30 Day Challenge – Day 3

I’m not sure what caused my venom last night (maybe it was my migraine combined with exhaustion).  I have been doing really well emotionally overall except for my insomnia.  I have been so exhausted, and the past couple of nights it was like my defenses came down for a while and i was just feeling really lonely again.  I’m feeling so much better this morning, but who knows if that will hold or if it will be another roller coaster.

A word paragraph or two about suicide.  My father calls it a “permanent solution to a temporary problem”.  What does he know about it?  I have been depressed my entire life, depression is normal to me.  It’s not a temporary problem, and in a way i don’t feel like it’s a problem at all.  At the heart of it, i don’t mind going through the dark with God’s will in mind, but right now i am overwhelmed.  I know that i cannot do this on my own.  I started fantasizing about jumping off cliffs when i was in about fifth or sixth grade.  In junior high it got really bad, i wanted to kill myself but was too afraid to try.  Only my Grandma noticed, and it freaked her out.  My trouble then was pretty much what it has always been:  i am always socially outcast.  Christians, non-Christians, everyone shuts me out of their social circles.  Couple this with puberty, and i was a mess.  The summer before or after my freshman year of high school (i can’t remember which atm) i went to FCA Volleyball camp in Santa Barbara, CA.  I was hoping to make a friend, but as it turned out my roommate had transferred to another sport at the last minute and i didn’t have a roommate.  I got on well enough with my “huddle” (i think that’s what they called them) but was not close to anyone in the group.  At the end of the week i broke down, i felt so lonely, and was still struggling with depression.  And my huddle told me that i had been there to encourage them all week, that because i was alone i could pick up the girls that fell out of their group when they were feeling down.  I had made myself available to be used by God, to help them.  And that pretty much changed my life.

One of my spiritual gifts is Encouragement.  This goes well with my singing/acting/writing tendencies.  As depressed as i was, i had always been an optimist.  That may sound strange to you, but whenever i feel i am within God’s will i have hope for the future…until the Holy Spirit went silent, that is.  How am i supposed to know that i’m within His will when He won’t tell me what His will is?  You might be thinking, listen to your conscience, read your Bible.  Nothing is that clear cut!  I have discovered that our conscience is the Holy Spirit.  When your conscience is bothering you, that’s God elbowing you, using the Spirit to say “You know the right thing to do, you need to do that.”  So that’s right out, i don’t have that to rely on anymore, only my own judgement, which is bonkers.  As smart as i was growing up, i knew i was too stupid to pilot my own life.  God is my pilot.  And the Bible?  “You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’–but not everything is good for you. You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’–but not everything is beneficial,” 1 Corinthians 10:23.  So i can make any choice i want (any choice) and i’m not going to lose my salvation.  Since i am a Christian, there are certain activities i’m not about to go out there and start participating in, but then there are some grayer areas where i think i’m in the right but i don’t know with 100% certainty.  No Holy Spirit to tell me, not in the Bible, etc.  Some people are quick to assume that if i can’t feel the Holy Spirit, it must mean that i’ve got some huge unconfessed sin in my life.  Hello, have you read Job?

Which brings me to the prompt for today:

Your views on drugs and alcohol.

Which is a touchy subject in my family because my mom’s sister and one of her brothers are both recovering alcoholics/drug addicts.  My mother is against all alcohol and all drugs, that is the way i was brought up, and in fact that is the very thing that all of the churches i have attended regularly have taught.  But her dislike is even for medical drugs, and so is mine to a certain extent.  I have been in very few situations where i felt drugs have helped, even the Advil i rely on when i have a headache or cramps or joint pain doesn’t really help unless i take it with caffeine, and i try to avoid taking it as long as possible, sometimes just staying in pain rather than bothering.  If/when i ever have children, i intend to have natural home births with no drugs for pain.  I have long been against taking anti-depressants.  Why?  The thought of relying on a drug every day, changing who i am, putting my trust in modern medical science instead of God, really goes against everything that i am.  I look at “modern” medicine much as Dr. McCoy did in STIV: the Voyage Home:  archaic, backwards, more harm than help.  I just don’t think it’s all it’s cracked up to be, and know that in certain situations we are doing more harm than help.

Okay, shifting gears, Jesus turned water into wine.  He drank wine.  Wine is a part of communion, not grape juice, and i’ve just (re)realized that i’ve never had proper communion, i’ve only ever been given grape juice.  The issue is not with drinking, it’s with getting drunk.  It’s with losing control and then going out and doing stupid things rather than listening to the Holy Spirit.  So drinking in moderation i am fine with.  I don’t do it very often, i just have the occasional margarita, daiquiri, or martini (occasional being maybe once a year?), but i would drink more if i lived alone or with people who aren’t anti-alcohol.

Drugs are a trickier thing.  I think that Meth, LSD, Cocaine, etc. are not something you want to mess around with.  These are human inventions and do more harm than help.  In college it seemed like all the authors we read experimented with drugs, that you had to be on drugs to write well, and i never bought into that.  I have only ever written sober, and alcohol has never given me any clarity, i doubt drugs would do any better.  But marijuana and tobacco are natural, God made them.  Are they permissible?  I think they are.  Are they beneficial?  That is less certain.  Modern cigarettes have additives like chemicals used in rat poison, that’s not doing anyone any good.  I’ve always liked the smell of a pipe, but one supposedly gets cancer faster smoking a pipe. /shrug  I don’t think i will ever try smoking either way, but i’m not judging anyone for doing it,  no one is going to hell for smoking, and in fact they’re probably creating their own hell on earth and giving themselves cancer.

That probably didn’t sound very compassionate.  I actually have a lot of empathy, even for strangers, but there’s no way i can help everyone (if anyone).  We’ve all been taught that we make our own beds and then have to lie in them, i didn’t make this bed.  Politics and society have created the ills that i’m struggling with, and yes, i fell into the trap, i chose to go into debt to go to college, i really regret that.  What it all comes down to is that i haven’t gotten to the other side of this Valley of the Shadow of Death yet, i have no encouragement to offer, and most of the encouragement people have offered me sounded like platitudes.  I much prefer being personal, honest, and realistic.  I use a lot of common sense and my sense of humor is to take everything literally and laugh at it.  So am i an optimist?  That is the way i’m wired, to always have hope about the future, and i’m finally starting to feel that again.  Interspersed with brief bouts of overwhelming grief and loneliness, of course.  I struggle with this, i don’t want anyone to be adversely affected by my depression, but at the same time a large part of my depression has always been my loneliness.  Depressed people should be able to have relationships, too.  I guess part of me is just scared is that someday i will be married and still feel alone.  I think that would have been the case had i married my ex.  He wasn’t good at communicating, and neither was i for that matter.  I don’t want to think of any friend or husband as someone who is shutting me out, but that’s still where i’m at.  So i’m still hoping for the future.

Oh, and about suicide.  I don’t expect i ever will commit suicide.  There are some dark nights where i want to die, but the point of those nights isn’t wanting things to end, it’s wanting my life to change, for the darkness itself to end.  Yes, sometimes i am crippled by the dark, but i just keep crawling through it.  I hope that i’m going in the right direction, but really any direction must be better than where i am.

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