Ten Things of Thankful #91

I awoke to a bleak and hollow day, with cramps running through me and the awful tired, stuffy-headed feeling which comes from an emotional hangover mixed with the after-effects of having been stupid. I was not thankful. I did not want to engage. I wanted to hide from everyone and everything and never return.

It was entirely my own fault.

I’ve been stupid and lax, and somehow in spite of anticipating that Thursdays often bring meltdowns, I was unprepared for the ferocity of this one. I was forced to face up to the fact that not getting myself organised and ordering more meds has taken a considerable and unpleasant toll on my mental health, which led to a downward spiral into…not the abyss this time: someplace far more stupid than there, because at least in the dark, where it feels as though you’re buried in negativity and nothing will ever be good or happy or joyful again, you feel validated. This was without validation.

This was sadness and pain and bawling on a level I’ve not often experienced, and I couldn’t place the reason. There seemed to be a grey smattering of a few possibilities but mostly (I concluded) it was me just Having A Bad Day, and It Being My Own Fault.

I curled up into a ball of tears and stopped talking to people. Or rather, I tried, but a stalwart few checked in with me and kept me going until Husby got home, whereupon, bless his boots, he tried SO hard to help me (I didn’t want helping) and look after me (didn’t want that, either) and hug me (nope) and show me he loved me (didn’t care) and held his tongue while I did stupid things with salt and a pint of warm water and failed at failing at life, because I couldn’t even.

The irony hanging over the entire episode was that I’ve recently (and in spite of trying to refute it) been lauded as ‘awesome’, so perhaps this was just my way of redressing the balance. Telling you this is certainly my way of ensuring that if you’re silly enough to put me on any kind of pedestal, I’ll do my level best to kick it out from under me and swing on a noose I’ve put there for the express purpose of showing you that I’m as much as (or more of) a fuckup as the next guy.

Then I lost my phone, and after some mild worry that I wouldn’t be able to tell anyone I was okay (or otherwise) my main concern was that after a few atrocious nights’ sleep in a row, I would miss my naps, not having any alarm clock to wake me in time. Fortunately part of my kit for work includes a mobile phone. It has an alarm clock, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I decided that a day away from the internet might even do me some good. I started a book instead- ‘One Thousand Gifts’, by Ann Voskamp – and as I read it on my lunch break, a light dawned.

Let me show you the passage which helped:

Eucharisteo, thanksgiving, envelopes the Greek word for grace, charis. But it also holds its derivative, the Greek word chara, meaning “joy”. Joy. Ah…yes. I might be needing me some of that. That might be what the quest for more is all about — that which Augustine claimed, “Without exception…all try their hardest to reach the same goal, that is, joy.”

I breathe deep, like a sojourner finally coming home. That has always been the goal of the fullest life — joy. And my life knew exactly how elusive that slippery three-letter word, joy, ca be. I think of it then again, that night of nightmares, the flailing, frantic, moon-eyed lunge for more. More what? And this was it; I could tell how my whole being responded to that one word. I longed for more life, for more holy joy.

That’s what I was struggling out of nightmares to reach, to seize. Joy. But where can I seize this holy grail of joy>? I look back down to the page. Was this the clue to the quest of all most important? Deep chara joy is found only at the table of the euCHARisteo — the table of thanksgiving. I sit there long…wondering…is it that simple?

Is the height of my chara joy dependent on the depths of my eucharisteo thanks?

So then as long as thanks is possible…I think this through. As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible. Joy is always possible. Whenever, meaning — now; wherever, meaning — here. The holy grail of joy is not in some exotic location or some emotional mountain peak experience. The joy wonder could be here! Here, in the messy, piercing ache of now, joy might be — unbelievably — possible!”

At that point I decided that the week probably did hold enough for thanks, and joy, in spite of my bad brain and my aching heart and my mess. I remembered that even beginning this blog-hop, all those 91 weeks ago, it had the feeling of being ‘Something Bigger Than’

Now, perhaps, I know why.

