Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Not the Road to Calvary I Was Expecting: Ruby's Birth Story

While pregnant, I tried not to think about labor and delivery. It scared me. All I knew is that it was going to hurt A LOT and somehow I was supposed to work through the pain to get to the "goods" of delivering my baby girl. I thought of birth as a medical procedure and that I needed modern medicine to take care of me so that I wouldn't have to suffer or to feel as little pain as possible. It was about a week prior to birthing Ruby that I had an attitude 180. I learned so much about the birthing process and what medical interventions can do to help and how they really can be too intrusive. I found that labor wasn't going to be one long, agonizing contraction and then a lot of pushing--there would be breaks in between contractions, I could get up and move around, I could even listen to my favorite music! Something beautiful happened within me and I began to be joyful about labor, not just about finally having my little girl in my arms. 

woke up at 2am on Thursday, Sept. 27 with some contractions. I moved to my rocking chair in the nursery at about 3am and stayed there until 730am. My ritual for dealing with the contractions was to rock in the chair and, when one came on, sniff a scented stuffed lamb that we received as a gift for Ruby (it smells like lavender), start the contraction timer on my cousin's phone, and go to my meditative happy place. I was able to sleep soundly in between know, all 7 mins at a time ;) The remarkable part of this phase of early labor was that I finally was able to find my happy place after having spent months trying to find it to no avail. What did my happy place end up being? My parents' living room with Jess and I on the couch and my mom in her recliner. My dad was also in his office down the hall and would periodically pop in and my sister was upstairs and came down once. But all sorts of people came to visit us there as we all awaited the arrival of Ruby. It was great because it is a place that I know vividly and am so comfortable in. 

All three of us (me, Jess, and my cousin Paula who was my doula) got us for the day at 830 and got ready to go to my non-stress test, which was totally stressing me out. By the time we got to the appointment, my contractions were 6mins apart but I thought I would be sent home--I didn't think that this was the real deal at all (neither did Jess or Paula, I later came to find out, because I was coping so well). Well, as it turns out, I was 4-just-about-5cm at my appointment and my provider determined I was in active labor. I also won the battle about my due date--it was put on all of my sheets that I was 40w5d at the time I went into labor (another story...this one's already going to be long). Anyway, I was sent to lunch and to walk around and I was to report back at 3p. So we went out for pizza. At one point while in the restaurant, I scared most of the wait staff because every time I had a contraction I would close my eyes, hold my rice sock (literally a sock filled with rice and scented oil to be used as heat or scent therapy) to my nose, close my eyes, and go to my happy place. In the end, they treated us to a dessert with a birthday candle and we all sang happy birthday to Ruby!

When I reported back at 3p, I had progressed to 6cm so I was admitted. The next part traumatized me and was the only part of labor that brought me to tears. My hospital's policy is that every woman admitted for labor has to have a hep lock in the event that she needs an IV. I was GBS positive so I definitely needed an IV so I had been preparing myself to deal with the needle...but to no avail. The first nurse tried sticking my left wrist, but the vein blew, at which point I thought to myself, "I just told you I'm scared of needles, why would you say this aloud?", so she tried sticking my right hand. That vein also blew and so she called over another nurse. At this point I just started bawling. I absolutely could not stop crying but somehow kept still enough for that nurse to successfully stick my left hand. It took 30mins to get the hep lock in place and 10 more for me to recover. 

Having finished that, I was sent off to my labor room with all the support and praises of the nurses for wanting to use all other methods of coping before having an epidural. Let it be known that I am not against epidurals nor having one (at any stage of labor) but I knew that there were other methods of coping that would be better for me, especially since once you have an epidural, you have to stay in bed and I knew that laying down/reclining was not the most comfortable way for me to deal with contractions, hence my initial basis for not wanting an epidural. Anyway, so once in the delivery room, we set up shop--got out the birthing ball, set up my laptop and started playing music (my specially made "labor and delivery" playlist of all of my favorite songs), had my focal points on hand, and put my rice sock on the bed. I was able to sit on the birthing ball for all of the fetal monitoring and other questions and answer sessions they put me through. It was kind of funny, different people would be talking with me and then I'd have to cut them off as I had my contraction and then would pick up right where we left off when the contraction was over. It felt so good to be so incredibly lucid. I was coping so well no one could really tell when I was actually having a contraction. 

