wait for the path

where do I goDo you ever have a day where you struggle to know where you belong? I have been at sea for over a year. I know that there is something somewhere that will fulfill this need I have to use the skills that God has given me over the years. I am working toward mediating for court cases but I don’t know if this is where I belong. The problem is that I don’t seem to belong anywhere.

It is a terrible thing to spend a lifetime acquiring skills that can be used to make peoples lives better and be unable to use them. In the last few weeks I have had some situations arise where I know that my ability to navigate the medical system is needed by so many people but I can’t find the place where I can use that. It feels so frustrating. Struggling through the maze of medicine today is so hard on patients. It is changing so fast and getting more and more complex. I wish I could see the direction that I could go to help and see clearly the path ahead. I want to know that this is what God is calling me to do or if I should just move in another direction.

Waiting-Is-Painful-CY12352I hate being in limbo! Again I am suffering from waiting. I have no patience. There may be a lesson that I need to learn before God opens the path in front of me. It has happened before and I have been the in wilderness before. I waited and the answer landed in my lap. I just need to listen for God and wait.

breathing space

inside headToday I decided that I needed to heed the statement that cleanliness in next to Godliness. For so long my office has been cluttered with material brought home from the job I left last year and I decided it was time to clear out. I did save some things that are important to me but trashed a lot. It is so nice to see this space neat. I realize that the disorder was connected in some way to my own disorder. When you are not functioning well it doesn’t seem important to be neat. Now I can see that the neatness has made me feel better.

I am not an obsessive neatnik but too much stuff everywhere will start to get to me. I don’t know why I tackled the job that I have not felt like doing for over a year but I am glad I did. Some boxes are gone and only some minor things to file left. I hope this is a step on the way to recovery. When this started I had no idea that so much anger, pain and sadness was bottled up inside. Losing my best friend and her daughter and then my own job within one year was overload.

It has been a tremendous help to be able to share my journey with my blog. It helps so much to find others who fight each moment and keep on fighting. We can conquer the things that stalk us. We can find companionship and peace. Without the ability to communicate we could so easily be alone.

God is good. Our needs are known to him and if we open our eyes we can see his work in out lives each day.

open our eyes

Lord open our eyes.

Life happens..hold on

detourI have not written for several days. The internet was down for a while but then I didn’t feel like writing. I have been struggling with IBS which triggers anxiety. It can be depressing to be hesitant to go out due to IBS. There are a lot of things going on in my life that have stressed me. However, life goes on and my minor glitches will not stop the world.

When things are like this I work to remember the big picture. I am alive. I have a home to live in and food to eat. I am not homeless and destitute. It is time to be grateful for what I have instead of whining for what I don’t have. It is for me to adjust my perspective.

I am summoning my coping skills and will be meditating and praying to calm my soul. I have had a lifetime to learn and even though I struggle at times I know what to do. I am aware that many with anxiety and related issues have not yet learned coping skills and suffer greatly. It is wonderful to read blogs when others share their coping tips. Knowing that others struggle makes us not feel alone and we can try ideas and find what helps us.

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Prayer allows us to reach out to the help that never leaves us. It is possible for God to feel distant but that is our perception and is not real. God is always there. …sometimes just waiting for us to reach out. Life is never smooth. God is the rock…the foundation that shores us up. Never forget that.

Choose the need

Last-minute-blog-post-jan-25thWe had friends for lunch today. One is over ninety and fragile. His wife called yesterday saying he wanted to get out of the house and could they come and see us. That was a resounding yes and we invited another couple who are special friends of us all. This lunch was a blessing. Our aging friend is slipping and it was a joy to give him a day of pleasure.

I worked hard yesterday and today to make a good lunch and a welcoming place for he and his wife. Our other friends felt the same. This is the first time that he has been out with friends in a long time and it gave us great pleasure to be able to do this.

Planning and executing a special lunch in 24 hours can be challenging but somehow God was involved in this. I have a friend who like to say the “arangels” were at work.

listenI wonder how many times I have balked at something that seemed difficult at the time but was something God had in mind. It is so easy to back away and not do the thing right in front of us. Do we pay attention or do we let it slip by us? Our own agenda can so easily get in the way. We will decide that we have plans and don’t want to change them. We can choose the easy path and put ourselves first.

We need to listen to hear when these moments appear and choose in favor of the needs of others.

Help us find caring

mentalI was watching a story on netflix this morning. It was the true story of a family who lost the father to suicide. I had many questions while watching this. It seems that all of the children had major issues. I think several of them were Autistic although, if so, their affect on the show did not show it. The family seemed loving but overwhelmed. Just watching it I found myself diagnosing each of them…right or not. The father seemed manic depressive (I forget what the new name is). The family took many videos over the years and maybe that’s why they were chosen for this.

