Tell Everybody I’m On My Way

This may come as a HUGE shock to some of you, but I’m a huge Disney fan. I know, all of y’all are picking yourself up off the floor.
Tell everybody I’m on my way
And I’m loving every step I take
With the sun beating down yes
I’m on my way
And I can’t keep this smile off my face

I’m on my way. On my way to my new life – no longer hiding who I am. Living out as someone with an ASD, a demisexual, no longer hiding who I am. I’m loving each step (er, each roll some days?) I take because I no longer hide who I am. Living out.  Showing who I am. Living as myself and not as someone else.

So when the whole world turns against me and I’m all by myself, and I can’t hear You answer my cries for help. I’ll remember the suffering Your love put You through… and I will go through the darkness if You want me to

I spent three years at a private Christian school. We often won character awards or fruit of the spirit awards. Without fail, I was always the one to win the faithfulness reward. The one who had a steadfast faith. Friends, adults in my life, everyone would comment on how strong and unshakable my faith was.

I am very much a cradle Christian. I was dedicated into the Nazarene church at a very young age. I’ve had a vast amount of Bible knowledge and have kicked ass at Bible trivia since I could read. Back then, I thought my faith couldn’t be shaken. Back then, I thought my faith was the only sure thing in my life.

Lately these days, I find myself becoming disenchanted with the notion of Christianity. And it scares me. I haven’t been to church in over a year. It’s sad and depressing, really. How did my once unshakable faith become so shaken?

And I find myself wondering if God is even wanting of me anymore. If God even desires me. After all, my arms have scars I created myself. I have used food as a way to hurt my body. I’m broken. Physically and emotionally. What could God want to do with me?

It’s hard. I find myself wanting to yell at God and call Him a few select names. I find my health falling apart and no one knowing why. I find my physical and emotional health in shambles.

I find myself questioning how He could be strong enough to fix me. Which is kind of silly if you think about it. Why am I questioning the one who formed me himself? I mean, hello, God sees me even when I’m pooping. If he’s okay with that, why am I so worried that he won’t take me “as is”?

Why do I question if the One who was by my side during every appointment, even if I didn’t feel Him, is strong enough? Why do I question if the One who was strong enough to give up His own, only beloved Son is strong enough to fix me?

There’s a peace I’ve come to know, though my heart and flesh may fail
There’s an anchor for my soul, I can say “it is well”
Jesus has overcome and the grave is overwhelmed
Victory is won, He is risen from the dead
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on Eagle’s wings
Before my God, fall on my knees

The thing is, my heart and flesh will fail. I’ll fall victim to my emotions, to my mortal desires, to my physical health. But there is one thing that won’t fail – Jesus blood never failed me yet, never failed me yet. There’s one thing I know that He loved me so.

I may have failures in life. I may screw up. I may watch every aspect of my health fall to pieces. I may struggle with my faith. But you know what?

It’s all a part of life.

I hear the Saviour say, “thy strength indeed is small
Child of weakness, watch and pray, find in me thine all in all.”
Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow

Lord, now indeed I find, Thy power and Thine alone
Can change the leaper’s spots and melt the heart of stone
Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow

And when before the throne, I stand in Him complete
Jesus died my soul to save, my lips still repeat
Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe
Sin had a left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow

Oh praise the one who paid my debt!
And raised me up from the dead

Well, if you’re real, then save me, Jesus.

she fools all of her friends into thinking she’s strong
but she still sleeps with the light on
and she acts like it’s all right on
as she smiles again

Trapped. Utterly and completed trapped.
Dark. Bleak. Hopeless.
Overwhelmed.
Watching helplessly.
Oh, I’m fine.
Oh, everything is swell.
Fooling everyone into thinking things are awesome
When the reality is everything is in pieces around me.

I can’t.
I can’t cope.
OCD thoughts consume.
Anxiety takes its deepest roots and settle in.
Depression covers me and I can’t get away.
I can’t…

I watch my physical health fall. Falling.
As I have med interactions. As I play medication roulette.
As I watch my health continue to falter and baffle doctors.

I try. I try and I try and I try.
But I can’t any longer.

She knows she’s so much more than worthless,
She needs to find a purpose
She wonders what she did to deserve this 

that’s where she lies, broken inside

I tear my heart open, I sew myself shut
My weakness is that I care too much
And my scars remind me that the past is real
I tear my heart open, just to feel 

To say things have been bad lately is an understand. A vast understatement. I am completely trapped by depression. Anxiety. My doctor had me do that PHQ-9 doohickey and my score landed in the severe category, vs the moderate it was before. Things are going poorly.

Everything is falling to shambles. I have so much that needs to be done. Cleaning. Phone calls. Emails. Important grown up stuff but it all falls to the wayside. The physical pain, the emotional pain, everything is too much. Everything hits too hard. I don’t even feel like myself anymore.

And I’m on the verge of failing.
The verge of falling apart.

And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad

It’s been hard lately. That would be an understatement. A really, really big understatement.

