Returning soon!

I’m working on restoring the old gentlewhisper.com. Hopefully it will be back online really, really soon!

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Why National Coming Out Day is Important

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s National Coming Out Day (NCOD). That goes for LGBTQ people and the straight people who love them.

This morning, I told my kids that it’s NCOD and said, “Your mom is gay. I hope you still love me.” They laughed and rolled their eyes. My son thought it was silly when I told him about NCOD. He said there’s a day for everything, including pancakes.

True. But it’s important. It’s important because there are people out there terrified of being hated for who they are. Or scared to admit that their family member is gay. They are hiding and feel alone. They are scared of being judged, kicked out of the house or kicked out of church. There are other people who think they don’t know a gay person. People who are scared and mislead. People who think LGBT people are God hating monsters intent on ruining society. They believe this because it’s what they were told and no one has shown them any different.

That’s why LGBT people and their allies need to “come out” and stand up. So LGBT people won’t feel alone. So others won’t stay in the dark, hating what they don’t know.

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Link: Jesus or Zoloft

I’ve been distracted by life, holidays, the flu and a new blogging project. That’s my excuse for never finishing the OCTOBER series on depression… Or fixing my database and recovering thousands of posts. Sheesh!

Well… Maybe I’ll finish it someday. In the meantime, check out this post at The Very Worst Missionary called Jesus or Zoloft

P.S. I can’t believe 50 of you are still subscribed after all these years of me not writing!

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Hard Truths and my depression post excuse

Oops, I’ve neglected to write more depression awareness month posts. You’ll have to excuse me, I was too depressed to write about how I’m not depressed anymore. That happens sometimes… To the best of us.

Meanwhile, this should lift my spirits…

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Culture War in the Car Line

It’s funny how often this car:

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With this bumper sticker:

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Is followed by a car with this magnet:

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National Depression Awareness Month – Day 2

[Day 1]

It took a lot of guts to call Military One Source (in 2008) and schedule my first appointment with a counselor. The stigma of needing help almost kept me from it. But I called, and I went to my first appointment…

It was awful. The counselor spent most of the time asking me irrelevant questions about the Army or my husband. She seemed overwhelmed by my problems and that didn’t inspire confidence. At the end of the session, she told me to read a certain book before coming to my next appointment.

I bought the book. I read it quickly. I hated it. I don’t remember the title or author or why I disliked it so much. I think I disagreed with the theology or the flippant use of scripture. Joel said that seminary had turned me into a pop Christian book snob. Maybe so.

The whole experience just left me feeling even more hopeless.

A few weeks later, Military One Source called to ask how the appointment went. I told them I didn’t like it and wasn’t going back. The compassionate woman on the phone explained that if it was a bad match they would send me to someone else. I let her make another appointment.

The next session was with a psychologist. She was professional, intelligent and understood the importance of my faith, ministry etc. It was a good fit.

After talking for an hour, she diagnosed me with Dysthymic Disorder: Persistent Mild Depression. I had never heard of Dysthymia. Being an obsessive researcher, I went straight home and right to Google. As soon as I read about it, I realized that was probably the easiest diagnosis she had made in a long time.

“According to the DSM’s definition of dysthymia, it is a serious state of chronic depression, which persists for at least 2 years; it is less acute and severe than major depressive disorder.[3] As dysthymia is a chronic disorder, sufferers may experience symptoms for many years before it is diagnosed, if diagnosis occurs at all. As a result, they may believe that depression is a part of their character, so they may not even discuss their symptoms with doctors, family members, or friends.” – Wikipedia

That last sentence made a lot of sense. I had been depressed for so long, (since childhood) it just seemed like part of my personality… Wow! That is depressing…

(Blogging with my clumsy iThumbs.)

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National Depression Awareness Month – Day 1

October is National Depression Awareness Month.

I’ve dealt with depression for most of my life. I used to be embarrassed to admit it. It seemed like weakness or a lack of faith. After all, the Bible said, “be joyful always.” I couldn’t even muster “joyful sometimes.” How could I be hopeless when I served the “God of all hope?” I felt guilty for being depressed… That doesn’t actually help.

In the fall of 2008, it got so bad, I decided that getting help was more important than appearing strong. I worried that it would ruin my career, but then again so would wanting to die all of the time. Just making a counseling appointment seemed so daunting. Everything is too hard when you’re depressed. Because of the insistence of my best friend, I finally managed to call Military One Source and make an appointment…

(I plan on writing a few posts about depression. This is the first partial installment. It’s not the polished writing I used to put out… Just me tapping on my iPhone to what’s left of my loyal readership after all of these years of neglect.)

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Where is Gentlewhisper.com

Well… I neglected to pay my webhosting and lost my site for a while. Which is rather pathetic since it has thousands of posts and comments and over a decade of memories… but don’t worry, it’s safely backed up… somewhere. Maybe I’ll figure out how to bring it back to life.

Meanwhile, I decided to point the domain here… an ancient nearly empty blog is probably better than nothing… right?

Maybe not, but I was surprised to find one post from 2007 still here. It’s kind of sad to see it actually… but I’ll write about that later.

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One more week – Comfortable Boots

By Amy on Chaplaincy

In one week I will leave Ft. Jackson. Because I’m a Chaplain Candidate at the beginning of my seminary experience, I am only allowed to complete half of CH-BOLC now. Many of us are leaving. But many of my classmates will stay for six more weeks. I hate that I have to leave them; that I won’t get to graduate with MY class. I won’t return for a few years. I’m glad I’ll get to meet an entirely different group of future Chaplains, but I wonder if it will be so easy to bond with my next class without going through Initial Military Training together.

Of course I look forward to going home and seeing my children and friends. But the idea of taking off my uniform and putting it in the back of my closet for so long… that hurts. I love the uniform. I love what it stands for. And I love my brothers and sisters who wear it along side me.

You see, my Army uniform is comfortable. I know I’ve complained that my combat boots don’t fit and my ACU pants are too big… but The Uniform fits. The Boots ARE comfortable. They’re comfortable because I know, “This is what I should be wearing.” “This is what I should be doing.” “This is who I want to be.” No matter how difficult the road, when you know you’re going the right direction… your boots are more comfortable.

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