In Which I Ponder Something

So, I’ve spent much of my life wishing I hadn’t screwed myself up; thinking that if only I’d done this, that, other thing, or, more often, HADN’T done this, that, or the other thing, I wouldn’t have developed depression, wouldn’t have developed Borderline Personality Disorder. For the last few years, even though I wouldn’t tell that to anyone, I thought that my mental illness was my fault. That I somehow “let” this happen, or worse, that I did something to cause this to happen.

What if I’m wrong? What if it’s not my fault I have depression? I have a family history, and there were environmental factors there. What if it’s just genetics and circumstances that allowed me to develop this horrible condition? What if I myself did nothing to cause this.

I am not saying I am not still responsible for my actions, don’t get me wrong. Just my mental state of health.

If I truly allowed myself to believe this, that being mentally ill really isn’t my fault, that there’s nothing I could’ve done or not done that would have enabled me to avoid this, that it would inevitably get worse without help….

What would that change? Everything? Nothing?

Maybe everything. I thought that if I caused this, then I could fix this myself. Maybe, just maybe, allowing myself to believe that it’s not my fault I have depression could set me free. Maybe in more ways than one. Maybe I would hate myself a little less.

Or maybe nothing. I mean, really, it doesn’t matter whose fault it is, I still have depression and BPD, in the end, no matter who or what caused it.

There’s nothing you could’ve done to have caused this, but there are steps you can take to help fix it. That would be wonderful to believe.

If it’s true.

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In Which I Go To Church

For the first time in like, forever. The rest of the fantastic 4 was very excited to see me. I still feel sick, but I only came because I missed them so much. I did have to take an anti anxiety med right before potluck, but it turned out I didn’t need it, and it just knocked me out. I slept for 3 hours and only got up once, and not to go the bathroom: to go lie down someplace more comfortable. That’s weird, for me.

Sebastien spoke today. He talked about the sanctuary. Even though I was only parshly listening, it felt really good to hear a sermon with content you could chew on. The pastor at my grandma’s church, whom I shall not name here for obvious reasons, preaches very shallow sermons.

People at potluck did irritating things, but for some reason it did not trigger a mood swing.Maybe the meds are working already? Or I’m just too tired to get irritated.

So in that respect things are kind of getting better. I’m not well by a long shot, but I’ve been picked up off the floor, at least. Now I need someone to help dust me off and place me back on my feet.

When I told Sebastien “not well” in answer to his “how are you doing?” he said we’d talk. He also said he’d give me $100. I believed him about one just as much as I did the other.

Well, at least 3 people were genuinely happy to see me. (We’re not counting Justin, because I see him throughout the week anyway.) I guess I’ll take that and let that make me happy.

At least until the next bout of depression kicks in.

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In Which I Post The Book List

I’m actually kinda surprised I kept up with this one, but at the beginning of 2012 I decided to keep track of all the books I’d read. I only included the ones I actually finished, though I might not do likewise this year. Mostly this was to see what kind of books I’m reading: do I read more fiction than non fiction? But part of it was to keep me accountable as to what type of books I was reading. 

I took a Children’s literature class, and that is why the 3rd category has been included. I also canvassed and babysat, and so some of the books I wouldn’t have read if I hadn’t been working (certain children’s books I read to little Gordon, for example. I did not want it thought that The Really Hungry Caterpillar is a book I’d normally pick up and read.)

Due to my iPod getting stolen, the numbering system got a bit messed up. As you can see, some numbers have been repeated twice. I wanted to write down the books in pretty much the order that I read them, and that is what I did. That is why there are, for example, 2 number 62s. I am too lazy to fix this, so even though it looks like the number is an even hundred, it’s probably just a little bit more than that.

Books that were started in 2011 but finished in 2012 are also included in this chart.

Anyway, enjoy. Or don’t…. I guess it’s your choice as to whether or not this is mildly interesting to you. 

Let me know your observations. I will make my own later, when I have more time on the internet or a chance to print it out.

