Faith and coincidence can go hand in hand. Many people believe that there ARE no coincidences in God’s world. Sometimes when you look back at how your life has changed for the better, you see a pattern of “coincidences” often extending years back. I suppose that if you look back far enough, you can say everything that you did in your life has lead you to where you are now—even if where you are is not a good place. It’s kind of like a “preexisting condition” in the insurance world; everything is preexisting except for accidents. You don’t just suddenly wake up one day with high cholesterol, or heart disease—no, your body has been secretly sabotaging you for years based on your habits and heredity. It is the same thing in a way with where we are in life. I have recently been exploring religion. Although I am Jewish by birth and heritage, believe in God and pray, I have not really formally practiced anything for years. I had all but lost my faith in God during my nightmarish medical issues and problems with my boy. But, as is often said, “Don’t quit until the miracle happens”, so I did not give up and, continued to have faith and pray, although I had no idea if my prayers were even being heard. Joel Osteen always says that when you are ready, the right person (or circumstances) will appear in your life if you have faith. Yet faith is sometimes hard to have when your life seems like it is a slow slide into the abyss of hopelessness because it is a belief and trust in something intangible. I believe that there were so many events going back to 2002, when I worked in the WTC that has brought me to where I am now. In 2003 I moved to Augusta (where my friend Janet lived)—I do not believe that I would’ve reconnected to faith if I still lived up North. Then, 3 years ago, my son moved in with me, soon after suffering a psychotic break. This sorrow led me to NAMI, where I met Joyce and Bill, who invited me to their Church. Although I did not go back for a long time I just kept praying and praying to God that I would at least find a doctor who could figure out what was wrong with my body. My prayers were answered and to me, it was a miracle. I sometimes wonder if that horrific experience was God’s way of bringing me to faith, for I do not believe that this was a coincidence at all. Although I had no intention of going back to Church, I met Dwayne in Starbucks of all places, who I had seen playing the guitar at the church that one time I went. We struck up a friendship of sorts and he “invited” and challenged me to go back to the church, even bribing me, by offering to buy me a latte if I agreed to go—I could not turn that down. So I have been attending this Church every Sunday, which gives me a sense of peace and tranquility that I almost never feel, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable problems. While there I try to channel my boy, envisioning him sitting beside me, enjoying the music and sermon each week, which is a way for me to feel close to him even if it is not physically possible. I try to believe that God has him in his loving arms and, by having faith I can more easily gain acceptance. At the very least I have begun to enjoy Sundays—something I never did before. I am not saying that my life is perfect, or that I can always practice acceptance, and I am not planning on denying my Jewish heritage, but I feel that through a series of events beginning years ago I have been lead into a belief in God again. Will I take the next step, I do not know yet, but I believe that I am on a good path—that anything that helps me quiet the racing thoughts and worry that engulfs me each day—for ONE day—has to be good.
Wednesday – December, 26th
I’m happy Christmas is all over! I woke up with a case of very bad depression. I tried to shake it but it stuck with me all day, even though I went to Starbucks with my laptop and did various chores, I still felt like “everything was wrong” and I just cried on and off, even in the car. My knee started to give way at Walmart (my second home) but luckily the shopping cart (buggy down here) prevented me from going down. Still, it unnerved me and added to my morose mood. I was too depressed to actually make anything for supper so I settled for popcorn and leftover turkey. Also there is so much uncertainty associated with the Aflac disability which I still have not received for December. That lack of money coming in makes me frightened and depressed too. The Aflac agent never bothered to return my call—lovely! I kept calling myself fat and worthless and crippled. My state of mind prevented me from getting to a meeting but on a good note, when I came home, David called and wanted to Skype so I could see Henry. I also received the album that Joanne put together for Christmas; Henry’s first year. I even saw Joseph at David’s who is miraculously staying there for a few days. I ended up feeling a little better and know that God will take care of things if I just get out of the way. So, I will get to bed early and read. When I spoke with Joanne, she suggested that just like other illnesses, I will one day wake up and suddenly feel way better. That would be the best present ever in my entire life. I said maybe that will happen and maybe I should believe it. Maybe I am too negative and who knows what the future holds. It is all a mystery to me but I do know that at this point tonight, I have no more control of anything except what time I will clean the bird cages or go to bed. Good night!
Hope and Prayer – 12/8/12 – Saturday – A strange day. As usual, I wake up feeling sore and stiff and barely able to walk. I try to put it out of my mind but it is hard. I do my PT exercises and walk outside. Then I go to a meeting, which makes me feel better. Ruth and I go out for coffee (although it is way too expensive) but I do it anyway. That was enjoyable. But, I can never predict how I will feel at any time of the day. Even if I am in a decent and accepting state of mind earlier, that can deteriorate in a matter of minutes if I let my mind go there. Cindy, the renter, went to a Christmas party and looked very nice before she left. I took a picture of her and she said if I were feeling better she’d ask me to go too. I just thought of the picture of me in a skirt with heels on. I would not even be able to walk and even if I could, my legs are so thin they look sick. Then I started to look up nerve regeneration and got more and more discouraged to the point that I am feeling upset again. I am falling into that trap I fall into each day at one time or another and that is hopelessness. All I need is hope and I have it each day usually, but it never lasts. I will get the birds ready for bed and go too. The only problem is that in the middle of the night I usually feel really sore (especially my right knee) so that doesn’t even give me relief. I’ll try more prayer.
Prayer and Peace – 12/7/12 – Friday – I woke up feeling just as sore and stiff as usual. I looked on line about prayer sites and decided I would try to be at least a little bit peaceful today. So, I went to a meeting and the topic was weird, “Why is life unfair” and at first I felt like rolling my eyes. But, we went around the room and when I spoke I just said that I don’t know what fair is. I have no idea why this is happening to me but why not me. For some reason, my right leg seemed a little stronger and maybe it’s my imagination but I grasped this little smidgeon of hope and ran with it. It seemed that my walking was better and stronger too. I decided to forego walking on the treadmill which always tires my right leg out so maybe that was the key. I just had the feeling that I will get better. That feeling may be gone tomorrow because I may wake up feeling just as bad as usual, but for tonight I will take it. I cancelled my membership at Golds and joined, as of January, the Y again (mainly for the pool—to rehab). I got my scholarship for a $20 reduction in the fee. Then I finished the work that Laurie gave me to do. Even though it is needed I still feel like this is charity on her part. I am planning on having at least another month (or two) of disability, since I cannot see me suddenly getting well enough to do massage in two weeks. With that thinking in mind, I gave the forms to both Laurie and to the surgeon’s nurse, in anticipation of them saying I should have at least another month. I sure wish I really did not need it, but I do, and I am not faking it. I almost feel guilty when I speak to the Aflac rep and to Laurie. I just want to say to them, “Look, you have no damn idea what the hell I feel like. Don’t judge me until you walk in my shoes. How would you like it if you couldn’t even walk properly due to severe weakness in your leg? How would you like it if your body was numb from the waist down and your legs are freezing at night?” Maybe it is my imagination, but it just seems like they are annoyed that I am asking for another month, but I cannot help it. I may need another month or permanent disability, who knows. I have to take one day at a time and be prepared to file when I need to. I am going to practice prayer and actually believe it this time. Plus, Gail said that they would pray for me, which I know is powerful. I must believe that I will get better.