Friday, September 14, 2007

Depression: Self-care and Back to Basics

In the last month I have experienced more positive change then I have had in the last three years. My work prospects increased and improved drastically. My social life is expanding. I have been given an entire new wardrobe of clothes. I also know that for Christmas I'm going to be receiving many pairs of earrings. I'm in the middle of major life change and emotional growth.

In my head, I planned what to do. Work needed to be done, old stuff needed to be given away to make room for the new stuff. I did all the things in front of me. After two weeks of cat-sitting. I came to this easy three day dog-sitting job experiencing a terrible depression. I figured maybe I needed sleep. No, woke up feeling just as bad, or worse, then before the nap. I then found myself experiencing that nagging boredom. Escaping into a book helped a bit, but I still felt terrible. Might be physical, or I might need medical adjustment when I return home. But what to do right now?

I did have the dreaded plight of the blind. A bus driver forgot to call out my stop. I got totally scared. I hate having to depend on people for help when I never know if they will "hear" me and do what I request. If I remind the driver, they get insulted, if I only say it once, I get left. Its a crap-shoot. I have to accept the reality that I can't handle buses without help. That is just the way it is. So, I talk to God and try to calm down inside.

One of the perks of this dog-sitting job is a bathtub and all kinds of scented oils, creams and soaps I can use to my heart's content. I gave myself an oil and water bath. Basically take a cap full of oil, olive, almond or whatever oil you like on your skin and add it to a really hot bath. Then you give yourself a massage. Sure you can't easily reach all of you, but most of you can be given the slippery attentiveness of gentle massage. You are not kneading bread here. GENTLE! Let yourself enjoy taking care of yourself and doing something special.

Wow! I was a tense, uptight mess! I do a lot of deep breathing, which can bring emotions to the surface. I forgot to just stop and be kind to me. My emotional tank was empty and doing this kind of thing is one of my ways of refilling my tank. I have been totally directed outward for the last two weeks. It is good to attend my work and love the animals I care for. But I forgot to take some time for myself.

An oil bath is a bit messy. You will feel wonderfully relaxed, pampered and soft afterwards. You can always clean the bathtub. If you are afraid of slipping, put down a 2nd wash cloth for when you are moving around in the tub after the massage and you are bathing. Yes. Finish up by bathing as usual. You will still feel slightly oily. It won't kill you. Your towel will also remove some of the extra oil. Indulge."But what about messing up a towel?" Aren't you at least as valuable as that bath towel? You don't want to use grandma's embroidered towel for this project. But you also don't want to settle for something used to wax the car either. Believe it, or not, these small details will build you up, or tear you down inside.

I still struggle with co-dependency. When I blog about religion and people write comments to share a different viewpoint, I get afraid. (No, still not all done in this area yet). When I see friends making decisions which appear not to be in their best interest, I feel badly when their life gets complicated. I have to remember to shed all of that tension. Concern should lead me to prayer, not tension. Duh!

Long and short. I went back to the first lesson we depressed patients learned in our "Handling Depression" class. Yeah, you feel yucky. Be gentle, do something nice for yourself and accept that for some reason you feel out of sorts. Its not the end of the world. Sitting and thinking about acting won't do it. Do something nice for yourself.

I don't feel like going out and dancing down the street with bliss, but I feel better then I did. I'll be able to do my deep breathing and really relax. This is what happens when you take positive action in the midst of feeling less then good. You are being the friend to yourself you needed and may not have gotten during your early years and that in itself builds the bridge out of feeling hopeless and helpless.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

In Memory of 9/11/2001

I live near near San Francisco, California. I woke up about 10 AM Pacific Daylight time, (1 PM EDT). I took my morning medications, brewed coffee and sat down to listen to KSFO Radio. I remember the normal morning banter being hastily interrupted with a live feed from New York. (It was a repeat of an earlier broadcast, but I wasn't sure it wasn't live at the time.)

A passenger plane (first plane) had crashed into the World Trade Center. I sat in total shock, as live, choppy reports flowed in. In the middle of a discussion of the hit on the first tower, the second plane hit the other tower. I remember feeling a little sick to my stomach. Maybe this is the beginning of all out war on the US?

