What a month last month was for me. Crazy.
It’s not usually a good idea to list the bad things that happen to you, but sometimes you have to in order to just appreciate that you got through it.
So, in the course of a month, I:
- Got rejected from at least 3 job applications after an interview.
- Got a mouth infection (not fun) and had to be on antibiotics that made me feel nauseous.
- Had a huge attack of intrusive thoughts.
- Had a huge attack of anxiety about all of the above
- Then got what we think was mild food poisoning, along with my sister, and had a 2nd period in one month, a weird phenomenon that happens sometimes and made me feel even sicker.
Still recovering from that last one, but I am feeling better. Still I felt so sick I barely ate anything for 3 days and just managed to eat a little better yesterday. Don’t know if it was hormones, allergies, bad food, or some unholy combination of all three.
Somehow, even after all that, I still have felt closer to God than before.
I don’t think God gave me all those problems directly, and with prayer, thankfully, some of them are going away, but God didn’t just lift them off immediately either.
It’s ironic that a lot of my problems are self-inflicted after the intial issue that wasn’t in my control.
I eat less when I’m stressed, so the more worried I get about feeling unwell, the less I want to eat, and the worse I feel as I get hungrier.
I worry so much about making it worse by eating, I forget that not eating makes it far worse.
My sister asked me why it bothers me so much to think of throwing up, and I didn’t really have an answer. It just always has. Even if arguably that’s not the worst thing ever ( I hate it), what I hate most is how ill I feel before and afterwards. It gets to where I’m more afraid of the idea than of the reality.
It goes back to when I was a kid and felt sick a lot because of anxiety. I would try to figure out what kind of sick I felt, and obsess over it, but I’d think “as long as I don’t throw up it’s not the worst.” I’d pray, begging for that. When I’d feel better a few hours later, it was relief.
The thing is, it’d ruin my time, whatever I was doing. All I wanted was to be at home, curled up with a book, or by the toilet, even if I knew nothing was going to happen.
I guess I never questioned if I could be any different. After I got older and my faith got stronger, this problem went away for the most part, but it rears up every now and then with my allergies, or stress, or PMS. I rarely ever actually get sick, even colds, but I freak out any time I think I might be.
So, getting sick twice in one month has me tripping, you can imagine.
At least, it would, if I let it.
But in another way, God used both these experiences to show me how deeply I worry about health. And let it steal my peace and joy any time I have a glimmer of sickness, real or false.
When I get worried, it’s hard for my body to heal anyway, or to even want to. I almost don’t want to try, for fear it won’t work, because then…then what? I guess I feel I couldn’t handle it.
The reality is that’s not true. As with most things, this fear is mostly just shadowy illusions, not based in what’s likely.
I can’t even say if having physical symptoms is worse than emotional. Some of you who have mental illnesses probably think you’d trade for a physical one in a heartbeat, or it might be the other way around. Every problem seems easier to deal with then our own.
Well, our struggles are tailor made for us, I think, in more ways than one. I inherited this struggle with my health from my Grandparents, like with so many other fun things I deal with. I had two who were obsessed with their health constantly.
My dad also constantly felt bad, and just lived with it, never feeling he deserved any better.
Now, me, I’m trying to kick all this. Not that I beleive I will never get sick, but that the same constnat problems I’ve had my whole life can go away.
I know that not every problem goes away, but so many of mine are stress related, and being stressed isn’t a state of mind I want to stay in.
I doubt most people think of me as a stressed person, who know me. I don’t come off that way, because external things rarely upset me as much as other people, my battle is always inward with my own issues. It’s hard to explain that to people.
God showed me how much I think of this stuff. And I am getting a glimmer too of how often I pity myself.
My dad always pitied himself, but he wasn’t compassionate to himself, and I can act the same way. I will feel sorry for myself for going through all this, and beg sympathy of people, but I will be hard on myself at the same time, with a frustration toward my body for not cooperating with what I want and not letting me do what I want.
As if what I want is always best. It seems better than doing what I used to and embracing it as an excuse to hide, but perhaps the pride of thinking I know best is not really better, just different.
Yet, after the first day of feeling really sick, to the point where I dry heaved and gagged, but nothing came up, my sisters and I prayed, and then I got up and danced around my living room, feeling better, but not completely, and I did manage to eat a little after that.
I didn’t get that bad the other days.
But I thought, I would have never done that in the past. Somehow, I felt fine, even though I didn’t feel fine. How is that possible?
God is weird sometimes.
I don’t know how all this will end, I’m learning as I go. I don’t even know how applicable it is for anyone but me, the reasons people struggle are so different.
But my thought it, maybe all this is happening now so I don’t spend decades of my life with the same problems as my dad had. Always thinking I couldn’t do anything about them.
Maybe it’s necessary to learn this now, to prepare for my calling. Certainly it’s interesting how much God can teach you just from living everyday life. Some of us go on big soul searching journerys, some of us stay home and live ordinary lives for 20 years till one day God tells us to move, like Abraham.
Whichever it is, I guess I’m learning, like Paul, to be content with where I am at, to believe it’s where I need to be, and God is growing me through this. Even if it seems painfully small at times.
Though, G. K. Chesterton thought that the ordinary things in life were the most enchanted.
I guess I’ll end with that thought, until next time, stay honest–Natasha.