“…been a long December and there’s reason to believe..maybe this year will be better than the last…”
“…been a long December and there’s reason to believe..maybe this year will be better than the last…”
My wife wanted me to read this chapter because it made her think of me because it’s about a preacher who decides to be a counselor.
One significant quote that most preachers can relate to:
“How many religious leaders go into ministry with the idea that they’re going to be really great administrators?” -Rick Rittmaster
He had gone through depression and burnout as a preacher.
After getting his Masters in Counseling, he became a chaplain the US Army. He says, “There’s great sadness in the world, and being a chaplain, my role, my journey, is no to deny it or to resist it, but to accept it and to mourn with those who mourn.”
I like that statement.
Taken from Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of your Life by Jane Pauley
One of the reason I have been sharing info about Ferguson is that I started following some residents on twitter soon after the shooting and have learned about things that MSM haven’t covered, such as police raiding a church that was set up as a safe place for protesters to relax. That one incident would have been at the forefront of Christian blogs and media if it were any other situation. In another place there would have been an uproar. But white Christian America could only see the two nights of looting/violence and nothing else. And first hand accounts of how the police handled the protest from people who were not looting, rioting, or tossing molotav cocktails give a different perspective than CNN. Some were even standing up to the looters.
I know it can be confusing when I share these things. Some don’t understand that I just want their voice to be heard, without agreeing with everything said. I am trying to encourage empathy. But I can’t help how you take it. I realize some don’t want to hear a different side of the story. Hope it is interesting and enlightening for someone.
These people are why my heart has been touched by the situation.
Here are some thoughts (tweets) from Netta
My age, the fact that I am a woman with a vision and a voice that people choose to listen to… That bothers some. But I will defend that.
Never had an immediate problem w/the police til my friend was shot & killed this summer. Slandered by police, his death swept under the rug.
On days when I’m disgusted by the police or by the trolls who defend the trolls, when the news portrays protesters as animals …I think of how Mike Brown’s parents must feel. How it feels to have your child be killed and placed on trial by America to defend his killer
I am black. And I am not a savage. Or an animal. Or violent. I am nothing the mainstream media depicts us to be. I am me.
I want the right to express every human emotion just like every other person of any kind of race without judgement. We all deserve that.
I want the guys from the hood to feel comfortable raising their young princes the same way the middle class man is w/his young dignitaries.
I want the right to live freely and not have someone police my emotions or thoughts or feelings or how I choose to express myself.
Hard making yourself realize the place you grew up loving is the same place here tragedy on a mass level potentially is going to take place.
I grew up loving Saint Louis. Taking proud of my city. We grew up here. And now ppl who look like me are being shot & killed like prey.
We have to discuss safe spaces where the police can not come with their guns or intimidation tactics but the news Sho
I don’t want to see or find out about someone I’ve grown close to in 81 days dying in the streets for protesting, after a no indictment.ws it vice versa.
I want to try to conserve all human life. I want to be able to offer solutions to our immediate problems. That’s realistic.
It takes a LOT of restraint to be next to the man who ordered protesters to be tear gassed. Shot with rubber bullets. That is me.
Hard to hear the man who ordered for us to be shot with rubber bullets to now say trust him.
How do we protect even sacred spaces like churches from police invasion. That is a real life issue. In middle America.
I wish I could wake up tomorrow and the world see value in black life across the board. No matter how uncomfortable some of us make you feel
Well, even though I am in school to be a Mental Health Professional some day, I am also in grad school and busy, so I neglected the calendar.
And as someone who is occasionally mental, well, that would also explain why I forgot….
I have written about my personal experiences and shared some resources on this blog over the last few years, here are some if you are interested or need them. Let’s not wait for a family member or a celebrity death to make us aware of this problem.
Had cereal and cheese danish for dinner. Because I care about my body. Mainly the mouth/tongue/stomache part of my body.
