Sunday, December 31, 2006


I'm sorry, I don't mean to be so negative. I'm sure reading a bunch of whining is really a lot of fun. Of course, this is my journal of my thoughts, and you're voluntarily subjecting yourself to it. That means occasionally it devolves into teenage angst. That's just me.

Actually it's helpful to have this record. As I think back to what I was doing last fall, I had a regular prayer time (actually a few - I did several daily offices) and was reading a lot of Scripture and other theology books (mostly early church stuff). Then school happened, and everything went to hell. I kept up the prayer practice for a while, but as I got more and more depressed and stressed, especially surrounding the church for which I worked, I withdrew from God's presence. Perhaps I felt guilty or unworthy. Perhaps I just thought I was too busy.

Now I wonder if I don't feel a little burned, afraid to be around God people. They can be so high strung. My emotional state is still such a wreck. I can't seem to get over this hump. I probably need to switch meds, but of course there's no way to do that since I have no money and insurance won't cover psychiatry (to be fair it covers 50%, but at $300/visit, it's still out of reach even with the coverage). I kind of feel like I got the shit kicked out of me all fall long. It wasn't really any one thing, unless it was my health (physical and mental and emotional). I'm still licking my wounds. I know I'm feeling sorry for myself. But I'm also scarred and not looking forward to putting myself out there again. My health is getting worse than ever. I get fatter and fatter and consequently hate looking at myself (in photos especially). I can't breathe anymore - at night especially, but also when I walk around. My lungs feel back the way they were when I lived downtown and coughed all the time from the exhaust. I'm back to coughing all the time. My eyes itch constantly, as does most of my skin. Lots of the time I feel like I can't breathe. I live on allergy pills. It's so weird how different parts of this city have been better and worse for me. South Pas has been the one place I could breathe. Maybe we should go back. Oh, what I wouldn't do to be back in my unaffordable, giant, beautiful, inconvenient-to-school apartment!

But what I'm trying to say is that now I'm letting all these things - movies, books, crossword puzzles, even sleep - take up most of my time. And I have crowded God out. Which is ridiculous because I've had very few obligations for the last 3 weeks. It's all about habit, isn't it? Upholding the habit of God communion while we're busy or not. I don't even want to go to church today. I want to spend my probably last Sunday off (before my new internship starts) cocooned at home.

I've been sleeping 10-11 hours a night. I'm pretty sure that's unhealthy. But before that, the first week of vacation, I slept like 4-5. I started off vacation waking up earlier and earlier each day, until I was waking up regularly at 5:30 then 5 and finally 4. Then halfway through our trip it switched and I started sleeping until 8 then 8:30 then 9. Now I'm waking up after 9, which is unheard of. Part of it is these sleeping pills, which I think are wacky (my last refill was a different brand from what I'm used to and I don't think it works the same, even though it's supposedly the same meds). But sometimes I don't take one and I still sleep weird. They mainly help me get to sleep. And they make me groggy.

Tomorrow I really want to go to the Rose Parade, but that means getting up at 5. I don't know if I can do it. On Wednesday I have to be at class at 8! How will I manage? I know I will get used to it again. But I'm already so stressed about starting school.

Last fall I went into school with great anticipation, excited about my classes and internship, happy about my life with God, ready to finish off seminary. Now I've pulled back and I won't finish for at least another year or more, I'm afraid (!!) of classes, I'm nervous about my internship, and I feel like life with God is gone. Ugh. I've put myself in a bad position. It would maybe be senioritis if I were actually graduating, but I'm not. I guess it's just a funk. Bummer.

I'm reading the paper and all these people are talking about resolutions and the new year. I only have obvious ones (exercise, pray more, relax, etc) and don't much have the energy for them. I'm going into this year so negatively. I know it. But I don't really hate it. I'm too tired to do anything about it. So I'm just kind of sleepwalking. And I know that's a stupid way to go through life but it's all I got right now. I don't even think I wish it were different. I'm so freaking apathetic.