It might just be the key to life as it should be:

Thanksgiving.

 

Give thanks and you will find joy

Joy – because in the depths of my agony, there was deeper love.

Joy – because I was able to be the consummate professional, and playing that role distracted and lifted me.

Joy – because although we live in a world where awful things happen, we also live in a world where good and great and wonderful things happen, and on the whole, people LOVE each other.

Joy – because it’s not raining, there should be sufficient people, and netball will be on, and I need it. Tomorrow there will be boxing and time at the allotment, and I need that, too. And on Sunday there will be time with Niece and Neff, and I VERY need that.

Joy – because technology allows me to overcome geography be rescued by someone to whom I feel so close, and who is so akin to me I call her my thousand-mile heart.

Joy – because in spite of it all, I am physically healthy, in the best shape I’ve ever been, and I can improve. One night of stupid doesn’t rob me of that.

Joy – because book-life and real-life lined up and I got to see it occur (second-hand), and share the excitement.

Joy – because I AM in a position to offer care and comfort and sanctuary to some who have need of it, and that feels like purpose.

Joy – because the next phase of my Murica trip happened, and I now know (roughly) where I’m going to be sleeping, and the idea of meeting those people who have come to mean so much, is breathtakingly exciting and SO worth making it through this bad patch for.

And joy – because this list was easy and it made me feel a small ember of happiness in my heart.

 

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76 thoughts on “Ten Things of Thankful #91

  1. Joy is such a simple word. Only three letters! But why oh why is it so hard to obtain?? Just know that you bring me JOY with your beautiful (yet heart-wrenching) words because you fight the battle every day and for that, I thank you. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think because it’s something which *should be* so simple, and yet isn’t, because we get so bloomin’ well OVERWHELMED by all the challenge and strife and complexity of life that we forget how to be thankful for the good things, and (in my case) then joy seems very distant. I do battle, not every day, but a lot of them, and especially lately. Thank you for saying I bring you joy 🙂

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  2. hmm I am pretty sure we some how are long lost twins. I do this every once in a while. Fail to organize.go without meds, fall apart. not into the abyss just not together either. Then there is the you know this is what happens when you don’t stay on top of meds. You know how to balance better than this. and that critical inner voice that is never truly silenced starts and its all over. I think emotional hangovers are much much worse than any hangover from alcohol or drugs.

    You are awesome. You are a joy. You are you and I wouldn’t have you any other way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Emotional hangovers are awful. I’m just so lucky and blessed that I once again had people to pull me out, because I was far, far gone. I know things are really bad when I no longer even want music.

      I hate this cycle. I hate that you know it too. ACK.

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  3. I’m sharing to be honest and hope that it does not come across as anything but MY OWN experience….. this is why I’ve never tried the drugs. I’m too afraid because right now, without them, I’m okayishness enough to be. I’m so so sorry that you fell into the crap horrible awful and I’m even more sorry that I wasn’t there and didn’t realize. Love you so much and am more than relieved you’re on the swing up now. xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hid. And as evidenced AGAIN today, I am definitely NOT okay without them. Ack!

      I’m glad you’re okayish though, that’s really good. I recommend staying that way if possible 🙂

      ❤ ❤

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  4. Girlie, you bring me joy. 🙂 so glad you started the TTOT hop, even though most of the time I’m scrambling to even be able to do a single blog post. Hopefully one day soon I can write with more regularity.
    That said, writing itself is saving my sanity as I work on selling my house and trying to move and start a new job and end my current one. No worries, right? LOL
    Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Joy may not come up and whop you on the head, but it’s all around you. You have to be open to it. I’m glad you have decided to seize the joy! A world without Lizzi would have a big hole in it.

