Distractions

I thrive in the demanding daily craziness and the distractions of my normal. My normal consists of working a demanding job, serving in student ministry and children’s ministry at my church, working one on one mentoring three young women, and running a young women’s ministry Bible study….oh and I am also in a very committed relationship to my amazing boyfriend who also works a demanding job and is in school full time.

I love my normal. It means I don’t need to think. I don’t have time to think. I don’t have time to sit down or eat or breathe. It’s a constant go go go.

This normal I claim to love so much and that I desperately cling to is not healthy. It isn’t healthy and it isn’t sustainable. In this normal I am stressed 24/7. I am relying on myself and not the Lord. And I’m never alone with myself. Working with my psych with my PTSD, anxiety, and myriad of other things I began to realize that I pack my schedule with these mentally and physically demanding tasks so I don’t have to feel. I don’t ever have to be alone with my feelings if I have a constant rotating door of distractions.

Five weeks ago I was laid off and since then I’ve been intentionally trying to begin healthy habits for my mental health. I haven’t been as successful as I would like to be, but I’m trying. I’m trying to be alone with myself. I am trying to cling to the Lord in the midst of a panic attack or the pit of depression. And even though I haven’t been 100% successful in my attempts, I’m just so glad I have begun this new journey of not drowning in distractions.

 

Alone Time

I fail daily at alone time and spending time with God. I try to fill up every second of my day with something. Work, serving at church, talking on the phone whenever I’m alone, time with friends, video games, youtube…anything to keep me from being alone with my thoughts. I don’t intentionally take that alone time seriously until I am at my breaking point and can barely function.

That is when I escape to the lake for at least half an hour of just silence and staring out at the water. Usually, if I am at the lake it means things are going pretty terribly. I can’t stand being alone with myself, my depression is worsening, and I am allowing my anxiety to control my life. I shouldn’t let it get to the point where I’m not functioning.

My mom wakes up early every morning and has her intentional coffee time with God. She has been doing this every morning for as long as I can remember. It sets the tone for her day and her interactions with everyone around her. She quietly has her coffee, reads her Bible, journals, and talks to God. I’m not saying I am going to start doing that, because I also need as much sleep as I can get for my own mental health…but I need to change how I spend every second of my day. I need to be setting the tone for my day in a healthy way that benefits myself and my relationship with the Lord.

Even Jesus took time away from people to pray. I need to start being more like Jesus.