Wednesday, June 4, 2014

There's a storm approaching!

The last two months have been, um... interesting, and not in a good way.

Emotional blips

Two months ago, I began noticing these odd blips in my emotions. At first, they would just pop into my head for absolutely no reason. I would be in the middle of doing something and I would be hit with a sense of profound sadness. Then it would leave just as quickly. I chalked it up to my worsening symptoms and my frustration with it all. However, I began experiencing these episodes more and more frequently. As my mood spiraled, I went from feelings of sadness to indifference. I was experiencing classic symptoms of depression. It was like I was dying inside and didn't care. As I withdrew, I stopped chatting with my various online friends, then progressed to my family, neighbors, etc. It got so bad that people began reaching out to me wondering what had happened to me!

Run for cover!

Then it hit me - hard. I was getting ready to watch TV one night and, from out of nowhere, I was overwhelmed by this sense that I was falling into a black hole and I couldn't stop myself. It was terrifying! Thank God a friend of mine reached out to me because she was so concerned over my behaviour. As soon as she heard my voice, she made me promise to call the crisis line and my doctor.

I actually got a call from Mental Health (turned out she called them). This is how the call went:
  • Asked me if I was suicidal (good)
  • Let me vent (good)
  • Told me I needed to push myself to get out and do things (uh, not so good with ME-CFS)
  • Told me about various programs available (good). When I explained that I lived in a remote area and could not realistically drive one hour just to go to a support group meeting, she actually questioned why we chose to live where we live! (seriously??)
  • Assumed (bad sign right there) that because she dealt with chronic illness, which included chronic pain, she knew exactly what I was going through (NOT good)
  • When I tried to explain what ME-CFS was and wasn't, she again insisted that she knew exactly what I was dealing with because she felt fatigued too sometimes (REALLY not good)
That last point pushed me into full-blown rage. Oddly enough, getting that angry snapped me out of my downward spiral.

The end result

What got me out of that awful place, you ask? For the past week, I have done these three simple little things:
  1. Thank God for the gift of another day the moment I wake up
  2. Ask Him to help me be a blessing to others
  3. Listen to Christian music all day
That's it, yet the results have been astounding. How can this be, you ask? (another good question) When I fill my head with awesome worship songs, there is no room for the enemy to mess with my thoughts. It's pretty hard to feel down when you are singing uplifting songs all day, plus I made another discovery -

Even when I don't have the energy to do my Bible study, it takes no effort to listen to music.

I was feeling terribly guilty because I wasn't physically capable of doing my usual two hour bible study sessions. I tried doing shorter versions, but didn't find them as helpful. Thankfully, what I discovered is that praising the Lord is just as powerful as studying His Word. We study God's Word so that we can learn how to apply it in our lives. We sing praises to the Lord to show our love and gratitude to Him.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I don't want you to EVER think that you have nowhere to turn when you are in crisis. I want you to know that you don't have to stay in your deep, dark pit. I pray you will always make the effort to reach out, and keep reaching out until you find the right person to help you get through the storm.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

What do you fill your head with all day? Are your thoughts helping or hurting you? What can you start doing to help ensure your mind doesn't become Satan's garbage dump?

24 Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" 26 He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. Matthew 8:24-26