Remember how far you have come….

Today I want to share about an experience that I had

After many years of sadness and thinking I was bad

My suicide thoughts had lifted and I was keeping them at bay

But some other thoughts had come and decided they would stay

Yeah..something it just snapped and it was up inside my brain

And then I took a ride on the MANIA TRAIN

I couldn’t eat and didn’t sleep my body tired would not retreat

And my grandiose thoughts they were causing me trauma

I thought I was being watched by Barack Obama

I’m telling you that ain’t no joke I’m not one to blow up smoke

I thought I was performing miracles too thought I was like Jesus but I didn’t have a clue

Sometimes I would think this while in my congregation little did I know I was living in a hallucination

One night I got up and just out of the blue with my leather jacket bare feet didn’t know what to do

Got in the car and drove away in the night trying to get far away out of everyone’s sight

I heard roosters crowing I could hear them everywhere so I parked my car and I just left it there

I ran and I ran just as fast as I could going this way and that in someone’s neighborhood

I never got tired and my body was still wasting cause I didn’t eat food and my taste buds were not tasting

My family was just watching trying to figure out what was wrong they didn’t know what to do or what was going on

And all I could see was their solemn stares and faces that added to my mind leaving marks and kinds of traces

Then one day I drove to a place gave them my car keys…tears streaming down my face

I wanted to change my name and run far away but deep inside my heart where my family stays

Something compelled me to tell of my needs to a stranger who listened to my heart wrenching pleas

Take me somewhere please get me some help I don’t know who I am I have lost myself

Next thing I knew I was in the back of the van headed to a place called no man’s land

The institution it scared me it caused me great fright I would wander around night after night

I got in a line and they handed me pills they watched til I took them and it gave me the chills

But once all those meds started to kick in I began to get hungry so I ate once again

Then my tiny little body that had long been past due decided to rest and get some sleep too

As the days went by and my mind became stable I could see the stars now and before I wasn’t able

Cause my night had been so dark with no hope in sight when my body was running crazy and my mind had taken flight

That has been years ago but my story I am using which parts really happened or which were my delusions

All I know is being in a mental hospital is not a bit of fun but I’m thankful that it happened cause maybe…just maybe it will help someone. #peace

This is a poem I wrote about the time I spent in a mental institution called ANCHOR HOSPITAL. That was in 2012 and I am now healed from that dark experience thank God, but just this morning I was reflecting on it. My husband and I were talking about it as we were backtracking our whole journey so far from a spiritual perspective. It is so amazing to me how God’s grace and love, His hand and His intricate plan has been woven into our lives. At the time, in our pain and trials we seemingly don’t see light even though somewhere deep inside we KNOW it is there no matter how dim. We have just been living life moving forward with a LOVE that guides us. That great LOVE has been extra gentle at times especially while I was raising my kids. Every single thing that happened was part of something bigger and better for us. When we humble ourselves enough to see where we have come from we know in our hearts it was nothing we did on our own. God is amazing He is SO MUCH BIGGER than our little minds and lives and if you will believe that life IS a journey regardless of how it goes you will be strengthened in your Spirit. I know living with Bipolar and Depression has not been easy, but it is amazing to me how God’s LOVE found me in the midst of that nightmare and led me to a place that helped me on my road to recovery. I am not perfect and I struggle trust me!! However, while some people use the saying “they are in good hands” I choose to say I am in GOD’S HANDS and I am MOST GRATEFUL for that!! He is my ANCHOR.

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Write to vent…

When I vent through my writing it is not to complain or bring negativity to the blogging world. It is just to get what is out of my head onto paper. Maybe I need to buy a diary or journal and not put it on my blog, but the reason I use my blog is to maybe help someone that is going through the same thing or dealing with the same emotions or struggles as me.  I usually go back and read them to put things into perspective. The blog on racism taught me that having 2 sleepless nights and working 7 days straight made me super sensitive. It showed me that I got away from the calmness of my Spirit and attached myself to the anxieties I was experiencing. Even though racism is just part of the flawed world we live in I need to accept that and just not be that way. I am only responsible for myself, my feelings and my actions. I am a work in progress and after some much needed sleep and a day off I am refreshed. Thanks be to God!! On another note…

