Monthly Archives: May 2012

Faith, Me, and that darn Religion

It has been a while since I have written anything that has to do with my spirituality or my religiousness. Lately it seems that my faith in God has become a private matter for myself. There is so much diversity around me on the subject that I find it best most of the time to keep it to myself.

I live in a very conservative Christian environment. I, however, am not. I come into odds with them over my differences in beliefs a lot. See, I have separated faith from religion. I believe the two have everything in common, yet on the basic level, not so much. For me, faith is a journey with God. Religion is just a platform of doctrine to bring one closer to God. Like I said, I believe they go hand-and-hand together but at the end of the day and setting all that doctrine aside, God  presence is there regardless. So, as I struggle with trust issues with religion, I still hold a strong faith in God. Maybe this sounds weird but this is what I feel and believe.

With that said, I am still moving forward with joining the United Methodist Church. I have so much respect for this church that I find it to be a safe place for me. Yes, my conference of the UMC is pretty conservative but I am not going to let that scare me. Interesting enough, I look past that. I see a church that is big on humanitarian missions and a strong belief in social justice.

I guess the question I must ask myself is why return to Christianity?

Many years ago I took a very fanatical approach to religion. For so long after leaving this fanaticism, I could not come up with an answer to why I went down this route. I was only with a fanatical group of Christians for a couple of years. Within that time I was very sick with anxiety attacks. I truly believed that there doctrine was the only way a person can have a relationship with God. Well, their doctrine was wrong and very hurtful to others out side of it. Sad part, there was so many good people in its ranks, misguided and clueless. I also noticed some other things going on that I didn’t like nor understand, which ended up being the deciding blow that gave me the willpower to leave. I was so scared and faced an insurmountable pain from the dissociation. In the end it was all worth it, I am so glad and proud of myself for leaving.

Judaism came into play after all the mess. I have to admit, if I would have happened to be single person at the time, I would be a Jew now and very proud one at that. Sadly, and to make a long story short, it just wasn’t meant to be. If I ever become single for whatever reason, there is no doubt that I would  give consideration in pursuing conversion again. This is about all I want to say on that.

Returning to Christianity, it was a hard choice. I mostly did it for my family. I still struggle with the understanding of what it means to follow Jesus. I guess that is the whole point of my journey with God. It seems that the struggle seems to bring me closer to God. I would prefer not struggling but I guess there is not much fun in that or enlightenment.

I still have a long way to go but I am getting somewhere with the doctrine. Yes, the doctrine. For me, the doctrine of the church scares me to no end. I have worked diligently for change in my thinking on what liturgy and Holy Scripture means to me. My past thinking on this important stuff is very uncomfortable for me. I just can’t handle thinking that way anymore. Heck, I don’t even really want to try.

Anyway, this is basically what is happening on my religious front. Always subject to change because that is just how I am. Religiously Challenged.

I think I will write about my faith struggles soon. There has been a lot thrown at me the last three years. I guess there is always something happening.

Thanks for reading!


Stuck in Hell

That is what I have been feeling since last Wednesday, stuck in hell.

It all started when I returned to work and found out that I must have a doctor’s note. The note has to state that I am work ready and if there is any restrictions. Well, it seemed like the weight of the world started crashing down on me. I had no clue that my work needed such a note. I was told that I was reminded of this, but I do not remember hearing it. That is when a hug lump of  guilt smacked me right  across the head.

I went into work with a plan. I had my action plan ready to deal with normal stress that might come my way. Nothing prepared me for the bombardment of shame and guilt that followed after being told to go home. Gosh, I just wanted to get back to my life. I wanted to beat all my diseases and disorders. I wanted to show the world that James is a fighter and can live a productive life.

I don’t feel like giving a blow-by-blow account of what happened but I kind of felt overwhelmed by the whole situation. This caused me to just shutdown. I had to go to the doctor office to fill-out and sign a form. I couldn’t even do that. The poor lady had to go through the simple form step by step with me. I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing while I drove home. I was so upset with the situation.

Well, after many calls by my boss, my work’s human resource person and me. My doctor refused to write the note until I see her nurse practitioner, which I have an appointment with anyway. I was also told that my doctor does not want me working. Guess what, without the note I can’t.

What a mess!

Boy, safety went out the door that day. I wanted the pain released somehow someway. I ended up calling my therapist to find some way to get me calmed down. Well, after a wonderful talk, my therapist did just that. My mood was still in the pits but it was just enough to raise my safety to a higher level than it was. I am pretty proud of myself. I didn’t hurt myself.

To be honest, this is just a speed bump. I have a feeling that once things return to normal. I can get back into the fight to be productive. I might be stuck in hell at the moment but I am hopeful to rise out of the pit.

