rock solid frozen

i love you i love you i love you

but I don’t have you any more

i miss you, miss you so much

but you won’t come back to me

all the insensitive people are not wanted now

because…

because…when you are hurting

when I’m hurting,

I just need a hug, just a bear hug

and at the same time, I fear that a hug is not enough

that my fear, the scar tissues have become too great, and i have become but a rock

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oh how I miss you

I miss you so much, E. I miss you so much. People who love you are in pain with broken hearts. Slowly pain for me has become dull rather than breath taking piercing pain. But still I cry, and sobbing comes and goes. I can’t believe it’s been a month already. I miss you, E. I miss you.

I miss you most

I miss you most in the mornings, E

morning after morning I picked you up and half awake, half asleep drove us to church

some people came to visit, they would come and go

but some of us were regulars because we needed God and we needed each other

Even when I could not even get out of bed rest of the day, I could wake up early for morning prayer meetings

on some days you and I would meet up again to study at a coffee shop, to eat together or run errands

you are so many years younger than me and I am so many older than you

but we connected and accepted each other

we understood that being lazy didn’t mean that we didn’t want to but that we couldn’t

so many times when I needed to be with somebody you were there for me

and I was there for you when you didn’t want to be alone but didn’t want to be with anyone

because with me who knew you already, you didn’t have to fake it

you could just be, without words, without pretending or covering up how you were feeling

i think you knew what you meant to me

i hope that you knew that just as you had a sister and friend in me who would not judge,

that I had a sister and friend who would always be there when you could

and now i miss you terribly

i thank God for you

and I thank God for taking care of you now in ways you need to be taken care of

your wounded spirit can rest in trusting care of God

I will try to find peace in that

I take comfort in knowing that God knows what it is like to lose a close friend to death

Jesus wept. the shortest verse in the Bible comforts me.

As Jesus wept for Lazarus, even though he would resurrect him,

and for his sisters Mary and Martha,

I weep for you now and for your sister and family.

your cousins, they are really all heart and soul.

eternal friendship, that’s what I hope for now

unexpected beautiful moment

yesterday, I visited a patient fourth day on a row. first time I met the patient was on Sunday by on-call page. I didn’t realize he was in critical condition. only the next day when I visited him had he visibly deteriorated. on my last visit, he was sleeping, morphine induced sleep I think. I talked to him, reminding him how he joked with me first time I visited him, sang to him amazing grace. last going I said up him was that he was in good hands. I found out this morning that he passed few minutes after I left him. he and I shared a beautiful moment minutes before his death. I imagine he’s in a better place much like the feeling I get from this picture of a garden in the middle of downtown.

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death and life

What does it mean that we all will die at some point? I am a chaplain in training. Yesterday two of my patients died in ICU. And before that three patients died during the week. Patient that died in ICU, Edna (pseudonym) was a lovely person. So was her husband, Ed. I visited them twice before she got transferred to the ICU. She and Ed talked about Alaska as if it were the place to be! Imagine, Alaska, the state that elected Sarah Palin as governor! Mr and Mrs E encouraged me to apply for a job there. Oh they need people for everything! You need to be roughed though. Are you outdoorsy? Oh every guide we had carried a rifle. !!! it was on their trip to Alaska that Mrs E fell asleep on tours and Mr E knew something was wrong he said. It wasn’t like Edna to be sleeping on tours! Trip to Alaska had saved her life they said. Mrs E, how do you stay so positive? Oh, I give myself pep talks. You’ll have to teach me how you do that! Oh, I just talk to God. oh, that’s right up my ally! maybe next time we could pray together. …

but there was no next time. on my way up to the ICU to answer a page, I ran into Mr E. I was caught off guard. mr E answered the question I was thinking in my head. She’s not doing so well. she’s on life support. you want to meet my daughters? they are both here. sorry I was paged for another patient. I’ll drop by afterwards. my heart sank. on my way to ICU I was already sad, heart broken. when I dropped by mr E said to come back later. they are waiting for a priest. could I check on that? absolutely! I thought I’d get another chance to visit with the patient and family.

