Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Missing My Former Church

Today I need an escape. Been writing dark poetry lately...  Saw an old friend from high school- we talked for 3 hrs! She still hangs with the guy who lived with my first crush-the child molester who was sent to prison my Senior year and remains incarcerated. I asked how he was and she said no one ever mentions him... That struck me for some reason... This guy (though ultimately sick and perverted) was the funniest person I'd ever met...still may be...he was so huge in my teenage world, and now it's as if he never existed. I wonder if he asks if anyone misses him...but who would he ask? And do they lie and say people talk about him all the time? His actions ruined his life. I kind of feel that way about my former church... my mental illness ruined the life I once knew. I was a rock star hanging with the Worship Team with a key to the building. If I would've suffered in silence, I could still go to that church and hang out with the popular crowd. But it's gone. The life I had with that church is gone. Just like the teacher from high school, it's as if I never existed. I wonder if anyone ever misses me... If I suffered in silence, I wouldn't be alive today... After time passed, I wonder if anyone would miss me? Jen would, Rob might... But would the world be as if I never existed?   

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Church... for REAL

Evidently, Jen has been filling out prayer requests for me at her church, where I have never attended. The Pastor's wife sent this to Jennifer and it really impressed me that a Pastor's family would open their home for someone they have never met... on a holiday!


I know you have been praying for Shelly for a while.  I’m praying for her today and see that her family has abandoned her.  Would she be open to an invitation to share Thanksgiving with us?

Recent Pictures

Thanksgiving and Jireh's play date:



Day to Rest

This is going to be a stay home (even from church) and rest day. Somehow, my new friend, Stacy, and I became the Social Coordinators for the Single Women’s Bible Study at church. After my stressful night Friday, my toilet overflowed yesterday morning. Yes, I have maintenance men, which would be nice if they would just FIX the problem, and not talk to me for 30 minutes. I'd rather fix it myself. However, I have no money- none – I made the mistake of buying card materials for people who ordered cards and told them they could pay me later. NOW THEY DON’T WANT THE CARDS and I have to wait until Friday (when I get my check) to pay to mail the cards for the people who ordered and PAID for them.

Anyway, the last thing I wanted to do was go be social yesterday morning. I don’t know these ladies too well, so I planned to filter what I said (i.e. no discussing depression, family, etc.). The ladies were WONDERFUL! We did discuss my family abandoning me, and my depression, and they shared their own stories. I was even laughing as one of them went home to get her toilet plunger for me to borrow! Wasn’t that considerate? I told her I’d carry it back to her in the sanctuary at church! Can you imagine?

Anyway, the other lady ordered six cards from me and prepaid so at least I have a little cash… and I don’t have to buy a plunger.

This blog will go back to Biblical application entries once the holidays are over. Right now, I feel it’s important to educate people on all aspects of depression… from the good days, to the really crappy days (no pun intended). I pray it will being humor and comfort to the depressed and those who love them.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

So How Was Your Night?

Let me say up front: My greatest fear is FIRE. Remember that.

After I wrote last night’s blog on panicking because Jen and Rob were both out of town for the weekend, I took my medicine and went to sleep. My phone woke me up… it was Jennifer, who just read the blog. “Are you okay? I am only 90 minutes away, Shelly… I can get in my car and be right there." I felt humbled yet silly that she was so worried about me.

I asked her my usual first question, “Am I crazy? I am having flashbacks of last winter when they were trying to send me away. I’m afraid someone is coming to get me like last year and you, nor Rob, are here to convince them I’m competent.”

She explained no one is coming to get me… I am in a safe place now, my mom is out of my life, and (her voice deepened) “if anyone TRIES to send you away, they’re gonna have to deal with me! I watched you yesterday at Thanksgiving Dinner and I saw the “Shelly” you told me you use to be… laughing, socializing… you were HAPPY.” She said it was understandable I was freaking out because my family (her) is out of town. She stressed yet again she’d come right home if I needed her. I was fine. I am learning that talking things out make me feel immensely better. We hung up and I hugged Jireh, and fell right to sleep.

Four hours later, the fire alarm in my building went off! So I, who is petrified of fire and being outside in the dark, am walking outside with my heart pounding out my chest. You could literally see my heart pumping! Do I get Addy and Jireh in the car? Do I hide under my covers? Do I take my anxiety medication? I had time to think of all this as the alarm went off FOR AN HOUR! Just like a month ago, fire trucks and cop cars swarmed my loft. I prayed… I kept praying… “God, you are with me, Jireh and Addy… I have nothing to fear".

Evidently, the same neighbor who was taken away in a straight jacket pulled the fire alarm. I saw her boyfriend walk up with another girl, then heard a HEARTWRENCHING SCREAM. She had pulled a knife on the guy and girl when they walked into the house. Cops were everywhere.

I went back to bed. I have enough drama in my life to worry about the neighbors.