Going up to a stranger who has an eye-patch and speaking “pirate” is apparently not “appropriate”
Had a Dr Pepper infused coffee yesterday. Let’s just say next time I would prefer them sequentially instead of concurrently
Confession: I was totally thinking about my
#FantasyFootball team while my daughter was explaining a new variation to Uno she created
If the terrorists have taken down
#Facebook , I may become pro-terrorists
Don’t judge me for eating BBQ chips at 9am, I’ve been awake for 3 hours, this is brunch
I love to eat/drink anything Mango flavored except an actual mango
Do you give Sonic carhops a tip? I mean, on roller skates, with physics or something, they barely have to work…
Fancy touch-screen soda machines are all fine & good until you get an error prompt and have to call the GeekSquad to get a Vanilla Dr Pepper
If anyone knows how to get a 10yo to stop talking about Legos, Star Wars, Lego Star Wars, and Lego Star Wars video games, pls text!!
A non-conformist is like a laid-back, apathetic rebel
If you are tempted to cuss because of tiny cardboard boxes, you might be a grocery stocker
Here! *tosses man card. I am uber-stoked about the Jamie Foxx/Cameron Diaz
Has an uglier man had sex with more women than Mick Jagger? And can we create a quotient?
If we have muffin tops for sale, why not Cinnamon Roll Hearts?
May I never have to choose between the middle-aged lady at work who calls me “doll” and the older lady at work who calls me “baby”
Lighter stuff for those who get emotional/agitated reading on race and violence (whichever side you are on)
How Twitter and Facebook are different for sharing/following the Ferguson situation
How younger and older blacks feel differently about Civil Rights and Civil Disobedience
Coverage of the Coverage from a faith perspective
The following articles are by Christians talking about race, poverty, violence etc. in America (proceed at your own risk, send all complaints to original authors)
Silence by white Christian America
WARNING! Black American Christians may have a different POV than you are used to. Kristena Cleveland: “The Cross and the Molotav Cocktail” (ALSO: graphic images of lynching/hanging)
Don’t Ignore It by Eugene Cho
and lastly, if you only read one argument that may make you angry, this one is calm and rational and provides good suggestions for action: “Speaking of Michael Brown“
I like being around older people. I enjoyed that aspect of being a minister. I enjoyed the brief time I spent doing home health care. I considered focusing on older people for my counseling career, but really want to spend more time with the young, so I may not take the Gerontology course.
While at work, I noticed this and took a picture. it made me sad for the reasons I will share:
It’s a smaller size which makes me think of the loneliness of the elderly. Widows and Widowers. Grieving a spouse, missing kids and grandkids. Single-serving instant coffee is kinda depressing.
It’s a “lightweight, EZ open jar” which speaks to the frailty and failing bodies of us when we age.
Our older adults need us. Call, write, hug one today. They are too often lonely and alone.
I remember reading statistics about how few visits nursing homes get. It’s ridiculous.
A neat thought came to me during worship a couple of weeks ago. I can’t remember the hymn but I started imagining carrying my sins and struggles up a gravel road toward the cross. Whether it was a person, a word, an item that represents a temptation, I carried the heavy load and tossed it at the foot of the cross.
But a few minutes later I had a better idea, a better image, it was of me carrying me toward the cross.
I am the problem. Think about how much you weigh. Even the strongest and smallest of us would get tired of carrying that weight very far or long. And we do.
So I tried to imagine carrying 180 lbs uphill toward a dying, naked man. And arriving, I would fling my heavy body on the rocks beneath my Lord. Let him take it, do whatever with it. Toss my heavy butt on the ground. Give it up. to Him.
That’s what I need.
I just finished this amazing collection of personal stories of depression by professional writers. Some were siblings or spouses of those suffering, but most of the writings were by people who have suffered a great deal.
When you are depressed, you don’t write. But these people, after the fact, sometimes with help from family and journals, recount their lowest points and what they learned.
