Saturday, November 22, 2014

Clockwork Creative

I just woke up and looked at the clock to see it read 1:15 in the morning. Didn't I wake up at this time last night, and the night before? With every night I wake up around this time, it's creating a habit in my body that says, "Wake up now!" Causing me to wake up, only to keep the cycle going.

No more adderall, so that is a plus. Instead I'm taking my anxiety medicine, because perhaps that's why I'm waking up. My mind is anxious for the day to come. Which makes sense, because these wheels of mine almost never stop moving. I've done everything from worry to contemplate to wonder to taking medicine. I've done all but pray.

Recently God has shown me his grace in interesting ways, so maybe this is His way of bringing me to him. After all, how many distractions are there at 1:15 in the morning. "No time to pray, Kristin. Let me wake you up when there is nothing you can do to solve your worries, because your problems are fast asleep."

One positive that has come of this narcolepsy is my creativity. I am writing and transforming my worries into words, into something tangible that I can erase or rewrite or use completely incorrect punctuation at my leisure.

So what's next for me? Sleep isn't in my cards, but God has a deck of His own. It's to Him I will look, to Him I will ask, "Why in the world am I waking up at 1:15 every morning?"

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Woes of Adderall

So I did talk with my counselor about my adderall concerns, but I did not spill it all. I told her I was concerned I was becoming too dependent on it and was worried because I had problems with abusing it in college. At one point she said something to the effect of, "You'll start labeling yourself as an addict and then anytime you take it you'll feel a sense of guilt, and you'll start believing you have a problem which could actually lead to you having a problem." She said it more eloquently and professional and counselor-esk, but you get the idea.

Last night at 1 a.m. like clockwork I woke up and decided I was going to take an adderall and blog. The problem was my medicine was in my car which was in the garage because I left it there after running 9 miles after work. I contemplated going out to get it, but decided the inconvenience overruled the desire. Instead, I took an anxiety pill, which I am prescribed to take at night if needed, closed my eyes and calmed my mind myself, and eventually fell back asleep.

I have to be honest, today has been a struggle with it. I know there are steps I can take to help me deal with this current tug-and-pull I am experiencing. Not going outside to get my medicine is proof that I have the willpower and laziness to say no. I can keep my medicine in my car at night, and not bring it with me to work. These are helpful, but isn't this doing what my counselor was referring to -- treating myself as if I have a problem -- or am I finding tools to help me prevent a problem that is actually developing? I am interested to hear what my prescribing doctor thinks -- talking to him will take courage because he can simply stop prescribing the adderall, which I don't want to happen. Is this because it actually helps me, because I think it helps me, because I have a problem that convinces me that it's helping, a combination of the above, or something else I haven't yet realized? One thing is certain -- I am spending a lot of energy on contemplating this.

What do you think of all of this?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Room For Such

I've been waking up around 12:30/1:00 in the a.m. the past few nights. And not a groggy waking up. A full on alert, ready to do something waking up. So I've taken an adderall because it calms my mind, and I'll write or play a game on my phone or just lay on the couch and think and eventually I'll fall back asleep.

I know this is not how my medicine is prescribed and I don't want to take myself to the path I was on in college when I was taking 10, yes t-e-n, adderall a day. I feel it is a good idea to talk to my doctor about this because it would keep me honest, but I don't want him to take it away. Maybe there's a sleep medicine he could prescribe, or increase my anxiety medicine I am already taking. He'll know what's best.

I know I am not the only person taking antidepressants, antianxiety and ADHD medicine, and I can't possibly be the only one on this combination of drugs. There's hope in not being alone in this. But I do feel alone. I feel there are only two places I could open up about this - with my doctor and with my counselor. But part of me is afraid that a solution would be to stop taking the adderall, certainly at one in the morning, and possibly altogether. I believe this worrying is the addiction side of me.

