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Thank you for visiting. Content MAY BE TRIGGERING ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED ABUSE, STRUGGLE WITH SELF-INJURY, SUICIDE, DEPRESSION OR AN EATING DISORDER. Contains graphic descriptions/images of suicidal thoughts, self-injury and emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Do not read further if you are not in a safe place. If you are triggered, please reach out to your support system, a mental health professional or call 911.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Fingerpainting ~ October 8, 2005

Again, I did not use any orange paint. The red looks like orange when I photograph them. Please also visit Clinically Clueless for the corresponding post entitled, "PAST JOURNAL ENTRY~October 8 & 9, 2005."

Observations: In looking at these paintings and the ones that I have not posted yet, I am including more black which I feel was an indication of my depression and hopelessness becoming deeper. And, the red is beginning to be more prominent which I feel expresses my anger and pain. I am really glad that I had fingerpainting as an outlet.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

"The Ending of An Era" ~ Paul Newman dies at the age of 83

Article from (CNN) -- Paul Newman, the legendary actor whose steely blue eyes, good-humored charm and advocacy of worthy causes made him one of the most renowned figures in American arts, has died of cancer at his home in Westport, Connecticut. He was 83.

Paul Newman's handsome face and solid acting made him a popular and respected film star. He died Friday, according to spokeswoman Marni Tomljanovic.

Newman attained stardom in the 1950s and never lost the movie-star aura, appearing in such classic films as "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Exodus," "The Hustler," "Cool Hand Luke," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Sting" and "The Verdict."

He finally won an Oscar in 1986 -- on his eighth try -- for "The Color of Money," a sequel to "The Hustler." He later received two more Oscar nominations. Among his other awards was the Motion Picture Academy's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

"Paul took advantage of what life offered him, and while personally reluctant to acknowledge that he was doing anything special, he forever changed the lives of many with his generosity, humor, and humanness," said Robert Forrester, vice chairman of the actor's Newman's Own Foundation. "His legacy lives on in the charities he supported and the Hole in the Wall Camps, for which he cared so much."

He was often willing to make fun of himself. Early in his career he was mistaken for fellow Method actor Marlon Brando; Newman obligingly signed autographs, "Best wishes, Marlon Brando."

Newman was a Method-trained actor who blazed his own career trail and didn't shy away from risky roles -- inside and outside films.

A portrayal as a race-car driver in 1969's "Winning" led to his actual competition in races; at 70, he participated in the 24 Hours of Daytona and he was still racing at age 80.

He stumped for liberal causes, including Eugene McCarthy's 1968 presidential candidacy, and earned a spot on Richard Nixon's enemies list -- "the highest single honor I've ever received," he said.

In 1982, Newman and his friend A.E. Hotchner founded Newman's Own, a food company that produced food ranging from pasta sauces to salad dressing to chocolate chip cookies. "The embarrassing thing is that the salad dressing is outgrossing my films," Newman once wryly noted. To date, the company -- which donates all profits to charities such as Newman's Hole in the Wall camps -- has given away more than $200 million. Newman established the camp to benefit gravely ill children. "He saw the camps as places where kids could escape the fear, pain and isolation of their conditions, kick back and raise a little hell," Forrester said.

Today, there are 11 Hole in the Wall camps around the world, with additional programs in Africa and Vietnam. Some 135,000 children have attended the camps -- free of charge. The Association of Hole in the Wall Camps "is part of his living legacy, and for that we remain forever grateful," the association said in a statement. "We are greatly saddened by his passing. His leadership and spirit can never be replaced. But he has left us strong and confident."

Newman was half of one of the most successful showbiz marriages -- to Joanne Woodward, whom he married in 1958. He observed that just because he was a sex symbol there was no reason to commit adultery. "Why would I go out for a hamburger when [I] have steak at home?" he asked. Newman's daughters said described him as a devoted husband, a loving father, an adoring grandfather and a dedicated philanthropist. "Our father was a rare symbol of selfless humility, the last to acknowledge what he was doing was special," they said in a statement. "Intensely private, he quietly succeeded beyond measure in impacting the lives of so many with his generosity. "Always and to the end, Dad was incredibly grateful for his good fortune. In his own words: 'It's been a privilege to be here.'"

CNN's Larry King, who interviewed Newman through the years, said he greatly admired the actor. "He lived a long and terrific life," King said Saturday morning. "He was much appreciated. Did some theater, graduated Yale. Long marriage to Joanne Woodward. One of those showbiz rarities."

