Monday, October 27, 2003

Freaked Out, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional:


Today's entry is brought to you by stream of consciousness.

One time several years ago during a very "interesting" time in my life I came down with something like an inner ear infection. It turned into a chronic problem for a few years. At one time it got so bad that I had vertigo and nausea from it for 5 months straight. But initially, in about 1996, it hit me violently right after a migraine and I was dead dog sick. Couldn't walk, couldn't function, camped out in the bathroom and stayed as still as possible so the world would stop spinning. Misery is a mild term for that set of circumstances.

One day a few years later during another "episode" I was laying there as still as possible (in the hallway of my apartment, actually) and the thought came to me that in reality the floor I was laying on was actually quite still. But my mind - because of what was going on in my little teeny insignificant inner ear parts - perceived the floor to be tilting and whirling and all the rest so my body reacted to that even though it wasn't a physical fact. It was a fact that the room was still but it was also a fact that I was puking my guts out and I could NOT overcome that and function without some miracle or healing. My only choice was to pray and be still and wait. Then it occurred to me that spiritually and emotionally this happens too. I can be standing on a firm foundation but not perceive it that way for whatever reason and so move about in my world and in my relationships as though nothing is solid and no one is dependable and all the universe is in turmoil and upheaval.

Later, during a 5 month period of vertigo and dizziness I also had a really rough year. (1999) I lost my dad, my mom was diagnosed with Melanoma and there were other serious illnesses and deaths in my circle of friends and family. Meanwhile I had this inner ear issue going on and I went through tests and saw doctors and did not ever know what the exact source of the problem was.

The vertigo and nausea was milder than the intense episodes that I had already experienced, so I could function to a certain degree. Emotionally I was able to keep it together for the most part and not appear completely neurotic. I was trying to connect in a church - not very successfully - but taking baby steps. Since hardly anyone really knew me most of them weren't fully aware of the circumstances in my life but I was trying to be real so I would tell people about it and they would hear me but not really get it. Some people avoided me like the plague because they sensed my neediness and wanted nothing to do with it. But most people had no clue. There wasn't much outward evidence of my inner state that was apparent to the untrained eye. They didn't actually observe me puking or falling over or bawling my eyes out so I must be OK, right? One day I got into conversation with a woman at church and mentioned this issue and she said "Oh, I had that for about 5 years once, worse sometimes, better sometimes but always waiting to pounce on you and take you out for a few days." I said "Oh, so you understand!?" She said "Oh yes honey I understand. Once I prayed 'Jesus, if you could calm the sea, surely you can stop this bed from tilting!'" I knew she understood and it was so great to finally have someone relate and know exactly how close to the edge I felt.

This problem seems to have cleared itself up - I rarely experience that degree of illness from that mystery inner ear thing. Occasionally I have trouble with balance but mostly I'm good to go. Emotionally and spiritually it's the same weather report.
Some days I am hearing The Lie. I'm hearing that there's something crumbly in my mind and that I am damaged beyond repair and that there really is nothing solid and steady about what I'm standing on at all. Spiritually I find myself tilting, sliding, puking and dizzy. Back in the howl.

Most days though, I have a louder, kind of "bring it on" thing going, like Neo and his stance in the Matrix. Where he gets back up, shakes off the dust, and signals Mr. Smith his readiness to fight again. It's "Take your best shot, because what makes me Me cannot be destroyed. It cannot be cursed or killed. It is eternal. I will survive and I will, at the appointed time, be perfect, fully redeemed, whole and lovely." There is a sure foundation - and it is not from myself, it is from God and it is God.


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