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.
For the past few months I’ve been feeling like I’ve been drowning. This year has come so hard and so unclear for me, and the past few months I’ve been battling self harm and depression.
And then I opened my mouth and sang. Singing always transforms something in me. It makes my night into day, depression into hope, emptiness to overflowing. That’s what happens when I open my mouth. I get to move past all the things that scare me and feel like they’re killing me and actually see the light at the the end of the tunnel.
Last night while sitting on the couch I tried to keep my mouth shut, for many reasons, feeling guilty about my action these past few months, and the fact that I haven’t tried to sing at all. But I couldn’t help myself and I opened my mouth and words began falling out. And suddenly I felt a pair of strong hands grasp my waist and lift me up and I was taken into a vision. I knew Jesus had picked me up from the ground and I could see above all of my situations and problems. He lifted me higher and even though I thought I had set up camp at the bottom of the mountain, having given up and quit, he showed me that I hadn’t and that even through the painful process I had continued to climb up the mountain. He showed me the places that I had already conquered. Then he gave me this verse..
He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, And sets me upon my high places. Psalm 18:33
3 years ago I overdosed on a load of pills. It was my last attempt at committing suicide. It’s crazy because It didn’t work. LOL. I was inpatient at this hospital where my socks always got stolen and where people would wake up in the middle of the night screaming and yelling about how Obama was out to get them. There at the hospital, 2 hours away from where I live, I met my plug, the weed man, who just so happened to live 10 minutes from me.
When the dust settled, I found myself four years out, questioning who I am and what I want to be- where I wanna go and what I want to make for myself. Hope has never come easily for me. It’s not something that stirs inside of me. I wouldn’t call myself a dreamer. I don’t dream. I live realistically and aim for the best. If I hope anything I hope that my life doesn’t implode on me.
I’m learning to navigate my emotions like a ship in the storm. A lot of people would say don’t let your emotions effect you. That’s been my problem all along. I haven’t let my emotions affect me so much so that I can’t even figure out where they begin. But I’m figuring it’s worth a shot.
Four years ago, September 2012, was the first time I tried to commit suicide. I spent a few weeks in the hospital, only two leave for a day and come back. When I walked outside it was a crisp October day. Hurricane Irene was coming through. I hadn’t been outside into freedom for weeks. As my friend Ricky picked me up in his fancy camaro to take me home, I almost fell apart. Being outside was amazing for me. I saw the clouds and I felt the cool fresh air. And though it took some time for me to grasp, I found that the October Air brought me some much needed clarity. So here’s to October. And here’s to hope.
When it’s time to write, I sit before my computer screen for quite sometime. I twiddle my fingers nervously, trying to decide if I am truly brave enough to say what I am thinking. Fifty million topics flutter across the chalk board of ideas in my mind- but I quickly erase them all, too afraid to write what I’m thinking because it makes me vulnerable.
I have been a blogger for 5 years, and it’s always nerve wrecking as you realize that you are a story teller- of your own story. My story is neither graceful nor pretty. It’s full of tragic mistakes that brand my heart as I seek a God to mend and restore. Lots of tears and lots of process, but it’s mine.
I used to blog with the hopes of impressing my hundreds of followers with my love for God. LOL. That is so gross. Now I blog, knowing I am so fragile and breakable. That my writing is for my own sake, to help make sense of my story. I’m writing for my health, because talking just won’t do.
My name- Ariel- means lioness of God. But I’ve been nothing but fearful. But I am learning the importance of my voice and my sound. I am learning how to be free.
So when it’s time to sit down and write, more than any other time during the day- i feel brave.
Anxiety and Depression.
Two almost catch phrase sorts of words used in society. Nearly everyone I know has said to have one or both of those. On social media or in daily conversation, someone is talking about the fact that people just need to understand that they have these. It makes it hard to have real conversations with people about these very real things, because most of these people are self diagnosing.
When I was young, I was diagnosed with MDD, PTSD, and an Anxiety Disorder. Now, though I don’t let those things define me, I’ve found it’s really hard to have real conversations with people about this. Because everyone has it. The words almost don’t mean anything to anyone anymore. People don’t understand what they mean. They have become trivial and meaningless.
I don’t talk about my difficulty with anxiety and mdd. It’s hard enough finding the words to explain it, let alone getting past the stigma and the overuse of the diagnoses. But it’s become harder with a self diagnosing society.
Jesus is and always will be a healer. And I believe He will always come through and set captives free of all and any mood and emotional disorders. But to be open and honest, it would be helpful if people didn’t talk about it so lightly, like it doesn’t mean anything, so people who truly do struggle with it could really get real help and healing.
Harrisburg. I love this City. I love this place. I love the flow of creativity that comes when I stay in this area even for just a day. I feel like I become the best version of me here, in this City. The potential is limitless. At the end of February of this year I came up here, feeling confused about so many life circumstances, but believing that Jesus wanted to meet here and speak with me about so many different things. That weekend I received a prophetic word from Shawn Bowlz that definitely affected how I view myself and even my potential.
This weekend I found myself here at the last-minute, again, and got to do something I don’t often get to do. A few friends and I went out to the city to a restaurant, and there were tables of us, sitting around and talking about our histories with God, how we all ended up here this weekend. As we were sitting I was feeling rejuvinated, watching how animatedly everyone was talking about God. And just like that- Holy Spirit moved like a coarsing wind throughout the resturaunt. People were getting healed, emotionally and physically like wildfire.
This place is like a gentle kiss upon my heart. It awakens the dreams inside of me that I didn’t know existed. It lights me up and brings me so much clarity. It gets me outside of myself and it makes the impossible possible.