Oh Happy Day!

I am happy to say, I was able to get back into my blogs here at WordPress, after a lengthy absence. I was unable to remember my sign in information for the longest time, but finally I was able to get back here!!! My sister blog, Out of the Gutter Art, has been languishing also, even tho’ I have been furiously creating beautiful “Outsider” Art this whole time.

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“The Sentinel’s Prayer”, acrylic on canvas, Susan T. Martin2017

I have had many upheavals ans bumps in the road as far as my emotional well being is concerned, but with the help of God, the Ultimate Therapist, and my human therapist (who is stellar!) I have come through victorious! The triggers were many, as this is the month my Parents died, and it also houses both mine and my Mom’s birthdays. I am a JW now, so I don’t celebrate my birthday, but it still holds significance in my heart, a marking of the passage of this fragile life.

Now my associations to birthdays is a very negative one, as my Mom died on her birthday, March 21, which also heralds the first day of Spring. Also my Dad was well into the dying process at home with only me there beside him on my birthday 2 years ago. That was a horrible, horrible time, as he suffered much. In the days that seemed to drag on forever, I remember at one point whispering to him “please don’t die on my birthday Daddy…” This sounds to me now like a rather heartless and self centered request, but he understood my trauma, I believe, even in the midst of his own, and did not. Rather, he fought his last fight during the wee hours of the next morning, finally succumbing at 6:15 the next morning. What a long, dark night that was.Picture 012

I am finally not grieving the devastating sword thru my middle grief this year, but I anticipated the day with much apprehension and mental nail biting, as well as obsessive compulsive behavior, manic activity and lack of sleep. I am still feeling the effects, and most likely will have them build to a crescendo as March 21st approaches. Mom died in a less dramatic, but equally disturbing way, having to be taken to Hospice House rather than dying at home as she so desired, surrounded by her kitties. I have imprinted on my brain her sitting in her bed like a deflated teddy bear, whose sad eyes cut right thru me as she said, “Susie, I’m not ready…” However the cancer was by this point ravaging her brain, and I could not physically care for her at home.

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here I am after Mom had died, well into my Dad’s last years of Severe Dementia and Alzheimer’s. I was his, and Mom’s sole caregiver.

I had a fourteen day vigil beside her bed, singing, praying , reading the Bible to her and holding her hand. Finally at the point of total exhaustion and grief, I fell asleep beside her, and as I dreamed of happier times, she breathed her last. Ours was a bond stronger than death, and I so eagerly anticipate the day when they are  both called out of the memorial tombs in the grand resurrection , when I will run into their arms again.

This hope is made even more sure this month as  millions of humans around the globe, and me fulfill our obligation to mark the Memorial of Jesus Christ’ death, just as he commanded us to do at the last supper. On this occasion, just hours before his death, be broke bread an drank wine with his apostles, saying, “Keep doing this in remembrance of me.”

I praise Jehovah above for the undeserved kindness He has shown by providing the life of His perfect Son as a ransom for the sins of all mankind. By this loving act, every human on earth has the chance for living forever, without sickness, mourning, pain or death on a beautifully restored Earth. I raise my hands and my voice in praise to God, and thank him for his Son, My King and Savior, Jesus Christ!Picture 018

You can join the Witnesses all around the earth at sundown on March 31st , 2018 as we join in remembering the Greatest Gift Ever given. You can ask any of Jehovah’s Witnesses for an invitation, or directions, or any other questions you may have and they will joyfully tell you. Also, the website jw.org will tell you what you need to know!

So, despite all my challenges, and mental health issues, I can take comfort that one day soon I will be reunited with all my loved ones. I also am so grateful to God for forgiving my multitude of sins by way of the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I hope someone else out there

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can find this comfort also!!!

Fighting My Way Out…with Help!

Fighting my way out of Depression.

The first thing I have to do is turn to my Higher Power and give Him all this pain, He is much bigger than me, He can carry it and throw it away. He has His Active Force, His Holy Spirit to help me have “the power beyond what is normal”(2 Corinthians 4:7) if I only ask for it, so I am asking and pleading now. The wonderful thing is that even though my disease tells me there is no hope to feel better, I know deep inside that this is a lie. So I must FORCE myself, in the midst of the inertia of my illness, to DO SOMETHING to help myself. Even when that is the LAST thing I want to do.

So I pray, and I MOVE OUT OF THE DARKNESS, taking my head out from beneath bedcovers I have pulled tightly over my head. Prayer is a gift from God, a lifeline to raise me out of this pain. There is a particular scripture that has helped me so much over the years that perfectly describes what my relationship with God does in this regard. It is at Psalm 40, and it was originally penned by David as he was inspired with God’s Holy Spirit, His Active Force. Here I have taken excerpts: ” I earnestly hoped in Jehovah, and so he inclined his ear to me and heard my cry for help. He also proceeded to bring me up out of a roaring pit (my depression), out of the mire of the sediment (where I was stuck, immobilized by mental illness, as in quicksand). Then he raised up my feet upon a crag. He firmly established my steps…(Psalm 40:1,2 comments in parenthesis are mine).

What a marvelous healing provision from the Highest Personage in the Universe, to hear the tiny prayer from a tired, depressed human whose mind tells her she is not worth saving. He sees my heart, sees my pain, and reached out to stand me on my feet again. It is not a miracle cure, He gives me the mind to pick up the tools I need to fight this mental illness, provisions such as mental health professionals, meetings for worship that put me with others who have suffered the same way and recover, and His Word the Bible, as my guidebook.

