Friday, February 22, 2019

Feel Something


Feel Something – the new song by Adam Lambert resonates with me.  I encourage you to listen to it – it’s all about being in a place where you feel nothing… It is a dark and lonely place to be.   I think the song will resonate with many people as it did with me.  This is not an uncommon issue … it’s just not talked about.  It should be though, because it’s nothing to be ashamed of and there is hope! 

Why do people get in this space?  Where we don’t feel anything and frankly don’t care?  I think the answer is varied.  For some it’s past trauma.  For some it’s a genetic disposition.  For some it’s stress… For other people it’s a chemical imbalance in the body that causes emotional swings up and down.  And there can be a host of other causes...

I have good news though – we don’t have to live like this!  We don’t have to feel nothing… we don’t have be in the pit alone and uncaring.  We don’t have to be scared to feel again.   We don’t have to live with the highs and lows.  This doesn’t have to be the way it is.   It simply doesn’t have to be…

I want to get personal for a moment and tell you a bit of my story.    For most of my life I have been on a see-saw of highs and lows.  One day I’m energized, goal oriented, conquering the world.  I want to go see people, do all the things, I am unstoppable.  The next day (and sometimes it can be the next hour) I could care less, goals don’t matter.  Who cares about that degree or that job?  Who cares about money or people?  I am perfectly happy to sit in my chair, feel nothing and see no one – ever!     I lived like this – I was blessed that I was functional and had the sheer will power to push through – some people are much worse than I was and simply can’t.  Even at my level there were times I called in sick to work because I just couldn’t deal – I just couldn’t get out of bed – but many people are so much worse than I have ever been, and I feel for them.

What caused this shift in me?  This up and down I experienced?    I can see things in my past that may be triggers, or maybe it just runs in my family as I can see some genetics involved as well.   Maybe it’s because of the food I consumed.  Maybe it’s the toxins I’ve been exposed to all my life (hello household cleaners and the like).  Maybe, it is just a chemical imbalance in my brain.  Maybe it was an attack from the enemy trying to steal my witness.  Maybe, it’s none of those things – maybe it just was.

But do you know what?  No matter the cause it exists and I’m here to tell you today you don’t have to live with it!  What is the answer to escape this prison of nothingness?  It’s not a one answer fits all situation.  For most several things need to be tackled for healing to begin.   Below are the things that I’m doing to get off the roller coaster!   I’m still healing, but I’m so much better than I can ever remember being.

  1. I checked my relationship with God.  I realized I had distanced myself from him emotionally and was trying to do things on my own.  We were made for our life to be in constant communion with the creator of the Universe.  We were made to be reliant on God in our life and to be in fellowship with him.   If my relationship with God was not right, nothing else would ever be.   I’m still learning and striving to get closer to him every day – he is constantly working on me and refining me and I’m loving the journey!   If you have no idea who God is, if you haven’t accepted the sacrifice of his Son as your only saving grace I’d encourage dig in and find him.  I’m always glad to help you and to try and answer your questions.

  2. I was eating garbage.  We had changed our diet about 6 years ago and were eating better than we had in my teens, but I was still eating a ton of processed carbs and sugar.   My diet had things in it such as sweet tea, coke, candy, Doritos, bread, pasta, sugar laden sauces, etc...   It still has some of this, but we have made great strides to limit these items to be the exception vs. the rule.   The book 21 Day Sugar Detox really opened my eyes to what I was doing to my body by consistently eating these foods (or poison depending on your perspective).   To summarize – they affect every system in your body which can lead to inflammation throughout our body which leads to aches and pains. Sugar leads to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, acne, cancer, depression, energy loss, fatty liver and a whole host of other issues.

  3. I do an essential oil regiment every day to help with my emotional balance and healing.  I really didn’t want to go on an anti-depressant, so I looked for a more natural method.  Please hear my heart on this – prescriptions are necessary for a lot of people so I’m not saying dump your pills!   There is no shame or anything wrong with needing a prescription.  I just didn’t want them for me – I had been on them in the past and the side effects were just too much for me.  

