Thursday, April 30, 2009

What A Friend I Have In....?

If you know the worlds to the song, It's "What A Friend I Have I Jesus!"
I've been thinking about the meaning of friends and friendship. This last year I've dropped a lot of folks who were under the "friend" title that I really didn't care to have there any longer. At a very young age my siblings and I were taught how to be unselfish and learn to serve the community and others. The good part is we enjoy doing things for others. The bad part is, sometimes we do what we should for ourselves because we're do so much for others. I believe I have found the balance. I will no longer do more for someone than they're willing to do for themselves. When service becomes a "cumbered" service, I'm done serving. When I start to feel resentment and can no longer give with the spirit of Christ, I'm done. There are several things that bring about this personal balance.
Over the last 10 months I hit the emotional/mental rock bottom. I believe, had I not fulfilled my spiritual self I would have come out so strongly. I cannot stress how important it is to nourish your spirit and soul with the Words of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ on a regular basis. You NEVER know when your testimony is all you have to keep you looking forward each day. I not only had to depend on my Heavenly Father heavily to know and provide for my needs, I have to rely heavily on family and friends to provide for my needs as well. I was put in a position where I had to forget about those around me and focus on my 100%.

Each of us are a bit selfish from time to time. However when I say I had to focus on me 100% I mean, in a way very few can possibly imagine, that I didn't know what day it was on a regular basis. Even now, when I start to stressed or overwhelmed, my memory and recall time will basically start to fail me. It's like speaking to someone with Dementia, they will ask the same questions over within a matter of 10 minutes. The other day I went to go to bed and my sister asked me if I was done looking in the fridge.
I asked her
"was I just in the fridge?"
"Yes" she said...
"Foreal?" I asked

"Uh-huh, you left the door open" she said.
"oh! what was I lookin for?" I asked?

" Ummm.... I don't know. But If you're done I'll close it."
"I think I'm done Since I don't even remember being in it."

Apparently I've left the front door open when I've gone Upstairs for a 2 hour nap
I paid the heating bill 3 times and forgot to pay the electric bill which almost got cut off.
I've double the payment on the phone bill.
I left the stove on for 2 hours, but forgot to cook what I turned it on for.

I welcomed my friend to my new home. He had been here before. It was about 4 days after i got blind sided with PTSD. Which was in June. I welcomed him in October.

I would cook huge meals in the middle of the night because when I get frustrated or anxious or upset, I cook. And then put all the food away.

There were days when my goal for the day was to get out of bed and get dressed.
Eat 2 meals for the day even if I weren't hungry
Answer the phone and doorbell when it rang.
remember which day of the week it is.

This last Saturday I lost 4 lbs of brown sugar. Bills I thought were paid off aren't. Some bills are caught up for the next 3 months. Not sure but I think there's a couple things in collection. I'm sure they'll be calling soon to remind me.

I've seen pictures of me from summer of 2008 and have no Idea where we were and what we did. But I looked like I was having a fabulous time in most of them.
I can remember about 5-7 days of my whole summer.
I can remember bursting out crying when I tried to explain the situation and hyper-ventilating into hysteria, and then falling asleep for 3-4 hours afterward simply by trauma exhaustion. I remember waking up in hysterics and crying.
I remember sleeping with all 7 of my raggedy ann and andy dolls and holding them close to me for comfort and protection.

I have a TON of self portrait from my cell phone. And I look like a different person in all of them. It was almost like you could see what my spirit and mind was purging me off.

Any Ideah what it's like to wake up in the middle of the night with a knee brace and forget why you even have the darn thing and what happened?? (slid down some stairs like I was sliding into a baseball base and landed with one leg in front and one folded behind in a "hurdle" position.)*ouch*

People wanted to me teach their lessons for them or pick up a child from school or make a dish for a funeral make phone calls for this or that. People wanted me to help chaperon this function or serve at that function or help set up and take down chairs and decorations.
I would turn them down. For the most part I didn't want ANYONE in my personal space. I didn't want anyone near me, or talking to me or even approaching me.
I have never known my self esteem to be this low as an adult.
I remember 1 day while visiting a friends in Michigan I put a couple of things in the wrong place after cleaning their kitchen and got scolded for "changing their life" or some weird thing.

What I remember most about my trip to Michigan was how I felt, not particularly what I did while there. I think we ended up on a cruise to Canada for a day. I remember feeling secluded from friends and family and in the way and unsupported most of the time. I"m not sure now, if it were wise for me to have gone in that condition. My self esteem was at it's lowest point and I felt it sinking lower. There were some fun things I remember about my trip there, but for the most part...i probably should not have gone.

