did anyway, then I sat in the car not wanting to go into the big empty house, and trying to figure out why I feel so desperately lonesome when I finally remembered. And I gave my God the pitiful leftovers of my day hoping he could piece something together that made sense in the short time left.

Hey Jude is playing right now on my Pandora, and it was the part where he’s screaming over and over again, better, Better, BETTER, BETTER!!!!!! It made me smile. It was like his promise to me, God’s promise to me. Things will get better, I will get better, Better, BETTER BETTER!

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Understanding God

30 10 2009

I have been trying to read scripture every day. I am inclined to want to spend a great deal of time and energy and effort and do it perfectly, going over a book, and the Bible and highlighting and taking notes, that stuff really jazzes me. When I do it, which is rarely because it takes such and involved effort to do it perfectly. That is NOT Biblical. God doesn’t care if you do it perfectly, half of it is just showing up. So to avoid my perfectionism I decided to just read proverbs daily, correlating to the day of the month.

It’s been a little scary to be honest with you.

Certain scriptures have been jumping out at me and taking hold of my heart and speaking to me that make me really uncomfortable.

Oct 28th: He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty, Proverbs 28:19

Oct 29th: A man who remains stiff-necked ater many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed without remedy. Proverbs 29:1

I am not really sure if it is God or the guilt that lives inside of me for so many wasted gifts and hours that makes these scriptures slap me in the face. It is said in the Bible that ALL scripture is God-breathed. These proverbs make me feel as though God is going to smite the crap out of me tomorrow…SMITE, SMITE, SMITE- Like so much Dragon’s breath. I can just see him with his lightning rod, tossing bolts down from heaven upon me destroying me without remedy, bringing me from my American dream into the depths of poverty.

Now, it is good to have a healthy fear of God. Blessed are those who fear the Lord. But I don’t think that the way I am interpreting these scriptures is correct. He is a God of love and he says that love is patient and kind and is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. THIS is GOD.

It’s hard to get sometimes.

Which brings me to my Proverb today Oct 30th:

I am the most ignorant of men. I do not have a man’s understanding. I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One. Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name and the name of his son? Tell me if you know!- Proverbs 30: 2-4

You can hear the author’s desperation in his voice, the fact that he cannot understand God, that the knows that SOMEONE must be up in heaven, SOMEONE must have control over the winds and the waters and the ends of the earth. But he doesn’t know who. How frustrating. I have never really felt this way. I always knew that God was there and that he loved me, from when I was a tiny kid I believed. This is not the case for everybody. Especially analytical people who like numbers and facts and full explanations. For whom a feeling just isn’t enough.

The reason I bring this up, is this is a particularly meaningful scripture to me. It brings me to tears to remember it. In my Bible, in the corner above it in tiny lettering is the writing “K is here- 6/30/03”.  In ’03 I was talking to an old boyfriend again after being broken up for over a year and living in different cities. I was a new believer in Christ and he wasn’t. I told him I was only looking for a husband and only wanted a Christian husband, but we continued talking on the phone anyway.

When I talked to him I could feel his desperate confusion, his knowing that there was SOMETHING greater than himself out there, but not knowing what it was, or how to reach it. He could see the coincidences that were not coincidences, the miracles that were to big to ignore, yet too intangible to be sure. He would go from admitting that there was a God, to being angered at the very thought that he was considering it. He wanted names and places and proof and without a reasonable doubt. And I just couldn’t give it. And it wasn’t my job. So I wished him luck and told him not to call me anymore.

We didn’t talk that whole entire summer which was incredibly hard, because I had been so sure that I would marry him. I prayed fervently and so many other people that I don’t even talk to now did too. I quit smoking in June because he had once told me that he would never marry a smoker and I told him I would never marry an atheist. I decided to prepare for him to return to me. In August he called me up again. Triumphant, he understood he said. He got it. He had started going to a Bible study, and seeking other men and it happened. In January we were engaged, and by the following August, we were married. And he has been the most amazing blessing, and most Godly man I can imagine.

I am reminded that it is not my job to know, that I am human and He is God and he is in charge and I am not.

