When I Tell The Truth, I Find The Truth

Over the weekend, I told my mom that I hope I die before she and my dad do, because I’m not sure I can handle anything else going to hell in my life. I said it calmly and nonchalantly, and she didn’t say much but nodded and knew I wasn’t going to do anything stupid. But doing something stupid and thinking something stupid are two, very different things. 

Before I digress…

I second guess everything I write because I’m all like, eeek no, don’t want my Christian friends to think differently of me, because honestly, that’s what a lot of Christians do. I would say people in general, but non Christians are seemingly a million times more empathetic than Christians, and the only thing that they seem to lack is the tangible hope at the end of grief. But I don’t careeeee. Because I’m a writer and words are my thing, so I’m not going to mince words for comfort sake. If you don’t like to be mildly uncomfortable, I completely understand and strongly suggest you click back on to Amazon or Facebook and exit out of  this, because here goes. 

I digress…

For the last few months, if not this whole year, I haven woken up and started my day wondering if that day would be the day that I will finally die. Honestly hoping and crossing my fingers. I told my mom this too. See, I’ve never been a dreamer, and I’m scared of failure- so by the time I turned 18 I was hoping I’d be dead by 22-23. But, here I am, at 25. See, generally I’m pretty clear headed, but in 2012 I found myself on a suicidal rampage, have straight up demonic hallucinations, seeing my death in front of me as if it was actually happening, and doing many things including but not limited to: cutting up and down, not sideways, eating a ton then purging hard, taking steak knives and pressing them as far into my stomach as I could handle, and taking handfuls of my depression and anxiety meds at a time, hoping I would die. But here I am, at 25. A lot of this spiraled from getting raped, something people didn’t talk about then. I was feeling too violated to tell anyone, so I kept it pretty quiet. This led me down a winding road of PTSD. Another not so awesome thing that people don’t really talk about. 

Fast forward, it’s 2017. And PTSD is that SOB that came back with a vengeance following some pretty jacked up events from last year. But I didn’t know it. Again, I was hiding grief and shoving it down in to a well so deep that even an echo couldn’t reach it. Except an echo did reach it. Somewhere between January when I created my vision board of hope for the year, and March, PTSD snuck back in for the first time in about 3 years. And it was a quiet but powerful storm. It started with anxiety, which I always had, but it came in pretty violently- in the car, in social situations, pretty much nonstop. I was becoming super sensitive, more than usual because I was grieving but didn’t want to tell anyone because of shame. Then came agitation, isolation, and finally insomnia that’s been paired with crying myself to sleep often. I’ve brushed it off the past few months, thinking that maybe living in community was just overwhelming me. I didn’t want to talk about it- so I just kept going. 

And then, in the beginning of September of this year, I started getting sick. Throwing up day after day, not with cold symptoms, just throwing up. Then came vertigo, migraines, and nightmares. These episodes happen maybe 3 or so times a week and would crush me. So I got a gym membership. Like cool, let’s get healthy because you’re gross. Now, a few months before this, I had a girl run up to me in church and poke me in my arm. No big deal, right? Except I was in excruciating pain. It hurt more than I was expecting and honestly I think I mugged the hell out of the girl because I didn’t understand why she poked me so hard. That became my norm. My skin hurt so much. So the gym just added more pain to what was already hurting. Then, a few weeks ago, the sweet Mom who lives upstairs was coming down the stairs and I didn’t hear her and I freaked out so hard and screamed at her, my heart was racing and I almost cried from fear.  Just ask her, it was honestly funny and embarrassing, an hour or so later. That fear, the jumpiness, hasn’t happened to me  in years. Then finally insomnia, and my intense fear of being attacked at night, which brings me to writing this post at 4am because even my sleep aids don’t work anymore. 

