“Laura, How Are You Doing?”

I started to answer in a post from a sweet friend and decided I needed a little extra journal therapy tonight….

Gordita, I honestly don’t know.  I feel like I’m in a war.  I feel like the enemy is gaining ground.  I’ve not given up the fight, but as I win one battle, I begin to realize there are more just around the corner.

Some I win and some I lose.  I have a strong disposition, so laying down my life is not an option, but I am bruised.  I am weary and I want desperately to walk away from it all.

The battle pursues me…
It taunts me and goads me until I rise up and fight back.

I try not to want a normal life. I try desperately to accept I have no days of freedom. I have better and worse days, but I rarely have good days.  It appears I have ADD as well as PMDD and turns out ADD is no joke. 

It is difficult to not want to give up.

And yet, I wake up each day and try.  Why should my life just be about trying though? Why should it be about being an example?

Why shouldn’t my life be about living?  About laughter?  Why shouldn’t my life be about being a mom?

It should be about Christmas and making love. It should be about learning to cook and garden. My life should be about running a marathon and becoming a photographer that others aspire to be.

But that’s not my life. My life is vitamins and long naps.

My life is research and chocolate.

My life is “I’m so sorry” and “I can’t”.

My life is sleepless nights and guilt.

I long to look in the mirror and not see bags and dark circles. I long to see even a hint of who I used to be before my age and hormones decided to say “You’ve had enough for this lifetime. I own your energy, your love, your heart and your mind from this day forward”

* * * * *
After all the ranting about the ridiculousness of the situation, there is actually a flip side.

I know there is a purpose. I don’t appreciate the burden even a little. I don’t feel “blessed” and I am not thankful most of the time that God has chosen this thorn in my flesh.

But… (And I’ve always been told that when you say “but”, everything before it is wiped away, void) Maybe it is.

But:

I have a husband who loves me unconditionally.

I have two children who are learning hard lessons in this life. They will grow into amazing adults because we are letting God heal them along the way. We are teaching them how to adjust to lifes hardships early. They will be the people you want around when you are hurting because their forgiveness and compassion run deep.

I have grace from God because of my weakness. He does indeed become strong, because I have no choice but to let Him take over. Most of the time I’m just a limp fish, but when I do let Him…it’s glorious and He shines brighter in our lives than the sun. He picks up the pieces when I let Him and He holds me when I let go of my stubbornness.

I am not going to lie and say I’m grateful. I’m still not grateful.
I’m pretty resentful. And yet….He is faithful.

I want to be free one day. I may not be free until I leave this body though. And I am not thrilled about it.
I may be trapped for 40 more years in this cycle for the rest of my life.

I have this truth through it all though:

I can’t give up because I feel the love of Christ pushing past all the pain telling me there is a purpose for my life.

It is not beautiful to me now, but His specialty is beauty from ashes.

And I’m counting on it.

Added the next morning:

I posted what was on my mind last night, but I didn’t finish… not really.
The part I left out are the changes happening and the glimpse of hope for the future.
There is a sliver of hope and I didn’t write about that.
In the last two months, I was given a magnet that is helping during the luteal phase which allowed the ADD to be discovered.
The vitamins are starting to help me focus and have a little more energy.
Cutting out breads and sugar has given me a bit more stability.
Sometimes it’s hard to have hope when we are facing physical issues that seem bigger than life.
Please forgive me for leaving out the most important piece of the crazy puzzle.

Hope. ♥

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Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight

ROCK STAR

I’m watching Rock of Ages, with Tom Cruise.  Not my favorite movie, but I was thinking, if I had a manager that shielded my worst days from the world.  I could be a doggone rock star in life too.

Not to brag, but:  “I’m kind of a big deal” as my husband says about himself all the time. 🙂

I am a fun, clever, wonderful person…for real.

The abuse  in my childhood/teen years either makes you or breaks you.

It made me who I am today.  That and God.   I know I am a good person somewhere in here.  I know she is there because I see her in the reflection of the eyes of my family and friends sometimes.

I just can’t find her with PMDD most of the time.

