Aug 31, 2013
Joy! And rapture! And delight!

This morning I woke to sunshine, pancakes, friends, and a distinct lack of that black dog.

I can still hear him barking in the distance, I can still feel the heaviness in my chest and the pit in my stomach, but this morning I feel lighter, I see a tiny ray of hope in the sunbeams streaming through the window.

Having had a chance to reflect on some things, I've come back to a persistent monster: pride. I once asked God to rid me of pride, and I'm not sure that I really knew what I was getting myself into, but it has, more often than not, been quite a painful process. Like pulling weeds, the roots sometimes go deep, and it hurts to pull some of those things out.

I don't, for one moment, think that God wants me to be depressed or anxious, I don't think that he brought this upon me at all, but maybe there are parts of it he can use. I've had to sacrifice a lot of pride recently and it isn't easy, but maybe (just maybe) it's ultimately good.

I've had to sacrifice pride in my relationship with my mother - it has helped to repair some past sadness and scars.

I've had to sacrifice pride in my interactions with others. Well, I'm learning to at least. I've never been one to ask for help, ask for love, or really ask for anything... While there's a large element of trust malfunctioning there, there's also a lot of pride that keeps me from needing anything from anyone. I'm learning that this is not a great way to live.

Similarly, I've had to sacrifice pride in the way I approach my own health. Admitting   things like seeing a psychologist or taking antidepressants has not been easy for me, admitting that I need help. I don't tell everyone I come across about my health because not everyone needs to know, but there's also a large part of me that is scared to let go of that wall of pride and security, to let people see me and make their judgements. I'm not sure what exactly it is I'm scared of - rejection, humiliation, having people view me as weak?

Anyway, that's my thoughts this morning. Time for a cuppa.
It's night, and I feel good. I'm trying to make myself remember these moments, however simple they may be.

• I kept my appointment with the psychologist, and realised quite a few things about my past and myself.

• I gave myself permission to nap.

• I went for a long walk, played silly on a playground and strolled home in the rain.

• I did something creative! 'Winosaurs' ;P

• I went to a trivia night, and while I noticed myself feeling anxious a few times, the scene did not overwhelm me as it often would.

• I had a day and night filled with good people who I love, activity and movement, laughter and life.

I feel peaceful now, cozy and warm... I know that there is hope.
I want so much for it to stay.
Aug 30, 2013
I hate waking up.
I open my eyes and regain consciousness and already my entire body is in fight or flight. Panic. I despair. I don't see hope, I don't feel peace. I am without a horizon in a nauseous, murky sea of wretched feeling and thinking.

Lord, won't you walk to me across the waters? Won't you save this drowning one of little faith?

The thing that bothers me is, I know all about depression and anxiety... I know the pitfalls, I know the lies and distorted thinking it gives, I know the false basis for the emotional wreckage... But I can't change any of it. Though I know there is good in the world, I don't believe it. Though I know I have reasons to be happy, I can't feel it. Though I know depression is telling me there is no reason to live, I can't argue with it. Why, if I can see what a sneaky disease this is, can't I challenge it, why can't I get better? I'm so tired of this torture.

It's like being stuck in a jail cell that has no bars. It should be so easy to escape, but I simply can not. I can't drag myself off the floor to even find a way beyond these invisible walls keeping me captive. I hate this, I want to scream but haven't the energy.
I find that I've been feeling better at nights. Sometimes. Actually I don't think there's a pattern to it, but tonight I feel okay, and when I think about why, these reasons come to mind:

• I've had all day to wake up, move about, eat food and think positively.

• I swept the front steps – a project I've been wanting to complete for a while. Sweeping is my favourite chore, I felt very satisfied 'post sweep'.

• I got to see and speak to lots of people I love today (though to do so required me being in some overwhelming social situations).

• I engaged in worship. Often, even through pain, I find freedom in worship.

• I spent the evening with safe people in laughter, I'm quite sure it helped to lift my mood.

Now if I could find a way for this mood to transfer into my dreams, and stay with me until the morning, that would be great.

If at all you pray, please pray for peace for me to sleep. I have slept fitfully for a couple of months now and it is taking its toll emotionally as well as mentally and physically. Please pray that I am able to sleep the whole night through, preferably at least 7 hours, that my dreams would be encouraging, and that I would wake feeling refreshed, cozy, light, and ready to face the day. Thank you.
Aug 29, 2013
Tired of waking up scared.
Tired of restless sleep.
Do not want.
Aug 28, 2013
'Would you want me when I'm not myself?
Wait it out while I am someone else?'
I'm stuck on the couch worse than before.
I've never felt this consistently fatigued.
Here's hoping it's all worth it.
Anything to help me hear those whispers.
I hear again and again
The softest whisper

'Trust me', it says, 'trust me'.

The whisper carries peace on its breath
But I am not quite sure how to take hold
Of peace, or,
How to trust.

But again I hear the voice,
'Trust me'
The yawning continues
The fatigue won't leave
My pupils are dilated
I crave light but it hurts my eyes.

Here goes.
Aug 27, 2013
I mostly just need

To know that I'm not alone
To know that you won't leave
To know that the sun still shines
To know that I'll feel warm
To know that I am worth something

And more than those
I just need to believe
The things I know

(A postscript apology for the emo overtones spewing out of me right now... Call it cathartic, call it self pity, call it whatever you want, but it's where I am)
The best time is the lull before my body reacts.
This couple of hours before my insides start feeling tumbly and grumbly, before my head feels like gravity's new best friend.