Paul Leonard Newman was born on January 26, 1925, in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. His father owned a successful sporting goods store, but young Paul was taken with his mother's and uncle's interest in the arts and started acting while still in grade school. "I wasn't running toward the theater but running away from the sporting goods store," he said later.

After being kicked out of Ohio University for unruly behavior, he joined the Navy and served for three years during World War II. After the war he attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where his unruly ways led him to theater. He continued studying acting at Yale and at New York's Actors' Studio, earning jobs in the growing medium of television. He made his Broadway debut in William Inge's 1953 play "Picnic," opposite Kim Stanley, one of the most successful stage actresses of her time. The next year he made his first Hollywood film, "The Silver Chalice," a bomb that he mocked for the rest of his life. He even took out a newspaper ad apologizing for his performance.

But success as boxer Rocky Graziano in "Somebody Up There Likes Me" (1956) made him a star, and more hits followed: "The Long, Hot Summer" (1958) opposite his soon-to-be wife, Woodward; "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (1958) with Elizabeth Taylor; and "The Young Philadelphians" (1959).

But the 1960s were to be Newman's decade, a perfect match for his ironic, anti-establishment attitude. He began the decade with "Exodus" (1960), an epic about Israel's founding directed by Otto Preminger, and succeeded it with "The Hustler" (1961) as pool shark Fast Eddie Felson; "Sweet Bird of Youth" (1962), another Tennessee Williams work; and "Hud" (1963), "Harper" (1966) and "Hombre" (1967), continuing a good-luck streak of films beginning with "H."

After "Cool Hand Luke" (1967), in which he played the egg-eating malcontented title character, he turned to directing, earning raves for his behind-the-camera work on "Rachel, Rachel" (1968), starring his wife.

"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969) and "The Sting" (1973) teamed Newman with co-star Robert Redford and director George Roy Hill. The trio proved to be box-office gold: They were two of the highest-grossing films of their time, winning a slew of awards -- including a best picture Oscar for the latter, a tale of con men in 1930s Chicago.

Newman finally teamed up with Steve McQueen, who had been scheduled to be his co-star in "Butch Cassidy," in 1974's "The Towering Inferno." Though the Irwin Allen-produced disaster film earned mixed critical notices, it, too, was one of the most successful box-office films of the era.

Newman's career started faltering in the late '70s as he turned his attention to his other pursuits, notably racing. The loss of his son Scott to a drug overdose in 1978 hit the actor hard.

He made an artistic comeback with 1982's "The Verdict," the story of an ambulance-chasing hard-luck lawyer in which Newman appeared broken, raspy and every inch of his 57 years.

By the time Newman starred in "The Color of Money," directed by Martin Scorsese, his movie career had slipped a notch. Never afraid of playing his age, Newman portrayed a repressed businessman in 1990's "Mr. and Mrs. Bridge," a cantankerous lodger in "Nobody's Fool" (1994), a fatherly, retired gangster in "Road to Perdition" (2002), and the voice of a Hudson Hornet in "Cars" (2006).
He gained some of his best reviews for his performance as the stage manager in a Broadway production of Thornton Wilder's classic play, "Our Town," filmed for television in 2003, and was perfectly cast as the rascally father to Ed Harris' responsible diner owner in the miniseries "Empire Falls."

In recent years, Newman talked about doing another film with his friend Redford, but the two couldn't settle on a script. In 2007, Newman said he was retiring from acting, saying he'd lost confidence in his abilities. Still, he marveled at his own resilience.

"You can't be as old as I am without waking up with a surprised look on your face every morning: 'Holy Christ, whaddya know - I'm still around!' It's absolutely amazing that I survived all the booze and smoking and the cars and the career."

Newman, who was married to Jackie Witt from 1949 to 1957, is survived by his wife, Joanne Woodward, and five children.

For more information, please go to CNN.com.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

October 1, 2005 ~ Fingerpaints

These are the fingerpaintings that go with my Past Journal Entry ~ October 1, 2005, which is posted today on Clinically Clueless. Although there seems to be a lot of orange used in these paintings, I did not use any orange which should be red. The camera captured it as orange and not red.

Monday, September 22, 2008

September 30, 2005 ~ Fingerpaints

These are the cooresponding fingerpaintings that go with the Past Journal Entry on Clinically Clueless posted today. This is the middle of what was a very dark period of fingerpainting. I think that I did not want to post them. One, they were not as pretty and two, they scared me a little. I think what I am going to do is to go back through my paintings and post them here and link them to the corresponding journal entry.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fingerpainting ~ June 4, 2005

These finger paintings go with my Clinically Clueless post entitled, ENTRY: June 4, 2005 ~ 6:30 pm. If you would like to read my journal entry that goes with this please, visit by using this link.

