Meet the Author's Author

Meet the Author's Author
Live for Jesus! That's what matters! That you see the light in me and come along! :)

Friday, July 31, 2015

To Become Like a Child...

Note:
Trigger warning: If you're in a bad place, don't read this. If you think you can handle it...try. It may encourage you. I hope. :P

Depression-exhaustion. It's one of the things I loathe most about a bout of suicidal depression.
(If you need a definition of that, feel free to message me: fromselfharmtovictory@gmail.com)

First there's a tiny grey cloud, a mood change...flashbacks...sometimes panic attacks...random crying spells...intense sadness over the lost things/people...
Those can be triggered by, or exacerbated, by arguments, events (i.e., a person who dislikes/caused a lot of trouble for me married recently, and it triggered this bout because he was brought back into my life, albeit unintentionally, by mutual friends; aggravated by an argument this past weekend).

Then it literally feels like my mind is being torn in two. There's the one part which seems to be out of control, and the other which is logical and takes the rationale. It knows I'm out of control and it's scary. That's the part that keeps holding on, pulling me through a working day, forcing my reconcentration when I'm staring blankly at work. It's frightening. I'm trying desperately to hold down my "normal" lifestyle at work, when I'm in floods of tears in front of some managers - uncontrollably. A tiny little thing triggered it, and it wouldn't stop.
The pain turns physical; I'm drinking wine and taking painkillers to ease back on the mental pain.
Then my mind goes blank. I go quiet.
A bit more head pain.
I start to think, communicate again.
Still on painkillers.
Start realising I need to climb out and use the trip-switches - find something to be thankful for in the days when it's dark and grey, when I hate myself for being like this, for being so weak and unable to stop what's happening, for realising how much it bars me from a normal future - make other people happy, buying flowers, passing out smiles, trying to twist an amusing sentence - sharing faith or Scripture - prayer.
And keeping climbing.
Keeping "hoping" - that beautiful, painful shining future thing, ever reaching for, still not quite touching.
Maybe this time I'll be one step further away.

The depression spells aren't as frequent as they were last year, losing the guy I love/d and OYAN within four months of each other. I have never been that close to losing my mind and it was terrifying.
However, these spells now are both deeper and lasting longer - this current bout has been going for almost a month.
Which worried me, until a dear friend recently shared that in her battle with depression, hers had worsened as well, but she'd found it to be a natural, though painful, step towards healing.

It's hard to explain suicidal depression to someone who hasn't experienced it. Because they're going to think you're crackers. I sometimes think I'm crackers.
Don't ask my friends. *small grin* They'll happily tell you I'm nuts. But you know what I mean.
All the thoughts. All the "cleverness". The thoughts of a mad woman? But where does it end, and where does it begin?

Recently, I shared the following statement:
I hate being open and honest. *cheerfully* Indeedy, it's hard to believe. I am aware that anything I say can be, and has been, taken and used against me in the past.
I hate being weak. I try to masquerade to myself as much as anyone.
I would dearly love to pretend a life of complete victory over struggling with self-harming, over depression, but I can't.
_At the same time_, I believe that our lives and struggles are given to us for a reason. To be known. For God to be seen through our weakness as He gives us strength.



I still hate sharing about my struggles, though I know some people think I love it for the attention. (Sickos. No apology.)
Because here is the thing I mutually like and loathe about this battle. (Yes, I said 'like'.)
My faith.

I hate it because of the way it appears. For struggling Christians, the testimony of Christ coming through the blackness can be encouraging; for non-Christians, Christ is seen as the by-product of a diseased mind (we'll ignore the fact I've been saved since a child :P) and a crutch to lean on to get through the darkness.
I'm not objecting to Christ being my crutch - He is both that and my sword. I just hate that I'm not victorious and He is not shown in ability of skill, word, intellect, that I cannot prove Him beyond a shadow of a doubt and cause Him to shine in glory.
Me me me. The way I want Christ to be seen. The way I want to serve and to show Him off. Because that's what it is.

Suicidal depression, or any kind of depression, is one of the greatest battlegrounds of faith, where you can experience the power of God amid the greatest loneliness.
The small things can be fought to be found, or lost in the blackness.
And one's faith becomes that of a child.
His strength is made perfect in weakness. And for some reason, excruciatingly humiliating to me, this is the way He is choosing to be seen in my life.

