#opendoorstaysopen

doorsopen.jpg

I’m writing a follow up piece to my #opendoor journey and excited to share all my blessings with you from praying and following the open door journey.

In Febuary 2018 thanks to a wonderful sermon series at church I realized that two open doors were being placed in front of me, the organization SAVE and Stephen Ministries.

Since I decided to walk through these doors so many blessings have been given to me.

First I choose to go through the #opendoor for SAVE, I traveled to Minneapolis for training, helped with a 5K and a BINGO event. All during this time I was actively praying for more ways to be involved and to have more leadership with our local charter. About a month ago I reached out to Linda at the SAVE headquarters asking her if she had more ways for me to become a stronger volunteer and make a difference more. Well this past week our Charter Lead Jen decided that she needed to take a step-down from SAVE and was wondering if I would be interested in taking her position as Charter Lead. I stopped for a moment and thought to God, this is the chance for me to be more involved. So of course I said yes to take over the Charter for her. I feel so blessed for this opportunity and can’t wait to see where this journey leads me and the Charter.

And then there is the other #opendoor I decided to walk through Stephen Ministry. I filled out my application in the spring at church and had my interview in July. I am currently on week 2 of training that goes until May. I know that I have been given this opportunity because its just one more way I will be able to help others in their time of need. I have already learned so much about feelings and listening to others I feel like this is definitely a journey I should be on.

So I’ve walked through the doors with an open mindset I am grateful for all the wonderful things that have came into my life because of these decisions…
#whenasermonchangesyourworld #opendoors #one2many #SAVEcentralillinois

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to the friend struggling…

Dear friend,
You have always been there for me in my darkest days…to see you hurting is breaking my heart. Some people you think will never face depression then it creeps up on you when your least expecting it. I told you “i need you to get better” I didn’t mean it in a selfless way… I truly want you to feel better. I know you can’t snap out of it so I’m not even going to try and tell you to. But I feel helpless, now I know what it feels like to have been in your shoes all of these years supporting me. I want to help you but I don’t know how, the only thing I can do right now is to listen…and I will listen. I didn’t sleep at all last night all I could think about was your pain and hoping you are ok. But I need to tell you I’m scared, I’m scared if we don’t find you help things will get very ugly. I’ve been there and I don’t want you to go there. But I know how hard it is, I don’t know what its like to be in your position. I don’t know how it feels to have so many people depending on me the stress you must be under has to be awful. But know that So many people love you and don’t want you to hurt. I’ve never felt so helpless I guess I felt somewhat like this a few years ago when my son went through this but its different this time I know. Know I am your best friend and only want the BEST for you…I want you to put your faith in God right now, I want you to pray when things get tough, I want you to know my ears are always open and I’m just a call away. I love you. Please be strong.
Love me.

#one2many #depressionsucks #ifeelyourpain

to be ok but not ok

So I’ve started this blog ohhh about 8x now and I’m not really sure what to write so I’m just going to wing it now…I want to write a blog about what it feels like to be a mess inside but holding it together. Let me get things straight that I am just an emotional mess and not having any other things going on. I talk to so many people about their feelings that I compress mine most of the time and keep them to myself. So this is my life feels like a mess but I’m getting through it blog.

Living with bipolar, anxiety and depression I’m full of feelings all the time. I don’t want people to know when I am struggling because I think they fear I won’t follow through or be good at the things I need to still be good at. Thats false. I have several commitments in my life and I have thought through each and every one of these commitments with my illness in mind knowing full aware that I might not want to do my commitments at times because of my illnesses. So with that being said, I am struggling right now, but I’m fine. (notice in the picture at the top of “I’m fine” its filled with tons of emotions)

My bipolar is a mess and my depression is very much alive. I last seen my psychiatrist in June because I was going through ECT for the month of July so my follow up appointment wasn’t scheduled until August 24th….WELL a week before my appointment they called to tell me that they needed to cancel it and reschedule it for Sept 11. (Me knowing well aware that I needed that appointment I didn’t put up a fight). Some of my symptoms lately include, not being able to turn my brain off it wants to go go and go. (So my daily housework is usually done before I get the kids off to school and I’m left the rest of the day finding other things to keep my mind occupied). When I can’t find anything to do then my depression rears its evil head and I decide to sleep, once I start sleeping however I cant stop sleeping.

I however have several things going on in my life that I need to stay healthy for. I’m active in SAVE and we have a fundraiser in 2 weeks, I’m a mom with two kids in school, I’m a member of the board on our PTC at school, I’m a wife, and I’m also beginning my training for Stephen ministry. There have been times in my life where I let the best of my illness get to me however I have moved past that and know what I need to do to stay healthy. I need to keep myself active in all the things I am a part of I need to get enough sleep at night and I need to call my dr to tell her what is going on. This past weekend I found myself balling because I need to see the dr something isn’t right I shouldn’t be feeling this way. I know the warning signs when things want to go south….I did call my dr and they were able to get me in a week earlier than planned so I just need to get through the next week till I can see her again.

