We love ourselves so much that we'll do anything to rid of pain and toxicity. Let's support each other's positive vices toward health, even when we wouldn't choose the same route.
This post is meant to support people's healing journeys. It is too often people fight to support themselves and then are critiqued about their positive vices. People decide that too much is done and then not enough. Personal convictions have grown defensive then judgmental. We might be encouraged to rather pray more, see a naturopath, go to the doctor, rebuke the doctor, try talk-therapy or healing ministry! Exercise more, spend more time with family and friends, do more fun things...do something different than what you think you ought to be doing.
While all of these things are meant to be good, positive and helpful tools, one of them may gain the strongest lean and the person's choice has nothing to do with our personal convictions.
This blog is for every extremist who might believe they know best. This blog is written by someone who has tried it all and is now obeying what her body has been screaming at her. To acknowledge the need and address it with whatever sources work best for me.
You'll read all about it in The Girl Who Cried Forgiveness: During the War, I've been through hell and multiple times. Throughout being knocked down on repeat, fighting to stay above water wave after wave, I've tried it all.
I continued to journal throughout court cases against my dad. Journaling helped me to avoid suppressing thoughts of confusion, sadness and anxiety. This is when panic attacks began for me, at age 13. I'd go for walks and allow the silence to speak to me; what feelings did I need to sort through? To focus on? To write on?
Of course, I was seeing a therapist, but at the time, I couldn't trust any adult. Talking to "professional adults" was not any easier as the ones I did trust abused me or were trying to sort through their own chaos and couldn't carry mine. Taking baths was my way of self-care; under the water was where I could actually breathe. There, it was silent and not even my anxiety could interrupt the sounds of the water and bath drain.
Journaling, going for walks, bathing, allowing room to process all I was thinking, attempting to talk it out with professionals....This was a good start! My community began to grow up again as I pursued my faith even stronger. My burdens were no longer mine to carry alone. I spiritually trusted God with my anxiety, my newfound fears and my worries about being an abused fatherless child now. Add having faith in something bigger than me to my list of positive vices.
I'd been admitted to a Psychiatric Hospital to focus on my suicidal ideation and eating disorders. I'd still been journaling and processing with people and my prayer life was consistent. Listening to music helped me to understand feelings I'd had; the lyrics assured me that I wasn't alone. Someone else had been feeling what I'd been too.
From situation to situation, heartbreak to heartbreak, I've practiced meditation, received therapies, coped through writing, singing and surrounding myself with good community. I've picked up healthy and fun habits and hobbies.
Now I know that these things are good and I will continue to do them, but now, it is time I stop fighting alone and get the help my body needs.
I've tried EMDR Therapy since my best friend died of a Postpartum Psychosis Suicide. It is not helpful for me. Perhaps if I've only experienced 1 or 2 traumatic episodes, then EMDR could help me. My experience, however, was that opening one door to a past trauma only triggered another one. It was a domino effect and I felt paralyzed in thought, anxiety and fear. This fed my passive suicidal ideation.
When I began having panic attacks in response to 2 year long court hearings repeating details of sexual abuse from my Dad to Legal Professionals and family members in the court room, they never stopped.
In the beginning of my history with panic attacks, Doctors didn't understand why they'd started. They were then called "stress-induced and Asthma-related episodes." For an entire summer, if I were to inhale too quickly (while talking, eating or laughing) I'd begin hyperventilating so much that I'd excite my body to projectile vomiting before coming to a calm.
Other times, I felt as though an elephant were sitting on my chest and there was no way of getting them to leave me. So I felt trapped and fighting to breathe. In the fight, I'd begin thinking I was about to die because I couldn't breathe. I'd panic and all at once, hope for that outcome. My feet would go numb before my hands, lips and tongue would follow suit.
This was all while practicing prayerful considerations, amongst great support systems, journaling and seeing counselors. Mind you, these were high stress situations such as: turning my Dad in as a sex offender, going into foster care and being pulled away from my mother without even a heads up, recognizing local men were stalking me relentlessly, being shunned from a ministry, grieving sudden deaths and more.
I've been apart of the church community, intermingling with people outside that bubble, influenced by those who are woo practitioners and Doctors as well. Everyone has an opinion. It is mine that matters.
Just recently, I decided to allow my heart, mind and body to communicate my need to me. I've listened to so many others tell me what to do for so long and now, its my turn to decide. It's always been my turn, and this time, I'm taking it unapologetically.
Only I know what goes on in my silence. Only I know how challenging things are for me or what triggers me most. What I am dealing with is symptoms of a panic disorder and continued fighting against depression. I am coping with PTSD. I am deciding not to do it the harder way anymore so that I don't feel so paralyzed from all the effort.
I now take Xanax and Zoloft. Over the years, I've been offered an antidepressant twice and refused it. I was so influenced by the people around me who's convictions stood against Doctors and prescription medications.
I've had loved ones supporting me so well! They recognize how self-aware I am. I have my Doctor in the loop, a Psychology friend, am seeking a Psychiatrist and have let my friends know what I'm dealing with for accountability. I am overboard surrounded with support!
Some feedback has been tearful. Some people hate that I'm taking medicine and tell me that I'm stronger than that, or to try more of something else. Guys, I've tried. My body is tired and the peace I feel when I can take a Xanax as needed brings me the most relief I've had in years! I cannot do this alone anymore. People come and go and I'll be here all the while. I won't always have people to depend on in these times; so I'm popping the pills. I'm going to continue to pray, involve amazing things and opportunities in my life and I am going to continue fighting passive suicidal ideation so that it does not progress as active.
My plea, is that we would challenge ourselves to listen to people to understand, not to respond. Sometimes I feel when people pray for the benefit of someone else's healing, it still comes across as selfish. To me, it sounds like, "Lord, I pray this person's convictions are the same as mine so that I'm comfortable with them.". Yuck. If you are for or against something, that's ok and its great! I'm glad you are passionate! I am glad you have an opinion! Keep it, allow it to be influenced by different perspectives and decide to keep it or throw it on your own accord. Offer that same freedom to others, for your way of living will not be the same as everyone else's.
This is where I'll tap into unconditional love. I've felt unconditional love when people I love have heard me out and while I know they don't agree with my choice, they still ask questions to help them understand my struggles and needs rather than judging me. I couldn't process through surrendering to medication without people like these.
Those with loud opinions lose some respect from me. I have sympathy for them as they can only see so far; they aren't allowing themselves to think outside of their box so they can understand the one I'm in.
Regardless to what you believe about the world and people in it, you can support and show love to people with different convictions and coping mechanisms. It is called unconditional love, it is called empathy and practicing those two things could make Miss America's dreams for world peace, a reality.
Are you up for the challenge?