Posts Tagged With: Depression

Beach Tears – God is Still Faithful

 “But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. “

2 Thessalonians 3:3

 

Its hard to believe its been over two weeks  since I arrive here in Kona.  I’m not going to tell you that every moment has been perfect. Like any week, there has been ups and downs.

I have a peace being here because I know that this is exactly where God wants me to be.  I have had tears these last few days because I know these six months aren’t going to be easy.

***

I sit on the beach, the sun kissing my pale skin.  I listen to the waves lapping up upon the dark grey sand, coming in and out like someones breath. Suddenly tears well up in my eyes as I go back to a different day in my mind.  The day was the last day of this past March . At this time I was sinking in a deep depression. Every little thing took effort; tears were many, smiles were few.  My sisters and dad had planned a trip to the beach with some friends at the end of spring break, and almost reluctantly I decided to go with them. My dad was thrilled, since I hadn’t been doing much of anything other than sleeping and crying. I was exhausted the entire trip to the beach.  I slept most of the way there and back in the car, and just lay on the beach most of the time we were there.  I watched my sisters have a grand time with their friends, and I cried because I wished I could find that happiness to be like them.  Tears trickle down my face as I come back to reality.  I am just starting to realize what I have got myself in to.  This is not simply a vacation or camp.  I have a long road ahead of me, I am far away from anything I have ever called home and I won’t be going home any time soon.  I am scared and overwhelmed.

***

I has been almost a week since my tears on the beach.  I have come a long way this week.  The lecture topic for the week was the  Father heart of God.  Early on in the week we were told to ask God which of his characteristics he wanted us to focus on.  Almost immediately God put on my heart how he is faithful.  He is the same day after day, always loving and pursuing me, even when I don’t feel it.  As alone as I might feel, he is with me, holding my hand.  This has been a comfort to me this week.  I know God doesn’t  promise that life with him will be easy.  On the contrary, he acknowledges that there will be struggles.  But he promises to be with me always.  There have been many tears this week, but I think that’s OK.  I have a lot to adjust to but I have a faithful God to help me.

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Be Still and Know That I am God

“Be still and know that I am God,

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalms 46:10

Be Still…translated from the Hebrew word râphâh, which literal means cease, fail, idle, let alone, slack and to be weak or slothful.

Think about those English words for a moment.  Do they sound like good things to do?  Not in the culture!  In our present age, it is all about being the fastest and most efficient.  We strive to be self-suffocate, independent people.  Its all about how much we can do do do, to be there best best BEST!  Busy…has somehow become the new happy.  But it isn’t very happy at all.

From reading Psalm 46, it sure doesn’t sound like God’s idea of happy either.  Apparently, God wants us to slow down…stop and think if him.   This is does not come natural to me, this has been my struggle for the past couple months. 

I am different than a lot of people; I’m an odd combo, an oxi-moron.  I am a major extrovert…with some major depression.  What does this mean? It means I get my high from people.  Being with my friends, feeling connected and in the middle of whatever is happening is better than any drug for me. I can be physically and even mentally exhausted to no end, but when I’m with a big group of my friends, I become an energized social butterfly!  For a lot of people this type of situation can be overwhelming and exhausting, but normally it isn’t for me.  With some friends by my side…I’m on top of the world. But when I’m all alone; doing homework, riding the bus, trying to fall asleep…there’s a different side of me.  Its a sad, lonely, confused Heather.  There are few that have seen this side of me, which isn’t even really on purpose.  Its just the people that know me well enough to be spending time in a one on one setting who see glimpses of the depressed side of me.  For years I have had everyone fooled, thinking a was happy as all get out, and I wasn’t even trying to fool them!  Because I DO have great moments and I HAVE been blessed by a lot of things.  But for some reason, whether its by nature or nurture,  I can have a great night with friends and still cry myself to sleep that night.

This is one of the reasons why it so hard for me to follow the Lord’s instructions and “be still.”  Being busy is probably my greatest coping mechanism.  It isn’t very healthy, but its better than some of my alternatives, and it looks great.  When I have to hold yourself together to be busy, nobody gets to know how sad I am…including myself.  When I’m busy, with often very good things, I get to hide from my emotions.