A child toddles towards his father, reaching out for the hand extended to steady him...jumps off the side of the swimming pool, expecting his father to catch him...sits down at the table and expects there to be food provided for him.
In the great battles and intellectual picking apart of the Bible today, we find a lot of "did God really say?" and hardly any of "not my will, but Thine."
There is so much defining of battle grounds and picking apart of terms, creations of our own gods and not - Lord, I will trust You. I don't understand, but I will trust You.

When it comes to those last days and we, who have picked the Bible apart and accepted what we like, come to face those who have also picked the Bible apart and come to the conclusion that there is nothing solid - where will we stand?
"Did God really say?"
Or
"On Christ, the solid Rock I stand?"

"My faith has found a resting place, not in device or creed.
I trust the Ever Living One - His wounds for me shall plead.

I need no other argument - I need no other plea.
It is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me."


In humiliated gratitude, clutching my head in my hands when the pain gets too much to bear, sometimes the only thing I can retain is "Jesus loves me. Jesus loves me."
And yes.

That is enough.


In Christ,
Love,
Siân

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

To Catcall Or To Compliment

Walking hurriedly along the street in the cool evening air, I glanced sideways at my reflection in the glass window, noting again my arms with dissatisfaction.
I barely had time to think, rushing madly as I was to get the 8:39 train in time, trying to take in and appreciate the surroundings around me (anti-depression technique), but my shoulders sagged a little, thinking of my dissatisfaction with the way I looked, trying to concentrate on it being more important the way I am inside and yes, I DO like my style. Including the trainers. It's independent looking, like I don't care what people think - and I don't, to some degree. But there are certain things about my body that I don't like. Since being rejected, that insecurity has gained a lot of ground, even though I try to ignore it.

Rushing along Broad Street, I neared three guys in suits sauntering along. Looking ahead, I went to go past them when one, on a phone, waved at me, in front of my face. I smiled at him as he grinned, continuing a quick pace past. His mate behind slowed up and pointed.
"Hey, you smiled!"
At which my smile went full and I laughed.
I carried on; so did they.

They weren't being chavvy, so I felt complimented by the attention - which changed my attitude and I stopped slouching so much and strode on. Then I began to notice the other sideways glances from other guys. The smiles at me from some.

Which all served to boost my self-confidence.

It wasn't bad attention. If they were looking at my body, if I'd been wearing something questionable, then I'd have had good cause to be concerned. But a black t-shirt and mid-calf black chiffon skirt? No.

Which then lead to the pondering - is the attention wrong? Was my reaction to it wrong? Should I be denying/blocking the confidence feeling, as in the past, and be feeding my confidence from God alone?

Some people would say Yes.
Men should control their eyes and mouths, and not pay compliment or court to a woman's prettiness/beauty, unless to wife or family.
Yes, I should have been covered up more - maybe not had my hair loose or make-up on, not worn a t-shirt. I shouldn't have noticed the compliments of looks, smiles and waves and I certainly shouldn't have let it affect me.

But...I don't think so.
God made men to appreciate pretty things - including women. Too often they are scared to - maybe we shout sexual harassment or demanding equal treatment. Maybe because as women, we tend to go - ooh he complimented me! Maybe he wants to go on a date!
No, it was an appreciation of beauty. Be proud of being a woman and accept it graciously.

There would be a problem if I allowed the attention to obsess my thoughts or prompt more preening in front of the mirror than usual - if I allowed the dissatisfaction with who I am to sink into my soul until I try and change everything external, forgetting or minimising the importance of focusing on my spiritual growth, character and walk with God.
There is a problem when the opinion of men becomes worth it more than the opinion of God.

But there is nothing wrong with accepting the appreciation of men when offered appropriately.

Nor does it make me less of a woman to take it graciously.

If I send it where it came from - to God, Who gave men their appreciation of beauty, and me, for these few short years, the appearance of external prettiness. Even if I don't recognise or appreciate it until a guy waves his hand in front of my face. :-P

I will praise Thee, oh Lord, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and my soul knows it very well.

Thank You for putting people in the now to tell me physically when I get tired repeating to myself over and over.

Am I spiritualising the physical realm? Maybe.
I'd rather be directing what I consider to be gifts back to where they come from than taking glory for myself - for something I had no power to create or bring about.

And thanks, guys, for making a tired, soul-weary woman feel sparkly, attractive and pretty for a few hours.
I appreciate your appropriate compliments.
And no, I'm not thinking you want anything else. For once.