Wishes while functioning and struggling with mental health

I wish…
…I could self harm just once so that people would take it seriously (too much of a possibility of that causing an added problem)
…I knew what I needed to do to get better
…there was someone who would check in regularly and that I knew what that looked like
…what kind of therapy would help
…what physical ailments were related to anxiety, stress, or depression and what might be a sign of some physical sickness that I should get checked out (problem with having no insurance. You have to decipher when to go to the doctor.)
…that I could find a way to directly reach out to people without it stressing the mess out me. Every time I feel that I am in crisis mode and should reach out, I think about what might be going on in someone’s life before reaching out. Which causes me not to reach out because everyone has things going on in their lives.
….I could get to the root causes of my mental health struggles
….that there weren’t wait lists to see a therapist (then again I don’t have insurance therefore have limited resources)
…that people in the church wouldn’t have such a negative view on counseling/therapy and medication people might need to deal with their mental health struggles. Yes, prayer with time in the bible and memorization helps but doesn’t always bring healing. I can have peace while struggling mentally. God allows people to go through different struggles for His glory. This could be one way He is using me. I got to believe that because I know He is the only reason I am still alive on Earth. If my time here was done, I wouldn’t be here.

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The struggle

The struggle is wanting a forever companion but no desire to marry or even date.

The struggle is wondering why I started with that. Most likely because I miss living in a community. You see, I moved from the Southeast to the Northeast (or is Michigan Midwest?) a month ago.

The struggle is choosing to vulnerable yet not knowing who or where to turn to do so.

The struggle is knowing the thoughts and worries you want to be vulnerable are most like irrational and what’s the use of talking about the irrational.

The struggle is claiming people as my support system but not being direct on what I need from those particular people.

The struggle is facebook deleting a message that I had planned to send to those that I claim as my support system.

The struggle is fighting numbness and to fight to be honest and vulnerable with myself.

The struggle is realizing that anxiety has decided to come back with a raging fire after taking a month long vacation…or maybe it was a business/strategy session on how to attack my mind.

Do know that I thankful that I got a job with full time hours and soon to be benefits within a week of being in Michigan.

Know that God has confirmed many times that He has called me to Michigan.

 

Might have found a church to call home

I visited Courage Church which is a little church in Mexicotown of Detroit  on the fourth day of being in Dearborn. My roommate was working so I decided to walk 5 miles because when I googled Assembly of God churches in Dearborn, that was the closest that popped up. The wife of the pastor was preaching that day and she said a lot of things that confirmed God calling me here to Dearborn. Unfortunately my roommate works Sunday mornings and I probably could take the bus but I was really hoping to find one closer.

The next Sunday, my roommate and I went to Floodgate where my roommate has attended a few times. The problem is that it is 45 minute drive away. I really enjoyed the worship and the word given was about transition so it was obviously something that struck a cord in me.

While walking to work on my first day, I passed by Springwells, an Assembly of God church, that is less than a mile from my apartment. I told my roommate about it and she said she passed on her run that evening.I decided to go to check them out on a Wednesday night. I wasn’t sure what their Wednesdays looked like so I found out they have bible study. We went through a few verses and broke down each verse. Questions were welcomed and referencing verses was expected. There was good conversation and questions asked that I would have never thought of.

Sundays at Springwells happen in the evenings. Sunday school is at 4 then dinner at 5 with worship following at 6. This past Sunday, the worship service was spent in prayer since it was 9/11 and they wanted to pray for our country, the Muslim population, and other issues that are going in the world.

Springwells is a missional church which means the pastors raise their support. They minister to the Muslim population in Dearborn. I don’t know the percentage but I know the majority of Dearborn population are Muslims.

I am praying about what part I am going to play in ministering to the Muslim population through Springwells church.

Have I found my resting place?

My automatic response to when connections seemed to no longer be bounded is to run. I have run from church to church, group to group. Some happened suddenly and some happened slowly over time.

I am tired of changing churches when it seems like I am worthless and a burden. That has unfortunately has happened too many times. I don’t want to say specifically what happened at each church because it doesn’t matter.

I don’t even want to talk about why I have fought to stay put at the church I am at for the majority of the time I have attended. I have been there for a little over two years.

I haven’t gotten the chance to directly experience what the family that is called the church yet. Maybe my expectations of a church family is too much. Not exactly sure where they all came from.

When people talk about the church family, I hear things such as living life together, being there for each other, willingly to walk through the dark and hard times with each other among other cliches that many who have attended church have heard.

I have noticed that people are good at doing those things when it is with the people you know are have known for a while.

I get it. It can be scary to go the unknown. To be willingly to go through things with people you barely know through dark times. It is hard to try support someone who hasn’t experienced direct support.