6/4/05 ~ One of four

6/4/05 ~ Two of four

6/4/05 ~ Four of four

I don't really feel like commenting on them other than I feel at peace with these and the colors have some consistent representation.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fingerpainting ~ June 2, 2005

On my main blog Clinically Clueless, I had begun to share my fingerpaintings and I decided to post all of them on this blog Courageous Steps. If you want to see the cooresponding post for these paintings, go to this link to view the post entitled, Entry: June 2, 2005 ~ 6:30 pm, before session.

(Picture #1 ~ I know that the purple means fear, red means pain and blue is sadness. Too me there is a swirling amount of terror that radiates out with underlying pain that burst through the terror and behind it is sadness. I think the movement of the piece is anger. I don't know what it meant then, but it is what I see now.)

(Again, same color meanings and the bright blue on the left side is actually a deep purple. I think more of the same lots of moving fear, pain and sadness. I think the pastels are tears.)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Major Depressive Disorder ~ It Probably Isn't What You Think It Is!

(This was originally posted on Clinically Clueless on 5/17/08)

I am a person, a unique complex individual. My diagnosis does not define who I am. It only describes some of the things that I experience. Major depressive disorder is one way to describe how I feel and relate to myself, others and the world. Don't ever call me by my mental illness. I always have a name and a face.

Although I desperately want you to understand, I know most people, even mental health professionals, cannot. I can't just snap out of it no more than someone can snap out of heart disease. Thinking positively will not do it either. Do you not get that I am in serious pain everyday all the time. "No, I can't just get better." "Yes, it is that bad and no, I am not feeling sorry for myself." "No, I am not trying to escape my responsibilities. I want to work and take care of household and personal tasks." "I am not doing this to be treated special and no, I'm not over it yet!" I've heard those comments and thought about them and tried some and failed. I feel like I am a failure. I know that you meant well, but you were not helpful. I just feel like retreating more. My feelings were hurt. Please read the following and maybe you will understand me more.

It is normal for everyone to have the blues now and then, but they usual pass in a day or so. There are several types of depressive disorders that interfere in daily functioning and causes pain everyday for the person and those around them. Before I specifically address major depressive disorder, I want to briefly tell you what the others depressive disorders are in this category. There is major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder (low-grade chronic depression), psychotic depression (depression with a break in reality, hallucinations and delusions), postpartum depression (depression which occurs after the birth of one's baby), and seasonal affective disorder (depression which occurs when there is less natural sunlight). They are all chemical imbalances.

I was in psychotherapy for 12 years and then things were pretty good until about 4 1/2 (November 2003) years ago when I figured out I was depressed. Well, I know the symptoms, but I did not pick them up. I returned to therapy and to taking medications which I had done previously for about 7 years. Even so, my sleep is all disturbed. I wake up about 1 to 3 am almost every morning and go back to sleep about 6 am and sleep during the day.

I actually cannot remember not having disruptive sleep ever except for maybe a one year period after I was married. Dr. Doobe indicated that it is common for a person under my circumstances to have difficulties with sleep disturbances. At least, since I am not working it helps because I can sleep whenever I am tired then it is usually a 2-3 hour nap and sometimes two during the day.

During this second time in therapy with Geoffrey, I began to have flashbacks and memories of neglect, physical, emotional and sadistic sexual abuse. I became incapacitated at home and would not leave the house except for work. Everything became overwhelming I couldn't shop (me not shop...you know it is serious), clean the house, cook, bake, etc. All I could manage to do was to work, which I kept up to date, and at the beginning no one noticed and went to therapy 5 times per week. Yes, I had long days. Work was my way of trying to prove that I was "okay," when I was anything but okay.

Maybe, it was my way of getting out of the housework because my dear, dear, sweet husband began to take over the household duties. This included paying the bills. I had never before had missed payments, not kept the ledger up to date and would balance to the penny. Well, let us say that he had to start from scratch. And, I was one to balance the checkbook to the penny. Oh, the answer is "no," I was not trying to get out of anything. I just want to feel normal again, but I'm not sure what that is...it seems like it has been so long.

All at the same time, he began sleeping in the extra bedroom to make me feel safer. He volunteered...imagine a man doing that. You know that God was at work here because nothing was wrong with him. Our church began to provide meals. It felt like I was living a double life...a part had it all together and the other was falling apart and a mess. I went to work everyday feeling overwhelmed and panicked. Medications helped some, but not enough.