Is this the beginning of a possible bad situation, where I slowly become more dependent on adderall? Is this a bad dependency or a natural dependency because of the nature of the drug? The more I think on this the more I'm led to talk with my doctor. I trust him and his judgement and I feel he genuinely wants what is best for me.

There is a lot to lose if I go down the wrong path. I'm in a good place. I have a well-paid job, a new house, a wedding I'm planning -- is taking adderall at one in the morning the start of risking it all?

I was leary to post this -- addiction is such a dirty little secret. But sharing this part of my journey is part of my journey. This is my truth, a struggle I am experiencing. This makes me human. In an odd way, I feel grounded by this struggle. I'm humbled. I'm vulnerable. But it is in this vulnerability that there is room for something new.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Emotional Justice

Last night I really opened up to my fiancĂ© about my family issues/troubles /catastrophe - whatever you want to call it. As we were winding down for the night I said “I love you”, very enthusiastically I might add. He asked why and one of my reasons I stated was that I could tell him anything. Big mistake. He replied with “not anything.” And I said “what?” knowing exactly what he was talking about, but who knew, maybe I’d get off lucky. He said, “Your family and why there is a divide. Your mother.” Oh the all elusive M word.

I don't really want to go into all that I told him, at least not in this post. But I found myself trying to state my case as to why I have no contact with her. And it wasn't just for him, it was for myself as well, as if what I know and experience isn't enough, as if counseling and antidepressants aren't enough reasons for my pain and decision. I found myself begging for understanding and emotional justice that would come only from him "getting it". Why isn't my truth enough? Why isn't that sad child I carry with me enough of a reason to live a life separate of my mother? A part of me feels like a bad daughter while the other is pissed as hell at how damaged I am emotionally and mentally.

When I think back on Beverly Engel's "Healing Your Emotional Self", she didn't write that book for bad daughters everywhere. I feel like if this were my father we were talking about (which, is a whole other story in itself) that it would be more acceptable to have cut ties. Absent fathers are common these days, but how common are absent mothers? Apparently common enough for Engel to write a book, a book that I delved into, heart first with no idea at the impact her words would make on me. That book did give me some emotional justice.

But I need more, so I can finally feel like my estrangement (God, I hate that word) is acceptable.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Six Miles to God

God has His own way of showing you the way. In my last post I wrote, 
God feels very far away. My Christian "practice", for lack of a better word, has been paused for some time now. There is a church down the street that I have thought about going to many times, but have yet to go. Why isn't God leading me there? I don't feel led anywhere. Where is He?
I started training for a marathon. It's in February. I've registered, and I've been training for a good two months now. I'm in it. One day at work, I was browsing the Internet trying to find some races nearby that I could incorporate into my training program. I found a 10K that fell on a Saturday that was in line with my long runs that I do on the weekend. The 10K was at none other than "the church down the street." The 10K was a fundraiser for their orphan mission in Africa. With a small smile and a quick wink to the One above, I registered for the race.

Last week I needed to go pick up my race packet at the church. No, it wasn't easy or exciting or wow-what-is-in-store-for-me invoking. I very clearly did not want to go to that church to pick up my packet. It was like there was a roadblock to my heart and I was helping to hold up the bricks. But I didn't have a choice -- I needed to pick up that damn packet. Plus it gave me a reason to leave work a little early. So off I went from my office to the church, my nerves getting a little tighter with every mile. I arrived at the church, and after circling the building a few times because I was literally lost, figuratively as well I suppose, I found the door I needed to go into to pick up my race packet.

As I'm walking up to the door, I find myself saying, "Let this feel like home." I swing open the door ready for my grand homecoming...and with much lackluster there is no music or bright flashing lights, just an old lady at a makeshift table stacked with t-shirts and race bibs. As I make my way to the table, I give the place a good once-over. It's clean and smells nice. Nothing like my house. A retraction is in order. God, let this feel like I'm in Your home. The woman at the table is friendly and I feel bad for thinking she's old. She hands me bib number 801 and a cotton t-shirt size small. Okay, medium. It's time to leave, my mission complete, the damn packet picked up. But I did not want to go. I felt something being there. 

