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Thursday, 22 June 2017

LET'S BE HAPPY


Let's lighten up the mood over here because I feel that the atmosphere on this blog has been so depressing and low lately and I need to reflect on the things God's put on my heart this month. Obviously, the way to reflect happiness is to start by talking about anxiety.

This month has actually been really amazing for me. God has reignited and placed new dreams on my heart, evolving the dreams I had before and giving me new ones to pursue. If you know me, you know that I love to dream, plan, imagine and create things. This month has also been a struggle because I realised that I've been 'fake happy' for a long time and it's something that you can't discern until you've experienced real happiness again, so it's been sad to see how much I was missing and how unhappy I really was before. The anxiety amongst it all is that I think that it's not going to last and, eventually, I'm going to go back to being 'fake happy'. I think that deep down, everyone has this fear somewhere, the fear that the good is going to come to an end and you'll go back into a darker, helpless place. In all honesty, I'm deeply afraid of that and if I were to go back, I don't think that I'd get through it this time around. It's hard but I believe and trust that God wouldn't take me through anything that I can't handle, I don't know what is going to happen but I'm enjoying living in the moment knowing that I've placed all my worries and anxiety in the safest hands there are.

So, back to reflecting on happiness. Well, I don't think I've ever asked anyone to wait for the next post to find out more, but that's what I'm doing now. I think it'll be great to explain it over a few posts rather than one, I'll get to talk in further detail and it'll be fun and great and I can't wait and it's so exciting, for me anyway. On another note, I've always wanted to move some of my blog topics over to YouTube but haven't because I really hate hearing, seeing and watching myself in videos. However, I'm considering it again so watch this space (maybe).

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Courage


Here goes nothing.

As I mentioned back in December, I know that this is going to be a year of overcoming and out of everything I know I need to overcome, this is the biggest and the first that comes to mind, so it's only right that I share all about it.

I struggled so much to write this post and that's how I knew that this was the right time for me to have a moment of faith and a spark of courage and share my story with all of you. I had to write this day-by-day, in short parts, as I found it hard to get all of my feelings and thoughts out in one post. It's taken awhile and I wrote it in as much depth and detail as I could. This is the story that I felt pushed by God to write and the hardest thing I've had to share and admit to, letting my walls down so that I can show my heart, the true feelings I felt on this little journey of mine (in which I am far from completing). It's kind of written in a journal/diary format but it's readable.

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
John 1:5


February
. . .

I want to start out by saying that this post is getting right to the heart of this blog, the reason why I started it and the post I've been anticipating for 3 years. I've always told myself that I'd write about this when it felt right - and it does now. As I've said before, this blog has been (and still is) an open diary for me, somewhere I know people can see what I write but it's still a personal thing to me. This post isn't so much a topic but more like an outpour of my heart and soul. I said that this year God wants me to overcome and this is a reflection of that or a release of this chain that makes me feel like I'm being kept down constantly. This is a ramble of things in which you may find interesting or may not - an unedited, raw and completely vulnerable point of view (my point of view).

I'm not sure how I'll go about writing this post because I don't want to miss a single detail, it's about my journey in the past 4 years and some of my biggest struggles and triumphs.

I've never been the type of person that will openly share what I feel or want to say. Towards the end of 2013, I started to feel so empty and out of place. I didn't really have any reasons to feel like this - my family loved me, my friends loved me and I went to church every week and had my personal faith, which all felt like enough to go on and to make me feel full and loved. So why didn't I? It bothered me to every extent and made me so upset and irritable. I didn't feel like I could be loving towards friends and family because I felt ashamed that I didn't feel their appreciation of me and love towards me. Around this time I hadn't really grasped the concept of anxiety and depression as a real factor towards any of these feelings. I turned to blogging in order to get these feelings out in the open without having to talk about them. This was the perfect and ultimate solution to my problems (or not).

