When Therapy Doesn’t Work

A13637B8-3DA1-49D8-8F75-DF39FEA387F2.jpegI don’t know about you, but I’m kind of an “out of the box” person. I’m quirky and I like things that way. Give me your weirdest moment and I’ll embrace it with a wide-tooth grin. Maybe it’s because I’m wired that way, or maybe it’s because of my past history, who knows?
Regardless, this “out of the box” tendency has caused me some issues. I mean some people have described me as “cute”, while another group of people have labeled me as “awkward”- I choose to hold onto the former.
Socially, it can be hard. But, even harder for me is when it comes down to me wanting to heal in certain areas of my life. Transparently, I’ve tried a lot of ways to heal. Some have worked and some have not worked (*I’ll dive into this in a later post*). I see the benefits in all of the healing modalities I have tried. Yet it breaks my heart when they don’t work, because I can get a lot of flack from others.
Here’s how some of the conversations go:
****
Them:”I guess you haven’t hit a low enough bottom.”
My thoughts: “You mean having brain lesions isn’t bad? Wait, where’s your compassion?”
Them: “When you become willing to do the work, you’ll get better.”
Me: “Whoa…I’m not going to even start by proving how much work I’ve done. We ARE NOT going there.”
***
People can be outright insensitive and that’s their choice, that’s their path. But, that’s just not how I do things. That’s not how I’m wired.
The really cool thing is that I actually did start to heal and in ways that some would consider “out of the box.” And, I’m so okay with that. Heck, I embrace that too.
So, now the conversation turns to you. Have you ever felt this way? Like things just weren’t working regarding getting better? No matter how much work, or effort you could muster up. If you’re still like whattheheck do I do, whatthenoodle is wrong with me!? Here are some things that might help you along this journey:

1. Pray – If you want to get well, begin praying. Whatever religious/spiritual convictions you have, just begin praying. There is something so powerful about it.
2. Be open-minded for new opportunities- Whatever you do hold onto hope that doors will open pertaining to your healing and recovery. The rights doors that are perfect for your situation.
3. Continue being honest – Friend, continue sharing your truth with safe people. Certain people may judge you, but the more you share your burden with someone else, the less pain you’ll be in.
4. Do your research – Since most of us have access to the internet these days, I highly suggest you use Google. There are so MANY resources and different treatment options. Get informed.
5. Choose recovery that sits well with you – there is no one-size fits all recovery for everyone and for me to claim that is ignorant. You see, we ALL have an internal guide that tells us what is right for us and what is wrong for us. Listen to that.
6. And, most importantly, be gentle on yourself- We all have our own paths to walk, have compassion for yourself, shower grace on the parts of you that are hurt.

Whomever you are, wherever you are, you are worth living a life that is vibrant, a life deeply grounded in freedom. Continue to pursue that.

 

