Kreativ Blogger Award

Thank you Being Me for the honor :)

Now it is my task to pass it on to 7 bloggers and list 7 things about myself.

1) One of my first memories is when I was 3 years old. I was sitting in our garage trying to tie my shoes (red Keds, how’s that for the 80s?!) and I finally got it! I remember feeling so proud of myself.

2) I have been extraordinarily lucky to have visited 14 countries in the last 3 years and not had to shell out a dime (sans souvenirs) They called it “work”, but it was anything but.

3) I have a 19 year old cat… at least, that is our best guess. We saved her from an abusive family in 1993, and it was the vet’s best guess that she as about 2 years old. She has been through elementary, middle and high school, as well as my adventures in college and now adulthood. She really does have nine lives.

4) When I was a junior in college, our basketball team fought their way to the NCAA championship game by winning the Final Four on a Sunday night. Monday after class, my roommate and I decided we wanted to go to that game. We drove non-stop overnight from 7PM-11AM, crashed at her parent’s house for about 4 hours, went to the game (which we did win, btw!), got back to her parent’s house around midnight, slept for 5 hours then drove home from 6AM-9PM Wednesday. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my college life!

5) I think it is crazy how true the Gain commercials are. I have to compulsively smell my laundry when it is done drying. It smells so freaking good.

6) I have a photographic memory. It is especially heightened when numbers are present. This made it extremely easy major in math and rarely have to study.

7) I think black licorice might be the most disgusting thing ever.

My 7 Bloggers to pass this award to:
I pass this on to anyone who pours their heart and soul out to the world in order for their own healing, and by happen-stance, the healing of others. Bless you.

Finding Rest

Rest can come in different forms and serve different purposes. Physical rest is needed during times of illness and growth, as well as daily in order to recharge your mind and body. Emotional rest is needed for relief, processing and even safety. Constantly being emotionally charged is not healthy, just like constantly moving is eventually going to end up in you being forced to stop.

So how do you find spiritual rest? Have you ever thought that you need it?

Up until tonight, I never really thought about the fact that there is a place of rest in the hands of God. Not until God spoke this very thing through a dear friend at Cele.brate Recov.ery.

So many people struggle with waiting. Waiting for God to lay at their feet their greatest desires. Waiting for what you think you deserve. Waiting for the life you think you should be leading. Waiting for a sign that you are doing the right thing. Be patient. Wait and it will come. This amazing woman who spoke of this tonight at CR, is someone I can relate to in almost every aspect of my life. We share the same greatest desire. To be married, to have a family. Wanting that and not pushing to make that happen is hard. Seeing those around you finding their mates and settling into their happiness is harder. Waiting for God to give you what you want the most; hardest. Waiting to see if God's desires for you are the same as what you have in mind; terrifying.

But what happens if you let that go? Letting go gives you the rest you so desperately need because when you let that go and give it to God, it's no longer yours to wait for, to worry about. Letting go gives you the rest that will strengthen your mind and heart and let you grow closer to God. Letting go will make it all the more meaningful and powerful when you receive what God has in store for you.

Now if only letting go was easy.

Unexpected News

The depression I was going through seems to be subsiding, for the time being. It has been a bumpy few weeks but I think I am on the better end of it now. I'm hoping the drab and dreary weather we have been having this winter is the problem. I am very anti-medication and hate the thought of having to go back on something to control my moods. As long as I can keep my thoughts focused on the positive, I can do a pretty good job of tweaking my moods too. It just takes practice.

Monday I got some news I wasn't expecting. I had a scheduled ultrasound with my OBGYN from some undiagnosed "women issues" and the tech found out that I have a rather large gallstone almost blocking the bile duct. I am probably going to need surgery to remove my gallbladder soon. I am going to my regular doctor/GP tomorrow to see what her opinion is. I'm hoping she'll say that surgery isn't necessary, but I'm realistic. I guess what I'm really hoping is that I won't have to do this during Spring Break and they say I can wait until I am off in the summer. I'm still in shock, pretty much. I've never had surgery before, never been in the hospital. I've never even had an IV before, so the prospect of having to be cut open scares the absolute #(&%(@$ out of me. Everyone keeps telling me, "Oh I had mine out, it's not a big deal. You'll be better in about 2 days!" but that is just making me mad. It is a big deal to me. I've never done it.

The shock factor has kept me pretty numb to feeling much of anything else. My session yesterday with A was pretty good, considering we are still talking about a topic I HATE to discuss. She's worried I'm teetering on a dangerous edge of addiction with this. Basically the way I view my cutting is the way an alcoholic views his drink, or a drug addict views his drugs. In the moment of pure need, it is the only thing I want to cure my ails. That is true... when I get low enough and overwhelmed enough to want to cut; then yes, that is all I want. But am I addicted to it in the specific sense of the word? No. I don't have to cut every day to be OK. I don't have to cut every time I'm upset to feel better. It's just a coping mechanism for really hard emotions. The reason I am allowing us to continue on this road (even though I want to quit talking about it so much!) is because I really think there are some big emotions and possible breakthroughs that are underneath the surface with this topic. I just need to be pushed to figure out what they are.