About 1 1/2 years ago, working and going to therapy caught up with me and I was no longer able to work. It was continue to work and be hospitalized or stop working and hopefully I won't need hospitalization. The situation at work had changed, I was having more difficulties concentrating and with fragmenting and a new supervisor "re-traumatized" me due to her supervisory skills. Most of those under her left for other jobs. The unfortunate thing is that I loved my job and envisioned being there a long time. But, I figure that God knows what He is doing. Also, I would not have been able to do the tougher emotional work while being employed. This has been a good thing.

Now, I am a little better. But, I still have to gage if I can tolerate going out and handling the crowd without going away or becoming overwhelmed. Then, afterward and the next day I sleep and sleep and sleep. Also, there are days when I just don't want to get out of bed and if I do and don't have to go anywhere I don't brush my teeth, shower or get out of my pajamas. These are some specific examples of major depression versus dysthymia which is painful as well. Geoffrey and I figure that I've been depressed my whole life with periods of major depressive episodes.

Depressive disorders are mental illness that are treatable and manageable, but need to be taken care of just as someone with heart disease would. No one would dare say or think any of the above about someone who has had a heart attack. But, somehow, everyone treats mental illness differently. Sometimes, it feels like some people are afraid they are going to catch it.

Major Depression is a serious medical illness affecting 18 million American adults, men and women of all ages, races and economic levels. Unlike normal emotional experiences of sadness, loss, or passing mood states, major depression is persistent and can significantly interfere with an person's thoughts, behavior, mood, activity and physical health. It is the leading cause of disability in the United States and usually strikes people between the ages of 25 and 44.

Twice as many women as men are diagnosed with Major Depression. It is not fully understood why. After a single episode, a person is more likely to have another one and after the second the percentage exponentially increases with each episode. There is evidence that the brain may make permanent changes making someone more susceptible to another episode. I've had a least five, but only two were diagnosed and treated. The others were before age 21. Without treatment, the frequency as well as the severity increases over time and can lead to suicide. However, with proper treatment a person can recover as long as they don't give up on the treatment.

  • persistently sad, anxious or irritable mood
  • pronounced changes in sleep, appetite, and energy
  • difficulty thinking, concentrating and remembering
  • physical slowing or agitation
  • lack of interest in or please from activities that were once enjoyed
  • sleeping too much or can't sleep
  • feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness and emptiness
  • recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
  • persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain.
A depressive episode is diagnosed several of these symptoms last most of the day, nearly every day, for a period of 2 weeks or longer.

Psychological, biological, and environmental factors may all contribute to the development of a depressive episode. Whatever the specific cause of depression, scientific research has firmly established that it is a biological, medical illness. Neurotransmitters are thought to be involved which is what medications address. There is also some evidence that there is a genetic predisposition. Also, discuss with your doctor your medical history as some illness may influence depression especially hypothyroidism.

Reportedly, between 80-90% of those treated for Major Depression return to their usual daily activities and feelings. I did so successfully for about five years, but this episode is much worse and I don't feel as hopeful. But, all indications are that I will recover to some degree although it is taking much longer than I want it to partly because it is complicated by post-traumatic stress disorder (another post).

Treatment options include medications, psychotherapy (usually cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy), and/or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT; it causes a seizure by means of an electrical current which may improve mood). I am taking medications and receiving psychotherapy, but it is the person with the illness that must make the decisions just like a cancer patient with the assistance of their support system and medical professionals. Be aware that many of the side effects from these medications go away after a short period and it may take time before the full effects are noticed.

Possible complications of depression include suicide (15% of people with major depressive disorder die by suicide), increased risk of alcohol and drug related problems, increased risk of tobacco dependence and increased risk of problems with physical health and premature death due to medical illness.

Call 911, a suicide hotline or get safely to an emergency room if you have thoughts of suicide, a suicidal plan or thoughts of harming yourself or others. If a loved one expresses such thoughts, it is okay to let them talk about it. By not talking about it, it becomes a "taboo" subject, so they may not go to you if they are at risk. If they talk about it, you can be sure that they have been thinking about it.

Your doctor needs to be called right away if you hear voices, see things, smell things, feel things that are not there (psychosis which can accompany MDD; have frequent crying spells, if your work, school or family life is disrupted for two or more weeks; and if you or someone else thinks that you should cut back or stop drugs or alcohol. Side effects of some medication includes depression, but DO NOT stop taking it without talking to your doctor.