Another example of God’s power to help me back to joy is found in the Bible book of Philippians, where we read, ” Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God, and the peace of God that excels all thought will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6.7). Beautiful isn’t it? How comforting to know that help is only a prayer and grain of faith away. I do not have to sit in a pile of despair and hopelessness forever.

To have this loving relationship with Jehovah, there are some things He asks from us in return, none of which are too difficult for even a  person like me. He asks that we love Him with whole-souled devotion, that we turn away from sin and repent of our past wrongs, and that we learn accurate teaching from His Word , the Bible. And another requirement is to pt Faith in  the Ransom Sacrifice of His pefect only-begotten Son, Christ Jesus. I was able to do this by putting my pride aside, letting light into my hate-darkened heart, opening my mind by asking humbly for God’s help and by accepting the offer from Jehovah’s Witnesses for a free home Bible study. Eventually I was able to qualify for baptism by water immersion, dedicating myself to my Wonderful God, putting faith in all His Loving Provisions, and in the Most wonderful Provision of all, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the greatest gift , the greatest act of Love ever expressed.

By writing this post and finding all these examples of God’s Love for me as an individual, I am lightened of this burden, this illness of Depression. No, it is not gone, and I will have to cope until the new system when everyone will be freed from the pain of mental illness, and every other sickness too.

.Praise God, and may you find peace also under the shelter of His mightly wings. Any one of Jehovah’s Witnesses can help you to learn more, and you can find help online at the official website, jw.org.

Whispers from a Distant Past

The receptionist wasn’t fired! I feel so much better now!!

I made it to the appt. I had at noon today at the Mental Health Facility.( I will make an effort not to berate myself or others with mental health issues by calling the place by derogatory names. So, I will abbreviate it to M.H.F.) I was there to see my new therapist, to replace the one who left last year w/out saying bye. I wound up taking Father along, the caregiver was off this morning. I didn’t know how this would pan out, I figured he would probably sit in the car, and I would pop in his Carpenter’s Greatest Hits tape, which he adores.

I was heroic in getting to the MHF on time, and when I saw my new lady, I was pleased. She looked nice enough, maybe I could open up to her. We got through the introductions, and then the meat of the evaluation began. And the memories came, great shovels full as if one of the snow plows up north were dumping the past on top of me. I was buried in the chair.

The drugs, rapes, fighting, crimes and all the other dirty little secrets came out for her to document. See, she had my file, so she already knew. But she wanted to hear me SAY it. And it was vile. The flashing image of sitting wide eyed in a crack house for days, heart ready to burst from the coke. The other images, the ones I can’t speak of, all painted in blood red on the walls of my mind. Sad memories. Sad…

But I am here, and I am going to get through this, without the ship capsizing, this time. When I finished with the gory then, I was SO proud to tell her about the glorious NOW!! Fifteen SOLID years clean and sober! A woman of courage now, full of zeal, wanting to tell my fellow humans that there is a way out of that terrible life, a way out of that pit. I suddenly remembered, while I was nailed to my chair, that I have made huge strides with the help of my God and friends. Strides away from morally degrading things, like blackouts and regret for my actions. The changes God has helped me make with my uncontrolled hate and anger- to a point where I have gently cared for my Dad with his FRUSTRATING illness for years, without hitting walls or breaking dishes. I can’t believe I can say this, but I am a clean and upright, law abiding citizen now!!!

Now, do not think that I believe these changes were miraculous, or that I somehow am different than other addicts, alcoholics, or any other ” sinner”. In my past, before I was able to get clean and sober, I made it my goal to be as low down mean as a woman can get. I was a fighter- really!- and I seethed with hatred for authority. I had many, many issues. I was battered, and I battered back.

I never thought I would live any other way. But when I was ready, and I surrendered, became teachable, and put down the drugs and alcohol, and followed the 12 step programs, something happened. It was slow, but my vision started to clear. I began to see myself in a new light, a kinder, softer light. If I had not died in the life I was in, maybe I could be like these others at the meeting, with their hair combed, clothes clean. Maybe I could care about myself, maybe I could care about someone else. What I had dreaded was now as pleasant as honey on my tongue.the little voice of the girl I was born as began to be audible to me.

I thanked my “Higher Power” often in prayer each day, and kept a daily gratitude journal. No matter what, I had to write down 3 things I was grateful for each day. I got a sponsor, and I followed what she suggested. I made amends where I could, then let God have the rest.

As the years past though, I was still crying all the time, depressed nearly everyday. I never felt happy, and there was a void. Fortunately for me, one of the other members of the 12 step program strongly suggested I seek help from mental health professionals. I did, and my life really opened up. I still have had to make a huge effort to learn new ways, even with the meds, and a correct diagnosis. And another thing that has brought me so much comfort is my relationship with Jehovah. I am a peaceful person now, and He has taught me how to love through His Son Jesus. He never abandoned me, I had turned my back on Him.

Now His word, the Bible, and His holy spirit(active force), and my faith in the Ransom Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, lead me into greener pastures every single day. the beauty of His creation shines through my windows each morning, and He helps me with my brothers and sisters in the congregation who love me. I had forgotten how I got here, and how amazing and wonderful it is. When I was baptized by full water immersion and made a public declaration of my dedication the Jehovah God, a light started to show in my eyes, my whole countenance has changed too. Now I see the happiness in myself that I had only ever seen in other people, even with all my struggles.

Oh, I’m noholy roller, I make mistakes every day. I swear many times, and I watch violent Tv, but I keep trying to do better, and God forgives me when I repent. I really struggle to be acceptable to my God. But Jehovah knows that I am made of dust, He knows my heart. And he knows yours too.

Please never give up on yourself, God doesn’t!

joy is strawberry cake!!
joy is strawberry cake!!