Sunday, April 22, 2007

Be Still My Worried Heart

Have I mentioned that we have been to Houston for the last three weekends in a row, visiting my son at the Positively Happy Rehab Center?? We have. And he seems to be doing quite well, thank you very much.

On the other hand, Mom is entirely another story. She has had a little trouble with worrying about the precarious nature of recovery and she's also been dealing with various unpleasant memories of the past few years.

I suppose it is normal, when a family goes through something like this, for there to be some adjustments that need to be made when the drama calms down. One of those cases where you do what needs to be done at the time, but when all is said and done, you start looking back and wondering how in the world you did what had to be done without falling apart, and you slowly begin to unravel (and yet you know--you made it through by the grace of God).

I keep remembering how it was, and now I need to stop that and begin to make new memories of how it is.

We sat around a table at Positively Happy Rehab Center and played Yahtzee. We laughed. We cut up. We said the blessing before we ate. We talked. I am so grateful.

(You see, even good news sometimes comes with a cost. Dealing with the worries and the memories may be part of what is behind my feeling depressed lately.)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Exposed. Can You See Me Now?

(I've had this post in my draft files for a couple of months, waiting, I suppose, for things to change. It is not a pretty post. Things have not changed. Well, maybe they have, in that I do not feel medicine is the answer right now, and I do wonder if some kind of counseling might be beneficial.

Don't be worried. I am, for the most part, all right. I know from past experience that I will regain my equilibrium eventually. There are plenty of reasons for my feeling this way. I can't quite muster up the "ooomph" to write about it all yet. Lack of time is a factor as well.)

Maybe growth is not the main purpose of life, but I believe it ranks fairly high on the list. Certainly one of our tasks is to use what we have been given in the best way we can.

I have to admit I have been bogged down lately. And the "truth" is, I don't know if I can get up. I am an optimist in my head but in my heart there lurks a doubter. There is depression. It is not severe enough to keep me crying in bed all day. I do still get up and go to work and I manage to get my youngest back and forth to school. But honestly, that is about it.

Several years ago, I took anti-depressants. At that time, the doctor said I had dysthymia. I took the medicine for a while and went to counseling sessions with him. But that gets expensive, and I decided to get off the medicine and drop the counseling sessions. I am not ignorant on the counseling front. I spent a lot of time working with a substance abuse counselor learning how to deal with my reactions to my son's problems. I spent a short time in personal counseling for my own issues before that. I've had some support in the area of growth and I can read a self-help book as well as anybody.

My head knows all this stuff about growth and acceptance of my own imperfections. My heart is heavy and needs help. If my heart will not listen to the logic of my head, does that not send a signal that my body needs help? And wouldn't I be wise to heed such a signal?

(I know there might be a tendency, especially in matters such as this, to tell a person like myself to allow God to come in and work on me, to transform me from the inside out. Believe me, He is there, and He is working. But as my mama always taught me, He also gave me sense enough not to walk in front of a moving school bus (or eighteen wheeler, or train--whatever). I personally prefer the train metaphor because I am on the track and I feel the rumbling beneath my feet and I know that if I do not do something to get myself off this particular track, that train will eventually overcome me. It may be in the form of a wasted life, where I have spent too many years in this low-grade misery to get up and do something.

The rumbling undercurrent is a constant in my life. The thing is, its effects are cumulative. The longer I wait to take the help I need, the slower I move, and the closer that big heavy train gets to overcoming me. The medicine is a tool of sorts, the "switch" that is necessary to divert the train to another part of the track, thereby saving me from premature destruction.)

I don't know if I will call my doctor for the medicine. I know that I do not want to enter into more counseling at this time. I think that is okay for now. And there are also other things I can do to help myself: exercise (even a thirty minute walk several times a week), eat more balanced and healthy meals, work on being less isolated and withdrawn (I have signed up for a Leisure Learning photography class) , be more attentive to my spiritual practices, look for another job that is a better fit for me, work on my home environment (even thirty minutes a day).

See? My head knows what to do. But my heart is exhausted. It just wants to sit down and quit.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Gator Blogging

I was out trying to take pictures for my last photography class and we were stopped at the red light, right beside this gator so I decided to get his picture. There are plenty more to be taken. I just have not gotten out and taken them. You can see the magnolia on his nose and the pelican on his belly.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Redneck Wedding

We attended a wedding this weekend. I think the girls in khaki and pink were the official photographers. Notice the one in the background, clutching her camera. My daughter had my camera and was taking photos. From the looks of things, this gal must have thought my daughter was infringing on her territory. She kept glaring at my daughter the whole time. I was watching. Honestly, we did not want the job!

(Some photographer I am anyway--I was concentrating on applying the things I have been learning and forgot to change my setting for indoor lighting and also forgot to change my flash to avoid the dreaded red-eye syndrome! Consequently, my favorite photo of the bride looks like a red-eyed demon of epic proportions. I think I can fix it though.)

I could do a lovely photo essay on redneck weddings, but I am resisting the temptation. These are my people, and I love 'em. But just for you, my faithful few readers, I am posting a poignant butt shot of the pride.

I realize I do have a thing about butt shots and I am powerless over it. The reason is, when you pull out a camera and people see it, they go dingers on you. They either freeze up or start saying "cheese" incessantly, or they start trying to slip behind you so that they will not be caught by the camera (that is my strategy--always get behind the camera!). But, butt shots, ah, that is my niche!

And to think, just last week in the photography class, when the teacher was asking us if any of us had discovered a specific photograph niche, I had no clue what my niche might be!