Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ned Flanders would be proud

We joined our new church! *applause*
The Man and I took the new member's class and officially joined our church before Christmas. There isn't much else to say about that, but I wanted to share because I'm ridiculously happy about it. What I can say though, is that the Man and I are considering being baptism. We were both baptized as babies, he when he was 3 days old, since he was a preemie and they didn't know if he would survive. I was baptized in my grandmother's Presbyterian church when I was a month or so old.
So if we were baptized as babies, why are we considering doing it again? Because the Bible says that we should. (Acts 2:38) I've believed in Jesus as my Savior since I was 5 years old, and I recommitted my life to him after the Princess was born. But my baptism came before that, and it had very little to do with me really. The Man accepted Jesus around 8 years ago, and he appears more ready to be baptized than I do, which is surprising if you know us. I think my one hang-up is that in my mind I see baptism as something that new believers do, and I'm not a 'new' believer. In addition, we've just come out of many years in a Presbyterian church that did not allow you to be re-baptized if you had been baptized as a baby. Having seen an elder be removed from Session after she violated that rule, I admit to feeling a bit squirmy about taking this step. I know that it's not really based on anything other than my own squirreleyness. (That is too a word!) I do feel as if He is drawing us to make this public proclamation, and really, what chance do I have in resisting the Almighty?
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Psalm 30

Oh what a difference a few weeks can make! Well, a few weeks, a few hundred prayers, a pound of flesh and some coffee, if we're being thorough about this.
First on the list of updates is me, because it's my blog and I can talk about me first if I want to.
I'm completely unmedicated right now. I prayed a ton about everything that had been swirling around me, and decided that after 18 months on the rollercoaster, I wanted off. I know that this goes against what would seem wise, but I promise that I made this decision after careful prayer, thought, and thorough conversations with my husband and a friend. I need a break from the crazy side effects, of feeling weird and medicated, so I can tell how I'm really feeling. The Man and I agreed that if I began to sink back into depression again, that I would go to the psychiatrist and go back on meds. (I have also shared this with the women in our Care Ring, for the sake of accountability with them as well.) The depression has been cyclical for me in the past, and I knew that it could be possible that it was gone at this point. With only one way to find out, I weaned off my current prescription. And praise God, I feel amazing. I don't mean that I just feel ok, I mean I truly feel healed. My mind feels clear, and I feel able to handle life on life's terms right now.
I've been back at the gym consistently (ok, not this past week, but I've been sick with a horrid sinus infection, blech) and the exercise has been lifting my spirits even higher. I gained 25 pounds on my last prescription, yes 25! How is that supposed to make a girl feel less depressed I ask you?! Add that to the 20 pounds of *cough* baby weight *ahem* that was still hanging on. So I have a long ways to go before I'm back at a healthy weight. But I'm feeling much better about it, in the sense of needing to lose it to be healthy, rather than fussing about being a plump housewife. (Which reminds me, another post coming shortly about how I must fit my fluffiness into a spaghetti strap bridesmaid dress this July, eek!)
I was watching Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew recently, and he said something that really struck me. (I feel I need to put in a disclaimer here, that no one should take anything on that show without a grain of salt, because it is 'reality tv' after all!) He said that boredom for the addict equals depression. I thought about that for several days afterwards, realizing that maybe this was a part of my problem. The Man and I talked about it, and the short version is that we realized that I have been at home for too long. Long days with no structure and no one to answer to have not been good for me in the long run, and I need to change that. I'm updating my resume to include 8 years of stain removal and PB&J assembly, and am keeping an eye out for part time office work. In the meantime, I'm buckling down with my writing, and will hopefully be churning out the next great American novel soon. Or at least some magazine articles.
Now, onto the Boy.... This past week we finally had the feedback meeting with The Team (guidance counselor, teacher, school psychologist, myself & The Man) and it went very well. We got a rough copy of the evaluation report and the short version of the two dozen pages is that he is now qualified as 'other health impaired'. (They cannot legally diagnose him, so this is what ADHD falls under.) The guidance counselor has 10 days to write up the IEP (Individual Education Program) and send it to us for our approval. We are praising God that the Boy is finally getting an IEP, because with it he is protected legally by the state, provided certain rights and services that he otherwise could not get. We met with our family psychologist later in the week, and he gave us some great ideas and strategies on how to better parent the Boy, and how to build a better relationship with him. He had some ideas we had never considered, and it was really helpful. The doctor also has the copy of the evaluation report, and we'll see what he says about that when we go back in two weeks. The question of autism spectrum is still there, but it seems very unlikely to us based on the report. Either way, we are making great progress, and I am finally feeling empowered and able to help my son. What an amazing answer to prayer.
When you feel lost and helpless, it is easy to give up and hide your head in the sand. I let myself get beaten down, and I forgot that I have God on my side. If He is for me, who could possibly stand against me?
Sometimes I'm hiding away, from the madness around me, like a child who's afraid of the dark, but when I call on Jesus, all things are possible, I can mount on wings like eagles and soar... (Call on Jesus, Nicole C. Mullen)

