Tomorrow Will Be Better…

Last year was by far the hardest year of my life. That says a lot, as anyone who knows me knows I have been through hell and back. My years in hospitals and through abuse felt minimal in comparison to the hurt and betrayal I felt last year when I lost almost everything to ignorant people and discriminatory actions. I got through it though. I got through it because I knew eventually things would get better.

I often feel like life treats certain people unfairly. Like pouring salt in a wound some people just seem to get life’s pains handed to them on a rusted platter. I’m sure I’m not alone in my beliefs. We sometimes get kicked when we’re down and that’s life. Life is also continuing to try to get back up no matter how hard or pointless it may seem.

My New Years resolution this year was to have a better year than the last. It was an easy target considering what happened, but it’s true that you never know what life will hand you. Everyday I go to bed and tell myself, “Tomorrow will be better.” I repeat that to myself no matter how great of a day I have had. I tell myself this even if I don’t believe it. I engrave it in my mind so monotonously that it acts as an echo in the times I need to hear it most. Tomorrow will be better. If it’s not? Well then the next day will be better.. or the next day, or the next day, or the next.

You see, this optimism is what keeps me alive. It keeps me striving to do what I want, what I love! It makes me better myself because I want that statement to come true, like a prophecy waiting to be fulfilled. If today is not great, what can I do to make tomorrow better?

So far, things have been better! Life is starting to turn around and I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps, it won’t stay this way. The important thing is I am making moves every day to improve my life. I went back to school, I built my self confidence, I stood up for myself, and so much more.

This technique won’t work for everyone. However, I challenge anyone who reads this to just do one thing every day that can help improve their life. It could be as little as putting loose coins in a jar to cash in later or recycling and composting. Anything to help your state of mind. I know better than some how important it is to take care of yourself, especially when you don’t have the strength to even get out of bed. It is important! I share this because it has helped me so much. I hope it would do the same for others.

So tomorrow will get better! And if it doesn’t? Don’t worry, the next day will be better still. ūüôā

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Withdrawn: An Update

It ¬†has been a long time since I last posted. ¬†That is, it has been a long time by my standards. ¬†I have still been writing, I have just chosen to keep it offline. ¬†It is weird for me because I’m usually very open about everything, but recently, I decided I needed some time. ¬†It has not just in my writing, but also in my personal life. ¬†Being an extrovert my entire life, I never really have enjoyed being alone and withdrawn. ¬†Maybe it has just been my time to slow down, or maybe it’s the fact I’ve been so sick, either way, my life has become a lot more withdrawn and I have enjoyed just being alone.

With that said, I have appreciated the social encounters that I have had recently. ¬†Along with school, I have enjoyed seeing my church family both on Sundays and on Wednesday evenings for the Young Adult Ministry. ¬†Last Friday, my Best Friend drove across the state to attend my birthday party. ¬†Along with her, there were other great friends that showed up and made my day special. ¬†I have been spending time with my parents both celebrating my birthday as well as getting ready for my brother’s wedding next Saturday. ¬†He comes back to Michigan this Sunday for a break. ¬†After their honeymoon, they will both move down to Missouri as he finishes his schooling. I haven’t had much of a love life myself. ¬†That has been good, though. ¬†It gave me time to heal and get over some of the hurt. ¬†Recently, I have been talking to a wonderful man. ¬†We are taking things very slow, but I know that he continually makes me happy. My favorite part of my day is when I get to talk to him. ¬†My roommates have easily become my biggest advocates. ¬†On my worst day’s they make me smile. ¬†They are not just friends, they are truly my family.

School has been hard. ¬†I love my classes this semester, but they are exponentially harder than some of my past classes. ¬†It may be even harder just because I felt so sick for so long. ¬†I’m finally starting to do a little better thankfully. ¬†I’m starting back at Starbucks again. ¬†I went in this Thursday for paperwork. ¬†I’m excited to work for my old boss again. ¬†She is such a wonderful person, mentor, and friend. Going back to work is scary, but I know that it will be such a wonderful opportunity. ¬†I recently dropped the ball on some things that I needed to get done. ¬†It scared me because I thought I royally screwed up my future. ¬†Thankfully my Mom is nothing but supportive and has helped me realize other options I have.

Without saying too much, just know that my depression has been worse than it has been. ¬†I’m alive and doing way better than I could be though. ¬†That hope is really all that matters. ¬†Depression sucks. ¬†It sucks worse when you don’t have hope.

I know this hasn’t been my my most exciting blog post, but my life hasn’t really been that exciting. ¬†But you know what? Maybe that’s a good thing.

