this is your life, are you who you want to be?

I’m kind of freaked out at the moment. Okay, let’s rephrase that. I’m very freaked out. I very much want to go in the ministry. I want to teach, to reach, to help. But I don’t think that Director of Christian Outreach is right. I’m not made to witness to people! I can’t do these face to face convos, calling people to faith! I can’t help a pregnant woman, because I don’t fully believe that abortion is wrong. I can’t help a gay person, because I don’t know that it’s wrong to be gay and I’ve become more accepting of it over the years.

But how can I be a director of Christian outreach when bringing people into the church freaks me out? I don’t want to bring new people in – I want to help the ones who are here. I go into a cold sweat, panic, puke, cry, clam up, and my mind goes blank when I have to do this stuff – even though I know it all logically. I can do it over a messenger. But if i have to do it in person? It’s a living hell. I’m not made to do this! I want to teach! I want to read about Mark (my favourite gospel) and make it relatable! I want to play with children! I want to do young adult ministry! (I can’t deal with teenagers :P) I don’t want to pull new people into the church! I’m fine with helping the broken, Lord knows i want to help those who have been broken be it by the church or by life or both. But I’m not the one to pull them into a relationship with Christ.

I’ve been struggling with this for awhile. It doesn’t help that my eating disorder is out of control, it doesn’t help that my pain and depression and ADD are not medicated. (I go to pick up my Remeron  tomorrow). It doesn’t help that I’m struggling to pass math. It doesn’t help that I’m trying to find an apartment, move off campus, line up doctor’s appointments. And at times it feels like I’m doing it all single-handedly. It doesn’t help that I feel so stressed out.

It’s like I’m playing Pokemon, and I’m up against a trainer who has the attack that’s super effective against me. We’re down to a grass pokemon and a fire pokemon, and I have no other pokemon left other than my poor Leafeon and they’re kicking ass with Rapidash. I can’t flee from a trainer battle, and so attack after attack is hurled at me until I faint, until I black out.


Ahem. Anyway, I’m struggling with this. This is my life, is it who I want to be? I try to make the changes to make things better but it’s hard. And there are some things I cannot change. I guess it’s like the serenity prayer:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to accept the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.”
It just seems like such a struggle some days. Every attack is super effective, and wears me down more and more. I just don’t know what to do anymore and how to keep pulling through. 

And she fools all of her friends into thinking she’s so strong but she still sleeps with the light on

My bed is soaked with sadness
My sadness has no end has no end
A downward of  spiral of dispair
That I keep falling in 
I need you how, how I need you 
Your silence is like death to me,
so won’t you hear my desperate plea?
-I Need You, The Swift

It’s hard some days to get myself out of bed. My alarm goes off, a few swear words slip past my lips, a stuffed animal may fly across the room. I’m not a morning person by nature, never have been. But when you’re trapped in depression, when your greatest enemy is that reflection in the mirror, sometimes hauling yourself out of bed is one of the most difficult things of the day.

I suppose I make it sound like I’m drowning in depression. Some days I am. Some days I wonder why I get out of bed when I’ve barely slept the night before and daytime is the only time I’m able to actually sleep. When I’m running on two to three hours a sleep a night, and a couple hour nap during the day. Why I bother even trying to hope, trying to dream, when it seems like my hopes and dreams and wishes will just be crushed. It’s hard.

Living with depression is like fighting a monster every morning. My days and nights are reversed. I just want solace – just some relief from all the pain I’m trapped in. It feels like just doing simple things – hanging out with friends, eating, hauling my butt out of bed, doing the laundry, drain all the effort and energy out of me and I’m left alone with my thoughts.

All I want to do is be free from this demon I battle. I want to be truly happy again, and not a person that I want to hide from. But I don’t know how. I don’t know how to open up about the past and allow people – friends, therapists, pastors, et al, help me. I don’t know how to let people understand and even begin to give me a chance to have hope again.

For as much as I want to hope, dream, laugh, love, and carry on with my life, it scares the everliving shit out of me. All I’ve known for over a decade is depression. All I’ve known is bleakness. All I’ve known is living in fear and terror. And as exhilarating and thrilling the other side might be – it’s completely unknown. It’s something I’ve never felt before. What if it’s too much? What if I don’t like it? What if I taste the other side, and I don’t like it at all? What if it hurts? What if I get a sampling of it, and I wind up falling back into depression? Would the relapse be that much worse because I’ve tasted the other side? Or would it be better once I pull out of the funk again, because I know what the other side is like? 

I get sick of trying various antidepressants. I get sick of feeling like this – I don’t WANT to be like this! But how do I attempt something I’ve never tried, how do I try something I just don’t know? How do I even attempt to spread my wings and fly, when every time I’ve tried to fly I’ve fallen?

Depression sucks. I’ll leave you with Adventures in Depression because that sums it up better than I ever could.