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I think every American should watch this video, and today is the perfect day to do so. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an incredible man, and what an amazing legacy he left behind. I find it impossible to watch this speech without crying tears of sorrow and of joy at all that it represents. I see the people in the crowd, full of such hope & pain, and wonder if they could possibly comprehend what that speech would mean to future generations.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010


We got a new dog! Squee!

Her name is Phoebe, and she's a 6½ year old beagle. We got her from the West Jersey Volunteers for Animals, and she was originally a rescue from a shelter in the city. She is incredibly docile & sweet, and so far is getting along fine with Lucy. We wanted Lucy to have a companion, and Phoebe seems like a great choice.
*disclaimer* That is NOT our bed in that picture, that's a picture the foster mom took. My bed is always MADE, thankyouverymuch.
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This & That

The Man has been meeting with the Mentor and it's going well. He's ordered himself a new study Bible, and we've been praying together as a family again. We've been communicating really well, and supporting one another in better ways. I'm feeling really good about where our marriage is, and I feel like we really are more in love than ever. Thank you God, because this is all Your doing, clearly!
The Princess was invited to participate in the District Music Festival, and we're so proud! She's an alto and has the sweetest voice. They have to get to school two hours early every Monday morning for two months to practice.
The Tyrant still refuses to use the potty. I have tried rewards, bribery, threats and insanity, and somehow none of these have worked. I'm thinking of hiring Jillian Michaels to motivate him.
The new church is still a big bowl of awesome and we couldn't be happier there. I am filling page after page of my study notebook with every new class & sermon. The Princess does 'PG Warriors' once a month, where they learn about prayer, keep a prayer journal and pray together. Have I mentioned the awesomeness?

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A New Day

I'm very scattered lately. I have had several topics I wanted to write about, but never organized myself enough to do that. I'm tired, I'm stressed, I'm fighting the depression.... I'm always remembering after the fact that I need to let God carry these things for me.
The school psychologist called the other day and told me that she had the Boy's teacher fill out an autism spectrum checklist and the results came back high. I don't know how to respond to that. It's too much to think about, so for now it's in a cubbyhole in my mind. I filled out the one she sent home and tried not to over think my answers.
I'm lost in a sea of people.... guidance counselors, teachers, school psychologists, family psychologist, medical assistance people, social workers.... a sea of anonymous people who don't know my son the way that I do. I called my sponsor and told her how I was feeling, and that I had gone back to my doctor to change my anti-depressant yet again. The current one isn't working anymore, and it's making me sweat like crazy, along with odd muscle tics. He told me that I need to see a psychiatrist, because he has done all he can for me with the drugs that he is familiar with. I need to see someone with more knowledge, etc. I told her that I was annoyed about this, but fine, whatever, I'll find a new doctor and go. My sponsor asked me if I was open to therapy. I said if I had to that I would, but I didn't really see a need for it. My depression is just clinical, it's not based on anything going on in my life. She pressed me about this, asking if I would consider that maybe there was more to it than that. Looking at the conversation in hindsight, I don't know how I didn't realize this a long time ago. The harder things get with the Boy, the worse I feel. The more phone calls I need to make for him, the more I withdraw. I've been in this cycle of phone calls for two years, and one person after another sends me elsewhere, passing the buck, and not helping my son. I'm so angry, and I'm so frustrated, that I have withdrawn into this place where I do nothing for him, and instead he suffers and I suffer.
My sponsor asked how this was helping the Boy, and I broke. I tried for so long and got nowhere, and I gave up. Nothing was working so I felt like a failure and stopped trying. The worse it got, the more I spiraled, and now here I am; depressed, angry, and with a son who is still undiagnosed, and with no idea how to help him or myself.
I did what my sponsor told me to, and called my insurance company to find a new doctor. They told me to call the mental health coverage company. The mental health company told me to call the insurance company. The insurance company told me to call the mental health company. I told them that I already had, and got told that they would give a message to a supervisor, who has still not called me back. I just want to hide in my bed and not deal with any of this anymore.

God, help me to start over... grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can..... and the wisdom to know the difference.
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