Saturday, April 27, 2013

... 100 posts later ...

may 11, 2012  to april 27, 2013 is roughly 11 months and 17 days.

that is the time from my first blog post to now, my 100th blog post :)

i wanted to do something special for this post. so i decided to dedicate it to someone special

i am blessed to have so many incredible people in my life. so many friends who love and support me during my bad/rough days. family who cares for me and gently loves me as i try to get well. i feel the love of so many.

there is someone in particular who encouraged me to start writing about my journey and who has inspired me throughout the process of discovering my life. 
that person is s.

sometimes i wonder if my readers think s is real or if she's a person i've made up. well she's real :) and she's amazing. she is-to me-a friend, mentor, and momma.

i've wondered how to best present my 100th post dedicated to s and want to do it in 9 points on the subject of 'how s has changed my life for the better' written to her. *feel free to read along*

1 ::: s, from the very first moment we met, you told me i was smart. and i believed you. we met at my friend's house. you were doing speech there. and you knew i was smart. from that first moment. you have a natural ability to look at a person and see his or her good. you did that for me. believed in me. i think that's a moment when i started believing in myself.

2 ::: you taught me to start with people where they are. when we were working together and you were my supervisor that's the first thing you taught me about my speech kids. i can't expect them to be speaking tomorrow. speech takes time. and later as we became friends and not just co-workers, you taught me that mental health disorders take time. i have to start where i am and work from there. this has been especially comforting recently as i have had to step back and go back to the basics of functioning. i'm not where i used to be. i'm where i'm at. and i have to start there.

3 ::: you wrote me while i was on my mission trip. you took time out of your life to stay in touch with me. i can't tell you how much that means to me. getting a card from you was a piece of heaven in my day. it always brought a smile to my face and comforted my heart. i knew you cared about me and that we were true friends. i have said this to you recently, but i want to say it again : your style of writing has a comfortable and real read to it. with all of your creative drawings and appropriate uses of caPitaLs it makes them interesting and fun! no one writes the way you do - ah! i wish i could explain this better. you have such a unique way of writing. with excellently placed and planned ///\\\ and *** and spaces and ## your writing invites the reader to take more away from your words than just your words. yes maybe that's it. and - that's why your book will be a success.

4 ::: you inspire me to dream. 

5 ::: when i fall down, you remind me that i am precious cargo. that i am worth more than i think and that i am dear to you. we both know that i've struggled with self injury. every time i 'fall down' with this one, you remind me to take care of my wounds and myself and that all will be well soon. i am precious to you.  you gave me the poem desiderata. it has been such a balm to my wounded soul at times when i cannot express the pain i am in. it's like the poem gets me and brings me back to a safe place and reminds me of the simple tasks i need to focus on to get through the day. left foot right foot, right momma?

6 ::: remember that time when we bought a dog? *wink wink* ;) you taught me the importance of pet therapy! and though mine didn't last as long as yours has i have ^hope^ that one day i will be able to what a classic moment that was. there i was holding abby in the store. i look up at you, "um, i'm buying this dog...." you : "i'm not giving nor not giving you permission to buy this dog" best.thing.ever. to say! you get it. you always have and you always will. it doesn't matter that it didn't work out with me and owning a pet at that time. you supported my right to make a decision and be an individual. and ya, looking back on that situation, we totally should've gone looking for a rocking chair ;)

7 ::: you taught me the importance of S O N I C ! and. that no matter what, i am always safe at sonic. always. there, i can go and press a lovely red button, have a kind voice ask me what i want and i can say any drink in the world - seriously over 300,000 combinations - and have it delivered to my car. i can sit there for as long as i need to and not be disturbed. if i get hungry, just press the red button again. always bring something to write on. there is good processing that can be done at sonic. it's a safe place to go when my world gets to be too much.

8 ::: this is so fresh. it happened so recently. but. remember when i went inpatient because i was ready to end my life? after all of that i came away a muted angry and one day you sent me one of the most reassuring letters i have ever received in my life. 5 reasons to live. five reasons to L I V E. to live my life.

First reason
i dont want you to
Reason Two
we have not sat and chatted
about them (shrinks/counselors) as best that
can be chatted up and on
and through about it all.
You have not read my book.
Reason Three. You have to \
wait to be done with life.
Reason Four you might
Hate to Hear, but Rachel
You have not tried enough
medications and therapists
to give up yet. 
Reason Five - if you live
like me I predict you will be
hard pressed to feel the depth
of sadness you feel now.

those are your exact reasons. you wrote more under each one. but those are for me to read and hold onto. your writing is so beautiful. and those reasons kept/\keep me alive. especially the first one. thank you.