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  6. Glad you made it out! (the nature of that place precludes the assumption… something I suspect that only clarks realize and most of the time, spare the rogers and scotts the dimensions of the thing)
    Thank you for making it out and therefore bequeathing a positive benefit of identification (with clarks), that you have been there (yet again…. that fact is the incredibly powerful poison that enters our thinking on the approach to the Dark)… but off-setting that is the increasing numbers of clarks who, though there is nothing wrong with wishing someone well, or encouraging them to take a more positive view of life, will witness your transition and have their lives improve… in a teeny, tiny, look-and-it-vanishes way, but still better for knowing you (and all the other clarks).
    thanks

    Liked by 1 person

      • there is identifying and there is thinking (wishful and otherwise)… the beauty part of ‘identifying with’ is that it is not doing anything…. it is a knowing (of the reality of another) and the ‘fact of that knowing’ is what is (available) to be shared… and so, I can identify with you and benefit…. what I conclude and make of (the facts of your life)… now that! is another thing entirely! that is where we (clarks) always start down the Path (remind me sometime to re-write a Post on the allegorical value of the story of the Garden of Eden and the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, from the Doctrine perspective …[Spoiler Alert!!! Eve was a clark….]
        so, it’s not the ‘over-identifying’ (which is not a functional statement) as it is how ‘the information from identification manifests in our worldview’ that messes us up…or rather we mess up with…’

        (… why no, I never stop thinking about the Doctrine…. lol)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hahahahh okay yes, there’s a slightly different angle. And interestingly, actually, no NOT interestingly, because we know clarks are the most emotional of the lot…I was gonna go somewhere with something about emotional over-identification and projection and how we DO really trip ourselves up by assuming the feelings of others, or, rather assuming OUR PERCEPTION of the feelings of others…and all that, but I kind of answered my own question with it.

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          • yeah… you are good at that (you know, if I ever lose my fingers or my keyboard… I know I could say, ‘Lizzi I need to comment on such-and-such Post, do you have a minute?’ and you would write as I would, but you have the extra gift (that I lack) and that is emotional content… when it comes to expressing the world as (we) clarks experience it…. nicely done

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Sounds like a great book! THAT is truly my struggle, too, Lizzi my friend. Finding and making myself and ALLOWING myself to just enjoy things. Even simple things. I grew up in a family of strong, smart, powerful women and I’m always pushing myself to learn, read, know all the things, DO THINGS, but I have to remind myself to do joyful things, just things for fun. Otherwise we burn out and I get to a point where I’m over-informationed and tired and strung out. It’s okay to enjoy silliness, funny things, CAKE, stuff like that. It’s all about that balance. I’m always out of balance. Too much effort, then I get burned out and feel empty and I don’t put in ANY effort, then I start the stupid cycle again. I wish I could offer some advice, but it sounds like you have an amazing support system, and that is PRICELESS. You deserve ALLTHEJOY! Take it, revel in it, have cake with it 🙂
    I actually finished my post from last week and joined in, finally. And there is CAKE! hahahaha so much cake. I can’t wait to have CAKE with you, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joy-to-my-world, you are a source of happy 🙂 Sorry to know you get burned out, but at least if you’re aware of the cycle you tend to take, then you can perhaps at some point go some way to changing the way it happens. Silver linings, anyway.

      *HUGS*

      I am a frequent enjoyer of silliness (except when I feel like stopping altogether) and I can’t WAIT to have cake with you. It will be AWESOME and lovely and wonderful and all good things. Hope things are well with you, my friend ❤

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  8. what is joy without sorrow? what is success without failure? what is a win without a loss? what is health without illness? you have to experience each if you are to appreciate the other. there is always going to be suffering. it’s how you look at your suffering, how you deal with it, that will define you. — Mark Twain.
    Hugs and love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh it’s true, and without running the gamut of experience, I’d be less able to empathise with others. THAT SAID, are there experiences I wish I hadn’t had? Couldn’t empathise with? Probably. BUT again, character is built in perseverence and choosing to love, to TRY, in spite of the dips.

      I’m doing nothing if not getting very good at being picked up, and trying again.

      Thanks for being here, and for your kindness. Mark Twain’s a smart fella 🙂

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  9. Pingback: Ten Things of Thankful #91 | The Ten Things of ...