Guns for Hands

  

Pain is a part of being human.  After the fall of humanity, we were cursed with pain.  Pain is a part of living. More accurately, pain is a part of dying.

There are so many different types and levels of pain.  There is physical, mental, and emotional pain.  There are even subcategories within each of those.  Regardless, I know that pain is something we as humans can all relate to.

What might be harder for some to relate to, is self inflicted pain. This past week, I had a conversation with my friend.  We were talking about waxing, plucking eyebrows, and high heels.  All of these things I loath.  I told her I absolutely hate these things because I hate self inflicted pain. She gave me a strange look after I said it.  I smiled and gave a nervous laugh because I knew exactly what she was thinking…

I’m a cutter.  I rarely use this label for myself (because I hate it) but it’s the best way to describe what I’m talking about.  That means I will or have intentionally cut, burned, pinched, or scratched myself in order to induce physical pain and/or bleed.  This all ties in with my Borderlime Personality Disorder which I would be happy to provide reading material on.  It’s one facet of it. It’s one facet that many don’t understand.  

I’m going to give a brief overview on why many people cut.  Please note, this is not why ever person cuts, but I and many others could fit in with what I’m about to say.  So, how many of you remember hearing that if a certain pain is intense enough, it will distract from or take away any other pains you may have. This is generally used when talking about physical pain.  We, as cutters, use this for all types of pain.  We cut when the emotional or mental pain is so intolerable  that we need to distract our minds with physical pain.  That is how cutting starts for many.  It quickly becomes an addiction when we quickly turn to it to fix all our problems.  Soon, it becomes our only mechanism for coping.  Like other addictions, it grows stronger.  Getting our next fix with more pain, a deeper cut, or more blood.  Cutting releases endorphins.. So in a way, it’s a high.

I have been a cutter for years.  I first cut my freshmen year of high school.  I turned to burning for awhile because I liked the pain. Then back to cutting. I was 5 months clean. I cut again last week. Then again last night.  I’m obviously not perfect, but I’m striving so hard to stay alive.

I called this post “Guns for Hands”.  That is appropriately the name of a song I love that addresses self injury.  The artist says that everyone has “guns for hands”, meaning they have the capability to hurt themselves.  The song starts off by talking about the morning after a self injury and the shame one feels.  The artist of the song says that even with “guns for hands” you don’t have to “take it” or act on it. In the bridge, he is clearly upset.  He sees so many people capable of harming themselves.  He sees the anger driving them to do so.  He suggests that they “point their guns” at him instead of themselves because he cares for their lives. He says he can’t sleep knowing what they might do. He begs them to direct their anger at him or his music.  He ends by saying he  wants them to “turn their guns into fists”. This to me is a stance of victory. I imagine someone with their fist in the air because they won.  

I love that song, and if you haven’t guessed, it was written and performed by twenty one pilots.  I know I’m a fan girl, but the two men in that band connect so well with people who struggle like I do.  Their music has helped save my life.. As cliche as that sounds.

I have grown up addicted to pain.  I really wanted to share this post because I don’t think self harm is talked about enough.  If anything, it’s still super stigmatized. So to end this post, I will write a few things to break some stigma.

Myth: People just cut for attention.
Fact: Most cutters are actually extreamly discreet. I started cutting on my upper thighs and stomach where i knew no one would see. I only cut on my wrists if I needed a more intense pain or easy access. Even then, I’d try and wear long sleeves or thick braclets to cover them.

Myth: Cutting is a fad for high school girls.
Fact: Though it’s true many high school girls cut or start cutting in high school. Cutting itself is done by people of all genders and ages. Especially in people with borderline, like me. Cutting is something continued on as aforementioned addiction.

Myth: Cutters are suicidal/ want to die.
Fact: Though some people who cut contimplate or attempt suicide, many don’t. Cutting is a way to ease mental pain. It actually works for many (which is why its so addicting) therefore eliminating the need for suicide

There are many more myths about cutting! If you think something, make sure you check your facts before talking to someone.  Thanks for reading! If you ever have any questions about cutting, Borderline, suicide, or anything else about my life I would be so happy to talk with you! 

“Our brains are sick, but that’s okay.”

Conditional Love

  I was falling into a sleep and reflecting on my day when a thought crossed my mind.  It’s so easy to love someone conditionally and claim unconditional love. I think a lot of people do it. I believe I’ve done it.  It’s a part of the human condition, a flaw of humanity. Let me expand.

You see, through the course of my life, I have come to realize I am a very affectionate person. I need to be loved and I love to love.  I think every human to some extent has the need to be loved.  It’s innate. 

