Another One Gone Too Soon

This came up as a memory on Facebook from January 9, 2015. I was struggling, yet again, with another bout of depression.

 I’m not the greatest example when it comes to people seeing Jesus through my life…but I can’t stop believing in him. I just can’t help it. Maybe it’s because I’ve believed since I was about 9 so it’s a part of me? Maybe it’s because of the supernatural experiences I’ve had? Maybe it’s because of all the evidence I keep discovering through apologetics? I don’t know anymore. There are so many questions that I can’t answer. So many questions and hurts and disappointments that keep people from believing and I don’t understand why it has to be so hard if God wants us all to come to him. If we can’t believe unless God allows it how is that free will? I just don’t get it but, still, I can’t stop believing. Guess that’s why they call it faith. The fact that I’m so damn miserable doesn’t exactly help my cause, but Jesus is the only hope I have for when this shitty life comes to an end…and it will come to an end…it’s inevitable. I should be out there trying to help and encourage others but how can I when I feel like this? I’d only be a hypocrite. Now I understand why the bible speaks of perseverance and steadfastness when it comes to our faith in Christ…because it’s hard to stay positive in such a depressing world. Hopefully the joy will return to me soon because I seem to have lost it……AGAIN. If I had the money and a passport I’d go on a missions trip to fix my perspective, but I’m not sure seeing even more misery would help or just make it worse. Instead I guess I’ll just go wrap myself up in blankets and watch movies to temporarily forget about myself. I suppose I’m thankful that I can do that….some people don’t even have a cardboard box to call home. So I should shut up now.

When I scrolled through all of the comments I received from friends who wanted to reach out to me, I came across this one and it stung a bit. Why? Because he’s dead now. He was a cousin I had recently reunited with at my brother’s house. It was a Cantalupo family reunion of sorts.  Honestly, I didn’t know who Mike was but I liked him instantly. Here’s what he said to me on Facebook…

Mindy so sorry to hear that you are feeling so down…remember that a lot of people love you and care about how you feel and that we are all with you. Maybe you need a few days on Miami Beach to clear your head and if so you are welcome and have a place to stay. Also keep in mind your relationship with your doctor and that there are many new medications that can help you feel a lot better. I love you and you can call 24/7 (305) 479-7849.

The fact that he’s dead isn’t really the whole reason it stung a bit when I came across his comment. It’s HOW he died. You see, Mike killed himself. If there was anything to laugh about I’d say it was ironic. He was trying to comfort me in a time of darkness and all the while I had no idea he had struggles of his own. I don’t know why he did it. I don’t know how he did it. All I know is I never called him. I never reached out to him. And now those opportunities are gone because he is gone.

I just wrote this on his timeline…

You tried to reach out to me on this day, 2 years ago. I was in a dark place and blurted it all out on Facebook for everyone to see. You responded with the sweetest heart. We had just met at the ‘Cantalupo Reunion’ and I liked you instantly. I want to thank you for trying to pull me up out of the pit I call depression. You invited me to come down to Miami and visit you…even gave me your number but I never called. If only I had known you had struggles of your own. Came across your comment of encouragement through the memories feed. It stung a bit because of the subject matter. It struck me a bit ironic minus the humor. I think we had more in common than I ever knew. Wish we could talk about it but, alas, you are gone. I hope we meet again someday. And I love you, too.

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Mike is the one in the mustard colored sweater. Next to him is my husband, Rick, and next to Rick is me.

 

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Don’t Do It!

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FAIL.

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I posted this on Facebook last year. This was my state of mind a year ago. Was feeling really depressed and negative. This year I want to do better for myself. Problem is, in order to do better for myself I actually have to DO BETTER FOR MYSELF. No one else is going to do it for me so I need to let go of that pipe dream.

Why the hell is self-discipline so effing difficult for me?!?! I can see the person I want to be in my mind’s eye but actually BECOMING that person has yet to become my reality.

This New Year’s Day started on a Sunday. I thought starting my new year off by going to church would be a really good start. What did I do? I slept 20 minutes too late and felt I didn’t have enough time to get ready so I slept in instead.

F A I L.

I can’t let that set the tone for the rest of the year. I just can’t. I have to choose to make better choices from here on out. I’m going to try. I’ve entered the fourth decade of my life and I feel as if this is it…like if I don’t do something NOW the window is going to shut forever. I don’t want to pass the point of no return. I want my 26 year old body back, DAMNIT!! OK, maybe that’s not very realistic but I know I can still look good if I do the right things. I need to get into serious shape to prove to myself I still have what it takes. I’ve always wanted that for myself but was never able to hold onto it. I was in amazing shape when I was 26. Had abs you could wash clothes off of. Then I got married and stopped working out. Well, it didn’t happen all at once but it didn’t take long before I lost whatever small amount of discipline I had managed to attain. I want my abs back. And with good health and a tight ass confidence is sure to follow. And with confidence comes a much more positive attitude which, in turn, will help me become the successful artist I know I can be.

So I gots tah to push through the “I don’t feel like it” BULLSHIT and just DO. IT. And if I slip up every now and again I need to not dwell on that fact…to not beat myself up over it and move on…to dust myself off and get right back up. I know becoming the person I want to be requires discomfort in the beginning, but I know I can do this. I have to. Otherwise I’m gonna end up a resentful, fat, bitter old woman with a zillion cats who complains about how I could have been someone. That would suck. And I already have 6 cats and a jiggly midsection. Shit.

