Fairly unlikely that you just happen to have a bowl of ice cream sitting slightly to your left, but if you do, wow! How fortunate are you?!?
Hey guys! How are you? I’m not just asking you facetiously, I would really like to know. I can see that several people read this but I don’t know who you are, for the most part. So please, really, how are you? Let me know in the comments. Thank you!
I’ve been up and down. My mentor describes managing dysthymia as leveling out the peaks and valleys, becoming more level and steady. Some days I feel like I’m doing alright with it. Some days I fail horribly. Yesterday was both. Yesterday was the one month breakiversary. One month since I’ve talked to him. I really wish my last words to him had not been spoken in anger. The day before yesterday was super low.
We’ve been working on identifying triggers but the cause of that little bout of suicidal feelings was a mystery until it hit me how utterly irrational it all was (curse you, you meddling hormones!). Even with that realization I still felt incredibly low, so I self-harmed.
Self harming doesn’t always mean cutting or injuring yourself in some way. I’ve never cut (yes, the thought has crossed my mind at times over the past month, but then I’d have to make sure the blade is clean, and I’d have to have bandaids handy, and figure out the right place to cut where people wouldn’t notice, and it would hurt! I’m too lazy and I don’t want that much pain. So cutting is off the table). My self harm takes the form of not eating quite enough (don’t worry, I’m not anorexic) and pushing myself to the point of exhaustion as much as I can. Both have been a thing lately. I see how many physical activities I can pack into a day so that I’m completely worn out and my exhaustion will numb the pain. Sometimes it works too well. I woke up yesterday morning at 4:30 (my normal wake up time of late, although I don’t set my alarm for that time) feeling no more rested than when I went to bed the night before.
God has been waking me up at 4:30 most mornings lately with this song in my head:
Especially the line that says “You have to pray ’til your breakthrough breaks through the ceiling.” So I pray. I pray some for my family, but mostly for Trent. I pray that God would bless him, heal the pain I caused him, bring him joy and peace, give him wisdom, protect him from Satan’s darts of fear and doubt, and especially protect him as a single man in ministry. I pray that God’s will be done in his life, that God would pull Trent ever closer to Himself, that when Trent is weak that that’s when he feels God’s strength the most. I pray that God would bring a truth-speaker into his life, like He has in my life (my mentor), and that God would anoint his truth-speaker with grace, wisdom, and truth (I pray that for my truth-speaker too). I pray that God moves in this situation in a powerful and mighty way so that everyone might look at this and say “this is God. Only He could have done this.” I want above all else for God to be glorified in my life, and I pray that God glorifies Himself through Trent’s life also.
I don’t know if you noticed something, but my mentor did when I told her about my prayers. She said “Sometimes I get the impression that praying for your own needs, wants, desires, and wishes are off the table. Why?” Then followed a discussion where she spoke some intense truths to me, like: “So…by saying you can’t ask God for things, you’re (in effect) saying that Christ’s death was not for you and if His death was not for you, then you are separated from God. Do you believe any of that?” “No.” “What lies does Satan whisper in your ears that steals, kills, and destroys you? ‘You don’t deserve to ask God for anything!’ ‘You are not worth God’s time and attention!’ ALL LIES!!”
I still didn’t pray for myself though. My mentor’s words were powerful and wise, but not enough to reach through the fog and haze of depression, grief, and lies. Then came yesterday.
Started off rough. I woke up and prayed for Trent. Then I got up early for my bike ride. It was cold! We’ve been having lovely, unusually mild weather and it’s in the mid-50s in the mornings when I ride. Plus, the sun was behind the only cloud in the sky. I was a bit piqued with God about that. I wanted the sun to shine on me (I need my vitamin D!). I pushed myself farther than I should have, for how worn out I was. On the way home the sun started peaking out from behind the cloud, and it was like God was saying “here, may I bless you with the sun now?” I said “no, thank you God. I didn’t get it when I wanted it, so I don’t want it at all now.” So the sun stayed behind the cloud.
I prayed for myself on the way to work. I prayed “God, please keep me awake while I drive and get me through today.” (Side note: He answered that prayer! Obvs.) It was a good day at the library. My mentor and I texted a lot, analyzing some of my issues and his issues that were some of the causes of the breakup, and coming to some lightbulb-esque conclusions. I was feeling pretty good by the end of the day. I determined to not self-harm last night (i.e. not trying to do everything all by myself and eat a good meal). I did go out and pick raspberries, because they needed to be picked, there weren’t that many, and I really wanted raspberries with ice cream.
It was late by the time I got the raspberries washed – like, quarter to 10. But I was still determined to have ice cream. So I got the ice cream out and my five year old nephew wanted some. Except, he had already had a bowl of ice cream right after supper. So I told him that he couldn’t have his own bowl, but I would gladly share some of my ice cream with him.
Apparently I took too long getting it ready, because we were just about ready to sit down and enjoy the deliciousness, when he all of a sudden said “I don’t believe that you are going to share with me!” And he went into the living room and threw himself down on a pillow. I was bewildered. I said “I said I was going to share! What makes you think I’m not going to share?!?” But he continued in that vein: “You’re not going to give me any! I’m never going to get ice cream and raspberries!” By this time we were sitting at the table, bowls of luscious raspberries and sweet ice cream in front of us. I was holding out a spoonful of the mixture in his direction saying “Here! Come get it! I want to give this to you!”
And that’s when God stepped in, so clearly and forcefully that I had to laugh. He said “I’m you, and you are your nephew right now. I want to give you good things, to bless you, and you’ve been lying on the floor in despair saying ‘you’re not going to give me any! I’m never going to have the sweet things I want!’ while I’m holding it out to you, saying ‘come here, taste and see that I am good!”
My nephew did eventually come and get ice cream.
This morning, I woke up at 4:30 and prayed for Trent. And I prayed for myself.