At 7:30, my attending doctor decided that they couldn't get a good enough read on the fetal monitor and that I would have to lay down in the bed so they could. Another of my hospital's policies is that every woman must have continuous monitoring unless recommended for intermittent monitoring, which happens basically never. Well, side-lying hurt like nobody's business because my hips are out of line, which is how the doctor wanted me to remain for the rest of my labor. This clearly was not an option for me. So my nurse and I negotiated that since I was completely healthy and had a non-complicated pregnancy and was going without an epidural that if we gave them 20mins of continuous monitoring that I would then only need to be monitored intermittently. I came to find out that I was only the 2nd woman in the history of that hospital to successfully negotiate intermittent monitoring. So, those 20mins were very hard for me, but they were so good. Jess and Paula were each on one side of me and my nurse would put her hand on my hip for some opposing pressure every time I had a contraction. I got through it because of those three and my ridiculously awesome playlist. At one point, "Tiny Dancer" came on (which is probably my most favorite song) and I started singing along and I sang the entire thing, even through my contractions. It was just such a happy, joyous environment and it made it all the better for me. 

At 10:45 I was 7cm, 100% effaced, and +1. After a few more contractions, though, I decided that I was too tired to do the rest of this labor unaided, so at 11p I decided to get an IV of the narcotic fentinal and an anti-nausae med as I was having some pretty bad acid reflux. I got "beer goggle eyes" with the first dose of fentinal and so I had to close my eyes. Well, the big joke in my house has been the Packers/Seahawks game (we're Packers fans) and had seen one meme of Stevie Wonder with the caption "Roses are black, Violets are black, Everything is black, Touchdown Seahawks!" and I impersonated that while I had my eyes closed. At a later dose, Paula was tying my bandana onto my head and it ended up looking like a babushka. I was fairly incoherent at this time, so while Paula was comparing me to Little Red Riding Hood, I was babbling about babushkas and porch-sitting Pittsburgh grandmas and started singing "Matchmaker Matchmaker" ala Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire. Good times were had by all! And there are some pretty hilarious pictures from all of this. 

At midnight, I was still 8cm and my doctor was getting antsy to get me going. She started demanding that I be put on pitocin because not only was I not progressing but Ruby was in Right Oxciptal Postterrior position meaning the crown of her head was facing to the right which is not a good position for coming out. My nurse went to bat for me and got us an hour to try other positions to help Ruby move. I had to move into another side-lying position which seemed to help her move quite a bit, but left me in a lot of pain. I had my last dose of fentinal at this time. Just before 1a, without my knowledge (although this was for the better and Jess and Paula knew), I was put on pitocin...just as the fentinal wore off! These were the worst contractions ever--having ridiculous pitocin contractions with no medication is no fun! However, it was also a really productive time. My whole body was shaking all of the time and it was very hard to get to my happy place. At this point, I gave up actually making it to my happy place and just imagined my mom and saying to her, "Don't go yet, I'm bringing Ruby to you. I'm bringing her as fast as I can." I started bearing down without knowing or trying and the nurse was very concerned because they didn't think I was fully dialated yet. As it turns out, I was which was at 2:22a. At some point before I moved into a comfortable sitting position for pushing or after, I'm not quite sure, I remember saying that I just didn't have anymore to give, that I couldn't do anymore. I was assured that I could do more and would have to--I hear most women go through this sort of thing, a moment when thy just want to give up, when it all is too much to bare. I call this the "God moment", when you meet your Maker and just turn everything over to Him. Reflecting on my labor, I thought this moment was so profound, that at my moment of surrender I said I didn't have anything else to give, that I had spent myself for the sake of another. And that is when God took over. I couldn't give anymore but He can give endlessly and it was with His strength, His perseverance, His love, His joy that I continued.

 At 2:45 they could see Ruby's head, just a tiny bit. Around 3:05 they could see about 3cm of her head and thought that I would deliver her head on the next contraction. Now, in each contraction I would push about 2 or 3 times. On this contraction, I went for the third push which should have delivered her head. Instead I delivered Ruby in entirety! Literally we went from seeing some hair to having a baby in the doctor's arms. So, at 3:07a on Friday Sept. 28th, after exactly 45mins of pushing, Ruby Mae Anastasia was born. 

I also noticed that there were about 15 people in the room besides Jess, Paula, and I at this time. We joke that they just shouted down the hallway for anyone who wasn't doing something, but in reality they had a bunch of the med students in there as part of their observations and training--I did deliver in a training hospital, after all. The looks on everyone's faces were priceless! I'm so glad I saw them LOL. It very much looked like everyone was thinking, "Holy shit! This is not how the video depicted it!". 

