This post is a combo survey on how I am healing up after my time under the knife and what I hope to be posting in the future, both near and far term.
Many people have offered prayer and encouragement and I remain thankful for that. I don’t think I would still be in the game if it were not for the people who prayed for my well-being.
I am also working on a handful of PTSD related writing projects. The purpose of these projects are multi-fold:
- They reflect what people are asking me about as regards PTSD Spirituality.
- They also are areas of interest for me personally and in my (ever diminishing) capacity as a teacher and spiritual director.
- Lastly, while I plan to post this forthcoming material on the PTSD Spirituality website with free access, I also hope to turn a dollar or two from my writing.
- I’d like to edit and combine posts into small Kindle books and sell them.
Has Dr. Z Gone Mercenary?
Have I suddenly turned mercenary for the money? Well, ultimately I guess that is up to the readers. For me, it is important to keep this website up and running and that costs money. Perhaps more importantly, even with these successful surgeries, I know my teaching days are numbered. I am down to a couple of classes a year now and even that activity has degraded me physically.
I love to teach and interact with my bunnies. Sometimes they individually come and talk about their own unique hard experiences and we then explore ways to foster a healing journey. I don’t want to stop doing that, I think it has value. I’ll try to teach as long as I can physically get to the classroom and inflict theology.
Without going into numeric specifics, this last year has devastated me financially. Even though I have pretty decent health insurance, some of the uninsured portions are already coming due. And, there are other financial strains due to various reasons, usually related to my health. Further adventures with the American Medical Industry still await me…O’ Joy! O’ Bliss!
Last but not least, there’s still another reason I am “going mercenary”: I have my eye on a fine steel string acoustic guitar that I will never be able to afford if I don’t figure out a way to create an in-bound income stream (and at least significantly dampen the financial outflow).
Music, listening and creating, has aided my own healing journey and I’d like to engage it more seriously. (Of course, the guy who really knows how both to make healing music and understand PTSD is singer/songwriter Jason Moon and his work with Warrior Songs)
So, I need to figure out a way to crawl out of the financial abyss. Given my capricious health I am less and less able to commit to keeping a schedule where people can rely on me to be someplace at a particular time in a consistent manner. That stings. I don’t like being unreliable.
The only activity I can still try to do is write and make it available through the internet. The PTSD Spirituality website, past and future posts, remains free to whoever can endure my verbose essays.
I will keep the website free while I also seek to edit and combine existing essays, as well as new writing, into e-publications that can be purchased.
Already, people who click through an Amazon ad on this website and buy something (anything) enable me to receive a small commission. The same applies for those who click through the Google ads. I appreciate that, it makes a difference in my financial life (a portion of my life which is looming larger than I prefer right now).
If you don’t shop through Amazon or have no interest in the Google ad, don’t feel like you have to…but if you do, well, it makes a difference for me.
What Projects Are in the Works?
So, after that all too long prelude, here are the projects (Coming Attractions?) that I have in the works, in no particular order.
Project #1: Healing and Keeping Realistic Expectations.
I am healing well from life in the Land of Minor Surgery. Indeed, I don’t think I have ever had a “smooth recovery” before from previous sojourns in that particular country. But, surprisingly, now I am healing nicely. Still some intermittent pain and continual ache, but I am already experiencing real benefits in terms of being able to breathe and swallow. The grown-ups tell me those benefits ought to be permanent. Hooray for our side!
Additionally, I am endeavoring to remain realistic about what has improved and what remains unaffected. Throat surgery does not make it easier to walk, nor does it heal other chronic pain issues. Intellectually, I know all that. But, I also know that I sometimes “hope too much,” and at times unrealistically, when engaged with the American Medical Industry. So, I am encouraged and quite happy about the current surgical results and remain realistic about the various other ailments that find their entertainment in my body.
My voice still comes and goes. It is interesting how people react to me when I happen to be mute. With luck, my voice will return and be reliable by the time I go back to teaching in late August. I will be teaching “Women in the Bible” to thirty-odd undergraduates. It is an enjoyable course and can even be healing and empowering for some of the students. So, I hope to have a reliable voice when that class starts. Time will tell (It always does).
Project #2: Creating Healing Sanctuaries from PTSD.
A multi-post piece on what is a sanctuary and how to find healing for souls wounded by PTSD. What might we learn from some of the biblical vocabulary concerning sanctuary? And, what can we learn and apply to our modern 21st Century reality of living as trauma survivors and grappling with PTSD.
Project #3: Connections between PTSD and Infidelity.
Another multi-post piece. PTSD devastates relationships. PTSD strives to isolate us from healthy relationships and then harm us further until we are alone and dead (with no exaggeration). PTSD wants us to betray our committed relationships.
Project #4: PTSD, Forgiveness, Learning to Love.
PTSD makes us feel both unlovable and too tainted to love another human being. Can we engage forgiveness and love, and not just intellectually? Engaging forgiveness and love as a means of healing PTSD soul wounds.
Project #5: PTSD and the Bible.
The Bible is full of PTSD…nowadays some people abuse the Bible so much that they give other people PTSD (Yikes!). What can we find in scripture that can provide us with insights about PTSD? Are there insights for healing? `What can we learn from the Bible to help us to thrive as divinely created human beings made in the image and likeness of God?
Project #6: Other Writings.
Fiction, poetry, as well as other types of non-fiction. It’s true that if words comes from my pen, then they are influenced by my life with PTSD. But there remain other stories to tell, poems to ponder, and additional spirituality topics which seek exploration. I am undecided whether to publish this sort of content under my real name (as I do on this website) or use pseudonyms (what do you think?).
Why Inflict this Post about Projects on You?
I am hoping to further establish a commitment between myself, you, and the writing. Writing and posting this is as close as I can come to “saying it outloud,” er, so to speak.
The above projects won’t get done in a mere weekend, it’s a lot of work. Painful work. But, it is the only work I can do that might both support me and help others heal. Luckily, I feel a lot better now that I can breathe and swallow without fear of suffocation. I still have myriad other health problems, and I try to stay realistic about the limitations they impose on me. Yet, I feel much more able to engage the pen and the electrons and (hopefully) discover the words that may help each of us to heal.
Feel free to comment below or contact me from the details on the Contact page (I usually check that email account every morning). Are there projects you think I might, maybe, kinda, sorta, ought to write about?
If you actually managed to read through all of this…well, Thanks!
Semper Pax, Dr. Z