I have been living the functional yet dysfunctional lifestyle since September.  Now, the school term is over, I am not working or dancing.  I have twenty days to get ready to go on my trip, but not much else going on.  While it should feel like a relief, and it does a little, it is actually very scary.  I feel like I am going through withdrawals from school…because at school I have so many friends and so I love it.  I am dreading this holiday season, because it has such bittersweet memories, but mostly, because it is suppose to be a time of rest.  And for me, resting means I have to feel.

A lot has happened to me over the past few months.  There have been very hard things happen, but I had to keep going, because I was busy.  There were always places to go, people to see, no time to be sad and cry.  Now it is different, I can’t be numb anymore.  I know that is going to be good for me, but honestly, it really stinks.  I pulled things together really well, and now I have to un-pull-it-together so that I don’t completely fall apart while on my missions trip!  Honestly…I don’t even know where to start, except by writing this post.  And by remembering that verse, meditating on that day and night. Tonight, that is what I am trying to do.

 

Categories: Preparing for Kona, Right Now | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Downtown Girl

For a couple of years now my sister and I have had a running joke that the song Downtown Girl by Hot Chelle Rae is about me.  We laugh because while I am not a hooker as the song suggests, a lot of the qualities described I can relate to! If you don’t know already, I’m a REALLY typical extrovert. Depressed and dysfunctional, maybe, but extraverted all the same. So read the lyrics or take a listen, take a look into the life of Heather. And tell me what you think!

Ready for my day...DOWNTOWN GIRL! :D

Ready for my day…DOWNTOWN GIRL! 😀

She’s a weekend beauty queen of the black like clubs wearing out the scene 

Well I do love the weekends, but no, I don’t go to clubs.

You know her type, out all night

Yup, pretty much 🙂

Starry eyed for the dirty dream, always looking for the prince where the cash is king

Starry eyed? Yes. Dirty dream with a prince where the cash is king? I sure hope so not, although I think sometimes it comes out that way.  But anyone who really hangs out with me know that money is the last thing I care about.

On the boulevard in a big black car, She’s everywhere you are

Well I’ve never been in a limo, or any sort of big black (fancy) car. Normally its an old car, trimet bus, or as of lately, me walking with my “homeless gypsy cart.” I am everywhere you are however 😉

I smell her sweet perfume making rounds around the room 

I do hope I smell good as I make my “famous” rounds around the room 🙂

Cause she is a downtown girl a downtown girl 

I LOVE downtown Portland. LOVE IT!!! PDX makes me feel ALIVE.

Her lips are red and those hips are turning heads 

I have been rocking the red lipstick lately! I didn’t think I could pull it off but I love it! And as selfish as it sounds I love when heads turn when I walk through a room. This often happens when I am at a church service or a swing dance event! I’m always tearing through the room trying to find the people I love!

Living like a celebrity all the guys lined up and the drinks are free 

I’m not sure if the song is saying the drinks are free for the guys or the girl.  My drinks are NOT normally free, and I normally end up paying for everyone else too.  But that is because I genuinely like to!

She’s knows she’s hot but that’s all she got

This line makes me cringe a bit.  Half of the time I am convinced that I am an ugly skeleton, and the other half of the time a know I look damn good.  Sometimes I feel both at the same time! That was be beautiful paradox of my Corpse Bride costume for Halloween and my musical, I got to be super-skinny, scary AND pretty!

BUT. The idea of that being “all [I’ve] got” is really scary. That is my nightmare.  But I know that my looks is not all I’ve got.  I have a sense of humor, a joyful personality, and of course…MY SAVIOR!

Everybody knows she’s on the move with her six inch heels and an attitude

I actually almost never wear heels.  I say its because I’m too tall for heels, but its really that I just have a lot of short friends. And I’m a BIG klutz. But when I do wear heels, I do feel VERY sexy.  And I’m actually really good at walking in them, and dancing for that matter.  Hmmm…maybe I’ll wear heals today.

When I’m out and about…I DO have an attitude. It changes in nature, but I do.