Stay On The Vine

All of my heart wrenching inner struggles were recently spewed out through my fingertips in a desperate attempt to get some secret sufferings out of my insides. It’s all saved in a draft and that’s where it will stay. No need to publish ALL my dirty laundry.

I’ve been crying out to Jesus in an urgent plea to “Tell me what to do”…and I knew this meant hearing something I may not want to hear. It’s His will I want, not my own. And as difficult as it is to say that to the One True Creator (because I have my own ideas of how my life should go down), I know His way is far better than my way and I think He just gave me my answer (now if I could just feel good about the answer). I was reading someone’s Facebook post about the fruits of the Spirit when one in particular stuck out like a sore thumb and almost poked me in the eye.

…longsuffering…

That’s a fruit?!?! Really?!? Wow. I had never thought about it before. In my ESV it’s translated as patience. But longsuffering struck a chord. It never occurred to me that THAT is what patience means. So I googled ‘longsuffering, fruits of the Spirit’ and my eyes almost immediately fell on this heading…

Never Give Up! The Fruit of Longsuffering

So, naturally, I clicked on it. This article pretty much addressed what I’ve been struggling with for a very long time. After reading it I walked away with the realization that this is all part of God’s pruning process. If I walk away and give up, if I give in to ‘self’, I feel as though I’m forfeiting the game. I want my Heavenly Father’s promises in my life and it seems to me that in order to receive His promises I must be willing to go through the pruning and not give up. I want to be Spirit-driven, not flesh-driven. And let me tell you, this is not an easy task. But I don’t want to miss out on something because I gave in to my own selfish wants and needs.  This life is short and eternity is, well, FOREVER. I need to hold on to this eternal perspective. I’m going to “Stay on the vine” as it says in this article and remember this verse…

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 says, `We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.'”

When I stay on the vine I will find all I need to persevere. God will give me the strength and in doing so I will become all that He has intended me to be. I’m hoping the days that seem too heavy to bear will visit me less and less until they are a thing of the past. I know that I’m a work in progress if I don’t give up. My prayers have been problem-centered instead of God-centered. I learned that from Dr. Charles Stanley’s ‘Solving Problems Through Prayer’. Funny, I came across that on Facebook, too! It was in my memories feed. I had sent it to a friend to try and encourage her. Little did I know it was really meant for me to be seen years later. Of course, I do believe it’s OK to cry out to God with our problems. He wants us to tell Him how we are feeling because He truly cares for us, but our problems shouldn’t be the main focus day in and day out. I’ve been doing just that and let me tell you, it has become a burden far too heavy to carry and when you do this you run the risk of making yourself sick with grief. This very well may be why I’m experiencing the worse break-out of eczema on my face, EVER. Focusing on the problem will get you no where FAST and I’m sure it’s a tactic of the enemy. I’m going to try and listen to Jesus on this one. He said in Matthew 11: 28-3028 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

…Solving Problems Through Prayer…

  1. God is interested in your problem.

  2. God is greater than your problem.

  3. Our first response should be to seek the Lord.

  4. God may want to involve other people.

  5. God will give us the solution.

  6. Our prayers should be God-centered, not problem-centered.

  7. God’s solution usually requires an act of faith.

  8. God’s solution is always best. 

A Deep Longing

God is interested in my problem…God is bigger than my problem…God will give me the solution…God’s solution is better than my own…That’s what I keep telling myself…I know it’s true but I’m afraid I’m doomed regardless. Not everyone gets to have the fairy tale.

It’s Gonna Be A Long Night

On the way out of the polls a girl holding a cardboard sign with the words “Do you need a hug?” asked us if we needed a hug. So I gave her a big ol’ bear hug…

Rick said he’d let her know tomorrow.

It’s Getting Worse

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It would be nice if this idea were true (the clearing up part, that is…not the permanent agitation). I mean, it’s been like sixteen months of constant, in-your-face election madness. A girl can only take so much.

I hate going out in public like this. I’ve even been avoiding church because I don’t want to be around people. Feeling extremely self-conscious. (OK, so I MAY have exaggerated the redness for effect in the above meme. Wanted to get the point across, but mentally that’s how red I think it looks when I’m out in public) img_0862

I ordered some milk thistle supplements and some E45 cream online. It’s been suggested to me that it might be a liver issue, so maybe the milk thistle will help detox my liver and clear up this crap. It could be diet, too. I also suffer from allergies so I just don’t know. It’s probably a combination of things.

Milk thistle should be arriving on election day…how ironic.

For The Grammar Nazis

 

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Couldn’t decide which one I liked better…..

 

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Make. It. Stop.

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After doing a little research, I think the actual medical term might be Periorificial Dermatitis? First developed this when I was twelve. Dermatologist told me it was eczema and that I would always have it (real encouraging). It was only around my nose and under my ears at that time. Then it went away during my teen years and didn’t rear its’ ugly head again until my late thirties. Now it has spread and is forming around my eyes which has never happened before. Just want it to go away.

I was free and clear for the last three years but here we are again. They say stress can be a factor and this ridiculously long-ass election can’t be over soon enough! If this crap on my face doesn’t start to clear up on the 9th then it will be due to the outcome following this damn nightmare of an election…or it’s just due to my life in general.

Sigh.

 

His Gratitude Still Shows

 

Gilbert loves his daddy soooo much! ❤

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Click to read Gilbert’s backstory.