In a way, blogging seemed like my 'fix', the thing that I turned to. Not necessarily an idol, but I felt too ashamed to pray about it because I knew about God's love for me and the fact that I didn't feel this love or appreciate it, it was a huge barrier and shame placed in my life (placed mostly by myself) and 'prevented' me from going to God to pray about it. I prayed about it, sure - but it was never in full hope or faith. Blogging got me through a few months before it really fell through and hit me hard. It took awhile for me to accept that this was anxiety and depression or an attack on my life. I didn't want to 'label' what I felt or thought because I didn't want to seem weak or imperfect - or like I was trying to blame myself on something else.

The easiest thing for me to admit out of all this is that I had deep anxiety and struggled with heavy depression. The absolute hardest thing for me to admit, I only ever mentioned it once (about two years ago) and never again out of upset and shame, is that I was suicidal. I developed bad eating habits, making sure to skip as many meals as possible with some idea that someday I wouldn't wake up. I'd spend an hour in the bathroom in the middle of the night, struggling to make up my mind and unsure of what I really wanted. Even now, I go through a box of old things and find some screwed up paper with my entire plan of how and when I was going to do it - it makes me so upset with myself and, in a way, more ashamed of it.

2013 was a weird time for me because I started to become more aware of the bad things that surrounded me, whether it was friends or music. It made me disappointed in the world, like there was nothing it could really offer me anymore. I'm the kind of person that would much rather go on with my life, not really have people talk about me or worry about me in any way - so talking about the way I'd been feeling lately wasn't an option. Another thing about me is that because I avoid talking about my issues and battles, I let that build up over weeks, months - even years. It gets to the point where I am so upset, miserable and irritable and I can't even get to the root of my problem because I've let so much cloud over it and build up over time, it makes me prone to let everything out at once - sometimes on one person or a certain issue but with so many underlying problems that it makes no sense to anyone else but me. That's the kind of person I am when it comes to pain and struggles, so it's no surprise that I didn't want to talk to anyone about my sudden change of heart.

I'm going to be honest, I was 13 and at the time (even now) it was probably just irritability and growing up. Between the end of 2013 and about halfway through 2014, I really grew close to God and grew strong in my faith, I had a personal connection with God which was mine, it wasn't the one I used to put on at breakfast in the morning when we read the Bible together, it was my own. It was the first time I really truly understood what it was to be a follower of Christ - sure I'd accepted Christ as my saviour before, but this was when I truly came to know who God was and how He came into my life in so many ways. I won't lie, I had a few dark days and weeks where I felt nothing at all, no passion or love in my heart. I just wanted to sit in my room all day and stop feeling so deeply, but nevertheless, I did come to know God in a deeper way that year. In October 2014 I decided, about a week before, that I wanted to be baptised. I had come to know God and I was ready to follow Him fully, with all my heart, mind and soul. And so I did (get baptised).

It was shortly after that, around November/December, that I started to feel depressed and attacked. My spirit was flying low and I felt awful. I had no idea what was going on or why I felt like all hell had broken loose on me, and why in the world did I not want anyone to know that I felt worse than I did with a physical sickness. My mind was twisted - in more ways than one - to make me feel unwanted, unappreciated, undeserving and like every door that I opened was clouded with fire and smoke so that I couldn't see what was in front of me, hear God calling out to me or even breathe fresh air. I was choking and had no way out, at least that's how I felt. This was when I started hating my life, hating myself for going through all that trouble to accept Jesus into my heart and baptised when all I wanted to do now was end my life. That was the first time I wanted to die, I didn't want to see the life God had for me or consider what the world thought of me. I'd decided that I wasn't anyone special and I wasn't necessary in the world anymore.

After that, for about a month or two, I couldn't sleep. I would spend half the night thinking of all the ways in which it could be done (thank goodness I didn't have a phone with good internet at this point) and the rest contemplating if and when I could. In the end, I would be so fearful of either option and ended up crying myself to sleep. It's not a story I want to relive or revisit again, mostly because I feel such a strain on my heart when I begin to think of how many nights were spent like that, how many times I could've just crawled into my parents' room and told them everything, but yet I didn't. It creates a big ache when I begin to relive those moments.

