Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Healing is Possible

It's been a year, yesterday, since I've written. I think I've finally made it to a point where I'm willing to share. 

I have been immersing myself in scripture daily because I need Jesus. I don't know about you, but I do. 

Situations, circumstances, people, self!

Yes, I need Jesus. 

Whether or not my own actions cause me turmoil, or the actions of others, I am ALWAYS seeking scripture.

As a matter of fact, that's what landed me in front of the computer as I dye my hair & relax while Laurel naps. 

{I started this post weeks ago & stopped because I judge the pen I put to paper much more harshly than anyone ever could} 

That being said, the scripture that I found about having a good heart in difficult times is:

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. - Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)

Being good is hard sometimes. The fleshly me wants to say what's on my mind. It's not always appropriate, no matter how much I feel like I need to say it. Why can't we just be honest with each other? 

Why can't we say things to one another that need to be said? No, that's not how the world works, I suppose. I've been sitting back watching & there's so much focus placed on people, places & things, that we have no space left to just experience life on God's terms. 
Let's discuss ideas, not people. 

My emotions change like the sun & the moon. My mind bounces from thought to thought, with no breaks in between. 

I took the Enneagram Test to see what my personality type is and I am a four, which is the romantic, creative individualist. It totally makes sense.

There's another really  vulnerable part of me is that I think that I'll never measure up. 

Eeek, seeing that in print stung a bit, but I'm tough & it's true. Sometimes the truth hurts, and that's okay. It can lead to healing, if you let it. 

I'm finally healing. The struggle is still very real. Anxiety and depression are still present but, working through issues instead of "stuffing" them, help me to heal. 

If something deeply effects me, I voice it. I can't not. Setting boundaries & following through with them is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT for me. I think it may be the hardest part of this healing journey so far. 

I've always just done what people expect of me. By that I mean, if someone asks me to do something, I try my best to do what I can to make it happen, but I rarely think of me first & how it will put me & my family out. This is a hard character defect to unlearn. 

I am so much more at peace these days. I've learned to consistently say no to things that I don't want to do. I can choose. I don't have to do everything. 

Sure, my days are still pretty much chaos but, I have a husband, 3 kids, a business of which I own and manage, as well as a co-owned business with a partner, that has a storefront. 

My life is chaos. I'm okay with that. 

Life is good, so is God & healing is possible. 

If I strike you as different, I am. I no longer take responsibility for someone else's issues and pain by feeding into any of the nonsense. 

I'm clear on exactly where I'm at & if you fit, wonderful. If not, this is a new season of growth for me, it's time to prune dead limbs for new to flourish.

And flourish, is what He shall do through me. 

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Stay in Your Lane (To Be Heard)

I always have to go back and look at when I started this blog because I can never remember. I think it's April of 2010, and not April of 2009. I joined Facebook in 2009 & little did I know what would be in store for me.

I always throw this out there because it's hilarious to me now: 

I thought the Internet was a fad when I was first introduced in 1994. 

My friend Honey, and her family, had a computer & I knew zip really. No clue what an operating system was.

Now, I use a computer or a smart phone daily for work & work would suffer if I didn't have either but on the hand, could flourish in a different aspect.

Anywho, point being: my goal was to write like no one was reading & I've found myself not wanting to share these days. Not because I have anything to hide, but because I get tired of people and their "lofty" opinions of who I should be.

Why can't we just stay in our lane? 

I include myself because I dip where I shouldn't every now and again, into something that's absolutely NONE of my business & I've got to check myself. There will be no wrecking myself. Har, har, har. I couldn't resist.

It's Spring again & we move forward an hour tonight. The years fly by quicker and quicker and I wonder if I'm being left in its (life's) wake, or if I'm growing through what I'm going through. That's important to me. The whole growing process. Growing into who Christ has in store for me regardless of judgment, ridicule & people who bring bitterness to the table. I'm not a huge fan of bitterness. I've been guilty of enough myself, I certainly don't need anyone else's.