I discussed with a friend last week a theory I have come to terms with.  I need to be alone.  My whole life I have strived to be loved and accepted by those around me. As an extreme extrovert, these experiences brought me joy and energy. The downfall is when I came to be alone, I crashed. Anxiety driven loneliness consumed me to extremes. That’s why these past few months, I have slowly withdrawn myself from too much of a social life. I’d still maintain one, but I cut back drastically.  I was learning to be content while alone.  It has been hard, but it has also taught me some extremely valuable things about humans.

When I stopped reaching out to people I realized several realities. One was that if I didn’t reach out, I would never talk to some people.  I was the only one working to keep the friendship alive.  I do understand that if they got used to me initiating then I suddenly stop, there is a chance they thought I didn’t want to talk to them.  So I haven’t blamed anyone, but I did find it a fascinating observation.  I wondered how many of them did want to keep our friendship alive and how many actually cared.

The next group of people there were, are those whom did reach out to me occasionally, so I also reached out occasionally in return.  The interesting thing about this group is how few people there actually are in it.  Most of these people I have had good relationships with and have been able to work through things with. This small group I would say a my core group of people.  

The third group are those that I never initiated contact with and they continually contacted me.  This group is even smaller than the latter. There are two things I have drawn from this group. These people love me. Unconditionally love me.  It shows in all they do.  Also, another strange observation, the people in this group, they were people I never would have counted as a friend until they reached out.

So what does this all mean? Well, I want to make it clear that people in all the groups could very much love me unconditionally. I would never discredit that.  I love (or try to love) many of them as best as I humanly can.  I did start to wonder however if it’s possibly for a human being to love unconditionally.  I feel as if a lot of love is extremely selfish. If like to believe I love my parents unconditionally, but if (God forbid) they cut me off and out of there lives completely, would I still love them? Or is my love for them conditional in the fact that I expect love back. Now, that is a very extreme example, but I believe it could be applied in many situations.

Okay, so the past few days have been good, yet extreamly hard at the same time.  I’m finding myself skeptical of people. Yesterday evening was difficult.  Thankfully I was able to stay at my parents house.  I did end up hurting myself for the first time in months, however. All because I could not believe I could be loved. No matter what I did or how much I failed, could I be accepted for who I am?

Today, we had a BSMS reunion. It was great to see so many familiar faces. It brought me a lot of joy, and at the same time, I had to retell the story that I still hold bitterly in my heart of my dismissal from the school.  I’m have healed a lot since it initially happened, but I still hurt.

After, I was able to see an amazing man.  This man is very broken.  He has quickly become someone a care about an awful lot. You see, this is my friend who just got out of the hospital after a heroin overdose and dance with death.  I really want to share some of our conversation…

He and I are similar.  We both have gone through similar experiences, suicide attempts, and bouts of depression.  He is not a religious person. He told me his soul is dead. This person, needs someone to love them. Unconditionally love them. I know that God is the only one that can do that for him right now. I told him some of my testimony and struggles with God. As he listened respectfully, I saw a shift in his mannerisms.  His natural laid back posture turned tense.  As I finished I asked him what he was thinking. This was his reponse, “You don’t know how much I wish I had that. I don’t even wish I had a solid belief in something, but even something to wrestle with, like you have. I want to. I want to have hope, but I can’t.” He did explain more as to why he can’t believe I’m anything, but I don’t feel qualified to share.  Anyway, after our conversation on religion, I must have looked visibly upset. I was pretty emotional because of what he had shared… Anyway, when he saw my face he looked at me and said, “Hey, I know I’m not a good person. I know that I probably make your life so much harder and you don’t deserve that.  I also know I’m not like any of your other friends, but you make my world a better place. I can tell you genuinely care when very few people do.” I then told him about every one of you who prayed for him and his stone cold face almost teared up.

That’s when I realized. Loveing someone is hard. Very hard. I also believe you can’t do it alone.  I could not love him well without all of my friends support.  And they probably couldn’t love me without their friends, and so fourth. So yeah, maybe love is conditional.. It’s conditional on someone loving you first.  That cycle of love has to end somewhere… Unless someone does truly love unconditionally.. Which someone does.. The Creator, Savior, Father, Friend.

As he left, he leaned in and gave me a kiss on the cheek and whispered, “Please never ever try to take your life again, because your life is going to save so many.”

Needless to say, I cried.  Maybe this pain is purposeful. Maybe, just maybe, this world of conditional love has taught me who Unconditional Love is. And maybe, he’s showing me how to show it and receive it.