So today if your feeling like your life is a mess know that your not alone, someone out there is feeling that way too. BUT the good news tomorrow is a new day and the day after that is a new day too. Things can’t stay the way they are forever something good is going to come your way…OK I admit I got a fortune cookie yesterday telling me that but its true when I look at my life and its a mess or things are bad really they can only get better even if its a little bit.

now that I’ve reread this blog its ALL over the place!!! haha my feelings are like a rollercoaster! forgive me for the mess of a blog

#one2many

Harmless comments

I read a post on TheMighty the other day called “25 ‘Harmless’ Comments That Actually Hurt People With Mental Illness”   I expressed that I personally have been affected by 18 of these comments. I thought maybe I would look deeper into that and share my feelings about these comments…

1- “have you taken your meds today” honestly this comment just makes me feel like I’m not ok! YES I have taken my meds today and honestly if I forgot just one time this morning I’m pretty sure the medication that took two weeks to take full affect on me is still in my system from yesterday… So Yes I took my meds maybe i’m just having a bad day, thank you for your concern though.

2- “Just think of the people worse off than you” well I know there are plenty of people worse off than me…. I’m sure I didn’t just tell you that I have the most horrible life because I know that there are people in much more terrible situations… however I am still allowed to feel depressed.

3- “You have such a good life what do you have to be depressed about?” YES I will admit I do have wonderful things in my life and I am thankful for them but 1- I didn’t choose to be depressed 2-I didn’t choose to have bipolar 3- I didn’t choose to have PTSD. (aka I’m still suffering from a traumatic experience) SO I’m sorry but I do have my own reasons other than what I have to be thankful for.

4- “Everyone gets stressed sometimes” YES we ALL get stressed however living with anxiety and other multiple mental disorders I get stressed too and I have that right just like EVERYONE else is allowed to be stressed.

5- “Everyone gets sad sometimes” yes we all get sad and we are allowed to have that feeling too….just because my sadness and depression are different than your sadness doesn’t make it invalid.

6- “BUT that happened years ago” I’m sorry but this is probably one of the worst comments I have heard said to me…YES I was sexually abused by my father YEARS ago however that still doesn’t just go away…I still feel worthless and crappy because of this. I didn’t choose what happened to me and he didn’t have the right to do the damage he did to me. So yes it happened years ago but it affects me in a lot of ways today.

7- “your too young to be struggling so much” WHAT does my age have to do with my mental status…..it’s about my brain and life experiences that I have gone through.  I don’t think just because Im 32 I shouldn’t be allowed to have mental illness.

8- “Just think positive” HA you don’t think I haven’t already tried that? Yes when I am feeling bad I do think of the positive things in my life BUT somehow someway the negative things in my life are still there TOO! While I will admit having a positive outlook does help me it doesn’t always fix the problem.

9- “Give it to God” I have given it to GOD and he has helped me through some tough things in my life, I believe my faith in God is one of the biggest reasons I am healthy today but I do still struggle at times.

10- “How could you be depressed, think about your children” Well even though I have children I can still have depression and some of my depression actually got worse when my last child was born.  I had something called POSTPARTUM depression aka depression after having a child… SO yes I do think about my children and love them more than anything however I still do have depression.

11- “stop being so negative” I think when my depression gets the best of me I do forget all the positive things in my life and the BAD things tend to make me negative… So I’m sorry for being negative I don’t mean to be.

12- “Think about your OCD this way..at least your house will be clean” REALLY?!? I think this one more annoys me than hurts me… my house is not always clean thats because sometimes my OCD causes me to do other things like making more of a mess or obsessing over tv shows…things like that….so no my house isn’t always clean….my OCD doesn’t clean my house for me.

13- “you need to relax” well if I could just shut my brain off for a little bit I COULD relax. Do you really think I want to be up at 4 am because I can’t relax or do you really think I want to be going 100mph all the time… NO I would LOVE to just sit down and RELAX!

14- “I don’t know what to tell you” this just makes me feel like i’m alone in my struggles.

15- “your so strong” while I know i’m strong its the “BUT your so strong” that hurts my feelings it makes me feel like when i’m down and going through a tough time that I am weak, I didn’t choose for all the traumatic things in my life to happen to me and there were plenty of times I wasn’t strong enough

16- “Happiness is a choice” When i’m going through manic phase of my bipolar I really don’t think happiness is a choice because no matter what I do during that time it results in some depression.  If it was that simple to ALWAYS be happy don’t you think I would choose to be?!? in case you didn’t know my answer DUH I would love to be happy all the time.

