Black Sheep Bass-ic Training

Doing The Christian Walk With A Funky Strut

Pride check

on February 12, 2016

Learning the hard way that we need God EVERY day, for EVERYthing.

We are weak beings.  Even when we have something “figured out”, we really don’t…we’re only operating under His grace on that given day.  We cannot take that grace for granted.  What we may have no issues with today may rear its ugly head tomorrow…

Two (related) cases in point: my depression issues, and my shopping habits.

The depression.  Major depression runs through my dad’s side of the family, going back at least 3 generations that I am personally aware of, probably further back than that.  I have been diagnosed and, in the past, medicated for it.  I gave up the medication after a time because the work God did in me to release old baggage of unforgiveness and bitterness seemed to negate the need for it.  Plus, having the masters’ in psychology, I’ve had to study these drugs at length, and I have concerns about long-term effects on the rest of the body.  So I’ve sought more natural remedies for my “blue” days.  Which, as I’ve gone on in my Christian walk, seemed to be coming with less and less frequency.  By last fall, I thought I truly had this beat.

Then winter showed up.

And it hasn’t even been that bad of a winter by Chicago standards.

But.

Ever since about mid-December or so, I’ve felt what I call the “lead beanie”.  When your brain chemistry is off-kilter, it can literally be felt physically.  I never knew this until going on the meds, and having them alter my brain’s depressed state.  During a bout of depression, there’s this heaviness that sits on the top of your brain, feels like a lead weight covering the whole top of your head.  Meds take that weight off and you feel a lightness there instead.  Being in a happy state also produces that light, free feeling.

I’ve felt the weigh-down.  And for no good reason.  I am intensely, richly blessed and I know that.  This didn’t start with bad thought life.  It started with the physical manifestation…which itself wears on you…

…THEN some circumstances happen that take your thoughts the wrong direction.  I fought this during all of January, but by this last weekend, I ran out of fight.  I just wallowed.  Did nothing fruitful.  Just did mindless things and hibernated.  And slipped up in…

The shopping habits.  Another lovely bit of brain chemistry I’ve picked up from my wonderful family is, propensity to addiction.  I’ve never smoked, never done any drugs, am not a habitual drinker.  But I like nice things.  I like brightly colored things and nice sounding things and funny things and…yeah.  I like the “whoopee” of getting a package in the mail and unveiling things from packaging.  I like scoring a bargain or getting a unique or limited edition thing.  I like these things to the point where I could potentially be an addict with it.

After getting my custom bass, I had a bit of buyer’s remorse.  Not in the usual sense-I don’t regret the purchase one iota and I’ve been having more fun with her in church than should be legal.  But the bills came in and presented me with reality.  She cost me the price of a used car.  And I don’t have used car money laying around.  Timing was not the wisest.  But it is what it is, what’s done is done.  I took a good look around my place not long after taking delivery, and realized how blessed I am, how many things I have…knowing deep down I don’t need anything else.  Seriously.  I have abundant abundance.  I felt like I was truly done with the shopping.  I felt content with my lot in life, even a bit of “I don’t deserve all this”.  Had resolve to not touch my credit cards until paid off, and to not even buy any non-essentials until debt gone, even if I could afford them.

Until I hit that funk this last weekend.

It was an item I first wanted when it came out 9 years ago.  I’ve successfully talked myself out of getting it for 9 years because it serves no practical purpose whatsoever.  Its sole purpose is to sit there and look cute.  I was a rabid collector of such things in the past and thought I was “over” that, since I had to sell a lot of them off in 2007 just to keep a roof over my head while I was unemployed.

But I got surfing the ‘Net in my murky brain state, and saw the item, and saw that similar items were no longer available for purchase, and thought “if I don’t get this now I’ll never be able to”…so I bought it.

I am happy to have it.  Seller shipped quickly, it’s already in hand.  It makes me smile, as I knew it would.  I will enjoy it for many years to come.

But I come out of this knowing that I can’t say I’ve beaten anything.  I can’t say I’ve beaten depression.  I can’t say I’ve beaten the shopping bug.  I can only ask God to help me come against it every single day, and thank Him profusely when He lifts the burdens and rebuffs the temptations.  I need to thank Him when I have a day of clear mind and sound, wise thought.  I need to keep thanking Him for what I do have so I don’t get off into thinking about what I don’t have.

I need to thank Him for a job that allows me time off so I can get in the Word long enough to be able to see things more clearly.  I knew after last weekend that I needed some extended time with Him to get back on track.  He has been faithful to revive my spirit and renew my mind.

Thank You, Father, for…everything.  For Who You are, what You do, what I have spiritually and physically.  For the wisdom I’ve gained these last few days about emotions, ministry, proper worship and attitude.  Thank You for revealing how much I need you, every day.

Thank You especially for lifting the lead beanie off my head today…and for the little blue weirdo sitting on the futon behind my shoulder.  🙂

 

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One response to “Pride check

  1. ghartin says:

    Shannon, I understand the reasoning behind your decision to stop taking your medication, but as a friend whose concern is for your well-being, I’d ask you to reconsider that decision. Taking the meds does not in any way negate the work that God has done/is doing in your life. We are all ultimately dependent upon God for our survival, yet there are various things that God provides us with – such as medication – that God works through to help us cope with day-to-day life. For the sake of your health, I hope you can be honest with yourself about what the best course of action is for you right now. I hope that your pride doesn’t cloud your judgment and that you won’t see it as a setback if you choose to start taking your meds again. We love you and we are praying for you daily.

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