I have recently returned from a solo trip to South Carolina and back.  When an unavoidable family crisis prevented Darlene from going to her niece’s wedding and a brief vacation get-away, I had to go alone.  (I truly considered not going, but I had committed to performing the service, so I could not back out.)  In days to come, I will write about some of my other experiences, but for now let me focus on just a couple of aspects.

(I have clinical depression.  In the past I have been suicidal, but not for several months–but my feelings of despair and helplessness have been increasing.  Now I discover that the generic medicine I was given after getting out of the hospital has been pulled off the market by the FDA for being “ineffective”.  I will talk to my doctor about switching to the name brand product, which apparently does work.)

  1. I can force myself (with God’s help) to do what needs to be done.  Based on the many kind comments about the wedding ceremony, I am pleased to conclude that no one could tell how desperately lonely and lost I felt.  I was able to pack up my own things for the return trip.  (Darlene had to pack in the turmoil of the unexpected crisis that prevented her from going.)  I was able to keep the car on the road and avoid rear-ending anyone, even though the distract-ability that accompanies my anxiety makes any drive an adventure.  By God’s grace, I went; I performed my duties; and I returned safely.  It’s not how I would have chosen it, but I can do it when necessary.  Now we will see how my mind reacts to the victorious completion of the task–that is when Satan often attacks us (and not just the depressed or mentally ill).
  2. We are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves; that means we have to have an appropriate appreciation for the person God made each of us to be.  We need to love ourselves without conceit, arrogance, grandiosity, or self-centeredness–some struggle with avoiding the excesses of self-love, others struggle even to achieve an appropriate and healthy self-esteem.  I have been reading I Corinthians 13 and meditating on my own lack of the attributes of love.  But where do I start?  Do I ask God to help me love Him more?  Do I ask him to give me healing through loving others better?  Or do I need to plead that He will enable me to love myself more?  I can pray for all three, but I sense that that leaves my prayers a bit unfocused, and less than “fervent and effectual”.  This is the point where a Christian counselor might be able to take me further than my otherwise helpful secular counselor can do.  I have picked up three Christian books that may help me with this.

I will stop rambling for today.  My writing seems to me to be narcissistic and self-serving.  I am not sure that it will benefit anyone else; but maybe if I am able to come back with an answer to the problem of #2, I will have accomplished something.  After all, I can force myself (with God’s help) to do what needs to be done.

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