So then for the repair. It was officially recorded as a 2nd degree repair but it was just about the worst 2nd degree tear you can have before it is a 3rd degree. I tore in an unusual way, too, so the doctors had to call in a specialist to teach them how to do the types of stitches they needed to to repair me. I continually had to remind the doctors that I was unmedicated and could feel everything they did so I needed more lidocain. A great distraction was holding Ruby in my arms while it was happening.The two doctors and their sidekick would talk with me and ask me questions totally unrelated to what was going on, so that was nice. The sidekick and I were even able to joke a bit! In all, it took them an hour and a half to repair me.

This was absolutely the coolest experience of my life. I loved labor! Sounds kind of odd, I'm sure, but I never felt like it was an ugly process that I had to get through to get the awesome gift of Ruby. Instead, I felt like labor was such a joyous event and that Ruby was the cherry on top. Not at all like the road to Calvary that I thought it would feel like. Of course, Our Lady of Sorrows is Ruby's patroness and I could feel her presence. I totally feel like the most accomplished woman in the world. Also, this has done loads for my confidence. Absolutely every nurse and doctor that saw me in recovery (and everyone that had been in the delivery room) not just complimented me but made sure I knew how remarkable I was and what an incredible job I did. Honestly, I never thought much about all of it. I just did it because I had to and I wanted to. And honestly, I have a skewed sense of pain and have a high pain tolerance, so when I say 4 on the 1-10 scale, normal people would say 6, so I really never did think much of it. So anyway, I've never thought much about my capabilities until giving birth to Ruby. I realized that I am much more capable than I give myself credit for and that if everyone else can see it, I should too. So I've started to and it was made life with Jess and with Ruby that much better. I feel awesome! I feel awesome not just because my confidence has been boosted but because I have come closer to my God. For the first time in my life, in my meditation of the Passion I did not unite myself to the sufferings of Christ--I united myself to Christ's self-gift and in that there is true joy and pain doesn't matter. I did walk the road to Calvary, but not as one suffering, rather as one living. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

The In Between

When trying to beat my addiction to masturbation, I had to find the root cause of why I was masturbating and dig it all out from the root up. And I did-- I did not feel like I was lovable. So I feigned intimacy through the fantasy of masturbation, simultaneously cutting myself off from that which I really wanted-- to be loved and know I was lovable and intimacy. Thankfully, I was able to dig up that root and gain healing from the wound it left. But sometimes I still feel the way I did when I was addicted.

There is a lot of stuff between the root of something and what it is protruding as (feeling unlovable to masturbation, for instance) and sometimes that stuff can be overlooked. I overlooked it definitely. All I saw was: Root. Root! Root! Dig it up now!!!! Gone! NO MORE MASTURBATION! YAY!!! VICTORY!  But really, the wound leaves scar tissue related to the injury. Hence, I still deal with some of that "middle stuff" that was always lodged in between the root of my problem and the addiction itself.

Sometimes I still feel like I'm on the outside looking in, that I can never have something that I want, and this is in all areas of my life, not just relationships (friendship and romance and familial all alike). A dissatisfaction with the here and now because I worry I will not have the other things I want and, even more so, cannot have the things that I want. That has led to a rebellious heart and a lot of issues with God. I just want some proof that the things I desire are good things and that I am not just deserving but loved enough to be given good things.

So, I have to deal with the scar tissue of the in between. It's a work in progress. Some days I feel really good and other days are so so. But progress isn't linear, it's convoluted. There are steps to go through, in some fashion and sometimes more than once, and a lot of the issues probably have multiple layers. That's ok. I have multiple layers. I'm not one-dimensional. And in the hard times, I cling to the only things I know to be absolutely true: that God is good and He loves me.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

No Limits

When I was addicted to masturbation and when I first began to realize that I was so, I used to go around bluntly telling people, in semi-appropriate settings, that is. I had no problem telling a relative stranger, when a friend asked me to, and I had no problem discussing it. I did not want to be The Masturbator, but that's who I was, at least self-defined, and so I thought there was no more reason to keep it in the dark.

When I found healing from the addiction, I started going around talking about my freedom from the addiction and how I was no longer The Masturbator. Instead, I became No Longer The Masturbator. And that defined a hole I then needed to have filled: if I was no longer The Masturbator, who was I?