Advertisements
Standard

Speak

2D865B8A-C1C1-4B97-94FB-DEB77FF6CDB9“It’s time you see a psychiatrist now. You’ve been to the ER countless times, and you keep coming to see me, we’re not getting anywhere.” I looked at my doctor and I just  began to cry, not like a soft whimper cry, but like tears streaming down my face cry. In retrospect, my reaction might have provided more proof to my doctor for me to seek counsel.
I did not care.
Let me say that again, I did not care and I still don’t really care.
After a year of not being able to walk, extreme dissociation, chronic migraines, paralyzingly anxiety, issues swallowing and difficulty with light and sound, I just wanted a gosh-darn answer. I was scared, I felt like my body was giving up on me, while others told me it was just in my head.
Oh, how I wish it was just in my head. I wish it was as simple as focusing on the positive, changing my irrational thoughts or writing out gratitude lists. But, I knew it wasn’t a mental issue. And while focusing on the good is healthy, sometimes all the thoughts/meditation in the world can’t cure illness. And the more I spoke out about it, the more my journey became questionable to others.
When you continually share your truth and it gets silenced with the opinion of someone else, that can leave you somewhat stuck. Or, if you’re like me, it can make you become the “squeaky-wheel.”
One of my character assets that I value in myself is that I am tenacious. When I really see the value in something, I pursue it. I don’t give up, not because I can’t, but because there’s an inner-knowing for me to hold on.
So, I kept speaking about my story and decided to block out the ignorance of others.
And guess what? It worked for me. Within a month of that doctor’s visit, I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Since then, I’ve been on an intense treatment of antibiotics and herbal remedies that get rid of malaria. Lyme Disease can mask itself as an invisible illness. So, we with Lyme’s can look okay, look somewhat presentable, but there’s effort in looking “just ok” (at least for me there is).
I’m only three months into my healing and some days are extremely hard. Yet, there are moments that provide me with relief, with hope and I cling to those. I need to hold on to those. You see, people may not understand this journey. They don’t have too. People may not have compassion when you’re sick. Again, they don’t have too. But, what you do have to do is continue to speak.
Continue to show up with your truth, even if it’s messy and fragile. But, show up, beautifully broken. Your voice matters. Your story matters. And most importantly, your freedom matters.

Standard

Healed

60584907-4F30-4F32-996A-DAFC05C1907F“Will I always be this way? I’ve relapsed on alcohol so many times.” I could hear the exhausted tone in my friends voice on the other end of the phone. She was tired of trying, of getting back and putting on her fighting face, exhausted of standing tall when all she wanted to do was shut the doors, draw the blinds and cry. Cry out for healing, for change, for freedom, for rebirth. She desperately wanted to be healed.
And, if we relate the situation to us, we can sit with her in her story of desperation, of longing need. We all long to be healed.
Healed from the memories that gnaw at us during hours of the morning. The memories that haunt us when the rest of the world sleeps, leaving etches on our hearts of what could have been, what should have been.
Healed from broken expectations that God should have shown up with a miracle. The miracle that was supposed to radically heal you from illness. That was supposed to eliminate the incurable, doctor’s results that left a weighty mark on your soul.
Healed from the addiction, or the the habitual habit that steals your joy, that ravages your relationships, that clings to your thoughts.
What is the thing you are desperately yearning to be healed for?
Let the question settle in your hearts.
You may have wrestled with this question in your heart before, or you may have swept it under the rug of denial, but if you can honestly think about it, the question is there.
I know for me it appears in different seasons of life. It did this past November when the doctor, who looked me in my horrified eyes and told me,“ The MRI result showed unspecificied white matter, it’s not a tumour and we don’t think it’s Multiple Suclrkous, but we think you should see the neurologist since you’re having issues walking still.” In that moment, I sat back in shock in the cold plastic chair. For the last year I was having issues walking, my legs numb and weak, my head with chronic debilities migraines.
Everything I thought I believed about God shifted in that moment. You see, it’s in defining moments of life where your theological perceptions of God and His character can greatly put to the test. We can either run to Him,  or run from Him— fists clenched with our questions and doubts.
In that moment, I ran.
Well, at first I told people I trusted in God, and I honestly thought I did.
But, I can tell you I ran. In my experience, I ended up feeling more confused. The thing about continually running is that you get exhausted, and my weariness got the best of me.
Eventually depleted,  I ended up back into the arms of a loving God — with the same unanswered questions. I was the same person desperate for healing. I needed God and I craved  healing, but I needed His intimate love to grace my broken heart and unanswered questions. You see, I’m still in this season. I’m still in the season of the unfolding of healing— where everyday God gives me a stroke of grace for that day and it adds to the awestruck paining of my life. Where at times I wake up with debilating pain and all I can do is lift my hands with tears gently strolling down my weary, yet perseverant face and whisper, “ I know God you are good,  and I know with God  ALL things are possible.” Where friends quietly hide because they don’t know what to say anymore. Where God is recreating you, into not who you want to be, but who He has called you to be. It’s the season you didn’t choose to be in, but it’s the season that you are beholding the manna of blessing that takes different forms everyday. It’s the season of being healed from the inside, out.

