My Story Not Yet Complete

I am 14 years old. I have become friends with the monster. He tells me my body is a bit pudgy in certain areas. He tells me that they will pay attention to me if they can see me losing weight and counting calories. He is telling me all the things wrong with me that drove away my friends. This monster is ever present in my mind as the scale looms. He is holding my hand on the way to class. He is whispering lies in my ear as I speak with peers. He is telling me over and over again that I am unworthy of love. He likes to isolate me, you see. Hey, hey, but it’s okay. He is a jealous friend. He desires me all for himself. One on one relationships are better for us anyway right?

When I am 15 1/2 I think that the monster has been put to rest. I am going on dates and kissing boys. Yet I remember a not so far away time of kisses shared with the same sex and I am confused. My faithful friend comes back and tells me to fake it with boys. The result is a kiss in a tree with a friend/enemy watching from the ground, cheering on my humiliation; the result is an emptiness and a lack of knowledge of what love truly is and can be.

I am 17 and the dancing queen-except I am the unwanted burden of a daughter; the trophy daughter that did not recieve the trophy. I am kicked out and pulled back in. I am at last the one thing that no one wanted. The monster comes back to tell me it is all my fault. The monster is back to whisper that I am unloveable, I am a dark cloud, I am a failure, I am a stray dog that they took in for charity yet realized they don’t like dogs much later. I am the extra fat that they could use to trim off.

I am 18 and alone in a new city with no one who knows my name. It’s me against the world. I have no friends for I am in a place where the familiar is no longer a thing on my radar; I have become a constant adventurer. I have a hard time trusting that the phrases that people say are just words; I have a hard time believing that people do not have a hidden agenda. I am consistently asking God why no one loves me. I am hearing the whispers of the monster that I am better off alone. I am feeling the spiraling not-so-soft pull of feelings of inadequacy and dreams of failures at events that have yet to occur. I am a displaced individual adrift the comments and feelings that others may or may not mean with malice.

I am 19 years and 1 week old. I am the warrior princess. I am Leslie Knope. I am Rapunzal. I am Sleeping Beauty. I am my own Prince. The monster is now a dragon that has grown so huge I cannot take it on by myself anymore. I am 19 years and 1 week old. I am learning that asking for help is a good sign. I am 19 years and 1 week old. I am a student of healing now. I am growing from who I once was. My old friend has finally been slayed.

“The enemy is dead-and we have killed him.”

Cheers to a lifetime of depression. Cheers to a life left to live in freedom.

I am the burning bush. I may be rough around the edges and scratch and burn if you come too close to the core. But inside of me God is speaking. Don’t be afraid. Don’t run away. Don’t give up on me just yet.

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Sour to Sweet Outlook

Like a small dot lost in the void or a cotton ball floating on aimlessly, I am a small seed. I have acted like a tree for quite sometime now. I pretended that I had a trunk and branches and green leaves. Yet when alone at home in my room tightly tucked into bed with the light off, I knew all along that I was seed. I was startled by this knowledge and burrowed it deep inside so that no one knew that I am still growing, I am still a work in progress. Often I get caught up in who I am supposed to be and who others expect me to be and I end up falling flat on my face. As I lay there with the lights off thinking about my seed-like state, I begin to have self doubt, pity, and delve into the world of depression. My thoughts turn into a battle between who I am and who I am supposed to be. Why aren’t you 30 years old with everything together yet? How can you be so alone? How can you not have a friend base yet? What is your mission on this planet? How can you not be an amazing Christian yet? No one relates to you. Be a better person; be a better friend; be a better leader; be a better daughter; be a better girlfriend. 

The seconds turn to minutes that turn to hours that turn to days and weeks and months of this self doubt attitude. I find myself evaluating conversations to see if people like me rather than finding an interest in them. Again, I remind myself that I am only a seed. I am growing, if only little by little. As I shake off this feeling of inadequacey, I look to the people and events and life going on around me that is yet to be lived and I forget. I forget who I am supposed ot be or who other people expect me to be or who I expect myself to be. I have begun to just be me.

Who am I? I am a child of God who is loved by my Father who art in heaven. I am an aspiring writer. I am a lover of indie music and a avid reader of novels. I am a girlfriend of the kindest man I’ve ever known. I am an estranged daughter and a hiker and a youth leader and a babysitter and a receptionist. I am a passionate 19 year old who fell in love with a harsh world. I have a favorite coffee drink and catch phrases and TV shows and movies that I have loved so much they feel like my own. I am healing from a lifetime of emotional abuse. I am a warrior princess who is more warrior right now. I am the beloved, I am an encourager, I am an advice giver, I am a friendly acquantence. I have the gift of mercy and I am still figuring out what that means. I love philosophy and teaching and children under 5.

