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About BrokenPieces

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    Scrapbooking, rubber stamping, fiction writing, singing, sailing

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  1. Because of the many ways He manifests Himself -- through nature, through a still, small voice in my heart, many, many ways that He has come through for me in the past. He has always been faithful to me and to my family. I have no doubts whatsoever that He is there.
  2. Terry, that's actually very helpful. I'm not glad you are where you are, but it does help to know others can empathize. I try to hold on to the verse that says something like, "To him who endures shall be given the crown of life." I know those aren't the exact words, but it's the sentiment. So I'm holding on as hard as I can (which, some days, is pretty tenuous). I also had the thought last night that the reason I'm here is because God wanted me to exist. He wanted me to exist because He wants to have fellowship with me, He wants to have a relationship with me. He created me because He wanted there to be a ME to love. That's hard for me to get my head around, because I so often feel so very unworthy and unlovable. But when I read the Bible, that's the conclusion I come to. If I can just remember that on the days I don't see the point, I'll get through.
  3. Thanks for your response, BetterOff! I guess I should have mentioned that I do have a diagnosis of clinical depression (from years ago), and I take Wellbutrin XL 300. Hubby is on Lexapro but it doesn't seem to be doing him much good, and if he has situational depression that would probably make sense. I have been to counseling in the past, but it never seems to hit the mark for me. I've had some good advice and some bad, but so far nothing that really makes a huge difference. Maybe that's my fault. I'm not ruling out trying again, though. I just wish I could decide whether my spiritual problems are because I'm not doing the right things, or because I'm depressed and exhausted and don't have the energy to focus on spiritual things. I don't seem to have much problem focusing on other things most of the time (like the hobbies). I know God loves me no matter what (intellectually, anyway), and I know faith isn't about "works." God doesn't require that I check all the boxes on some checklist before He can be pleased with me. But I have trouble remembering that. Anyway ... I know all the "right stuff," I just don't do it because I'm too freaking tired.
  4. I'm a Christian, and I struggle massively with depression, including occasional suicidal thoughts. I know having depression doesn't make me a bad person or a bad Christian, but sometimes I just can't get on track with my faith the way I know I should. Lately I've found myself wondering "What's the point, again?" I have several health problems including chronic fatigue, possibly fibromyalgia, arthritis in my lower back and neck, which in the case of my neck can lead to excruciating headaches that seriously make me want to do myself in and get it over with. So I get very depressed over the fact that some of these pain issues will be ongoing for the rest of my life, thereby seriously reducing the quality of my life. I also have a child who will be graduating from high school in 2011 and going off to college. He's my only child, and we're very close so I have no idea how I'm going to do this, let him go. It's not like I have a life to look forward to once he's gone. I can't work or volunteer because of my health issues, so I'm pretty much stuck at home all day. I have hobbies, but sometimes I get bored with them and there's really just not much to do. I am married, but my husband is also going through major depression because of similar health problems (at least with his neck), and he is under horrible stress at work all the time, some of which I suspect he causes himself because he is a perfectionist. I told him the other day he needed to find something fun to do, and he said, "No, I don't do fun anymore. There are too many other things I have to do, and I need to take care of you." Ouch. So some days I can say, "It's okay, God will give me the grace I need for each day as it comes." Other days, like today, I just wonder what the point of all this suffering is. Not on the "Why does God allow suffering?" scale, but more why does most of life have to just suck like this? I know there is beauty in life, but sometimes I wonder if the few moments of beauty are worth all the other crap. I guess part of my problem is that I just feel so far from God right now. I know He's there, I know He loves me, but I can't feel Him. It seems like the last few years I've had more days where I can't feel Him than days when I can. As I said, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that He's there, but it's the experience of feeling that Presence that I miss. I know I need to draw near to Him, but sometimes I'm just too tired to make the effort. So ... don't know what I'm asking for exactly. Maybe I just needed to get it off my chest. But today is not a good day, and I'm having trouble seeing the point.