Throughout the first few months of 2015, I had moments of happiness and moments where I felt dreadful. I didn't want to talk about it and so I distanced myself as much as I could, wherever I could. I skipped out on outings and plans so that I'd have more time to myself - even though this was probably the worst thing I could've done. When I saw friends. I regretted seeing them after even if I enjoyed spending time together. I had some warped idea that they didn't really like me at all and they didn't enjoy spending time with me, therefore I needed to feel bad for using up their time for someone as useless as myself. I used every opportunity to take out my upset and anger out on them, which made me feel worse. It's like I felt so unworthy that I didn't deserve loving friends and family, they needed to be out so that I can be alone and away from anyone that cared. I had such an unhealthy mindset that year.

March
. . .

Edit: Today I left college early because of anxiety. I got home and binged on every type of food I could find and then went into a mad (extremely painful and unhealthy) workout because I felt so horrible afterwards. I tidied my room to the extent of unnecessary cleaning and fried my brain with all types of revision and stress over college work - I'm not behind or doing badly, I just have a burning desire to be successful and if I feel like I'm not going to succeed or have even a flicker of doubt, I have long and drawn out panic attacks. This all ended in tears and unrest on my bed, over a small feeling of being unwanted. I say all this because I want to show that I'm still not over it or 'recovered'. I have really crappy days and really perfect ones too, I want to spread the reality of having anxiety and depression but still feeling perfectly normal on some days. I want to show that even now, writing about what happened in the past, I'm still dealing with attacks of depression and anxiety, I haven't won this battle yet. I wanted to take a few minutes to explain my day and show how I may be incredibly depressed and anxious today, but in a few days, I may be writing something similar to this - except it'll be about how I had such a great day.
. . .

The end of 2015 was particularly hard because I'd felt like the worst part was over and it could only get better. I'd prayed (with some doubt) and thought that I wouldn't struggle again. That's not to say that God didn't do what I asked Him to or wanted me to suffer, but I know that it did strengthen my relationship with Him even more and so I'm still somewhat glad that it all happened. So, November was a pretty decent month, I'd finished my Winter exams and was relaxing at home (for the most part). It was early December when I felt I was going into a deep depression again - and once again, I started thinking over and over about suicide. I really wanted to be gone and out of this world forever. Everything about it made me feel distressed and hopeless. By that point, I'd started writing a lot more and so whenever I felt really depressed or suicidal, I'd turn to my notebooks and diaries to help me. I'd write out every word in my head, all the negative things I was thinking - it acted as my therapist for the time being. It was only from around mid-2015 that I really started to experience deep anxiety and panic attacks. I found myself in extremely stressful/distressing situations and I didn't know why they made me feel like I was choking on air and couldn't breathe. Feeling lightheaded and faint over something that I usually just worried over a little, this was new to me and I didn't know how to cope with it. All I knew was that some things made me mildly anxious whilst others gave me the shakes. It took most of 2015 and 2016 to figure out what really affected me and developing my own personal coping mechanisms.

April
. . .

I needed a little time away from blogging to think about myself, my time and how I'm getting through things. I've not only had the best couple of weeks so far this year, but also the worst. I know I'm blessed beyond belief and my situation is so much better than most, but things build up, they become overwhelming and it's hard to take a step back and find a different perspective.

The aesthetic of me, sitting here and writing this post, it's probably something like sitting on my clean bed with coffee and headphones in or even curled up on my sofa with a laptop. The reality is somewhat chaotic. I'm surrounded by boxes and mess, everything moving from one house to another and the environment is stressful. I don't think there's any way of putting this that doesn't sound cheesy, but it feels like something that can be applied to life. I won't lie, I'm in a great position with more blessings than I can begin to imagine, but it's not always the way I feel. There are a lot of great days, but it's always on top of this feeling in my heart - feeling like my life is cluttered and full of mess, like it's shifting from one place to another - and this environment in my head, it's stressful.