I don’t want to say what happened last year. And when I have bad days and someone asks me how I am, I usually say there’s something going on with my family or I have to work, anything to get me out of talking. But something did happen and I’ve been stuck in this wind tunnel of shame and regret and grief. To scared to speak, regretting everything, and grieving the pain that I felt on a much more visceral level than I have in my entire life. I’m in pain and I’ve hidden it pretty well. But it’s creeping into my everyday life, and that’s harder to hide. But I’m not suicidal. I mean I think about it often, but I don’t have any plans. But I do wish either: A) Jesus comes back soon, like today, or B) I die peacefully…or painfully- either way is fine as long as it happens. Because I’m exhausted. I think about it often and it’s not that I’ve lost hope, but I’m tired. I’m anxiously awaiting for the day when faith is turned to sight, every tear will be wiped from our eyes, and all that is wrong will be made right. Ugh. And I guess maybe I’m too young to be this tired, but I grew up too fast and I’m a 25 year old with the life experiences of a 50 year old and I’m already done with it all. I’m ready. And I sit in this tension of being surrounded by Christians who say now but not yet, and I haven’t seen the now or the not yet and I question if either exist. And on the other side I hear Christians who condemn me in my brokenness yet worship church leaders who are just as broken but look better in their brokenness because they have a platform. 

And understand, this isn’t a shaking my fist at God in pissiness because He’s not doing things “my way.” Not at all- because in the midst of the mental, emotional, and physical trauma, I’ve found myself in a basement apartment with a beautiful family that feels more and more like home everyday. And sometimes I’m too scared to say my grief for fear of sounding ungrateful, because I am grateful beyond words. But I’m also broken. And if this grief requires repentance then God, lead me to it. And if this grief is part of the journey, then God bring me through it. But my small human brain is painfully aware of how much I, and many other grieving Christians, don’t understand. I’m handed ideas by many, many people, who think they have answers, but the evidence of that answer would be fruit. And it’s ok for people not to know, there is no expectation on my end that anyone would know. Now we see in part, then we will fully know. But that doesn’t remove the ache that comes with the experiences that have unresolved grief.  

So here’s the ugly truth, though there’s so much more I could say, but I’m just not ready to go there yet. I’m not quitting, I’m not tapping out. I’m not running back to the sin and self destruction of years past just because I’m hurting. But I’m broken and aware of it, maybe more than I ever have been in my short, but long life. And at the end of the day, despite my feelings and questions, I will wait for Him whom my soul loves, even though I don’t understand. I will sing truth until I believe it, I will read truth until I see it, and I will breath in truth until I become it and it inhabits every crack and crevasse of this broken heart. 

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When I Tell The Truth, I Find The Truth

Waiting Out The Storm

It’s been a quiet summer on the writing front, as if all of my creative juices sputtered out to a halt like a car emptied of gas on the side of the road, and they are only now just picking up. Summer is over and fall is almost here; the time of year where everything inside of me comes alive. It’s been and interesting summer; processing grief, loneliness, changes, and hope deferred, whilst at the same time, entering new seasons, Heavens supply being multiplied in my life, a home found, and new friendships being made.

It’s interesting processing joy along side of sadness. I’ve always felt this impossible weight to try to be ok, and wanting to “count it all joy.” But instead of that, it became an uphill struggle, fighting for joy and peace, finding no joy in the process and shaking my head at God, sure that he had lost his frickin mind. Joy has never come easily for me, nor has optimism.

I’m finding myself in this place in my life where I don’t hide my face from grief, I don’t cover it up, I don’t pretend that it’s not there, but I also am learning to not let it consume me whilst I wait for breakthrough. It’s funny, in churches people want to pray things away, and if those things are not removed then you are either a) living in sin, or b) not in faith for healing therefore you will never be healed till your heart changes. But what if neither of the above are true? What if you are pressing in, not giving up, setting your sights higher and still not seeing a breakthrough- Then what?

I remember my first taste of depression and anxiety when I was in third grade. I didn’t know then, but it has been a battle I have faced for the majority of my life. And for a time, a lot of it was intensified because I didn’t know how to let go of pain. I clasped on to it and all of it’s lies, letting heartache define me rather than teach me. Now, I’m not sure why it lingers. I’ve been prayed for, had hands laid on me for deliverance, oil put on me, chastised, condemned, and corrected.

But it’s wild, because in the midst of it all, while people are giving me their solutions for how to fix my heart problems, God Fathers me through it all. Through my anger and unbelief towards him, through my frustration with Christians not loving, just yelling. Through my tear filled nights where I feel like every breath has been knocked out of me and I could very well die. I know the bible says that Jesus is acquainted with our grief, and for some reason that doesn’t really permeate my brain and it doesn’t comfort me. But what does comfort me is the fact that He holds me through it all. even when I don’t want help and I don’t want to be held.

