Monthly Archives: January 2017

Finding a Purpose

I have found myself asking the same question, although many different ways, over and over again. “What is my purpose?” “What will I be when I grow up?” “Will I ever be able to have a career again?” “How long is all this going to take?” “What am I going to do with my life?” “I’m 48, now what?” “What is God’s will for my life?” “Will I ever be healed or well enough to have a career?” Even though I know all the “right” answers to this question, I am finding difficulty in believing there’s actually something better waiting for me.

Don’t get me wrong; I love my job as an office manager for two, incredibly gifted, respected and caring therapists. They have given me an opportunity to be involved in the workplace, while I’m intensely seeking my own therapy and healing. I am blessed to be there, no question!

I had two incredible career experiences prior to resigning and working on “Me, myself, and the gang! This journey, the past 5 1/2 years, has taken many turns, seen many road blocks, small crashes, lost some much needed baggage, allowed me to breathe again, challenged me to do things I would never do, depend on others, trust, believe, love, witnessed miracles, freedom and have faith that God will continue to bring healing.

Sounds like I’m whining, huh?  Probably a great deal of truth in that statement. I have always achieved what I set out to accomplish. I was always afraid to try anything that could possibly be a failure; that didn’t leave much to choose from. My inside parts have taught me countless things I NEVER knew about myself; it continues to blow my mind. Here are a few examples of things I would never try, never liked or not considered before:

  • We love to cook
  • We can sew, don’t use patterns, make things up as we go
  • We make jewelry by taking old pieces, busting them up and recreating them into beautiful things
  • We paint shoes or rings or jewelry
  • We can read music and play some on the piano
  • We design websites and logos
  • We draw and illustrate each sketch
  • We love and ride horses
  • We love to shop and by shop, I mean clothes and shoes

There is probably more, but you get the point. Shocking to myself, my family and those close to me to see it all unfold. Well, they may not be as shocked as I am! My therapist is always saying, “You can do anything! Is there anything you can’t do? ” She jokes about how she wishes she could do even some of those things.

Then why sit and wonder what my purpose is moving forward? It starts with the truth; it’s not about me. Yep, that’s right ________, it’s NOT about you! Life is about God. He created me, on purpose, to bring Him glory. It goes against most of what we hear on a daily basis, in our society, if we were to watch the news.:) But believing and living otherwise would be a never-ending, empty, uphill battle.

Making life choices, based solely, on what makes me “happy” will be a waste of my time. Seeking God first, allowing Him to lead and show me my purpose; that’s what He intended for this adventurous life. I think my struggle comes from a place of fear. Fear of not being able to do the things I once did; fear that I can’t handle a full time career. I can’t let those fears drive me or my decisions. What would bring God glory? That’s my purpose…

Matthew 10:39 says, “If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.”

Matthew 7:7 says, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Parts, Addictions and Withdrawal

I’ve been out of touch for awhile… mainly because I don’t know how to explain the things that have been happening. My journey with DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) has had it ups and downs, good and bad days and learning more about myself than I thought was possible. I wouldn’t change a thing because I am putting the pieces of my life back together.

For several months, my therapist and I have been working with Kat, my teenager who has struggled with various addictions. I work for therapist’s who are trained in addictions; I see the struggle people have on a daily basis. This was not going to be easy or quick, but it was possible!

Kat and I are so much alike and yet so different. My therapist has a hard time knowing who she is talking with, as are switching is almost flawless. Yet at the same time, we have completely different personalities (duh)!

She is out-going, fun, adventurous, speaks her mind-freely, confident, hilarious, creative, kind-hearted, always wants everyone to be happy without showing negative emotions. She helps me see the lighter side of life, try new things, gets me out of the dual thinking- right/wrong, good/bad, up/down, and not take myself so seriously. I am grateful for the things she has taught me along the way.

I understand her eating disorder, the struggle to not binge and purge and her need to numb with medication. What I haven’t been able to understand is the cutting, smoking and drinking. It’s amazing how I can hate to smoke or the smell of smoke and yet, I smoke. And what I didn’t realize is that she has a serious drinking problem. I enjoy an occasional drink, but she needs it everyday. This was shocking and yet heart-breaking for me to learn. I understand her using all these behaviors to numb the pain of the abuse she endured. She took all of that for me, so I could survive.

Until recently, she didn’t want anyone to know how much she drank. When she opened up in therapy, my therapist was encouraging, supportive and adamant that she begin the process to stop. We had used EMDR, a few times, with success. One particular session, my therapist used it to target my migraines. We found much needed relief and thought maybe we could target the drinking as well.

Kat hates to talk about painful experiences (but who does). She will avoid, by aggressively escaping any painful situation. The emotions are too much for her. EMDR is a helpful way for her to connect with memories, but not for a long period of time. Like being on a train, seeing the landscape and then moving on to the next scene. She would get an image, connect it with a memory and connect that with wanting to drink.

My therapist felt like EMDR would help her connect the triggers and memories that made her drink. She was right and we began a modified version to help Kat. They would target whatever came up for her each day. We never knew where these sessions would lead, but each of us were willing to go. It was exhausting for her and me both. After each session we would need to go home and sleep; sometimes we never made it out of the parking lot. 🙂

What I wasn’t prepared for was the withdrawal symptoms. They came mostly in the night; sweating, shaking, chills, weird anxious thoughts, cramps, sometimes vomiting and throughout the day were these flu-like symptoms. It lasted about 5 days and she was did incredibly well. My therapist suggested we do an “in-house” treatment. We wouldn’t go away to treatment, mainly because it would be complicated with being DID. She wanted to see Kat everyday and wanted her to be the one to say what she needed daily. Whew, that was hard all by itself!

We had unfortunate “life events” happen at the end of that first week, but we have continued to battle through. I have been incredibly proud of her, her perseverance, courage and strength. She has faced difficult memories and emotions, but with the help of my therapist and me staying present with her, she is winning! On a side note, my therapist had made the time each day to see her, allowed contact outside of the office, and was willing to go to those ‘hard places’ to help her find freedom. That is priceless and I will never be able to thank her enough!

DID is complicated, a way of survival, a painful and grueling work, sad, confusing, unpredictable, a unique gift from God and yet so delicate to walk through. Learning about each precious part of you that makes up the whole of  who you are….amazing! I am without words, to express my heart-felt gratitude and support of my family, friends and therapist. Truly a BLESSING!