I love that I can be so at ease with A, even though I'm doing something I don't want to be doing. I'm so blessed to have her on my side.

As we were wrapping up the session, she was explaining what she wanted me to work on for the week and said something that made us both laugh.

Go ahead and try to go through those first three principles and re-write them with cutting as the theme.

Do you want me to go through the steps too or just the principles?

At this point I think you could do either. They are both pretty similar, but it's not going to be as cut (insert hesitation here) and dry as you think. *chuckle* Probably could have chosen a better word there.

*Laugh* Yeah. Straightforward might have been a better choice. *Laugh*

LOL. I'm glad humor can be a part of therapy.

No Words

I can't seem to form connected thoughts to try and explain how I am feeling. I wish I could seep back into denial for a bit just to have some relief. I just want to curl up in my bed and stay there forever.

The Flood Gates

I feel as though I've opened the flood gates. There's no stopping it now. You can't push it all back in.


Last night my session with A focused strictly on my SI behaviors. Although it was easier to discuss today, I was still shaking the whole time. I read her what I wrote about my cutting and was really worried about what she was going to say because I know how she feels about it. She doesn't approve. Nor do I expect her to on a professional level. But just thinking about her disapproval makes it all the more hard to talk about. It's part of the reason why I've never allowed deep discussion about it.

I have always had SI behaviors as part of my coping mechanisms, even before my parents divorce and the abuse. Around the age of 6, I started showing signs of trichotillamania and by age 7 I was completely devoid of all eyelashes and eyebrows. Couldn't tell you why I did it. I just remember thinking "Hmmm, I think I'll rip out all my hair tonight!" That became my way to cope with stress. It got really bad during my pre-teen/teenage years and was basically the only way I dealt with anything. That pain/sensation was my release. I still do it now, at times unconsciously. Sitting watching TV or on the phone. I don't even realize it. It's more of a bad habit now than a coping mechanism.

I mentioned this to A, one because I wasn't sure that I ever had, and two because I thought it pertained to me trying to explain to her my experience with SI. It's not a bad thing to me. It's something to help me feel better.

"I never had people telling me as a kid, "You better stop pulling out your hair. It is an unhealthy coping mechanism!" I don't know why this is any different. It's not jeopardizing my well-being."

At some point I got really frustrated and upset with the course of our conversations that I stopped talking. A looked at me and asked:

"What are you afraid of?" (as fear is what stops me from talking)

I had to stop and think... I wasn't really sure. It took me a while to figure out exactly what it was.

"I'm afraid of being pressured into giving this up when I'm not ready. I'm afraid that you are disappointed in me."

I don't think she was expecting that. The look on her face changed. Her response is not what I was expecting either.

"I am NOT disappointed in you. I don't think I could ever be disappointed in you. We are having this discussion because I'm concerned for you. That is what you deserve. That is something you didn't ever get, even when you broadcast your SI as a small child. I am doing this out of love and concern, not anger and disappointment."

And I believe her. I just would have never thought that was why she would not let the topic go.

We are both at somewhat of an impasse in getting past this. I am not ready to change this aspect of my life. She is not ever going to approve and say it is OK for me to continue cutting when she can offer so many other options that do not have the risk (however extreme and improbable) of accidental death. I have a lot of respect for her in standing her ground even though it is not what I want to hear. It presents an interesting dynamic in our relationship as I have never blatantly disregarded what she has said and offered to me for healing. Again, I feel as if I am letting her down. It's my fault I haven't learned enough from her to be able to get past this. It's my fault that I won't let this go. I'm an awful person for not doing what she says I should do, etc, etc.

I wish I could go back in time and not allow discussion of this topic. I wish I could close those flood gates.

Staying Happy

(Taken in the park near my house)

Thursday we got a foot of snow. A FOOT. It shattered the previous record of about 7". I do not live in a place known for snow, but this snow was amazing. Blissful. I loved every minute of it.

Work was cancelled Friday because of the super-snow/slush turning into ice overnight Thursday, so put it together with having President's Day off tomorrow and I got an unplanned 4-day weekend. That was a welcome gift that I really needed.

Saturday I spent the day with a friend from church. She and I both graduated from the same university and we took a day trip down there to watch the mens basketball game. Her nephew is the coaches assistant and was able to get us floor seats. I sat next to two former players (who were both players when I was still in college a few years ago) and got introduced to them. They are friends of the family. One of them spent multiple Thanksgivings and Christmases with her family because he doesn't have any here (he was found in Africa and moved here to play). It was so crazy to see this 7 foot tall African come up and hug my friend who is 5'1" and ask her if she brought him cookies. LOL. The game was amazing. Game winning shot with 1.3 seconds left.

Today started off with a 90 minute massage. I haven't been in over a month due to schedule conflicts, so I was really looking forward to feeling loose again. I spent the rest of the day out in the country with some of my favorite people. Many of you prayed for them back in September. Their son was born with an undiagnosed heart condition and almost died. He is 5 months old now and full of life! They are preparing for his second open heart surgery next month. They are the epitome of strength. I have learned a lot from them. They continue to show me what true friendship is like and what it means to be a loving family.