To seal the deal she shoots to kill, but I’m not going down

This is another line I don’t understand.  I can be intense, but I’m not going to kill anybody 😉

Likes the attention gets the attention her name is on the bathroom wall

I’m an extrovert; I do like attention. I can’t lie.  And when I need it, I get it. But I’m trying to do it in the most mutually respectful way possible.

The party never over she’s always coming over even when the music stops

YES YES YES A MILLION YES! Most of the time, whenever a certain social event is over, I’m still ready for more.  And really its because I have a hard time going from lots of friends and excitement to NO friends and excitement. I just have a really hard time making that switch. That is why after swing dancing or another event, I’m almost always trying to get people to go out to eat or at least carpool home. I love that “winding down” time almost more than the actual event. And when I don’t get that “winding down” time, I normally end up bawling my eyes out while driving myself home all by myself.

All the boys staring at the girls, staring at the boys 

Its hard to admit, but sometimes I like it when the  guys are staring at me and visa versa! And I think that is ok and healthy!

Staring at the downtown girls the downtown girls

🙂

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Rewind: Coffee Shop Ponderings

During the past few months, and years of that matter, I have spent a lot of time in various coffee shops. Coffee shops are good for a lot of different things.  They are good for charging laptops.  They are good public places to stay safe in. Some coffee shops are open in the early morning, some are open late at night, some don’t close at all.  This was some writing I did at a Starbucks in March. I was very frustrated because I had set up an ideal surrounding for myself to write, but then I couldn’t find anything to say.  I ended up writing like this for a while…”free writing” of sorts…and then went home very frazzled. In reality I was still getting some medications sorted out.

Anyway…take a peek tonight into the (sometimes frustrating) mind of Heather. Go ahead, and then tell me what you think!

Tonight is a night of pondering.

Thinking.

Evening Walking.

Caramel Latte. 

Jars of Clay. 

Reading.

Blogging.

I wish I had the ability to take what is in my head and get it in words on this screen. There is so much I am longing to say, I just can’t seem to interpret it into words. I feel isolated. Trapped within my own mind, raging to get out. Where is God when I need him? In the words of Psalm 42, why are you cast down, oh my soul?

Failure.

Loser.

Their talking about you. Nobody like you. What a joke.

Where’s my camp? Where is my safe haven? Nowhere. It doesn’t exist.

God, be good to me. I’m trusting you will unmuddle my head soon.

I can’t feel you. You’re a cement wall in the sky.  Frustration. Anger. Every emotion at once. Why is the writing thing sooooo hard? Why can’t I interpret what’s in my head?

Tebo’s.

Dance.

“Darkness is my closest friend.”

My story is one of uncertainty.

Nicotine and Caffeine.

I’m losing it…

Jesus I’m crying out to you. Cover me. Help me function. I can’t do this on my own. Send me an angel of hope.

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With You in Spirit Tonight

Here’s another letter from a relative I received today. God is with us!!!

 

 

 

I remember swing parties and will be with you in spirit tonight, even though we are separated by some 66 years and an entire continent. I’m also excited for you as you prepare for your Great Adventure and will be mailing a contribution soon. 
 
I will also read your blog and email you from time to time. (I’m not a big Facebook fan.) When I turned 18, I had just finished my first year at Lindenwood College, a small Presbyterian school in St. Charles, MO, just outside St. Louis. I was on my own for the first time and loved every minute of it.
♥♥♥
Categories: Preparing for Kona, Right Now | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rewind: My Journey Towards Choosing Joy

Below is a compilation of personal blog posts telling the story of my special horse and I, and the way we learned to trust together.  Please enjoy the stories and pictures.  Stay tuned for more posts telling about my more current experiences with horses, including a trip to this ranch just a month ago! 

Continue reading

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I Have to Speak

This morning I got a letter from a distant relative who read my most recent blog post Rewind and Right Now: Lost Within Myself.  They are true, honest words, and I offer them here for whoever they may speak to, not just me.  Read and receive, my friends.

Also, I have added a new category to my blog entitled Right Now, which will include posts like this one, which do not directly relate to my trip.  I do think it is helpful to talk about these sorts of issues before my trip however, for I will need to know how to deal with it when it inevitably comes up while I am in Kona or on outreach.