later in the afternoon, the room was closed. I could tell room was empty. still I had to find out. a clerk told me the patient expired. noooo. I thought I could come pray together with mr and mrs E. after I left the hospital, I felt like a lost spirit. I walked but I was looking past the objects. I wasn’t really seeing or thinking anything except when a cab angrily honked at me. I thought, sure, run me over, everyone dies. I Texted my boyfriend. I am walking aimlessly. his response was a question mark. guess my text needed clarification. I’m trying to walk off grief I said.

it felt weird to be alive encountering death so closely. I didn’t feel dead. I didn’t quite feel alive either. I had asked a colleague during the day, the staff in ICU, what are that made of? how do they do it?

similarly, what kind of people are chaplains exactly? how do chaplains do it? Are they pain and suffering junkies? no. pain sucks. suffering sucks. but we endure pain and suffering sometimes even choosing it as a profession because we care. it is a hard life. I’m not sure I can take it. all I can say is I sure am happy I got a chance to meet mr and mrs E. she was a lovely soul. so is Mr E.

roller coaster ride of my life

my last post was written on a good day.  i was able to get out and was motivated to get some work done.  but there is no smooth sailing in my life with depression.  past two weekends, i mostly stayed in my room and stayed inside the apartment (with the exception of last saturday night when i went out to dinner with a friend).  i’ve been having somewhat regular problem with sleeping at night.  for instance, this past week, for three straight nights i didn’t sleep at night at all.  in the morning, say around 8 or 9 am, i tried to get about an hour or two of sleep.  this past weekend, i stopped corresponding with friends and family through phone and e-mail.  i talked to one of my sisters a few times during the course of the weekend since we live together.

i just came back from therapy.  i find that i look forward to my therapy sessions.  my therapist makes sure i know that he is my advocate.  he listens and sympathizes but also challenges me to think about things i hadn’t thought of before and he also helps me to take a step back to get a different perspective.  my old therapist was great but i didn’t look forward to therapy sessions with her in the way that i do with my current therapist.

most of the time, especially if we were able to talk about things that matter to me, i end up feeling sad after therapy.  and today was one of those sessions.  i whole heartedly agree that my life is pretty good.  things could have turned out a lot worse.  but as for things in my life that had a negative effect on me, i have to see those things for what they are and not deny them or dismiss the significance of their effect on my life.  to see how something had a positive or negative effect on my life, i have to see the consequence of how something affected me.  i’d much rather not acknowledge that i am the way i am, that my life is the way it is, because of something that happend and how it affected me and how i responded to it.  it’s painful to see the connections and to accept the facts as they are.  when i do, i feel angry in some ways.  why did something happen to me when it did?  why?  why couldn’t have things have been different?   but then i remember that things could have been worse too and they are not.  i also feel sad when i see and accept that one thing affected another when the end product of the two things that are connected is my life as it is.

as i wrote to some friends, i realize after the accidental overdose, that God is standing in my way of successfully bringing an end to my existence here on earth.  when you realize your opponent is so powerful, wouldn’t you rather just accept the fact and be on their side?  i feel something like that.  if i can’t successfully end my life because God won’t let me, then instead of continuing to fight against what God wants (since the possibility of getting what i want is slim), i could just accept that success of getting things my way is unlikely to happen so i might as well join God’s side.  i mean, i could spend the rest of my life putting in time and effort to come up with a plan that would guarantee that i would suceed.  but if the evidence of the failure i had every time i attempted to end my life means anything, chances are i’m not going to suceed in the future.  so if i fold my cards now, i could save myself from spending more time and effort in something that isn’t going to be brought to completion.

i tried this before and idt didn’t work so well.  by joining God’s side, i accept that God has blessed me with my life with all the talents and circumstances that make me who i am.  practically speaking, i need to live instead of just waiting to die.  so i guess it’ll take a while for me to live the life God wants me to live.  in the mean time i have to accept that my life is a roller coaster rid:   some days, i am playing my best game and on others, i can’t even get out of bed or change out of my pjs.

i thought about things that contribute to the way i am now.  and those things are mostly painful things that didn’t make me feel good in the past and they certainly don’t make me feel good now.  but i have to face the factors that played a major role in shaping who i am today.  i’m afraid that if i talk about things in the past that it will be like waking up the ghosts who had been sleeping.  they might wake up, violently destroy things in the present, and all of it might be too overwhelming.  i know i need to face the ghosts but i just wan to say, this is really hard!  i’d rather sleep, maybe for eternity.  isn’t enough that things in the past that were painful will be painful again if they are given life in the present?  when someone says, ooh it hurts my arm when i move it this way.  don’t we then give this kind of response: well, don’t move your are that way if it causes you pain!  and in such exchange i am tempted to asy, well, then don’t do what causes you pain, you idiot!  but at the moment, i need to be an idiot and put my arm in the way that causes me to feel pain, so to speak.  all this thinking and writing is making me tired.  time for bed, i say!