We are not defined by our sins. That was the remedy to my addiction. But neither are we defined solely by our moments of healing or conversion. These are part of who we are, but not who we are in whole. These moments propel us on to be who we are and to define ourselves by what we no longer are in light of healing or conversion is limiting. I am not The Masturbator and I am not No Longer The Masturbator.

I am Theresa who once was addicted and is now set free. I am Theresa who entrusts her entire being to the Precious Blood. I am so much more. I am most assuredly without limits. It is good to recognize our limits-- it reminds us we are human and in need of Someone more than ourselves, it is humbling-- and it is only through recognizing our limits that we might rise beyond them.

Yes, I am Theresa who entrusts her entire being to the Precious Blood-- blood that pours out without limits.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Weariness of Self-Improvement

I'm tired. I have become so tired with life. Always trying to do something, always having to do something, always room for improvement; there's always something. In fact, I'm already tired of writing this post.

I just started going to counseling to maybe hopefully work through some of these issues that are making me so tired. It's just begun and already it's helping. Slowly. Little by little. My "homework": stop negative self-talk, including all of those pesky shoulda, coulda, wouldas. But wait!, I thought. Don't I need to ask myself those questions so I can improve? But how do they really help me improve?

"I should have done things this way" just leads me to think, "I suck, I did it wrong. If only I did it this other, better way, things would be great right now." Nope. No improvement there. If only I would have pretty much works in that same way.

"I could have handled that situation this way" just leads me to think, "If I know how I ought to be [another sneaky, negative trap], then why aren't I that way? What's wrong with me that I'm not that way right now?" Nope. Still no improvement there.

Up until now, I had used those shoulda, coulda, wouldas for so long that I didn't know how to process things in any other way. I've worn myself out over all of these years thinking about how I could have been better, should have been better, ought to learn from my mistakes and be better. It's like a never-ending game of dog chasing tale. I'm never gonna catch my tale if I keep going around in circles-- it will always remain elusive. And I'll always be going in circles, never changing my path, never growing, never improving; always the same. It allows me to not have to change, just talk a big game and simultaneously beat the crap out of myself for being so awful (even though I'm really not).

So how am I supposed to improve if I'm not beating myself up over how I could have been or should have been or whatever? Well, we haven't quite gotten to that in counseling yet, but I know that it has to do with forgiving myself. I have to forgive myself for not being perfect every time out of the gate. Show myself some mercy. Because if I can allow that I make mistakes and that I'm not perfect, then I can also allow that I can be better no matter how many times I stumble. "Theresa, I forgive you for (insert weakness here-- but be specific. None of this "being stupid", "not handling that like you should have." Say, "for jumping to conclusions", "for taking your anger out on someone else", "for being too weak to stop doing whatever it is."). So tonight I say, Theresa, I forgive you for beating yourself up all these years and being too tired to want to desire to change anything or do anything.

Steve Gershom wrote a great post today (read it here, really, go read it) and he ended it with the following: "Screw self-improvement. Forget facing terror and misery, except when I have to. Sometimes there's a good reason to be miserable: that's how it feels when you're not where you're supposed to be." Amen.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Fade to White

The first Lent that ever really meant something to me, the first that truly impacted my life was 10 years ago. I describe that Lent as starting something new in me. I can describe this Lent similarly.

This Lent has been entirely different from any other experience I've had. A complete re-model, a re-do, a building up and starting over. The difference between this Lent as starting something new in me and the first Lent that started something new in me was that 10 years ago, I went after the change and decided to be someone different. This Lent, the change was not my idea, at least not to the extent and in the way that I am receiving it.

Maybe that is the real difference, most Lents I go after, I give and sacrifice, but this Lent I am receiving. Isn't that truly what Good Friday is about anyway? Receiving the Body and Blood of the Lord as He gives Himself up for and to us. I've started receiving Him in a new way. And it wasn't my idea or my doing. I thought I was going on the good way already-- my prayer life was vibrant, my faith flowed over into every other aspect of my life, I've consistently put love of the Lord above everything else in my life and not capriciously, but sincerely and truly.

Yet I find all of this melting away around me.

Something new really is begun in me and really it started before Lent. It began with this someone new growing inside of me and as this child grows so am I. And it is not just the change of becoming a mother, it is a breaking down of everything I have ever know spiritually and building it all back up into something deeper and truer. My desires, for life and faith and God, are melting away, my reasonings for those things are melting away, my habits in those things are melting away. Life and God as I knew them are melting away. And I am happy.

I do not know where this change is taking me, I do not know where it leads. Sometimes it feels dark, disturbing, and never-ending. But mostly it just feels like a washing away to white. "They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Revelation 7:14).