So, how was your night?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Panic

I survived Thanksgiving by spending the day with Jennifer. It kept my mind off of the absence of my relatives. I did good today too, continuing to make Christmas cards. Tonight, I'm anxious as both Jen and Rob are out of town for the weekend. I feel like a little girl left alone in a scary place without my security blanket. Panic circles me. I need someone. I need God. Where is He?

My new medicine makes me sleepy. I like tHat. My dog doesn't.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Frontal Lobe

Yes, I am cheating - using an email as a blog... Brain stuff fascinates me, so I thought I'd share this with my readers:

Damage to my frontal lobe is why I have difficulty with "movement" (I'm jerky instead of smooth), talking, and executing plans... I have ideas, but don't initiate. That is your neurological lesson for today. I had a blood clot on my frontal lobe at birth from the pressure of my head against the birth canal. 

http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~lngbrain/cglidden/frontal.html

Attention Deficit affects the frontal lobe too, which is why I believe people with CP have ADD more than people without CP. 

I LOVE neurology!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Doctor's Report

Follow up to yesterday,,, I saw the psychiatrist. She put me on a new medication and said it can be lethal if I overdose on it so she had me call Jennifer, and the doctor asked Jennifer to only give me a week's dosage at a time. Doc was not happy I called my mom for her birthday on November 8th, and understood how the incident with the straight jacket neighbor freaked me out. She asked Jen if she would be in town for the holidays and if she would make sure I am not isolating, to get me out of the house.

I know if it wasn't for Jen's reassuring her I am okay, I would be in the hospital because she couldn't believe my mood was a "7'  the day after I was suicidal.

THANK YOU so much for all the prayers and encouragement. And thank you for letting me bring awareness to such a personal, taboo issue.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Uncomfortable Topic - Depression and Suicide

*My apologies if this makes you uncomfortable. I feel led to share… open and honestly. My hope is this will help others deal with such an uncomfortable topic as suicide...


Twenty-four hours ago, I needed to be hospitalized. I was having suicidal thoughts, begging God to take me. I was in bad, bad shape. The past week, I had been more social than I have been in years, meeting new friends, regularly talking with Jennifer and Rob… yet no one had any idea how the depression was consuming me. I don’t like to complain, I don’t like to be needy, so no one knew. Jennifer took Jireh for a few nights (Jireh has puppy sleepovers at Jen’s on a weekly basis) which allowed me to sleep and escape. Saturday, sleeping no longer provided the usual relief and regeneration. I texted Jen, asking if she’d keep Jireh one more night as I “wasn’t doing well”. That’s all, no details.

Sunday morning, I knew I needed help. I knew I couldn’t be alone. I seriously wanted to die. This time, I didn’t give in. I reached out to Jennifer and Rob. I was open and honest and vulnerable. Rob has church on Sunday mornings, so I messaged him things like, “I’m having bad thoughts… Googling ways to die… did you know it takes SIX WEEKS to starve to death?...” and finally, “there’s an 98% chance of death if you jump in front of a train…”  Serious, serious stuff! And considering I’ve attempted suicide in the past, Rob and Jennifer know I don’t play games. I don’t cry wolf. Rob told me to hang on until he finished with church and then he’d talk me through this. I promised I would.

Meanwhile, Jennifer and Ron brought Jireh home. Ron stayed in the car while Jen came in. I told her I needed to go to a hospital that wouldn’t pump me with drugs, and I couldn’t face the holidays. I told her I wanted to die. I told her Jireh deserved a mom who didn’t lay in bed all day. I told her I am a loser… a hopeless loser. Again, SERIOUS stuff! Imagine what poor Jen was going through! Her eyes teared up. She said she doesn’t know what to do except to love me and feed me and pray for me. She asked me what she could do. Don’t leave me alone…

So I changed clothes as Jen went to tell Ron I was suicidal and needed to get out. I ran errands with them until Rob was able to talk with me. No one understands my depression like Rob. He talked me through it. He made it okay. He changed my perspective.

Jireh and I spent the rest of the day at Jen’s, where I was made my favorite dinner, my laundry was done, and I was loved. Loved like I imagine a normal family loves. I got phone calls and emails from new friends from church and BSF ‘just checking on me’ when I KNOW those were signs from God to keep going, don’t give up… don’t let this be my lot in life…

As I write this, I feel renewed. I feel hopeful, determined, relieved, blessed, loved. Yes, I have to face my first holiday season without my family, without my old church… but it is a NEW season. As God blessed Job for his perseverance, God will do the same for me.