Who am I?

I am seed that without my realizing it, has started ever so slightly, to grow into a small stalk.

Word Vomit: Perfectionism

I am ill with the need to be perfect.

The 2 AM calls to action just leads me to self loathing and more procrastination.

I am always thinking about how I can be better instead of just embracing the fact that I am 18 and that is such an exciting time to figure out what I want, what I love, and how I want to enjoy life.

The ease with which I slip into perfection contradicts every single one of my ideals.

I desperately want to be a good writer. I was reading an article today about how the “good” writers don’t give up and work their butt off to be good writers. This terrifies me. I am the typical writer who writes when inspiration strikes rather than when the work bell rings.

Instead of this leading me to despair, I have decided that I want this. I want it and I need it, and I am going to have to get working in order to get it.

When I was growing up, the emphasis and definition of suscess often revolved around college and career and 8-5. I always felt as if I had to perform or entertain or have the best story to hold their attention and ultimately have their love. It was not until recently that I have realized that most of my failures and issues are a result of this performance driven attitude toward life. I want to be perfect and have the perfect body type, therefore I starved myself. I wanted their attention and craved their comments; I was starving for affection and apples.

I wanted to be admired for my intellect, wisdom, and unique nature. Even though I was I didn’t consider it enough. I spiral into depression every time I am called into question. The absolute need is unhealthy at best and crippling at worst. The mental disorders I am going through often embarress me and I hide them. The worst is when I hide them from myself.

Self deception. I have it all figured out. I am eighteen and living on my own and have gotten over these disorders and have overcome my insecurities. The most dangerous lies of all are these. I have not gotten over them but rather suppressed them. It is at the heart of these issues that I find my biggest sin: pride.

The snake that envelops my heart as fallen away, yet it is within my heart that the Father is revealing the deepest sins.

Promise

Love. 

What a terrifying, frightening, thrilling, adventurous, emotive word. The very essence of the word is curiosity, suspensions, anxieties. Yet, it is so much more. The word is embodied by the breathy voice of a singer-songwriter, the beautiful paintings of an impressionist, and the words that flow from a poet’s mouth at a reading that make you feel and hunger and thirst for something, something more, something beyond. 

Love. 

Love is all these things and more. C.S. Lewis talks about a feeling he experienced throughout his life upon reflection which he called Joy, capitalized because it was a yearning for another world. 

Love makes, shakes, changes, rearranges, flips upside down. Love is both awe-inspiring and terrifying because it makes and breaks us. For example: I am in love. This statement alone stirs emotions in all of us, wonderful and spiteful alike. 

I once read a book by a wonderful author. One of the main characters has a phrase he uses often: “I am on a rollercoaster that only goes up, my friend.” What a wonderful, optimistic, idealistic way of viewing the world. How easy it is to appreciate an author who incorporates life lessens in his characters. Love promises us that even when the coasters starts to dip down and look as if it is going to crash, the coaster of love should, will, must go up again. Don’t give up. Don’t get off. Continue to believe, trust, hope, and look forward to the powerful imaginings of love. 

“You could live this way, or you could not. Or you could live this way, or not. Either way you win. But either way you will also lose something. I will always support you.”

Transcendence

The only way to fail at life is to abstain from it. 

Don’t you forget about me. Will you look my way? Will you walk on by? 

What does it mean to abstain from life? What does it mean to lose your way? To give up? To quit? 

To divorce? To commit suicide? To stop eating? To binge drink?

I wish that I could say that I know. I wish that I could give an amazing speech on the hope of humanity and tragic optimism and love never fails. I guess I could. 

What I have found is so much more encouraging, however is an older couple holding hands in the rain. Or a young heart going through depression find the light again through the eyes of a friend. Or the freedom to express the feeling of skinniness beyond skinny. Or the Batman who never gives up on people, even when they hate him. 

Don’t give up.

I can whisper that into the void of writing and never hear anything back 

Or, I can continue to live as I write and mean what I say. I will listen. I will hold your hand. I will be a shoulder for your quite tears. 

I will always intercede on your behalf. 

Again, I say: Rejoice. 

Whispers of Doubt

The mask I wear.

The whispered dreams at night.

The long scars and small tears.