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. 🙂

You’re beautiful, like a rainbow

One of my favourite commercials (more like a PSA)  has been the Dove – True Colors ad. I don’t think it’s been on television for a few years now. I remember it coming out my senior year of high school. That year sucked beyond measure, but that’s a moot point.

Thing is? We all have things we don’t like about ourselves. I struggle with my body image on a daily basis. It’s a battle I constantly fight against myself.

The thing is? It doesn’t matter that I walk with a limp or my knee snaps out of joint. It doesn’t matter that my posture is awkward or I’m not a perfect weight. It doesn’t matter because really, it’s not much in the grand scheme of things. I doubt when my friends think of me they are thinking the same things I think when I look in the mirror (Gah, another blemish. Shit, my hair is a mess. Dammit, I look fat today. God, why don’t my shoulders lie straight!). Instead, they think about the good things (and okay, maybe some of the annoying things like the fact they have to debate with me to get me to do things like, oh, eat) about my character.

It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that while I belittle myself over my appearance, it’s not what others do. And really, the things I hate so much are likely what others like. And I need to learn that it’s not a big deal what’s on the outside – that it’s what’s inside that really matters. And not fully inside, like my heart and my lungs (although I reckon those things are good as well) but the person I am deep within.

But I see your true colours shining through,
I see your true colours, and that’s why I love you

(Wow, my nearly 3 am postings when I should be asleep are interesting. Curse you, insomnia!)

I’m walking impaired

Being disabled is really such a strange thing. This is a horribly bad picture of me, but you get the gist:

I feel that when people see the crutches, they cast a judgement. They they think I’m weak, that I’m not smart, that I’m deaf, that I’m dumb, that I’m mute (HA! I bet my friend wish at times), that something isn’t right with me. I feel because I have a bad back, off-kilter balance, weak knee, and more that I’m somehow incomplete. That something isn’t right with me.

And it’s a horrible, horrible feeling. I wonder if I’m broken. I wonder if I can be fixed. I wonder what people think when they see me. And I wonder if I will ever live a day without pain. There is literally nothing they can do for my knee at this point in time. My back has been fused.My balance disorder has an unknown origin. As I get older, my NF will continue to progress and I will become more and more disabled. I may be able to achieve my two dreams: get a license and go overseas, but that will take more time and energy and effort than most people.

It’s a hallowing feeling, knowing that I’m only 24, yet already destined to live a life of pain. I will likely never know what it’s  like to be fully pain free, only how to better manage and control the pain. I will never know what it’s like to do so many things that so many people take for granted. I don’t know what it’s like to not have a laundry list of disorders, or to make sure every place I go is somehow handicap accessible. I will likely never know what it’s like to have a child, as the disorder would not only harm me, it would harm the baby. I get so angry. I get so frustrated. And I wonder why God chose me to walk this path. I get frustrated that over the course of a year I see more doctors and specialists than most people see in their entire lives.

I’m told that God must have a special plan for me, that He must know something. Perhaps he does. But it doesn’t change how angry I am that I was made this way. That my life is consumed with appointments to just try and give me a normal life, something others take for granted. That in addition to the physical ailments, I was cursed with PTSD and ED-NOS (coming soon in a blog entry near you about those).

I wonder if it would be easier if I had a family support structure, that when I’m up in pain at 5:30 in the morning, crying because I can’t sleep because my back kills and I can’t move my leg, if that would make it better. Or if it’s better that I often suffer silently, so that others don’t know, don’t worry, don’t have the chance to care.

It’s funny the thoughts that run through my head – even though I know most of them are purely irrational. I wonder how much the pain fogs them.

It’s a brand new day and the sun is high

I was kind of lame and didn’t even make it until midnight for the first time in several years. Um, oops. Oh well. I hope that lameness doesn’t last into the new year. 😉

I like to reflect on New Years, and what all went down in the previous year. I transferred out of a school that was a living hell for me and I had back surgery. People I loved died. My mom, whom I have virtually no contact with, got diagnosed with a form of cancer. I had many health struggles and many friendship difficulties. I got my official eating disorder DX. I’ve been fighting my insurance. So much has hit the fan this year.

I made new friends, made other friendships stronger, and lost some friendships. But I did learn many things this past year:

1. To quote the Fray: “Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.”
2. Sometimes, we have to man up (woman up) and do what is emotionally painful and has dire consequences, just because it’s the right thing.
3. We shouldn’t let petty fights end friendships that one were once beautiful, because life is fragile and we don’t know when that person will die. Petty fights aren’t worth being immature over.
4. I’m learning more about cooking gluten free food. Sometimes it tastes awesome and I make seconds, other times it tastes awful and I have to choke it down. 😉
5. Sometimes, taking a scary plunge into a new horizon is the best possible choice.