I don’t get alot of what I read, but if I continue to seek, God will make sure I know what I need to know, when the time is right. I don’t have to worry about being in poverty or being destroyed by God. Because he is with me, he comforts me, he loves me. But I need to heed his warnings, because at the end of it all, I don’t want to have nothing to show him for what he gave me, not because I am scared he’ll hurt me, but because I love him.





Under the Microscope

29 10 2009

I think that this is a good time to tell you why I began this blog. This is not my first blog, but it is the only one I know is going to stick. I own maybe a dozen URLs ranging from being a wife to being a realtor and in college I even made my own vanity site with pictures, etc, but none of those stuck. I’ll tell you why. None of them were true.

Sure they may have had pictures and cute quotes and told true stories, but they weren’t what I thought about on a regular basis, they weren’t who I really was, so they fell off like old skin that I just couldn’t fill up anymore. If you want to read great funny stories and fabulous household tips and see really pretty pictures- This isn’t the site for it. If you feel inadequate, uninspired,  awkward and alone, this is for you, because I am you. And if you see me get better, you will know that you can get better. This is the whole reason for it.  The reason I posted my before and after pictures is because one  lady wrote me this:  “Thanks for posting this, I was too embarrassed to post pics, but my room looks just like yours did, so if you can do it, so can I!!!!”

The reason I share all of my muck and embarrassment is for the same reason. Do I think that airing out garbage is going to make me famous? NO. I won’t be able to run for office and I won’t be able to pretend that I have everything together anymore. Truth is, I haven’t really shared it with many people I know, only people I don’t because they are kinder. Why are we kinder to strangers than we are to people we know? I think it’s a helluva lot easier to pat someone on the back and say, hey I’ve been where you are, or I AM where you are, when we don’t know them, because we don’t have to look at them everyday, and most importantly, they don’t look at us everyday. Scrutinize us and follow our every move waiting for us to fall, waiting for us to fail.

I also share because your testimony is your greatest weapon against the forces of evil. The story of how God has delivered you from the lion’s den lets others know that God is great and can deliver them too. It is hope-giving. And it holds me accountable to the changes I am making. You may not comment all the time, but when I look on my statistics and see 74 people reading, I may not know 74 people that have this address, but I feel the responsibility of keeping my promises to those 74 people. I don’t feel like keeping my promises when it’s just me because I have a bad track record with myself.

The truth: You can hide and be in denial about your life if you want to.

I don’t. I just want to get better.

I’ll leave you with one of my all-time favorite movie scenes. If you want to follow me just to pick my life apart or feel superior, than I feel sorry for YOU because the brick wall surrounding your heart is tall and that means that no one can get in.





Extreme Bedroom Makeover

28 10 2009

I was almost tempted to post a picture of a regular person, then one on the floor drunk— Get it? Before and AFTER Shots?  Hahahaha.

Anyway…

Ok. Just so you know, I’m not the miracle worker. I did not wash ALL of those clothes. I separated them into piles. Cleanish, and filthy or questionable and they are all in my guest room, I am going to finish the  laundry today. I’ve lost a bit of weight so I need to go through and sort them into give away and keep piles because there is no earthly reason for me to have so many damn clothes.

It’s so weird to actually see it in the harsh light of day, how dirty the room was. I mean I have been avoiding it (and making it worse) since I’ve been depressed, and my husband is so busy it really falls to me, cooking, cleaning, laundry- etc. I thought that when we bought this house WOW 2600 square feet, we are going to be SOOOOOOOOOOOO organized! There is a place for everything. Which is true, there are PLACES for everything, however there is also SO much space to throw crap around, and three bathrooms to clean– THREE! It feels so wonderful and peaceful in there now, it’s amazing. I also posted a picture of the gorgeous view from our bedroom window, with the trees and the greenbelt in the background.

Honestly, I went shopping yesterday for new bedding, because there is nothing worse than cleaning your room and it STILL being ugly. Flylady always says that the key to making your bed every morning is getting bedding you really love, here is a great article and blogtalk radio link to making your bed every day from flylady. My goal is going to be to at LEAST make my bed every day, now that there are no more “it will still look ugly” excuses.