  5. There's a wonderful book to read called "The Reason for God" by Timothy Keller that examines the beliefs of Christianity including why God allows suffering. It's a great book because it's written for intelligent people with questions. It doesn't "talk down" or use a lot of Christian religio-babble. I found it incredibly helpful with my questions about my own faith. If you feel up to reading it, it might really help.
  6. So I'm still obsessing about the same celebrity as when I posted months ago. Actually, this obsession has been going on for four years now, nearly five. I'm a Christian, he's a Christian, so I won't let myself go down the road of sexual fantasy. For one thing, I respect him a lot and it would just be wrong to "go there" about him. He's also married, and so am I, so I don't want to commit "virtual adultery." I just think he seems like the most awesome guy and I wish I knew him. I think. I imagine he's probably not as completely wonderful as I think he is, but I still think he'd be a great friend. Fortunately we live in towns very far from each other so I can't act on that wish. I definitely don't want to turn into the stalker type! (Even "innocent" stalking.) I think I'm different from some of y'all in that I don't want to know that much about his real life. I like who he is in my head, and while I don't mind knowing basics like his birthday, where he grew up, etc., I'm good just obsessing about the person I've created in my head from him. At any rate, I don't want my obsession to end, either. When it starts to wane I do things to stir it up again, like re-reading the story I'm writing about him (well, a person based loosely on him), I load up his band's videos, listen to their music exclusively, etc. I get extremely depressed when his real life intrudes into the one I've created for him. Sometimes that's pretty strong because I'm always looking for new pictures of him on the internet and that will eventually lead me into the "reality" waters I don't want to be in. I feel super guilty about doing this, since I'm married and have been for almost 20 years. I love my husband, but we definitely have some issues and this "created image" of this celebrity fills in the emotional places DH doesn't. I hate that I do it, but sometimes I think this celebrity thing is what gets me through rough days. When reality really starts to suck, I just turn the situation into something for my story (in which I'm pretty much the girl who ends up marrying him). I feel like such a freak for admitting that. I, too, go around the house all day having conversations with him (as the characters in the story), and I often wish I lived in my story instead of my real, boring life. As I said, I don't want my obsession to end (although they always do, and something else eventually takes its place, another obsession), but I do worry sometimes that it's keeping me from learning to cope with life's difficulties in a more "normal" way. I have so much fun with it, though! Except when his reality and mine collide -- then it's excruciatingly depressing.
  7. I hope you had a fantastic day :)

  8. Toots, are you sure you were taking the glycinate form? I pretty much can't take regular magnesium, but it takes a lot of mag glycinate to give me intestinal problems. I take between 400-600mg 2x/day and rarely have the intestinal side effects. I take it to regulate my heart -- I have a lot of problems with palpitations (cardio says there's nothing wrong other than the mitral valve prolapse I already knew about), and the mag gly really helps with that. I have been wondering about the mag gly causing fibromyalgia-like symptoms, though. I've had to go to the 1200/day dose for a few days now, and the first day I did that I had horrible generalized pain (which I have occasionally). Don't know if that was a coincidence or not, but I felt better the next day and I'd started out with the lower 400mg morning dose. Anyway ... I think mag gly is amazing stuff for my heart palps, and I do hear it's great for anxiety issues, too. (Not my problem right now, although I have had major issues with it in the past.)
  9. So I canceled my colonoscopy that's for Wednesday because I woke up this morning super exhausted and with a low-grade fever. Pretty sure it's a sinus infection again. At least I go to the ENT on Thursday. I also have a very unpleasant sciatica thing going on. I will go ahead and do the CT abdominal scan today -- I figure I can handle a little barium and a quick run through a CT machine. And hopefully, depending on what the results are, I won't have to reschedule that danged colonoscopy until I'm 50, which is in 3 years. I am SO tired, I just want to sleep for, like, 3 weeks. Anyway. That's the morning update for all of you who were waiting with baited breath ... (it's not like I think that many people actually read this blog ... It's more of a cathartic writing thing, since I know my friends are tired of hearing about me being sick all the time, so I don't want to talk about this on facebook or my other, more public Blogger blog.)
