i lost my best friend

I lost my best friend. She got angry. And I honestly don’t understand it. I just want to know what I did wrong. What I could do differently. Like I would do anything to get my best friend back. She meant the world to me and she saved my life. And now she won’t speak to me. I would do anything for her, I would change anything to get my friend back. Losing her is breaking my heart. I don’t know what to do.

I have spent most of my time in bed, bimge eating some days, skipping meals other days… I can’t do anything because my body is so weak. She gave me so much strength. I need my best friend back.

i am ok (not)

“How are you?”

“Good, thanks, how are you?”

“Doing just fine.”

That sounds a lot like many of the 1-minute conversations we have with people. And I get it… with strangers, sure. Like sometimes I don’t want to tell someone I met 30 seconds that I have OCD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Deppressive Disorder and that I have been struggling a lot lately. And honestly, I think that’s ok… just being real: they probably don’t want to know either. But with friends? With people I have known for years? With my closest friends? Why am I so scared? I often want them to know.. but just don’t have it in me to tell them! And, I do this all the time, and I really don’t know what makes me do it. Like sometimes I blame it on all the friends that abandoned me when I needed them the most… because that was a dark time in my life and I have some emotional trauma from that… but sometimes I wonder if it’s something else that’s holding me back from vulnerability and honesty.

Would love to hear your experiences with wanting someone to know but not wanting to tell them, if you have experienced it.

Also, now on insta as well… @chasingafterlight_

i made it to another day

Last night was a rough night… If I was alone, I honestly don’t know if I would’ve made it through the night to another day. I am SO THANKFUL for the awesome friends I have for sitting with me through the hallucinations and through the pain. It is really hard for me to ask for help, and I apologized a lot for needing help… but I will be forever grateful for the community of friends with whom I have been living for the past several weeks. Crazy to think that I just met most of them 5.5 weeks ago and we are so close already!! Well, just wanted to thank all of you guys. And a super big shout out to God for being my strength through all of it.

And then I went to this farmer’s market this morning and there was a sign that said something like, “You made it to another day.” In my head, I was like, “YEAH I DID!”

But I made it through that battle. And after several hard days, I am finally ok. Not super amazing, and I still have a ton to process. But I made it. I fought and, with the help of friends and strength from God, I won. Sure, I have some battle scars… but it’s ok. I won. So now I keep going and keep fighting. And when the next major battle comes, I will fight with all my strength and with God’s grace win again. And hopefully come out with less battle scars.

Praise be to God for giving the victory!!!

“hope is never lost”

I know it’s all you’ve got to just, be strong
And it’s a fight just to keep it together, together
I know you think, that you are too far gone
But hope is never lost…
Just remember that you’re a fighter, a fighter
You never know just what tomorrow holds
And you’re stronger than you know…
Hold on, don’t let go…
Just take, one step, closer
Put one foot in front of the other
You’ll, get through this
Just follow the light in the darkness
You’re gonna be ok
And when the night, is closing in
Don’t give up, and don’t give in
This won’t last, it’s not the end, it’s not the end
You’re gonna be ok
Brian and Jenn Johnson – You’re Gonna Be Ok

I know that I haven’t been faithful about writing, but I needed a little bit of break. I needed to spend some extra time with God, and figure some things out.

But, today, I just want to say, whatever you’re going through… GOD IS FAITHFUL. I found out that I had a lot of medical conditions … slowly. For a time, I was essentially slowly wasting away, and I was losing weight and sleeping all the time to the point where my family and I wondered if I would live to be 18 (I was 16 and 17 around the time). I didn’t respond well at all, which ended up causing depression and a worsening of my already present anxiety.

But God was faithful. He was there every step of the way, bringing me to the right doctors, even if it took several to receive the full list of diagnoses. Recently, I swam 72 consecutive laps before being too tired to continue (66 is a mile). I cannot explain the feelings of joy and thankfulness that I felt when I finished lap 66. When I first got really sick a few years ago, I never would’ve imagined being able to swim a mile – I just wanted to get through practices without having to skip laps. I am doing better, and I am going to be ok, medically.

Psychologically, I am still pushing through. And I love the song I shared, because it reminds me how I got this far medically – one step at a time. It also reminds me that God will be faithful to me in my psychological struggles as well. Even if it isn’t healing to the point where I am totally “normal” (whatever that’s supposed to mean), I am trusting Him to heal me to the point where I can honestly say that I am ok. There have been several times that I wanted to give up everything. It’s been a long road. And it isn’t over. But I will fight to live for Him with every breath I have left, because He has redeemed me spiritually and restored my health.