I'm a perfectly healthy person, I tell myself that every day, but lately I've come to realise how unhealthy I've been, not physically but mentally. I have a lot of fears and anxieties, and one of those is fear of help. I don't like being helped, I don't like telling anyone anything and I especially don't want anyone to feel sorry for me - the furthest extent of care I want is a hug from time to time., nothing more. It makes sense that I really, really, really don't want to go to a doctor about any mental health issues I'm experiencing, even if this is the only option I have to work towards feeling better and healing myself. I took a break from blogging (not a long one but a break nonetheless) because I wanted to take away my coping mechanism, my handrail. What I've really brought myself to is that I need to dump a lot of this stress onto pages because I'm not that strong and I can't deal with the all the things that are going on in my head at this point in time, it's too much and I'm tired of telling myself that I can handle it. I hardly expect people to read on from here, I don't even know if or when I'll post this. It's essentially a brain-dump, not any professional diagnosis, just some small things that I'm struggling with and maybe someone else is dealing with the same or similar things and needs something to relate to.


. . .
I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.
Revelation 3:8 
 . . .
 I don't know how to begin, there's so little yet so much if that makes any sense at all. I'll start by describing my typical week, maybe even two or three weeks. The week will start out and I'll be fine, but I worry about the present and the future and so going to college 3 days each week has started to pressure me into doing really well. Now that pressure is not a bad thing but something deep down has made this a root of anxiety and so starting a week out like this isn't ideal, it becomes a foundation for things to build upon. Skip to about halfway through the week, I'm already feeling mildly anxious at the very least, it's like there's already a place for anxiety and depression to build and it's so much easier to be sensitive to everything and react differently to how my normal self would. Sometimes it just sits there for a month and sometimes it only takes a week for things to escalate.

I experienced the shorter cycle of events last month, it was bad and unpleasant but I'm going to go off of that for my little explanation as it's so recent. I know that this is an attack on my life at times because sometimes big events are timed so perfectly and hit anxiety and depression so hard and exactly that it's hard to believe what's really going on. This was one of those times. Within a week, I had heard a lot of things I really didn't want to hear - things being said about other people that I know would hurt them and are so disappointing when said by someone you know and love. It doesn't sound so big but there's a lot of past hurt around it that makes it much bigger and greater than it really is and that's what makes it a struggle.

I've started to develop really bad eating habits. I will binge over a weekend on everything can find and then feel so badly that I won't eat for a week, on. I can't remember the last time I ate normal food in normal amounts for longer than 3 days in a row, it was probably sometime in July. I struggle to maintain a regular diet and keep my eating habits healthy. On top of these, I will go through periods where I will do intense amounts of exercise, with or without eating that day. There was a point between September and February where my mom had said I wasn't eating enough and getting too skinny, I had noticed it later on when I'd weigh myself or look in the mirror. Part of me didn't want to work on better eating or eating more because I was so obsessed with losing weight. Thankfully, after a lot of praying, I've seen myself putting on more weight and I'm not mad at myself for it like I used to be.

The end of an episode, well - it could end in two ways. It sometimes ends in me starting to feel a bit better or talking to a friend, or it'll end with me feeling like I've hit rock bottom. For me, rock bottom is not wanting to live anymore. I've wanted to end my life on numerous occasions and I'd share all the details right this minute, but I don't feel like I'm ready to put anything into words. It's been bad at times and I wish would speak to people about this when it's happening, especially when it's been so bad. I can't explain why it is that I feel like I shouldn't live anymore, it's one of those things that can't really be understood by anyone until they're in that place - I usually don't know what I was thinking until I go back and understand all over again.

May
. . .

It's a scary place to be in. To not know why you feel so alone, or even worse, you do know why and can't do anything about it. It's intense - wanting to end your life so badly but showing up to events. I try to talk and open up to people during hard times, but I'm afraid of what they'll say, either judge me or tell me that I'm loved, which I know is true - I know that I'm loved, which makes me feel so dreadful and guilty for hating my life at times. Sometimes it never feels like a good time to talk, there are too many people in the conversation or no one knows how to get you to let them in. I get mad at myself for getting mad at other people - for them wanting me to let them in when I don't want to let anyone in, for them not talking to me when I really want to let them in, for not noticing that I feel so low and alone, for not giving me hug when I need one so badly. I hate that I get upset with friends and family for not being able to read my mind, even though that is nearly impossible and I can't expect anyone to know.

