Thursday, March 31, 2011

Do you want to be healed? (181.2)

Yesterday was a "I just wanna feel numb day" again. I think my hormones and/or medication are really, really off. I just don't feel right in the mornings and at night, and often in the late afternoon. I have an appointment with my psychiatrist on the 12th, and will ask her then. (Accupuncture is the 8th. I'm still going to physical therapy too. Good grief, that's lot of doctors trying to fix me.)

Today is my first counseling/therapy appointment. I've been looking forward to it, because I need the help so desperately, but this morning I realized that there is a LOT of stuff I've put in a nice tight lock box that I'd rather just stay there. I don't want it all dragged out in the light. And I know the only way I'm going to get better is to dig it all up. I read Vickie's post about doing deep work with her therapist NOW, after she's been in maintenance for a few years & has all her weight off. NOW is the time to get to the deep stuff, because she CAN. So, maybe, I can do the surface stuff for now & leave that lock box closed--I'm definitely not ready for it. I know it won't happen today.

I barely even know where to start today. I keep imagining the opening lines of our first conversation.... "so what brings you here to see me today?" "Ummmmm, I don't even know where to start." Do I start with my weight? My food issues? My dad's illness & death in October? My depression? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. I know it's a process--it's not going to get solved today. I guess I just feel overwhelmed at the idea of it all.

Last Sunday our pastor's sermon was powerful--it spoke to me very deeply, and it's been rattling around in me all week. He talked about the lame beggar who was by the pool at Bethsaida. Jesus asked him, "do you want to be healed?" Our pastor explored the idea of what an absurd question that is. Of course the man who can't walk wants to be healed! Why would Jesus even ask that?

Then he said, but if the beggar is healed, then his whole life will change. He won't be able to depend on others to take care of him. He won't have any excuses to wallow in misery any more. For a man who'd been dependent on others for his existence for his entire life, it's not a small thing to suddenly lose that dependence.

So, we have to ask ourselves the same thing. What is it that you want Jesus to heal in you? And, DO YOU WANT TO BE HEALED?

Our pastor told us the story of when he was in school. In elementary school he had rheumatic heart disease. He missed an entire year of middle school because he was so sick. He was told he'd never be able to participate in sports. By high school, his freshman year, he'd secretly joined the track team, telling his mom he was the manager. When his mom found out (as mom's always do) that he was running on the team, she took him to the doctor to have his heart examined. The doctor said it was remarkable--his heart looked much better, and as long as he didn't have any problems, he could continue to run and race. He was, essentially, healed.

That put him in a strange position. He wasn't a great runner. He usually came in last or next to last place. So, now that his doctor told him he was healthy and didn't have a bad heart, what excuse did he have to be a lousy runner? He was healed. And he lost the excuse to be a loser, or at least to not be the best he could be.

I keep asking God to heal me, every morning praying for help when I feel like I'm never going to get better. Then, like last night, when I'm eating ice cream at 11 pm, I ask myself--do you really want to be healed? There is so much that I blame on food & my weight. So many excuses of what I can't do, or don't do, or won't do.

Mostly, I'm afraid that being healed means I will have a great big vacuum that I can't fill with food anymore. If I don't have sugar and fat and carbs, what will I have to soothe the hurt and loneliness? I know what's supposed to go there, in that vacuum. Love, God, family, peace, hope. LOTS of intangible stuff that healthy people know how to access. Can I get there? Can I find it in myself to want to be healed? For real this time?

I told my friend Debra last night that the only time I've felt really, truly, consistently happy in the past 15 years was in 2008, and 2009, when I was thin & running regularly. Don't get me wrong--I've had (and still have) a lot of joy in my life. I have a blessed family, a loving supportive husband, and two beautiful children who give more love to me every day than I could have ever imagined I deserved. But being overweight/obese since I was 26 has shadowed a lot of that happiness, except in 2008 and 2009.

I never really gave up food as my main source of comfort in those two years. I figured out how to be just good enough, burn just enough calories and get just enough endorphins in my brain from running, to lose weight and keep it off for a while. But I didn't do any (or enough) inner work.

Jesus told the beggar after he healed him to "pick up your mat and walk." Jesus didn't want the man to have an excuse to go back to the life he'd lived before. "Be healed. Get rid of the mat. Walk into your new life with Me." I guess this time, I'm starting on the inside. Hopefully it will work it's way to the outside.


Jill said...

Wow Laura. This is really powerful. I think it's scary to be healed because then everything is unknown. We know and understand what it's like to not be well - what's the other side of that coin? Honestly I have no idea. Maybe that's why it's so easy to self-sabotage.
This is some serious head food. Meaning that I'm going to have to chew on this awhile before I have an answer. :)
Good luck with your counselor this afternoon. Maybe she can guide you to where you need to start. xoxo

Jodie said...

You always have great posts! You say exactly what we're all thinking/feeling. I love the analogy to the begger. Perfect. It all just hit home with me. We've relied on being "broken" for so long that it's truly scary to think what it would be like to not have that excuse to fall back on. We'd have to start living.

Good luck with your appt today. Hope it goes well!

Vickie said...

such a great post
more when you can

jen said...

That's funny, because I heard a clip on an interview on NPR where someone was talking about that same Bible story and it really resonated with me. "Do you want to be healed? Then pick up your bed and walk." (there was a gospel hymn with those words that was played alongside the clip) I have repeated it to myself at times to remind myself that I have a choice about my behavior.

Here's a link to the transcript of that show.

You're getting at some powerful stuff. You can't keep the box locked and heal. Have faith that you can get through it.

teacherman said...

Wow! Is this your blog or mine?!!

One thought: The beggar had tried to do his part before, attempting to reach the pool of healing, but others had got there before him. He needed Jesus' help. When Jesus told him to get up, take his bed, and walk out of there, he was ready and willing to do that, and he got his healing. I sure long for the same thing, for you, Laura...and for me.