  4. The oils have been amazing for me and my husband.  We do a combination of oils from Young Living called the Feelings Kit twice a day and I have seen a drastic improvement.   I also keep a set of oils on me to help with anxiety issues and times of melancholy.  Instead of turning to a prescription with chemicals I turn to an all-natural oil instead.        What I love about the oils is that I don’t have the side effects I did with prescriptions in the past – they come along my body to help it what it needs to do naturally vs. a brute force solution that forces my body into compliance and doesn’t care what damage it’s causing. 

  5. Physical Exercise – I hate working out.   It is just not my jam and I doubt it ever will be, but our bodies were not made to be sedentary.  So, I’m working out a minimum of 30 minutes 6 days a week.   I feel better for it, despite not loving the action itself.
Those are the things I have done to get off of the emotional roller coaster of ups and downs.   Again, there is no one magic solution for all and some people need more than I did to pull themselves out.  They will need to talk to someone, a professional.  They may need a prescription medication.  They may need more and there is NOTHING wrong with that!   If you feel the need to reach out to someone please do!  Below are some resources that may help you:

Journey Community Church Office: 706-364-1454

Hotlines:
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255
Georgia Crisis Line: 800-715-4225
Text CONNECT to 741741

Additional Resources for Military:
Substance Use Disorder Clinic: 706-787-5392
Behavioral Health: 706-787-8650
Veterans' Crisis Line: 800-273-8255 #1
Military One Source: 800-342-9647
Emergency Department: 706-787-5222

I also want to say one more thing.   Between God, Oils and diet changes I’m better emotionally than I have ever been.   I still have room to grow though and I am getting better every day.   I’m healing and I’m grateful for it.    However, I’ll never be the “emotional” person.   I am not in the emotional high or the low of the valley right now – I am steady somewhere in the middle and that is where I believe I should be when healthy.  I feel, I have happy moments, I have sad moments I get frustrated, I am ok … I’m striving for more.  I hunger for personal connection, but don’t have to go and be all the time, I can rest.   I see goals and have dreams and am ok to seek them with an even pace, striving to follow God’s lead in all things.   

But I’m not one that cry’s or gets choked up when speaking about God or emotional things.  I don’t feel deeply in that manner.  I am very practical, and empathy is something I pray for God to assist me with – it’s not natural for me.  However, what I’m beginning to understand is that emotions are fickle and not what we should live our life based on.  I had a bad experience as a teenager living a life based on emotions vs. fact and it damaged my relationship with God for several years – I was depending on the emotion, not God.   So, yes feeling things is important and if you feel nothing as this song mentions or as I’ve described above that is not healthy!   But just because you don’t feel (or perceive you feel) as much as the person next to you doesn’t mean something is wrong with you either…Follow truth not emotions!   Emotions are fleeting and fickle.  

Do sometimes I wish I felt more “emotions”?  Do I pray God helps me to feel more – to be more empathic, to feel his love in a tangible manner?  Sure, and if he chooses to grant that prayer, I’ll be grateful.  But if he chooses to leave me with the emotions I have, then I’m ok with that as well.  God created me to be me and he doesn’t design junk!

I summarize all this to say – if you don’t feel you are in a good place emotionally then you probably aren’t!    But, just because you don’t “feel” as much as your neighbor doesn’t mean something is wrong with you either.    You know – you don’t need to judge yourself on other’s people’s standards - you know if you aren’t in a good place.   And if you are not in a good place then please know you don’t have to stay there!  There is hope – there is a God waiting to help you – there are tangible steps you can take – there is hope.  If you feel lost as to what that next step is there are people surrounding who love you and who want to help!   Just take that first step and ask – we are here, and we love you!  More importantly God loves you!

I’m here – I’m praying for you – I love you!

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