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Thursday, October 7, 2010

what's happening to me?

My health seems to have turned around, not for the better.

I was undetectable and healthy for a year and now I am back to being detectable with lowered T-Cells and an ongoing thyroid problem.

This seems to be the least of my worries, though I have had to change my HIV medication from the Viramune + Truvada cocktail to Atripla. Mentally, I have not had much control over my moods, emotions and ability to focus. This is a serious issue for a graduate student. I may be losing my job at school and pretty much having to drop out of my program or slow it down to a near halt.

My heart is halfway full of sadness and loneliness; my way of life is exhausting me. I find it so hard to live consistently within any borders or lines like those of the gospel plan or norms of society. I feel tossed and turned with every strong breeze or storm that comes my way. God's promise to those who don't root themselves in their covenants to Him that supplies protection and continual support is that they may find themselves lost and alone.

Have you ever lost something but everything kept telling you in your mind that you knew where it was? I refuse to calm down and ponder where my lost item is, but instead rummage through everything trying to find it, which usually results in rage, frustration and emotional breakdown.

I swear I know where my testimony of the gospel and my Savior Jesus Christ is, but I am having a hard time finding where I left it. I swear I know where I left my solid relationships of support, love and family, but I am having a hard time finding it. I swear I know where I left my soul, my heart and my spiritual hunger and thirst, but for some reason I am having trouble finding it.

I hear people talk about prayer, scripture studying and pondering and other wonderful things, but for me, it seems like there are always a few steps that come before I resolve to do those things. It's obvious, right? Faith. Hope. Charity. Humility. Repentance. Forgiveness. I am taking a guess that these steps aren't a one time deal.

My professor, incidentally my adviser and boss, is suggesting that I drop his course because I lack focus and am way behind. He told me that it is not that the material is intellectually over my head because I am pretty smart, but that it may be the load of work I have to do that is causing me problems and anxiety. This is very similar to my relationship to the gospel and this course called mortality that I am taking. Intellectually I know the material, I understand the concepts and overall I could probably write a book about all I think I know about it, but what I lack is the ability to do the work.

I am filled with fear of failure and disappointment; the anxiety becomes a bigger monster than the work itself. The problem I face is unlike the class at school which I can drop or take over again, what am I supposed to do about this life? I can't just drop it and take it over again, can I? Nope. So, inevitably I am filled with anxiety and extreme pressure to achieve what seems nearly impossible in a fixed amount of time.

My professor said another thing about the course work: he didn't expect me to do it alone; he doesn't expect anyone to do it alone because it's tough. Likewise, I truly feel that God doesn't expect that we go through this life alone. The work is tough, so He sent His Son Jesus Christ to help out. Jesus can only do so much; you can only lead a horse to water, right? Right now I am going back and forth on whether I want that water or not, but the truth is if I don't decide soon, I could die of thirst. That would be sad and quite a waste.

I know this has come out as a ramble rant, but I needed it; I'm scared.

You have been caught Jey Walking!


fff said...

I hope you get better.

It's probably dumb coming from some immature stranger like me, but I was dangerously low on t-cells for a long time & perpetually sick/hospitalized. Being told you could die from a small illness is really scary.

We may not share the same religious beliefs, but I am afraid with you. Whatever you choose to do regarding school, best wishes!

BLB said...

No. =[ I hope all will be well with you.

Ned said...

Sorry to hear your health news, Jey. I am dealing with a loss of another kind (death of a loved one) right now and I relate to much of what you're saying and applaud you for writing this entry. I hope it helped a bit to sort it out enough to write about it.

As to prayer, scripture study and pondering, I do have an idea on prayer for you:

Password Prayers: One of the ways I've integrated more prayer into my life is by creating computer passwords that are short prayers. An example would be "Dear Father, I am so grateful for Jey in my life." By taking the first letter of each word in that short prayer, my password would be "DFIasgfJiml". If you need to add some numbers and characters you can make substitutions and additions such as "DF1asgfJiml!" Your mileage may vary, of course, but I've found these little password prayers brighten may day sometimes in unexpected ways.

I also have some possibly unconventional thoughts on scripture study and pondering which I'm happy to share if you like.

Good luck and good health, and big hugs!

Jeff "Jey Walker" Gladstone said...

Ned - I feel for you; losing a loved one is have my empathy and prayers. Thank you for your suggestions - password prayers is ingenious. I am always willing to hear more helpful suggestions.

Thank you fff and BLB for your good thoughts...I need them. thanks

Ned said...

Thanks Jey, for your reply and your kind words.

Here's something I did a few years ago in an attempt to integrate prayer, scripture study, scripture pondering, and journal writing.

It was simply to start a journal entry with a brief written prayer, then transcribe a single scripture verse from my marked scriptures into my journal, and then briefly reflect upon that scripture for a sentence or two, and then finish my journal entry.

It's a structured, checklist approach which I realize will immediately sour some people on the idea, but while I was doing it, I had more success than ever before with daily prayer, scripture study, pondering and journal writing.

I hope you are feeling better today and hope you have a restful and healing weekend and week ahead.

*healing hug*
*affectionate brotherly kiss on the top of your head*
*another healing hug just for good measure*

J G-W said...

I hear people talk about prayer, scripture studying and pondering and other wonderful things, but for me, it seems like there are always a few steps that come before I resolve to do those things. It's obvious, right? Faith. Hope. Charity. Humility. Repentance. Forgiveness. I am taking a guess that these steps aren't a one time deal.

That's what I've found too...

I hope you find your center of gravity again; I will keep you in my prayers till then, if you don't mind.

When I misplace something, I find sometimes I just have to go about doing other stuff, and it comes to me later...

Jeff "Jey Walker" Gladstone said...

thank you again Ned and JGW - what wonderful friends