Just wanted to give a quick shout-out to a few people. To my freshman year roommate, thanks for giving me the strength to fight until I found the strength I needed in Christ. You have truly changed my life and I will be forever grateful of your willingness to tell what I needed to hear, if I really didn’t want to hear it. To my friends in InterVarsity and the small group Bible studies, thanks for the support and prayers and love. To my friend who I have known since we were, what, like 7?, thanks for our walks and card-making sessions. To my friends at AWANA, I am sorry that it took me so long to be honest about what I was dealing with. Thanks for your patience, love, and prayers. To my family and other friends – even if you didn’t think you did anything, you probably did. Just smiling or sending me a card on my birthday or anything like that makes me a little happier and gave me a reason to fight when I was still searching for my purpose in Christ. I love you all.

And to God, I will be forever indebted to You for your grace and love. Your blessings to me are more than words can describe. I will be forever grateful of your healing and grace and love and patience and… and everything else.

 

To anyone who’s struggling out there – it might seem impossible right now. Keep searching for a glimmer of light in the dark places. Keep fighting, and keep trusting the Lord to be faithful. He will never let you go.

You are so much stronger than you know. Anyone with an invisible chronic illness or psychological disorder knows that it’s hard being called lazy or a health freak or whatever because people don’t realize you’re not ok. But you are stronger than you know, because they don’t see how hard you fought to get out of bed and take a shower and brush your hair and brush your teeth and go to class or work or wherever you needed to be on time. And hopefully, one day, you won’t have to fight so hard. But even if you do, God will be faithful through it all. And if your struggles aren’t invisible, then you are facing different struggles that the rest of us cannot begin to understand. We don’t know how much strength it takes for you to fight each of your battles.

I heard this on the radio yesterday, and I decided to share it. You can’t compare your situation to that of someone else, because you might be in different seasons. You might be in winter and see them enjoying summer, but you weren’t there to see them go through fall and winter and spring to get to summer. Keep holding on, because your summer is coming, just at different time for you than it did for them.

Keep fighting, one step at a time. You’re gonna be ok.

do what you’re passionate about

This applies to everyone, because we all have stress in our lives. One of the best ways to manage stress is to do what you’re passionate about (provided that it is not in opposition to what God has called you to!!). If that is playing a sport or an instrument or working out or whatever it is, do it. Maybe not 24/7, because responsibilities are important, but take time to do what you love doing.

I am a swimmer, and I will always be a swimmer. If one truly loves swimming and swims on a team for several years, it is impossible to leave unchanged. The water, the adrenaline rush, the muscle pain, the long practices, the DQs, and the wins have changed me and made the person I have become. If I tried to stop swimming, I cannot ignore the fact that I have been changed, even in small ways. I still don’t like rain, but I am not nearly as annoyed by soaking wet clothing as I used to be. I am more confident after a long swim. Nothing can make me as confident as I am after swimming. Nothing. For me to keep my head above water in life, I have to keep it underwater in the pool every now and then.

So do what you’re passionate about. Do the thing that boosts your confidence back to a healthy level or helps you calm your thoughts or whatever it is. Do it. Go. Do the thing.

a really great post on suicide

Here is the link to a really great post I read today. You guys really should check it. It puts suicide into perspective by talking about what would happen after suicide to the family, friends, and acquaintances.

If you’re interested, click the link below or copy the URL if you would like to read it. (Read with your own discretion but there is no graphic content or any description of suicide itself.)

The Day After I Killed Myself

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/the-day-after-killed-myself

what it’s really like being vulnerable about my anxiety

As an extrovert, it is helpful to have people around me. As someone with social anxiety, it is helpful to know at least some of the people around me well. Knowing people well involves vulnerability. And, for me, vulnerability requires talking about things that terrify me. It requires risking sounding insane (some of my symptoms seem pretty crazy) to build closer friendships.

I’ve learned that sometimes this doesn’t go well. Some people will walk out of my life forever; others will avoid me for a couple weeks to process things; others will start to be extra careful around me.

