Better Living Through Chemistry

Words.

They’re only words.

Groupings of letters in a particular order that provide a visual representation of what we want to communicate.  So why can’t I find the words to put down on paper.  In the past, I would write 15 to 50 pages a day!  Now – I struggle to complete a paragraph.

I feel bottle up.  I feel stymied.  I have writer’s block.  Why?

I believe it’s the medication.  And yet the medication is doing good things too.

Have the medications helped or hindered?

my040_better_living_through_chemistry

On the plus side, I’m without hallucinations for the first time in over 48 years.  Also for the first time in over 38 years I don’t see suicide as a solution for my problems.  Yea medication!

Life without hallucinations is new for me really.  I used them to cope with the injuries of my past.  They were my unconscious’s representation of hurts I couldn’t, or wouldn’t, consciously deal with.  Without them I am forced to now deal with those hurts and develop healthy coping skills – and I am.

Life without suicidal thoughts is amazing.  I’m finding hope for the future and visualizing a future that goes beyond the end of the day.  My future goes on for years now.  It’s a strange, but good, feeling to want to see old age and all the adventures between today and the day I pass due to natural causes.

On the minus side, I feel like my creativity is stifled.  I’m having cognitive challenges that hinder my ability to write.  I find that the leveling of my emotions, that is the minimization of mood swings from high to low, has suffocated my motivation for not only writing but also such passions as reading and learning new things.

The emotion leveling has also impacted how I react in situations in which I should feel great joy or great sorrow.  I find I feel sorry to a greater degree than joy.  Maybe the antidepressant isn’t the right one for me or the wrong dosage.  Finding the right medications is a process and can be a lengthy effort.  But I feel it’s worth it.

Perhaps the down side issues will right themselves over time.  I’ve been on these medications now for about two months.  Maybe it will take a few more months to normalize my body’s chemistry and return to the writing whiz I was.  I miss my writing.  It’s a good, healthy, outlet for my mental stresses.  I find writing to also be a good place to work out emotional strains.  Consequently, I find myself easily upset over minor issues.  That’s not something I want in the ‘new’ me.

You might ask if I’d seek medications if I knew I’d find myself in this dry, arid, land of writing before taking the medications.  My answer is a definite yes.  I like being hallucination free.  I like not dwelling on suicide.  I like life for the first time in over four decades!  At times I feel young, clean, fresh and worthy of other people’s love and support.  What a wonderful set of emotions!

Would I recommend medication for others like me?  I’m no doctor but I would tell others to explore the possibilities with qualified professionals.  Life can be better for those living in their own personal prison of mental illness.  It was for me.

jdoe

Baptism By Fire

This came in the most recent letter …

I believe baptism comes in several forms.  Through the Bible we hear, read, of baptism by water.  It’s the symbolic washing away of sins and the death to sin of the old self and birth to righteousness of a new self.  It is by its very nature a cleansing and a leaving behind.  I’ve come to understand though that what we read in the bible is symbolic of something bigger and that there is at least one other type of baptism.  

Baptism by Fire. 

my040_baptized_by_fire

It’s a sad and unfortunate thing that I had to come to prison to experience it because I think it’s an experience everyone should have.  So what does it consist of and why should all experience it?

It consists of having everything stripped from you so that only you, and you alone come out the other side.  I lost everything – career, material items, contact daily with loved ones, hopes, dreams, goals, the future I’d planned, my clothing – I literally stood naked.  I was forcibly washed of all earthly things.  I died to all sin out there and came up into that fire naked and unknowing of what the future would be.

I think of how the Apostles and Israelites must have felt when told to give up everything or have it taken away. 

How many questions they must have had:

“What now?”

“Who am I?”

“What am I worth?”

“What will become of me?”

Isn’t it amazing though that all of them also came out with the same bit of direction – the very direction I was left with? 

To follow God. 

I feel that God said, “If you won’t come willingly then I’ll take you forcibly but you must be cleaned, purged, washed first.”

I know I felt like a washcloth wrung of all water and laid aside to dry.  Everything but my essence was gone – or was it?  No, what was left was my purpose.  Like that cloth still damp, still fulfilling its purpose of sopping and holding moisture I was left with the Holy Spirit and purpose. 

So why do I think everyone should experience this loss?  To KNOW there’s a life without sin and pain or anchors or fear waiting for them.  You can go willingly or forcibly.  Go willingly and lose only the negative, those things holding you down or back.  Don’t wait, as I did, for the force – the fire – because you’ll lose the good with the bad.  Either way, you’ll be cleansed and left with purpose, God’s purpose and in the end that is all that matters anyway.  It’s what the Bible says and now I know it to be true – just as the Apostles and the Israelites learned. 

And if you’re already in a prison – mental illness, addiction, abusive relationship – it can be the first step out before, like me, your first step in.

~jdoe

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.   His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”  ~ Matthew 3:11-12 NKJV

A Journey Begun

Hello and welcome to My-040.  If you were hoping to find a blog about turning 40 years old I’m sorry to say this ain’t it – However I invite you to stay and look around; you may find this to be what you need in times of tribulation.

The blog’s name, My-040, comes from the collision of three main themes: My incarceration (Exile), God’s punishment of the Israelites being sent into captivity (Exile), and the Federal District from which I come – 040.  I’m convinced these align for a reason.  I hope you’ll visit regularly to discover how I’m letting God lead me through my time in captivity, the wilderness, exile.

My040_Journey_Begun

This blog is for all those living in a prison of any type whether it be true incarceration, depression, an abusive relationship, addiction – especially addiction to pornography of any form, mental illness, childhood sexual abuse – such a long and sad list cut short.

This blog is also for anyone looking for new perspectives on how God touches us all.  I’ve found that my old self is not who I, or God, wants me to be and to find that self is a journey I hope you’ll take with me.

I ask very little of you:   1) Please do not post hate of any form, including foul language.  I have the support of a loved one, my sister, in managing this site and the postings.  She didn’t break the law, I did.  Please don’t make her suffer in her love for me;  2) If you have positive, constructive ideas on how I might improve this blog please post or email; 3) Feel free to post questions on any subject on this site (See my bio I am… John Doe, the purpose of this blog Joy In The Tribulation, and ASCSA) but please be patient in waiting for a response as I have to use the U.S. Mail and turn around time can be up to two weeks (Contact & How This Works).

It is one of my sincerest hopes that you will walk my journey with me and find your way out of whatever wilderness, prison, captivity, or exile you find yourself living.  I’ve begun and am already becoming renewed into a new life.  Unbelievably, I’m finding true freedom behind the razor wire topped fencing.  I hope you’ll enjoy your time here.

Again, Welcome.  John Doe