  10. I’ve done a bit of thinking about joy this past year. There is a verse in the Book of Mormon that says, “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” While that verse is oft-quoted, I had a bit of an “a-ha” moment about a year ago. Whenever we talk about the fall of Adam, we talk about the atonement of Jesus Christ, that redeems us from the fall. I finally realized that the verse has to be talking about the atonement being the true source of joy.

    In a related thought, no matter how often you try to tell/show us that we are misguided in complimenting you, the point is that we are all fallen. I’m not putting you on a pedestal, but I’m also not thinking you are “less-than” anyone else. We are all equal, in that we are all imperfect. Your talents are not canceled out by your weaknesses. I heard someone once talk about grace as a mathematical equation. Christ is infinite. Infinity plus anything is infinity. It doesn’t really matter if our number is big or little; it is the infinity part of the equation that makes the difference. We don’t need to judge ourselves or others, but it is through Christ that we gain our strength.

    I hope that makes sense. It does in my head, but I’m not sure I do an adequate job explaining. Basically, you can stop trying to prove us wrong about you, Lizzi. You won’t change my mind. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like the maths in that. It makes sense. I had a long chat with Chris, and that helped, too. In fact, I read more of the chapter in the book, and that also helped, and in a round-about way said much the same thing you said.

      There is joy, if I am prepared to notice it. There is good, if I am prepared to be open to it. There is love, if I am willing to accept it.

      And there are flaws, and always will be, but I can choose to live IN SPITE of them.

      And choose, I must.

      Thank you Kristi 🙂 I do badly (or, I feel as though I do badly) with a good reputation. I prefer balance and a realistic view of the ways I may or may not be laudable.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. There is but the moment….wherever that place may be. Coming out on the other side? Who knows how it happens. Sometimes, on it’s own, sometimes by the interruption of a phone call (when you decide to answer), sometimes music does it and sometimes words on a page. Amazing when the tears stop and the “deadness” begins to level out and you figure at some point things will get back to “normal”. You even know that there will laughter and fun and yes, joy, yet again.
    If nothing else, Lizzi, in this, I am family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know, I know, and thank you. You are the same in this, I think. And we do come out. We get past it. We look back one day and realise that we’re on the other side, and that we’re smiling again. But in the middle, everything closes down to the size of our eyelids and the next tearstain. Things are coming back. It was a deep dip, but brief, mercifully 🙂 I’ve had cause to smile and laugh and grin, and I hope you have, too. *hugs*

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Huge virtual HUG (that you can’t turn away). And, kick as much as you want, it doesn’t change the fact that you ARE awesome. You’ve lifted my spirits more than once, that’s for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad I’ve been able to lift your spirits. I think in the end that IS what it’s all about – relationship, friendship, and holding one another up. I just know that when I get to a certain point, I cut everyone off, and then I’m in pretty deep water. Thankfully this time I got rescued 🙂 *HUG*

      Liked by 1 person

    • How’s it look on its side on the floor then? 😉 Honestly, I could hear myself in my own head, noticing how incredibly horrendous I was being to Husby and to myself, and just not caring enough to change, at that time. Things are getting better now but I’ve been pushed into it – I wouldn’t have done it myself.

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  13. Awesome you are. I know first hand. You’ve shared your awesomeness so generously with me, and for that, I’m eternally grateful.

    Having said that, I feel like we have had conversations this week, and yet I didn’t know you were…blue. I probably couldn’t have helped, but I would have tried. Next time, if you need me, please reach out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For most of the week I wasn’t, then on Thursday for no good reason, really, it all came tumbling down very rapidly to a pile of crap on the floor. I didn’t want anyone. I didn’t even ring my Mum (who has been very understanding about it, in spite of saying she wished I had, and she would have come and helped me) or Husby (who tried to help and who I rejected)…and I don’t think I could have done it…because apart from anything else, I thought of the beautiful necklace you sent me and how precious you are to me and I felt like the least starry, biggest pile of unlovable sludge on the planet and I wanted to stop being, just for how awful I was…I hid from everyone so as not to inflict my idiocy on them.