I find myself more and more, removing myself from situations & the people that bring them. I'm not mentally stable enough & don't get it twisted, I'm not "talking down" myself,  I just don't have the room for people who are oblivious to the hurt they cause other people because they're hurt. 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

January 92nd, 2019 (To Be Heard)

 As I sit here in front of this screen, grasping my warm mug of coffee tightly between sentences of thoughts, I'm making myself count my blessings. I have been in such a foul mood for the most of the last two years (or what seems like the most of), I literally have to sit here & make myself count my blessings & pray for others to get myself out of this horrid funk that I'm in. 

I've been in and out of one doctor's office or another trying to find the root of the problem. I'm definitely tired of people insinuating that it's all in my head. I have been clinically diagnosed, but that doesn't mean this nonsense has to last forever & it certainly doesn't mean that my issues are all in my head.

I feel like I've tried everything under the sun trying to "fix" me & nothing has worked. Either my insurance isn't excepted & the bill is too big for me to pay to even be seen, or I try "one more thing" and that's not the answer either. It's a roller coaster that I want to get off of; NOW. I typically like roller coasters, but this one is a little more scary than I am accustomed to. 

All that being said, I'm depending on God 24/7 because I don't have a thing figured out & He knows all, so... When He makes His presence known, time and time again I am grateful for Him & what work He's done in me. 

Days feel impossible less & less, but they're still overwhelming some days. I thought I'd be "fixed" by now. I thought when I stopped doing drugs eleven years ago, I'd be better. I wouldn't have to struggle this hard just to live. Just to want to live. Just to find joy in the mundane. In the every day. I catch myself saying, "it's not fair" a lot. 

Then, in my mind, that opens the thought of what #4 (my Daddy's fourth wife) use to say, "nobody said life was fair." What does that mean exactly? Why would you tell that to a child? She was bipolar. There's no issue being bipolar, as long as you take your meds and/or learn to cope. That's not how it worked with her. She drank & popped pills & sometimes took her medicine & you want to talk about a roller coaster? Life with her was a roller coaster & the bolts on it weren't tight enough, if you're picking up what I'm laying down.

I had to write this. 

There is not enough room in my mind for all this anxiety. I'm overwhelmed and I need a break. A break from the reality that a whole house full of people need me and I just need to breathe. People freak out when I say things like that but it doesn't change the fact that it how it is. It doesn't make me love my family any less, it makes me need time to be whole. I'm so sick and tired of not feeling whole.

I'm not deleting  this. 

I would ordinarily, but this time, I'm not. People experience things like this all of the time & no one blinks eye, other than to say, "get over it." "You're fine." "You're just tired. You need some rest."

I am so sick of the stigma associated with mental illness. When people commit suicide, you hear all the time, "I never knew anything was wrong," or some garbage like that. Of course you didn't know anything was wrong because when you reply with, "get over it," or give the blank stare, nobody's gonna tell you anything of substance.  Hello?!

I have to talk about the stuff that no one wants to talk about to be okay with me. That's how it works for me. If I hide it, it controls me. I don't want to be controlled by anxiety & depression. I want to want to live & be free. I want to be well. Is that too much to ask? I don't think it is. One day I will be free. 

Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,

    I will be joyful in God my Savior.

--- Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NIV)

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Iron Sharpens Iron (To Be Heard)

This last year has brought so much emotion. I have been broken & repaired by the Great Physician. He always takes care of me, even when I question His timing; which I do frequently.

My blog posts are few & far between with all that is happening in the recent months. My dreams are literally coming true. A friend and I are opening a store downtown on January 19th & my carport is filled with transforming displays. 

My sewing machine is at the shop. Yes, the shop. The place that I go to work. That feels so good to say that. I have been at home raising children for the last eleven years & although I will still be raising children and that will be my first priority, I have a place to call my own. I get to go to work. 

