Thursday, June 05, 2008
Ladies We Have a Diagnosis!
'309.28, Adjustment Disorder' - She told me that was the diagnosis after I filled out four pages of questions and we spent an hour chatting.

Adjustment: to change so as to fit, conform, make suitable, etc.; to settle or arrange rightly; to resolve or bring into accord; to adjust oneself to new conditions; to decide how much is to be paid in settling a claim or loss.

Disorder: a lack of order, confusion, jumble; an upset of normal function; to throw into disorder; to upset the normal functions of health.

There you go. In fairness, she did tell me this diagnosis sails through on insurance claims, and covers a multitude of sins.

I drove home from my first appointment, my brain a bit like the suitcases I lug along on vacation - stuffed to the max plus some, zippers bulging!

I found myself thinking about that diagnosis, and couldn't that apply to most of us? How hard life is, how often we suffer wounds at our own hands or others' and how tough it is to adjust to life as it shifts all around us. The confusion it leaves, our lives anything but 'normal'. Adjustment disorder - when you bring that first baby home, or when they get on the bus to go to that first day of kindergarten; or when they climb in the car to drive away to college; or someone moves far away, or leaves to go serve our country for a year or more, or that marriage doesn't hold up, or there is an unexpected death, or friendships die, or maybe spouses or, or, or... Who the heck makes it through this life really 'well-adjusted' anyway? Isn't that a diagnosis most of us could wear at some point in our journey here on earth?

She asked me, in the next seven days before we meet again, to think about some family relationships and, if it were up to me, what they would be like, look like, feel like? She asked questions that were hard enough I couldn't give an answer. I'm not used to thinking that deeply, not used to skipping past the quick answer for what really lies down there, buried and dusty because I've been going for the quick answers so long.

She talked about putting up calloused walls, a pattern that has developed over years because it's worked well for me. She talked about wounds that have scabs. The scab is just a temporary fix. That's why scabs are ugly. When that underlying wound is truly healed we hopefully end up with a new growth of skin, and maybe a scar or two to show we've been through a battle.

She asked, several times, 'how did that make you feel?' and I didn't know. Not only did I not have an answer, it made me stop and think how seldom we ask each other that. When someone has a problem, or hurt, or issue, we don't really listen much at all, and then we try to fix it with pat answers, and what on earth would happen if we just stopped and asked, 'how did that make you feel?' and then we were really radical and waited for their answer, which was neither right or wrong but just was.

She started with each of us praying, and she ended the same. Trusting that God was there amongst us, that it's only His Holy Spirit that is capable of mending our hurt places, of giving us wisdom, of changing us, for we surely can't change ourselves.

309.28 - now we know what we're working with, and it's been covered in prayer. A great start.


  posted at 8:00 AM

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