Tag Archives: hope

Caught Between a Lull and Quiet Place

I’m sitting here right now, trying to decide what to do with myself. And I don’t mean just on an immediate, here-and-now, should I pick up a controller and play a game or write a story sort of way, though that’s certainly a part of it. I mostly mean it in the sense of what do I do with myself moving forward with my life? I find myself caught in this lull of a place where I’m unable to find work, much as I need and want it. I’m either overqualified for certain positions I’ve applied for or job postings change scope mid-stream so that my application is no longer relevant to the position or maybe I’m just interviewing badly. I don’t really know, but whatever the case is, landing a job has become this herculean task that has started to feel impossible. And it doesn’t help that my anxiety disorder, while much improved from what it was even just a couple of months ago, still limits and prohibits me from taking on work that is fast-paced and high-stress. I’m working on that, trying to retrain my brain to interpret those panicky fight-or-flight signals as excitement and enthusiasm rather than fear and trepidation. But it’s not easy, it’s a process, and it takes time.

I’ve been telling people recently that if there’s one single lesson I’ve learned above all others this past year, it’s patience. When I got out of the hospital last April 28th (yes, exactly one year ago today), I had the expectation that, for the most part, I’d be better and healthy again within six weeks. And guess what? Here I am a year later, much improved but still struggling in some areas. Yes, I do feel healthier and stronger as a person than I have in several years, in spite of the lingering anxiety. I’m more stable and more self-aware than I have been in years. But I’ve also had to learn that healing takes time, it requires patience because it can’t all happen at once, as much as one might want it to. It takes effort and discipline and consistency to change your lifestyle to accommodate the changes in your brain and body and overall physiology. There are new skills to be learned, new coping methods, new ways of thinking and behaving, new habits to form, all the while wrestling and struggling on a daily basis with the depression and anxiety that started this whole mess to begin with. And the medication that is available for treating these disorders is a God-send, but it can’t do it all. You have to do your part, too.

There are plenty of hard days as you work through things, but as you do you find those hard days occur less and less frequently, even if they never go away completely. But you learn how to do self-care, how to be patient with yourself and not blame yourself for regressing, because that’s what it feels like. Going backward. Teaching yourself a healthier form of self-talk is important, catching yourself when your thoughts turn negative and turning them around into something positive. Inserting reminders that your brain is lying to you, that you have worth and value, that people actually do love and care about you. And again, all that takes time to learn and turn into a habit.

And of course, life doesn’t just stop around you and wait for you to catch up. It keeps on traveling by all lickety-split, almost seeming to laugh at you as it does. You find yourself moseying along at what already feels like a break-neck pace but is more like a cripple hobbling along on crutches. You find yourself watching things happen that you want to be a part of — and just can’t right now. And you either have to learn to make your peace with that or give up altogether — and I don’t consider the latter to be an option.

So I find myself caught between a lull, where I can’t find work and have trouble sometimes finding ways to occupy my free time, and what feels like a never-ending quiet place, because it feels like nothing is ever going to change. I fight impatience on a daily basis, both to continue finding victory over my anxiety and with the frustrating process of finding an employer who will hire me. I also face discouragement and loneliness and criticism — and facing all those things down demands patience. I’ve been learning more and more over the last several months to lean on my faith and rely on my God, trusting that He has a plan for all this and that it’s part of His plan for me right now to be exactly here. It’s a difficult thing to accept most days, but it is what it is and there’s nothing for me to do but accept it and continue to be patient, to wait on His plan. His timing is perfect, his plan for me is flawless, and I just have to trust and hope and wait.

It’s a journey and a process, and I continue to take it one day at a time, one step at a time, and sometimes even one breath at a time.

Hope, Faith, Belief…

hope, faith, choice, belief, truth, reality

“Jackal”:http://jackal.motime.com/ has asked an interesting “question”:http://jackal.motime.com/post/520232#comment going about which of the words above stand as most important and why. What is more perhaps more interesting than the question, however, is the discussion which follows it. Several people have pointed out that all the words are religious terms, but I propose that they are as much philosophical _and_ scientific as they are religious. For this discussion I want to focus on how these terms are also scientific.

hope. The scientist has questions about the nature of the world and the universe, questions that he hopes to have answered through intensive research and experiments. He hopes that his answers will bring truth and enlightenment, that the mysteries of the ages will be opened up and revealed before him, that he will learn something new and fresh and desirable that will change the way people look at things forever.

faith. The scientist also has faith — that his science is reliable and valid, that it can, indeed, perform the rigorous tests of observation accurately and consistently each time, that the information the studies reveal is true and descriptive. He has faith that the answers to the great mysteries are knowable, that they have only to be discovered by he who is brilliant enough to find them. His science is, to some degree, his religion because he places great faith in it that it will provide him with the answers he seeks.

choice. There are a lot of choices in science — what questions to ask, what experiments to perform, what evidence to collect, what information to look at, etc. There are so many choices to make in science, choices that have a great degree of importance on the outcome of each and every study. Every step of the scientific process involves making choices with bad ones leading to misinformation and confusion and good ones leading to truth, answers, and enlightenment.

belief. Belief is also a scientific term because somewhere along the process, the information gathered must be believed or disbelieved, with the former leading to new processes and technologies and the latter leading to more studies and experiments.

truth. Science is, by its very nature, a search for truth. Every study conducted, every experiment run, every microscope and telescope focused, every meter and dial and knob turned is a pursuit for truth, specifically the truth of how the world and the universe functions. Sometimes, the truth is easily found, sometimes it requires years of fruitless labor before truth is discovered, if at all. Yet, it is inherent in the study of science to seek truth.

reality. How can one have science is one does not have reality? Science can only function in the presence of reality. This is, perhaps, a philosophical point, but nevertheless in order for something to be examined, it must first exist.

As always, I believe that science and religious faith go hand-in-hand, with philosophical musings servings as the supplemental goodness that fills out the formula. Science complements faith complements philsophy complements science, and so forth. I see no reason why the three cannot work together in perfect unity, providing us with a richness and depth of discovery that must surely be pleasing to God. After all, why would He have created all this for us if not for us to explore it to His glory and pleasure?