Friday, January 16, 2015

things that make you go...

So I have more blather coming. I need to do all of ONE photo - stupid blogger. Anyway. Before I do that, I had to share this. Today's readings (available here) include the lame man whose friends lowered him through the roof of the house where Jesus was preaching. In the homily, our priest quoted something from St. Peter Chrysologus that blew me away. I thought you might find it interesting, too: "Take up your bed. Carry the very mat that once carried you. Change places, so that what was proof of your sickness may now give testimony to your soundness. Your bed of pain becomes the sign of healing, its very weight the measure of the strength that has been restored to you."

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

against all odds

...the reflective phase has continued. Indeed, I fear it may  continue into book-length in this little spot, where now (fortunately) I really write only for myself to read. I shall endeavor, at least, to break it into chapters.

I've mentioned before (I think) that I have a therapist. For...almost a year now?  I'd have to look that matter up. I try to go every other week (to match my work schedule), so it isn't a fast process. I think he's really good, and I've learned a number of useful things. I don't know exactly what I thought therapy would be like (something along the lines of: someone to listen to me rant about the things that most bother me, and either tell me that it's OK and I'm not crazy; or that my reactions and behaviors are unhealthy and should be altered as follows; or both), but this is not it. I'm not sure I like it - to find it emotionally painful is normal; to find it dissatisfying and somehow missing the mark, when it is not simply miserable or enraging, is not so typical, perhaps. I intend to keep going. Though I toy with the possibility that I would be better off with a female therapist.

Meanwhile as you know (the hypothetical "you" who has read all my previous posts and also remembers them - this does not describe even me) I finished taking depo at the beginning of February, 2013; thus, my last dose wore off (theoretically) at the end of April, 2013. I first saw signs of my cycle returning December 25, 2013. It varied widely for some time after; in summer, Dr. C told me she thought I was going into perimenopause (I am 32). I disagreed, as my cycle had never regularized post-depo. She told me to keep a chart (which for various sound reasons I had not been doing).

She was right. After various other irregularities, I am now weeks "late" and DECIDEDLY not pregnant. The pain of endo has not returned, and I am going on two years free of the depo. It had side effects I didn't like and it's seemed to have lingering side effects I don't like (which I now suspect are due to the Change of Life, which for me is more plus ca change...). But it has offered me a minor miracle: my own health (largely) back, and now, with the advent of menopause, significant hope that I will never need a hysterectomy, or at least, not in my 30s. Praise God!

And yet...I am 32, headed rapidly toward menopause. And I am grieving, again, for all that I have lost.

All this is perhaps significant enough, but I know one thing is the most significant in my life this past year (and the most significant in many years) and...I am at a loss for words to describe it. I shall stick to the simple facts. I volunteer with my parish's high school youth group. This fall we began a new format for formation and instruction which appears very promising so far. As part of it, we have made a prayer challenge to the teens - which has been of absolutely no interest whatsoever to any of them despite months of exhortation from all involved adults. This will have to be their problem. I, however, concluded that I could not very well ask a bunch of high schoolers to undertake a specific practice of daily prayer that I was not undertaking myself, especially since I had no regular practice of daily prayer (Mass around every other day, many small prayers and petitions, but nothing consistent). So I took it up. I probably manage it five or six days in seven, along with a few other daily prayers I felt moved to add (google "Blessed Is She" if you're looking for a daily reflection, delivered to your inbox), for several months now.

My therapist had told me I would make no further progress with my very long-term issues with a malevolent God unless I increased my prayer time, but I was very inconsistent. This practice is (potentially - it's flexible) brief, and I didn't take it up in response to his suggestion, but to avoid a very just accusation of hypocrisy. And nothing has changed. And everything has changed. And I can feel that it has not done changing, and will be a long road. I won't claim to have a consistent hold on anything as bright as a firm hope, but if I have been walking through an endless dark forest, the trees around me are now thinning just a bit, and I can imagine that at some future place they might abate altogether. But I can't know for sure.

If you think this is the end of my blathering, you haven't read many of my posts (and are unlikely to do so now!). But there will be more blather. Starting...tomorrow? I have a fancy new tablet that can probably upload videos (not mine, of course) and edit text all pretty, for the next phase of reflection, in which I pretend to know something about theology! HA.

P.S. Happy new year!