Dear Kitty, #suicideprevention #mentalhealth #encouragement

“… learn to take it easy on yourself. You’ve been through a lot and being kind to yourself, forgiving yourself, laughing at yourself and learning from yourself is what has brought you to here. Everything you were convinced was going to destroy you, you’ve made it through. You are fierce.”

Powerful words from an amazing author. If you are struggling, read this and know there is a plan for your life and you’re not finished here.

Dear Kitty,.

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You’re Not Finished #mentalhealth #poetry #poem

Today’s post is a poem I wrote a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to do as a video; but I decided against it because.. well I just wasn’t comfortable with it as I thought I was. Nevertheless, I still think it summarizes almost everything that this site is about and who I am.

You’re Not Finished

I’m a lot of formers, there’s a lot I used to be
Let me tell you about transformation, how God saved a wretched me.
There wasn’t day where I wouldn’t look at a man with lustful eyes,
His body my desire yet also my demise.
With marijuana I saw life in different colors & shades,
but ironically even the power of weed would fade.
My biggest struggle, alcohol. No one could stop me from drinking..
But even in my drunken stupor I knew my life was sinking.
Soon bartenders couldn’t create a strong concoction,
& I was ready to end my life twice but God said, “No, not an option.”
A life riddled with abuse, addictions, setbacks, and suicide…
I think it’s safe to say my path needed a guide.
Now I gotta be honest, let me tell the truth, world…
There are things I still struggle with but they don’t define this girl.
All that tragedy I can count as joy to help people like me,
& I can use my life as proof to show how good it can be.
I’ve only discovered this recently and a put it on paper for all to see
The death of my old self, the birth of a new me.
I want to tell you you’re valuable survivors, you have significance and purpose
Never believe anyone who treats you like you’re worthless.
It may seem like the chances of people accepting you are slim,
But their rejection is not a reflection of you, it’s a reflection of them.
You will feel the acceptance I do, a joy no one can diminish.
Your past isn’t all there is to you there’s your future; you’re not finished.

So yea… I hope this affects someone and leads them to think of themselves differently. I’m not saying it all gets better overnight; especially if you struggle with depression, anxiety, and other mental illness just like I do. In fact, I sometimes have a depressive episode once every month or two. But we all have the strength inside of us to overcome all odds, and we have the ability to get help when we need it. Your future can be bright and your purpose is promising!

Stay strong, survivors.

https://yourenotfinished.com/get-help/

All Or Nothing #mentalhealth #MHblogs

I have always had an “all or nothing” mindset.

A couple of my friends claim that I simplify things so much that I think like a man… no offense (I think). I just don’t believe in over-complicating things unless I’m not in my right mind (like if I’m having an anxiety attack or I’m depressed). No gray areas or colors of the rainbow…. just black or white. That gets me in a lot of trouble with most people.

I think I can attribute this to a couple of things. For one, I was raised that way; thinking outside of the box was an absolute no-no for reasons I won’t go into for right now. Additionally, I grew up a Christian and I still am but now with a deeper understanding of things. I say that because Christianity is a one way kind of religion and the other way (or any other way) is not an option, well it is since we have free will but… I’m hoping you know what I mean by that. Anyway, I’ve grown to like that because it gives me (and hopefully others who subscribe to it) a sense of purpose & direction, and for someone who is directionally challenged at times its nice to have some guidance and a reminder of which way I need to be going when I go off track. Also, I believe it is my belief in God and the hope that He has great things for me that keeps me alive today.

I said THAT to open up a conversation about how hard it seems to be (or how hard it actually is, depending on who you are) to be a Christian (or part of any religion, possibly) with one or more mental illnesses.

I will use myself as an example as I often like to do apparently, and please bare with me because I’ve actually never had the courage to talk about this until now. I’ve battled depression and various addictions since the age of 13 (not formally diagnosed until 2009) and I had NEVER felt comfortable directly expressing those things in the church until this past Tuesday. I’m 27 now. Honestly, I just got to the point where I was tired of hiding who I am and what I deal with and there is freedom and breakthrough in telling the truth. I find that to be true for me personally and it is a truth in Christianity that a lot Christians seem to have forgotten about (Did I just say that?). Before Tuesday, any time I attempted to share the fact that I struggled with mental illness and addiction it was met with condemnation (I.E. the belief I wasn’t praying enough or living right, giving God my all) and sometimes even silence. Which, for the record, are two of the WRONGEST ways to respond to someone with a mental illness… in case you didn’t know.

I’ve never understood why some churches (I won’t say all because I can’t say that) just do not address mental health and addiction like it’s not something that the majority of the nation is struggling with, or like it’s something that even people who believe in God struggle with as if they are above all of that. I’d love to combat all of these things with biblical figures who struggled with depression, suicide, and brokenness but in consideration of how long this blog would get if someone wants to know they can ask.

Anyway, if churches are supposed to be a hospital for the broken (thanks Jefferson Bethke) then why wouldn’t the mentally broken be able to go there for healing? Why aren’t people allowed to be real and talk about how they actually feel?

