Give Me Some Sugar

I have been off caffeine since June.  It was, and is, worth it.  I knew the next big hurdle would be sugar.  In late January and early February, I took a stab at quitting.  Right before Valentine’s Day.  That was just careless.

It stayed in front of me.  I knew I still needed to do it.  I know this sounds strange to say, but it seemed there was no jumping off point.  Then, there was.

Lent.

The Lenten Fast.

BOOM!

I quit sweets.  Not all the foods that have any ingredient that’s just sugar with a cute name.  Just sweets.

It only took a few days to come face to face with my need of a Savior.  I felt desperate.  I lied about what I ate.  (They don’t care, and Jesus already knows.)  I cheated like a card sharp in the old west.  I let myself slip.  A lot.

I realized I felt I couldn’t live without sugar (People do.  It isn’t air.).  Then I realized there are a lot of things I can’t live without

And.

There are a lot of things I have been saying I can live without…that I can’t.

BOOM.

Yes, I have a lot of idols.  (Anything you feel you can’t live without.)  I’m also holding myself prisoner in a lot of ways, too.  Depriving myself of things God says are good. Going hungry at my Father’s table.  Thirsty, at the source of Living Water.

Who do I think I am?

Imagine you provide delicious food for your child and she sits in the chair and feels the hunger pains and doesn’t eat.

How does that make you feel?

Really freaking sad. Right?

You love her and you want her to be healthy and you want her to enjoy the things that you provide with just her in mind.

That may be confusing, but I’m not talking about the sugar anymore.

I’m talking about seeing my need of a Savior.

Seeing how much the Father loves me.

About nothing I could have anticipated or imagined.

 

~disclaimer:  I’m uncomfortable writing while in the middle because I’m not sure that you’re supposed to talk about the things you do spiritually.  But I felt led for some reason today.  And Lent is not in the Bible.  It’s a church observance.  So… Please forgive my continued clumsiness, in any case.~

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fibromyalgia File: One Year Update

A glance at the calendar reminds me of the upcoming one year anniversary of a disaster– my own pharmaceutical train wreck, complete with panic attacks and withdrawals bells and whistles.

It’s not funny to be diagnosed with a chronic illness.

Not funny, at all.

What’s less funny, is when the drugs that work for “most people” nearly kill you.

Um.

@#$%.

Where to go next?

Acupuncture.  Purposely allowing someone to put needles in your face.  hands. toes.  I think this every time I go.  And by that, I mean, I went in for my sixth visit in July and was pain-free until December.  I didn’t get back in until the second week of January, and I’ve been in once more since then.  It’s about time to go back.

The winter is the worst.  It’s a veritable kaleidoscope of symptoms.  This year, I can point to the cause and keep walking.

Saturday, I worked in the yard. Since then, I’ve paid the piper.  In all fairness, I’m not 30 years-old anymore.  I’ve also been in the chair all winter.

I did a lot of exercise last summer.  Which didn’t come to a screeching halt, but tapered off gradually.  I didn’t notice a difference.  Like the doctor insisted it would.  But then, she also told me to keep on taking the meds when I had every side effect on the “Notify Your Doctor Immediately” list.

Yes, I read the patient information sheet when I get a prescription.

No, your doctor really doesn’t want you to do that.

I digress.

One year in?

My life is better.

When I hurt, I can laugh at the pain and say, “It’s Fibro.  It isn’t anything.”

When I can’t sleep, I just get up until I can relax again.  I can stop feeling desperate.  “It’s Fibro.  This is what we do.”  Usually, I can drop back off again for an hour or so.  Typically, I’m up at 3:48 (yes, that exact).  Maybe I’ll drop off again or maybe not.

The insomnia may account for what they call Fibro fog or dyscognition.  That links to a nice tidy definition. It basically means: I might be able to think if I could only think.  This is probably the most irritating to me because I don’t realize it’s getting me until I’m got.

The accompanying depression? It is a diagnostic criteria for Fibromyalgia, but that’s just too freaking bad.  I am unmerciful to it.  Which sounds weird, I know, but things are different now.  Depression is a lie. I walk right in and attack it like it’s an intruder trying to get to my kids.  Because it is.  And I fight dirty.

One year in?

Things are different.

Life didn’t stop just because I got a diagnosis.  This probably isn’t a revelation for other people.

Fibro had to submit to the budget, schedule and order of priority.

They say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”*

Fibromyalgia specifically doesn’t kill you and fights to make you weaker.

I am less sick today because the diagnosis made me turn and face the right enemy.

I am not stronger today because I fought the fibro.

I am stronger because my fight against that unseen enemy trained me for the battle of a lifetime against other unseen enemies.

I’m not afraid of much anymore.

Not afraid of much at all.

 

 

 

 

 

*They said it before Kelly Clarkson.  I had to rename a chili recipe because of her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Heartbreak Imperative

I imagine Adam and Eve must have discussed  news, weather, and sports, before they began hiding from God and each other and speaking in vaguenesses and riddles.  No cooking or cleaning or who’s going to take the kids to practice.  Just how many goats were born and how many peaches in a pie.

*yawn*

I can’t imagine a world without conflict.  A job to do; no problems to solve.  How would that even work?

It’s immaterial.

Adam ate the fruit.  (Eve was deceived.  Adam went willingly.  No Buick necessary.)  The world and the human race were altered forever.