One chapter is a woman in her thirties who talks about being pregnant while on medication. An African-American woman talks about how depression is viewed by the black community. A man survives overdosing on 65 pills then finds another pill in a jacket pocket and wonders if that would have finished him off.
They write about suicide attempts, long hospitalizations, and many more sad events. Grab a used copy at McKays or Amazon.
Unholy Ghost: writers on depression edited by Nell Casey, includes excerpt from Styron’s Darkness Visible; Styron’s wife, Rose; Larry McMurtry (western author, Brokeback Mountain); Susanna Keyson (Girl,Interrupted); Jane Kenyon’s Husband; Nell and Maud Casey, sisters, both giving an account of Maud’s struggle.
I highly recommend reading it. It provides a great balance to some of the textbooks I have for school.
Here are some of the quotes that struck me:
“I think depression and despair are reasonable reactions to the nature of life.” -Susanan Kaysen
“The raw nub of my soul bobbed up to the surface, ugly and ungainly, and I was suddenly pierced with panicky malaise.” -Darcy Steinke
“my own view….is that depression arises out of an enormously complicated, constantly shifting, elusive concatenation of circumstance, temperament, and biochemistry.” -David Karp
“You do not cheer up depressives; the worst thing you can do is to count their blessings for them.” -Donald Hall (husband of Jane Kenyon)
“My failure was not in perceiving reality; I perceived it full well, and despised it.” “I was nearly paralyzed by dread of my inadequacy.” -Nancy Mairs
“My heart pumped dread. It was an actual substance I could feel coursing through my bloodstream–some days a barely-there awareness, other days a carbonated liquid that seemed to have replaced my blood.” -Lesley Dormen
“Depression is a place that teems with nightmarish activity. It’s a one-industry town, a psychic megalopolis devoted to a single twenty-four-hour-we-never-close product. You work misery as a teeth-grinding muscle-straining job (is that why it’s so physically exhausting?), proving your shameful failures to yourself over and over again.” -Lesley Dormen
“I don’t know where depression comes from or where it goes. I do know that it was the crucible, the rite of passage, that allowed me to create my life.” -Lesley Dormen
“…one thing people always say about depression is that stubborn, consistent support helps even when it seems like it doesn’t..” -Nell Casey
“…to be depressed is not to have words to describe it, is not to have words at all, but to live in the gray world of the inarticulate, where nothing takes shape, nothing has edges or clarity.” “Being depressed felt like living in a corpse, so being dead seemed like ‘a better place to live.'” -Maud Casey
“We have lost our connection to the dark side of the sacred. We prize status, power, consumerism, and distraction, and there is no room for darkness in any of that. Americans tend to have a naivete about life, always expecting it to be rosy. When something painful happens, we feel that we are no good, that we have failed at achieving a good life. We have no myths to guide us through the painful and perilous journeys of the dark emotions, and yet we all suffer these journeys at some point. We have high rates of depression, anxiety and addiction in this country, but we have no sense of the sacred possibilities of our so-called illnesses. Instead we have a medical culture. Suffering is considered pathology, and the answer to suffering is pharmacology.”
Miriam Greenspan, author of Healing Through the Dark Emotions: The Wisdom of Grief, Fear, and Despair, in an interview
can’t wait to get this book! Could the “American Idol” of optimism be a source of some of our problems?
We are all powerless, not only those physically addicted to a substance. Alcoholics simply have their powerlessness visible for all to see. The rest of us disguise it in different ways and overcompensate for our more hidden and subtle addictions and attachments, especially our addiction to our way of thinking.
We all take our own pattern of thinking as normative, logical, and surely true, even when it does not fully compute. We keep doing the same thing over and over, even it is not working for us. That is the self-destructive nature of all addiction, and of the mind in particular. We think we are are thinking, and we even take that thinking as utterly “true,” which removes us at least two steps from reality itself.
— Fr. Richard Rorh
Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the 12 Steps