(Praise You in The Storm—Casting Crowns)
I love this image. It shows such an all-knowing, all-loving God. I think I know myself pretty well, but how much more well must God know me? You gotta know someone pretty well and be pretty attentive to them to be able to hold their tears in your hand. Even an infants who cannot wipe away his or her own tears will usually have tears falling onto the blankets and clothes before their earthly caregiver can attend to their needs…and clearly if every single tear I cry matters enough to God to be cherished then he must love me quite a lot. He holds my pain knowing that it is not something to be taken lightly, that it matters. He knows he didn’t create me to be too much or not enough even though the world may make me feel that way.
As the notecard I wrote (with poor grammer…oops…proofreading would have been smart) in high school says, “I am a girl that God created that turned out exactly how he wanted, and whom he loves and has a plan for. I am not a mess-up or failure, and God is not disappointed in the way I turned out. God does not want a redo. He is not ashamed of me.”
It seems like a contradiction, but I often feel like both too much and not enough. Either way, I don’t feel adequate.
Sometimes I am not enough. I can’t handle the cavernous, mall-like-minus-the-decoration-lights-and-stores, ambiance of the stupid new building. Aside from the fact that some idiot put the career fair at a time when every single fifth year student had at most a 70 minute break between classes for lunch, but more likely had only 10 minute breaks between classes and meetings, there was no way that I was going to get there. Should I attend the career fair, well, probably, but did I, no. Sometimes it is better to cut my losses. I had to walk through it to get from point A to point B and the activity and crowdedness (umm we have a lot of large rooms, even rooms with doors that close so you aren’t distracting people in classes trying to actually maybe learn something at school, so why are you having an event in the hallway…) just accentuated the awful ambiance of the new building and even just walking down the hall to get to the stairs I wanted to figure out whose bright idea this was and impolitely give them a piece of my mind…however, I am more mature than that, so I just kept walking and minded my own business..
Sometimes I am too much. I am an extravert (wrapped in a shell of introversion for protection) so I LOVE communicating and people wanting to talk to me is pretty awesome…but I can’t end the conversation very well, because I just want to keep talking forever, and so what started as just a hi can become an hour or more conversation if the other person doesn’t have anywhere to be. It is great at first, however, when it is the end of the day and I am realizing how little I have gotten done and you are like the tenth or so person to stop to talk to me, as much as I appreciate it, it starts getting a little frustrating, because clearly another hour talking could have some serious implications for my grades…and my grades are still important to me…
Sometimes I am both too much and not enough simultaneously. That last person who talked to me Wednesday started talking about how he thinks I probably have ADHD. I suppose I should be grateful for the concern. I should be happy he felt safe enough to share that with me, but what I am hearing is that I am too much; too much energy, too much noise, too much talking and laughing, too much joy, too much everything…and not enough; not enough focus, not enough points in my grade, not enough patience, not enough sitting still, not enough of anything…I am still happily living in ignorance/denial. Sure, the questionnaire I filled out last year placed me with a high likelihood in that category, but I am still content to pretend that it isn’t real…sometimes I might not really be that interested in your opinion that I have ADHD. Maybe I do, maybe I don’t, but I am not interested in pursuing that possibility. I am not interested in medication, not only because like you pointed I am already bouncing off the walls without a stimulant, but also because although caffeine is a different class of stimulants, it is still a stimulant, and it makes me sick so I am kind of scared that a narcotic stimulant would be even worse. I’d much rather be a distractible ball of energy than be exhausted and nauseous. (This is what pt-ctrd care means to me–not putting me automatically on a stimulant just ’cause it is first line). Yeah, there are other possible directions for treatment, but even then, we are missing the other problem that ain’t nobody got time to go diagnosis-seeking and then attend f/u meetings. Plus, I am not interested in the kind of accommodations people usually get for ADHD, so there doesn’t seem to be a lot of benefit in a diagnosis. I would prefer to take my exams in the room with teachers in it, not proctors who know nothing about the exam content. It feels safer that way. It is also not all that often that timing on exams is a problem. Most of my problems come in with remembering to do and turn in my homework, and actually studying rather than sitting with notes in front of me while thinking about something completely different…someone to sit next to me to keep me on track would be super helpful, but is not a very practical solution.
A few times I have scraped ice from my car in a t-shirt and shorts and sandals. I am not responsible enough. My umbrella remains at home and it pours rain later. I am not prepared enough. My laundry is piling up while I desperately attempt to shove info in my head. I am not smart enough. I paste on a smile over my hurt and loneliness and frustration. Not happy enough. Not real enough.
But I will never be not loved enough. I have the amazingest friends ever who love me more than I deserve, and I have God who loves me more than I could ever imagine. To God, I will never be not enough or too much. To God I am perfectly just me.
…and when I can see my value I can think more logically…so maybe I can’t access everything that I set my heart on, but that doesn’t mean I have to stay stuck at a standstill. I know exactly what the trigger was when I had the last OCD flare. My research topic for an entire semester was on treatment of OCD…pretty sure I have some idea what I need to do even if I don’t wanna follow my treatment algorithm (which I thought was a novel approach I came up with through my research but apparently according to my teacher’s comments it is pretty similar to Canada’s treatment model…great minds think alike…not so great minds also think alike…everybody thinks alike…see, the action potential goes down the axon, which activates the calcium channels and the calcium influx causes neurotransmitter release which stimulates or inhibits dendrites or whatever else to which the axon connects).
The part where I am not so sure that self-treatment is going to work is that a lot of the time even things that should be triggers don’t bother me. Case in point: Monday is the next therapeutics exam, so stress is definitely on board. Wanna know what I saw walking in to school: someone had metaphorically tossed their cookies on the sidewalk. Wanna know what I did: walked around it. Wanna know what I didn’t do: freak out or do any extra washing or researching or anything I wouldn’t have done otherwise. Yeah, I did spray 409 over the table I was going to be working at, but that’s because some people still haven’t figured out that their mommies and daddies didn’t come to college with them and so they’re going to need to wipe up their own spills. Someone left the entire table super sticky, and my homework papers already get sticky enough from my own spills so I don’t need them stuck to the table from someone else’s. I don’t understand why people can’t grab a Kleenex or a paper towel and wipe up their spills. I also don’t get how it is that a couple weeks ago I could get stuck over touching toilet paper whereas today arguably with more stress I didn’t get stuck over V…not that I ever want to give back my recovery, but in some ways it was easier when life was predictable and I pretty much knew upon waking in the morning that it was going to be a day like any other, fighting the obsessions and compulsions all day rather than how it is now where most days I am totally fine and then BAM flare…actually, last year when I didn’t have any flares was bliss and I just didn’t know how lucky I was to not even have to wonder whether the next day might be a problem day…I mean, I suppose I kind of did with other life circumstances, but in terms of OCD it was golden.