Going Back to Work

Hi Everyone! The day I am dreading is fast approaching. Work. My work was gracious and ordered me to go on vacation after my 4 weeks of CBT training (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). So, after this week is over its back to the old grind stone for me. Am I scared? You betcha!

I had a lunch visit with my big boss on Monday and that went is well as I would have expected. Basically he wanted to know if I can do the technical part of my job. I told him that I was very confident that I can do that, which I really am confident about that. What I was not so sure about is the social aspect of working. I think this is where I lost him. I think he was thinking co-workers, but I was actually taking about him, my manager and supervisor. Three of my biggest triggers and the scariest people at work. Yeah, I suspect my co-workers are going to be intimidating also but I can escape from them because my office is in a limited access area. Big thing with my co-works is the ton of questions they will be asking about where I have been for almost two months.

There were three things that the big man wanted from me when I get back. One is to move into the IS Department. Actually, I thought of that myself, so we are on the same page there. I was going to ask to be moved there if they didn’t. I thought it would help me be more accountable for my actions, since I can get a bit out of control some times. Two is only having business related discussion with co-workers and pretty much nothing private. Yeah, my company is such a family to me. This will be a hard one but I do see his point. In the past I have been known to be a little chatty. I believe that this would be helpful to keep my socializing to a business level. I totally understand why he wants it this way. Third is do more training courses on the new equipment being installed in my absence. Yes, my hospitalization and partial hospitalization could not have come at a worst time. Well, the good thing is I get manage exciting new equipment. Yay, for that.

Is there a down side? Without running down a path of cognitive distortions, I believe this could be my last chance. Without a doubt, I went haywire for many years and I was hiding all my screw ups. Well, they know now what went on. So, it’s time for me to regain their trust in me and fight for my life. I love were I work, it’s part of my life. At least thirteen years of it.

I am going to make this work! As scary as it is, I going to do it. I have too for me and my family. Yes, I have a mental illness, but there is no reason I can’t be successful. Time will tell but I am going to put my CBT skills into action and some DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) skills I am learning. If I keep my head in the game there is no reason I can’t fix my wrongs and regain trust. If any thing, I have to do it for me.

Needless to say, I am scared to death!

Anyway, thanks for all the support and I love Y’all!

Sadly one chapter ends, but a new more hopeful chapter begins

“Success is not a happening. It is a process” Zig Ziglar

Hi everyone! Yes, I am pretty sad and a bit scared today. Insurance felt that my therapy at partial hospitalization was successful and ended the funding prematurely. So I had to be discharged before finishing my transition week. I only had two days left but it would have been nice to finish out the week. Most of the patients that transitioned did it on Friday and it was meant to be special. Yeah, I feel a little cheated but life must go on.

Mostly I feel sad because my safe place has come to end. Partial was a safe place for me. No one there was interested in judging me and I could get everything bothering me off my chest. Plus, how could I not feel a little worried that I didn’t learn enough to keep from relapsing. It will just take time for me to learn to trust myself again. My mental illness has had a hug grip on me for quite a while. However, I am in a much better frame of mine now which is awesome.

Had more to say but I lost my train of thought and don’t have much time to write this post in the first place. I will write more later, sorry.

Wishing everyone continued good health and happiness. Love Y’All!

Update – Doing Well

Hi Everyone! Still doing well.

Well, I have one more week of partial hospitalization. My doctor is happy with my progress and the therapists seem to feel the same. My issue is though, things are really surreal and not sure what I believe. But still, I feel like I have made progress but there is still a ton of work to be done after partial is over. Motivation is still not my strong point. I have been so depressed that I hardly want to do anything. On the positive side there also, I have been steadily getting my butt off the couch and working on things. I was very ill and its going to take some time.

Strange but kind of nice thing happened to me on Friday, the big boss called me and did something for me that I was not expecting. After partial is over, I was ordered to take vacation and to get some good rest. I was stunned. I was suspecting I was going to dive into work that coming Monday. He also wanted to take me to lunch. That does frighten me a little, but I have been to lunch many times with him. I know I shouldn’t worry about it but I just don’t have a clue what the future holds for me at work.

On a good note. I am thinking and working on ways to improve my productivity at work. What ever happens, I am just going to do my very best and let the chips fall were they may. I can’t change the other side of the equation but I can sure work on positive change for myself. I have too. I have to fight for me.

I do have to thank God for being there for me. Not sure how I managed to become as successful as I am. I am just very thankful God gave me those opportunities. Having BPD and aspergers, I am so proud of how far I made it without needing help. I am so hopeful that I will be a much better person after getting treatment and learning the skills to cope with my disorders. Not that I wasn’t a great person before, I just mean that I have a chance to find my full potential.

Anyway, future is looking bright and I am going to continue to remind myself of that very fact.

Love Y’all and thank you from the heart for your wonderful support.