Quagmire

I was going to say, “swamped” but ‘quagmire’ just sounds more poetic. Either way, I am caught up in circumstances that are difficult to maneuver and somewhat overwhelming.

On the positive side, I have finished going through part 1/4 of the Bible study that I’m writing with one of the ladies in my ‘guinea pig group’. It has been a very encouraging process. I’m hoping to get the second section finished completely in the next few days and then begin the last two sections, which I hope to finish before our vacation starts in August. My guinea-group will resume in Autumn or perhaps will have to wait until next Spring. It is a long-term project and as much as I am trying to finish it before the end of this summer, I also know that it is a process I need to lean into and take my time processing and understanding as I write. It just won’t be rushed and that’s okay. (My fear to overcome with this project is of failure: can I actually finish? I am currently taking lots of breaks and writing when I am passionate and actually want to write – instead of forcing it.)

I had my 6 month thyroid TSH bloodwork and follow-up appointment this past week. It was a good appointment in that even though my GP doesn’t approve of my theories/concerns/research, he is very much supportive of doing whatever he can to give me peace of mind. So, he sent me to the lab for a liver panel as well as a thyroid panel and I will get the results at my follow-up at the end of this month. I am concerned that my permanently damaged liver may be impeding the conversion of Synthroid (T4) to T3. He has started me on Cytomel (T3) and will test my blood in 8 weeks. I will be keeping track of how I feel and let him know in 4 weeks, in case he needs to increase the Cytomel or change something else. It feels good to have a gameplan. I was very concerned that I was going to have to find another doctor.

After over 200 days of tracking my calorie intake, I am taking this week off. I have stalled in my weight-loss efforts for the past 3  months and though I know that it is completely my fault for not being strictly self-controlled, I just need a bit of a break to try and re-focus and relax. I have been seeing how  my portion control would go without measuring or weighing. I have been losing for the past 2 days and am hoping that I can break my 50lb weight loss barrier by the end of the month – without using my app to do so. It was my hope that by losing weight, my Synthroid would work better, but it doesn’t appear to have made enough difference. My fatigue, irritation, joint pain… those are the symptoms that I notice easily – are still an issue for me.

My anxiety and depression are lessening. I would say that the depression is 97% gone but the anxiety is still running high. I’ve been writing about boundaries and resentment/expectations. I’ve continued to try and distance myself from those who are either toxic to me or who have been too wounded for me to help. I’ve also strengthened a life-long friendship that I had been keeping at a distance while I strengthened my independent voice. Getting that balance of giving and receiving… I am musing today on the give and take of relationships, and how the lack of balance often means that I am unbalanced in my relationships with my own family. If I am giving too much of myself outside of my own family,  I tend to take more from them. Nothing new, just reminding myself really.

From my response to a meme: “She distanced herself to save herself”

“Exactly.
Because there are 4 very special people who need me more than anyone else does, and I don’t have the time or health for much else.
Because it isn’t my job to save people from the consequences of their choices.
Because I have absorbed and carried too much that isn’t mine.
Because there is a difference between “help me to help myself” and “help me”. 
Because sometimes the pressure to be more feels like a rigged game of Tag where I am “It” and can never catch up.
Because my day has the same 24 hours as everyone else and I am already busy.
Because saying “no” to life-suckers so that I can say “yes” to life-givers is a best practice for my life.
Because often in life the choice isn’t between ‘good / evil’ but between ‘good / God’s best’, and I’ve lived long enough to know the difference.
Because guilt and shame are only useful if you’ve actually done something wrong, otherwise they are tools of mass manipulation for the destruction of the soul.
Because “love your neighbor as yourself” implies equality.
Because having a sacrificial love is like hosting a pig roast: be the host who invites others to share in your abundance – don’t jump into the pit. (Be the host – not the roast! 😉)
Because sometimes the most loving choice is the one that lets go.”

and from a morning musing on another meme: “Resentment is an early warning signal for needed change.”

“Morning Musing: Resentment is interesting to contemplate. It reminds me of the tension between self and others. Everyone battles it to some degree. It becomes a bit complicated as a christian and even more so as a pastor’s wife. Poor boundaries with others brings out my resentment very quickly. Unmet expectations seem to be at the root. Whether those expectations are acceptable or unreasonable is the deciding factor for whether or not resentment is justified.
The roles people have help to define acceptable expectations. We expect more of those whose roles require greater responsibility; or whose behaviour directly impacts our lives in a meaningful way. When someone fails to live up to our expectations, or when others fail to respect our limitations in meeting their expectations, resentment flares.
I read a Leo Buscaglia book as a teenager that had a line I latched onto: “When you cease expecting, you have all things.” I liked it at the time because important people in my life were failing my expectations of them. I was learning that I couldn’t count on them to be who I desperately wanted them to be. It was really a life-long lesson that was crammed into my first 16 years. As an Idealist, it hurt badly. That quote became one way I could numb the pain – just stop expecting the wild jackals to be tame; stop expecting all of my needs to be met; stop expecting others to live up to my ideals for them. It is now thirty years later and my reflection on that quote has changed. It seems to promise freedom but what it actually births is hopelessness. When we stop expecting anything from anyone, yes, we may think we are avoiding the bad but we are also avoiding the good. To cease expecting anything from anyone leaves a massive, emptiness in its wake. Hopelessness becomes an insulated state of shock for the soul.

Trauma has a period of shock that immobilizes and insulates but the desire is for the initial, impermeable state to transition quickly into healing. Step one: get a blanket and keep them warm. Regardless of the physical, mental/emotional, or spiritual causes of trauma, the treatment is much the same: surround them with warmth; put pressure on any bleeding wounds; intervene as necessary to improve circulation, keep their major organs functioning, keep them breathing, keep their hearts beating; keep hope alive for all.
The traumatized person, cocooned in care or isolation, eventually emerges, changed. All relationship expectations must now shift, wobble, separate, widen the grace-filled gaps – such that the hopeful ideals for each other give freedom in relationship rather than a static, unreasonable, demand for unattainable perfection.

Resentment builds when expectations imprison what is meant to be free.”

 

I am muddling through life and feeling a bit weary. But God is carrying me and strengthening me. And I am finding time to rest and be still. ❤

 

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