the caged bird sings.

written, designed, and edited by Bee Butler

It's amazing what a difference a drug makes (with apologies to Heather Armstrong).

Bee ButlerComment

Early last week, my pill sorter “ran out”, meaning I needed to refill it. I noticed that something had gone wrong, because there had been a pink and white capsule in my morning meds for two weeks… and it was nowhere to be found in any of the bottles covering my nightstand.

That’s when it hit me.

I’d accidentally filled TWO WEEKS of my morning meds with my old antidepressant PLUS my new one, meaning I’d been on an insanely high dose… which would explain why I’d been doing so well, but also why I was starting to flag. I was also somehow nearly out of my sleeping meds, despite having extra from having filled my prescription early. I genuinely do not know how this happened, but all I know is that since then, I have been in hell.

Not sleeping. At all. In fact, last weekend I didn’t sleep a wink for three days straight, at which point my mother had to put me in her bed because I was hallucinating and having a conversation with a dog we housesit for who WAS NOT HERE. I kept coming in and out of consciousness, but during that time of being “out of it”, I had still been talking and moving around. My brain was turning off; my body was not.

Eventually, I crashed in Mom’s bed and slept for several hours. When I woke up, I felt like I had the flu, and it has gotten worse every day since. There’s been crying spells (again, thought we were done with that), there’s been sleepless nights, there’s been irritability, there’s been an inability to take care of my basic needs (I’m back on the Ensure diet, because I only remember eating three or four times in the last week and cannot trust myself to get food when I’m hungry, because I’m so exhausted that I register every bodily reaction as “tired” and shut my eyes tighter while I play episodes of the Simpsons on loop on the DVR.

That’s been my life. It’s been getting worse, and worse, and worse. And I called the crisis line for my health center, who called my therapist, who called me back and said, “Dude, tell me when your meds aren’t working” to which I replied, “I had no idea that was part of your job, but okay… hey, my meds are not working”. She said she’d speak with my doctor on Wednesday, so by 4PM today when I hadn’t heard back, I called and left a message. She called me back within 30 minutes and let me know she’d pushed up my appointment from MAY FREAKING NINTH to Monday morning at 9:45.

So that’s where we are.

I called out of all my church stuff this week. I didn’t make it to youth group on Wednesday and I highly, HIGHLY doubt I’ll make it to service on Sunday, let alone my community group afterwards, unless God decides to beam me down something to take away these hot and cold flashes, body aches, head-swimming disorientation, and sleeplessness.

But then again, this is God. And He pulled me out of this before, and when He did, I got by. I was able to start functioning again, and if He decides to yank me back together just so I can go to church on Sunday, or even Bible study tomorrow night (on the Levi Lusko book I bought the night I got my calling and life started making sense again), then I am more than happy to let Him.

In the meantime, sleepless-for-three-days-me withdrew me from LAPU, enrolled me in Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary AND South Houston Bible Institute, and I have no idea what happens next. I’m leaving that for clear-headed-by-Tuesday-me to figure out, at which point I’ll update all of YOU and hopefully get my life back on track. A new track, one I think will be focused on getting a seminary certificate instead of an unobtainable degree from a $46,000-a-year university in California that I can’t keep up with anymore (or afford, as I’ve hit my aggregate federal loan limit).

Honestly, I don’t know right now.
I don’t know much at all.

I’m back on Twitter, if you didn’t catch that, and I’m trying to navigate the political and pottymouth universe I used to inhabit without pissing off my church, although that damage may have been done since none of the pastors will get back to me this week. LOVING the anxiety THAT has brought on.

I just don’t know.

But Monday, I will.
And by Tuesday afternoon, I will have slept a full night and be on a high dose of antidepressants, and honestly, that’s what I need, along with Jesus and some friends down here, to make things okay again.

Because I don’t remember what that felt like anymore, and I really wish I did.

(I also DM’d Heather Armstrong during my no-sleep period, and it was such an absurd rambling that I was too embarrassed to message her again and apologize. So that’s fun too. Basically I screwed my entire life up in three days and now I want to crawl in a hole and die a little bit. Meds are fun. So is sleep.)

If you told me then...

Bee ButlerComment
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If you told me one year ago today that I’d spend my afternoon meeting with the executive and associate pastors of a new church plant to discuss my life story and my calling into their ministry IN TOMBALL, TEXAS, I would have told you that you were insane.

I would have been too busy thinking about how my meds weren’t working. How my relationship was over but I had to keep clinging to the decaying remains so that I could stay in California. How I needed a good job to make steady money so I could survive. How I didn’t think I would ever be okay again.

I would have laughed at the idea of ministry, at the thought of a new church plant and my activities in it. I would have told you I’d rather die than come back to Texas, even if it was for a church that I believed in with all my heart. I’d have repeated what I’d said a million times before: If I’m going back to Texas, it will be in a body bag.

But here I am.
Right up there, smiling in my parents’ living room.
In Tomball, Texas.

And I met with Allan and Billy today at the new Tomball campus of Bayou City Fellowship, and I know something crazy is going to happen. This blog stands as a pretty fantastic testament to what I’ve been through. My struggles, my fears, my massive failures, my successes, my inability to get through a post without cussing (except, holy crap, I’m doing it right now!), and how I’m making strides to make this work, here, even though this was never part of my plan.

Because “my plan” was in MY hands, and like the sand I love to walk on, my “plans” slip through my fingers the more tightly I clutch them. I am not in California because that was MY PLAN, and God likes to take a bat to those in order to prove a point.

And He’s proving it right now.

Somehow, Him loving me frees me to let go of my life and to drown in waves of mercy, washing ashore in perfect places where I’m needed and cared for.

Today, I met with two men who were so, so grateful for my zeal and enthusiasm, and they wanted me to know that they looked forward to serving with me, and that God had a place for me in ministry here.

And if you’d told me then that I’d hear that now?
Well, I wouldn’t have been able to express the way that would make me feel.