I've been reading an interesting book lately about a woman who suffers from schizophrenia. It takes you into her thoughts and reactions and the way she tries to cope with her illness. What really struck me was one paragraph where she talked about desperately looking for clarity, something to focus on, something to hang onto. She mentions that medication might help, if your body tolerates it well, but that another way might be to make your life as predictable and orderly as possible- so that you know ahead of time what is expected of you, what is going to happen, and how to prepare for it. You basically try to eliminate surprises. You build a life with structure and predictability. "What you lose in the way of spontaneity, you gain by way of sanity."
That last sentence really struck me hard. I realized that this is very much what I have had to do in my life. I have taken every step possible to make sure that things stay well organized and predictable because I have found that I don't have the capacity to deal well with surprises. There are some days when I miss the excitement and the fun of spontaneity and doing things 'spur of the moment.' But what I have gained in stability and sanity more than makes up for it. I am trying to work on being more "fun" and trying to go with the flow a bit better, but I think that I'm one of those people that will always need a fairly well-ordered world.
This also made me think about my relationship with my husband. There have been times when I've gotten on his case because there is a definite lack of 'romance' in our marriage, but I know that often that's unfair. I may not get flowers or candy or some of the wonderfully romantic gestures that I hear some of my friends talk about, but what I do get is safety and love and acceptance. For too many years dealing with me and my issues has been a time-consuming part of my husband's life. That didn't leave much time or energy for trying to come up with "surprises" that I probably wouldn't have handled well anyways. (It's kinda hard to plan a romantic evening out when your partner won't go out in public!!) I had come into my marriage with a lot of baggage from my past. Part of that was that I had very recently been in an abusive relationship. My first marriage was literally crazy. I was with a guy that I knew wasn't good for me and who had many problems of his own. He knew how to be very romantic and could be quite loving. Unfortunately, for the most part, the marriage was filled with fear, unpleasantness and pain. When I left this man I was truly blessed to find David. I found the one man who was willing to take me with all of my brokenness and insanity and help me to become whole again (a work still in progress.) I would not trade a single minute of my safe and 'unromantic' marriage for any amount of romance and excitement. (Dare I say that romance is over-rated?!!) My husband is the perfect match for me, and I know I need to do better about reminding myself of just how good I have it!
So that's where my thoughts had me today- thankful for a life that is fairly predictable and safe and even sometimes downright boring. And I'm even more thankful that I have a husband who shows his love in ways that go far beyond the surface. I greatly appreciate every moment that I feel loved, accepted and ok.