      I know it’s not logical, and I do so appreciate your offer and will bear it in mind. Promise. This time, I was just so far gone.

      Here’s the upside – I got meds (well, got bullied into getting meds) and am on day two and feeling mostly a lot better, so YAY! :/

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  14. (hugs) this world may be harsh but it is always better when you have a friend. And I have joy knowing that you have a few of them to lift you up, when you are down and that phone or no phone – the universe still sent you a beautiful message. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it was very definitely an On Purpose sort of message, and I’ve done my best to listen. I got home to a parcel from Sandy, filled with LOVE, and a video from Christine, filled with LOVE, and then later, a message from Kitty, likewise filled with LOVE, and so I figure there’s something of a theme here…

      I’ll listen. And learn, I hope 🙂
      Thanks Serins. And you’re right about it all being better when you have friends around you *hug*

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  15. Pingback: Math, a Little Man, & a Little Miss (TToT #16) | Calculated Chaos

  16. When you said “put me on a pedestal”, I thought of the movie Dirty Dancing and the line “Nobody puts Baby in the corner”…why? I don’t know but I even heard it in Patrick Swayze’s voice. Completely random as hell but I thought that little tid bit it might make you smile or creep you out. Both?
    *Glitter in your face* <– that is called diversion from my weird comment above.
    I love you. The whole purpose of this hop is just exactly that – finding the good when life isn't so good. Because it (the good) is always happening around us even when the bad seems like it is taking over. It forces us to pause and think hard. Even if we can only find one thing like say my cup of coffee here, that is a blessing…and it feels good doesn't it?
    Love you. It's a new week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heheh do you know, despite being a child of the 80’s, I only saw that movie once, when I was grown up, and by then it was dated and I didn’t much like it. At all. Alas another cultural meme I’ve missed through having grown up without a tv. Never mind. I do know the phrase, but not Patrick Swayze’s voice.

      I’m not creeped out. Unless I should be. In which case because it’s you, I won’t be anyway cos you tend to be creepy as all out but I love it – you have particularly delightful levels of inappropriate and I wouldn’t change you.

      YES that’s what this hop is for, and why I need it SO MUCH. So often. *sigh* I guess I know I’m not doing better when this thing is a necessity rather than a preference, but it DOES serve its purpose. I’m thankful right now for you, your coffee, my cup of tea, and some peace and quiet. So there’s that.

      New week indeed. Love ya back 🙂

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  17. Pingback: Ten Things of Thankful #91 | ladyleemanila

  18. Well crap. I’ve done did NOT know you were in such a wretched place,my love. It breaks my heart to think you were there- and I was not. I suppose then, that I am thankful you have a huge TRIBE of beautiful souls who love you as much as I do…

    I’m glad you chose that book.

    I’m glad you opened your heart to those words, that message.

    I’m glad you found a tiny ember of fire left inside you to spark once again…

    And bring you back. Through the rubble and out for air, for light, for thanksgiving, for joy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s okay Kitty. I hid. I hid well and purposefully (and accidentally, with the phone thing) but I’ve not wanted to share this, because I’ve hated the idea of bringing others down or making them sad or upset or…whatever.

      I’ll be back. Promise. I have a ‘Murica to see, and all the people (well, not ALL – a limited yet still lovely number) to see, who are in my heart.

      Like

    • Thank you, my previous princess. I’m so sad you’re sick again. I think today I need to make myself feel better by doing what I do best – showing care for others. I’m coming out of the dark place, SLOOOOOOWLY. Thanks for the virtual sparkles.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Not frist! But here! I’m so glad you could reach out to your thousand mile heart. I’m glad we chatted a bit when we did. And I’m so glad you picked up Voskamp’s book – that one is awesome. I have it. It’s beautiful.
    Haven’t been home or near technology until just this very second to sit and check in…so check. I hope you are in a better place.

    Liked by 1 person

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