Triple A

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Have you ever been in the situation where so much time had lapsed between visits with friends that you were nervous to contact them?  You missed the relationship.  You thought about them all the time.  You were interested in what was happening in their lives and wanted to share what was happening in your life.  You wanted to get in touch with them and yet you couldn’t.  Your thoughts were consumed by just the possibility of talking to them.  You felt sick to your stomach every time you thought about it and you thought about it all the time.  Feeling overwhelmed, you spent all your waking hours trying to distract yourself from your thoughts.  As more time lapsed, you became fearful your friends were upset with you.  You began to feel helpless.  Soon, you recognized that the hindrance was you.

I am extremely nervous writing this post.  I have been sitting in front of my computer for almost 3 days straight.  I am trying to write the perfect blog entry.  In creating the perfect blog entry, I hope to erase from your mind the lengthy period of time without a post.  Guess what?  It is not working.  I knew it was a lofty goal but, I went ahead and gave it the old college try.  I want to let you know that during the time I was not posting, I was living the situation above.  I have missed our relationship.  I have thought about all of you often.  I have wanted to share with you my new experiences, discoveries, and revelations.  I have wanted desperately to blog and yet I couldn’t.

Our yard is where I most often hear from God.  Yesterday, he called while I was on my way to our kitchen for a snack.  His message was Avoidance, Acknowledgement, and Acceptance…Triple A!  Recently, I have been learning a lot about avoidance, acknowledgement, and acceptance and the significant role they play in the management of my mental illness.  I knew that this message was in reference to my prayer about the blog.  His message was so strong and clear that after months of not even opening my computer, I immediately went to my laptop, opened it, turned it on, and began to type.  I know you all are curious and no I did not get a snack.  I was very excited to hear from God.  Now, after 3 days of struggling with the content of this blog, some of that excitement has worn off.  I have spent all this time trying to address “Triple-A” in one blog.  I finally figured out that I misinterpreted the message.  Unfortunately, I do this regularly with God’s messages.  I believe He thinks it’s funny.

I believe God intended “Avoidance, Acknowledgement, Acceptance…Triple A!” to be used as an ongoing theme throughout our blog.  He knows how valuable the Triple A is in our healing process.  He knows it may seem like a minor piece but, actually it plays a major role.  The plan for the up-coming roster of blog entries is to float between the majors and minors of Mental Illness.  The schedule predicts that our journey through the season could be rocky.  We have the opportunity to win sometimes and the possibility to lose sometimes.  Our odds of a successful season are considerably higher when we play as a team.  Most importantly, we need to put our faith and trust in our coach – without Him we will never experience MLB or win the World Series!  Let’s Play Ball!

Stop! Look! Listen!

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Dear Friends,

First, I want to let you know that I think about you all the time.  I have not been blogging because I have been overwhelmed with “events”.  I am going to therapy and it has been life-changing.  I can’t wait to share my experiences with you.  My mom came to visit and we had an awesome time together!  We solved all the world’s problems in 2 days!  I am flying to California tomorrow by myself.  I am so anxious about going that I have felt paralyzed for about 4 days!  Doug left 4 days ago for California and I am meeting him there.  My plane leaves tomorrow at noon.  My stomach hurts, my teeth are clenched, my shoulders are tense and my hands are shaking – these are only my physical symptoms.  I am not afraid of flying.  I am afraid of leaving home and traveling alone.

As usual, I became side tracked and went off on a very long tangent.  I did not write to let you know about my dilemmas.  I wanted to share with you what I just experienced on my walk with our dog, Zoe.  I was telling you, I have been preoccupied with the “events” happening in my life.  Sometimes I become so focused on the “events” I miss the whole world going on outside my own.  Actually, I can become so overpowered by my emotions that my emotions rule my life.  Yesterday, when I was trying to get yard work completed, a plague of love-bugs attacked.  For those of you who are not familiar with love-bugs, they are 2 black bugs stuck together that fly around for 24 hours and then die.  I don’t get it either.  Today, I wanted to wash the car and a second plague of love-bugs attacked!  It is so gross!  I am beside myself and I am not quite sure how to handle it!  I have become so overwhelmed with the preoccupation of how I am going to get the car washed, I can’t do anything else.  I must wash the car because it is covered with dead love-bugs.  I have been told that if the love-bugs are left on the car too long they will take-off the paint.  After agonizing for hours, I decided to wash the car in the garage this evening after it cooled down.  It makes me so anxious to wait to wash the car that I decide to walk Zoe. 

Zoe does not usually go on afternoon walks.  I think she was appreciative.  Zoe is an anxious dog and gets very loud when she encounters people or dogs.  This afternoon we walked during the heat of the day so, we didn’t meet anyone.  It was nice.  There was no need to chastise her or pull on her leash.  We were on our way back to the house when across the street I saw a bird swoop down low across the field and then disappear up into the trees.  I yelled “Zoe, that was the bald eagle!”  It is not uncommon for us to see a bald eagle.  There is a bald eagle’s nest on top of a cell phone tower adjacent to our neighborhood.  Our normal view of a bald eagle is through our binoculars.  I had never seen one this close.  It was breathtaking.  As I stood in the middle of the street and watched the bald eagle swoop down and soar away it felt like everything I had been worrying about was swept away with him.  I stood motionless.  I was in awe of this majestic creature.  All of a sudden, I heard a rustle in the trees and from the trees emerged the bald eagle carrying a large tree branch in its talons.  I watched as he struggled to fly back up to his nest.  I imagine he was struggling due to the weight of the branch.  I correlated his struggle with mine.  The image of his struggle provided me a picture of how much I have allowed my preoccupations and emotions to weigh me down.  As the bald eagle made it back to his nest, I watched as he transferred the branch from his talons to his beak before landing!  It is an experience I will never forget. 

In the past, I have received signs from God.  I admit that my preoccupations are the cause of ‘static’ in my reception of God’s signs.  My preoccupations can not only delay my realization of God’s signs but also my interpretation.  Today, I believe God revealed to me life without ‘static’ or without preoccupations.  I can recall every detail of those few moments that I stood in awe of the bald eagle.  I actually stopped moving.  I stood looking in disbelief.  I tuned out all my worries and anxieties and listened to my surroundings.  Today, I realized and interpreted God’s sign.  My interpretation is that my preoccupations and anxieties are overwhelming my life.  I need to learn to ‘Stop!’ and be present, I need to learn to ‘Look’ and not let the world pass me by, and I need to ‘Listen’ and acknowledge what I hear.  Stop!  Look!  Listen!