Yesterday was what I thought to be a rough day for my daughter, but to her it wasn’t.  She is living with the chronic illness of Ulcerative Colitis. She has to have infusions every 6 weeks and yesterday was her infusion day. Unfortunately, after 3 nurses and 5 sticks we had to reschedule for Friday. That also put things in perspective for me and helped me to get out of how little and boxed in my mind had become over things from work.  Its amazing because the situation with her alone could have triggered more anxiety, but it didn’t. It actually had an adverse effect on me and I gained some ground after my racism rant. As a mom it is hard to see your child have to live with and suffer with something that you have no control over. I think just being able to really be in the moment sitting beside her did wonders for me. She is so strong and her steadfast Spirit amazes me! I hate it when they have to stick her more than once especially when they move the needle around in her arm trying to get the vein. She’s a trooper and she didn’t allow any of that to phase her. All she said was “its okay it didn’t hurt I am okay.” That’s all this momma needed to hear. There have been times in her journey when she wasn’t okay and we both knew it, but yesterday wasn’t one of them. Thank God for that, too! We live about an hour from her infusion clinic so we always play the music loud and dance in the car on the way there and back. Sometimes we will have deep conversations which we did yesterday on the way there. We talked about a lot of things and I love spending that time with just me and her. We are both usually tired on the way home so music helps pump us back up. And of course we make our usual stop at Chic fil a for waffle fries and frosted coffee. I am so thankful for her and how she blesses my life with so much joy, purpose, love and hope.

So, the point of this blog is to say to try and not sweat the small stuff. The small stuff becomes big stuff when you haven’t had rest so take time for that. Learn to let go of things you cannot change. As much as we think we are in control of the big picture we aren’t but we can find a way to control only what we can..and you are going to have bad days, but there will be a lot more good ones!! Sometimes there are bigger fish to fry besides your own and to me that means being there for my daughter and getting out of my head.  Also, whatever is troubling you today will probably not matter tomorrow….but don’t forget this either….its okay to not be okay sometimes. #notestomyself

My little warrior!!

 

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Friday’s Funnies – My Faves This Week — Being Aunt Debbie

Well, here it is, time for Friday’s Funnies again! I really didn’t think I’d have time this week due to taking care of a sick “Kitty” but here I am. She is sleeping at the moment and doing well. If there’s something you’d like to share (could be a joke, a meme, a photo, or […]

via Friday’s Funnies – My Faves This Week — Being Aunt Debbie

racism…

 

woman wearing gray tank top

 

