Climbing

Since my last post, you might be wondering how I’m doing . . .

I have continued to hold on and seek hope. Actually I didn’t have to look too far.  Offers of support and encouragement came quickly as sweet and kind people read my post. Interestingly enough, the first place I visited after writing my post was my “home away from home”, Living Whole with Chronic Pain Network and I noticed Kimberly, the network creator, had updated the main page with an announcement of our next on-line Bible study to commence in the beginning of May.

Of coarse, you may have already guessed it, God’s timing is perfect, and the choice of topic is perfect for me, as well. If you are home-bound, or spend a lot of time at home due to chronic pain/illness, then you might want to check out the Bible Study, and join us if you like.

I’m not going to sugar-coat things and tell you that all is well and perfect now. It’s not. It was a nightmare of a weekend truly, in many ways. But some glimmers of hope started to sparkle so quickly after I wrote here in my blog, announced the post on twitter, and right after my visit to Living Whole. . . Then today. . . my daughter and I went to the movies together. What a treat for us to get out just the two of us!

We went to see “Hannah Montana The Movie”. For most adults this might now seem like the greatest choice, but for me and my daughter, it was just what we wanted and needed. When Isabel joined the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus bandwagona year or more ago, I jumped right on with her. It was a fun way for us to spend time together, singing songs, watching the new episodes of the sitcom on Disney channel, etc. I have a great love of music and it became the first real time she and I could enjoy and experience music together. I took her to her first concert last year when Hannah Montana came to town, and it was a huge event. So, seeing the movie today was fitting for us.

I was impressed with the themes that were carried out through the movie and I have always appreciated the voice of Miley Cyrus and her songwriting skills. Some of it is clearly just for the pre-teen/young girl crowd, but a surprising amount of her music and lyrics have been quite meaningful, at least to me. I am pretty open minded when it comes to music as I like almost all genres and truly appreciate music as a whole.

When I first heard Miley Cyrus’ new song, “The Climb”, I liked it right away, but the more I listened to it, the more I enjoyed it. I took the opportunity to explain to my daughter some important messages that I heard in the song, and after today’s movie, I was able to personalize it even more for her and myself.

I am struggling, but seeking to hold on to hope. I am on a journey. To where that journey leads exactly, I don’t know. But I do know, that no matter what, it is not where I am going right now that matters as much as what I am learning along the way.

Enjoy the lyrics to “The Climb” and maybe you will check out Miley Cyrus singing it, I think it is truly beautiful.

The Climb

I can almost see it
That dream I’m dreaming but
There’s a voice inside my head sayin,
You’ll never reach it,
Every step I’m taking,
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking but I
Got to keep trying
Got to keep my head held high

There’s always going to be another mountain
I’m always going to want to make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes I’m gonna to have to lose,
Ain’t about how fast I get there,
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb

The struggles I’m facing,
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes might knock me down but
No I’m not breaking
I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I’m going to remember most yeah
Just got to keep going
And I,
I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on, cause

There’s always going to be another mountain
I’m always going to want to make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes I’m gonna to have to lose,
Ain’t about how fast I get there,
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb (yeah)

There’s always going to be another mountain
I’m always going to want to make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes you going to have to lose,
Ain’t about how fast I get there,
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb (yeah yeah ea ea)

Keep on moving
Keep climbing
Keep the faith baby
It’s all about
It’s all about
The climb
Keep the faith
Keep your faith

“The Climb” by Miley Cyrus

Breaking

(Before you read this you should know, I am struggling greatly right now emotionally and this is not an uplifting or inspirational piece of writing; this is just the truth of what I am feeling and experiencing right now, and I pray these feelings will pass quickly, but writing is part of my healing, so I share.)

My greatest desire in life, in general terms, is to help others. My point in writing this blog is to help others who experience chronic pain, depression, anxiety, ptsd, has had suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide in the past. Today, I am unsure if this post will be helpful, but I need to write and express what is going on with me, or I will be only allowing you to see what I want you to see, and that is not who I am.