A place to create. A place to go to that is for me. It's easy to lose your identity when you're a stay-at-home-mom. My identity has been wrapped up in milestones & chores. Chores that never seem to get finished and never seem to be appreciated. They are, of course, but it doesn't seem that way sometimes. 

As I appreciate that God has given me my desires, I know that we rise by lifting others. I am so blessed to lift.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. - Proverbs 27:17

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Pain-Filled Stall (To Be Heard)

It's been three months since I've written; here, anyhow. I've written in private extensively, just not here. Today it became painfully clear that it's time to stop avoiding obedience.

Is the road clear? Am I okay to share now? I honestly don't know but I can't wait another minute to. I haven't been blogging or posting live Facebook videos due to the fact that I haven't been able to share this publicly because of fear. Fear of what someone may say, how they may judge or blah, blah, blah----a million other things to be afraid of.

As I was speaking in Bible study at the jail this afternoon, I caught myself say, "people are gonna judge. It doesn't matter what you do. They can be saying one thing to your face & feel a completely different way." Amen? I would like to believe that everyone says what they mean and means what they say but I'm not that naive. That's not how the world works.

Here goes...

On September 20th, I had  to admit myself to St. Simon's By The Sea. It's local rehabilitation center known in my area for help with substance abuse. Here's the thing, I didn't use. I wanted to. In my mind, I felt weak. Like I should have been able to deal and/or cope on my own, but I couldn't. I found myself on a daily basis, sitting in my kitchen floor crying, for no real reason at all, but everything all at once.

I'd been having thoughts of suicide & that's not like me at all. I typically love life & the people I'm surrounded by, so when suicidal thoughts rear their ugly head, I know I've made it to a dark place & it's time to do something different. I've been in that dark place before a few times throughout my life & when I get "there", there's not much lower I can go. It's time to seek help.

Honestly, it's been brutal since Laurel was born. I thought I could "handle"it. I thought it would end sooner or later but it hasn't. The day before I checked in, I called my obgyn, rode to Brunswick for an "emergency" visit & told him I needed to schedule a hysterectomy; twenty minutes ago. I told him what I was experiencing & he said, "well Alisha, what if it doesn't change anything? "And of course, I'm like, what do you mean? Long story short, he recommends that I see a psychiatrist. I tell him I'm not crazy, but I respect his opinion and will do what he thinks is best.

All my life I've been conditioned to just take things. To stuff them. To keep on stuffing them. Early on because children should be seen and not heard, pretty much. My teen years & early adulthood mostly because women shouldn't be "as loud as I am and have an opinion".

"You just stand over there & look pretty," I've been told. 
If you know me, then you know that went over about as well as a bull in a China shop.

 I have stopped myself, I can't tell you how many times over the last two months, from writing this because of judgment so if that is why you're here, so you can spread the word about what a kook I am, STEP OFF. If you feel the need to tell me about how emotional I am, you can SHUT IT & STEP OFF. I absolutely have no time for that garbage. The voices that have expressed it, have been loud enough for me to mention and I'm sick of it. You dig? 

Basically, I've been on-and-off of antidepressants & nothing has worked. In the nut ward ( yes, I called it that the whole time I was there & still do), I was able to speak with a psychiatrist about what was happening & he decided on a medicine that he thought may work for me. It makes me flat. I love being extra. Extra is who I am by nature. I love me like I am. I just don't want to be either angry all the time, or crying in my kitchen floor. I have no idea why that's the place that I go to lose my shit, but I do. Yes I said shit. Poop isn't an adequate description. I reiterate, judge somebody else. 

I stayed at SSI by the sea for four days, When I came home, I wasn't sure anything would be any different, but slowly, the medicine started to work and I am able to enjoy the little moments again.  

The anxiety attacks are less and less and the good times are more.  
It's likely I'll forget the major part of what I wanted to talk about, but I think this is sufficient, for now. God is using this to grow me & help others, I am sure of it. I do feel a bit better now that I am not crying all of the time. I was isolating & wouldn't go anywhere. I would cancel events. I wouldn't visit with friends. It still happens, but not nearly as much. 