My depression has been crippling lately. You see, I have to choose between the meds that make my pain just a bit better, just a bit more bearable, or the meds that help my depression. I cannot have both. So, I can either have the Luvox and lift my depression or I can have the Zanaflex and help my pain. Both? Nope. The side effect was terrifying – I couldn’t even walk across the room to feed my cat without collapsing.

My heart is a mess. That might be an understatement – “disgusting” might be a bit better. But I don’t have the energy to clean it. I don’t have the PCA yet. I don’t have the homemaker yet. I don’t have the help I so badly need yet. They’re “working on it”.

But it doesn’t help my depression to live in someplace like this. It doesn’t help my depression to know that I’m likely moving so. It doesn’t help my depression to know that things might get better, or they might get worse. I’m in limbo, and I don’t like it one bit.

And so, I sit here. “I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad, the dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had.” Do I want to die? No. But at times I just want a break from this. To not have all this pain – both physical and mental. To just… be free, I guess.

By the yard it’s hard, by the inch, what a cinch

When I was a child, I was in Patch the Pirate Club, as well as had a couple Patch the Pirate cassettes. Simply put, Patch the Pirate is a MAJOR NAME in Children’s Christian Music, especially in the fundamentalist Christian sect. Patch aims to teach values, not only of faith, but also of morals and character. I actually know songs about loving broccoli and cleaning my plate, about not being a wiggle worm, and many other things that really call for another blog entry. But there are a few songs that have stuck out with me, so here is the first I’m going to write about. I may write others, I may not.

“When mountains tower ragged and high,
rise to the challenge, look to the sky
Trust in the Lord, and start to climb,
Reach for the goal one step at a time

Little by little, inch by inch
By the yard it’s hard, by the inch what a cinch
Never stare up the stairs but step up the steps
Little by little, inch by inch.”

I think this is a powerful message and absolutely profound in a simple children’s song. When I think of mental illness recovery, be it from depression, an eating disorder, bipolar, borderline personality disorder, self injury… when I think of recovery, so often it IS a mountain towering, ragged and high. It’s overwhelming when we first look at it. But when we step back and take it little by little, inch by inch, it’s so much easier. Recovery doesn’t happen overnight. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be in treatment. Months? Years? It’s unknown at this point in recovery. But I do know I take it little by little.

If it means when my eating disorder is in full force, and all I eat for the day is a sandwich and drink some tea, that’s little by little. Each day, I can add a bit more food, be it a side, be it another sandwich if sandwiches are my current “safe” food, etc. If my depression is in full force and I don’t want to leave the apartment, much less my bed, I can take it little by little. Be it just getting up, taking a shower, and getting dressed. I don’t necessarily have to go DO anything, but taking the step to get up is a progress. And that’s the thing – progress is a process. It’s something we do little by little, inch by inch.

I think that it’s important to know that recovery happens. It’s possible. But sometimes, it’s overwhelming. Sometimes I feel like finding the right medication combination is never going to happen. Sometimes I feel like therapy is going nowhere, sometimes I feel like progress is being made, sometimes I feel like I’m backsliding and for each step I’ve taken, I’ve gone back twelve.

But that’s not the point. The point is I’m trying. The point is I’m living. The point is that every time I make a good life choice, however small, however insignificant it seems at the time, it’s a step toward recovery, even if it’s just an inch, even if it’s not even quite an inch yet.

The point is I’m moving. The point is I’m getting there. The point is, little by little, I’m working my way towards there. I’m “reaching for the goal, one step at a time.” And by taking lots of little steps, maybe one day, I’ll overcome. And yes, I’ll reach that goal one step at a time.

I learned it bywatching you.

Tim Hawkins summed up this song with “My son got mad ’cause I worked all the time, he grew up to me a jerk just like me. And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon, and some other poetic stuff.”

John Mayer sang “Fathers, be good to your daughters. Daughters will love like you do.” A powerful PSA from 1980’s is “I Learned It By Watching You”

The thing is, children learn from their parents, if they want to admit it or not. Ultimately, in the end, we have the choice to act on what we learned and what we were taught, but it doesn’t mean that it lessens the imprint on us.

There was never a time my father was without a bear can in one hand. His breath always smelled like beer, usually Milwaukee’s Best. He’d sit in front of the computer, with his bag of potato chips and his beer can, watching the telly.

I learned so much from watching him. I learned how to be a good girl. I learned how to act on and to lead people on into thinking everything is fine. I learned how to play the game that makes people think that life is fine and I learned how to throw up walls. I won’t even go into what I learned from my mother.

And then it scares me –
what will I teach my children?

Every lament is a love song

My dad’s dad died in 1975.
My Grandma Dixie (dad’s mom) died when I was eight.
My Pawpaw (Mom’s dad) died when I was nineteen.
My Mawmaw (Mom’s mom) died when I was twenty-three.
There was my great uncle, my great aunt, etc, etc, you get the picture. I’ve been to more funerals than weddings in my lifetime.

I’ve had various friends die over the years. Most were ones I used to be close to but then fell out of touch with. One I used to be close to, then we had a fight and never made up. Others, I just got busy and selfish with life and we just didn’t talk anymore. And it sucks. I have various memorials set up in my room to various people: a stuffed pee cup for Nick (LONG STORY), the teddy bears Rachel sent me long ago, my grandpa’s beanie baby lady bug, the list goes on.