Standard

A Gentle Cure for a Faith Crisis

Faith.
A grace-laden word that means so much to a variety of people. And, I’m going to be straight up: I have a tendency to propel into action, rather than riding the seas of the unknown.
The Bible talks a lot about faith, a prime example is in Hebrews when the author, Paul, is beginning a linage of men and women of great faith from the Old Testament, he starts of his list by stating his definition of faith, “(n)ow faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”.(Hebrews 11:1)
Unfortunately, his definition of faith has not been totally true in my life. I have yet to see many of things I prayed for, with great, heart-wrenching faith, manifest before my eyes.
My first faith memory is praying for shoes. I was in grade two and they were those jelly shoes that were super uncomfortable to wear. Well, I prayed to get them. In my gentle, naive heart, I believed I would receive those shoes so much, I actually wept for them. I never got those slip-ons. But, a few months later, I actually got shoes that were top-not jelly sneakers. And interestingly enough, I got the runners when I wasn’t focusing or begging for them.
Fast-forward about 20 years later and I’m no longer praying in faith for shoes. But, I am praying in faith for circumstances that are really uncomfortable. Praying for the grief I feel after experiencing losing people. Praying for healing for legs that no longer work like they used to work, leaving me with a lack of mobility and in almost constant pain. Praying for restoration in situations where the people I love, and even myself, have had harsh words spoken against us. And, praying the state of the world. A world that is longing for meaning, a world desperately needing some kind of refuge, a world that is yearning for connection, but on the contrary is in a state of constant fear, judgment, hatred and thinks the solution to this is more external resources. The funny thing about having to have more is that you’ll always have to more. It won’t stop.
So, I wrestle with the tension of my faith-filled prayers and not seeing them take form. But, just like the shoe prayer, maybe God has not answered some of my prayers in my time frame because they were never meant to be answered in my time frame. Maybe, just maybe, God allows me (and some of us) to wait to receive our answers so we know his character more than the gifts we receive. You see, the shoes I received were such a better gift than the shoes I originally wanted. And, I choose to believe that’s how God works: that He makes everything perfect in His timing.IMG_4843

Standard

The Truth Behind Honesty

I am a big fan of people who are candid.  And not just the honesty that is laced with kind words and gentle smiles. But, the awkward honesty; the truth-telling that can make you cringe with the thought, “Did they really just say that?”   For me, these people are a refreshing glass of water, in a society filled with patent answers and responses.

And I’ve noticed it’s in the authentic exchange of misplaced, fumbling words that people have the exquisite freedom to be themselves.  And aren’t we all secretly searching for that?  A sacred space to share our truth with unveiled faces.

During this season I have learnt this powerful truth:  share the truth, even if your voice shakes.  And, let me just state this:  I have said things that may have been better left unsaid, I used words that I didn’t even think were part of my vocabulary and I had to apologize to people for my rigorous honesty, more than once.

But, I showed up for myself regardless of the consequences.

Being honest is intimidating; it can hold fears of potential rejection, abandonment and expectations.  But, speaking light into the darkness allows you to be unbound from yourself.

I believe  God yearns for a deeper level of intimacy with Himself and within the community He created.  We do this by sharing our truth with God.  God yearns for us to tell him everything – from the secrets, to the lies, to the hopes and unmet dreams; He is the One who wants to meet you where you’re at — when we practice honesty with Him we begin to see His perspective into all of our situations.   The beautiful aspect about God is that he’s not going to punish you for speaking your heart, in fact He’s going to welcome and embrace every part of you. And it’s through a healthy relationship with God we can practice the beautiful balance between being safe and being vulnerable with those around us.  It’s in knowing profound truth that we can lean into our story, instead of running from it, and gently encourage others to do the same. Will you join me in seeking raw truth? In standing your position, holding your ground. We are worth freedom.