Today I am going to write about my title and for the listener there is probably no way to bring this without coming across as being racist myself. First of all, I just worked 7 days straight and the last 2 nights of that I got almost zero sleep. That is hard on a sensitive brain like mine especially when I need to work the next day. I work in customer service so I have to deal with a lot of different energies coming at me daily. It is very hard sometimes because I try to give 110% at work; that’s the “perfectionist” in me and people still complain including my management team. It’s never good enough or they even pick at me because of the color of my skin. I am Caucasian/white by the way and most of the people over me are African American/black. I have experienced racism firsthand since I have been working this job. I was not raised to see the color of people’s skin at all and I just don’t understand it. Why do people waste the good energy that is given fresh everyday on racism and prejudice? Not only that why are you in church and racist that’s so hypocritical. I serve people everyday that represent racism and attract others to see their outward appearance rather than who they are as a human being. They wear their Black Lives Matter or Black Power shirts. Just the other day I was taking care of a lady who seemed very racist. The reason I say that is because I also work beside a sweet coworker who just happens to be of color. This woman went out of her way to be nice to my coworker and she closed herself off to me. She also had a little boy with her that was maybe 6 or 7. I smiled at him which I always try to do with everyone but especially children because I love children. This child looked at me with disgust I couldn’t believe it! It reminded me of a time when my son was around that age and he had to deal with racism, too. I wasn’t ready to explain something like that to him at his age nor did I think I ever would. He came in from playing one day at an apartment complex that we lived in and he was confused. He said, “Mom Josh said “black” people rule. His statement was more like a question and I had to explain to my child at a very young age that in God’s eyes there is no color only Spirit. All of my life up until that point I never understood what it was like to experience that kind of racism. I hung out with black people in school. I never looked at the color of their skin; I just sought their friendship. The only reason I just said they were black is because I am sharing my experience and trying to address this issue. It is very sad that children have to be exposed to so much preventable negativity in this world. There are black people I know who don’t even open themselves up to things. I have been a fan of Madea since those movies came out. I never thought twice about not watching it because Tyler Perry is black and the movies are made up of predominately black people. I love the humor and comedy of the movies and I open myself up to the blessing of laughter regardless of the color of their skin. What is BET too? Why does it have to be called Black Entertainment? I personally don’t flaunt the color of my white skin as a tactic to draw attention to myself. I just don’t get it when people do it anyway… this week has been hard. I have experienced a lot of negativity and personal attacks. People have refused to let me help them because of the color of my skin and one black lady requested that she be helped by my coworker not me. You know, some people of color may read this and even say “well now you know how I feel” but that’s not the point.It’s not about getting even it’s about seeing past skin color whether your black, white, hispanic, Indian, etc…I am a work in progress so I am really trying to not allow any negativity like this diffuse my light no matter what it is. The funny thing that just came to me is the movie Remember the Titans plays constantly at work over and over on the TVs around me. It just hit me how ironic that is. If you have never seen it YOU MUST WATCH it because it puts everything into perspective for racism. I was drawn to something I read this morning that talked about how Jesus was treated. He experienced all things that I am going through. He experienced rejection to the fullest when all he tried to do was be a light and help others. He experienced racism by people who eventually killed him and he dealt with betrayal by his own family. He experienced hypocrisy and called it out. He walked his own journey humbly and fiery darts were always coming at him. He overcame though… There’s so much on my heart right now, but I am really wanting to just be a light regardless of the things that have been coming at me. I know we all experience things regardless of the color of our skin. If we would just all be open to the fact that we all bleed red things would be so much better. Two wrongs don’t make a right in this situation. When people act that way towards me I try extra hard to be nice and to diffuse the tension or walls that come up. My goal and reason for living is to love and to learn to treat people the way I want to be treated. That’s all I want. I admire people for their kindness, their strength, their ability to see the unseen not the seen. Prejudice is taught and it is a learned behavior it is not even a thing. It is something that has been brought about by the roots of anger, bitterness, and hatred. There is no love in segregation neither is continually bringing attention to your race, gender, or sexual orientation. No one cares or I don’t anyway. I am just trying to live and to live my best life. I want to love people where they are for who they are; to see their pain and have empathy not add to it. Life is hard we ALL have our own stories if we would just make it about inspiring each other and building each other up regardless…things would be more peaceful. Beauty is only skin deep. I don’t know if any of this makes sense to anyone and some may take it the wrong way but I am just speaking my heart. I have also been put in situations where white people will say derogatory things about a person of color and I feel it is my responsibilty to diffuse that real quick. I want to have my brother or sister’s back that is of a different race, creed, or background if they are being treated wrong. I love my coworkers I can get along with anyone and I try to but I can’t fight that force alone that breeds hatred and division. We are children of God we aren’t ranked.

“Herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor—all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked—who is good? Not that men are ignorant—what is truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men.” -W.E.B. Du Bois (The Souls of Black Folk)

Abraham Lincoln

“Achievement has no color”
― Abraham Lincoln

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Feeling deeply and perfect love…

The other day my daughter read my last blog I posted about the bittersweet memories of my experiences in church. I asked her what she thought and she said, “you were just having a bad day” when you wrote it. It’s funny how people perceive things differently. I wasn’t having a bad day I was “feeling deeply.” I was experiencing a mixture of emotions really. The tears were tears of GREAT JOY from those times, but also of great loss because they are just memories now. The other loss to me is how “church” these days has seemingly turned to “religion” instead of spirituality. I felt deeply with love when I was a young mom raising my children there. I carried with me a strong, but simple faith in God. Somewhere along the way that became a place of fear for me because of religion. Religion is following a list of rules or putting conditions on one’s faith. It is extinguishing the very fire and passion of the soul that just wants to live and be. It’s not based on doing or striving to be. It is living deeply and resting in the perfect love that God/Jesus gives me. One that doesn’t require anything from me except faith. I really try to leave the past behind and live in the moment, but sometimes I just go back to those places in my heart. I am a work in progress with that for sure, but sometimes I just have to reflect on how I have been rescued once again from something that was hurtng me. I was reading my devotional this morning and felt such peace with it I wanted to share it with you.

