Me? Stubborn? Naw, ‘ya don’t say.

Whoever coined the phrase “Stubborn as a mule” clearly had me in mind.

I remember in 2007 being asked what my best trait is.

“I’m STUBBORN.”
“You mean assertive, right? Stubborn is a bad thing.”
*pause*
“Nope, I’m stubborn.”

It’s true – I’m fiercely stubborn. I don’t like change, I don’t like things being different in any way, shape, or form. I like things just the way they are.

And so I cling onto – be it bad or be it good. And in a very sad way, my stubbornness hinders my recovery of depression, ptsd, and ED-NOS. How does it hinder it? Because in many ways, I’m just too stubborn to change. Things the way they are aren’t great, but it’s all I know. And I like what I know, even if it’s not ideal. I like the predictability of the way I sometimes run things, and I feel that if I keep things that way, it’s for the best.

I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be stubborn. There are times when it’s a really good skill, such as when people are being a pain in the butt and you just need to get something done. It channels into determination sometimes. Thing is – I’m stubborn about things that I shouldn’t be stubborn about.

I think my stubbornness helped me survive my childhood, but now I need to find a different coping skill and a different way to control things. I’m a control freak, I’ll fully admit it, and it goes along with being stubborn. I’m well known for pushing myself way too far, because I want to prove I CAN do it, even when I’m sick as a dog or crawling in pain and really should be curled up in bed with a piping hot cup of tea and reruns of Fraiser. But yet – I want to prove to people that I’m capable and that I WILL do things my way, dammit!

It’s not a healthy mindset. I need to learn that it’s OK to listen to other people’s advice and sometimes being stubborn is a bad thing. Sometimes I do have to let someone else take the reins, and trust that things will turn out okay if I don’t do things exactly how I plan.

Making Choices That Matter

Considering that I am running on two hours of sleep and keep shouting “WHAT!?” at my math homework (and it’s not even due until Wednesday!) writing the blog entry about the big step I took today seemed like a good idea.

I’ve had a knee brace since my senior year of high school, so fall of 2005. I don’t wear it nearly as often as I should because I’m horribly self conscious about it. Here’s a picture of when I wore it in 2009:

It’s rather obvious it’s there. And even though I wore it under jeans, the bulge is obvious and yes, I got asked about it. I kept having to fix it after classes. Yes, awesome = sitting on a table in the math building fixing your knee brace as the other students are leaving. Yep. That’s the awesome person you’re talking to! ^_^

Thing is, it helps somewhat. And another thing is, I may need a new, more intrusive brace so I figure I might as well get re-used to the knee brace. It is hard, though.

I don’t like drawing attention to myself. I sometimes feel that people see the crutches and not me, or that people see me as a cripple or a gimp (I hate those words T_T), and not a person. And I feel that adding a knee brace to that compounds it greatly. But it helps. My knee cracked far less today (my ankle made up for it) and the pain has lessened, although still intense.

I guess you’re likely wondering what I have a knee brace to begin with. I played volleyball (I sucked. The one time I served the ball over the net the other team, who had played us before, was so shocked they didn’t even move for the ball when it soared over the net. And I, being the ninth grade genius I was, didn’t even realize it went over and I’d scored a point. Nevermind the insane cheering from our team.. I just thought they took pity on me and gave me another shot!) my ninth and tenth grade years. In ninth grade, I did a dive for the ball during a practice. Only upon my knee impacting the ground did I realize a critical detail: I’d forgotten to pull up my knee pads after the last bathroom break. Oops. Better yet, I played the rest of that season and the entire next season, plus two seasons of cheerleading on that knee. Even better I didn’t see the doctor for it until my senior year. Not really my finest moment when I told him when I’d injured it. Ahem.