Depression effects men and women in different ways which is a fairly new area of study. They process medications differently. Neurochemicals such serotonin (used by the brain to stabilize mood) is processed differently between men and women. Suicide attempts are more common in women, but men are more likely to be successful. Men are more likely to be diagnosed with alcohol problems, but women are at higher risk following an episode of depression.

Women's changing hormones provide additional challenges. Under age 13, approximately equal numbers of girls and boys experience depression. Once they reach age 13 girls are more likely to become depressed. I know that right before and during my menstrual cycle that my symptoms are more difficult. While women may cry, become withdrawn, and gain or lose weight, men may abuse alcohol or drugs, or eat excessively, and/or become violent to themselves or others. Men keep things hidden while women are more open about their feelings. Additionally, older adults, children and adolescents will experience and express depression in atypical ways.

Preventative measures include, stress management; avoiding drugs, alcohol and caffeine; exercise regularly; and maintaining good sleeping habits. If you are socially isolated try volunteering or get involved in some social group. Medications and psychiatric treatment my prevent recurrences; however, some are not preventable.

Some helpful tips if you have a depressive disorder. You are not a failure if you cannot do these. Participate in mild activity or exercise. At the beginning, I was able to exercise, but now I do not have the energy or motivation. Participate in things that you once enjoyed. I have continued to go to music concerts, at least, one time per year. I am also beginning to read my cookbooks again and look on the Internet.

Set realistic goals for yourself. Break a large task into smaller tasks, so you don't feel so overwhelmed. Try to spend time with a friend or relative and confide in them. Try not to isolate yourself and let others help you. This is difficult for me, but I have let my therapist, a couple of friend and my husband in more and more. The biggest step was starting this blog. Postpone making major life decisions.

Remember, it is normal for appetite and sleep to be disrupted. Be gentle with yourself. Don't expect to snap out of it or for you to feel better "sooner." I get into trouble with this all the time because I always want to be further than I am instead of accepting the progress that I have made.

If you know of someone who has a major depressive disorder. The most important thing you can do is to take care of yourself first before attending to the person who is depressed. Remember what they say on an airplane, put your breathing mask on first, then help others. After that the best thing you can do is to encourage them to seek a diagnosis and treatment. It is okay to shop around for a therapist and psychiatrist. It is important to have a good match because they need to be able to tell them the truth about how they feel which means they need to be as comfortable as possible.

Please, know that sharing of this sort will cause an increase of some symptoms and that you will never be completely comfortable with a health care professional. This is normal.

As a friend or relative, offer emotional support, understanding, patience and encouragement. Talk with your friend or relative and listen carefully. Never disparage feelings they express, but point out realities and offer hope. If they become agitated, acknowledge that you don't know exactly how they feel and back off that part of the conversation, but do not end it.

Never ignore comments about suicide, and report them to your friend's or relative's therapist or doctor. They maybe angry for awhile, but it is necessary. You don't want to end up at their funeral with regrets. Invite them out even if they decline, but don't push too soon or it will feel demanding or overwhelming and increase feelings of worthlessness and failure. Remind yourself and them that with time and treatment, that the depression will get better.

I have a name, remember me and not my illness. My name is not, "depression." Please don't whisper anymore when you think I'm not listening or spread gossip behind my back or back away from me and pretend you don't see me. Please try to understand and help me. If you don't want to help, at least, don't make it worse by making me feel "different," unseen, worthless or like I'm a failure. Remember, there are at least 18 million of us. One of them might be you.

I hope this helps you or someone you love to have a better understanding and compassion for yourself and others with depression. I know it helped me to have more compassion for myself.
Most of the information in this post was compiled from www.nami.org, www.nlm.nih.gov, and www.healthyplace.com. You can also go to their websites for additional information and other resources. Remember there is treatment available and stick to it don't give up!!

