Christine Duncan

Precepts & Life Preservers

Tag: Irritation

An Irritation Transformation

We all have these days.

At least, I hope beyond hope that I’m not the only one.

We start out as fun, happy, motivated, generous people.

And then somehow and without warning, a transformation hits.

Where we used to be easy-going, we’re now difficult. Where once was a happier outlook is now a massive attitude. Where we had a smile we now have this look of the inconvenienced and agitation.

I call it the Irritation Transformation.

And it’s never pretty. Worn by us, or aimed elsewhere.

Somewhere someone is getting ready to let someone else have it, and a little conversation bubble pops up with the words “Thar she blows!”

I know we’ve all been there, but I’m forced to come at it from a different perspective than most.

When you live with Dysthymic Disorder, also known as chronic depression, irritability isn’t just a fluke reaction of annoying circumstances that flow in and out of your day . It’s a very real medical symptom. It’s the warning signs of a flare up. The inkling of an oncoming episode. A bout of low-grade depression about to sweep in and try to stay awhile.

Can I be honest? I wish I weren’t robbed of the ability to shake it off like your average person. For the mood disorder sufferers, this is something your brain would like to trick you into believing has settled right down into your bones, and that everything around you should be interpreted as unpleasant and unwanted. Dramatically so.

And so the Irritation Transformation begins.

And we’re not just talking about being irritable due to unpleasant situations that arise through the day. We’re talking an irrational irritability that might not have any rhyme or reason, just a reaction borne out of your body’s inability to process all the things it’s working overtime to handle.

And all sorts of people wind up receiving the brunt of your symptoms.

And you wind up saying sorry a lot.

Like. A lot.

In any case, this is not what a child of the King wants to display to the world, even within a normal capacity. And there are so many of us that are bravely navigating the seas of varying types of depressions and disorders and wanting to represent the Father but what are we to do with the influx of symptoms threatening to take us from healthy to heartless?

As a believer, I struggled with this for the longest time. I was supposed to be a light in the dark. I was supposed to represent His great love, not an un-holy and feeble attitude. I was supposed to be a beacon of His grace, not constantly requiring it.

“Lord, what am I to do about my transformation into irritation? How do I battle a disorder that doesn’t care who or what I’m about to encounter? Or how many times something small has caused a meltdown or caused a snap response that doesn’t even sound like me?”

I’m still learning how to manage this particular  behavioural symptom, but I’ve realized a couple things that are key to moving past it even when I’m still not feeling a hundred percent.

– I Promptly Hand It Off –

Everything starts engaging the wrong part of my faulty wiring, and I don’t really have the capacity to deal on my own when an episode begins. But I still know who does. He is very, very, capable, and will cushion the onslaught of irrational thoughts and reactions and words, and invites me to give it to Him.

And in those moments, this is not like I’m capable of a big flowery, theatrical, deep prayer where I “submit” everything, including my disorder (which I do daily when I’m able) but this is a simple hand off. It’s a prompt and frustrated and desperate “Lord! You take this! I’m so done. I can’t be here inside this anymore.”

And He does.

1 Peter 5:7 doesn’t dress it up or make it complicated, and thank goodness. “… cast all your anxieties, difficulties, and concerns on Him, for He cares for you.”

We serve a God who anticipates exchange. We can hand it off. Whatever it is. The greek word for {cast} actually means transfer. I can transfer all my agitated flare-ups to God and then walk away.

But it gets better.

– Walking Away And Taking Peace With Me –

The next step is to step out of whatever environment is causing the stress and that irritation transformation. I tranfer my anxiety to Him, and then the smartest thing to do is immediately change where I am. And I mean physically, but also emotionally, and spiritually.

And because God is a God who anticipates exchange, and holy transformation, He exchanges my irritation for His peace. In my leaving the place where I was bombarded by chaos, I get to be impacted by His provision of peace and rest if I ask for them.

This is no small thing.

Transformed in Him, I can be released from those negative synapses trying to fill my head with static and find peace again. He wasn’t joking when He said, “My peace I give to you.” He said it for a reason.

And this doesn’t just happen overnight, this is a process. Much like the way God works in all of us, it’s a constant reshaping and transferring and transforming.

This is why we read “And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

My transformation from irritation to peace and ease and rest might take the rest of my life. A gradual adjusting to constantly handing off the difficult and trading up and being fed His constant and never ceasing goodness. And because He promises it, I’m good with it.