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Title    Author    Genre    Read For class? (Or work?)
1. One Crazy Summer    Rita Williams Garcia    Fiction-Children    Yes
2. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret    Judy Blume    Fiction-Children    No
3. Luna    Julie Ann Peters    Fiction-YA    No, but I thought it might be when I read it.
4. Education    Ellen White    Spirit of Prophecy    No
5. Un Regalo de Papá Diego    Benjamine Alire Saenz    Fiction-Children’s Picture Book    Yes
6. Marie Grace and the Orphans    Sarah M Buckey,     Fiction-Children’s    No
7. Troubles For Cecile                          Denise Louis Patrick    Fiction-Children’s    No
8. Midnighters Book 2: Touching Darkness    Scott Westerfield    Fiction-YA    No
9. Midnighters Book 3: Blue Moon    Scott Westerfield    Fiction-YA    No
10. Iqbal    Francesco D’adamo    Fcition-Children’s    Yes
11. Deenie    Judy Blume    Fiction-Children    No
12. Pink And Say    Patricia Polacco     Fiction-Historical Children’s picture book    Not sure…
13. Beautiful Disaster    Kate Brian    Fiction-YA    No
14. Teach Us Amelia Bedelia    Peggy Parish    Fiction-Children’s picture book    No
15. Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping    Peggy Parish    Fiction-Children’s picture book    No
16. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes    Eleanor Coerr    Fiction-Children’s     Yes
17. Beyond Birth & Death    His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabupada    Religious Literature    No
18. Bird    Zetta Elliot    Fiction-Children’s picture book    Yes
19. The Complete Guide To Bible Translations    Ron Rhodes    Non Fiction–Christian    No
20. Five Children And It    Edith Nesbit    Fiction-Children’s    No
21. The Girl Who Loved Caterpillars    Jean Merrill    Fiction–Children’s Picture Book    Yes
22. The Diary of Anne Frank: Definitive Edition    Anne Frank; Edited by Otto Frank and Mirjam Pressler. Translated by Susan Massotty    Non Fiction-History    Yes
23. Anne Frank: A Hidden Life    Mirjam Pressler    Non Fiction-History    No
24. The Name Jar    Yangsook Choi    Fiction-Children’s Picture Book    Yes
25. American Born Chinese    Gene Luen Yang    Fiction-Children’s    Yes
26. Aya    Marguerite Abouet    Fiction-YA    yes
27. Paula The Waldensian    Eva Lacomte    Fiction-Children’s Christian    No
28. Pollyanna     Eleanor Porter    Fiction-Children’s    No
29. Departure Time    Truus Matti    Fiction-Children’s    Yes
30. The Legend of the Blue Bonnet    Tomie Depaola    Fiction-Children’s Picture Book    Yes
31. The True Story of Pocahontas: The Other Side of  History    Dr. Linwood “Little Bear” Custalow    Non Fiction-History    Yes
32. Pinocchio    Carlo Collodi    Fiction-Children’s    Yes
33. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian    Sherman Alexi    Fiction-YA    Yes
Seminole Diary: Remembrances of a Slave    Dolores Johnson    Fiction-Children’s picture Book    Yes
35. Pippi Longstocking    Astrid Lindgren    Fiction–Children’s    Yes
36. Recovery Road    Blake Nelson        No
37. My Friend the Star Finder    George Ella Lyon    Fiction–Children’s    No
38. The Bobbsey Twins: Freddie and Flossie go on an Easter Egg Hunt        Fiction–Children’s    Sort of
39. Down a Sunny Dirt Road    Stan and Jan Berenstain    Autobiography    No
40. Number the Stars    Lois Lowry    Fiction–Children’s    No
41. Colporteur Ministry    Ellen White    Ellen White Books    Yes
42. Papa Married a Mormon    John Fitzgerald    Historical Fiction    No
43. Daisy    Susan Warner    Historical Fiction (Children’s)    No
44. Called. Chosen. Faithful.                Campus Press    Non Fiction    Yes
45. What Katy Did    Susan Coolidge    Fiction–Children’s    No