Anyway my point is this: There were literally times when I didn't know what day it was, where I was at or what was truly going on around me. I was faced with letting people know I just couldn't do whatever they were or were going to ask of me. I just wasn't going to happen because I had to focus on me and getting better.

Throughout all this process I feel as if the Lord opened my eyes to a few things. I began to see in some of my friends what came across to me as extreme selfishness. I began to recognize who will take (even from a weak person) and who will give back to edify. I began to recognize drama... who causes and creates it and who keeps it going. I began to recognize friends who manipulate, lie, cheat, justify, hold double standards and have no desire to recognize their own shortcoming while pointing out yours. I recognized who asks for help or advise on how to make things better, and then get offended or defensive when that question is answered. I recognized who keeps their word and who only speaks their words.
I pretty much knew these things for the most part and overlooked much of it. During my journey through all of this, I gained a huge disliking for these things and those who practiced and lived their lives with these things included. I learned to take myself from the drama. I learned to tell people my needs while also helping them with their own.
As I gained knowledge about all these things the most wonderful started to happen: I lost a desire for the company of these people. Not having them around anymore made room for people who truly care. People who value friendship. People who know how to give as well as receive. People who are able to look inside themselves and see where they may have been wrong, and can evaluate the weight of it and make adjustments where needed. People who I now believe are more like myself and who I want to become.

As a child we are under the impression that a friend is someone who stands by us, supports us as and helps us no matter what. This is only partially true as adults.

Age and wisdom has taught me that I do not wish to have friends who support me and justify my wrong doings. I do not need people to be by my side in my desire to do the wrong things. This is what I would have expected in 6th grade, 8th grade 10th grade.

As I try to grow closer to my Father in Heaven, I don't NEED friends who are going to help me get in trouble, disrespect myself by disrespecting others. I can do bad all by myself. True friends... REAL friends will call you on your crap. Real friends are in your face letting you know when you are out of line. They're not afraid to speak their opinion because they know you truly value and respect it. And you would not be afraid to speak your to them because you value and respect what they have to say. They are slow to jump on the defensive. When someone is quick to jump on the defensive or justify, they have failed to take the info given to them evaluate, internalize and see where it can apply. I have learned that true friends are not reactive, they are proactive. There's not a need to run to and fro and take surveys from everyone around them to prove if your comment is true or untrue. We know ourselves better than anyone else knows us. And we know when we need reinforcements to Justify and we know when should go within ourselves... have that come to Jesus meeting and improve.

I've been running around and dealing with "Justifiers" for a while. Let me take this opportunity to say to them.... I really didn't believe you anyway so no need to try and explain. The fact that they try to explain in the first place is more proof of a guilty conscience to me. Normally I will stop and evaluate (try to discern) the true meaning or intent. If I need clarification I'll ask.

I feel I've been very blessed this last year to go through all that I have. In my days of laying on the couch wondering when I would get back to 100% I never once felt resigned to the condition I was in. I never felt as if I would be weak, forgetful, "loopy" and confused for the rest of my life. I never felt alone or abandoned. I never felt revenge or "why me." I felt since I gonna be going through it to just do what ever was needed to get better. I always felt.. "This too shall pass." Because "It came to pass" it doesn't come to stay. My memory may never be the way it was. I may always suffer nausea in certain situations that make me nervous. I might be another 5 years before I can comfortably go out in public and not feel anxious or nervous about certain social Situation or people too close into my personal space w/o being invited. But I know that I am surrounded by family and GOOD friends. I know that I am well taken care of and should anything more happen to me, I WILL be well taken care of. I am in good company of those who take AND give just as much. I am surrounded by those who do not and will not take advantage of what I have to offer selfishly. I know that those who I NOW call friends, I can come to them in any condition and be safe physically, mentally and spiritually. My name is safe in their mouths. My character is safe in their mouths. My life is safe in their hands. And theirs in mine.

This knowledge and peace makes my life fulfilling. I do not miss those who have been left behind. In doing so I have freed up extra time. I have less drama. No more emergencies that need my being taken care of. I have less stress. I have more time for me and my family. I am happier. I have never felt such peace and joy.

I am so grateful for My neighbors, family, neighborhood, old and new coworkers, former and current bishops, Michelle @ LDS Family Services who guided me and helped me work it all out.
I'm grateful for a Father In Heaven who knows EXACTLY what each of us need to go through to over come our weaknesses and gain strength and experience for each phase of life we will go through. I'm grateful for his timing in know WHEN we need to move forward instead of staying put and floating around w/o the progression we all need.

I'm Grateful for Jesus Christ. For his willingness to go through the pains of my last 10 months Long before I or even my parents and grandparents were born. I'm grateful he sent to me the comfort and protection I needed in my many many moments of weakness. WHAT A FRIEND I HAVE IN JESUS!

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