It's my own fault. It's like I have a crazy amount of tabs open in my head and the more that I create, the more squished and cramped everything becomes until there's too much going on and it's overwhelming. Sometimes closing tabs is easy, sometimes tabs appear vital and like they need to be kept open when they really don't. By this I mean, I will push myself as far as I can possibly go, maybe further. I let things happen in my life and as little as they seem, I have the habit of letting them build into something bigger than what it is. I open unnecessary tabs, like grudges and outbursts. I feel like I can't let these tabs go, even though I will feel relieved to be rid of them. Sometimes when you have too many tabs open for too long, your browser crashes and you're lost. I can't count the number of times I have crashed, taking everything out on a single person or event. I can't begin to say how sorry I am for hurting those people and that my excuse is such a lame one. I wish I could go back and change what I said, or at least given them a hug and sincere apology for what I said or did. I can't - that's what makes this whole experience scary, crazy even. I worry that I'll react badly to something or lose a friend again, I don't want that. The bright side of this is that God used it to show me who my real friends (family) were and showed me how to appreciate having them play a part in my life.

I've said that my eating habits get messed up, a lot. God answered my prayers about this in weird ways that made sense to me. Last January, I felt so horrible about myself, so I started starving myself. It was all going great until my body decided it didn't like that and I got ill and passed out in the bathroom with the door locked (great idea). Losing weight over not eating, while satisfying at the time, now that I look back, it makes me weary of my eating habits now. Over January-February, my eating was all over the place - a little food here, nothing there.. it goes on. It was when I started to have dizzy spells and feel faint all the time. I've been seeing a neurologist about epilepsy for about 7 months and this (dizziness) was making me feel a lot like I do before a seizure, a bit fuzzy and detached. Thankfully, I was fine and haven't had any problems (epilepsy-related) since December, I'll be cleared and off the hook, if nothing happens before July (Hallelujah). These are a few events that happened (and trust me, I'm ashamed of them all) and somehow God used it to make me rethink a lot of my living. I don't really have a miraculous recovery story to tell you, I'm trying but it's hard to break old habits. I have warmed to the idea of 'healthy weight' and that's already made a big difference.

I struggle to sleep at night. I don't like to label it as insomnia but it's basically that. Some nights are fine, most nights are limited to a few hours of sleep and some I just don't sleep at all. I'm sure it's anxiety-related, usually because of a panic attack or something I can't get out of my head. I spend the whole night overthinking, it could be because of a conversation I had that morning or an argument I had with a close friend. It'll be lists and scenarios of what could happen or what I should've done/said. Generally, it's when I'm feeling anxious or depressed - I feel too restless to sleep but too exhausted to think.

As well as getting stressed easily, I reflect a lot of stress. Trying to stay calm and not panic is proving to be nearly impossible, as we're currently moving. I feel like both myself and my family have let stress overwhelm us and become a source of negativity, I'm trusting that God will break that soon but it hurts to see that happening and not be able to change it. I enjoy my days at home because I love being with my family, it's time away from all the things I have going on - but when it's a negative space, or at least making me feel hurt, I don't know where to go to get away from it, so I feel anxious all the time and can't stop it.

. . .

A shift. There's always a shift. That's what comes next, what comes..now. Just like seasons, summer comes and the sun shines. Everything is clear and bright, things grow, life is vibrant and beautiful. This is now, this is where I make the decision that life will not be like this anymore, it won't get to me and hold me down like I'm some kind of prisoner. I've been defeated and I've made the worst decisions for myself, thinking I know better. I'm a little sick of myself, honestly. I hate that I let myself get so low and keep pushing myself into that place like I'm better off that way. I'm aware that I'm loved, that I have a reason to live. I know. It's a journey I'm on and I really hope the finish line is nearby, I'm ready to start running faster.