  10. BrokenPieces


    It took me a long time today, but I finally got over the black cloud -- mostly. I watched a really wonderful movie on Netflix called "Arranged" about a Jewish girl and a Muslim girl (well, they were young women) who teach in the same school and discover they have one other thing in common -- their parents are arranging marriages for them. The girls have a bit of a say in it, but ... whoops, this wasn't supposed to be a movie review, sorry! But my husband ... he has been a lump of misery all day long. We even got into a "discussion" about how he just doesn't engage, he doesn't spend time and effort on connecting with me anymore. Of course, this is my fault, ultimately, because he can't approach me for fear I will get mad at being interrupted in whatever I'm doing, or he doesn't want to "annoy" me ... never mind that we have gone over this before and he should know that I WANT him to pay attention to me. I know that I am not without fault in this, but there comes a time when two people need to sit down and figure out what to DO about a situation instead of just saying "you don't do right." Anyway, I actually think of the color gray when I think about how he has been today. Ugh, it's gonna be a long 30-40 years if something doesn't change for the better. I love him with everything I've got, but he is driving me crazy. I don't know how marriages work when both people are depressed, and in our case both of us have health problems. I need him to be supportive and helpful to me. He needs the same from me. We're both too tired to be giving. And both of our "love languages" is ... Acts of Service. That's actually supposed to be a bad combination for a marriage, since we both get our feelings of being loved from helping the other one and when the other one doesn't come through, we feel unloved and don't serve them. Yeesh. So ... guess I'll just go to bed and pray that tomorrow will be better. Which I can't imagine.
  11. BrokenPieces


    For some reason today I am really dealing with anger issues. I am just seething, and there's really no GOOD reason why. I am mad because my wonderful, stupid DS forgot to order a yearbook this year. Hopefully we can still get one (they have some "leftovers"), but it just annoys the crap out of me that we didn't get the order in last Fall. DS isn't sure he cares whether he has one or not (this has been a good year for him personally, but the Class of 2011 at his school is not a good class, in general. There are only 10 of them, and he says at least half of them don't care about school, don't care about learning, and just bring the whole atmosphere down), but I want him to have one. In 20 years he may be very sorry he didn't get one. Even if he isn't, I would like to have it as a record of the various things he was involved in, and because, well, I just want him to have a complete set of yearbooks when he graduates. It's important to me, if not him. So I'm pi**ed about that. DH is home after a week in Canada on business. I love him, but he is going through depression, frustration, etc. from work, and I can't help him much right now, and I just wish SOMEONE in this family could bring a little sunshine into our home. Clearly that is not going to be me today. I'm incredibly frustrated with my spiritual life right now. I'm too tired to be "actively growing" in my relationship with Christ, both physically and emotionally, and I suspect spiritually tired, too right now. I don't want to be like this, I really want to be growing closer to Him and keeping my eyes on Him instead of on my own self and my problems, but in all honesty it's just hard to look up right now. When you're sick a lot (or at least this is true for me), it's hard to look past yourself and how awful you're feeling. It's not a whiny "poor, pitiful me" kind of deal, it's more like being beaten into the ground and not being able to look up. I want to move past all this and be able to get back into Bible study and really praying for others and all those things that are important to me (as well as to God!), but I just feel so stuck, like I'm wandering in the wilderness and I can't quite figure out how to get back on the pathway. I just seem incapable of focusing on deep stuff right now. So, okay, I should just "rest in God's love" then until this season passes and I can crawl up out of the pit again. (I must be on a metaphor kick today!) But I can't even seem to do that. I know in my heart, in my head, in my soul that God loves me. But right now I can't FEEL it very often and that makes it darned hard to "rest in His love." And I halfway feel like I'm abusing the gift of God's grace because I need it so darn freakin' much. Which is silly, but I grew up in a pretty legalistic church, and even though I have begun to realize