It made sense that one plane could have gone off course and crashed into the towers, but two planes, where was our Air Force and NORAD? (North American Air Defense Command)

I wandered aimlessly in downtown Oakland. I picked up junk food at the Walgreens on 14th Street at Broadway. I remember buying things I usually didn't get, mixed nuts, loads of them. I came out of the store and realized that Broadway was completely deserted. I'd NEVER seen the street completely empty of people and traffic. It was about 2 PM PDT, (5 PM EDT). I returned to my building and heard the replay on the TV of the towers collapsing. Somehow, I had missed that. I watched dumbly with everyone else, as they played and replayed the terrible footage of these two huge buildings coming down like a child's set of building blocks.

I also remember wandering back downtown, to try and secure a copy of that day's New York Times. It was $6. I would have paid $20. I came home with the paper. I sat slowly reading the articles, looking at the pictures and cried.

I have never been patriotic. I don't dislike the US, but I never got all emotional about the flag. I now had to have one somewhere in my apartment I could look at. The New York Times had a full page photo of a flat American flag. I read the articles on the reverse side of this large color photo of a flag. I then taped the flag to my door and cried.

To this day I have trouble understanding why Berny Ward chose to highlight the plight of those in the Middle East. It was 10 PM PDT. He was the first live talk show (KGO, San Francisco). He blamed the United States for the attack on the Twin Towers. It was our foreign policy which caused the attacks across our country. I felt a curious combination of rage and sorrow wash over me, as I listened in stunned disbelief at his show. Even if his assertions were true, this was NOT the time!

Callers protested his actions, but he stuck to his position. I couldn't listen to his program any more. I returned to some other station rehashing the days awful events.

After six years, I am finally able to stomach watching some of the "Conspiracy" footage on the Net about 9/11. Sadly, the people refuting the conspiracy charges lapse into name-calling, just like the conspiracy people. I've lost respect for both sides of that debate at this point.

I stand in mourning remembrance of the tragedy of 9/11/2001

Monday, September 10, 2007

Becoming My Own Person: Owning Up To Mistakes.

I document recovery by sharing my half-developed ideas and sometimes my mistakes. I forget that in print, my attempt at satire doesn't always appear as satire. I am traveling some new philosophical ground lately. I ponder what are the parts of me which are "fixed", as compared to those parts of me which are still "flexible", open for change, and or new information.

I lean toward a very mousy type of co-dependant behavior. I'll become anything you like, so you'll like me. I'm getting secure enough within myself where I've stopped doing that. I'm a committed Christian and I'm no longer willing to get wishy-washy about it. I also come from a totally messed-up background where I haven't a clue as how to negotiate with people. Is is okay for me to stay different from you, after you show me who you are?

I love having all sorts of people in my life, many of whom don't believe at all as I do. It is like looking over beautiful jewels from different angles. People and who they are endlessly fascinate me.

I want to be who I really am, without alienating people who see the world differently then I do. Once I establish my religious feelings, I'm willing to drop it and move on to exploring work, hobbies, school, or whatever someone else finds exciting. I don't assume my sharing is going to "change" a person.

This "healthy" sharing comes into direct conflict with my experience of "Witnessing". You know where someone browbeats you in the name of (usually Jesus) until you come around to their way of thinking? In other subjects I don't get confused like this. In other areas, we are just showing each other points of interest. This is one of the most satisfying aspects of meeting people on the Internet. But when I speak of religion and another religious person engages in "showing" me things, I assume its time to "man the barricades, defend and hunker down ...!"

Yes, hello co-dependency, will I ever get healthy enough to be rid of you? Oh, I hope so!

A lovely person, not of my faith and I began emailing back and forth about religion, theirs and mine. I didn't realize I was feeling like I had to "defend" my ground. My friend was not intending this any more then my atheist friends are. I wrote about "Religion: A Commitment We Are Willing To Die For", as a way of haltingly exploring being my own person, along with examples of some of the abuse which I've seen and experienced under the category of "witnessing".