Hell, I just don’t grieve well, I don’t think. I stuff and I stuff and I stuff and I stuff. My puppy (Pirate wasn’t even a year old when he died) died 10 years ago and I still haven’t fully processed it.) But my biggest fear is that I am going to die young. I’m plagued by health problems. What if I die young? What if I leave friends behind asking the same questions I am asking now? What if it isn’t my health that takes me, but a car accident? Something else? Will I leave behind a legacy?

I just can’t help but wonder these things. I’m terrified of dying.

Mrs. Tanner: Sweetie, I’m seventy-four years old, I’m ready to go.
J.D.: Yeah, but with dialysis, you could live another…eighty or ninety years.
Mrs. Tanner: I think you’re being a little irrational.
J.D.: No I’m not.
Mrs. Tanner: Everybody dies sometime.
J.D.: No they don’t.

***

Dr. Cox: (In mock crying voice) But what about our duty as doctors? (Back to normal voice) Look. This is not about Mrs. Tanner’s dialysis, this is about you. You’re scared of death, and you can’t be; you’re in medicine for chrissakes. Sooner or later, you’re going to realize that everything we do around here, everything is a stall. We’re just trying to keep the game going, that’s all. But, ultimately, it always ends up the same way.

***

I’m terrified of death, which is odd considering I was hospitalized in 2006 due to being suicidal and in a crisis home for the same reason in 2009. But I’m terrified of death. It scares me senseless. and that’s just… I don’t even know. I’m out of words to describe how it makes me feel. But I know that my health is falling apart. I know I’m not a healthy 24 year old.

And it breaks my heart that one day, likely while I’m still young, my friends will be wrestling with the same gut-wrenching questions that I wrestle with.

Every lament is a love song,
yesterday, yesterday,
I still can’t believe you’re gone…

Because a thankful heart is a happy heart

“I give thanks for this day, for the sun in the sky!”

It’s Thanksgiving 2011. As I sit in northern Minnesota watching The Big Bang Theory wearing pajamas and mismatched socks and a mug of Nutcracker Sweet tea, I realize that I have so much to be thankful for.

I am thankful for funny TV shows, such as The Big Bang Theory, Scrubs, and How I Met Your Mother. They allow me to laugh and just enjoy things.

I am thankful for friends. Friends are family, too. I am thankful for friends that make sure I am no alone on holidays and that send me random texts throughout the day. I am thankful for random facebook wall posts, random emails, et al.

I am thankful to be alive. After the epic medication fail right after back surgery, after being diagnosed with an eating disorder, after medical test after test, I am grateful to be alive. Even though days are difficult and things like fibromaliga suck, at least my doctors are trying are to give me answers.

I’m thankful for video games! They are fun to play and give me an escape from life. And they let my mind wander and explore things.

I am thankful for gluten free food and that companies are getting better and making gluten free food.

I am thankful for comfy clothes.

I am thankful for my honey dew shampoo that makes me smell awesome.

I am thankful for the Tea Gardens! Mmm, bubble tea.

I am thankful for going to a school where there are disability coordinators who work with me and don’t belittle me.

I am also really thankful for a break from school. I was approaching a nervous breakdown and about to totally fall apart from stress. Which would be bad. I don’t think exploding and randomly falling apart is generally advised. I am still stressed to high heaven but hopefully the break will give me a chance to breathe.

I like writing out this thankful blog post! ^_^

Now she’s left cleaning up the mess he made

I still haven’t forgotten that autumn day, ten years ago. November 28, 2001. It’s kind of hard to believe. I was depressed. And by depressed I mean really freaking depressed. I was fourteen years old. And I had a plan to end my life.

I likely would have gone through with it, had a friend not intervened and notified the police. Had the police not shown up at my small Christian school. I’m told I’m lucky I wasn’t taken into custody or admitted to the hospital.

But even more important was that was the day I realized my dad didn’t care. I was fourteen years old, depressed, and realized where my dad’s priorities were. My school principal had called my church youth pastor, and my youth pastor informed my father. Less than a couple days later, my father no longer cared that I had had a plan to end my life. He was back to his old self.

This is part of why I struggle to view God as a father. Logic tells me that not all fathers are like that. I KNOW good fathers. I KNOW good, Christian fathers and I know good, atheist fathers. I know there are good Jewish fathers, there are good agnostic fathers, it goes on and on and on. But the fact of the matter is I can’t wrap my mind around the concept that the father God is like is nothing like the father I had. Someone who was never there when I needed him. Someone who always had beer in the fridge, but not always a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread.

It gets harder and harder this time of year. Well-meaning people ask if I’m going home for the holidays, and I never know how to answer. I shrug it off, but it still hurts. The ache still lies inside. I have a place to go for the holidays, but gosh, it’s not the same.

and I don’t know where I’m going with this. 😛

Oh, you see that skin?
It’s the same she’s been standing in
Since the day she saw him walking away
Now she’s left, cleaning up the mess he made

Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too