The morning sunshine helps me enjoy these hours, and I look forward to them. That's something, at least.
One minute I feel anxious and panicked, the next everything is beautiful and colourful, next I feel detached and numb, next I feel gloomy and tired, next I feel restless and jumpy, next I feel cozy and happy... It changes every so often and nothing seems to trigger any of the emotions, they just ebb and flow of their own volition.

It's nice when the peace comes for a moment, but I can't seem to make it stay.

I'm so lucky to have the people in my life that I do. They comfort me.
Aug 26, 2013
Waking up in a world that fades in and out of reality.

I'd scream if I had the energy.
Aug 25, 2013
Oh no
How did we get here?
After all I've said and done and written and celebrated...
I'm feeling like a zombie
I'm feeling like I'm watching this all from behind a glass wall where I simply remember things like happiness
I feel like I'm the only one on this side of the glass
Noise, light, taste... It's all muffled and jumbled
Thought, peace, clarity... It's all tangled and broken
Oh my sweet brain, if only I knew how to fix you
I'm not sure that I know how to fully live this life when I can't trust even my own thoughts

I like to call today Day 1 of Medicine
How many days there will be, I have no idea... But today is
Such an unmixable and motley crew of emotions and sensations... They leave me feeling
What am I supposed to do? Living by simply continuing to breathe and eat seems like a start, but what next? What do I do when the nature of things is that I don't, or can't, do anything? How do I make the struggle worthwhile, and is that my job? Because I definitely feel an obligation to get it right, to give back, to serve and exceed.

But I can't do it just yet, so what do I do in the meantime? How long is the meantime? I hate this limbo more than anything... If there was an end in sight, there would be a goal.

I am sad for the child who was excited to grow up. I am sorry that this is what she got.
Aug 23, 2013
I just don't know
If unsure
Is something I can live for

I just don't feel
That unsure
Is something I could die for

But I just wish
That unsure
Is something you would fight for

Because I am certain of one thing:
I am surely unsure.
Aug 13, 2013

Then we talked about anxious things
And I felt the clouds roll right back in
I wish I could think of any other analogy
Than greyness and falling and storms and sea

Aug 11, 2013
Today I didn't even begin on the couch.
Today I stepped outside.
Today I marvelled at Your creation.
Today I tried to photograph Your beauty, but gave up after a few failed attempts.
Today I travelled off the beaten track (and legitimately pretended I was a dinosaur exploring the bush... Let's keep that one quiet).
Today I climbed a tree and felt your glow on my face.
Today I revelled in the excitement of wind through the trees.
Today I smiled past elderly couples, their stories unknown to me but told in their quiet conversation.
Today I giggled at children who knew no shame.
Today I know peace.
Today I seek trust.

Today I feel joy,
And today I know that if it is possible now, it will be possible again.

Aug 9, 2013

If I could touch the edge of your robes
Or eat a crumb from your table
If I could but climb tallest tree and see
The top
Of your head

Aug 6, 2013
I'm sorry, I can't slow down my erratic thoughts.

Despite being on a decidedly un-enjoyable rollercoaster ride right now, there are so many blessings in my life. This is going beyond trying to 'think positive!'ly about the fact that I have food on my plate and a bed to sleep in: these facts don't change anything, and much less when the food on my plate remains uneaten and the bed to sleep in is more of a place to toss and turn in and out of nightmares.

Hope that's not too melodramatic.

Nevertheless, there are many many more things which would show what a 'good' life I lead, and while I try to remember what these things are, they simply have no effect on my thoughts and feelings. As a positive attitude advocate, this strikes me as strange every single day I wake in panic.

The blessings I mentioned at the start are not these facts I've just talked about. The real blessings in my life right now are people. My family and my friends.

I'm blessed with a family who, not matter how dysfunctional, loves me unconditionally.
I'm blessed with a mother who spares no expense to see me well.
I'm blessed with sisters who have never-ending grace, patience, and couches to spend the night.
I'm blessed with house-mates who don't expect me to be anyone other than myself.
I'm blessed with friends who aren't scared by my current state, but ask me whenever they can if there's anything they can do, reminding me that they won't up and leave.

I'm simply blessed with so many people who, when I can't see who I am or what hope there is, see it for me. Who carry my crosses and give me their faith when I've run out.

I am blessed.
It's moments like this that have become the thing I live for, but I confess, they are completely selfish.

Moments like this where for a brief moment, the cloud lifts.

I see a ray of warmth
Hear an echo of laughter
Remember what it is to hope
Know who I am and what I want
I feel the tips of Your fingers as you reach down to pull me from the depths of my own ocean of doubt.

I wish the feeling would stay.
But it's already gone. Again.
Aug 5, 2013
For an interlude to all them emotions... These pictures were taken and edited with my phone - what a world we live in. I do so love to play around with these things.

You Yangs


Choose Life

I Will Love Again


Aug 4, 2013

One day I will get off this couch
One day I will seek the warmth of the sun
One day I will be happy to be with people
One day I will trust
One day I will find my faith
One day I will have my joy returned in full
One day I will not fear the valley of the shadow of death
One day I will do something for someone else
One day I will sleep peacefully
One day I will wake up happy
One day I will think about the past, and not feel pain
One day I will think about the future, and not feel scared
One day I will know how much I am worth
One day I will know how much I am loved