I picked out deep purple sheets from Target last Christmas, and have been trying to find a comforter to match them for JUST AS LONG. Finally, we just gave up and slept with our white down comforter w/ no duvet and the purple sheets which I now loathe because they match nothing. It drove me crazy. So I left the house yesterday with full intention of getting new bedding. I visited Target and Ross and everything was either too expensive, too ugly, too scratchy or too cheap looking. Then I went to Walmart and found this soft, gorgeous set that matches everything I already have ON SALE for $59! Yes! I am so pleased with it, I even bought the wreath, and two throw pillows, all for under $100. If you go on the website you can also order, but you won’t get the sale price unless you’re in the store I guess.

My husband was in utter SHOCK when he got home. I had to wipe his jaw off the floor. He was all smiles the rest of the night. I have to say it was not easy and it took awhile. And it is by no means perfect, since I still have alot of stuff that I just stashed away to deal with later. But here’s the thing: it feels peaceful, and I’m trying for progress not perfection. I will take pictures of the piles and get rid of them one by one, because posting it up here online makes it REAL.

Next up: I am going to post pictures of the guest room- AKA ground zero of laundry. I thought it may be dumb to do this, but I gotta tell you, there is NOTHING more motivating than knowing you’ve gotta post pictures of your crap because you promised. P.S. Thanks so much for the encouraging emails I’ve been getting. Please know that you are not alone. If you want to send me before pictures of your own impossible project, let me know and I can hold you accountable, like you are holding me!





Giving Yourself Away

27 10 2009

When I was a kid, when things would get bad, I would lay in bed and read. In my bed nobody bothered me, I used to pretend that I was somewhere else and just envelope myself in the covers. I was a little bit of a loner.child-looking-out-window

We were the house on the block where the neighbor came over to cut the grass because he said it “brought property values down,” so I was too embarassed to play with the other kids and my mom said we would get stolen. Besides, I was different than them. Sometimes my bed was next to the window that looked out into the street and I would watch them play basketball or hopscotch or ride bikes and wonder how their life got there, and mine was behind the glass, watching them.  I was so jealous.  I would tell myself that maybe I would play when my dad taught me how to ride a bike. When I was thin and fit and could play hopscotch better, or when my dad was home and he could take me to the park to shoot hoops so I could practice and not embarass myself.  I just realized I wrote embarassed twice. I guess I’ve always been a bit embarassed to be me.

To make up for it, I became very personable. In school people liked me. I was generous and funny and charming. I never got made fun of for being chubby or too smart. I was respected. Nobody knew what my house and yard looked like at school. I needed that to make myself feel better. When somebody didn’t like me I was baffled. Didn’t I do everything right? What could I change? How can I appeal to THIS person, what facade can I conjure up? And then do it. I’ve always had lots of different groups of friends, even the bullies were my friends because I made them feel special.

It feels wonderful to be liked by everyone.

It feels terrible to know the you that everyone likes is a lie.

I got help at first because the facade was slipping off. My husband made me feel too comfortable being me and I began to be uncomfortable being that charming wonderful person that people loved. This made me depressed that I was no longer charming and wonderful and made me try harder to be that person, that lie. So I stopped going out as much and just tried EXTRA EXTRA hard when I was out. I really got help because I wanted to keep living a lie. I liked that person I was in front of other people and I wanted to get her back. I wanted to be stronger and better at conjuring up that persona. I didn’t know that it was just going to make me scrape it away and let it all hang out.

So right now. I don’t really think anybody likes me.

I’m a little depressing to talk to. I cry alot. I’m not really trying to keep my chin up or be strong. I would love to say that I don’t give a damn if nobody likes me, but it’s not true. It kills me. I am a popular person. I have always been a popular person in crowds and classes and clubs. But I’m not willing to go there anymore. I don’t want to be liked for being a good actress.

I want to ACTUALLY be a fun person. I want to ACTUALLY be a positive person. I want to ACTUALLY be a loving and caring person. Not just the person who loves and cares when someone is watching or to get you to like me. It is my goal to learn how to step outside of myself and love people. I can’t seem to do that yet. I am still caught up in my appearance and my mess.

One of the motivational speakers at the seminar yesterday kept saying that to find yourself, you’ve got to give yourself away. I have been woefully fantasizing about a sponsor, or a woman of God to take me under her wing and “mother me” . Gently guide me, give me help, give me help. Love me, spend time with me. Care about me.

Do you see a pattern? ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME.

Ick.