that it's not about rules with God, it's about His unconditional grace, I still feel like it's possible to take advantage of that grace (in a bad way) and use that as a sort of excuse, or that I'm cheating to just depend on that and not be more actively doing things. Like right now, with all this sickness in my life, I feel like I should be thinking this: "God is refining me right now. I may not like how He's doing it, but I can trust that He knows what He's doing, that He is doing whatever it is He's doing for my ultimate good and that I can just let go and trust in His love and in His ways." Voila, right? Resting in His love. But I'm not there right now. I spent the better part of March yelling at God about the strep, then finally got over that and realized I do need to just trust Him, but even though I'm not mad at Him anymore and I have a certain level of trust, I am definitely not to the "Oh, goodie, this means I'm being refined and am growing as a human and in my trust in God" stage. I'm pretty much in an exhausted, beaten into the ground, boy-would-I-like-to-give-up, God-I-can't-feel-You-and-I-desperately-need-to phase. I also have a lot of things I need to forgive, and as I've mentioned before, I have no idea how that works with some of the people and things I need to forgive. I am just totally clueless how to make that work, how to do it. My pastor says I just need to forgive them because I know how much God has forgiven me. But the sad thing is, I don't have a strong sense of just how much He has forgiven in my life. I've been a pretty good person all my life, with a couple of exceptions that were way back in the past, and I'm not connected to just what Jesus has done for me that way. I hate that! I feel so ungrateful and shallow. But I think for people who haven't had gigantic, horrible episodes of sin in their lives, who have pretty much just committed what the world thinks of as "small" sins, it's hard to grasp that it doesn't matter the magnitude of the sin, ALL sin is equally abhorrent in God's eyes, and even just one "tiny" sin is all it takes to separate us from God and make us unworthy. Nobody is good enough to please God and have a relationship with Him. The only way we can do that is by accepting the work Jesus did for us on the cross. It's only because God sees us through the "curtain" of Jesus' atoning blood that we can come to God and have a relationship with Him. It's kinda like God puts on His "Jesus glasses" to look at us. Fortunately, the "Jesus glasses" are permanent. But what I'm trying to say here is that I am no better than anyone else, and so I should be able to realize that and forgive others as God has forgiven me. Except that that's really, really hard. Guess that makes me a pretty selfish person. Anyway, those are the things I'm struggling with today. Among lots of other stuff. I'm too tired to work on anything today. Deeply, face-down on the battlefield covered in blood kind of tired. I so hope God understands that.
  12. BrokenPieces


    I am turning into a first-class medical-anxiety freak. Actually, I've probably been one my whole life, but some periods of my life are worse than others. So I'm taking this antibiotic for the colon thing, which the gastro told me to keep taking "just in case" even though I probably don't have diverticulitis. I wasn't going to read the possible side effects list, since I was a little worried about the power of suggestion, but I've been very dizzy for the last couple of days and started wondering. So, this afternoon I looked at them and, yes, dizziness was one of the SEs. So was something called Long-QT syndrome, which is a heart-rhythm disorder that can be potentially fatal if it's severe enough. I threw the antibiotic in the trash. So I googled "Long QT syndrome" just to find out more on it (don't remember where I first heard about it, maybe the news?), and turns out there are two kinds of LQTS -- inherited and drug-induced. Sometimes it's no big deal, but sometimes either one can cause sudden death. I'm pretty sure I don't have the inherited form, since I've had EKGs for years and no one has ever noticed this. I even had a pretty severe atrial fibrillation episode a few years ago that landed me in the ER, and is the reason I have a cardiologist (also because I have a mitral valve prolapse and it needs to be monitored). I had to wear a Holter monitor for a couple of days after that, and I'm pretty sure the LQTS would have showed up. However, I guess there's a slim chance I could now have it because of the antibiotic. Often, fainting is a symptom of LQTS, and I haven't felt faint at all. But sometimes there are no symptoms. I am planning to see the cardio soon for follow-ups on high BP and to get the results of a recent lipids panel (blood test for