Even with all of these amazing things, I am finding myself fighting to stay happy. I'm fighting to not let the darkness take me and run. I need this to pass so I can feel strong again.

Please Stop

Last night we broached a topic that A knows about, but something I have yet to allow discussion on. I'm not really sure how it suddenly became the only thing we were talking about, but it was. I had to ask her to stop. I had to beg her. "PLEASE STOP." It makes me feel crazy. Not mentally, but physiologically. Immediate panic attacks. She didn't let me avoid it this time. She pushed me. I got angry; passive-aggressive, curt. But I didn't completely shut her down. I did the best I could to talk through the fear. It did not go well, but it was more than what I've done in the past.

I left with this prompt for next week: "Is cutting my way of meeting my needs rather than depending on God, others or healthy coping skills?"

I don't know why the topic of my cutting is so scary for me to talk about, but it is. I sat down when I got home and processed through what A said during the session. I read and re-read her question to me. It didn't take me long to pour it all out.

Cutting is my way to feel in control. When things get too overwhelming and painful, I can take hold of a razor blade and feel at peace for a short while. All of a sudden I'm the one making the decisions. How deep? Where? How much? How long? In that moment my needs can only be met by cutting. It is the only thing I want. It is the only thing I can rely on. It is always there when I need it. It doesn't need a reason. I will bleed whether or not my driving force was due to pain or anxiety or hatred. My body is always reliable. The buzz of fear, like stealing. That feeling you are doing something you shouldn't. The pain itself. It suddenly has a real existence. I can see the feeling. The adrenaline that suddenly makes way for the calm after the storm. It never disappoints. My body never lets me down. Everyone else does. Maybe for a short while they are exactly what I need them to be; a friend, someone I can trust. But people are not perfect. I don't expect them to be. God, however is. Or at least, that's what people say. I see His perfection in the lives of others and I see it at times in my own life. But it is rarely there for me when I need it the most. When I am in the pain that has me crying out to Him to heal; praying and begging for Him to take notice and all I feel is alone? That only amplifies the pain. This pain has no name, no location and no appearance until I take control. Then I'm heard. My body hears my cries. Then I'm healed. My body heals my scars. My body never lets me down.

Today I'm Thankful

No doubt this week has been rough. I got home from my additional session Thursday and slept. Slept for about 4 hours. I was exhausted. When I awoke, I was surprised to have an e-mail waiting for me from A. She was worried about how I was doing after leaving her office that afternoon. I can't tell you just how much that gesture touched me and helped lessen some of my pain. I replied with how I was doing and we exchanged a few more e-mails before the night was over. I told her about having the recurrence of some suicidal thoughts, which have not been a problem in quite a while. The aggressiveness of their return was scary. I have been very low this week.

Even through all of that, I was so looking forward to this weekend.

When my parents were married, they lived on a cul-de-sac in a "Pleasantville" suburb. There were 5 houses, 5 families and we were all very close. For about 10 years, we did almost everything together. One of the girls next door was born only 10 hours after me. We were BFF since birth. The older girls were my babysitters. The older boys taught us how to get in trouble, LOL. The other parents were like my own. I would come and go to and from their houses as I pleased, not even knocking to come in or having to ask for permission. I lived in their pools during the summer. We had cookouts, birthday parties, Christmases, etc. together. I have such good memories of that time of my life. I pray that I am able to find that in my life later so that my kids can feel that wonderful sense of love I felt growing up on that street.

Kids got older, moved out. One of the boys next door was murdered on his way home from the high school football game. We were all devastated. Things changed. My parents got divorced, we moved out. People went their separate ways. We stayed in contact, but as life gets busy you forget and don't try as hard. The last time I saw everyone was when I was 13. One of the girls (my babysitter) got married then and we went to her wedding. I'd see them every now and then in passing at the country club, but aside from that I hadn't seen or talked to anyone since that age.

Fast forward to the Facebook era and I was able to re-establish contact with everyone except for one family. I am the planner of things. Nothing makes me happier than to reconnect with old friends. So today I got everyone together for the first time in almost 13 years. It felt as though it had been 13 minutes. Nothing had changed. We sat and talked and laughed for hours. My babysitter now has 5 kids, and she brought 2 of them with her. Her older brother (the one who taught me the most about getting in trouble!) has one child, who is 13. She was there too and loved hearing all the stories we all shared. Their mother is still the matriarch I remember. Always making sure everyone is OK and happy, with that dry sense of humor. Their father is still the most handsome, loving husband and father he always was. My namesake is just as fun as I remember. She has got the most contagious laugh. Her oldest daughter (my old BFF) is as gorgeous as she always was, and just as fun as her mother. If they didn't live so far away I would definitely be hanging out with her often! The two youngest girls (BFF's sister and my sister) could not come but they both promised to come next time. And there will be a next time.

Today I am thankful for my past. I am thankful that God gave me these wonderful people. It has been so long that I have forgotten what an impact they all had on my childhood. I felt loved today.