Fighting Back

Dear Anxiety,

You used to rule my life.  But that’s not my story anymore.  Yes, you are stalking me around every corner.  You are ready to pounce at my every weakness.  However, I stand firm in the promises of Christ.  He has already won my battle.  I am victorious.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have my moments of weakness.  When it gets tough, I rely on the tools God gave me.  I rely on my counselor, my husband, my sponsor, and my family from Celebrate Recovery.

I am constantly rewriting those thoughts and feelings that cloud my better judgment.  In fact, I’d like to share how I rewrite those thought that have run awry.  The words in bold are the words that can be repeated as a sort of formula retrain your brain.

Here is example

I feel rejected however the facts and evidence are that he has shown me me in many ways that he loves me – flowers, making dinner, standing by me when most people would have let the relationsip.  I feel this way because I have either been rejected or perceived rejection from a very young age.

A Decade of Mental Illness

I’ve had nearly a decade of serious mental illness that has slowly been building over my life span.

In my childhood, I was very happy but had serious anxiety.  In my teen years, I had anxiety, on steroids, and depression was starting in.   By the time I was a young adult, anger, depression and anxiety ruled my life.  Finally after my last child was born, mental illness was out of control.  I was suicidal and my conversion disorder kept manifesting itself over and over.

That is when the cutting began.  That is when my hurt began spilling out.  Little by little, I opened up until it spilled like an overflowed river.  But with coming out of denial, healing began.

Beautiful healing.

 

 

 

Cutting

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The kids run outside to play on the trampoline.  They could spend hours out there playing games.  However, if Leesy gets even the smallest scratch on her, she is whimpering and limping into the house for a band aid.

Unfortunately, what my kids do by accident, I do on purpose. I cut and mine is more than a little scratch.  It started out as a suicide attempt.  However, after some therapy and medication, I reined back my intentions.  Instead of trying to end my life, cutting became my coping mechanism.

If I am triggered, it’s usually by some form of rejection.  I am flooded with strong and furious emotions.  It’s my PTSD kicking in hard.  My first response is to cut.  Those endormphines flood my system with each cut and soon my system evens out.

Unfortunately, those “feel good,” endorphins are addictive.  I need more and more to feel “OK.”  Before I know it, I’ve broken glass and covered most of my body in more serious cuts.

Next is shame.  I don’t want anyone to know.  I don’t want anyone to see.  I avoid questions.  I wear long sleeves.  More often than not, the shame of cutting gets so intense that I deal with the emotions by cutting more.  Extremely counterproductive.

Somehow I have to stop.  More times than not, I’ve had to be hospitalized.  Lately though, I’ve exercised enough self control to use other coping strategies to break the ugly cycle of cutting.

I am choosing to hope.  There are better days ahead.

It’s incredibly sad to see mental illness passed down to your children.  Recently, my 11 year old told me that he’d rather be dead than go to school.  He had friends over and spent about an hour crying over seemingly little nuances.

Fortunately, he is blessed with a couple of tender hearted boys as his friends.  Instead of making fun of him, they put their arms around him, listened to him and comforted him.

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It wasn’t too long before a smile once again lit up his face.

It’s a little like Easter.  First comes the devastation of the cross.  You can’t get much lower than killing God.   But just like Eli’s smile reappeared, God raised Christ from the dead.

Sometimes hope is coming.  We just have to wait for it.

Happy Easter!!!!

 

 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

 Romans 8:24-25