(Disclaimer: Although I have worked with mentally ill persons for twenty years, I do not have a Master's Degree or a license. This is not meant to be a substitute for mental health care or treatment. Please obtain professional assistance from the above resources, if needed. And call 911 if you or someone is in immediate danger.)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Entry: March 27, 1993, Emptiness...and Finally Hope

"Emptiness...and Finally Hope"

Emptiness I wish I could conceal
That this is what I really feel

Aloneness that seems to never end
I find no comfort even in a friend

Emptiness that makes me want to disappear
And feeling so much fear

Aching that feels like I'm gonna die
Sometimes now, I simply just cry

Tears of panic, rage and pain
Still, so much unexplainable shame

Feeling that deep down I'm bad
And also feeling so extremely sad

As a child feeling all alone
Especially when everyone WAS at home

Needing so much to talk
Instead, I took raging drives or lonely walks

Needing someone to listen and understand
Instead, I'd run and now I really want to stand

So hard to simply just sit
Somehow, I'm afraid of getting hit

Abandonment is such an overwhelming fear
I'm so afraid to let anyone near

Isolation has become a familiar friend
A sure way for my life to end

Alone rocking in a corner being numb
At times, even chewing on my thumb

Now, it is time to walk
And I want to talk

Anxiety the pressure on my chest
Sometimes, I just want to rest

Again, restful sleep does not come easily
Unknown nightmare are coming too readily

Memories again filling my head
Not as often do I wish I were dead

Kelly's world of pain
Triggered memories of my own shame

The temptation to control my weight
It is my body that I hate

Laxatives and diet pills
Is a way for me to kill

Killing the feelings that threaten to come up
One of my ways used to be throwing up

Starving a way to control
Lord, help me to continue to let go

I know that this really isn't my true struggle
And it is the killing of my feelings that gets me into trouble

Burning, bruising and cutting are no longer comforting friends
The strong temptation I want to end

Able to bring some of this to the Cross
Brings feelings of great loss

Nothing really left to gain
In my world of self-inflicted pain

Although the temptations are still there
I'm learning to turn to those who care

Panic comes again and again
I know others want me to win

Out of control is how I feel
But, I am becoming real

Learning more to safely cope
Especially from the Father who has given me tremendous hope

In You, I'm learning to be a daughter
As I allow You to Father

You've lifted me from so much hopelessness
Especially as I've allowed You to be the "Father of the Fatherless"

Extremely shaky inside
Yet, learing to stand with You by my side

At times, feeling really terrified
In my healing, I want the Lord to be glorified

My feelings I discover
As I allow You to uncover

Through all the feelings including pain
Intimacy with You is what I continue to gain

Bringing my little girl to Jesus' arms
There I'm learning to trust that there is never any harm

I your arms, safe and secure
I know this is part of Your "cure"

In Your presence, I've found peace and calm
And the figt of Your healing soothing balm

So much healing already ocmpleted
Reminds me of Your promises I need repeated

Your Word says, "I will not forget you."
Claiming this is what I need to continually do

So many blessings on my life You've poured
Seeing You glorified is such a tremendous reward

The emptiness only You can fill
I need to continue to exercise my will

When I want to disappear
It's Your voice I need to hear

Lord, I'm so full of fear
Continue to draw me near

Nothing really left to hold
But, Jesus no matter how old.

Friday, September 12, 2008

"Meet Me In The Stairwell" "Met In The Stairwell" "I Was There"

I was able to do some research on the poem, "Meet Me In The Stairwell."

This information was taken from I Was There website.

The poem "Met in the Stairwell" written by Stacey Randall following September 11, 2001. Written from the perspective of God, where God was, and what God was doing during the tragic moments of September 11, 2001.

The original poem was placed on the family web site, then circulated throughout the world via emails. The poem is on thousands of other web sites (current estimate is 8000+ websites).

On November 30, 2001, Bob Holiday, Production Manager for KFSH Los Angeles, read the poem over Mannheim Steamroller's Silent Night. Bob's version found its way to hundreds of radio stations throughout the world and is currently available as an MP3 download on many web sites.

After securing a publishing deal, Stacey was encouraged to find a composer to write more appropriate music. She turned down requests from many well known and established artists.

In June 2002, Stacey chose Justin Copeland to compose the original music, who in turn contacted Steve Sneed to produce the song. Of course, Bob's voice was kept. He has become known as the "voice" of God.

Song re-titled as "I Was There" and released to radio stations in mid August, 2002.


You say you will never forget where you were when
you heard the news
On September 11, 2001.
Neither will I.

I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room
with a man who called his wife to say 'Good-Bye.'
I held his fingers steady as he dialed.
I gave him the peace to say, Honey, I am not going to make it,
but it is OK...I am ready to go.

'I was with his wife when he called
as she fed breakfast to their children.
I held her up as she tried to understand his words
andas she realized he wasn't coming home that night.

I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a
woman cried out to Me for help.
'I have been knocking on the door
of your heart for 50 years!' I said.
'Of course I will show you the way home - only
believe in Me now.'