If there is someone you know that is suffering PLEASE, reach out to them. Tell them how much you love them. Encourage them to seek treatment. 

So often we say (referring to someone who has committed suicide): I never knew anything was wrong. 

If someone is giving you cues that something is wrong, quit being so quick to judge & listen. HELP THEM. Start by praying for them. Telling someone to "get over it" is NOT HELPFUL. Believe me, if I could just get over it, I wouldn't being experiencing this for this long. 

The only way that I made it this far is God & for the people who consistently pray for me. 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Mean Girls, Snarky Comebacks & Weakness (To Be Heard)

I woke up at 3 am this morning. I went to the gym. I've been tapering off my anxiety medication & I'm almost done with it. It's been a process, much like everything else in my life. My Gramma spent a great deal of her life taking medication for mental illness & I don't want that to be me. It very well could be, if I let it.

I've had some impossible days lately. As a matter of fact, I get where I can't breathe. I mean that figuratively, not literally. I have a lot of irons in the fire. The fact that I'm sitting here trying to figure out how to word this without adding any new ridicule & judgement to my list is what's the worst.

Look---Shark Week is almost here & since the last two babies, it's not one week, it's two weeks out of a month where I'd rather cut certain people than talk to them; or even think about them for that matter. And by certain, I mean three specific people. But here's the thing, I NEVER see them.

They've added me on Facebook, but they don't follow me. You know what I'm talking about. The mean girls that are entitled and present themselves as something completely different than what they really are. Ugh, it gives me a headache.

I'm aware how paranoid this sounds. My Gramma told me a long time ago to trust my gut. She was rarely wrong. If my intuition, my instinct leads me in a certain way, it's likely to be true. Sometimes it's not, but usually...

I want nothing more than to call them out & be absolutely hateful about it, but what good is that doing? None. The old me comes out sometimes, along with her snarky comebacks & 3rd person references.

Don't get it twisted. I'm not trying to be cryptic but if I actually, physically called these three heifers out, they would deny, deny, deny 'til the day they die, die, die. My friend Joanie said that to me years ago & it stuck with me. I love her so much. At this point is where I'm thinking that I should probably delete this because somebody will think that this is about them because they're paranoid about what they may or may not have done to someone. Blah. If you're thinking it's about you, ask me. I'll tell you. It's very doubtful that it is though.

Oh look, squirrel!

I have to get all of this out of my head because it's hindering me. How, you ask? Or not, but I'll tell you anyway. If you're still here reading this, you already know to settle in.

Yesterday Evan and I went to his best friend's birthday party! YAY! He loves to play & I absolutely love for him to be happy. Win, win! I totally feel comfortable there because they're awesome Christian people who don't present anything other than what they are & I LOVE THAT! Honestly, these people are totally my people. I say that because I love real & I love kind & they are all that!

There was a really cool slide there & the steps were super steep. I came prepared to get wet but was reluctant. As I sat there crocheting (off to myself for a while), watching and listening to the fun being had by all, I wanted so bad to climb that slide & see how much fun it was!!

The voice in my head was like,  'no Alisha,'. And then I started talking to some ladies & that voice presented itself out of my mouth. Who was that? That's not me at all. I'm confident in my abilities. Well, usually. Who was that girl saying that I couldn't? Like, where did she come from? I don't know her. I couldn't believe I was saying those things. Out of my shoes I came, up that ladder I went & down I came. No, it wasn't hard like I made it out to be. Now, if I did it all afternoon, I'm sure I'd be in need of some ibuprofen.
Picture borrowed from Choosing Joy Photography.

I've been in my current way of eating since the beginning of June & I'm seeing noticeable changes in myself, but I haven't been exercising like I need to. And by need to, I mean mentally. There's a certain amount of exercise that I can do to calm the anxiety beast  that exists inside me. It helps me. What? Hello. Is this the answer to calming my anxiety? Of course it is. So why haven't I been doing it?