The Color Red

  
Red. One of the two main colors of Christmas.  I have never questioned Christmas colors or their origins.  I’m not sure if these two colors root back to the birth of Jesus or stem from a secular tradition.  Regardless of where these colors came from, I do find these two colors such a strange representation of the season.

The color green seems like a silly color to represent the holiday, because there is almost no green to be seen under the snow covered parts of the world. The only green we see is the evergreen which we prominently display in our homes.  

The color that I really want to focus on is Red.  Red has never been a favorite color of mine.  The only time I would sport the color red was around Christmas. To me, red represented passion, anger, sex, blood, and violence.  

So, why red? I mean, my speculation on the color red and why it represents Christmas, isn’t so far fetched.  Red is blood. His blood. As we celebrate his birth, the color of his blood brings us back to the real reason he was born in the first place.  Baby Jesus, was born to die.  His red blood covers out black sins, which makes us white as snow. That’s, Christmas.  It’s not just a virgin birth, a lowly stable, and it sure isn’t Santa.  It’s about recievings a gift.  A free gift.  A gift of salvation and eternal life. The gift of forgiveness. All because this little baby, will die an innocent death someday. I mean, if you think about it… The whole bible, after the fall, focuses on the shedding of blood for forgiveness.  The Passover lambs were slaughtered. Their blood was painted on the door frame and when the Angle of Death passed through Egypt. No death came to the house holds protected by the blood.  Priests would make animal sacrifices and sprinkle the blood on the people.  This would cover their sins.  Red is not a terrible color, but a life saving one.

Fin*

   

 I’m done. I survived my first semester BACK at school after a year of tear, hospitalizations, and travel. I did it. It feels so good to have accomplished something that so many told me may be impossible.  Even better, the fact that I’m alive and was able to do them.  After next semester, I’ll be two years away from my masters.  That’s not exactly where I wanted to be, but considering the circumstances, I’m so happy.

I mentioned a couple of blog posts ago about my project of queering suicide.  I will post the link to my Prezi at the end of this post.  It may not have a lot of explanation behind it but I think it contains enough info to get the point.  There’s also a pretty rad video in there.

I haven’t heard anything about my friend yet today. I normally don’t get a call until later though.  Last I heard was around 11p last night. He was still on life support. During the day at some point his heart rate slowed to an incredibly unhealthy rate. They were able to stableize it again, thankfully.  Thanks for your continued prayers. I don’t know what I will do if I lose him.

Tonight I got to perform my award winning monologue, “I Used to Think”. For those of you who remember, this is the same monologue I did for the forensics competition in 8th grade.  I ended up winning second place.  The prize was a pair of fuzzy socks. I was super satisfied. I can hardly believe I won anything, though, because everyone was so talented.

It’s now time for Christmas Break.  This break will be filled with sleep, music, reading, friends, and rock climbing.  I’ll get to see my brother and his fianc√©, as well.  

Thanks for everyone who has walked with me this semester, I could not have done it without you. 

Here is the link to my Prezi:

Queering Suicide: Reactions to the Taboo

Stay Alive For Me

This is my second blog post in two days.  I don’t do that often.  Not unless something is just super trying on my mind.  

Today was a good day.  I was able to sleep in, do some studying, sleep some more, go out with a friend, and see Maddy play in her 8th grade holiday band concert.  I’m so thankful for all of that.  I was at ease.

I almost forgot that someone I cared about is fighting for his life.  It’s crazy, you know? I hadn’t heard anything all day. I figured no news was good news.  I guess that’s not the case.  

I feel so stupid.  I’ve been crying since 10:20 when I got the phone call. He’s still alive, but barely.  I can’t lose him. I can’t.  I almost posted asking for someone to just come stay the night with me to calm me down.  I’m on the edge of an anxiety attack and the only thing keeping me sane is an extra dose of my Klonopin. Even that isn’t strong enough.  

I honestly don’t think I’ve ever felt this way before. I’ve never pleaded for someone’s life before.  I’ve lost a few people in my lifetime.. Grandparents, acquaintances, and friends. One I lost in the same way I may lose this friend.  I think that’s why I’m so afraid.  I’ve seen the devastating effects of heroin. Now I’m seeing it again.  The worst part is I feel like it’s my fault.  Why? Because I knew.

It’s not super logical to think that, I know. But I was one of the few people who knew. I could have gotten him more help, I could have done something.. But I didn’t.  I felt helpless. Now, I’m laying here even more helpless as a lifeless body lays in a hospital room on life support because I didn’t act when I had the chance.  

I know it’s not my fault. I do.  I’m just hoping he makes it out alive.