46. Cinder    Marissa Meyer    Fiction–Young Adult    No
47. Torn    Margaret Peterson Haddix    Fiction–Young Adult    No
48. Marie Grace Makes A Difference (book 5)            No
49. Cecile’s Gift (book 6)            No
50.Chu Ju’s House    Gloria Whelan        No
51. Story Time    Published by Pacific Press        Yes
52. The Rescue                                  Nancy Rue        No
53. Secret Adversary    Agatha Christie        No
54. My Friend Jesus    Etta B Degering        Yes
55. The Judas Virus    David Best    Science Fiction (Adult)    No
56. Little Women    Louisa May Alcott    Fiction    No
57. Forgotten    Melody Carlson        
58. Christ’s Object Lessons    Ellen G White    Spirit of Prophecy    Yes/No
“59. The Bible Story Volume 1
”    Arthur S Maxwell        Yes
60. The Female Brain     Louann Brizendine, M.D.        
61.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar    Eric Carle        
62. Number The Stars    Lois Lowry    Fiction–Children’s    No
62. The Mother Goose Board Book    Published by Scholastic        Yes
59. THe Great Controversy    Ellen G White        Yes/No
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm    “
Kate Douglas Wiggin”    Fiction–Children’s    Yes
Little House in the Big Woods    Laura Ingalls Wilder    Historical Fiction    No
60.The Bobbsey Twins    Edward Stratemeyer    Fiction–Children’s    No
61. Pollyanna     Eleanor H. Porter    Fiction–Children’s    No
62. Pollyanna Grows Up     Eleanor H. Porter    fiction–Children’s    No
57. What Katy Did At ASchool    Sarah Chauncey Woolsey/Susan Coolidge    Fiction–Children’s    No
58. What Katy Did Next    Sarah Chauncey Woolsey/Susan Coolidge    Fiction–Children’s    No
59. Stop Dressing Your 6 Year Old Like A Skank    Celia Rivenbark    Comedy    No
The Ringmaster’s Daughter    Jostein Gaarder    Fiction    No
73. Freedom Crossing    Margaret Goff Clark    Fiction– Children’s     No
74. The Time Machine    HG Wells    Science Fiction    No
75. Surfing for God    Michael John Cusik    Religious Non Fiction    No
76. Memoirs of a Bookbat    Kathryn Lasky    Fiction– Children’s     No
77. Diary of a Wimpy Kid    Jeff Kinney    Fiction –Children’s    No
78.Clover    Susan Coolidge/ Sarah Chauncey Woolsey    Fiction –Children’s    No
79.Fingerprints #2 Haunted    Melinda Metz    Fiction –Young Adult    No
80.6 More Chances    Dr. Pipim    Non Fiction (Religious)    No
81. In The High Valley    Susan Coolidge/ Sarah Chauncey Woolsey    Fiction    No
82. Voyage of the Dawn Treader    CS Lewis    Fiction–Children’s    No
83. Dork Diaries Book 1    Rachael Renee Russel    Fiction–Children’s    No
84. Puritan Adventure    Lois Lensky    Fiction–Children’s    No
85. Listen for the Singing    Jean Little    Fiction–Children’s    No
86. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone    JK Rowling    Fiction–Children’s    No
90. The Tales of Beedle The Bard    JK Rowling    Fiction–Children’s    No
91. Tomorrow Girls book 1: Behind The Gates    Eva Gray    Fiction–Young Adult    No
92. Tomorrow Girls Book 2:Run for Cover    Eva Gray    Fiction–Young Adult    No
93. The Princess Test    Gail Carson Levine    Fiction–Children’s    No
94. Keep Sweet    Michele Dominguez Greene    Fiction–Young Adult    No
95. Quiverfull    Kathryn Joyce    Non Fiction (Religious)    No
96. The Christmas Cookie Killer    Livia J Washburn     Fiction–Mystery    No
97. Tomorrow Girls Book 3 Among the Enemy    Eva Gray    Fiction–Children’s    No
98. Meet Cecile (Book 2)    Denise Lewis Patrick    Fiction–Children’s    No
99. A Surprise for Caroline (book 3)    Kathleen Ernst    Fiction–Children’s    No
100. Tomorrow Girls Book 4: Set me Free    Eva Gray    Fiction–Children’s    No
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
           

