The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare. (Psalm 25:14-15 NIV)
Yesterday, falling headfirst into a snare looked inevitable. By now I’ve come to identify the patterns associated with my mental health disorders. I know my triggers; I know my ‘coping’ strategies; I know what I do in crisis, etc.
One of the most helpful things to come out of my most recent, and very thorough, mental health assessment, was receiving my diagnosis. (In case you can’t remember, or don’t know, here it is: https://morningcoffeewithabba.com/2018/09/17/theres-more-to-me-than-this/). It was helpful because I could see clearly what things I struggle with and why I struggle with them. As a result I was offered to go on the wait list for a treatment programme which will give me the tools to get better and recover.
I’m not very patient – if I know what the likely fix is for a specific problem then I have little desire to wait to be taught how to use the tools. I’d much rather research the treatment and teach myself – so that’s what I’m doing.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to practice. I’d had a difficult conversation where my triggers went ‘bang’; threatening to overwhelm me and engulf me – luring me to the trap of self-destruction. My body started its usual countdown towards self-destruct – 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, pause! I did not explode. When I paused I managed to focus on Jesus rather than my overwhelming emotions. I started singing and praying. I listened to worship music and then ate lunch. I then felt much better. I survived the day without feeling trapped, without self-harming, without running away, without cutting myself off from others.
Later on, my pastor called me contrary (in a nice way), which made me smile because my family – particularly my paternal grandmother – called me that when I was growing up. I know it about myself and I’m fairly content that it forms part of my personality. In this case it’s clearly positive because, having been told that I can only get better if I do their programme, I’ve decided that I’ll do it myself while I wait. I suppose dogged determination would also accurately describe me!
We looked together at the things that push me towards the snare of self destruction and at what point it becomes inevitable. Once we’d established that we were able to look for ways out; making it not inevitable, but overcomable. I liked that idea. Now that I can see that it doesn’t have to be, and won’t always be, inevitable I have more tools to work with in my recovery.
The songs I sang yesterday really did fix my eyes on Jesus; He took my feet away from the snare and onto solid ground. He guided me as I took the next step in recovery. I really do believe I’m getting better. I’ve gone on to have a good day today too. Praise to the Lord.
So, what have I learnt – when I pause I need to sing and pray. 😊