All the while, we’re to have this conversation with Him, “search me, Lord, know every thought, even the disconnected and irritable ones. And see what I need to transfer over, and how I still need Your transformation, and direct me with Your upstanding and everlasting ways.”

The Irritation Transformation

You may not be struggling with irrational irritability. You may be struggling in a completely different area. But He’d love for you to make an exchange with Him, trade sorrows for joy, trade heartache for abundant love, trade disappointment for His security.

Trade your symptoms for His measures of restoration.

He waits to make an exchange on the inside, that will affect the outside.

I’m ready for the next transformation. You?

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So thrilled and glad to be linking up today with some amazing bloggers! Hit the following hashtags and join us for some nourishing words of encouragement?
Joining Kelly Balarie’s #RaRaLinkup now and Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStory linkup at 5pm est.

Man’s Best Friend

Not everything I post will be wildly profound. Trust me.

This will be one of those times. TRUST me.

If you live in my neck of the woods, you experienced thunder storms last night. All through the night. Earth shattering thunder that sounded like it was slowly springing from some massive heavenly coil and when released, its vibrations shook the very foundations of the house. And lightning that lit up the room like violent random laser shows had been dropped from the sky. For someone who can suffer from insomnia, once something shocks me awake, it can be hard for me to get back to sleep at all. But it wasn’t just the storm.

It was the dog.

Who? ME?

Who? ME?

A lot of animals are afraid of storms, Rally wouldn’t be alone in this. But instead of finding a cozy corner to hide in, or sleeping on my bed, she goes to the kids, to stay with them. Yes, it’s sweet. Yes, she’s adorable in her loyalty. Why she does it? Her herding instinct from the border collie part of her? Her labrador part that loves and protects kids? Unsure. But here’s the part that kept the insomniac at the back of the house awake. ALL night.

To get to them, she has to use the bare wooden stairs.

So in the relative quiet, minus the odd ripple of thunder, you hear, “Tap. Tap, TAP TAP, Tap.”

And then nothing. This is the part that sends my spent brain over the edge. Because she’s stopped.


Like a song that takes a random pause when you know the rest of the song needs finishing. She stops. Why? Oh, taking a rest. Gazing out the window across the room. Surveying the kingdom. I DON’T KNOW. But she does. And now before I can try to sleep I have to wait for more tapping as she completes her climb.

But that’s not the best part.

When she gets to the top, she’s stuck on a narrow landing because she discovers both doors to the kids rooms are closed. And this is her own fault. If you don’t close them, she sneaks up there to eat things. Out of the garbage. Out of school bags. Dust bunnies under the bed don’t stand a chance. The border collie part of her built to scavenge for food in case there’s no next meal? The lab part of her that IS simply a walking garbage disposal? I DON’T KNOW.

So now she’s stuck. She’s kid-less. Shelterless. So what is there to do but to come back down.

I’m just falling back to sleep, my friends. And every click of her nails echoes on the stairs. “Tap. TAP. Tap. Tap tap-tap…….” then nothing.

Oh you know it. She’s stopped Half. Way. Down.

Since I can’t stand the charade anymore, and my dysthymic irrational irritation levels are spiking like the shock waves from an earth quake in L.A, I charge out of the bedroom, across the house, and demand that the furry lurking shadow come down the stairs and LAY DOWN.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we do this routine a grand total of five times. Once, she misses a step and crashes into my decorative fern which now looks like IT tried to climb the stairs. Once I whacked my foot on a table leg and had to hop back through the house. Once my husband collided with the door in the hall trying to get to her before she started up the stairs again. But she kept trying the minute she thought we were gone. And the stilted infernal “Tap. Tap. Tapping…” would begin again.

Attempt number five worked like a charm. She finally had success. Why? Because in my sleep addled brainlessness (yep, that’s a word cause… I just used it, that’s why!) I hollered over the thunder “For the love of all that’s good and holy in this world, would someone OPEN YOUR DOOR!!!”

A door creaked open. Shuffling ensued. A giant canine SIGH floated down through the ceiling over head. And it was over. She was where she needed to be. Which was true, because if she and I had crossed paths one more time, I would have lost my mind. No jury in the world would have convicted me, people.

Man’s best friend huh?

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