To everyone who has left or acted differently around me… I am still the same person underneath. I still love Jesus. I am still the person who loves to swim and shoot archery and solve math equations, especially Calculus II problems. I still love biology and organic chemistry and researching cockroaches. I still enjoy human A&P and want to be a naturopath after completing all the required education. I still love to read and write. I still listen to a lot of CCM and K-pop. Sure, there are things going on you didn’t know about, and it’s ok if you need some time to adjust. But I am not a totally different person than who you thought you knew. After you adjust, treat me like the person you’ve always known, except maybe with some adjustments. It is helpful to not show me horror films or joke about wanting to die (unless you’re actually struggling) or talk about how bad your “OCD” is when you just have perfectionist tendencies every now and then. But I don’t want to be treated totally differently just because someone knows I have anxiety. If you don’t know what to do, listen and pray for me. Ask me what will be most helpful to me.

This is why talking about anxiety and hurting myself and depression and chronic illness is so hard. I have no idea how people are going to respond. I have been hurt by people who have left when I told them I wasn’t ok.

This isn’t necessarily true for everyone, but I know it’s true for me and several others I know. If you know something I am struggling with, that means that I wanted you to know. If I didn’t want you to know, I would’ve hid it from you and not told you about it. You know what you know because someone wanted you to know that.

So, in conclusion, take some time to listen. Adjust as you need to, but don’t feel the need to “protect me.” If something is genuinely harmful for me and we are close, I am going to let you know that. But we will never become closer if you overprotect me or baby me. All that will do is drive me crazy – and, over time, drive us apart.

the thoughts in my head

In the picture, there are 8 superimposed images. Some of them you can see better than others. For some, you can see what is in the image. For others, you can only barely make out the shapes or colors. And, unless you have really great eyes, you probably cannot tell that there are 8 images.

This is sort of what the thoughts in my head are like all the time. There are so many thoughts and my brain wants to process all of them at once but it can’t because there are too many, so I have to pull out and focus on the one on which I want to focus. Right now, I am drowning out the other thoughts and focusing on writing this post. The thought I am trying focus on is a more clear (e.g. the playing cards), but I still have to pull that idea out from the others in head. As for all the other thoughts, I know the general concepts behind some of them, but I do not know how many there are or what any of them are.

Each of the images are good things, and usually the thoughts are too. In case you were curious, the images include: playing cards, Korean food, the castle at Disney World, a mountain, a flower, a stream, a Christmas tree, and a bridge. Knowing that, you can probably understand a little bit more of the photo provided.

This is constant for me. While I have this mostly mastered, it is still exhausting. I look like I’m totally ok sometimes while I am trying to focus on talking to someone or doing my homework or completing whatever other task is in front of me.

Just wanted to send out a reminder to never assume that someone is ok. You only know what they allow you to see. Don’t assume they’re hurting either, but please don’t dismiss that possibility.

dear younger me: stay strong

Dear younger me,
Where do I start? If I could tell you everything that I have learned so far, then you could be one step ahead of all the painful memories still running thru my head. I wonder how much different things would be….

Dear younger me,
I cannot decide. Do I give some speech about how to get the most out of your life, or do I go deep and try to change the choices that you’ll make, ’cause they’re choices that made me. Even though I love this crazy life, sometimes I wish it was a smoother ride….

You are holy, you are righteous, you are one of the redeemed. Set apart, a brand new heart – you are free indeed! Every mountain, every valley, through each heartache you will see every moment brings you closer to who you were meant to be.

(Mercy Me, “Dear Younger Me”)

Dear younger me,

If you could read this, it wouldn’t change anything. Sometimes, I wish I could go back in time and tell you that you can’t do just one scrape and stop. I wish I could tell you not to blame yourself for the deaths that weren’t within your control. But then I realize that some of the choice you’ll make were the choices that strengthened me and developed my character and my faith in God. So, it will be a rough ride, but your choices will make you who you were made to be. Keep fighting, because God will start making your brokenness into something beautiful. I know you can’t see it now, but one day you will.

There is something you need to know. It gets worse first. It’s going to get way worse. You will create a living nightmare with images that haunt you every day. It will feel like it can’t get worse… but it does. At one you will break and come really close to ending your life, but that night God will work a miracle. After that night, you’ll realize that suicide is not an option.

After that, you will start really fighting everything and really trying to get better. Things will get much, much worse. You will hurt so much that you will wish you could escape from your own head. You will end up fighting several bad coping mechanisms all at once. You will live every day praying to make it to the next day without hurting yourself. You will burst into tears at random points in the day, because the pain is too much to keep inside. You will have to leave classes for 5-10 minutes to re-collect yourself. You will become terrified of being alone in lab because of the scalpels and razor blades in the room. But you will keep fighting, and things will slowly get better.