I don't know what it is that makes me think that I can't be free, I want that freedom so badly. I've made this decision a lot in the past, that I'm going to push and pray and heal myself, it always seems to end up in the same place. It's like I'm running, then I try another route or look for a shortcut and end up going in a circle. I know that something has shifted since this year started, there's something in my heart that wasn't there before. I feel more driven and passionate about making changes and trying to become healthy again. I'm going to reach the finish line and when I reach it, I will have a healthy mindset, I'll be happy about who I am and I will be completely free through Christ. I can see it, it's close but this last leg is the hardest yet.

The first thing I'm going to do is to open up. The people I talk to about the bad days (and I mean totally the horrible, stay-in-bed-all-day kind) are narrowed down to only one. That's something that I want to change, that I have to change. I'm going to take a step out of myself and talk to those I trust or whoever will listen, I can't carry everything by myself. I need to start eating normally, not skipping breakfast..then lunch...then dinner..and so on. I know this will be hard because I've adjusted my body to eating in a certain way and trying to adjust that is going to throw me off completely, it needs to happen. I need to invest time into myself and being at peace with where I am. I need time to myself, as much as that goes against my first point, it's important to me that I get time alone to be at peace and breathe. Lastly, but obviously the most important, I'm going to be praying this out of my life constantly.

Now, it's not that I wasn't doing these things before, I was. Maybe not all at once like I'm planning to now, but I know that they make a difference. I prayed a lot over April and I know that these steps are the right ones to take if I want to see a shift in my way of thinking and from the place that my heart is in right now.

Also, I'd like to add, I don't want anyone to think that my relationship with God is bad in any way, I'm always growing and realising new things, this has always been a barrier but it comes down from time to time and I get to experience the fullness of His grace. I experience God every day, this doesn't affect my relationship in that way, but it's something that I know pulls me back from growing into everything He wants me to be and realising the purpose I'm here to serve. I want that more than anything and this is the journey I'm on.

It's taken me about 5 months to finish this post, possibly because I couldn't get everything out in one go, also because I felt that I had to retell it in a better way. This is every version of every post I've tried to write in the past 5 months, and now it's complete. This is the HARDEST thing I've ever had to write because not only does everyone know my life story (ish), but I also have to go and work hard at this because everyone will be watching. I'm happy that I posted this in the end, trust me I didn't really want to, it took a lot of the small fraction of courage I have in me. I don't think I could stay true to this blog name if I didn't publish this.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Content


. . .


I'm stressed out.

I feel like the plot of my blog has been lost somewhere and I want to bring it back to where it needs to be. It feels as if it's bringing an image of me that isn't true at all. I write about stress and anxiety, all these negative things, because I don't believe in letting everyone think you're a perfect Christian or are happy every day - everyone has bad days and that isn't the part of their lives that's usually shown online. Courageous is my open journal, letter to the world, a place to rest and be myself without worrying about the thoughts, comments and likes that come with being present online. I don't like to post something and worry about what people will think or say about it - I don't do that with my physical diary, I write in there and let it be, let it sink in or be a release from life. I don't 'think' about what I write in there, it's honest and open, a space of joy or sadness but still a space of freedom.

I don't want to expand on the negatives so much this time around because some of that freedom feels lost right now. I don't want the negatives to become the bigger picture, the image that is shown when you click on the link - most of all I can't stand the fact that I think I need to start worrying about it. Feedback sometimes makes me worry, makes it feel like I need your compassion. Having compassion and kindness aren't wrong, but often it gets me thinking that the image of my blog is drifting from what I created it to be. I want people to see that my life is just like every other, if that's not seen throughout every post and word I speak, how is this blog fulfilling the purpose it was created for?