Today nothing spectacular is going on in my life and I don't expect that anything will. I have no big sacrifice to offer today, have no most excellent way of prayer, nothing. So I just stand at the foot of the cross and allow the Blood of my Lord to wash over me. It's what He wants. It's why He gave His Blood. He wants this for all of us.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lenten Schizophrenia: My Lent as a 16 Year Old

Today I offer this recollection as a hopeful reminder that life gets better and that even when powerless in addiction, even when no one understands, God truly has the power to heal.

Sixteen, what a year-- Mommabear had cancer for the third time, I fell in love for the first time, I earned my coveted driver's license, I was confused about who I was and what that meant for my life, I received the Sacrament of Confirmation, I was completely addicted to masturbation and I found out that it is a mortal sin. There were many life-altering events that year, but nothing was more shattering than already struggling in the undercurrent of addiction and then being crushed by a tidal wave saying I was going to hell for something I no longer had any control over. I could not let that happen. I would not go to hell. So without any resources or support or know-how, I did the only thing I could think of: I gave up masturbation for Lent.

Previously my Lenten sacrifices consisted of giving up different candies or cracking my knuckles or other such things appropriate to younger ages, sacrifices that made 8 year old Theresa understand a little bit of Christ's sacrifice, that He willingly gave Himself up just as I was willingly giving up something I loved. But this Lent was different, this Lent I was not giving up something I loved but something I knew was holding me back from Love (and, coincidentally, love). This Lent I was scared, unsure, but determined. I also decided to begin reading the Bible from start to finish (and this has sparked my now typical Lenten routine-- give something up and replace it with something good).

This was all well and good until my parish priest said from the pulpit that we should be in Lent together as families, that all family members should share what they are giving up or doing for Lent to keep accountable or to choose something we could all do as a family. I almost broke out into a cold sweat in my pew. My parents knew of my addiction to masturbation as "my problem" or "the habit" and I was not in the habit of telling them about the depth of my problem. I wanted to keep this Lent under wraps. But while eating (wolfing down) my omelet and cheese danish with Meet the Press interrogating in the background, my mom looked at me and asked what I was doing for Lent. I scrambled and came up with giving up cracking my knuckles, swearing, and snacking between meals, to my mom's disappointed but consenting "okay". I was off the hook.

Until I went for a cookie a few hours later. Until I cracked my knuckles while helping prepare dinner. Until I cursed when I found more homework due the next day that I had forgotten about. Then I realized that this Lent was truly going to be different than any other Lent.

I quit my addiction cold turkey and was keeping it a secret and then, as a show for my mom, I was breaking the habit of cracking my knuckles, watching my mouth (which admittedly was a very good thing), and was skipping snacks while at home (what happened at school stayed at school). Truth be told, I remember next to nothing about those 40 days. All I remember is feeling stressed, pressured, and generally out of my mind. But whatever happened that Lent, I did not break, I did not fall, and I did not give up. I did not realize until that Lent that I could be strong.

I fell back into my addiction after that Lent but what I did gain was a thirst for truth, understanding, and healing. A thirst I have not lost today. A thirst that drives me closer to God every day. And I'm not afraid of my own weaknesses and limitations anymore because I am in love with a God who has none. When I was 16, I found that I was made for more than what I had been allowing myself to live in and I wanted more life. Holiness is pure, true life. That's what I wanted when I was 16 and that's what I want now that I'm 26. May this Lent purge us of whatever death we have been living in and open us to true life.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Excellence of Being Lazy

I am having one of those days. It's one of those days when I'm incredibly lazy and I incredibly don't care. I just returned from California last night and it was one of those trips where I slept little, stressed a lot, wanted to be drunk 80% of the time but never was, and had an amazing time (seeing Mickey Mouse and taking my picture with a Stormtrooper definitely added to this excellence).

But today, I am being purposefully lazy. It's one of those days where I haven't brushed my teeth or changed my underwear and have decided to stay in my pajamas all day. I was even too lazy to pour myself milk and cereal so I drank juice out of the carton. I have been parousing the Internet ever since. I've found some good stuff. Now it's lunch time and you know what I'm having? A margarita out of a sippy cup and tortilla chips. I could take a nap at anytime...and I might! This day is just full of endless lazy possibilities and I intend to explore as many of them as I possibly can.