The New Year’s Post

The New Year’s Post

Usually at the end of each year I try to reflect a little on the previous one.

I haven’t felt like doing that.

This year started off ok. I was surrounded by safe people, or, on a bad day, halfway safe people. Mostly I’m referring to last year’s missionaries, and no, I don’t just mean Callie. (Though even some non missionaries who used to be safe people but aren’t…)

Ahem. And then I went on a mission trip to Florida. I didn’t get to see dolphins, but Kiana hugged me a lot, and Callie said I could come visit, so it all worked out. In Florida, I had a few experiences. Actually that’s a lie, I mostly didn’t do anything. James trained me in giving Bible studies (the rest of us thought he was certifiable) and that was about it. Most of my memories of Florida involve sun; lots and lots of SUN! (and the baptistry… will NEVER forget that baptistry.)

Then over the summer I decided to go canvassing (I won’t say here what I must’ve been smoking…) I think I’ve very well recorded here what a disaster that was. I didn’t even get anything for finishing the whole dam program: no sense of satisfaction, no monetary reward (I hear there was sorta supposed to be one), nothing. Not even a “good job Abby” or a, “congratulations?!?!?!?!”

Callie said that canvassing changed me. When I asked her how, she replied, “you’re more broken now.”

Erm, how is that a good thing?

It’s not. It just makes me…

broken.

In the summer I went back to College, expecting things to be the same as last year but nervous about what James had in mind as far as, “We’re going to use you more for evangelism!” went.

That went well for like, a week. And then I started having problems. Or, maybe some old ones just came to the surface. I started having questions I couldn’t answer, or at least, not satisfactorily. Started noticing contradictions GLARING at me from the pages of my bible.

I wasn’t looking for them, so PLEASE don’t tell me that, “those who look for contradictions will always find them.”

I started noticing contradictions with EGW, EGW/bible and EGW/EGW and EGW/Reality.

At the same time, James started pushing me more. To give personal bible studies, to lead Wed with Jesus, to be rebaptized.

He would say, “this is what the Lord told me.” I would then sit there wondering why, in some cases, God (“God”?) had told me exactly the opposite. James would say, “but don’t take my word for it, ask God himself.” But it was clear from the way he spoke that if God didn’t tell me the same thing he told James, I was hearing from
The Wrong God.

All this depressed me greatly. I did not know who I could talk to, at least, who I could talk to that could possibly help.

The small pool of safe people I had was fast shrinking.

To date, I have exactly one person at College who I can talk to about all this. The person’s very presence has probably been the only thing keeping me sane. Just knowing that I am not alone in my thoughts.

But the person’s got a sane mind. Zie can take what zie observes and accept that the worldview of others is not going to be sufficient.

It all whirls in my head: if I believe/do the right things, I will go to heaven. If I believe/do the wrong things, I will go to hell. What exactly are the right and wrong things? Who is right? The Bible is no help; it can be interpreted in a thousand different ways. So who’s right? Even if we stick with just Adventism, there are a million different SDA religious styles. Who’s right: the conservatives? the liberals?

I’m not describing this well at all. I need to go to bed, but cousin dearest hasn’t shut off the tv.

All this swirls around in my head, leaving me more and more depressed.

I keep getting told about various things I should do to heal my depression: pray more, exercise more, focus on others rather than yourself, clean your room, etc.

These things may help some people. However, when I’ve exercised on a regular basis, it hasn’t helped the depression, and in any case, depression makes it near impossible to do these things.

So I’m trying one last option: a combination of drug and talk therapy.

I mean, what if I’ve been opposed to anti depressants all my life and been wrong? What if one tiny little pill has been, for all these years, the only thing standing between me and mental health? Oh sure it’s not a permanent solution for everybody, but it is for some people. I mean,there definitely are other issues that need to be addressed, but what if, for the most part, this is a chemical imbalance in the brain that could be corrected by medication?

What if God doesn’t want me to “just pray more?” What if he wants me to use my brain and see a doctor?

2012 has been rough, bumpy, uneven. I wonder if 2013 will be any better, or if this is the year I finally give in and do what I’ve known I needed to do since the moment I first heard people actually do that.

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