Diary Page Seventy-Nine
January 17, 2009 - Unchain me sister...

Tonight I studied a Watchtower on helping inactive ones come back. Since I am an inactive one (haven't studied, or even opened, a Watchtower in about six months, much less gone to a meeting or anything else), this was an interesting experience for me. I did not censor my thoughts at all and let all the questions come out so they could be answered by the scriptures. When I got to the story of the prodigal son I actually cried a bit. Very surprising because I have read that story many times, and the funny thing is that when I first got to that paragraph and saw that was the scripture to be read, I rolled my eyes. But after I read it, don't you know there was something there I had never seen before!

For the first time I noticed just how grateful the prodigal son would have been just to be as one of his father's slaves. He even thought out exactly what he would say to plead for that position, much like someone preparing for a nerve-wracking interview. But this was an interview for a lowly job. He never even dreamed of having again the riches he had as a son. I think that's because he never really knew those blessings, since he did not appreciate them when they were within his grasp so he could not really miss them anymore. No, he set his sights on slavery, and traveled very far just for the dream of being hired by his father to work in the fields. And what a blessing he received in return.

What I take from this is that I have to stop talking myself out of returning just because I'll never do much of anything for very long. I have to stop thinking about the lofty goals that others are able to reach. I have never reached them, never experienced those joys, never appreciated when things were going really well, so I can't look for that now. That's why I can't see the point of returning, because I'm not looking in the right place. When I look in a different direction, and when I ask myself which makes me happier, continuing in the lifestyle I live now or just having the small blessings I get when I study a magazine or go to just half a meeting, even though those latter things are small, I know for a fact that they feel so much better. Studying this one magazine was better than perusing a dozen football sites or a night of dirty thoughts. I can aim for that, not for the heights. If Jehovah wants to take me to the heights than He will.  

And you know, He might. Another scripture that made me think was Ezekiel 34:15,16. I always thought that the one who has fallen has to do the work to get back up. At the very least, I always thought the lost one had to take the first step on the right path back home. But this scripture sounds like Jehovah never stops reaching, never stops looking to bring back his sheep. He will fix them up if they're broken, they don't have to fix themselves. He will bring them back. So it's not all on me. But something is required of me, and that is the question.

I also saw the scripture at Luke 21:2-4 in a different light, when the widow gives two small coins because that is all she has. It may not be money that a person has little of, but perhaps strength or energy or focus. Maybe illness and life circumstances have left me with little to give (although there may be more power than I can know from Jehovah), but giving that little is all Jehovah asks. I may never have as much energy to do as much as others, but Jehovah doesn't ask for that. I know that, but it is very easy to forget. Because if I were only just sick, but perfect otherwise, that would be one thing. But I'm very imperfect and sick too, and the imperfection far outweighs the sickness in my mind. Of course, the sickness rears up just when I am trying to do better, and knocks me back down. And once I'm down, the imperfection catches up and takes over. It's just such a cycle.

Well earlier this week I had a shepherding call which I haven't had in quite a few years. That was really great, and they said they will send a sister to start studying with me. I really look forward to that. I have no study habits myself, and it would be nice to have a connection to someone outside of this household, someone who can help me spiritually, someone who comes to me.

January 28, 2009to bring some peace to your soul tonight...

I recently realized that I have become a shut-in. I suppose it is obvious but I hadn't really noticed it before. I walk out the door every few weeks or so, and that's usually just to get something out of the car for my mom. I run back in as soon as possible. Even on days when I feel a little better than usual I still don't want to go out. I don't even have any "outside" goals anymore, that's the worst thing. I'll have a degree in a few months but I don't care if I get a job. I don't even care if I get married and have a family, and that is totally new to me. It's hard to reach the depths of depression when I don't have any hopes to lose. I just feel so strange and isolated.

I am not sure where to start because each day I get farther and farther away. The distance from the world around me is not just physical, it is mental and emotional as well. I am unplugged. I can't even relate to people anymore. I don't want to be around anyone at all. My family can go a whole day without seeing me simply because I don't leave the room. I also don't eat much anymore, on a good day I have two meals. And I'm not snacking or anything either, I'm just letting myself go hungry until I am numb to it. Even supposing I could cover myself up enough to go grocery shopping or something, that's still a "once every six weeks" thing and it is always hard to do that (right now the house is devoid of food, the family has wasted hundreds on horrible fast food, simply because I won't shop). And this has been going on the better part of a year if I'm being completely honest. In fact, it's getting closer to two years. Not since the summer of 2007 do I really remember leaving the house on a regular basis/engaging with the world at all. I've felt different things since then but never really good, no joy.

Once again I am to a point where I don't even remember how to cry. But I also don't feel the pressure of repression that I used to feel, I just feel nothing (except sometimes pretty cynical and nasty, but not always). It just seems like too far to climb back from because I have no idea what's going on in my own life. I am just waiting to die, I think. I can really see myself living the rest of my life like this. I have crossed a line. Well, I'll see what happens with this new medication.

February 5, 2009
- don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past...

Being a fighter is about taking life's punches and going on. I think of myself as a fighter and a survivor but I'm not. I'm the living dead as long as I keep shrinking back. I get angry and bitter and cynical and fight imaginary villains in my head. I say that nobody gets me, nobody believes in me, nobody understands, wah wah wah. That's not fighting, that's just whining and self-pity. Now that expression, "self-pity", I always hated it up until this moment because I figured sometimes a person deserves some pity, and it's better to feel sorry when you've been hurt than to lash out at others or repress the pain. But self-pity is limiting, it's shrinking away, it's killing yourself slowly. I could really be uplifted if I face challenges head-on and fight them no matter what. Instead, I don't allow challenges to enter my life and back off when they do. I don't like this, I want to fight for something worth living for, rather than refusing to stand up and dying slowly. I feel ready to live and stay living.

I want to think about some of the challenges I face and think about actually fighting rather than lying back and hiding. My bipolar disorder, physical limitations, difficulties establishing routine, "why bother" attitude, making and keeping friends, loving and accepting love, going to congregation meetings, talking about Jehovah, talking to people in general, helping people in a constructive way, appreciating my blessings, keeping faith and accepting health. These are my challenges, my battles, can I win? I have to try.
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