Old stuff: some old NYE/New Year’s Day Posts:

December 31, 2005:
2005. It’s almost over.

I’m filled with memories by it. Some good, some bad. This year is one to remember, for sure. My entire life changed this year. Everything changed. Is there a better hope for next year? Is there a better life next year? I hope so.

I mean, this year, I turned 18. Of course, it wasn’t the best birthday, I can only hope my birthday in 2006 will be better. I changed schools, I moved, so much changed.

Will two thousand and six be better?”

January 1, 2006:

“Sometimes I wish it was easier. I wish I could just trust in God. I wish I could just love Him, but I don’t know that I can. I don’t know what I want with my life anymore.

I don’t know what I want to do. I don’t know where I want to turn. I don’t know where I want to go. I don’t know what to do with all these feelings bubbling up inside of me.

I don’t know what to do with this bitterness. I don’t know what to do with this hatred. I don’t know what to do with this pain, what to turn it into, what to channel it to.

I don’t know what to do with this feeling of not being good enough. I don’t know what to do with thse memories. I can’t just shove them aside, after all.

I don’t know what to do with the past. I don’t know what to do with it. I know I need to learn from it, but I don’t know what to do with it. I just don’t know anything anymore.

I don’t know where I need to turn. I don’t know what I need to do. I just know..that I need help.”

2012, please don’t suck.

Dear 2012,
Please kick my ass and make up for all the crapiness I dumped.
Love, 2011.

Meet the Blogger

I suppose now would be a good time to write out some more info about me.

I go by the nickname Nora, but my legal name is Angelique. I live in Minnesota, but I was born and raised in Ohio. I’m 24 years old and a junior in college double majoring in psychology and ministry, with a minor in communications.

All that to say, my life is pretty busy during the school year. I’m doing some work with the TV studio this year which will be interesting, because most of my training and knowledge lies in radio. I ran my own radio show, The Coast to Toast show, at my previous college. I really enjoyed it, but had to give it up because of health issues. I miss radio like mad, though. I am, however, truck trained and certified with CTV North Suburbs (community access TV in St Paul) but most of what I know is with graphics and sound. I want to learn more about video type work because I am a dismal artist and so I would love for video to become my art form.

I love to sing. I’m a 2nd soprano/1st alto swing, depending on the piece. I’m not doing choir this semester because my life is crazy with school and doctor’s appointments. I suffer from a genetic disorder known as NF1 (click the NF1 tag below to read more about it), along with a myriad of other issues. I had major back surgery this summer, and I’m still recovering from it. They say full recovery will take a year if no issues arise.

Musicals are awesome. I love RENT, Hairspray, Annie… if I were to list them all you’d be here way too long *laugh*. Movies are fun, too. I love those 80s movies and early 90s flicks that are so bad they’re good. I love watching movies, and falling for the characters… that escape into another realm. I also love to read. I’m currently reading the Chronicles of Narnia for the first time ever, and it’s pretty incredible. My favourite is The Giver, with a close second to Tuck Everlasting. I love the Harry Potter series, as well as A Series of Unfortunate Events (I really wish the movie had been better, though for the latter).

I love anime. Love love love. My all time favourite is Fruits Basket. I’m currently working my way through Fullmetal Alchemist, Full Metal Panic, and Ouron High School Host Club. Yes, all at the same time. After this, Negima, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid are on my list. My favourite off air TV shows include Scrubs, Newsradio, Fraiser, WKRP in Cincinnati, Three’s Company, and Family Ties. For current shows, it’s mainly How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory. I love video games. I rock the N64 and hope to acquire a Nintendo DS and a Playstation 2. I’m an RPG fan girl, but I also love beating the crap out of things.

My favourite colour is orange. I also love yellow. Colours are important. Song lyrics sum up my life. I quote them, use them as Tweets (what a weird word), use them in Facebook status, etc.

At one point, I would have said my faith is my life. Now, I’m at a point where I’m recreating my beliefs. I believe there is a God, but I am not sure what He is. I believe there is a greater force out there driving us, but I’m not sure how it lives in our lives. I don’t know what I am. I’m not agnostic, I’m not an atheist. I hesitate to use the label “Christain” because it holds such a strong many people.

I’ll close my about me with a few song lyrics, as they say what I cannot. I told you I like song lyrics!

It just takes some time, little girl

You’re in the middle of the ride

everything, everything will be just fine

everything, everything will be alright, alright (Jimmy Eat World – The Middle)

“Sometimes I hear my voice and it’s be here…

silent all these years.”
(Tori Amos – Silent All These Years)

Things will get better, this I promise you

you won’t feel this way forever

Things will get better, this I promise you (and I know)

Loneliness won’t last forever
(Spoken – Promise)

There’s only us, there’s only this

Forget regret, or life is yours to miss

No other road, no other way

No day but today
(Various parts of RENT by Jonathon Larson)