...More from September 3rd...
I’ve started to thank God more. I didn’t used to do that. But now, I make a point of saying, “Thank you God, for my perfect little car. Thanks for the roof over my head, this perfect little house that you have placed me in, that I can afford, and that I can come home to every day. Thanks for my friends. Thank you for my church family, a place I can really belong. Thank you for all the new people you are constantly bringing into my life.”
I was not used to actively thanking God all the time! But once you come to realize that his will is perfect and he knows what he’s doing, you start to get thankful.
And then, I lose sight of that gratefulness a lot. My brain chemistry is not always my friend. I have not been blessed with a great upbringing and loving, supportive family. I’ve been blessed with a messy upbringing, and a small, difficult, challenging family. But, it’s made me who I am. It’s made me able to appreciate people more. It’s taught me how to love unconditionally, and give of myself, constantly, over and over again. And, it is not always possible or easy to see this as a blessing!! ßanother challenge. Good grief.
Because of my upbringing, my past experiences, my past challenges, and the way that I was supported or not through those challenges, my brain chemistry is wired a little differently than most. I am blessed with the mind of a scientist as well as the mind of a spiritual leader, and so this can be very challenging as well. I say this because I would not be able to understand brain chemistry, had I only been blessed with a spiritual mind and heart. I am very in-tune with the physical world, very aware of our choices as physical beings on a physical planet. And understanding the human mind is part of this. Brain chemistry is a touchy subject, especially for Christians. God is supposed to heal all, be in charge over all. And he is…..BUT, I live the daily challenges of having your brain and mind fight you! My brain fights me every day. I have to fight back to make it line up and do what it’s supposed to. I have to work very hard, relying on God of course (confusing as HELL, right??) to not let my brain chemistry constantly create clouds of darkness over my life. It sucks. It is not fun. I have to take a little pink pill called Pristiq every morning to help balance stuff out in my brain, to help chemicals release when they are supposed to. And then, I have to constantly work at self-affirmations, reminding myself that I have a God who created me wonderfully and fearfully, and for a purpose, thus fighting every single thing, physical, spiritual, or otherwise, that has always told me that I’m not good enough and not doing what I’m supposed to, and that I’m difficult, and that I’m whiny and I complain and I cry too much. I have to fight all of that, every single day! What people rarely understand about mental illness or struggles is that we don’t CHOOSE to feel bad about ourselves or feel sorry for ourselves; we are in a constant battle with the chemicals and hormones that are creating all these feelings. And it sucks!
So, all these challenges, add to my challenges. They make the things that God wants me to do that much harder. They make the things that I want to do, that much harder. They make seeing my purpose, that much harder. They make the desire to push through, that much harder to come by. They make the desire to be better, that much harder to come by. They make positive thinking, hard. They make getting up and exercising and taking care of my body, hard. I am in a constant battle. With hormones and chemicals. Really??!!
So I have no choice but to take my life one tiny step at a time. One choice, one bite, one breath at a time. Each choice is carefully calculated not because I’m an overly-analytical type-A, bitchy personality, but because I have to be so very careful with my brain chemistry and emotions. I have to be careful because I have to protect myself. I have to protect myself because I am constantly under attack; attack from my own body, and attack from The Enemy, who doesn’t want me to take care of myself, or listen to God. So either way, it all comes back to God.
And this is my greatest joy, and my greatest struggle.
Yup, I’m complicated.