I struggle. I get anxious. I get so stressed I don't feel like living - but I laugh. I have fun. I live and keep living because that is what I do, what everyone does. I don't post to make people feel bad for me or think that my life is filled with anxiety that keeps me from living. I am happy. I'm in love - with life, with seeing and hearing, tasting and smelling, living to serve God. I am content and full of so much joy. I'm absolutely in love with Jesus, with all my heart and soul. I'm enthralled by the things that I learn about Him every day, the obstacles He places before me and the courage He gives me to overcome them. I am SO happy. I struggle so much but with that comes strength and courage to overcome - and it fills me with wonder and joy and every emotion that you could feel.

I don't want to lose the freedom I have here, to write and express - it's one of the two ways that I get through struggles and rejoice over them. I don't want to lose this blog and everything I've worked hard to create in myself, to share the things I don't like to talk about. I love this blog and it's restored so much of what I'd lost. I hardly ever speak up when I frustrated over this blog, maybe because I don't want anyone to know I get frustrated over it or because I don't want anyone to feel like I'm targeting them. That's not what I'm doing and I don't think I ever could - I'm here only to say that this is an honest place for me and it may feature a month full of outlets, for stress or anxiety - but it may be a month full of joy and thankfulness. I don't want anyone to define this blog by the last five posts or what I've been writing in the past month or even the month to come. It's a book full of my moments of victory and defeat - if someone relates to it or is encouraged, I'm so happy and please and don't feel like you can't say so, this is just to say not to be quick to judge my life because of one negative post.

Thank you

. . .

Monday, 20 March 2017

Change


. . .

Change has always been difficult for me, I don't know why or how but it has and I've only come to realize this in the past year or so. It's definitely the root of a lot of my anxiety and it affects the way I behave in my day-to-day life. It's usually triggered by sudden change or something unexpected coming up, big or small. I first started to notice it as a problem when I saw how worked up I would get over something as little as someone cancelling plans at the last minute, or even something big - like falling out with a friend. This happened time and time again over Summer, which is probably why I noticed it becoming a problem. The thing I hate is when it becomes an excuse for a certain behavior, so I try to avoid making out like it's an excuse. It's difficult though - to have to apologize for freaking out on someone when they tell me to my face that they can't do something or be who they said they'd be. It's difficult to have to explain why I'm breaking down just because of your change in attitude and mood. I can't count the times that I broke down last year, over things as little as a water fight and over things as big as a real fight.

I'll paint a picture for you, as well as I can at least. Last year I'd been planning a retreat, or camp if that's what you prefer to call it. Following on from the previous year, which had gone successfully and had a lot of good feedback and desires to do it again, I'd decided I would try it again. I got an idea of weekends that fit most peoples' diaries and booked the weekend. After booking, person after person pulled out until we were left with just 5 people. I managed to cancel our booking and decided to host it at our house - which went well until a few weeks before. Eventually after trying and trying to make it work, I'd settled to host a day of sessions and worship at my house. Everyone came bright and early and we were all set. Halfway through the morning was when I found out that 4 out of the 5 girls weren't able to stay the whole day. This is when the sudden change just breaks something inside of me and I can't stop it. Luckily I have an amazing mother that is able to console me within a few minutes, lead a group and negotiate an alternative - if it wasn't for her intervention, I probably would've stayed in that bathroom all day.

Another picture - at a conference this time. We'd planned a day of good seminars and fun activities. It ended up that none of that day went to plan at all. I was all fine with it and managed to get by until the afternoon. There was just one seminar that I had made clear I absolutely didn't want to miss or go alone to. Some friends had said they'd love to go as well and we'd planned to go together. An hour before we were supposed to go, I couldn't find any of them. I told myself it'd be fine and they wouldn't leave me to go alone, but with five minutes to go until the meeting, I was restless and agitated. I found myself getting so mad and angry at them for not showing up for me like they said they would. I ended up going to that meeting alone just because there wasn't anyone around that understood my anxiety attacks and I wasn't in the place to explain it to them, so I went and was able to get some alone time.