Standard

The Beauty in the Impossible

img_1388

 

It’s the beginning of fall – the leaves have changed to warm coloured tones, the temperature has suddenly dropped, and the rain has begun to downpour almost everyday, leaving no room for sunlight. In retrospect, I know now the power of light, and when we have those days where the sliver of sunlight has etched it’s warmth into one of our days of consistent rain, I hold those days with gratitude; it’s extremely liberating when light penetrates long seasons of darkness. Yet, as the season changes, like many of you, I am praying for a transition in my life.

What’s been giving me hope is the truth found in the verse in Matthew 19:26, “With man this is impossible, but with God ALL things are possible” ( New Living Translation).

You see man/woman has human limitations. We can easily be frail in our best disposition. Wearing masks to suit the needs of society, we cannot save ourselves. Let’s really take a look at this. Would we honestly want to be the answer to our problem?

Some of us can easily error on the side of being judgmental, hypocritical, while desperately wanting connection all that same time.   We brilliant contradictory humans need something more stable, more constant, something more at rest, but can simultaneously give us rest; because most of us are anything, but at rest in our own strength.

And that’s okay, there’s beautiful freedom in admitting that.

You see, when I choose to “…believe ALL things are possible with God” (Matt19:26, NLT) It’s as though I don’t have to strive to make the changes happen.

I don’t have to force healing; trying to manipulate, coerce and problem-solve my way to into freedom.

I don’t have to coerce loving those around me, it’s natural with pure motives.

I can boldly hope.

And, I can take healthy action without fear that will allow me to grow as a person and better aid others.

It’s because I’m relying on a God that can do the supernatural in those around me and myself.

If you’re yearning for change in area of your life this season, I would love for you to know it IS possible with Him. Nothing is too big, too small, too complex, too insignificant or, too overwhelming for Him to deal with. But, sometimes our timeline for answered prayer is not His timeline, and when we grasp that, it creates room for acceptance and a peace that is supernatural.

Standard

My First Passion

I grew up having a passion for all things literature. In fact, the books I read today have coffee splattered stains and are tattered with crumpled, folded pages. My devotion results in hasty reading, absorbing the words etched on the pages as though they provide a means to an unmet need.

This all started when I was an infant – sitting in a closed-off, wooden crib, toys sprawled all around with a single children’s picture book propped to the side, waiting to be held. The book enticed me more than the baby doll, or the rattling toys that made irritating noises.   My mom would awake from her sleep and find me sitting up, scanning the pages of these books, almost yearning for more.

This need for words started young.

I continued reading, clinging to the literary greats as means of escape from a reality that seemed a bit uncomfortable for my tender age of 11. At the time, books became my solace, my safe haven in a world that was chaotic and unpredictable.

Yet, as I got older, and maybe one could say bitter, I allowed the masterpieces that I held so dear to collect dust on my bed side table, only to sweep off the grey film when guests came over.

Reading no longer was a joy, it was a discipline etched into a schedule littered with trivial pursuits of adulthood. Pursuits that left me exhausted and weary, missing the days of my youth — days that held little responsibility, countless moments for never-ending dreaming and a heart full of naive freedom.

However, the books continued to call from my nightstand. They persisted to intrigue me with the remembrance of how their words were craftily strewn into immaculate sentences that left the reader wanting more.

More of the creatively strategic plot.

More from the characters who spoke life into personal circumstances.

More of brilliant metaphors that can only be described through written word.

And, most importantly, more meaning.

So, one night after much longing, I picked up a novel I had read years before, cracked the hard cover spine and slowly began to read. Reminding myself of the passion that was once buried deep.

I became enmeshed, and as the crisp, 2am night air peeked through the slit in the window pane, I knew that I had begun to found what I had thought I lost: fresh perspective into a dismal situation.

 

 

Standard