But I'm not, really. I mean, we're still giving money away even though we can't afford it, and I'm happy about that. We're spending too much on organic, free-range groceries because I won't eat otherwise. We're walking nearly every day (which means I cough more - I guess we're back in more of a city environment here). I've found things to really care about, like Africa and AIDs and food. The latter has been a wonderful diversion this break. I need to write the Christian version of the Omnivore's Dilemma soon or somebody is going to beat me to it. Already in today's LA Times there was a review of The Gospel of Food, a new book by a USC sociologist. Gee, have I jumped on another trend? (it's just a thing with us: whatever John and I get into turns into a cultural trend in a matter of weeks or months, usually. A local store carried a perfect t-shirt for us: Everything you like I liked 5 years ago)

But yeah, wouldn't that be interesting? To write about food as religion and how divorced it is from religion? And I think I need a Fulbright to go to India and study Hinduism, since they are so good at using food in their rituals. Yeah, that's what I need.

At least I still have a cat to sit on my lap and claw my legs. Ow. And we got the house rearranged and cleaned, so it's less stressy in here. I don't feel so claustrophobic anymore. Although I'm still surrounded by books, now in every room (all 2 of them). But we've gotten some nice things lately to help: a few great chant and meditation cds, and a soft pillow to sit on, and a lovely teapot (called an ipot!) and great tea. And my bamboo plant is getting so big. And we bought one of John's students' works: an icon of St. Francis, which is huge, and I look into his eyes all the time and it's really meaningful. I can't quite explain it but I love to look at it. And we got a ton of wonderful wine in Napa and made new friends. We might even get to go up to help bottle at one winery. And we got a censer and real incense, although so far we haven't figured out how to work it properly. Oh, and we got a lot of chocolate. Nice.

OK, counting blessings is a good thing. Good remedy for anxiety. I suggest you try. Actually, all you blog buddies should go list what yours are and post me a comment with a link. Then I can see how much we are all blessed (just don't write me about your new car or big house!) and perhaps I'll start believing the world's not such a terrible place.


JTB said...

I promise, no new car or big house anywhere near my list. Follow the link to Three Beautiful Things. She does a list every day.

Stasi said...

Thank you so much for that link. It would be a good exercise, I think, for me to start doing 3BT in the new year. Perhaps not everyday, but as a start to every post.

Anonymous said...

Whew, what a post!

Femmy, I'm not sure if you take requests, but I'd like to see you write a post specifically about what your main gifts/talents are. Then, 1. How you feel you should be using them in the new year, and 2. How you want to use them in the new year.

I think that'd be most excellent.

Anonymous said...

My recent blessings:

Forty seven days of sobriety

the same of regular exercise (201 to 184 since August: yea me!)

My new housemate, Bad Ass Annie, feline Blues Mama

My PTSD (I am disabled) and depression are more in control

My second year of seminary was a wreck; I took a Ethics exam hungover and blanked on everything. The Dean's comment was "What happened? See me." Both money and health went South. In shaping us as her tools, God has broken the old, but not yet formed the new. I felt lost and alone between what I had left and what I was moving towards: at home in neither yet. I was told this is a common phenomenon; that so helped. (sarcasm alert)

I prayed for you specifically at yesterday's Eucharist in my home parish in Hartford. I shall add you to my private devotions.

Strength for your struggle, sister, until your life and work become a praise to our Lord Jesus.


Clare said...

Feminarian -- thanks for the comment over on -- much appreciated. Let me know when you start writing your own 3BTs -- I'd be interested in seeing them.

youngandcollared said...

Thanks for the idea... Sometimes I just need to remember what all I really do have to cherish. Hope you're finding perspective and feeling less sick. When I was on seminary insurance. I remember praying that I wouldn't get sick; or if I did, that it would be something serious, so that the deductible would take care of it :o)