I've noticed that this root of anxiety also causes me to carry anger in my heart - feeling disappointed and upset towards people when I can just let it go because it's not that big a deal. I really hate people playing the victim, so I won't (because I'm not a victim of any sort), but I'll say that I know I experience deeper upset and worry from these types of situations than most people and it's something I really hate about myself. I know this is one thing God will help me overcome this year, I need to be prepared to let all of these hard feelings go and have a heart full of forgiveness. It's so much harder to overcome than I'm making out, so I'll have to update about how it's all going later this year. I find it hard to write about these things because they really stick in my heart and I have a grudge against these people and situations, so writing about both is difficult because I'm putting my feelings towards the whole thing out there and not pushing back on them like I always have.

. . .

The Cycle


. . .



Life - what are you to me? It's like some days I wake up just itching to get a move on but yet others just weigh me down. When I think of life, I think of woods and rivers and all sorts of lively things, but yet it's not like that every day. Why does life get me excited all the time and then put me down every now and then. It's confusing, it's upsetting and it feels like more than just a stab in the back when I wake up and feel so wonderful but by lunch I don't know what's real to me anymore. It's a constant cycle of learning new things and discovering myself and identity in Christ but still wondering and wondering and wondering why I get these battles so often in my life and feel like I suffer too much for someone who should be rejoicing in the everyday and the little things and being joyful and content and happy and it's not that I'm unhappy but I just feel so down and don't know how or why or when it'll stop and I'll feel like a 'normal Christian' again - and then I go to sleep, and I wake up. It's a new day. It's a happy day, a fresh day and there's nothing to be worried about, but the cycle, oh the cycle, starts up again. It keeps running and running and no matter how much I cry out and how much I beg, it just won't stop and it doesn't hurt me as much as it may seem but it's so confusing - confusing to not know what my day will end up being, what life will feel like and how these scenarios will play out. The pressure, the worry, the anxiety and the stress - all rolls up and, somehow, on its journey down this long hill it manages to pick me up as well and I keep going and going and even though I have hands and legs to stop myself and stop this cycle, it's like I'm paralyzed and I let myself fall down this hill and get trampled and hit by the smallest of things and people sit and stare and wonder how I can be so stupid as to let these things affect me when they are so much smaller than me and I have a Father who loves me and knows me and strengthens me beyond belief but I still let these little things get to me and knock me down. A day. Single day will have me questioning life and what it is to me and even though I know the truth and fully accept it, I still wind myself up and try so hard to believe the lies that I repeat to myself over and over again.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Living


Spirit break out
God set me free
Walls broken down
Living in me

Spirit soaring
Soul is roaring
Burning
A passion
A new life
Forming

Rising up
Surrounded
By love and by life

Creator
Maker
O keeper of my life

Majestic
Faultless
Never ending dream
Flying and soaring
In the clouds
Wash over me

Grace like rain
Fall
Down
Down
Down
On me

This is it
This is what it's like
To live for my Father
To be loved and have life

My Saviour
My soul
Erupting with joy
A creator of wonders
Connections far beyond destroying

His spirit living
Breathing in me
To live for one God
To live but be free

Faith abounds
In darkest of times
Troubles and toil
But His light will shine

Faith abounds
Sets me free
Chains now gone
Death no longer seen

Faith abounds
It captures moments
Of love and of wonder
Of joy and amazement

Faith abounds
Brings us to know
The truth that is Jesus
And our God
Heavenly throne

Praise Him
Worship Him
All of our days
Faith abounds in darkness and light
In every single way

God above all
God above me
Lord
Faith abounding
Living
Full and free

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Grace


Endless
Boundless
Ever changing and faultless

Always the same
Yet always new
Jesus, from the start I knew it was You

A hand reaching down to guide me away
From sin and from darkness
From fear and from shame

Grace put on my heart so that I can forgive
So my thoughts can be pure
So Your word can live

Jesus, Your name
Your heart and Your grace
A beautiful splendor I see on Your face

Jesus, it's You
The beginning and end
Your boundless grace in me
A tool to make amends

Grace like a river
Flowing through my soul
Refreshing me always
Filling these holes

Jesus, Your grace
Let it live in me
Let it change me
Make me the person I want to be

A vessel
A river
Living water in me

Your grace ever in me
Setting me free