March 2, 2015: One Real Regretful Morning

~by Louis Templeman

Last night I went to bed exhausted. Before nine ‘0 clock, which is early for me. When I woke up I felt like I’d lain under a pile of rocks all night. Everything seemed to hurt. By the time I got my coffee and sat down for my morning readings, I knew I had awoken to one real regretful morning.

The tremor in my left hand was much worse. It felt more pronounced. I could feel it in my upper arm and maybe in my neck. It was really frightening. I was getting grumpier and meaner by the minute. It was everything I could do not to snap at my wife.

My arm was shaking so bad it affected the right hand which was holding my Magnificat. It was very difficult to get into a devotional state of mind. I felt the strange inner contradiction as I tried to get quiet and rest in the stillness of God’s presence when at the same time the divine promises appeared to be such a mockery. I was getting scared. I saw a patient once on a hospital TV drama in which both of his hands were trembling along with his neck and head. The actor played the role of a very frustrated and angry man. I now could understand his anger and frustration. Not a good bed to grow seeds of peace, love and patience. I began to wonder how much worse it would have to get before I called 911 and got an ambulance to take me an emergency room. I worried the TV image was a prophesy for my future.

Prayer was impossible. So was being nice. I have never had such a health issue so I did not know how to fight the fear. I have, however, had major depression and misery stemming from anger and fear so I decided to take little steps as a sort of mental medicine to combat what felt was an onset of major depression . I had to do something simple. Something I commonly do. I took a shower and put on nicer clothes than I needed to.

I made it a rather warm shower, especially comforting since it was cold outside. I kept my head under the water longer than normal. My wife has taught me that sometimes we need to purposely be good to ourselves. I dried off. And then trimmed my moustache and beard. I noticed I began to feel a little better. The tremor did not get better. The fears did not go away, but they appeared less daunting since I was refreshed after the shower.

I then got myself a cup of coffee and went to my computer room. I transcribed an article I had written out in long hand. I keep a file in my computer where I stack up devotional articles for a friend’s blog (Susi Pittman’s www.catholicstewardsofcreation.com). She posts my writings, one every two weeks. The deadline helps to motivate me. I would not be writing half as much if not for her expecting at least two articles per month. It was a chore to make my left hand work on the keyboard, but not impossible. Just the persistent doing of the thing made me feel good because I was combating the deterioration of my skills.

I eventually began to feel more control. I got through the day without life feeling worse. The dread remained, but as I engaged the day, which included both a lunch and dinner date with friends, I began to approach feeling normal. Sometimes normal is formidable goal.

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Louis writes from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his old friend and wonderful bride, Joy. They transformed their friendship into the sacrament of marriage on August 30, 2012. They share their home with two self-absorbed, playful, twin cats (Flo and Jet) and one very allusive and arrogant cat named D.

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