I learned something very crucial. People are gentle, sensitive and can be unsettled by my aggressive stance. Humor mis-understood can appear to be overbearing and aggressive. I am sorry. I realize now that healthy adults can share aspects of themselves without the "ulterior motive" of trying to manipulate change in each other.

I got that concept everywhere else, except when discussing religion. I am now free of fear. I am free to explore your spiritual garden without fearing I will be required to kill my garden to replace it with yours. If I like something in your garden, I can add it to mine. We both gain and nobody loses. This is wonderful.

I have some very cool atheist friends to thank for teaching me how to share without manipulation. They aren't afraid to say who they are, but have absolutely no desire to uproot my religious leanings. That is a cherished lesson. Waves of peace wash over me because I no longer have to "make" anything happen. True "witnessing" is simply sharing without a hidden agenda. Damn, after so many years of misunderstanding the process. I'm free!

Friday, September 07, 2007

A Part of Me Resists Growing Up: Wishful Thinking.

Ever have one of those days where you are saddened by how callous the world seems? I truly don't understand the part of myself I'm going to share. There is a part of me that gets really sad when my "magical", "child-like" thinking gets confronted and corrected by reality. I'd really like to grow out of this.

The first shock rolled through my emotions when I checked out an assertion about net security. Its gone. Your name and many other things about you are a few keystrokes and a mouse click away for anyone willing to do a search. After investigating this with a few searches I was consumed with numb terror. I have been stalked and I thought it would be a bit harder to find information.

My friend, who is a public figure, acknowledged the issue, but is not worried. He doesn't fear being stalked. I have to grow up and realize I'm probably not that interesting a catch anyway. My stalker was a former lover who resented the exiting of my support money from his life. His kind has moved through many victims by now. He's long gone.

The real crusher came with a very long pod cast where the female (my favorite) was OUTRAGED at Apple's behavior towards their customers. I have had a few issues with Apple relating to my sense of "fairness" lately, so I totally related to her position. the male on the show was non-plussed. Shoulder shrug: you pays your money, you take your chances. Apple doesn't owe anybody anything.

I reproduce the email between me and a friend, who shocked me with his reaction to my assertions. (Maybe I'm just PMS-ing).
(My assertions):
I've read and listened to the hysteria today over the iPhone price drop / hoopla / $100 rebate / treat 'em like the suckers they are firestorm.

I like their products, but don't trust them anymore. They are out to make as much money off me as possible.

• 4-week rebate on iLife /iWeb 8 only
• no break on price for Leopard release only 90 days away from my
computer purchase.

I used to trust Apple, now I just shrug and say: "they are like everyone else, but their quality is still better. But it feels like
the quality is sliding also. What can I do? Get out my Debit Card and shut up". Of course I can always buy a $300 PC and REALLY be mistreated with poor quality and money-grubbing.

'Tis life. But I do feel a bit sad. I really thought Apple was different. Maybe once upon a time, they were. But it was probably just a well-orchestrated illusion. Feels like the end of an era. Sad.

(Friend's reaction:)
I'm fine with it. I think that they're being quite generous offering a $100 credit. I just bought a Mac 9 days before iLife came out - 2 days longer than they included as a back period. Oh well. 90 days from when a major OS release comes out and you want them to just give it to you? You're high.

Apple is a company. They're actually pretty good at taking care of their customers according to all research. They're out to make money off you? NO - REALLY? I thought they were just altruistic and giving all this stuff away. You're kidding right?

Apple is different. They're a wanna-be Microsoft. Steve Jobs is a tyrant - but he's a brilliant tyrant. They make great technology. They're a company. I love their products. The hardware is beautiful, the OS is the best. If MS tried to pull off all the interconnectivity of Apple with iTunes and the iPod they'd be getting their butts sued off.

Enjoy your Mac. Enjoy the experience. It's a UI, not a religion.
(Friend's email, my reactions in [] brackets):
I'm fine with it. [WHAT?!] I think that they're being quite generous offering a $100 credit. [true, legally they don't have to rebate at all.] I just bought a Mac 9 days before iLife came out - 2 days longer than they included as a back period. [Oh man. See, that's what I'm talking about!]. Oh well. [what a curious non-reaction].
90 days from when a major OS release comes out and you want them to just give it to you? You're high. [Ouch! Yeah, tactless, but you've never claimed to be otherwise :p, Ouch!]