I was at the base of the building with the Priest
ministering to the injured and devastated souls.
I took him home to tend to his Flock in Heaven. He
heard my voice and answered.

I was on all four of those planes, in every seat,
with every prayer. I was with the crew as they
were overtaken. I was in the very hearts of the
believers there, comforting and assuring them that their
faith has saved them.

I was in Texas , Virginia , California , Michigan , Afghanistan.
I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news.
Did you sense Me?

I want you to know that I saw every face. I knew
every name - though not all know Me. Some met Me
for the first time on the 86th floor.
Some sought Me with their last breath.

Some couldn't hear Me calling to them through the
smoke and flames; 'Come to Me... this way... take
my hand.' Some chose, for the final time, to ignore Me.
But, I was there.

I did not place you in the Tower that day.
You may not know why, but I do. However, if you were;
there in that explosive moment in time,
would you have reached for Me?

Sept. 11, 2001, was not the end of the journey for you.
But someday your journey will end.
And Iwill be there for you as well.

Seek Me now while I maybe found.
Then, at any moment, you know you are'ready to go.'

I will be in the stairwell of your final moments.


Copyright©2002 Stacey Randall

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

September 11, 2001 ~ Remember

I can’t believe it’s been 7 years since that day. I know everyone has a different story for that day. I live in Los Angeles, California basin area and the television would wake me up at 5:30 am, but I usually would stay in bed sleeping until 6:30-7:00 am…not a morning person. But, I kept hearing about a plane hitting one of the twin towers and thought if was some fluke accident, but they kept talking about it, so I opened my eyes to see the first tower burning and thought that was a large plan. Was it and accident or terrorism? I just sat watching and then I watched as the second plane hit. At first, I thought, “I didn’t just see what I think I saw.” At the same time, I heard the newsanchor say something similar.

Then, I knew the US was under attack. I quickly went to the restroom where my husband was sitting and was not thinking and asked him, “are you watching the news?” Well, of course, he wasn’t and would have made fun of me, but I had such a serious look on my face. He left for work and I got ready for work. I watched in horror as the first tower completely collapsed and disintegrated. I felt like something had hit my body, felt tremendous grief and knew the it was only a matter of time that the other would do the same. I prayed for and imagined how many lives were in the building and of their loved ones. My heart ached. Then, I quickly grabed a 4 1/2 inch television to take to work. On the way to work, I know exactly where I was on the freeway when the second tower hit. There were rumors about one on the way to Los Angeles international, Disneyland, etc…

I got to work and forgot about my meeting until three days later. We were all there watching my little television on and off throughout the day. I had it on the edge of my desk next to my guest chair, so people stopped by during the day, but no one got work done and rumors were flying. They were trying to figure if they should send us home or not…we left early figuring no one could work anyway.

I hadn’t cried at all, but two days later I went home early because of a tremendous migraine, turned on the television as the American flag was being unfurled on the Petagon and burst into sobs. I had suppressed crying until then. I slept for three hours and felt better. It was eerily quiet with only fighter jets passing occasionally…we live near a National Guard station. Not seeing a plane in the sky anywhere near LAX was surreal as was the whole event. I never realized how much air traffic there was.

People were nicer, more polite, more patient and friendlier even on the freeways. But, within a month’s time it was back to normal. I think, it has changed the world in many ways and not necessarily for the better. Today, I feel much grief. I also, think that I’m on the other side of the country and at that time didn’t know anyone in New York, I can’t image the overwhelming grieving process and trauma that they have endured. My heart and prayers goes out to everyone who was effected, but especially to those who lost someone that day or as a result of it.

Please share your experience or say whatever you need to say regarding that day.

Entry: December 20, 1993, "A Child's Cry"

A Child's Cry

Will somebody hear my cry
Of the pain I want to deny

My behavior and what I want to do
Says how I feel too

Learning to understand
Why I try to reject helping hands

Wanting to disappear
Sometimes, means I'm so full of fear

Wanting so much to die
Tells of a need to cry

Wanting the pain to cease
Control of my eating is what I need to release

My behavior pleads
Somebody see a child's needs

Will somebody hear the cry
Of a child wanting desperately to die

A child long so
For a father that would never go

A father who won't disappear
And cause a child to fear

Keeping all the pain inside
The child tried desperately to hide

The fear that surrounds
Sends the child hiding underground

In a closet or in a corner
The child learned to be a loner

Scared to let anyone in
Never feeling like she fit in

All alone and crying
Bit by bit she was dying

I'm so scared to see
But, I know that the child is me

So scared to move
I keep trying to prove

Pain and anger in my starving
They never heard my crying

That I don't need a father
Apathetic at times - Why bother?