What we have now is a broken world full of people who, while created in the image of God, hunger and thirst and grasp for things that are not offered. Refusing the bounty before them, they seek more.  More power. More pleasure. More promise.  Just more.

It isn’t ugly most of the time.  Often it’s pitiful.  Sometimes it’s poetic. Mainly, it is a pedestrian pursuit of equality or “fairness”in comparison with our peers.  Ick.

Once we were broken.  Once we were ashamed.  Once we were isolated from God and each other, life became a battle to reclaim the unbroken and unashamed.  To know and be fully known.  To rest satisfied and to trust intimately.

More frightening and thrilling than extreme sports or stalking celebrities, is the practice of some odd souls to seek a deeply satisfying everyday existence.  Working to live…not living to work.  Being present for their kids.  Teaching those kids what they believe.  Telling them what’s right and wrong.  Trying to set an example of living graciously and by grace.  Loving their spouses–dare I say, sacrificially.

The risk is not, typically, being dashed on the rocks below or a felony conviction.

The risk is heartbreak.

From the cradle to the grave.  There are those who seem always to be doing it right and getting handed both ends of a too short stick.

Too much pain.  Too much loss.  Too much grief.

Too much.

There are those who are fearlessly, bravely, recklessly, deliberately, obediently walking onto the battlefield.

We look at them and wonder if we could handle that kind of heartbreak.

There have been times in my life, I’ve wondered if God creates certain people to be vessels to carry pain.  They grieve on behalf of many. They are to feel the pain, so that those who couldn’t handle it can pass by unscathed.

It’s been clear to me for many years, that God also trusts some of us with trials that would crush another.

He trusts me with these trials.  No need to be jealous of another’s…I couldn’t handle them.  In reality, there isn’t anyone else’s I know well enough to make that kind of call anyway.

Rambling?  Sorry.

We have hearts.

Before the fall, no biggie. Unbroken fellowship.  Nekkid intimacy.

After the fall, an eternal quest to plug into an ever-craving heart, anything and everything that doesn’t satisfy. It feels good and slowly kills us (like me and a nice Rx).  When we do figure out it’s only relational intimacy that will do, we then face the challenge of behaving for the other’s best without getting hurt.  A version of football’s “Prevent Defense”.

Eventually, we find that doesn’t work.

We have hearts.  If we are to be obedient stewards of them, we must step into life without our armor.  In order to fully live, we must have our eyes open.  Follow the rules of the game, no matter how hard it gets.  When we suffer a break, we know we are moving towards victory.

Yes, you heard me.

When we do right and get hurt, it’s a sign we’re using this heart, created in God’s image, the way it was designed to be used.

God doesn’t let on much about His heartbreaks.  His kids are a continual source of pain.  We throw his gifts in His face.  We disobey and get hurt.   He wants more for us. He wants unbroken intimacy with us and gets foolishness from us instead. He doesn’t put the focus on His desire, but on our safety, quite frankly. Even, more, on the security and satisfaction of our souls.

There is not a heartbreak we bear that doesn’t display His image on us.  His plan from the beginning has been for us to illustrate Him to those around us.

Remember photo negatives?  When you held them to the light, you could see a distorted vision of the actual.  After the developing process, the real picture was revealed.

One moment in time held up to the light.  Still, indistinct until the process is complete.

Ugly, until then.

Potentially exquisite.

What do they call it then?

Proof.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flying Surrender

In previous posts, I’ve alluded to my opposition to using medicine to numb an unspecified pain to the neutralization of pleasure.

Week before last I gave up.  In a haze of pain, a clouded mind, I  got the appointment.  By the time the appointment came around, I delivered myself bawling to the doc.  She shares my faith and respects my feelings about drugs.

Mid-week they called me with results and asked it I just wanted to go ahead and start the anti-depressants.

I said, give me until the follow-up appointment next week to decide.

Thursday, I read this post by Diana.  I asked a question.  Got a couple of answers.

Yesterday, I felt better than I have in years. I’ve slept all night every night since Wednesday last week.  My focus is 100% better.  I have a high powered anti-inflammatory and am not yet pain free. Three visits into PT (One of the girls has a crush on the PT’s intern. suh-pri-ize.).

I’m ready to stop being smarter than the meds, the doctors, science and God.  I wrote all that the other day about coffee, sugar and exercise, and the deal is– part of the reason I feel bad is that when things are falling apart I add to the plates I want to keep spinning.

The achilles heel of the good girl.

It’s been nearly a quarter century since I took the medicine.  Science has had time to work on it.  Science, like it or not, produces things that God uses to care for his kingdom.

Friday morning,looking at logistics for next week, I realize it’s not going to happen without moving things around.  So I call and explain my situation and ask if I can have my follow-up visit TO-day.  They said, yes.

I determined to ask all my questions.  And go with what the doc said.

Bend my neck. Humble myself.

Surrender.

The doctor said that based on the results so far, I don’t need them at this time.

(She said she couldn’t believe the difference between the person she saw in office 9 days ago.)

It seems it’s never the insomnia or fear or stressful events.

Maybe it’s only ever opening my hand.

Letting go of what I’m holding onto that I think is keeping me safe.

Handrails, steering wheels, reins, joysticks.  The control.

I used to call it letting go.  Now, I call it surrender.

Surrender.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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