One more thing. You are not in control. There is Someone out there who is way bigger and way stronger. He got this. So, Grandma and your friends and everything else that you wanted to control — put it into God’s hands. I’m still working on that, and it’s easier said than done. But just know this: you are not in control, and it is totally ok. You don’t need to be in control, because God is. He has got everything figured out, so just rest in Him.

Right now, it still hurts almost every day. I still wish I could bring Grandma back. I still struggle with the temptation to hurt myself. I still struggle with the temptation to skip meals. But I know that God is here. The pain is real, but it is temporary. God is real. Hold onto Him. Stay strong.

Just a note from the older you.

on creating a constant nightmare: to cut or not to cut

TRIGGER WARNING: This post discusses what might happen when you cut.

This post functions primarily to educate others on what goes through someone’s head before cutting. This is an issue that is not discussed nearly enough, and those who have cut or done another form of self-harm are often misunderstood and stereotyped. Please note that everyone’s situation is unique, and I can only use what I know. This post combines my experiences with those of others I know personally and with those whose stories I have read. Feel free to comment with any personal experiences that might benefit the conversation.

Suppose you want to cut.You probably have some reasons. Maybe you’re going through a situation that doesn’t seem like it will get better. Maybe the emotions are too strong that you don’t know how to handle it anymore. Maybe think you deserve pain. Maybe you want to punish yourself. Maybe you don’t really want to do it but don’t think you have another choice. You’ve probably thought about it a lot.

That first time, you probably won’t do a whole lot of damage. Maybe, you decided to just do it once and never do again.

So, let’s say you decide to scrape yourself the first time. It feels great. It feels so relieving and gives you a sort of rush. But these good feelings last only as long as you do it. When you’re done, you are flooded with guilt. You feel worse than before. But you can’t push the thoughts of the next time out of your head. You had vowed to do it just once, but you already want to do it again. But doing the same thing over and over again won’t give you the same rush, so you’ll do it a little worse. And the cycle will continue.

You do it for a period of time. Maybe you hear voices that tell you to do it. Maybe you do it for the rush or the self-punishment. Or maybe you’re doing it for another reason. There are an infinite number of reasons for cutting.

You are terrified of being alone because of the fear of repeating it. Maybe you’re scared that one day you’ll go a little too deep and end up in the ER. Maybe you’re scared you’ll hit an artery and no one will find you and you’ll accidentally kill yourself. Maybe you see bloody images of yourself in your head that are portrayed as good and encourage you to repeat the self-harm. Maybe you’re nervous around other people and don’t want people to touch you, partly because it hurts but also because you don’t want them to feel the band-aids, scabs, and scars through your clothes. Maybe some scars are accidentally seen and you find yourself lying to explain what happened. Strain is put on all your relationships, even your closest friendships. Your thoughts get darker. You wonder when your friends will stop caring. You might become grateful to past or current bullies for showing you that you are awful and needed punishment. You will hurt every day. You will live with the shame and regret every day.

Then, let’s say you decide you want to try to stop. This is when it gets hard. Cutting is an addiction. Stopping an addiction often involves withdrawal. Not only do you have the above symptoms but you also have withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal could be voices that increase with volume until you give in and cut again. Maybe you feel the pain of cutting without having to do it. Maybe you start writing on yourself to avoid cutting and find your arms and parts of your legs covered in writing. Maybe you find yourself replacing it with another form of self-harm. It feels like you are in a living nightmare. All you want to do is to escape from your brain. You know that if you cut again, it will get a little better – for the time being. But then it will be even harder to stop.

How it ends it up to you. It takes a lot of courage and a lot of fighting. Maybe you’ll keep giving in. Maybe you’ll end up at the ER and that will scare you so you’ll never do it again. Maybe you’ll go to the ER and like the attention from your family and do it badly again. Maybe you will gather the courage to never do it again.

Those who cut are humans in so much (emotional/psychological) pain they don’t know how to survive. They aren’t creeps or vampires or monsters. The chances of them wanting to hurt others is incredibly low. Even when that is present, it might not be linked to the self-harm but to something deeper, like the cause of the self-harm or another psychological issue. If someone tells you that they’re cutting, it took a lot of courage, so listen to them and ask if there is any way you can help them. Who knows? Maybe you’ll save a life.