We learn in ACOA that we build a protective wall around the “real” us so that no one finds out our inadequacies. This makes us incredibly selfish and self-serving people, unable to step outside of our problems to care about anyone else. We are constantly worried about our own perfection. Realization: the only way I am going to get that relationship that I desire is to step out of “me” and give a damn about someone else.

Ok: Here is my favorite part. The ACTION: I am going to serve my husband. He doesn’t read my blog so he won’t know I’m doing it.

He might suspect when he comes home and the laundry is done. (I’ve been so DEPRESSED…woe is me that I let it pile up and we are in a standoff right now. He’s bought packages of socks and underwear twice!) I want you to hold me accountable. I am going to post before pictures of my bedroom and after pictures. Tonight: I am going to do the laundry and clean our bedroom. It may sound small, and probably everybody is better than me and doesn’t need to motivate themselves with something so completely inane, but I am going to try it. And I’m going to publish this before I change my mind.





Off the Wagon

24 10 2009

Life was going really really really well. I mean, I’ve been really happy in a great mood, grateful toward everything, even the tiniest blessings were getting acknowledged and praised. I have been having some incredibly productive days that begin with scripture and end tired and satisfied. The kind of days that I dream of having. The kind of days that make life worth living. I was a little sick last week, while it stopped me from going to a few meetings and I slept more than my schedule allowed, I was still doing well. I didn’t post on my recovery blog because it didn’t feel like I had anything to recover from. I felt wholeness.

Then Thursday morning, I slept late. Then I got a phone call from a client asking me to withdraw her offer on a house I know is perfect and one-of-a-kind for her. Then I didn’t put the trash out before the garbage truck came. Then I didn’t go to the gym, didn’t go to Alanon, and didn’t shower. Then I ate chips in bed and watched youtube videos. Then my husband came home at 1pm from school after not having slept at all the night before from working on homework and I had the nerve to complain to him about how “dissatisfied” I was. Then I pestered him about whether or not he “loved me” or was “mad at me”. Mostly because I felt like an unloveable lump of crap that I was really really mad at myself.

Then he got this really really sad, frustrated look on his face and said, “You fell off the wagon, huh?”

Nothing mean, or condescending. He walked in the bedroom and began picking clothes up off the bedroom floor to put in the washer. I turned away from him in bed, ashamed. He went downstairs to make himself lunch. I layed in bed. Ashamed and angry, desperately willing myself to change, but not having the strength to even move. I tried to sleep some more but only succeeded in wanting to die.

Then I thought about my husband. How he didn’t get any sleep the night before and had still gone to school.

How he was going to work right after lunch, because he had to pay the bills to keep my depressed and lazy ass in chips to eat in bed, electricity and internet so I can while away the precious days that God has given me in comfort. I was disgusted with myself. What nerve did I have to tell him what a shitty day I was having, when the only thing that was shitty that I had no control over was the client. The rest was all on me, baby.

I would love to tell you that I immediately got up and didn’t waste the rest of the day. That I showered and got dressed and ate well and went to the gym, the office, read my scriptures, cleaned my house. Anything that was productive. That I was so inspired by the thought of my husband working so hard for us, that I just had to get up and get going. That I vowed that minute to do everything in my power to change and never look back.

It’s not true though. I did take a shower, and got dressed in some comfy sweats and went downstairs and kissed my husband and told him that I would get right back on the wagon. That he didn’t have to worry anymore, that things were getting better. That things were GOING to get better. He looked at me with compassion, and said, “I hope so.” Then went back to his sandwich.

Then he went upstairs to take a nap, and I went with him. I slept the rest of the afternoon and into the night. He went to work. He asked me if I would wash some socks. I didn’t even get up to do that. He came home at one AM, exhausted and crawled into bed with me again. He cradled me in his big arms and I wailed, “you shouldn’t hug me. I didn’t wash the socks. ” He said he had been getting them off of the floor and he’d just do that again. I sniffled, “you can have mine tomorrow, they didn’t even touch the ground today.”

“Ok,” he said, holding me tightly.

Sometimes I want him to hit me and scream. It would feel more appropriate. Sometimes I want him to threaten me with leaving and falling out of love, anything to shake me up. But he doesn’t. He holds me and I’m secure and I have no reason for acting the way I do. I was doing so well. What happened?





