cri•sis

cri·sis

[krahy-sis] noun, plural cri·ses  [-seez], adjective.

noun

1. a stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, especially

for better or for worse, is determined; turning point.

2. a dramatic emotional or circumstantial upheaval in a person’s life.

3. Medicine/Medical .

a. the point in the course of a serious disease at which a decisive change

occurs, leading either to recovery or to death.

b. the change itself.

4. the point in a play or story at which hostile elements are most tensely

opposed to each other.*

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* from dictionary.com.

I looked up the definition for “crisis” in dictionary.com and chronologically shifted the meaning around, dissected the interpretation and garnered my own interpretation. Here we go.

A dramatic emotional or circumstantial upheaval in a person’s life.

Once my son’s best friend died, a volcano erupted inside me. I bawled. I screamed. My words out shot my thoughts. Release was the due course. Emotions had many times edged out rational motions. For me the shock and denial stage meshed with the reality and the “being in the raw” stage. In other words, I had to work really hard to put on a sane front!

A condition of instability or danger, as in social, economic, political, or international affairs, leading to a decisive change.

In the middle of divorce and what I thought would amount to bankruptcy and losing our house and a few other emotionally charged things; there were obviously, duhhhh, decisive changes to be made.

Where to go? Where to live? What attorneys to use…or not use. Clearing out the house, especially my now ex-husband’s belongings was a welcome reprise. Being proactive gave me a sense of control.  When life gets out of control, I say, do something that gives you a sense of control—no matter how simple—even if means just cleaning out a drawer!

A stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, especially for better or for worse, is determined; turning point.

Although this is the first meaning under the word “crisis” in dictionary.com, I use it as my final meaning, because I think this is where the metamorphosis happens. Living through crisis has changed my life—forever.  I feel like Dorothy in Oz, but Oz—this new, overwhelming, scary place remains—forever. Blindsided, I couldn’t even pack an overnight bag, never mind decide on the destination.

And this is where faith comes in big time. Somehow, behind the emotions, the grief, the upset, the fear and rage, I prayed that the faith that had sustained me for so many years prior would not vanish. That it would not abandon me or betray me too. And, to me, if my faith triumphed, I knew that this turning point would be for better not worse. At the beginning, my inner child threw a tantrum and beseeched God to save my house, my finances, and my wounded and damaged family. Things did not change, certainly not immediately. Nevertheless, faith carried me—more like clobbered me to my knees to the ground. I prayed nearly 24/7. I prayed for peace. For understanding. Mostly I prayed for miracles.

Dorothy meets the Cowardly Lion, from The Wond...

Dorothy meets the Cowardly Lion, from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz first edition. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two years later, the lows are, ouch, low, but tolerable. Life’s insurmountable boulders have become speed bumps. The verdict is in. My turning point is for the better. Instead of obsessing on the pain, I cannot wait to jumpstart the day, new adventure, something interesting at every bend, crossing. I am still in Oz. I have a roadmap now. It does not always take me where I think I ought to go; but it always dumps me where I need to be. Luckily, along with my faith, no matter where I do land, the yellow brick road is level and smooth and provides the support I need. That’s a good place to park myself.

Stay tuned!…until next time…faith forward!

 

 

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One second, a shattered world

ImageThat’s all it takes. If not a second, maybe half a second, and your world uproots. Whether a loss, illness or major catastrophic life event, I do not know if preparation helps. Maybe. One thing I am certain of is a life crisis of any kind can shatter the most glued together people. The good news is, the broken pieces do and can mend…but, I think most people who have experienced an ill-fated curve ball in their life understand, with time, that the scars, the glue marks, will never completely fade.

When my world shattered in October 2010, I can say, more than two years later, the crises did not define me, but they did refine my life forever. Although the idea of this “WTF” blog came to me sometime during that first critical year, I was too debilitated and too unfocused to sit in the pain and write. The bad news is that I am still in the thick of some overpowering situations, the crisis continues, if you will, but the good news is—prompted by two of my dearest friends who have lost sons, the Sandy Hook, Connecticut, incident and my co-worker and friend Aileen O’Sullivan and her fight against breast cancer—the time is ripe to share my faith-filled experiences that I hope give a smidgen of light on those days that seem that the day cannot break through the darkness of night.

I do not know if crisis counselors and the like necessarily qualify to help others with their own personal experience clout, but I do believe that like-minded people bond organically—in a natural, spiritual way.

So here is my story in a nutshell. I pulled in the driveway one night after teaching a writer’s workshop. My adrenaline plummeted when, virtually, in the next 24 hours, I discovered that my then husband, the man I had been with for 21 years, had allowed the emotional pain in his own life to lead him to act on his most primeval nature. Unbeknownst to me, he had been living a double life for years, which had nipped him in the bud for the last number of months. My two teenage kids and I suffered the consequences.  We were left abandoned and on the verge of homelessness and bankruptcy. To top everything off, facing my fifth decade in life, for years I had worked feverishly to carve out a freelance writing career and was suddenly a “displaced” homemaker. In other words, I was, certainly in the world’s eyes, old and unemployed. Though all this came as a shock to me, something, at least on an unconscious level, was amiss. I was…to find out later, fifty pounds overweight–nearly as much as I was when I was pregnant.

The test of my faith gets better. In November of 2010, one of my cats, we have three, had dislocated a leg. Weeks later, my neighbor’s German shepherd viciously attacked my beloved dog. By New Year’s day of 2011, I realized that a number of friends, whom I thought were friends, dropped off the radar. What a way to start the year! (The ones who remained have figuratively become my blood relatives!) On January 8, 2011, my dear friend’s son who happened to be my son’s best friend and like my own son was involved in an off-road vehicle accident that killed him. At this point, my son, meanwhile, will never be the same; my daughter, with her own crosses, has certainly, too, traveled through a few dark nights of the soul in these past two years.

And instead of focusing on all the sensationalism in my life, which can easily bring me to a victim status, I want to focus on being a victor, and if I have faith, no matter what happens down the pike, that’s all I need. Faith in my God has carried me through. Faith in my spirituality has carried me through. Faith in my religion has carried me through.

For me, thanks to my faith, it has been a resurrection. I can truly say that I look better, feel better and think better than I ever have in my life; which, of course, is easy to admit now. I hope the upcoming WTF blogs will help and inspire you to move through this critical point in your life. That is my mission. If I can give a wee bit of hope to just one person, my mission is complete.

So with that said, welcome to a new year and a totally revamped blog, (which replaces my former blog Backyard Therapy) with the all new blog: WTF (Where’s the Faith?) …a critical and crystallized vehicle of expression for a very niche audience…faith-filled and spiritual inspiration for people living through personal crisis and loss…a group that I am most proud to identify with.

Stay tuned!…until next time…faith forward!