Apple is a company. [Oh darn, here comes the "reality lecture", sigh]. They're actually pretty good at taking care of their customers according to all research. They're out to make money off you? NO - REALLY? I thought they were just altruistic and giving all this stuff away. You're kidding right? [I wish my feelings or whatever would give up and grow up. Oh, how I wish I was kidding, then it wouldn't hurt inside so much. I have no clue as to what is gnawing at me, but God will show me].

Apple is different. They're a wanna-be Microsoft. Steve Jobs is a tyrant - but he's a brilliant tyrant. They make great technology. They're a company. I love their products. The hardware is beautiful, the OS is the best. If MS tried to pull off all the interconnectivity of Apple with iTunes and the iPod they'd be getting their butts sued off. [Yeah, sigh]
Enjoy your Mac. Enjoy the experience. It's a UI [User Interface, right?], not a religion. [Sarcastic, you're right, blah, blah, blah. Now I feel sad, shamed, STUPID and angry. Oh, how I want to grow out of this part of me!].

So, there it is. But I am baffled as to why I can't seem to shake this love of over idealistic thinking. My friend is right. He is blunt and I wouldn't want him any other way. That razor sharp awareness is part of his exquisite humor.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Religion: A Commitment We're Willing To Die For.

I enjoy the comments I receive on this blog. I am thankful for very little spam-attempts (I delete them ALWAYS) and little negative feedback. Thank goodness I've not been "flamed". I am thankful that you all seem to understand what this blog is about. Now that I'm getting truly healthy, I sometimes wonder if I'm not just narcissistic.

The feedback I receive keeps me plowing the field. I rejoice at the news that someone has found benefit from roaming my musings. Now that I'm out of what seems like the "up and down" of recovery, I'm sometimes at a loss as to what to share with you all.

The idea of a "blurblet" was proposed. I think that is shorter than a real blog post, but longer then a 132-character tweet. I miss when its down for maintenance. Yeah, I'm a geek.

But I have spoken of religion, God and all of that. I got some very intriguing feedback from a reader. I reproduce it here as an introduction to my response.

Question: If you know that you're praying to the same God, why take a step backward in the Divine Plan? Are you aware of who Baha'u'llah even is? I'm not going to go into too much - my blog should help a bit. I'll check to see if there is a comment from you, before we start a dialog.

Oops, this person believes I'm WRONG! Wow, I thought it was just us Christians who threw those stones. I have spent hours pondering doing a blog about the issue of religion. I've tried to answer this person's questions about why I left a faith which is the foundation of his life. I tried several approaches. I am not sure if I'm being unclear, or my answers are too upsetting for him.

Basically, at the time I was a member of the Baha'i faith, it was all in my head, it didn't get to my emotions. I didn't change that much. I loved knowing that I had everyone else over an intellectual barrel. They were still in "religious" grade school, while I was in "religious" college! (try believing that without growing an amazing ego behind it.) I didn't feel inspired by my fellow Bahai's, we were all at the same level. I hated Christianity because that was my family's religion. I doubt I need to say more.

When I got sick enough and scared enough to take a second look at the Bible, I felt a power from what Jesus said, who He was and what He claimed He was doing. Eventually, I became Christian because I was sick enough and desperate enough to really make a change. I would have run down a street naked, if someone had told me doing that would heal me. (Thankfully, I walked, fully dressed to an altar, instead.)

But how to deal with people who don't think, or believe as I do? I've known really aggressive Buddists - whose evangelism makes the Moonies look week! I've also been mentally tackled by Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons. What lies behind these efforts is a commitment someone has made to a belief system they sense has "changed their life".

I never challenge some one's testimony. How can I argue with a person who KNOWS that a belief system got them off narcotics? When you are approached on the street by someone with "the word", I find a polite way to deflect the encounter is to inquire as to how they found their faith. It takes the tension out of the meeting. I can praise health and self improvement whether or not I agree with the doctrine. With that initial tension gone it is easier to decline their invitations.