Rebuilding Me

2 10 2009

I am a phenomenal starter. I can say that honestly with no doubt. An idea person, I am constantly dreaming up new, fantastic and creative ways to do everything. Strong starter, lousy finisher. Seriously, I am lacking in the follow-through, build your character, perservere through the hard times, walking through the fire, winners never quit- department. I always thought, if I’m not good at it already, why try? That was not a problem because I was good at lots and lots of stuff.  Problem is, my good-at-lots-of-stuff development plateaued at about seventh grade. Turns out you can’t fake out a latin test, or chemistry, or college. That stuff takes some muscle and some drive, not my strong suit.

So, yesterday after a long grueling day (when I have productive days, I usually go overboard to compensate for the sobby-listless-just get through so I can go to sleep-days) while on our way to go pick up my car at the mechanic my husband and I got into a bit of an argument. Nothing major, just one of those frustrating quarrels that blows over as soon as something funny happens. But still, I was mad. I jumped out of his car and into mine with every intention of driving to Barnes and Noble and just staying there till it closed, reading and basically just forgetting everything.

As I was leaving, I realized I had left my GPS in his car, so I flagged him down to get it and put it in my car. When I tried to put it on my windshield, it just flopped over dejectedly. A screwy thing was broken. This was maddening, as we’re a little worried about money and after paying $460 for my car starter, I really didn’t want to have to shell out more dough to pay for a little screwy thingy because I didn’t care for it properly. I wanted to cry. Somedays it feels like no matter what you do, everything is falling apart and there is not a damn thing you can do to stop it. I heard a distinct God-voice in my head tell me to fix it. I didn’t want to fix it, I wanted to throw it on the floor and forget about it. But still, it said fix it. I thought, my husband will fix it later. I am not going to touch it, not even try.

I tossed it on the floor of my car and put the car in reverse. I couldn’t shake the feeling though, that I had to at least try. So, I angrily threw the car back in park, turned the car overhead light on and started fiddling with it in the dark parking lot. I’ll spare you the intricacies of the repair, but it took me all of  two minutes to figure out what had come undone and rescrew it in, but in those two minutes I learned a lifetime. With everything that has been going on, with my emotions, with my recovery, with my depression, hitting my absolute bottom, everything…I am just drained. I feel incapable of even waking up alot of the time, much less getting anything done.

While I was trying to fix the GPS stand, I got a feeling of utter calm, and I heard (not literally, but in the way that you “hear” and understand) God tell me, “This is just you and me, I am going to tear your life down to the ground piece by piece, it could be your car, your house, your marriage, your career, yourself. Everything is coming down, and I am going to give you the privilege and the self esteem that comes with rebuilding it. And you will be whole again.”  The hope and promise that washed over me in that instant was tangible, I could feel it in my entire body.

All of a sudden, I realized that when things start feeling overwhelming, I escape. I may not drink, but I do go online, overeat, go shopping, read magazines, sleep all day- anything to avoid the feelings of complete failure that my soul is buried beneath. Suddenly it was clear, and there was a light at the end of the tunnel of my life. God showed me in that instant, that by listening to him tell me to face this problem, this two minute, nothing problem, it was the beginning of changing my entire life. I did fix it, my husband didn’t do it, I didn’t buy a new one, I didn’t throw it on the floor and forget about it. I fixed it. I didn’t have to deal with the guilt of seeing it the next time I went out to my car, I just did it and it was over, like it had never happened.

God told me to go home, not Barnes and Noble and to fix the fight with my husband. So instead of just forgetting about it, I apologized and it was over. I shared my newfound hope with him and told him everything was going to be ok. The house, the dishes, the laundry, the finances, the dogs, my career, myself. That I’m just being rebuilt. And I thanked him for having the patience of a saint in putting up with the remodeling dust. I feel like I should wear a sign, “Please excuse the dust, I am under construction.” See God says in Philippians 1:6  “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it onto completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

As a kid, I learned that you were perfect now, or you were nothing. I am not or will ever be perfect, but I can stand on the truth that not I, but God is responsible for completing the good work he started on me. What overwhelming grace is this, where I can screw up everything in my life, and God can guide me to rebuild it. He says that “And I will restore to you the years that the locusts hath eaten” Joel 2:25, and His promises are never broken.