If you have read previous posts you know that I am challenged still by many things and that I try to face those challenges as best as I can, with an attitude of gratitude and with a mindset of holding on to hope. Today, I am not feeling the hope.

Part of me wants to hide this, but the other part is screaming out for help and the desire to somehow dull the pain by sharing. About a week ago, I wrote a post titled “In the Center” and I shared a painful moment I was having. That pain is still there although it is moving around, not just stuck in the center of my chest anymore. I can feel it in my gut, in my throat, and in my heavy eyes as tears keep falling, against my will. I can feel it in my heart, my heart that is breaking.

I want you to know, if you are reading this, that I’m not throwing in my chips, or anything like that. So please don’t take that from this. Although, it is true, I have moments where I wonder how I can possibly endure one more minute feeling like this. . .

A reprocussion of growing up in a home as dysfunctional as mine, not having a solid relationship with God, and having experienced the traumas that I have experienced, is a feeling of worthlessness. I believe it can be found in studies even, that this is common. Add to it, the flawed thinking of a wounded young girl seeking love and attention at most every turn. Then you have poor choices in the teenage years and even into the adult years that carry with them a great sense of guilt and shame.

So here I am, having made it so far, but feeling as if I have been swallowed back up by the pit of despair. My heart feels as if it is breaking into tiny little pieces, or as if tiny pieces have been chipped off and broken up over time to the point that I now have a heart completely shattered.

I don’t have any single event or moment that I can say has plummeted me to feeling this way, that is the awful thing about depression when you deal with it chronically. It kind of sticks with you and waits to pounce on you in a weak moment. When life gets really hard. . .when you have been strong for as long as you can, you start breaking . . .and  it creeps in wrapping  its fingers around your spirit trying to squish all the life out of you.

I have shared before that I am in a marriage that is struggling. For 6 years we have endured so many worldly hardships. At least 3 or more job lay-offs, illnesses, moves to different states, and of coarse, now I know neither of us was healthy to begin with. I suppose if everyone waited until they were “perfect” to get married, no one ever would.

Up until the last 24 hours I have been fighting tooth and nail to keep this marriage together. Deep down, I don’t want it to end in divorce. I don’t want that for my children and I don’t want that for myself. But I feel so broken . . . so alone. . . so hopeless and unloved.

My faith in God is waivering as I have not experienced in 7 years or more. I am wondering why I must suffer any more . . . I am wondering where he is in this all as I have been trying to be a good soldier for Him. I have wanted to be a faithful follower of Christ and serve my family with love and loyalty. But at this very moment, I feel abandoned and it is hard to be faithful to Him.

I’m just being honest. You can call me a fair weathered Christian, or what have you, but I am just being real here. I don’t believe I will ever help anyone if I’m not real.

The only thing that I am holding onto right now is the hope that a miracle will happen. I am holding onto hope that this next weekend when I begin “Breakthrough” (the intensive therapy seminars I will be doing) I will find something more hopeful to hang on to.

What I really honestly desire, what I want more than anything, is for someone in the flesh to hold me and love me. I am breaking apart piece by piece as I am just aching for that touch of someone who really truly loves me and whom I can love back.

If it is Jesus that I need, I pray He will somehow come to me and let me feel his embrace, so I can know that I am not alone, so that I can know that love exists.

Have I Told You Yet?

I guess it’s time to announce it, if you didn’t know it already. . .

I have officially registered to walk in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk in Chicago.

So what’s the big deal? Well, you might recall that I have fibromyalgia . . . and then you might need to know that this walk is long. It is truly over-night. It starts at sundown and continues until sun-up and spans approximately 20 miles. Second of all, this is for one of the most important causes that I know of. We’re talking about saving lives and preventing people from taking their own.

We’re talking about a subject that is so hard for people to talk about! Truly, do you know many people that talk about this subject? Maybe if you work in the mental health community, but otherwise, no, because it is hard. There is so much pain involved in this topic and there is also a lot of grief and loss attached to it as well.

For me, though, it is about a new lease on life. I have been given an opportunity to help support and bring awareness to this topic, only because I have survived my own suicide attempts.