Fast forward to race day which was just this past Saturday. I jog to the church and when I arrive, I hear music and the chatter of a small crowd. There are tents set up with cupcakes and coffee and water, and pictures of the orphans in Africa are displayed. There are kids running around a stage with an emcee who is reminding the crowd to enter into the prize drawing. There is a lightness in the air that carries itself to me, and I feel comfortable. I am by myself, cupcake in hand (that didn't take long), but I do not feel alone. With the race about to begin, I feel thankful I'm there. 

Along the race trails are poster boards with inspirational quotes and verses from the Bible. It's so clear to me that I am experiencing something far greater than myself. After 6 miles, God led me back to His tidy house, sweaty, tired and in fourth to last place. As I cross the finish line, I say, "I got it, God. Here I am."

Cupcake in hand, as I'm cooling off and taking a break before jogging back home, I know this is the testimony I will share with members of "the church down the street." He made me sweat for it, but lead me there He did.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ramblings about Growth and Struggle

Can there be growth without struggle?

I switch back and forth between contentment, anger, and sadness. One constant is that I always feel blessed. How can I feel sad and blessed at the same time? I really don't understand my emotions. I have a lot of really good things happening in my life, yet the sadness and often detachment remains. Maybe this is my cross to bear -- managing and understanding my conflicting emotions.

God feels very far away. My Christian "practice", for lack of a better word, has been paused for some time now. There is a church down the street that I have thought about going to many times, but have yet to go. Why isn't God leading me there? I don't feel led anywhere. Where is He?

Then, there's my ADHD management combined with my addictive personality makes taking habit-forming medication difficult. I found that my "key" hours of high productivity take place 2-3 hours after taking my Vyvanse. But it's supposed to work throughout the day. Not long after taking it, I soon find myself antsy and it's hard to stay on task and concentrate, the very thing the medicine is supposed to be helping with. I take a mid-day dose of Adderall, but I don't feel like that helps much either. I've continued to work out in the mornings, but the feel-good endorphins don't last long either. It's like something in my body is suppressing all of this "good" that is trying to run through me. What is that something?

As I sit here writing, I see that I am experiencing struggle. Does this mean I am growing? I don't feel like I'm growing. But until I started writing this, I didn't think I was struggling either. The stakes are so high right now; there is a lot to be lost if I break. I don't know how close I am to breaking, or if I'm even close at all. Is this anxiety? Is this premonition? I'm surprised at the number of question marks that are in this post.

My doctor said that journaling is a good thing, that it will help with my anxiety and sadness. But today it's opened a wound that I have to deal with for the rest of the day, while trying to be an adult, with laundry and cleaning and preparing for the week ahead needing to be done. Maybe I was better off in the dark, thinking that I wasn't struggling and wondering if I was still growing.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Yoga State of Mind

I chose to do yoga because there was a promo for $30 for 30 days of unlimited classes. That's what got me in the door -- cheapness. I can't say I'm hooked, but I am enjoying it and hating it all at once.

What yoga asks of your body is what it asks of your mind. Stretch. Find balance. Stay calm and quiet. The noise of the world is left behind for one hour, just one hour, and I leave a better me, a more accepting self.

At the end of each class as we are winding down and doing our finishing stretches, the teacher puts on music. Yesterday as I'm laying there drenched in sweat (yes, you sweat in yoga), a song starts playing and I hear the lyrics, "...amazing grace is pouring down." And, there was no better way to describe how I was feeling in that moment. Graceful, grateful. Those lyrics and that song stuck with me.

I did some googling and found out it is a song called Enter One by Sol Seppy. It's haunting but in a good way -- is that possible? I'd like to share the song with you -- here's to hoping it moves you the way it moved me: Enter One by Sol Seppy

I've gone to yoga Monday through Friday for three weeks. I still do a terrible frog, a funny-looking vinyasa and an acceptable lotus. My 30 days is up next week, but my yoga journey continues. I found a Groupon for $39 for 30 days of unlimited classes at the same studio. Again, cheapness. In the door. Me.