17- “you seem so much better” well I must have been pretty crappy then because I must have been pretty miserable to be around…or that I better not get worse again because I was just SO much better.

18- “personally I would never take medication” sooo you wouldn’t take medication if you had and infection or if you had heart disease?!? Me taking medication to help the chemical imbalance in my brain is just like people taking medications for diabetes or thyroid problems…SO yes I will continue to take my medication.

SO these are my feelings and yes they are all “harmless” comments thats why I just move on when I hear these things and don’t take it personally but they can also be hurtful to hear. Please be kind when choosing your words…

#one2many

shine again…

So it’s been awhile since I have wrote on here over a month actually…life has been hectic I guess you could say, “I’ve had a little rain in my life.” I finished my 6 sessions of ECT July 13th and am taking a break due to side effects. My memory is horrible and I was starting to forget too many things so I thought it would be a good idea to take a break from ECT since my depression was doing better.

I watched a short video on facebook today and it sparked me to write again… Here is a short version of my life experiences… I have been suffering from depression and anxiety since I was in high school, my first suicide attempt was actually in high school… (i was being bullied). I was diagnosed with bipolar in 2008. I have tried numerous medications to help with my illnesses and haven’t had much relief. In March 2015 my best friend died from her own illness she died by suicide, it shattered me for months, years and to this day I’m still crushed that she is no longer here. The week before my friend past away I had a hysterectomy and was dealing with hormone imbalance as well. I tried to cope after my friend died but with the hormonal loss, my own illnesses and loosing her I couldn’t cope….I tried overdosing with my anxiety pills and alcohol. I spent a lot of time inpatient those months following, I had even lost the rights to see my kids because of my suicide attempt….In August 5 months after my surgery and her passing I was admitted to the hospital…. again. This time they decided to try ECT on me…. I am so thankful the dr suggested this treatment, finally I was on my way to recovering and grieving the proper way. In 2017 my son became depressed and was diagnosed with depression, PTSD and ADHD. At the young age of 9 he was already going through what I have gone through most of my life. He also became a danger to himself, we sought help immediately for him as I knew the warning signs… After months of treatment, medication and therapy I can now say he is a thriving young man! In February 2018 my phone rang… I knew something was wrong right after I answered the phone. I got news that another friend and past boyfriend had passed away… by suicide. This time I got the news I was in a much better place mentally…my heart broke for all the loved ones as I attended the funeral for him. As I drove home from the funeral I decided that 1 funeral was too many and 2 was not acceptable. I needed to do something to help others, even if I help 1 person through what they are going through I know I can honor my friends who are no longer with us. I started doing research for suicide awareness and stumbled over an organization called SAVE…I joined the group right away. Also I was sitting in church and decided to apply to be a Stephen Minister as well… (Stephen Ministers are congregation members trained by Stephen Leaders to offer high-quality, one-to-one Christian care to people going through tough times.) In June of 2018 however my own depression and anxiety started to get the best of me, I knew I was heading for a relapse so I called my dr and asked to go through another round of ECT treatments. In July I had my interview to become a Stephen Minister and I start my training in September…. So why did I just tell you my story is what you are probably thinking….

Its because I have life experience… I myself have wanted my life to be over. My life at some points I just wanted to run away and never come back… BUT I can tell you that if I wasn’t here I wouldn’t be able to tell you that someone cares…if you think no one cares talk to me because I CARE. Loosing someone to suicide changes the lives of all the people that you know… whether its been a few hours, few days or several years since you have even seen them they CARE that you are going through something tough and their life will change forever. You are loved by someone somewhere and life can get better… (i know you have heard that before, but I’m here to tell you that yes its tough sometimes but it has gotten better with help)

If you or someone you know is going through a tough time the National Suicide phone number is 1-800-273-8255

you are loved…remember that!

ECT-Electroconvulsive therapy

10 days

one2many

So what is ECT you might ask…

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a procedure, done under general anesthesia, in which small electric currents are passed through the brain, intentionally triggering a brief seizure. ECT seems to cause changes in brain chemistry that can quickly reverse symptoms of certain mental illnesses.

NOW what are the RISKS-

  • Confusion. Immediately after treatment, you may experience confusion, which can last from a few minutes to several hours. You may not know where you are or why you’re there. Rarely, confusion may last several days or longer. Confusion is generally more noticeable in older adults.
  • Memory loss. Some people have trouble remembering events that occurred right before treatment or in the weeks or months before treatment or, rarely, from previous years. This condition is called retrograde amnesia. You may also have trouble recalling events that occurred during the weeks of your treatment. For most people, these…

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