So, here I am, maybe not the most unfit looking person in the universe, but probably one of the most unfit people, for walking 20 miles at once, that is. But, I have began a slow and steady course towards being more fit, and I pray, with God’s grace, that I will be able to walk this walk in it’s entirety. No matter what it does to me, it will be worth it!

A fellow walker,  who I met on Twitter, and I have teamed up to create Team Endure and we invite any and everybody to join us on our team and join us in our adventure! We are so hoping to meet some of the people that we “twitter” with and who also have a passion for this cause. If you want to join us, you can visit our team page and join us in our efforts! Further down on that same page you can click on a team member name if you would like to donate to our fundraising efforts! My teammate has already raised nearly her whole $1000 dollar goal! And, I have raised just a tiny bit (thanks Dannette!) . . . but I just registered a couple days ago, so don’t feel bad for me.

We are on our way to helping others avoid the devastating experience of losing a loved one to suicide and helping others avoid the darkest pit of them all . . .  depression so deep that you attempt to take your own life. I know what it feels like and I want desperately to be a part of this movement to save lives by promoting suicide prevention and awareness.

If you can donate, great!

If you can join us, great!

If you can’t do any of the above that is completely okay,  but I ask that you please pray for Team Endure, or send us happy thoughts, or whatever you can do, to help us be a successful part of this event!

Thank you for reading this post and sharing in my excitement!

In the Center

There is a pain tonight, right in the center of my chest.

Feeling apprehensive, wondering where to turn, so I turn inward and also look to God. This is truly such a hard time. . .

No one ever really knows what the next day will bring, so it is of the utmost importance to live in the moment. Even with this awareness and knowledge, I can feel so many moments passing me by, just wasted time.  Almost as if I could take this part of my life and wad it up into a crumpled piece of paper, and swoosh, into the trash can it goes. It is hard for me to even see that things are going to improve any time soon.

I want desperately to make things better in my life. I am seeking positives, I am looking for new opportunities, I am desperately trying to “look on the bright side”. And it still hurts. It hurts so badly inside to feel desperate and so unsure. It hurts right in the center of my chest.

I could, and probably will later, get down on my knees and beg and plead for the Lord to change my circumstances. But I know that it is more than that. There is something in me that is stretching, growing, and maybe even breaking down. Where do I turn tonight in my pain? I truly feel as if I have no where to turn as if maybe I should run and keep on running.

Have you ever felt that alone? Have you ever felt as if not one single person on the planet could understand your pain? I don’t even truly get it. It is beyond me. Why must life hurt like this? Even with my faith, even knowing that a day will come when it will be better, it is still hurting so deeply at this moment, right in the center of my chest.

I am completely helpless in my circumstance. I must lift my hands up to the heavens and release my worries to God, but how do I really, truly do that? I ask, I wait, I wait, and I ask. But it still hurts, and you guessed it, right in the center of my chest.

Moments like these are when the thoughts creep back in. “You’re worthless.” “Your family would be better off without you.” “Nothing is ever going to be better.” “You won’t ever amount to anything.” They’re screaming at me and begging me to believe them. I take a deep breath and I push the thoughts out with my exhale. I quiet my mind with my breath and the knowledge that someone knows me, even when I can’t sense Him, He is still there.

I long to know Him better. I long to be held by Him. For, no one here is holding me. I must breathe in His love and hold on to what I can not see. I must let the moment pass. And as I do, the pain right in the center of my chest may pass, too.

April’s Blog Carnival

I am so happy to share with you that a post of mine has been featured in the Christians with Chronic Illness Blog Carnival for the month of April!

Please visit this collection of blog posts for a wonderful collection of writing all somehow related to the topic of  “surprise”.  I am honored and delighted to be featured among these other talented bloggers/writers who are sharing their journey with chronic illness and chronic pain!

I know you will find great reading and wonderful resources if you follow the link to the carnival here: Christians with Chronic Illness Blog Carnival

Thank you for taking the time to read my post as well as checking out the carnival. I am certain you will be blessed by visiting the site!

Christians with Chronic Illness Blog Carnival