It reminded me how mental illness (and many other illnesses) run in families. Sometimes I wonder if we had a clear view of our own problems would we chose to have children and pass our issues on to the next generation. However, I think it takes living for us to discover how we will react to life. Knowing our mental issues is much more difficult than the physical ones. It is not so obvious especially to us. That is, unless it is a critical and obvious problem.

There is help for so many issues today but to seek them is to admit that they are there. That is the hardest part. Add to it the fact that mental illness has been such an avoided subject and those who suffer have been outcasts. There is also the problem of affording treatment. The family I viewed seem to be British so I am thinking they had some access to care. Here in the US mental health is the least funded of any illness. Insurance companies only understand dollars and cents and it is difficult to show that no treatment initially will be more costly later.

Having done Case Management, that is how decisions are made regarding treatment. If we don’t treat this will it cost us more money in the long tun? Can you show me that it will? This is a terrible way to determine care.

There are not as many people who have acute mental health problems as there are those of us who have episodic or milder issues. Because of that getting treatment is harder. Money is part of the issue and knowing that we need help and seeking it is the other part.

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I hope that looking at the person as body, mind, and spirit will help us to look at all aspects of a person and treat anything that prevents us from being whole. Which, by the way, is related to the word holy. This is how God created us to be. Whole, holy people.

Help Where You Are

Life is never boring. Now nature has handed the people around Houston a major catastrophe. This may not impact us individually but we need to think about what something like this can do….feel compassion and help where we can.

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Last year we were hit by a hurricane head on. It was just a category 2 hurricane when it hit us but the way it functioned caused more damage than usual for a hurricane of that size. For the fist part of Matthew we were pummeled by 12 inches of rain and minimal winds. After the eye was past the winds came. We have a lot of pine trees. Usually those trees are snapped off by winds but do not fall over. Unfortunately, the rain loosened the roots and our islands were devastated by fallen pines. These were at least 100 foot trees. Many houses were hit by more than one tree and some were completely destroyed., We were lucky to only have one tree on our home. Now I worry about it happening again this year.

There is a point to all this remembering. At almost one year later we have finally repaired the damages from Matthew. When I think about Houston and surrounding areas I know that the damage from winds was bad enough but the floods have been devastating. Some people will never recover. For others it may be years before they are settled and comfortable somewhere.

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I do wonder about our weather and what is changing. We have not done our earth any favors. We are called to be stewards but good stewardship does not leave the land in worse shape. Some of climate change can be from the normal cycles of the earth but we have gone way overboard to injure “this fragile earth our island home.” (from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer) If we continue the way we are we will soon extinguish ourselves.

All of us are called to do whatever we can to help. We must pray for and help the hurricane victims in whatever way we are able. Each of us must also do what we can to help the earth. We may only be one person at a time but each thing helps. We may inspire others to help too.

Pray for all those who have experienced tragedy due to weather.

Share Pain – Help Others

Loneliness keeps cropping up in my thoughts. So many people are alone and long for someone to acknowledge they exist. The pain they are feeling is excruciating. It makes me want to reach out and touch them in some way. Some of these people are physically alone. They live by themselves and seldom see others but some are people that we meet every day. On the outside they seem like everyone else. It is the inside where the pain is found.

We have superficial relationships with many people and can pass right by someone who needs more. It can be difficult to risk reaching out and exploring the feelings of others. To do so we have to open ourselves to them. We have to be non-judgmental and most of all open to listening. Most of this is summed up in the word compassion.

Compassion_FuneralCall

Several people in blogs have mentioned being empathic.  I think there are those of us who do sense the pain of others. The question is do we do anything about it.

Any troubles that we have had in our lives prepares us to help others. If we have suffered a loss we are more able to understand the feelings of others in the same situation. People who have anxiety or depression can truly understand what someone else with the same issues is feeling. We think we are so different and admittedly each of us is unique but we all have suffered each in our own way. The interesting thing is that when we reach out to others we can sense our own pain diminishing. For me, sharing my pain is cutting it in half.

belonging (1)It is so heartwarming to find people able to open up about their own problems while writing a blog. Admittedly it’s easier than in person but it is still offering yourself to others. Maybe doing it in writing will make it easier to sense the pain of someone you actually meet. Too often we feel an outsider and that no one else has the same problems but when you start to actually hear others stories you know that you are not alone. You are in a community of belonging.