panic attack

this morning i was searching for people to follow on twitter.  i really just wanted to find some news on twitter.  on the right hand column i noticed in one of the hot searches “Michael Crichton” and “Michael Crichton RIP.”   i’m not sure how or when i found out but i knew that he died.  i might have read something before going to bed last night.  but i wasn’t sure when he died and since i wanted to find some news sites anyway, i decided to browse through search results on Michael Crichton and Michael Crichton RIP.  most entries had a line or two just stating that Michael Crichton died.  some mentioned that they were sad.  others stated their favorite book that Michael Crichton wrote.  i went through 10-15 pages of search results, reading each result entry – i would first notice the picture of name of the person who posted the entry and quickly looked at the content.  i didn’t really have to read since mostly the content of all of the posts were stating that Michael Crichton died.  what i didn’t expect was the impact of reading/looking at entries that stated the death of Michael Crichton over and over againl  i was determined to get to the earliest post that was uploaded and i thought that way i could also see which news sites reported on twitter the death of Michael Crichton.  i was doing this at 7:30 am this morning.  latest entries said 5 minutes ago, an hour ago…8 hours ago, 14 hours ago, and at about 19 hours ago entries stopped.  i felt nauseaus and short of breathe as i kept making myself reading the entries to get to the end (or the beginning of the thread).

when i finished i closed my laptop, got out of my chair, got a glass of ginger ale, grabbed my PRN, and went to go smoke.   i usually take one pill, wait about an hour and take another one if the first one wasn’t enough.  if the second pill doesn’t do the trick, then i take the third pill which is the limit prescribed by my doctor.  i knew the anxiety was engulfing me and that no way one .5mg of ativan was going to bring any kind of relief.  so anyway i took what i judged to be a safe and effective dose.  my head was both spinning and felt blocked.  i thought people die.  people die all the time.  to put death in the perspective, an old friend’s wife just had surgery to remove tumor in her brain.  i have been following updates of her progress on facebook and posting prayers and waiting for status update that she is waking up.  and another relevant factor in how i react to death is that death is a very personal and powerful concept and reality for me.  you might say that i’m a quitter at heart.  i can cope with a lot, i mean a lot of stress.  then all of a sudden i become aware of the feelings, thoughts, stress that had been bottled up and waiting to pop open like a champagne bottle does at celebrations.  the champagne pouring out of the bottle is controllable for the most part.  but my emotions, when they burst open are hard to control, mostly i can’t control them.  in those situations when emotions come on so strongly with such force that i would be wiped out, i try to contain the damage.  i try to make the crazy wild strong wave of emotions go away.  my usual method works pretty well.  but i also usually end up in the Emergency Room soon after.  then i stay in the hospital for a while until powers in charge think i am no longer a threat to my self or to others.  

i calmed down of course.  panic/anxiety attacks don’t last forever.  if they did, you’d just die.  it still sucks to be experiencing a panic/anxiety attack when you are the one who is having one because usual sense of time doesn’t apply to you.  the unbearable feeling seems to drag on.  you wonder if you can stay alive long enough to see that the panic/anxiety attack stopped.  i’m still a little fuzzy and disoriented from the panic/anxiety attack i was trapped in this morning.  i know that all i need is one breathe ahead of the panic/anxiety attack, suicidal impulse, or oppressive affliction of depression.  do you know how hard it is to try to stay one step of the person running behind you when they are constantly going and going, not taking breaks, not stopping for water and not slowing down?   to stay ahead, you also can’t slow down, stop for water, take breaks until the finish line is behind you.  i long for that finish line.  i dream about it.  i wonder about what it would feel like to run through the finish line…  until i get to the finish line, i have to keep myself one step ahead, just one step, just one breathe, ahead of the unpredictable ups and downs of my crazy unstable mental chemical imbalance caused by purely physical factors, genetic factors as well as circumstantial factors.