But here is what troubles this conservative Christian. What if my way IS the only road to heaven, while everything else is a sham and a lie? If what I believe is bunk and the New Age folks are right, I get to try it again until I get my karma straightened out, or whatever else I need to learn in the evolving, reincarnating school of the Spirit. At worst, I'm slowing my progress.

But, if Jesus is right and its Him or hell, is it cool for me to side step the issue and not discuss the possibility that you have been deluded by a lie? A lie which could cause you to spend eternity in hell?

Granted, some Christians have the sensitivity of rocks, around these issues. If we are right, we should be the most healthy, centered and tactful folks running loose. It's okay, go ahead and let yourself groan now. As a group we appear, on TV at least, to be completely out of our minds.

I have been in social situations where someone has engaged in what I think of as Kamikaze Witnessing. Witnessing tactless and brutal enough to spawn lifelong atheism in its victims. I apologize for all of that. People can believe correctly and still be the idiots they were before becoming Christian. It took me almost twenty years in the faith before I really got around to growing up. Or as it is known among us as getting "sanctified".

Sanctification is where you stop fighting God and He turns you into a balanced, healthy and more Christ-like human being. The real Jesus is a cool dude. I've never had a problem with Jesus, but occasionally, some of his followers make me want to commit murder. "Oh God, can I send this one to Glory, NOW?" Actually, I've learned to talk less and pray more. But I still have a mouth which gets me into trouble from time to time: "Excuse me, do you know you are acting like an idiot?" Funny how that gets under people's skin... Yeah, I'm not all done yet either.

I hurt for all the people who believe everything under the sun, except Jesus. You'll notice that all other movements are tolerant of everything EXCEPT Christianity. I actually know a person who is waiting to be "picked up" by the Mother Ship. She believes when they come for her (!) they will take her to her real home on another planet, in another galaxy. And I get laughed at because I believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ?

People gag on the Christian message because it implies Absolute Truth, accountability and a time limit for making your decision. Why worry about change if I am just going to reincarnate anyway and I can work harder in the next life? But, if there is a real God, with real feelings and spiritual laws have eternal consequences. Ew, that is creeps ville. So explains the continuing push to get "God" out of all public life.

I heard a former Nazi Party member explain that it wasn't until religion was suppressed from social discourse that the Third Reich really took off. He wept as he apologized for what his country did in WWII. He felt guilty for "just going along, to get along". He was a teenager, but knew he should have resisted being a Nazi.

I truthfully can't explain "original sin". But look around this world, is it getting better or worse? It seems to me that mankind keeps coming up with gruesome and grosser forms of evil every day. Ever have to teach a child to lie? If we are basically good, where does that "lie" come from?

Some Christians get all exercised about what heaven will be like, or what kind of resurrected body they will have. I really don't care. I do care that since finding Christ, or rather, letting Him "Save" me, I'm really finding healing, peace and joy. I can't fix this world, but I can work on not being as big an idiot today as I was yesterday. No other movement ever gave me the courage to truly face myself, warts and all.

Ode To Life: Why I'm Sorry I Tried To Kill Myself.

Actually composed this post a few months back, but it is still relevant. The expanding duties of the church website have put my language project on hold. My friend Nancy is also extremely busy, but we still chat when she has the time.

I am beginning to learn Chinese. Why, you ask. Because I've made friends with a gal in Beijing China and she has invited me to blog on her site. Google has this terrific translating tool, but when I begin to interact with the Chinese website, the translating stops. So, I'm learning basic things like "Post", "save" and "publish", in Chinese! I feel like an idiot, on one level, but its fun to make a effort anyway.

I truly believe that this kind of friendship making that unites different cultures, age groups, races and countries will eventually stop mankind's love of war. I share the words to a great song from the 1960':

Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream
words and music by Ed McCurdy

Last night I had the strangest dream
I'd ever dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war

I dreamed I saw a mighty room
Filled with women and men
And the paper they were signing said
They'd never fight again

And when the paper was all signed
And a million copies made
They all joined hands and bowed their heads
And grateful pray'rs were prayed

And the people in the streets below
Were dancing 'round and 'round
While swords and guns and uniforms
Were scattered on the ground

Last night I had the strangest dream
I'd never dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war.