I’ve received so many solutions from people, and have asked God for grace and humility to receive and be taught by them. But what I haven’t received, outside of Jesus, is someone who doesn’t get tired of me walking through this. He doesn’t give up, he doesn’t quit. He doesn’t leave when I get pissed and want to end my life. He fathers me through it. I long for answers, and more than that I long for healing and freedom. But moreover, I’m grateful that while it has not arrived yet, Jesus is still teaching, leading, and loving me through it all. And that has meant more than any possible solution that has been brought to me.

“Cheer up, don’t be afraid. For the Lord your God has arrived to live among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will give you victory. He will rejoice over you with great gladness; he will love you and not accuse you.” Is that a joyous choir I hear? No, it is the Lord himself exulting over you in happy song. “I have gathered your wounded and taken away your reproach. And I will deal severely with all who have oppressed you. I will save the weak and helpless ones, and bring together those who were chased away. I will give glory to my former exiles, mocked and shamed.” Zephaniah 3:16-18

Waiting Out The Storm

Anxiety, A New Year Kiss

when I was in fourth grade, my mom and dad had a parent teacher conference with one of of my teachers from school. It wasn’t anything out of the norm as all teachers held conferences with parents at least once a year. But for me it was different. I was deeply convinced that my teacher didn’t like me as a student so she would say all these bad things about me to my parents. Anxiety overtook me and I made myself ridiculously sick for two weeks. That is my life.

This past year has been full of downs for me. Not because I am a debbie downer, but because it seemed like nothing was working out. I felt squished and worn down by the trials of my life. MDD has overshadowed most of my year, since the end of June. And as I lost traction I found every fear, every worry, and every anxious thought overcoming me like a riptide hellbent on dragging me under. I have been diagnosed with an Anxiety Disorder, PTSD and MDD. And since I left the hospital all three, until this year, sat on the back burner, resting on a low heat, controlled and maintained in a somewhat healthy way. Until this year. Since the end of June I have felt like I couldn’t breathe, anxiety stripping me down to the bone, overshadowing me and melting me to the ground. I managed it until September, when even in my own job I was overtaken with anxious busy thoughts of everything that has happened to me. The second to last week of September I became very ill, and having been battling illness and a weak immune system since.

I never took the time to realize how my own anxiety was killing me, goading me towards death and despair. My anxiety, paired with MDD and PTSD has been slaughtering me since June. And tonight as I sat in my bed, I became painfully aware of that anxiety as I felt a weight pressing down on my chest, daring me try to fight it. Anxiety was my new years kiss. A kiss hello and a kiss goodbye, as I confronted the very thing that has tried to kill me for the very first time, and kissed it goodbye, sending it off to a far away place. I don’t have my anxiety under control. I’m not even sure what it looks like to manage it let alone conqueor it. But I do think I am one step closer to slaying it to death, simply because I acknowledged it.

Anxiety, A New Year Kiss

Psalm 34:18

Christmas time is the time of year where everyone goes about, so busy with their shopping and their things and their events. So busy with being busy. Everyone has a dab of happiness that has motivated that ‘pep in their step’. Everyone is looking forward to spending time with their families and then ringing in the new year. But really, not everyone feels that way. And everyone would include me.

This year has been the most challenging for me. Moving out, switching jobs often, trying to find some consistency. I’ve been sick since September, loosing my voice twice and fracturing my foot. This has been the hardest year since I got out of the hospital. Thoughts that I haven’t had in such a long time coming back to me for years. There’s such a brokenness and depravity that I have felt. A hopelessness that I am unable to put words to. Running to and fro looking for ways to sate my hungry, broken heart. The pull of the need of people around me. Lack in finances in every way possible. Disappointment.