9 ::: because no one can make up words like we can :) hoohaa being one of my favorites ! some of our other texting traditions that come to mind are checking in with each other with a number and color or you sending me peace and air at the end of each text. i know it changes the way i feel. just like for the first year after i was home from my mission trip you texted me to 'remember to breathe' and that's how i learned therapeutic breathing. not in an office with a counselor but because of your constant reminders. yes, those are the two words 'constant reminders.' you constantly remind me that i am worthy and enough. and that's why i love you so very much.

the world needs more you's, momma. more friends who support and uplift as you do. more talented individuals such as yourself who have suffered with mental health and come out stronger and better from it. a person who understands and relates to others. and one who loves generously with all her heart.

there is so much to you. it can't be summed up in a blog post. or even 100 :) but i want you to know that i'm more than gaterful that god put you in my life. you have forever changed the course of it.


me and s

Monday, April 22, 2013


my life has changed so drastically.

i don't know where to 'start.'

depression. sucks.

seriously. depression for me has become being one with my bed. the things i used to be able to do every day seem like mountains i am unable to climb ::: brushing my hair, taking a shower, washing my face, brushing my teeth, eating. this list could go on forever. because when you feel empty, hollow, lost and alone, these things don't matter

it's 'funny' that the only thing you can feel with depression is sadness. the joy goes away, the happiness, the excitement, it all exits stage right and center stage forward : sadness. depression is such a downer of a word too. whoever named it named it well. it makes you feel down just saying it.

i used to be so ocd about showering every day. it was really very important to me. now, i can't. it takes so much energy i need a nap after.

so much of this will make no sense to many. but hopefully i can validate even one person. you're not alone. and no, it's not normal. 

along with these lovely feelings i was suicidal, that's why i had to go to the hospital. the thoughts came on so slowly. and then i became fixated on them. i couldn't find a rational way out of my problems and it seemed the only way to 'fix' my problems was to end my life. the pain of living felt greater than the pain of dying. i'm grateful for a wise doctor who saw the signs and admitted me quickly; for supportive parents and loving friends who visited me.

but i will be very clear and transparent when i say that there have been days since when i have wished that i had had the courage to take my life rather than stay here and do all of the recovery work. the path of recovery is more painful and difficult than i ever could have imagined. and no one truly understands unless they have walked this lonely, broken road.

i have been told that my current actions/thoughts - such as cutting and wanting to walk in front of a moving car - are not healthy coping behaviors and they need to be addressed. though i feel empty, i have been told there is 'hope.' a therapy called dialectical behavior therapy - dbt - is what my next stepping stone will most likely be. it's scary and overwhelming, but i can't live like this. i have to do something to get out of this hell pit i'm in.

so - to sum this post all up - depression sucks. really, really sucks. and if you are struggling with depression : i understand : and if you are supporting someone with depression : please be patient with them and work with them where they are. i'm not always this calm and clear headed about how i'm doing - in fact usually i'm either sleeping, attending therapy, or watching tv - those are the only places my thoughts don't get the better of me - but i've had my dose of xanax tonight. i really need to wax my legs but that seems like a task i will never be able to do. maybe one day.

and until then, i'll remember this 



Thursday, April 11, 2013

a collection of poems

over the years i have written some poems about what i have been going through. i have found poetry to be a good outlet for me - a way to express what i'm feeling and process new emotions. here are some poems starting back in 2011 when i was really struggling with anger (and i've been real open about how i've dealt with that emotion on my blog - just type in the search bar 'anger' :).

Miss Angry
Today I am angry.
Not mad or upset or put-out.
I am angry.
Today it’s
Hell not heck;
Damn not dang;
Ass not butt;
Pissed not ticked;
Sucks not stinks;
Shit not poop.
And my anger, she grows
when you tell her not to speak.
She yells and screams and demands to finally be heard.
“Listen!” she yells.
I try to hide her inside – my stomach hurts.
“I must speak!” she screams.
I try to quiet her, shut my mouth, – my jaw aches.
“I will be acknowledged!” she demands.
I try to turn my thoughts off – my head throbs.
Lights off, noise off.
Dark room, cool room.
Lay down.
Listen to her – loud then soft then silent,
I welcome the medication.
Miss Angry leaves for now, but will be back.
April 8, 2011

“Failure: Loss of ability to function normally.”