TRO-©1950,1951 & 1955 Almanac Music, Inc.
New York, N.Y. Copyrights renewed
Used by permission.
There is one beautiful idea. I am so blessed to meet Nancy and the students she works with. I feel like I've been invited into their home. I have begun to research really learning Chinese and it looks rather daunting. But, I take it one step at a time.

I almost succeeded in ending my life in 1979. I tried to end my life with alcohol poisoning. I was stunned to realize that all the real healing began after getting "saved" in 1981. Today I am caring for Maggie the cat in a lovely home in the Berkeley Hills. I drink in the beauty of my surroundings. I'm sitting on a soft white rug, observing Maggie and her cat ballet. Sunlight is streaming through the trees outside the window. There are various shades of green as the wind moves the leaves around. I feel a deep sense of repentance for wanting to die. I would have missed all the current goodies of health and life.

I then remembered the marvelous people I've encountered since 1979. In the early '90's, I tried my hand at learning Engineering. Even though I flunked out, I had the joy of seeing professors in love with their subjects. As a psychology major I never had the thrilling experience of seeing an excited professor share their joy. I believe my love of three dimensional drawings is part of what interests me about web design and graphic arts.

Thanks to proper medication, I have the miracle of emotional stability. Oh, I can still go totally off the beam and panic over a small matter. But today, it is short lived and doesn't result in a hospital admission. With this freedom I've made wonderful friends. All kinds of friends.

Although I dog sit and house clean for Maria and John, I think of Maria as the mother I never had. She is in her early seventies and is gently teaching me how to save money. I will permit her to correct me in ways I won't let others even attempt. We have grown very close. I never would have met her at all, if I'd died in 1979.

I was twenty-seven, really living like I was still a small child. I am now fifty-four making friends with concepts like responsibility, delayed gratification and accountability. I have found a church home I adore. A small group of Christians who think very much as I do. This small group of very conservative black folks have adopted me as one of their own. I have the joy of experiencing their love and friendship as we all learn more and more about God and Jesus Christ, together.

I have a flock of Internet buddies. People I communicate with over the Internet, but haven't met face to face. I enjoy the intellectual tennis matches I play with some of my pals. We email, or chat about God, philosophy, science, movies and music. I know physicists, Electronic Technicians, reporters, IT professionals and Engineers. I am also an avid fan of a couple of up and coming science fiction writers. There is never a shortage of interesting things to explore in person or on the Internet.

There re very difficult times during the years I struggled to "desire" to live. I had a lot of counseling and therapy to attend to. There were major problems with my past. I had a large amount of grief work to face. Before I could put my past into perspective, I had to admit that my past was an infection which had to be lanced, cleaned out and healed. Facing my past was very hard and painful work. It is like mental surgery. An infected finger can kill you, if you let it go totally untreated.

The major battle for me was accepting the responsibility of fighting for my own recovery. Yes, adults messed me over very badly, when I was a child, but now I was an adult. I had to stop blaming "them", start looking at my own behavior and WHY I continued to act in ways that weren't working in my life.

My gratitude is endless for the men and women who fought to help me get better. Looking back, I can now see that many people tried to "reach" me. I remember many times in my life, where people tried to help ,me, I just couldn't understand. I assumed it was some kind of trick, or trap. I wasn't ready to face the pain of my childhood. But, when this student was finally ready, I had wonderful professionals who donated hours of free counseling to give me a chance to have a real life. In a way, I write this blog as a thank you for all of their work on my behalf.

Ultimately, I thank God I found Jesus Christ. All the improvement and growth began AFTER I became a Christian. Being a Baha'i' was only an interesting intellectual exercise. Jesus had the real power to replace my heart of stone with a heart of compassion. The false superiority of having all the "right" answers had to be smashed.