Nice Doctor Dude sent me to Other Doctor Guy as he was a sports medicine guy, fresh out of his fellowship (mmm, fresh blood! Seriously, I love doctors fresh out of their fellowships. They’re on the up and up, and don’t yet have the callous, cynical attitude some of the older doctors get. And plus, it’s fun to be a medical mystery with them and baffle their young brains.). Ahem. I became a frequent customer between ODG and the clinic, because, well, to put it nicely, I’m a klutz. He wanted to get me a bubble suit and put me in a white, padded room (when I left in 2008 he told he to keep him updated on stuff. I forgot to. How weird would it be, almost 4 years later, to write him one?) and whatnot. I still remember the time when I was on underarm crutches, hyperextended in front of the clinic doors, and completely wiped out. Doctors, nurses, and patients: *panic panic panic* ODG; “Oh, it’s only Angelique. Somehow I figured it would be you.” GEE THANKS ODG.

Now that was a tangent if I ever saw one! Ahem. I was dx’ed with Patellofemoral pain syndrome . See how it says “malalignment of kneecap”? Means my kneecap snaps in and out of socket. And it hurts like hell. There’s not a lot that can be done for my case, as the doctor’s aren’t big on doing surgery but they may look at it in the future if this keeps up. In fact, when I saw a doctor for a surgical consult in 2009, that’s how I wound up finding out I needed back surgery because they realized “Oh hey, chica hasn’t had back xrays in awhile. OH SNAP HER BACK LOOKS BAD THIS ISN’T GOOD.” Yeah, that’s pretty normal in my life.

I always hated the brace because it’s big and clunky. And it’s not fun to wear.. But I sucked it up and ponied up and wore it, like a big girl. I should do this about more things that are good for me. 🙂

have you ever heard of a greater love?

This is the day 6 years ago that I decided to write about a youth retreat I’d gone on the previous weekend. It was junior year of high school. To set the setting: I was still living with my father and I was homeschooled. I was attending the Church of Christ. I was full force into self injury, and starting to lapse into an eating disorder. I am not editing grammar or words, but to think the day that my faith was strengthened was six years ago, only to be shattered less than a year later. Only to be torn to shreds. That year I started to climb out of depression, to see the light, to see HOPE. But then senior year happened, and it all fell to shit.

*****

This retreat..blew me away. and I shall share it with you. Because you are all cool people..and I can.

Friday wasn’t much. It was Friday. Not much happens on Friday. Just cause it’s Friday..’ya know?

I watched soccer tournments on Saturday..fun stuff..and attended an elective Saturday afternoon..which was great…

Saturday was the day. I broke. I’ve been breaking for awhile, and I just totally broke, and I didn’t tell anyone what all was going on. I mean, I can’t even talk about it. I’ve never shared this part of my life with anyone. I’m Angelique. I’m strong. And I made it through the morning fine. Had a blast watching soccer, and eating, and just being a kid, just hanging out and goofing around and hanging out. Which isn’t something that I do often. Finally, it happened. The floodgates broke. And I mean, I was to the point where I was crying so hard, that I couldn’t talk..or sing the words to the worship songs. And I just felt so totally empty inside. And I was. I was empty and broken. and I just sat there and cried. and cried. for at least fifteen twenty minutes…it started out as nothing then got harder…and I was so tempted to walk forward, but let all my fears ingulf me. Kinda like the morning message, when he was talking about fears. I let my fears consume me.

And why? Everything. Like they showed a video of Christ on the Cross…and I lost it. I’ve cut myself when he died for me? Come on! How could I be so lame? How could I turn to myself, when he died for me so I could have life? How could it be? And I’ve felt so empty inside lately, even when singing the worship songs this weekend, and I can’t make myself belive the Bible, like I know what it says, and I know it’s true…and I can’t make myself believe it.

And you know what amazed me more? I was sitting there with two other friends. My youth pastor and the rest of my church was way behind me. A sponser from another church came over to me and asked me if I was alright. And he prayed for me and told me he would be contining to pray for me. It just amazes me. That I’ll most likely never see this guy again (unless I’m at other local Ohio events and see him)..and it’s just..wow..and he also came over to me on Sunday and told me he was..and it’s just amazing..it blows me away..that someone who doesn’t even know me can care about me and want to pray for me. That someone who knows nothing about me, my bitter past, my unknown future..and want to help me. And it hurts..and it heals.. ‘ya know?