The shadow hidden and out of sight.

What I am on the outside, middle, inside,

Which one is real, which do I hide?

I truly can’t find my shadow because it too leaves me, and without it I can’t find who I am. I am lost and found at the same time. I’m happy mostly, but occasionally a terrible sadness comes and sweeps all that joy into it’s stomach and all that is surrounding me is darkness.

Darkness, darkness everywhere,

It stays in my clothes and plays with my hair,

I can’t escape it, I can’t find the light,

This tunnel is too long and I can no longer fight.

I’m swallowed whole, down, down, I go,

Where is the light? It seems to be traveling slow.

The darkness and sadness can be tempting sometimes, because then I feel like I’m truly me. But everyone fights, everyone battles. The strongest survive. Despite the whispers of insecruity, I am strong, incredible, beautiful, and I will make it out of the darkness.

Come on little fighter, things will get brighter.

Sink or Swim

When I was little, even now, I had an almost innate desire for water. My favorite movie was The Little Mermaid, going to the lake was a trip to heaven, and bath time lasted hours. I always loved things associated with the ocean also. In the Titanic the saddest part of the movie was the most memorable due to the water surrounding them, and perhaps that was the first time I realized water isn’t always a good thing.

They say depression is like drowning, only you watch everyone around you breathing. Drowning is almost beautiful, if you look at someone right about to rise to the surface and realize how simple it would be to never come back up, to remain in the water and breathe your last. The key though, is almost. The cruel reality of death hits quite suddenly and all you need is air. Clawing and clinging and grasping for that one breath takes every ounce of energy in your body. The climax of your life is in that moment, and it feels like you are born for the first time with that first breath above the surface, and the rest has passed away. Maybe that’s why the illistration for Christianity is baptism.

Depression is mind blowing in a literal sense. As the example of water above implies, you feel alone. Rose said it best in the Titanic when she said “I feel like I’m standing in the middle of a crowded room screaming at the top of my lungs and no one even stands up.” How breath takingly devestating! No one even wants to recognize your sadness because they are afraid of it. People try out stupidity and say they understand, and everything will be alright. I want to scream at them “LIES. You don’t even know me, let alone understand me; no one does. Everyone who has ever uttered the three worded curse to me has left. I am completely alone. I’m unable to enjoy your company because I’m waiting for your impending departure.” I whisper instead thank you, and walk away with a smile; more accurately a grimace-I’ve forgotten what a genuine smile looks like.

Many people say love is what is most needed by people. But to me, recognition is so much more desired. People are remembered when recognized in the navy, loved and respected when brought to attention. The shadow creatures are forgotten and left to fend for themselves. I wish this wasn’t how it was, but it is. I’ve broken my own soul in pieces because I shared my feelings, dreams, and secrets with each of the supposed faces composed of trust. I didn’t realize that I was talking to a superficial mask: a liar, self-protector, and a stealer of my love. I’ve said it before, but I don’t want to fall in love, because it turns out that no one ever catches me. I’m just one of those people everyone enjoys leaving; I guess my job is to be the jester, entertainer of others at my own expense, clothed in self hatred, even though I never signed up for any of this.

I’d rather drown in the sea then continue to be me for your enjoyment and use.

So leave me be.

Trust Issues

And that’s the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everybody else does too.

It was hard to be honest, to open up, and reveal something that sounded crazy. Because once you told someone the truth, that person had a piece of you-and they could belittle it, destroy it. They could turn your confession into a wound that never healed.

“What’s depression like?” he whispered. “It’s like drowning. Except you can see everyone around you breathing.”

Silly girl. What made you think the boy who doesn’t care about anything would care about you?

I think I am just one of those people no one thinks twice about leaving behind.

Life is too short to live with regrets; love the people who treat you right and forget the ones who don’t.

The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people do.

She was like the moon-part of her was always hidden away.

Sometimes you have to accept that some people only enter your life as a temporary happiness.

All of these quotes or sayings talk about trust or lack of it in some way. I have always been explicit in my talk-not cussing necissarily, but honest and too truthful no matter who it is. I realize the lack of self control and the greatness of my folly… I should keep certain things to myself, and I should limit who I trust. A secret is a piece of me, and when I tell that to more then one person, that gives them power and stretches me out. Maybe someday I will tell someone all my secrets, wishes, and dreams and have them hold them in their heart like easter eggs in a basket, fragile and protected by grass. But until then, I’m going to work on myself and keeping things to myself. I have trust issues now, and I want them.