I had to first learn to stop trying to kill myself. Once I'd made a commitment to actually try to live, I've begun to learn not to fear other people. My life is smoothing out and becoming more and more 'normal'. I am now working on the issues we all have to deal with. Being responsible, truthful and accountable.

It is not gripping reading. Do I put in a true effort at my work, or do I just "get by"? Do I keep commitments I've made to God, or blow Him off? Am I really willing to be honest when I desire a day off, or do I just "not show up"? (real on-the-edge-of-your-seat-stuff, right?)

I end this post with a wonderful way to put things into perspective.
God's gift to me is life. My gift to Him is what I do with my life.

My New Clothes from My Church.

Even though I genuinely enjoy doing the weekly bulletins for church, the last week in August, was not a fun session. Pastor called it in late on Saturday evening after I'd gone to bed.

I dragged my mind back to work mode and began the (usually simple) process of producing Sunday's Bulletin. "Friends & Family Day". He wanted a group scene of people. I use a website chalk-full of such pen and ink drawings and figured I'd be finished rather quickly.

Oh man! I just couldn't find the correct drawing. I came so very close to dumping the drawing all together and just putting out a text based bulletin. But I forced myself to do it right and eventually came up with what I hoped would please my Pastor.

Then it was time for me to do something really stupid with my computer. Fixing my mess-up took several hours, leaving little time for more sleep. I loathe doing anything when I'm that tired. Being tired just saps my ability to be an adult. I always have to fight the temptation to act like a cranky three-year-old.

Once church was over, I decided not to stay for the meal provided for this "friends and Family Day". I couldn't think of a good excuse to leave, but I sat in the back fanning my overheated, "having a hot flash" self, longing to go home.

Into every life an idiot doeth come. A gentleman came in and sat directly in front of me. I tried to talk to him. He rebuffed me with a very curt and clear: "I don't want to talk to you!" and then proceeded to respond politely to other people.

I have had this kind of thing happen to me far too often and frankly I handle it badly. When I'm rested I can control my desire to sob and carry myself like an adult. When I'm exhausted the desire to: a) seek revenge and or b) cry is just too tempting.

I used the excuse that I was just too tired and quickly left for home. I knew this is what I needed to do for self care. Maybe the guy didn't like white people, women or strangers, but I'd fight that battle another day. I have found it is important to know when you are not equipped for a situation. Social situations, at the best of times, are difficult for me. When I have any kind of rejection issue, they become an emotional endurance test.

I came home and made a nice lunch for myself and settled down to do some work on the website before letting myself go to bed. I got a call from a friend at church. They had two bags of clothes and a plate of food coming for me! My friend understood where I was at emotionally and was just happy to deliver these items.

I have blogged about my beautiful velour, silk and cotton jacket dresses before. But this batch of clothes were all for summer! A really good way to get heat stroke is to wear a velour jacket dress in the summer. These were all light chiffon or stretch nit outfits. Even two pairs of shorts. with many mix and match tops.

I was totally stunned. These are the kind of expensive, pretty clothes I'd never buy for myself. Oh, I'd have maybe two nice "vacation" outfits, but the rest would be from the thrift store. The thrift store for those of us who are overweight is a depressing adventure.

I am comfortable now in 2x to 3x clothes and those sizes are few and far between at your average thrift store. My usual attack plan is: if it fits, I don't care what it looks like. Take it and get on with it.

I now have a real wardrobe of wonderful "vacation" and "fancy" clothes. I had the joy of throwing out clothes that had seen better days, several years ago! I do not show my picture of me because I've been stalked in the past and don't want the problem cropping up again. So, enjoy checking out the nicest set of clothes I've ever owned. I'm taking as many pictures as this blog will handle. I'm showing off my summer and winter clothes. These clothes are so beautiful. I like how I feel when I wear them.

I now log off to go and enjoy that "soul food" brought to me yesterday. These folks not only know how to dress, but they sure know how to eat. BBQ chicken, Terreiki chicken, greens, mac and cheese, yams and some really wonderful velvet cake. God is showing me more of His love and I am so glad I did my best work for Him even when I was tired. He sure has inspired folks to share some beautiful things with me.