“Oh my dear Heather, you don’t realize what a precious soul you are. It probably doesn’t help to have some distant relative say that you are not alone; you are very loved. But as one who has lived in hopeless hell for years, I have to speak. Your emotions know that are taking a huge step, and IT IS scary. If I can offer just one piece of advice, please don’t decide that you are letting anyone down by feeling your emotions. Unless they start to damage you, it’s OK to acknowledge and embrace them. God put them there, and without them, we would be very shallow people. Your pain today will give you deep insights into the hurting people you will meet. I know these words won’t stop the pain. Funny thing about strong negative emotions is they won’t won’t let you feel the love and support we want to give you. PS You are FAR more in touch with your inner feelings than most folks who do this kind of thing. It’s pure terror now, but as distant third party, I’m actually excited to see the person you will be in a year or two from now.” 

We are not alone friends, no matter how alone we feel.  God is with us, and we all have at least one person who loves us. That’s what I’m holding on to tonight.

Categories: Right Now | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Rewind and Right Now: Lost Within Myself

I’m going to be honest here, thus week has been challenging.  Due to some unexpected recent events I have been experiencing PTSD.  I have been having some every similar emotions as expressed in the piece I wrote in mid-February if this past year.

Nothing makes me happy right now. Really truly happy. I smiled when I talked to Hannah on the phone, I chuckled at dance when Benny the dog was being silly.  But where is that complete feeling that I used to know? I used to feel full, but now I’m empty, and I’m not sure what will fill me up again.

Is Jesus enough? I sincerely believe that he is a God that can do all things, but does that mean that we depend on only him? Are those pills that I have learned to resent part of God’s will for me?

A woman that I look up to always tells me that “we are rulers of our own destiny.” I think there is truth in this, yet where does God’s sovereignty fit in? I want to have a successful life, I have dreams and goals. But I’m not there yet. I’m stuck in the here and now, where sleeping feels good, living takes work and God feels so far away.

When I can think clearly enough, these are the questions I am asking. Yet for the last few days (or weeks), thinking clearly is rare. My thoughts conflict, and stress comes rushing in like a whirlwind. I want help, I need something to change. I don’t know what that looks like, and I’m scared.

 My 18th birthday is quickly approaching, and I’m moving out this Saturday. This new freedom is something I have dreamed of for years, bu suddenly, its scary. Maybe that is normal? Maybe I just won’t know until I’m there.

Well, I have to be up and moving in six hours, so I should probably wrap up my rambling. Maybe this has done some good? Maybe I will awake with renewed energy and motivation? Somehow I doubt it. For now I will give in to sleep and hope for a better day tomorrow. Help me Jesus, I am lost within myself. Teach me to find myself in you. 

Thank you for reading my friends. Please don’t hesitate at all to send a prayer in my name! Please do! These are hard days, everything aches and hurts.

Blessings!

Categories: Preparing for Kona, Rewind, Right Now | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Rewind: The Plan You Have For Me

This is the first post that will fall under the category “Rewind.” These posts will feature past writings of mine.  Some pieces will come from my private blog entitled “Choosing Joy,” which I have written on sporadically for the past few years. Some pieces I have not shared with anyone yet.  Through “Rewind” posts, I will get to share things that I have wanted to share in the past, or what I have never dared to share more publicly until now.  You will get to learn more about me and the different walks I have been taken on in my life.

The first piece I will share is a poem called “The Plan You Have For Me. ” I posted it on “Choosing Joy” on January 27th, 2013, which was the beginning of a very rough place for me.  I had a lot of questions, and not a lot of answers.  Typical to the Pacific North West, at this time shadows were many, and sunlight was rare and still cold.

Give me ears to hear

Give me eyes to see

Give me a heart to understand

The plan you have for me

 

Open up my mind

Set my bound soul free

Give me patience to wait for it

The plan you have for me

 

Release me from my fear

Break my anxiety

Focus me upon your dream

The plan you have for me

 

You are all I need

Your love, it sets me free

Thank you for your perfect plan

The plan you have for me

Does this poem spark any emotions or memories for you? Have there been life questions that you have asked that you have found the answer to in a far later time?  Do you have thoughts of the idea of God having a plan for our lives?  Don’t hesitate to comment, and of course, thank you for reading! God bless you!

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