cholesterol and triglycerides), but since I have to have all the other junk done next week (see previous posts), I can't fit him in until at least the week after. So in the meantime I will probably worry myself sick that I have this LQTS thing, and that I'm going to drop dead and leave my poor child motherless and make my husband a widow. Sometimes I think they would be better off without me, but in Reality, I know that's not true. At least not for my son. ;-) I'm not a hypochondriac. As you have seen if you've read any of the rest of my posts, I actually do have a lot of health issues. But I think that fact makes me kinda nervous about having Yet Even More health issues. Plus I'm just a huge worrywort. (I'm sorry, God!) I did the neck MRI and the sinus CT scan today. I hate MRIs. I'm not a claustrophobic person, but the minute they slide me into the tube and say, "Okay, now, be very still when the machine is making noise, because that's when it's scanning" I have this desperate urge to take very deep breaths. But I'm afraid to because it will make me move. So I lie there for all these 3-minute intervals (the whole procedure takes about 20 minutes) in total panic because I need to breathe desperately, but I'm afraid to take more than a shallow breath! Gaaaaa! So, off to bed now. Looking forward to Saturday -- I can just rest and not have to worry about driving the kid around (or having to have my dad do that, more accurately), and DH will be home from a business trip where he's been all week. Although sometimes being around him is pretty stressful ...
  13. Okay, I have this totally weird thing that has gone on for years, but seems like it's gotten much worse lately. I HAVE to contract the muscles in the back of my head and in my neck constantly. I also have to "pull" the muscles around my eyes, and sometimes I have to suck air down my throat compulsively (this one tends to come and go). It's to the point on the neck/head/eyes thing where it it totally driving me crazy, interfering with my life. I have to do it until everything "feels right." And then the "feels right" goes away (in about 2 seconds) and I have to do it over again. I had a neck MRI today (because I get headaches from the nerves at the base of my skull, and I wouldn't be surprised if they were irritated because I have to do this all the time), and it was torture not to be able to contract these muscles while the scanning was going on. When I'm busy and don't notice it it's not a big deal, but when I get quiet (reading, watching a movie, especially just prior to going to sleep) it absolutely drives me insane. Is this an OCD thing? I've never been diagnosed with it, but I'm definitely obsessive, and this seems pretty danged compulsive. When I was a little girl there were certain "rituals" I had to do (say the exact same made-up poem to my parents at night about seeing them the next day, so they wouldn't die during the night), and I still have a tendency to do ritualistic things (have to kiss my son on both cheeks at bedtime, have to say "See you in the morning!" as if that would keep anything bad from happening in the night). So, what do y'all think? OCD?
  14. I do this, too. If the celebrity is from another country, I end up being obsessed about their country, too. I had an obsession about Ireland for 12 years (even specialized in Irish history in college because of it), long after I had gotten over the celebrity who was from there. I "manage" my obsessions by writing stories about these people, sometimes it's fan fiction (if I'm obsessing about a character in a movie instead of the actor), or if they're real people, I sort-of convert them into a similar-but-not-exactly-the-same character in a novel. Of course, the main female character they interact with isn't exactly me, but I "become" her. It's how I "fantasize" about interacting with them. I'm not into erotica or even slimy romance novels, so it's not about sexual fantasizing. I just create a whole different world around these people and "live" in it while I'm obsessing about them. It drives me crazy that I do it, but it just totally seems to me that this is how I "escape" from my own difficult world. I often feel very guilty about it, because I'm a Christian and I don't want to be making "idols" out of fallible human beings, but in all honesty, I can't help it. I used to think it was because I have a huge imagination (I've been doing this since childhood and I'm 47), but as I look back over my life, I realize it's probably a "coping" mechanism for when I can't deal with life. So much easier to escape into my fictional world, where I can think out scenes for the story, than to try to cope with the one I live in IRL. Makes me feel like a total weirdo, though.
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