On Sunday..I broke. Again. I’m tired of breaking..but I realized that I do. It’s true. I just like God. I don’t really love him, I don’t really have the burning passion I should. I have so much in my life eating up at me. But I’m too scared to recommit. Which is why I didn’t this weekend. Cause I always blackslide. I always fall back into my old habits. So why should I even try to change when I know I’m going to fall back into what I once was agian, ‘ya know?

And I feel so empty inside. And broken. And I like God. I don’t love Him. and I hate it. Both times..my youth minister asked me if I was alright and if I needed to talk. I told him I didn’tknow if I was alright and that I didn’t need to talk..orthat I din’dtk know if he could help..becuase I’m just hurting so much..hurting beyond words I guess?

My elective Saturday night was just plain out spiffy. Chris is so crazy and great. God forgives me, and I really need to forgive myself. I’ve sinned against God, and I need to realize that. I need to realize that God’s given me forgiveness, and I need to let it go. I just can’t sit there staring at my sins, and just be like..whoa..that’s cool…and not do anything. I need to get in gear, and do something wtih it.

I didn’t eat much on Sunday…and so of course, I got told I needed to eat..but I still didn’t, and I really don’t care. I didn’t take communion either. And I feel bad about it, because I attend a church that believes you should take communion every sunday. But my heart isn’t right with God. And eveything is broken. So..I can’t take it since everything is so wrong..

And I look at the bracelet I got. I didn’t even get it when everyone else did..I was crying too hard to go up front..so I dashed up after it was over and grabbed one, but that’s ok. Sure, it’s too big, and just dangles on my wrist..but hey. I wear it for a double reason. Livestrong. They livestrong through cancer. I support that cause. I am a surviour. I dunno how many of you know that. But I’m a surviour. I had a tumour removed when I was four. Of course, everyone has friends and family members who suffer from cancer, I don’t think there’s a single soul on planet earth who hasn’t been touched in some way, shape, or form by cancer. And in the same way, I can livestrong without cutting. I can livestrong in Christ.

And I’m seriously shutting up now.

****
I see this post, and long for that childlike faith to return. I’d already seen hell at that point and had no clue of the further flames of hell that would lick me again. How I wish I could stay innocent and naive. How I wish I could stay hopeful for such beautiful things.

Lessons Learned Fall ’10

1. Windows sucks. Hardcore. It should die a painful, fiery death. Mac and Linux FTW. Apple iPod FTW. Windows FTD (For The Death).
2. Coffee is a friend of mine (I’ve a friend in coffee).
3. Video games, anime, and manga are the best stress reliever ever.
4. Novel concept: Talk to your professors when a relative dies, you get sick, or you just have the Semester from Hell. Imagine that: they tend to work with you! WOW!
5. Nutella cookies are a flop. They burn. Epically.
6. I have the most amazing friends. They play Smash Brothers with me, they watch anime with me, they put up with my mindless rambling. They make me gluten free care packages, and listen to me whine.
7. When will I learn: never tell God never? Let’s recap, Angelique. You told him you’d never move anywhere cold. Check. You’re in MINNE FREEZING SOTA. You told him you’d never go to a Christian college. Check. You’re at a pretty conserative one at that and considering almost a “flaming evil liberal.” And you told him you’d never go into the ministry. HA. Now you’re double majoring in youth min and psychology. Learn this, Angelique, never tell God never. Got it? Good.
8. It’s easy to love those who are nice to you. It’s difficult, yet more rewarding, to love the unlovable.
9. Life is short and time is sweet. Don’t put off telling the ones you love that you are there. And that you care.
10. “For when I am weak, then He is strong.”