Last thing… I told Jennifer I feel like God is a lot like my parents, refusing to let me come home… now I realize, it’s like going to college. You get homesick, but you have to ‘be away from home’ to be who God wants you to be. That is why I am still in this world. It’s not that God doesn’t want me home with Him, he wants me to stay in this world to grow into who He created me to be. He will take me home on HIS time, not mine.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Source of Smiles

Continue to be in a deep depression... expect it to last through the holidays. No, there is nothing anyone can do. Somehow, Addy makes me smile...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ramblings

You guessed it – my lack of blogging means I crashed. I don’t like writing when I am in a deep depression because I hate to sound like a pitiful whiner. Then I remind myself if I was a pitiful whiner, I’d whine about cerebral palsy and Crohn’s disease. Most people are unaware I even have Crohn’s because I rarely talk about it. It’s a fact of life for me and I see no need to share I have severe abdominal pains at times and even lose control of my bowels. It’s part of life – why share? And the cerebral palsy is obvious… when I do talk about it, it is usually to make others feel comfortable, knowing I can laugh at myself. Sometimes I think people don’t think I know I have it, so they avoid the topic, as if the world has some conspiracy to hide my disability from me. Again, like Crohn’s, cerebral palsy is a part of my life… I don’t know any different. Major Clinical Depression is different.

Last weekend, I have an extremely (no exaggeration) traumatic event occur. It sent me into a dangerous spiral that I am just now crawling out of. I came home to an ambulance, several police cars and a fire truck in front of my building. No big deal to most people, but to me, catastrophic! Let me explain.

Early this year, my family, church and friends all were convinced (thanks to my mother) that I was incompetent and unable to live independently. I have been on medication for depression and anxiety since 1992 (which, coincidently, is when I moved out of my parents home and realized it was NOT normal to be molested in the middle of the night). My mother has always been a fierce advocate against psychotropic drugs. “Christians pray if they get depressed…” or “Where is your faith? You must not be a Christian if you are depressed!” You should’ve seen her face when I told her I was going to college to be a psychotherapist! She accused me of not being a Christian, refused to ‘waste her money because I was too stupid for college and would flunk out anyway”, etc. I went anyway, graduated with two Master Degrees and an Educational Specialist Degree (which is half way between a Masters and a Doctorate Degree), graduating cum laude out of spite. Anyway, she had convinced my church (whom I considered my ULTIMATE family) and friends I was a drug addict. I have never taken any drug that wasn’t prescribed to me. Are you kidding? I have enough brain damage! I know too much about neurobiology to mess with drugs.

So early this year, I had several people trying to Baker Act me… the cops were called and sent to pick me up. My church arranged to pay to send me away for 6 months. Friends from Tallahassee called looking for me and the church told them if they talked to me, convince me to go into Rehab, which is exactly what they did.

I didn't go into Rehab, but I lived in isolation for approximately 6 months. Praise God, I am in a new home WHICH HAS HEAT, joined a new church, am part of a new BSF group… forcing myself to get back into life.

But I need professional counseling. I still have nightmares and flashbacks, still experience intense anxiety, still fear homelessness… and when I saw the ambulance, police, fire trucks, etc… I panicked. I thought they were coming to take me away.

It was awful… I regressed back to last winter.

Basically, I confess I don’t have the faith I need to completely move on. I hang on to sin in my life to comfort me instead of relying on the Ultimate Comforter. I fear God… yet I fear being abandoned again. I need God. I admit my sin of distrust to Him… and my longing to stay in bed sometimes and whither away. *Note to the depressed – the best way to avoid staying in bed is to get a dog. My cat is much more understanding of my depression.

There is no profound lesson in this post. I just know I need to keep writing, keep – er, start sending my writing out in attempt to get out of poverty so I just wrote what is on my heart.

Perhaps someone will benefit from the ramblings.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Penn State Mess



Penn State Alumnus article - Loved this article

I agree... if this had happened at Florida State with Bobby Bowden, I don't think I could be proud of being an FSU grad anymore. Bowden is one of my three hero's... if he didn't press the abuse issue like Paterno failed to, he would not be the man I thought he was. Bobby Bowden IS and ALWAYS WILL BE FSU to me. I would be so ashamed of my alma matter. I feel so bad for the victims, yet the alumnus must be just devastated as well. I hope this changes how society views sexual abuse...IF YOU SEE A CHILD BEING RAPED, YOU STOP IT! DON'T GO CALL YOUR DADDY, YOU WIMP! I am praying for mercy as this whole issue makes me DISGUSTED with the world we live in.

------ I just read this: Bobby's statement
"A little negligent?" YOU THINK? Bobby, Bobby, Bobby... I am so disappointed in you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Depression and Friends

This is an excerpt from an email I sent to a friend who has stuck by me through my depression and anxiety. Writing it showed me I am wrong in telling people there is nothing they can do to help when I crash. All of these years of isolating... maybe I've been wrong. Maybe the key is to find the right people to reach out to... and fight being alone with one's thoughts:

Just reread our emails- so good to have you validate my recent 'trauma' and anxiety with my mother. I get sick of all my drama- everyday is something new- so I know you tire of it. 

But don't you see... You give me strength, perspective, determination to keep going? Last week, when we were out of touch, it was horrible, thus, I became sucked into a cyclonic pit. But your emails keep me going. I know how intelligent and compassionate you are, so knowing you invest time in me shows me I am worth something.  

Thought you should know how you daily change my life.


*knowing someone cares makes the dark times lighter...