I don’t know why I have such a desire to be active in a church but it’s there and I have been searching. If that desire wasn’t so strong, I would have left the church the long time ago and would have given up trying to finding one.

I do have an amazing community in RUF.

I know one of my major flaws is that I don’t open up to others when I am currently suffering or in a dark place.

I have tried not saying certain things because I don’t want people to make quick conclusions. I write blogs because I don’t want to be a burden to anyone by sharing what is going on. i choose to share personal things [to an extent] on this blog so that people can choose to hear about my life if they want. I don’t want to force someone to have listen to me.

I don’t want to be a burden.

I know that my mindset isn’t in the place to seek people out. So this is my plea for you to reach out. I know some might think I am seeking attention and if you gave it to me that it wouldn’t help me. [I don’t know] I’m pleading for you to reach out because I am not exactly sure who to trust. Even if you reach out, I might be hesitant to tell you anything. I ask you to keep at it. To be patient. To keep getting in contact with me.

I know that this seems to be putting pressure on people and that I might be upset if you don’t reach out then I will somehow lash out. I am trying to get better at how I handle disappointments. I know I might have accidentally or subconsciously purposely called people out on here without specifically naming the person or group; that is how I coped. Sorry to the people/groups who I have done that to.

I wish I could say I was strong enough for it to just be God and me but God didn’t create us to be alone on earth.

I have gotten so much support from RUF and it has helped a lot.

Unfortunately I am still struggling to go to people in the moments of anxiety and depression but working on it. Please pray for me doing this time.

I know there are others out there that have felt similar. Know that you are not alone. Seek help. Speak out.

Even this will be made beautiful

Well hello! it’s been a while since I have actually posted something. I have tried writing many times yet it never seems to be the right thing to post. Hoping today will be different.

School kicked my butt last semester and my mindset of doing it all on my own helped no one. I know I am not the only who doesn’t enjoy asking for help.

Even with knowing that life is supposed to be lived out in community, I held my problems and failures tight to my chest from those closest to me (as well as everyone else). I am open about my past but when I am in a mess, no one knows about because I choose to not let anyone in. An issue that I am trying to figure out what the root problem is so that I find healing in it. I know I have abandonment and rejection fears/issues but have not let myself go deep enough within myself to figure out the root of these. Or am I trying to claim these issues when it is another different issue?

I want live my life as authentic as possible but what does that look like.

I have been at the same church for 2 years now. Technically part of the college group for 2 years and attending the church next month for 2 years. That’s the longest I have been part of a particular group since 2009. During the years between 2009 and 2013, it seemed like I somehow changed group every 6 months (sometimes less).

I think I was trying to find the perfect community without knowing it. There is no such thing as a perfect community in the sense that everything goes well or at least quickly resolves problems. I didn’t get to see what true community looked like until the year I spent overseas traveling every few weeks. On the world race, I didn’t do well in the 5 teams I was put on but I got to see what community looks like though the teams I was on as well as other teams that were on my squad. Most squads only have one team change and able to be on the same team for the first three (possibly four now) months then on the second teams for the remainder of the race which is 9 months. Most of the time, there is manistry month where all the guys are one team and the girls get split into teams.

I gave details because I don’t want it to sound like I had a bad world race experience or I am bitter towards the experience or the organization. I love what the world race means and my experience. Without it, I think I would still be running from group to group, church to church every time I didn’t feel a part of the church or forgotten.

Yes, God made us to live in fellowship with one another but it says no where that it’d be easy and we’d all get a long or that we would immediately trust each other.

I honestly have been fighting to stay at the church I am at now pretty much the whole time I have been going. I might have been pretty good the first two or three months then insecurities came up. I was able to recover pretty easily because I told myself that I was new and I couldn’t expect to be included in on everything. Then 6 months later when I felt more part of the group, I didn’t get an invite to something that was somewhat big [or it seemed like it then] and I have struggled to feel the feeling of belonging even though I felt that God had placed me at this church for me to be part of a family.

That paragraph above makes me sound so childish and immature. I don’t know, maybe I am. I blame part of this on me choosing to cope with things by becoming numb. I was numb all though high school and most of the years before the race. Probably even for a month or so at the beginning of the race. I don’t know how to deal with simple feelings. I am still trying not to choose numbness because numbness just makes life not whole.

Life is easy when you run. It is the sticking around and fighting that is hard. Being vulnerable and offend-able to feedback is hard but essential!

Even this will be made beautiful came on Pandora while I was writing this and it rung a lot of truth on the lies I have been telling myself.

Facts of being a church going college student not in your hometown

I haven’t been to church in two weeks. The only communication from someone at he church was the man who picks me up on Sunday. I let them I would need a ride last night and I get a text about a thanksgiving party today when it was in the bulletin on Sunday.