Jesus take the wheel.

I'm really skilled at standing in my own way. I used drugs for 15 years of my life because I was perfecting my "standing in my own way" skills. I've totally got that badge in platinum. Now's definitely the time to implement exercise so, let's see if I'm consistent. My Yoga practice is reasonably consistent. Nah, I guess it's not enough either. I need an hour a day everyday.

I carve out time for Bible study. Why can't I carve out time for fitness? Oh, but I can. Guess what? The gym is moving to a new location. And guess what else? There will be child care!!! Praise the Lord.

Sometimes I have an idea of where these posts will head and sometimes I just sit down and write. As I'm finishing up this post, it's 6:42 am and Casting Crowns came on Pandora - Praise You in this Storm comes on & I know He's listening. I know He hears me. I know my prayers are being heard. He knows the strength that I need to continue to serve Him with everything that I am. He knows that I struggle with being snarky,hateful, mean & that my family gets the worst of me sometimes & I always need prayer for that.

He knows that I be kind & He knows that I can be just as impossible as I can be kind. He knows everything about us. He knows my name.

But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. - Luke 12:7 (KJV)

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Keep Going (To Be Heard)

As I wait for my coffee to brew, I'll start this post. I've got so many plates in the air, I'm not quite sure how I manage somedays. Other days, I feel as if I don't do enough.

I'm still poor at time management. I feel like I need a workshop of some sort to show me, step-by-step, where to start because it all seems so overwhelming from the sidelines. Have you ever had that problem? Unsure of where to start, so you just don't?

I did tackle one of those things that I've been 'meaning to' do. At least my 'meaning to' list is getting shorter. I moved my membership to a local church. It was past time. My church has been closed for years and I've been dragging my feet. I'm trying to let my faith be bigger than my fear. I fail, but I continue to try.  Honestly, that's most days. Sometimes I flourish, sometimes I fail. I can't expect perfection. I can strive for greatness always.

I am excited about my move. Honestly, I have had no desire really to move my membership until helping with Vacation Bible School & I just felt it. I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to take a leap of faith & move; so I did. I'm pleased with my move.

Thursday of this week is Open House at NPS & NES. Yes, two schools this year. Wow, the years are moving by quickly. The expression that the days move slow & the years quickly is the absolute truth. I am so overwhelmed and ready to start back to school. No, that's probably not what people 'want to hear' from a stay-at-home-mom, but I'm okay with that, and I'm okay with me.  You be okay with you because I've got me.

I'm looking forward to being kid-free (all of them) from 8-2 for two days a week. Maybe that doesn't sound like a whole lot of time, but I can regroup a bit during that time. I can be Alisha. I can do what I want to do & not have to pick up after anyone. Sure sounds selfish, doesn't it? It's not. There's nothing wrong with aiming to be mentally fit to parent & that's what I consider from free time. It's like a spa for my brain. Yeah, it's late & I'm rambling.

I'm thinking I need to make myself a schedule & NOT break it. That would help with my time management. Maybe I'm on to something. I've been trying to leave the house earlier to be on time to things. I'm doing better. Okay, not always, but better than I was.

It's funny, I started composing this today sometime, while I was brewing a cup of coffee & I'm finishing it, brewing a cup of coffee. I'm so predictable. I didn't even use to drink coffee. Funny. I finally got the baby to sleep. After two long rides around the farm, I laid her in her crib & she went down. I'm serious, some days seem completely impossible but the simple fact is this: they're  great. I can't ask for anything more. Any one day saved beats all the days I was lost.

As I went for my follow up today at the dentist, it started pouring down rain. I pulled over on the side of the road and took this picture.

Right now, if you're experiencing something, keep going; there will be a break in the clouds. That's all I could think when I saw this. It made me think of the post partum depression that I've made it through (PRAISE THE LORD) for the second time & I am so grateful that I kept going. God is in control. If He leads us to it, He'll lead us through it. 


I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13