I say most of the time, because after years of PMDD, PTSD and adrenal fatigue are also part of my daily life.  This causes the symptoms to run into one another throughout the month.

Last month, I had one of those really good months where I almost forgot I had PMDD and thought it was all in my head.  I saw their reflections and it was magical.

Until then, the last time I felt good was November 2010.   And yes, I remember the month and year of last time I felt energetic and excited about life.  It was so out of the ordinary,  I remember where I was and what I was doing.  I was trying to start a photography business and become a real estate agent and leap over tall buildings with a single bound from all the energy.  It was probably “normal” energy people experience, but I have so little most of the time it felt over the top to me!

Of course December 2010 crept in like thief and started to drain me like a leech drains blood, just like it is now.

Right now, depression is hovering over me.  It is starting to change my breathing pattern.  It’s starting to cloud my mind.  It’s creeping into my muscles and bones.  Depression is not only mental pain.  It’s physical.

It zaps all my energy and carries it away to a place I have yet to find.  It’s hidden, locked away somewhere.

I search for my faith.  I search for God’s face to shine on me.  It doesn’t during these times.  He is hiding out with my joy somewhere.

Christ said, HE is my joy….really? I can’t tell during these times.

I do salvage my faith somehow each month, knowing it is the depression and He is still with me, but oh how I wish I could feel Him. 

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THE SNIPER

And then there is the sadness. I won’t use the word depression, because it is overused and most people think they already know what it is.

I think sadness is almost more paralyzing than the anger that follows PMDD .  No.  Not harder….  It’s more personal.

Love, joy, hate, anger, happiness, jealousy….None of those feelings exist.  Nothing exists.  Just the blanket of  sadness.

When anger is surging through my body, I am at least alive and I somehow want to stay alive.  The anger is like puppet master who attaches itself to me to control my mouth, my brain, my words.

Sadness is different.  It’s quiet and starts to burrow it’s way down into the pit of my heart.  Once it has latched on to my insides, it is almost impossible to shake for days and days.

In those days, it is better to sleep than to be awake.

Awake will inevitably lead to the fight with death.  Death seduces me and tempts me with the promise of the heaviness being over.

Sad seems such a non-threatening word doesn’t it?  It doesn’t have all the flare of rage or jealously.  It doesn’t boast emotion like joy or anger.  It just sits quietly in my intestines, in my bones, in my head and in my heart waiting to take me out like a sniper in war.

Sadness is war.  Inside.  It is a battle with a stealth enemy no one sees.  I am almost unaware until it whispers:  “You can’t do this anymore“.  “The pain is too much“.  “You will feel better when this life is over“.

BUT WAIT!!!!!  My daughter.  My son.  My husband.  They will miss me.  “So.”  They will be hurt! “But you are hurt“.  I know….

They will be better off without you“.  “Your husband needs a better wife that enjoys life.”  “Your kids might be hurt at first, but they will understand”  No they won’t.  They will be effected for the rest of their lives.

But so will you.   And you hurt them more than you help them, you know that”  I know….

It’s not true.  But it feels like truth in the sadness.

The fight is exhausting. I am weary after 40 years of fighting it and somewhere in the back of my mind, the sniper sits quietly in camouflage waiting to take the last deadly shot, with a slight grin on his face.

But not this time.  Not today.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

BROKEN DREAMS

I am in tears as I write this.  I canceled a photo shoot for the last time today.  I will not stick my head out to the real world again until I am symptom free for at least three months in a row.  I am not sure yet how that will happen (diet, supplements, surgery, etc), but I have to trust there will be a soft landing month after month before I risk disappointing anyone again.

The pain of canceling anything is more than I can bare and it make the depression worse.

I NEED to create…I NEED to live my dream.  It is killing me slowly to have my dreams taken from me.

The following link gives you a glimpse into the passion and joy I have for photography.  Not to show you my work, but to gives you a visual of my potential without PMDD and hopefully you will see my joy there and why the pain of not having it is so deep. (Most of these were taken before I taught myself the importance of lighting, for all you photography buffs)

Front Porch Photography