When people are struggling with the spirits of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, suicidal thoughts, and the like I believe the church is one the first places people should be able to go. I know that a lot people don’t believe this and that is TOTALLY fine because I respect everyone’s beliefs in every way. We all have the free will to believe what we want to. But what do you guys think about mental illness in relation to religion? Let’s talk about it, get to the bottom of it, and remove some stigma in the process.

Run Around #mentalhealth #suicideprevention

DISCLAIMER: I’m not sure that I’m in my right mind at the moment but this is OK because I’m certain that I need to be honest in every situation, not just when I’m having a good day mentally. Translation: Mentally, this is not a good day.

As a verb, (to) run-around means “to behave in a fickle or promiscuous manner.” As a noun, (the) run-around “deceitful or evasive treatment of a person.” Amazing that such a simple phrase with such a lighthearted connotation is defined so directly and negatively. Society as a whole really misses the importance of not doing this to people, ESPECIALLY when it comes to mental illness and overall health. It’s another action that gets swept under the rug, which allows people to get away with not being accountable for their actions… or they are going to act, they are going to do the bare minimum.

I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that I live in a world full of people who just don’t want to help others. It’s amazing how we haven’t placed importance on how to be truthful and active in the health care industry. I can’t tell you how much I’ve been dismissed because of who I am and what mental disorders I have because they aren’t considered to be as urgent or I’m thought to be seeking attention, and I KNOW this is happening/has happened to others.

People who are patient enough to get to know me know that I get upset when people are deceptive and beat around the bush, withhold truths, or just blatantly lie. Really upset. So upset that it tends to cause an anxiety attack or a depressive episode because I don’t properly express myself anymore, and I don’t do so because I trained myself not to. I decided that since people walk away when I express myself I’m just going to not. Seriously. It only happens on this blog or you have to be VERY close to me to have me even think about doing it (by the way, I’m aware that this behavior is unacceptable and I’m working on ways to change it. Work in progress).

I say that to illustrate the point of this whole thing; I believe that not helping others tends to make them a danger to themselves. I mean sure there are people who are resigned to themselves, completely self-sufficient, and actually don’t want help. But it makes me wonder how long one can truly live life with no one to help them.

It’s the reason why I want You’re Not Finished to be more than just a blog, but a community. It’s why, at the moment, I’m actually quite sick of hearing my own thoughts about mental health. I know people can use their experiences not just to air them out there and be heard for themselves, but to help others as well. If you’re brave enough to do use your voice for a good cause, by all means send me an email at yourenotfinished@gmail.com and I’ll post it all with the other survivor stories that are helpful and encouraging to others. Anonymous submissions are welcome… because being truthful can free the self and others, regardless of if you add your name to the cause.

Be brave, survivors, and stay strong.

Examples of other survivor stories here: https://yourenotfinished.com/survivor-of-the-month/

Enslavement #mentalhealth #suicideprevention #nerdalert

So last night a friend and I were having a deep discussion about this word. Their view was to be enslaved by something good (I.E. in the spiritual context) was a good thing because that good thing will help you to be disciplined and, eventually, a good person overall. My view was that being enslaved is just terrible and that no good thing will enslave you. Their assessment of my perspective led them to believe I was looking at the connotation of the word (or what people perceive a word to mean in addition to or because of its definition) and I believed for myself that I was looking at the actual definition of slave or enslavement.

An oversimplification of our conversation for sure since it went on for quite a while, but that lead me to think about this in the context of mental health. I can’t believe how long it took me to realize that there are people, myself included because of my history with mental illness, that feel like they are slaves to their emotions/disorders/illnesses… like there is a slim chance of freedom, if any.

It sounds dramatic, especially since we tend to think of slavery in its worst form, but this is the truth of how people feel. It leads me to believe that this is why suicide is an option for people. This was the case for me on multiple occasions; I believed that all I ever was going to be was depressed, anxious, and unstable in every single aspect of my life. It leads me to believe that this is why people think that suicide is freedom, and it leads me to believe that all of this is why people consider suicidal individuals to be selfish and cowardly, which is never the case… for the record.

Based on the conclusions I have reached I feel like one can infer that enslavement in the context of mental health (since we’re staying on subject) leads to all kinds of assumptions, lies, deception, and even death. The truth of the matter is not only can we be free from our illnesses, emotions, and disorders by living life to the fullest in spite of these things, but we can also aid in setting others free. It’s amazing how people live unaware of the power they have inside of them to help others. All I want to do is help other see the power they have inside of them… excuse me… the power you have inside of you to reach out for help and to lead others to do the same as survivors.

As an example, Demi Lovato created an amazing scholarship for addition recovery, so if this is something you need start here: http://t.co/H5YDBmbMmd

There is also so much more help, support, and other survivor stories here:

https://yourenotfinished.com/get-help/

https://yourenotfinished.com/other-mental-health-blogsinfo/

https://yourenotfinished.com/survivor-of-the-month/

Peace and blessings to you all, and have a safe 4th 🙂