Do you know why this is not just marginally acceptable but actually an act of excellence? Because I will not always have the chance to take these kinds of days. You know, I'm married now and eventually that will mean lots of things and lots of rushing and busyness and generally not being lazy. And when those days start coming, they won't stop coming until all my children are in school, I look around and deduce that everyone has enough clothes to last them another day, and that all other housework can be moot for the day and then, after lunches are packed, I can pretend like I'm going to get out of my robe and do something but then just lay on the couch and watch whatever crappy show is on television until I hear the bus coming and then rush to put on pants (because pants are obviously a sign of productivity). Someday when I'm old and no one expects me to do anything anymore, probably because they think I can't remember how to, I'll pretend to be senile and just not wear pants at all and blame it on the senility. No one will argue with me unless they want to be granny-slapped (I have a mean right-hook...don't mess with grandma). And so today I am productive by doing nothing, reveling in this state of life the Lord has brought to me for the time being, rejuvenating from a long yesterday, and refreshing for a beautiful tomorrow.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Nobody Likes You When You're 23....But 25 Gets Better

It was a great day to be four years old. The summer sun was shining, my best friend was playing at my house, we had wild imaginations, and a bunk bed without a ladder. It was the perfect combination of crazy and glorious and my imagination imploded.

The adventure was somehow getting from the floor to the top bunk. In lieu of a ladder, we found boxes stacked precariously between the headboard and the wall, which served as a staircase-mountain-ladder right to the top bunk. So BriAnne and I climbed. And then we played victoriously on the top bunk. We had defied all odds--parents, rules, and laws of gravity and possibility and 4 year old abilities. We were queens.

And then we got bored. We didn't have any toys up there, we weren't supposed to be there! So we decided to climb back down. Enter problem. The boxes were not very stable and I was frightened to climb down them for fear of tumbling to my death. BriAnne was not so frightened and successfully climbed down and then left me stranded on the top bunk. I had two choices: die alone on the top bunk or find a way down.

With He-Man (forget She-Ra) as my example, I grabbed the afghan on the bed and flung myself over the side, parachuting to the floor and safety. Except the afghan was tucked in and I merely hung in the balance between the floor and the bunk. Now my 4 year old depth perception was not at the peak of its game (I still don't believe it is) and I thought I was very close to the floor, so I let go. At this exact moment, BriAnne walked into the kitchen to our parents and told them I was stranded on the top bunk. A loud THUMP! instantly followed her proclamation and the moms went scrambling to my rescue. My mom always came to my rescue. This turned into an awesome story at preschool and for two whole days, everyone wanted to be me.

Fast-forward to age 23. I had proverbially flung myself off of many bunk beds in those ensuing 19 years and without fail, Mommabear was always there to rescue me, or at least soothe me in the aftermath. Except now I was flinging myself off of many top bunks wanting desperately to be rescued but Mommabear wasn't coming anymore. A year after her death I was still throwing hissy fits trying to get her attention, but it just doesn't work like that anymore. I decided that truly nobody likes you when you're 23, not even God.

So I moved to California.

Once there I Vada Sultenfussed around trying to put pieces of Mommabear (from long before she was Mommabear) together, fill in my little void, rip apart the chains of my past and be my own Theresa. I succeeded at all of my objectives all the while flailing around like an attention starved toddler in a tiara. Well, maybe an attention starved 12 year old in a tiara (NOTE: I did not wear tiaras when I was 12. I changed my name every half hour). And instead of finding freedom in all of this discovery about Mommabear and myself, I became clingy and even more desperate. Except on the outside I would appear to the normal human eye to be stable, well-adjusted, and adventurous.

In the throes of 25, I became engaged and suddenly my self-serving plea for attention stopped. I just tired of it in my preparation for life as one with another person. I allowed the chaos I bombarded myself with to stop (which was good because the Army has presented me with enough chaos, it doesn't need my help. Better to save my energy) and I became peaceful and calm and stopped crying all the time. And I prayed more. And God blessed me. And I found Mommabear comforting me again. And I am happy.

No more flinging myself off of top bunks for me, but I do jump on the bed, laugh and snort a lot, and partake of crazy, life-affirming adventures. And almost set my dress on fire on my wedding day :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

How Addiction Goes

This blog post I've linked to below describes exactly what it was like to be in the throes of addiction and desperately wanting a way out. And it also is spot on for how it felt when I began to struggle again after I had broken the addiction-- praise the Lord, truly, for giving me the grace to not fall under addiction again.

Steve, this is such an excellent post. Thank you, thank you, thank you.