I am not putting full blame on the people of the church but it makes me wonder did anyone know I wasn’t there.. And  why did it take me reaching out for them to start communication.

I guess that is the difficult part of being a college student who became a member of a church not in my hometown. I know college ministry is hard thing to do. There are never consistent numbers and many people church hop so why should I expect them to try to build any kind of community with/for me. I know this paragraph makes me sound selfish but that isn’t my point. I am writing this so that if any of them or maybe people from other Christian communities will notice similarities in the different situations that I am talking about. And that will hopefully help them in the future.

Maybe that is why there are campus ministries and why so many college students stop going to church once they go to college. I know many people say it is because it is the first time that not under their parent’s wings and they have to do decide what the believe. I think both are true.

I guess another factor would that there are a few other college students who is here for school in my church college group but they aren’t active as me. That not a bad thing just a factor. I know another factor is that I am older than the typical college student.

Every person’s situation will be different. Same with the church’s situation.

One of the problems that the church has to deal with is how to form a community and how to prevent quick turnover with the leadership. I could see the church questioning is it worth it to have a college ministry at church or should they just let the campus ministries have the out of town college students.

I don’t have a solution to this problem but maybe someone can find one.

Beauty from ashes

I am bold.
I am strong.
I am confident.
I am brave.
My faith is the strongest it has ever been.

It has taken me years be able to make those ‘I am’ statements and actually believe them. No, it hasn’t been easy and it won’t be getting any easier. It’ll most likely get harder. I expect to endure attacks but I also expect to see the mighty ways of the holy spirit. I live in the expectance of having to fight the devil off. I know I am not alone in this fight, angels are standing beside me.

If I don’t live in this manner, then I will most likely be knock down quicker, longer, and more often. If I don’t, then I won’t be able to discern the reasoning for that current struggle. It might be my struggle or someone else’s struggle that I need to be interceding for.

I may not know what I believe on some of the important doctrinal issues but I do believe that God has saved me and continues to pour out his love and grace onto me; not much else matters. [I’m working to figure out what I believe on some of the doctrinal issues though.]

My faith has always been pretty strong. I seriously find it crazy when looking back on everything that I still gave the church many chances. I find it crazy that I still believe in God’s plans for my life when I have only gotten glimpses. I am marveled at how faith works but never enough to look into it. Then again, that is what faith is; believing in what you cannot see, know, or understand.

 I am thankful, humbled, and joyful that God brought me to Moffett Road Assembly of God. It hasn’t been perfect but what church or group of people are. It’s been fun getting to know the lingo.
Funny moment: It took me about a month or so to realize when people said ‘MRAG’ that it was the abbreviated form of the church name. I thought it was the name for the fine arts competition, but that is just called fine arts. Ha ha, I know.

But in all seriousness, the people of Moffett Road have been His hands and feet to me. They have opened their ears and hearts to me. I have told many of them but this community is the first one that I felt that I am actually part of. I feel that I am part of the family and it’s truly amazing to realize that I have felt this way fully since January and I haven’t even been here for a year.

To get a little bit vulnerable [and random], today has not been fun. I woke up to feeling heavy for no apparent reason. I sought out the possibilities but couldn’t think of why I would have been in a sad mood when I haven’t thought about most of the things in a while. I asked God for strength and discernment. None came. The heaviness got worse. I ended up laying in bed for hours. I tried to figure out what to do with the heaviness and why I was feeling this way. A few things came to mind but no solution. I have been in the state of depression most of the day.

I don’t claim to suffer from depression but from what I have heard, read, and seen of depression; that is what I felt.

Yes, it’s only been one day but it has helped me feel and know how debilitating depression can be.

I truly think this day of feeling depressed is either an attack or a feeling of someone else’s depression that I need to be interceding for.

Side note: It is hard to live life without most likely having a person’s voice in the back of your head. It’s hard to fully believe God and fully commit to Him when you have the words of other’s opinions and ideas.
Quick examples I had a hard time writing the last part without having a few people’s voices telling me that not everyone has gifts of the Spirit or not the particular gift of a feeler.
I noticed that I might have annoyed my roommate who is a grad student studying exercise science [or something close to that] by thinking that most of the time I talk to her, I might talk about some symptoms of some sickness or a physical pain. I feared that because of feedback I once received.

I write that side note because not just those two experiences but many others have caused me to be more careful with what I say and to who I say it to. Words are powerful. Words can put a label on someone or cause someone to not be bold and go after something. So please be cautious with what you choose to say. I know I struggle with this but I am working on it.

Okay, now that I have moved topics twice; I am going to end this.

I have to be reminded of whose voice and opinion matters. He has to keep placing his arms around me when I want to run or when I want to grab my roommate’s alcohol to become numb. I have to let His grace rain down upon me. I have to pray for strength.