Jesus Calling: September 7

Enjoy the warmth of My Presence shining upon you. Feel your face tingle as you bask in My Love-Light. I delight in you more than you can imagine. I approve of you continuously, for I see you clocked in My Light, arrayed in My righteousness. There is no condemnation for those who are clothed in Me! That is why I abhor the use of guilt as a means of motivation among Christians.
Some pastors try to whip their people into action with guilt-inducing sermons. This procedure can drive many people to work harder, but the end does not justify the means. Guilt-evoking messages can undermine the very foundation of grace in a believer’s heart. A pastor may feel successful when his people are doing more, but I look at their hearts. I grieve when I see grace eroding, with weeds of anxious works creeping in. I want you to relax in the assurance of My Perfect Love. The law of My Spirit of Life has freed you from the law of sin and death.

Isaiah 61:10
English Standard Version

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord;
    my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
    he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
 

Romans 8:1-2
English Standard Version

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

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My heart will beat again…

 

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So what is on my heart today? Well, today is Sunday and just about every Sunday my heart longs for my church family. I don’t mean the actual “building” but the people that would gather there. I reflect on the JOY and LOVE that I remember there. I think about the memories that I will always cherish that I made with my husband and especially my children there. I am actually crying as I type this, tears flowing fiercely down my face, but I needed to share my feelings about this. Before I received an actual “diagnosis” of mental illness/Bipolar/Depression being a part of my church family community was as important as breathing. It was as if I was complete in some way. Those people were my family and we connected (most of them anyway). They were my brothers and sisters… even my lifeline. The reason that was the case is because they were connected to the God that I try to love. The One that keeps holding me continuously in the midst of this mental storm I carry around constantly. This “gift” of an illness (as sometimes I say) that forces me to depend on that spiritual connection that seems to waver deep in my heart. The cross that I am meant to bear that sometimes, a lot of times, seems unbearable; however; there are bouts of relief along the way from this mental anguish. Somewhere along the way that life I had… it feels like a huge train that took a major derailment. And I actually just googled the word derailment and this is what came up. This literally just spoke to me from a spiritual perspective…”A derailment occurs when a vehicle such as a train runs off its rails. This does not necessarily mean that it leaves its track. Although many derailments are minor, all result in temporary disruption of the proper operation of the railway system and they are potentially seriously hazardous to human health and safety.” That’s what happened to me SO VERY ABRUPTLY!! That’s where I was when I was hospitalized and diagnosed with mental illness. I felt so emotionally scarred and different, stigmatized, defected, worthless that I couldn’t nor wouldn’t consider facing my church family anymore after many dark recurring episodes. I felt like and still do that a church is no place for the mentally ill. It’s okay for those with cancer, diabetes, heart problems or other ailings. That’s another blog in itself, but the process of my mental turbulent storm left me what felt like abandoned in that hospital ironically called “Anchor.” I lost myself I lost a BIG part of me that I feel like I will never find again. Derailment to me also goes along with the saying “Not all who wander are lost” Church soon became a place of mental distress and fear for me. I don’t know how it happened or why it had to happen, but it did. The memories of the person that I remember I was…was gone…lost. The one that was there everytime the doors were open at the church building. I was there with a willing heart to connect, reach out, hug, encourage or smile at “my people” while also receiving the same profound comfort that I wished to offer them. My faith and spirituality defined me and…then, the confines of a distorted brain happened and caught hold of a religious repertoire that somehow I embraced. It has been very difficult nonetheless to find my way back to that simple person who lived in the moment. The one of grace and hope that had no fear in just being. The one that went with the flow and didn’t struggle anxiously with thoughts and detrimental effects of that in itself. When I was finally in a place of small recovery after my diagnosis I heard a song that reflected my very being it spoke to me in such a way that I KNOW the universe, GOD, my HEAVENLY FATHER was speaking to me… the lyrics are….maybe they will help you or someone out there somewhere today…

You’re shattered
Like you’ve never been before
The life you knew
In a thousand pieces on the floor
And words fall short in times like these
When this world drives you to your knees
You think you’re never gonna get back
To the you that used to be
Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday’s a closing door
You don’t live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again
Beginning
Just let that word wash over you
It’s alright now
Love’s healing hands have pulled you through
So get back up, take step one
Leave the darkness, feel the sun
‘Cause your story’s far from over
And your journey’s just begun
Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday’s a closing door
You don’t live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again
Let every heartbreak
And every scar
Be a picture that reminds you
Who has carried you this far
‘Cause love sees farther than you ever could
In this moment heaven’s working
Everything for your good
Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday’s a closing door
You don’t live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again
Your heart to beat again
Beat again
Oh, so tell your heart to beat again
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