There's no better ending to a (hopefully) good blog post than one that is oh so cliche. So on that note, keep calm and yoga.

Friday, July 4, 2014

New Enjoyment

I guess lately I haven't felt like I have anything to say that's worth posting...until now, at 3 a.m. Maybe because the world as I know it is quiet and I am alone with thoughts. I've read a few books lately: A Fine Balance, Lisa Wingate's Wildwood Creek, and Breath, Eyes, Memory. I wish I had taken notes of the passages that affected me, but I didn't, for the same reason as not posting: why bother?"

I enjoy writing and I enjoy posting to my blog. Those two reasons are enough to "bother." So here I am, at 3 am., finally allowing myself to do something I enjoy. I realize as I sit here typing quietly as to not wake up my fiancee, that any thought, any experience is worth posting. It's my journey, my own journey. What could be more unique than the words that run through my mind and the actions my body takes?

I've taken some big steps lately. I've let people in! I've gone to lunch with co-workers, and even shared with a few my semi-recent ADHD diagnosis. I'm not embarrased about it. Someone asked me about my mom, if I was going to see her for some holiday, and I said, "I don't really talk to my mom." It was hard to say out loud, especially to someone I haven't known long, but it's my truth, so I shared. With that being said, I am careful what I share and to whom because I know that it could potentially bite me in the tail. It's okay to be careful.

And, I started yoga! Talk about mentally and physically challenging. What's more is that a small group of my co-workers first decided to start taking yoga classes at a studio (yes, I said studio. who am I?) by our office, and they asked me if I wanted to join in, so I simply said, "Yes." The group includes my boss, which is awkward because I'm positive my sweaty butt has been in her face on at least 3 occassions. I signed up for 2 months at a special rate I couldn't pass up, and I'm going regularly and allowing myself to do something new and that I am coming to enjoy, and enjoying it with other people.

So, here I am very early in the morning, or late at night depending on your perspective, and I realize that life is worth writing about. There is newness in my life, a newness I haven't before experienced. Simply stated, it's kind of cool. So I write.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Life is...

many things, but most importantly, it is not permanent.

That scares me. I feel like I've wasted so much of this fleeting life on sadness over circumstance. Even now, is this not what I'm doing?

There is a lot of regret over past behavior. I can't get those times back, not just for myself, but for those who were once a part of my life. Friends I hurt, pushed away. I drank away so many friendships and relationships. My life gets better every day. I am making myself known to others, opening myself up to the possibillity of new friendships, with the experience to appreciate the friendships that do develop.

I do still have my dark moments of pain and doubt and jealousy of others who seem to just have it so good. I regret my regrets and I'm sad that I sometimes get very sad. Emotions, thoughts, worries and whims definitely do not make sense. But they are a part of life and won't be around forever.

I find myself asking, "What will I leave here with?" I know I want to leave with a noble legacy, I want to be remembered for something, not great but significantly simple. I once thought, "I hope I have time to right my wrongs." But each day I find myself thinking more and more, "I am thankful for the time and grace I've been given to make the mistakes I've made." And, I know that righting a wrong really isn't all that possible, but moving forward toward thoughtfulness and forgiveness is a definite.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Where's God?

In my growing contentment, I find myself asking, "Where's God?"

I do not ask this because I find Him absent; rather, I find myself absent. When I read back on my blog posts, He was my center. These days, I am not doing the Christian reading or writing or journaling I was doing not that long ago. Where am I placing God in my life? Why am I not putting Him first?

I say prayers and give thanks while I pass through my day, but this isn't enough; I know this for sure. I wouldn't want God to wave hello to me in passing and move on with His day. I need His time and love and attention. Isn't this the same for Him? Does He miss me? Has He led me to write this post? Does God ever ask Himself, "Where's Kristin?"