Monday, June 28, 2010

Feelings of rejection

Do you think that people with mental illness feel rejected more than those who do not deal with such illnesses? What I'm talking about is a feeling of rejection from a group that in general aren't harboring stigma. I believe very much that they do, though a friend of mine doesn't understand that. She says that everyone suffers feelings of rejection sometimes.

I belong to a loving, accepting church, and yet I often find myself going home with a cold, awful feeling. A feeling of having been ignored or rejected. I'm sure much of this is only a perceived feeling. I'm sure people at church would be quite surprised that I would feel that way. These feelings often trigger a depression that takes a while to get over.

Is it me? Is this the lot of people who live with mental illness? Is it easier for us to feel rejected? Perhaps due to having an illness that is generally stigmatized? Perhaps due to our oversensitivity and insecurity?

A friend of mine is in hospital. I've talked about her in previous posts. One of the major triggers for this episode was her perception that she was being ignored at church, excluded, rejected. She had needed someone to connect with her in a real way. She told me that all she had needed was a hug. A friend told me that someone had talked to her. Yet apparently that wasn't enough to dissolve her feelings of aloneness. She was a really needy person that day.

I wouldn't fault anyone though. How are people to know of her need? Perhaps all they saw was a withdrawn person who didn't seem to want to talk. Someone who was hard to approach. How are they to know what's going on inside her?

I want to bring this topic for discussion at the next Living Room meeting. Do others experience this? How does it make them feel? What do they think causes it?

And we need to search out what we can do about these feelings. The important thing we need to remember is who we are in God's eyes. I think part of our problem is an insecurity. We need to learn to be secure in the knowledge of God's love...and secure in the knowledge that God's people do love us, even though they don't always understand our needs.

Yet another photo from the Greek island of Paros. The colours we see everywhere - blue and white.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Peaceful morning

I'm thankful to God for the wonderful peaceful morning I had today. I got outside at 5:15. It was still a wee bit dark, but not too dark to journal or read. Such a wonderful place to sit, under the canopy, with the green garden all around me and the birds singing. How God has blessed us with this home!

Thank God for my friend's life. She struggles so much and almost died a few days because she couldn't bear her life anymore. But you God sent a lady, an angel, to speak to her and to remind her that there are people who love her. And I do so love her. She feels like she's a bad person, and yet I know her to be so good and kind. Thank you, God, that I can be there for her as she works through her depression. I'm thankful for her faith in you and how we can talk together about your love.

Thank you, God, for another friend, L, who just emailed to let me know she's thinking of me and praying for me. She pointed me to Isaiah 61, asking me if I had read that lately. I will have to do that. So precious to have friends who will share like that with me.

Tomorrow we have a Living Room meeting. We'll talk about our tendency to worry - our tendency to forget about God's presence. How can we stay close to God and trust Him so that we don't need to worry so much? We'll look to God together.

The photo? Another little taste of the Greek islands for you. It's fun to share.

Thankful Thursday is hosted by iris. You might want to visit her and visit the links to others' expressions of gratitude.

Hope you all have a happy, peaceful day as you work and play.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thankful on Friday

Just before going on holidays I agreed with my friend Nancie from More than Conquerors that I would try to take part in Thankful Thursdays - something many are doing - setting apart one day each week to truly focus on all I'm thankful for.

Now I'm back, and I've already missed a Thursday. That's because I was too busy doing something I'm thankful for to even think of blogging. So this week I will post my gratitude on Friday, one day late. Better than not at all, eh?

What I'm really thankful for is that God created us to be creative people. I've received such joy from doing photography again and I know it's something I mustn't let go. Yesterday I worked almost non-stop, preparing my pictures to show on a digital frame. I was selecting, cropping, adjusting, and re-sizing. I was so happy to see that there were a lot more good ones than I thought I'd have. I've still got it in me.

I like reading in Genesis how God created the earth and everything in it. I like reading how He saw "that it was good." And what joy that must have given Him. If creating a few images gives me joy, imagine how great His joy must have been!

I attributed my good mood while we were in Greece to the bright sunlight and to not having any stresses to worry about. But when I think of it, I think a lot of it was also the focusing on photography that made me feel so well. And I can see how I mustn't let it go so long again.

I want to photograph children again. I really need to set aside some time to do that. My play-time - my non-mental-health-work time.

I will continue posting some of the pictures I took in Greece. Simply because it's fun to share. What's the good of doing all that work if I'm going to hide it, eh?

The above picture is a street in one of the villages we visited. There was so much wonderful texture in the walls - so much old stuff. And many many cats.

To read more Thankful Thursday visit Iris.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

One little pill - abilify

For the first time in years my pdoc is changing my antipsychotic medication to something different. Reason? Tremors that have been bothering me for years. And the fact that I'm on two antipsychotics. He's uncomfortable about that, thinking he's over-medicating me. Perhaps with the abilify he's now putting me on I can make do with only one.

So this morning I started. I took one small dose of abilify and reduced the old med a little. Trouble is, I've had an uncomfortable stomach all day and am pretty sure that one little pill is the culprit. One little pill giving so much discomfort!

But I need to give this a good shot. Guess I'll have to live with the discomfort for awhile and see if my body will adjust.

Anyone else out there had experience with abilify?

My picture? The base of an old church on the island of Paros.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Back to work

We've been home from Greece for four days now. Good to be back. But I'm still handicapped by jetlag. Last night I slept from 10:30pm to 3pm. Just not enough sleep. It's been like that ever since we returned.

I'm happy to be back in my work. Happy to have been able to attend Living Room on Friday.

My mood has completely levelled off and I think I need to thank Greece for that. The light was so bright. And I had nothing to think about but wandering through the white-washed streets with my camera and eating and drinking in the outdoor restaurants. The food, by the way, was wonderful. Such variety!

But it's good too to be back to my work. I can only go so long without purpose in my life. I do love to care for people and to make Living Room things happen. Living Room is exciting. So many people coming to believe in it and wanting to start their own group.

While I was away I read a book that drew my attention to Isaiah 28:16. And it so much speaks to what Living Room should be built on:
I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem. It is firm, a tested and precious cornerstone that is safe to build on.

I've had this in mind all along, but somehow the way this verse is worded defines it so very clearly. Jesus is the foundation stone of Living Room. That foundation is firm, a tested and precious cornerstone that is safe to build on.

I hope to start posting more regularly in the next while. That will also give me an opportunity to share some of my pictures from Greece, as I do here. One of our favourite things to photograph were the many arches. This is a typical Cyclades street scene, one of hundreds we photographed.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Hello from Greece

Hi everyone,

We're almost finished our holiday in Greece. I've really enjoyed our time, especially the photography. But now I'm starting to long for home. Things I want to do. I've even started making a list of all the things I want to do when I get home. I know I'll be so overwhelmed when I get home, and making a list now will help me keep focused on what's most important.

I'm posting a couple of pictures I took, as well as one my husband took of me. Just to give you a taste of some of the things we saw.

I look forward to getting back into the swing of real life. I really need more purpose in this life - some work. Am I nuts? Do you think so?