I have hated this year with every fiber of my being. So when the time of ‘merry and bright’ comes around I honestly feel dark and gloomy. Because it’s been a dark and gloomy year. I don’t know how to let people in on my darkness. I don’t know how to ask for help, let alone receive it. I know it sounds like I’m complaining but it’s been a year of silence, of pain unspoken. Asking the Lord for a reprieve because I am physically incapable of moving forward, of setting any dreams or goals. The future is hazy and blurry and I cannot see. I’m more aware of my mistakes and my flaws and my shortcoming than anything else. Maybe I’ve taken on more than I can realistically handle. Maybe I’ve bitten off more than I can chew or maybe I just went the wrong way. As a result i timidly await the Lords punishment for all of my mistakes and all of my flaws, even though I know that’s not His heart but that’s my experience.

This is the time of year where people just want to be held. Where they want to be affirmed and loved. They want to be around people who love them and encourage and appreciate them. As I sit in an empty, I attempt to call my spirit a little bit higher, out of the slimy dark pit I’ve been in, out of the places of brokenness and bareness that I have been living in. Not because it’s Christmas, but because I’m desperate to breathe again, to see and sing again. To smell the air, and allow the breeze to kiss my skin. Because 2016 has been so long and so relentless that I don’t think I can go any lower.

Psalm 34:18  ADONAI is near those with broken hearts; he saves those whose spirit is crushed.

 

Psalm 34:18

My Bouquet

preparing for my brothers wedding this week, my head has been a flurry of pinks and greens and decorations and flowers. yesterday on my drive home, I was talking to Jesus about the things I’ve done and thought these past few months. Things that bring me much shame and that are hard to talk about. I was listening to a worship set when I had a picture of me. I was a little girl wearing a white dress. And I was beautiful.

I was walking around with a bouquet of flowers in my hand and I would stop by a man, offering him my flowers. He eagerly accepted them and then I would move on to the next and the next. The men continued to take my flowers and I continues to offer them. But from person to person my flowers began to die in my hands. It was a bouquet of dead flowers. And with each new person I offered them to, I only became more and more sad, but yet I continued to offer my flowers away. When I was left with only one dead flower I stopped offering them away, because I felt like I had nothing left.

I continued to walk until I encountered God. Not Jesus or Holy Spirit but God. He looked upon me with such love, and pain for my pain. I looked up at Him and wept, almost like in those animated shows, where the eyes are so full of tears they look like large buckets of water. I had buckets and buckets of water falling from my eyes. I shook my head back and forth as tears fell, apologizing, saying I didn’t know, I didn’t realize what I had done until I had nothing left. He took hold of me any my one dead flower scooping me into His embrace, weeping with me. He still wanted my flower, even though it had died. He knew it’s value even in death.

My Bouquet

The Wherewithal

I don’t have the wherewithal to stop doing the very thing that is PROMISING to kill me. I am dying in the middle of a battlefield because instead of accepting victory I keep running behind enemy lines. I keep getting stabbed. I am dying. And I don’t know where to go from here. The very thing I hate it consuming me because I don’t hate it enough to run for the hills.

Jesus help me run for the hills. Or just run to you.

 

The Wherewithal

It’s The Little Things…

It’s been a while since I’ve written, mostly because I’ve had a lot going on and haven’t had time to process. But as the sunsets and gentle autumn breezes float through my window, as the warm of candles and the smell of apple cider and cinnamon sink in processing becomes easier. I feel like a princess on my bed of white sheets. I feel like I’m in my own world where I can escape. Or come back from a long time of escaping.

Do you have those people in your life that make you feel so welcome and unwanted at the same time? Like I love you, but please don’t need anything from me, or please realize I’m only going to let you in this much? I do. I feel boxed out of most people In my immediate world. This is part my fault due to bad decisions I’ve made that have made me want to pull away. But fault is never one sided. And this seems like the hardest hurdle to overcome. I’m not sure if I have the energy in me to overcome these hurdles anymore, or even the desire to do so.

They only let you in as much as they want to let you in, but want you to be an open book. I don’t understand that. You ask of something you cannot and refuse to give.

But it’s in the little things. Because sometimes you just want to show up in their instagram photo more than once every two years. And it sounds so silly but feels so real to me. Maybe it’s because of where I’m at. It’s like I’ve lost my voice altogether and don’t know how to speak anymore. I don’t want to speak anymore. I don’t want to try. I want to melt into the white of the sheets, into the smell of cinnamon and fresh candles. Hide behind the dark of the curtains and stay hidden. It’s not all the time, but right now it is. i just wanna melt away.

It’s The Little Things…