Little girl wanting him to bother
Simply just be my father

Alone and afraid with nowhere to run
Now, I'm learning to have fun

Emptiness that runs so deep
Now, I'm one of the Shepard's sheep

Now safe and secure
With the Father whose love is so pure

Learning to truly receive the love
From the Father of the fatherless

The more I experience my pain
Brings intimacy with the Father again and again

I still want to bruise, burn and cut
Now, instead more often I look up

Up to the Father
Who says, "I am here!"

Without fail His Fathering
Rings music, words and arms so comforting

I once vowed that I would never reaveal this card
That life without Daddy is hard

A child's life filled with chaos
All the time feeling so lost

Rituals of sef-mutilation tried to bring structure
To a world seemingly without future

But, now hope comes through the Father
He says, "You matter."

A little girl's heart being fulfilled
As He says, "You're beautiful."

He says, "You have precious gentle heart"
I know the love of this Father will never part.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Entry: December 18 1991, Running


Lord, do you really understand
How much I need Your loving hand?

To guide and to hold
Don't ever let go

I hurt so much now
I don't know how

I'll ever get thru
without You

I know that it is this I try
Without You to get by

Do You really know how much I wish I would die
So, that I don't have to cry

I feel like such a child
That wants to run wild

I want to scream and scream
And scream and scream

No words that I know
I guess this is my way to show

How angry and hurt
Sometimes, I feel like dirt

So filthy and dirty
I wonder if I'lll ever feel prestty

I feel so utterly hopeless
No end to this emptiness

It is so dark and so cold
Feels as if there is no one to hold

Jesus, I know You are there
I need to feel Your loving care

To lead me into Your light
Please, hold me tight

Don't ever let go
I'm afraid You will You know

Warmth and connection I fear the most
Sometimes, I'd like to run to a different coast

My way is to run and run and run
Will I ever stop and learn to have fun

I want to push everyone away
And I want them to stay

Trusting Geoffrey is hard
Will I ever reveal the card

That says, "I love and I care."
Do I even dare?

Could this be the root of my running
From the session so accepting

Of my anger and hurt toward him
Do I continue to let him in?

Or do I run and hide
Expecting to be rescued and for him to come to my side

Instead, I could come out
And talk to find what this is about

Feelings so intense
I feel like such a mess

Sometimes I feel so alone
that I just want to go Home

Monday, September 8, 2008

Entry: December 1, 1991, "Giving Up"

Giving Up

If I had a gun, I'd put it to my head
I'd pull the trigger and I'd be dead

Lately, I wish I could die,
But, I know that it is just a lie

I think of dying in my car
But, I've come too far

To throw it all away
I hurt so much is what I need to really say

Healing seems so far away
I'd like to die today

Loneliness and emptiness--there seems to be no relief
God is always there is my belief

Lately, I'd rather die
Then, continue to fight this lie

Does anyone...Do I really understand
How much I need a helping hand

I think I hide so very well
It is hard for others to tell

My dark empty corner seems so safe and secure
Yet, I know reaching out is part of the cure

Sometimes, I don't know why I cry
When tears come, I don't want to continue to try

Feel like giving up
Feels like I've had enough

Lord, I really do need You to hold me
Your love and grace is what I want to see

I'm afraid You won't be near
When I really need You here

I want to rest in Your arms
But, I'm so afraid of harm

I know it is only Your grace
That has safely brought me to this place

I want to allow Your love in
But, sometimes I don't feel like I fit in

I know You understand
And, You have a better plan

I feel so hopeless right now
I need You to show me how

To connect with You and others is my struggle
Help me to stay out of trouble

Focusing on You is what I really need to do
But, thoughts of death fill my head too

I feel so empty inside
Will You please walk by my side

I need Your help to move
I forget that I don't need to prove

That I have it all together
(This does not even matter)

Admitting my deep need for You
Is something I seldom do

I need You to hold me
This is where I need to be

Inside I feel so very sick
I know I need to take a risk

I don't want to continue to hide
I want to stay by Your side

I know that You care
Especially when I despair

Cutting gives release
When I really need your peace

To You I want to turn
Especially, when I'd rather burn

It's You I want to choose
Even when I want to bruise

I wish I had no scars
I thank You for healing me this far

Continue to hold me tight
Even when I try to fight

Increase a desire to live
I want to be able to give

I love You so much
Even when I want to give up