Her hands come slowly around my chest.
Breaths now shallow; lungs are hollow.
She courses through my breast.
I find no room to swallow.

Trickling down, she enters my hands,
numbing my arms in her path.
They once functioned as one; now in strands.
She pushes on unleashing her full wrath.

Deeper now - into my feet.
My legs ache as she pounds at my mold.
Faster now – nothing sweet.
Almost done; my limbs are so cold.

Racing up, her commander in there,
the thought who started it all.
“I am so ugly with clothes too small to wear!”
So began the rolling of the ball.

Paralyzed, I cannot face society,
all parts filled with anxiety.
April 8, 2011

Empty, incomplete, unsettled,
lost and hollow inside;
no ambition, no hope, no dreams.

It’s a strange sensation
to feel purposeless and directionless.
I don’t understand the meaning of this day.

What have I accomplished?
Nothing to check off my list –
No List.

Yet, the day happened.
I lived it, I’m sure; but looking back
it’s as if I didn’t.

I left no lasting impression on the day;
no change in the course of my life or others.
In a word, I am: Useless.

Have I out of necessity done this?
No Feelings – No Pain
I hurt too deeply to feel each day.

If I felt the pain I feel in moments
every day – even once every day –
I would not survive.

It’s personal, raw, torturous, mean,
aggressive, deflating, angry and sharp.
That’s my pain.

I do not feel.
I cannot feel.
I must not feel.

What is well?
What is normal?
When will “I” return?
May 18, 2011

I. Am. Fragile.
I. Am. Protective.
I. Am. Scared.
I. Am. Anxious.
I. Feel. Heavy.
I. Feel. Confused.
I. Feel. Closed.
I. Feel. Angry.
I. Want. Relief.
I. Want. Now.
I. Want. Over.
I. Want. Done.
I will wait. 
June 21, 2011

Dark and dreary,
lacking sleep.
Pressure building:
begin to weep.

Ruthless, mean, sharp:
That’s me.
Is it
who they see?

Calm, humble, patient,
she hides:
and listens
to those lies.

Growing stronger; bright.
She knows
the seeds
The Gardner sows.

He lifts sights;
I strive
to see.
I am alive.
June 21, 2011

the mood of my poems changed around this time. therapy and meds started working better and i had more hope in my journey.


Open my heart and give room
I begin to create space,
and think there’s no place.
This heart overcome with gloom.

Fear is my friend.
I know he’ll say,
“See, you’ve failed in every way.
There is no way to mend.”

Why is the thing I hate the most
the one I turn to and trust?
He seems to be a welcoming host,
but gives me only crumb and crust.

How do I turn to my Savior who’s true?
What do I become?  What do I do?
April 4, 2011

Eyes of a Shepherd
There He stands, holding his staff,
Tenderly watching those He loves.
His eyes bring peace as the doves.
Did He see my other half? 

Try again; look up.
See! He beckons across the field.
He covenants to be my shield.
Doubt returns - fills my cup
“Come, little Lamb, come to me.”
His loving arms reach out.
“Shepherd, no, I’m not like thee.”
“Come and I’ll remove the doubt.”

I begin to walk; Rising dust
leads me to a greater trust.
April 8, 2011

To Thee
I do not trust, I cannot see,
Oh, Lord, please bring me safe to Thee.
Weight, pain, I cannot bear,
Oh, Lord, please show me how to share.
Anguish creeps into my soul,
Oh, Lord, please take control.
I thought I knew my role,
Oh, Lord, please make me whole.
Fears and doubts cloak my prayer;
Oh, Lord, please lift this care.
Help me cross unknown paths, I plea.
Oh, Lord, please bring me safe to Thee.
September 29, 2011 

and here we have some poems of the present day. all inspired by something s has said to me :) enjoy

Five pills
To counteract sad
That brings me down
And starts the cycle
All over again
Take meds!
March 31, 2013

a poem
my stupid therapy classes
are FULL of jack assess!
well, that's not true.
they just leave me blue.
thinking of all i have to do.
we sit in tables of four
feet placed on the floor
from the hospital we came
cause we were going insane
and it wasn't a game
listen and take notes
coping skills shoved down our throats
process it all in group
their advice sends me for a loop
i feel like poop
April 9, 2013

Mental Health
ills ills ills create the need for
pills pills pills which start the cycle of
bills bills bills which make me ill ill ill.
April 11, 2013