Monday, June 18, 2012

Meltdown to the disciplines

I'm definitely back to veganism again. Within a week of arriving in Israel, I had been able to eat anything - cheese, lamb, chicken, eggs ... the daily sunshine and hot weather provided restoration and reprieve for my body and soul.

When we got back to Seattle, the freakishly cold and gloomy "spring" assaulted me like a battering ram. I sat in the house for days, unable to do much more than write and take the dogs for long walks, trying to soak up enough sun to get out of bed in the mornings. Happily, W was out of town so he missed most of the inner drama while I returned to a restricted diet.

I had an internal meltdown last night on the way home from wonderful visits with family. I'd ordered chicken for lunch and enjoyed deli coldcuts for supper.

June: a typical Seattle day
Driving home in the car, I huddled on the passenger side, unable to think of anything good in my life. The pavement, lakes, sky, clouds, and rain pressed on me in grey heaviness. The green trees, grass, shrubs, and bushes gloated with moisture. My heart pounded with anxiety as W zipped in and out of traffic on the wet roads, wipers splashing away the water. I read most of the way to ward off reflexive braking and protective jerking as tail lights flared in front of us. But my mind raced: why had I married? Why did we bother raising a family when they were just going to go through sorrow and pain? My planned sabbatical in MT (rest and recuperation after the dissertation) had all but fizzled away into other obligations.  Plus, my dissertation had come back for printing with the spacing I had carefully worked out disturbed.

I didn't say much in the car, afraid of a verbal explosion of words I wouldn't mean in saner moments. At home, I crawled under the covers to sleep off the toxic effects of animal products.

Peach muesli with soymilk
This morning, I made a fabulous fresh peach and pecan muesli (rolled grains, nuts, and seeds) and started to print out the dissertation for one final scrutiny. The sun lamp and 5 other lights are on in my office and I'm sitting in front of the southern window. (There's little light coming in from there, mind you. Surprise, it's another rainy day.)

My sweet husband seems almost perfect again. I don't have to ride in his car, which I dislike because of its 'new' chemical smell and uncomfortable seats, among other things. I'm grateful that my excellent copy editor A.N. carefully made the needed editorial adjustments. The dogs are thrilled to be beside me; we're skipping our walk because it's raining and I don't have a slave-master driving me into the dripping landscape. I feel almost human.

Vegan meal
It was SUCH a relief to let my taste buds and available food define my meals in Israel, especially for weeks at a time. It's not that I don't like vegetables and grains. I do. But I love meat and eggs and dairy. With the Seattle curse crashing back in, I'm resigning myself to the discipline of diet restrictions. Some day I'll escape this grey-green jungle and be able to eat normally. I look forward to that!

Those of you who struggle with depression for whatever reason will understand. And the rest of you? Maybe you're a thief, a liar, a blasphemer, a drunkard, a glutton, an adulterer, or a gossip. (Or like me, any one of those at various times.)

Everyone who follows Christ strains to please God in spite of our brokenness and illness. We live within the human condition under God's mercy. Regardless of where your flaws lie, ask for His loving-kindness today to help meet your own challenges. I'll check in tomorrow. Meanwhile, I'm off to eat a square of TJ's dark (vegan) chocolate to ward off the drizzling blues.

Read more:
*You have put gladness in my heart more than when their grain and wine abound. Psalm 4:7

*Let all who fear the LORD repeat: "His faithful love endures forever." In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free. The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? Yes, the LORD is for me; he will help me. I will look in triumph at those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in people. It is better to take refuge in the LORD  than to trust in princes." Psalm 118:4–9

*The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end. Isaiah 60:19-20 NIV

*We brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it. 1 Timothy 6:7

Moravian Prayer: How do we measure abundance?—?in our worldly possessions or in the richness of our souls? O great Provider, help us to lay aside the blanket of belongings for the blanket of blessing that envelops us in your love. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Most excellent! I have soooo been htere - am sharing this liberally!