This changes everything

Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.JK Rowling I didn’t realize the power of prayer until I was sobbing at the altar, through the prayer, through the closing song, through the benediction. I didn’t realize the power of prayer until I had an army of people surrounding me, and for the first time in my life, I felt the Holy Spirit truly move. It was the Sunday...

How to survive a panic attack in three acts

Prologue:  On the bulletin board next to my desk is a handwritten checklist from my therapist: is it truthful? Is it necessary? Is it kind? If no, let it go. .  .  . Act 1:  Hold an ice cube in your hand, squeeze it until all you can focus on is the pain shooting up your arm. Nobody found me there, sitting in the workroom, rocking back and forth. I was paralyzed by some unidentifiable fear, a...

I challenged her to write a post in which she doesn’t mention her past (stolen from my old blog)

I forgave myself today, kneeling at the altar. You can't move forward if you're angry at the past-- angry at yourself for things that are not your fault, for relapses you could've controlled if you had just. . . just . . . re  a   c  h  e   d   out, for relationships you purposefully sabotaged because you don't feel worth anything. Maybe forgiveness can't change the past, but maybe it...

Letter to a suicide note

I found you tonight, tucked away amongst books I haven't read in years but love too much to throw away. I'm getting ready to move, packing books in suitcases and clothes in boxes because I can't stay here forever. I can't stay here forever: trapped in the past--but I can't move forward until I move out, can't live until I leave the place where I tried to die. I found you tonight, and I'm not sure...

Part 2- I’ll suffer, but at least I’ll have $40 in my pocket

"Honey, you ain't been to a funeral until you've been to one with 3 ex-wives," is not a sentence I'd ever thought I'd here in my life. But, here I was, in the trailer home of an 84-year-old woman who spoke "her damn mind." She was, of course, referring to her ex-husband number 2, who left her for one of her girlfriends they met in a Camping Club. "The girl didn't even like camping," she retorted,...

Apartment hunting in the age of depression

How does one even make a budget, I texted to my friend, a mixture of panic and frustration washing over me. Like, I know I need to move out, but I just don't know how. I don't know how to even begin apartment hunting, and besides. I have a crockpot and a mattress. Life has this way of sneaking up on you: one minute, you're a child, being carried to bed by your father; the next, you're an adult...

Time is a construct and emotions are fleeting: On New Year’s Resolutions

I'm not going to stop you from crying. Tears are good, healthy, a sign of healing, my therapist told me yesterday, as I sobbed across from him, unpacking the last sixteen years of my life. This is the missing piece, he continued, tears in his eyes, I've been trying to figure out why you have such a hard time opening up to people, and this is it.  Life has this way of moving forward, marching...

How trauma helped me find my words

The silence depressed me. It wasn't the silence of silence. It was my own silence.- Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar Growing up, I was always told to use my words, but every time I opened my mouth, I was afraid the earth was going to swallow me whole. I was afraid of people telling me no--no, they didn't want to play with me; no, they didn't want to be my friend. No became the worse word somebody...

How loving a dog with anxiety taught me to love myself

I have anxiety, but I don't go around licking things excessively. Unlike my dog, who constantly has her tongue out, as if her nervousness will follow the rules of entropy and move out into the room. I rescued a dog a few months ago. She has anxiety. She takes a while to warm up to people, and even then, she has to be really comfortable with you to let you touch her. Funnily enough, I'm the same...

New Beginnings Amidst the Search for Perfection

Prozac and faith--What do they have in common? They both keep me going. I was struggling to come up with the perfect first blog post for this new site, but then I realized that this is not what this site is about. It's not about perfection or having it all together; it's about the real, the raw, the messiness, and through it all, still searching for peace. I had a blog before; maybe we were a...