Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Where did that girl go?

On Sunday I had a short conversation with my worship leader that ended in me sending him some recordings/videos of my voice. If you know me you know this came as a shocking surprise and instantly sent me into an anxiety spiral. I know that God gave me a voice and that I am to use it to honor Him. He has made that abundantly clear, what isn't so clear is why I still dislike the sound of my voice, critique and rip every performance to shreds. Hello insecurity.

While digging through old Youtube videos and sound board mixes I stumbled across a class performance of " You Said"
One of the girls singing was beautiful. You could tell she sparkled despite the bad video quality. Her voice was powerful and it was evident she believed every word she was singing. She didn't seem to care her hair was a mess or that she was the largest person on stage. She was living her dreams and had everything going for her that day.

That girl was me.

I sobbed as I watched it over and over along with many others. I can't find that girl. Where did she go? Did I leave her in Australia? Did depression and mental illness rob me of my sparkle? I haven't sang like that in a while on stage. I do in my "Sheldon spot" 4th row end chair from the last section at church now, I'm so far back so that no one can hear me and so I don't distract many with my semi extravagant worship (disclaimer, I love my church and if I were to stand front and center, no one would notice or care, hello insecurity again).  I miss her.

 The woman I've become is so so so much stronger than that girl was though. If I told her about the weeks she would stay in bed, how many jobs she'd lost or quit because life was too hard to handle at times, If I told her about her friends and church forcing and paying for her to seek help, or that she would gain 80lbs,  she would have laughed in my face.

I've been on this medicine for 5 months now and I'm starting to see glimpses of her again. God reminded me of that Monday as I was getting ready for bible study goofing off with my Mom pretending I had on parachute pants and it was hammer time. He's reminding me as I try and come out of my shell, make friends and invite people places and into my life, that girl loved people and community. The last 5 years may have been dark, scary and hard but I'm still in there. I'm still me.

Love this from Hillsong Young and Free- This is living (I personally love the acoustic version. Real one is great but way to "peppy" for me)
See the sun now bursting through the clouds
Black and white turns to color all around
All is new, in the Savior I am found

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New year!

I woke up this morning and couldn't help but think about last year. I'm at my friend David's house south of Seattle. I cooked, we shot off fireworks and showed his Australian friend how Americans do NYE.
Today we are putting our Hillsong College educations to use and busting out a youth formal today. I don't know how but I'm I charge of the food. Luckily we have about 200 pizza rolls, bagel bites and other wonderful "finger foods". How did I get here? When I met David 4 years ago I never would have dreamed we'd be here.

This week has been horribly hard. I made it through Christmas without a total melt down but not this week. I can't shake the loneliness. The need to be with people who know me, knew my year and walked in and out of the hellish pit last year. People who understand why I cry for no reason, long to visit Sydney and want nothing more than to see the boys again. God has placed wonder new friends in my life at work and church but in my heart I wanted to be home. Though home is a place that doesn't exist anymore...

Last year at this time my greatest fear was that the boys would get taken away. Then it happened. My heart broke in so many ways. I spent most of the later part of the year attempting to recover from that. After another few trips down the depression hole I didn't think I'd make it to 2015, let alone be functioning and medicated enough to hold a stressful job, find a new church and attempt to find my way here in Washington.

2014 taught me that through Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit I'm much stronger than I thought.

Last year I
became a mom.
Fell back in love with Worship.
I went to concerts and musicals and tried to make myself remember what fun felt like.
In the end my heart was broke. But I experienced this insane overwhelming love for Ivan and Marcus.
Climbed of out my pit and into medication
I lost 37.8 lbs!
Met Bill ( best friends baby) and became aunt Sarah.
And moved to Seattle.

For once I'm looking forward to this year, closing a few chapters behind me and focusing on me and my health.
2015 should be the best yet!!!

Ps these pictures were not meant to reflect my weight loss but because they are in order they have...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Oops I forgot my meds ( sung to the tune of oops I did it again)

As much as the weather kills me here for a few days last week I forgot about my depression. It may have been raining but my little black rain cloud was the furthest from my mind. So much so I forgot my meds. I'm not sure how many days and I'm not sure I want to know. I was up up way up most of the night and sleep was just not happening. I knew. The meds. I moved to the living room so I didn't bother my mom with my sobs because I knew the roller coaster that was coming. 
I fell asleep again for a few hours and when I awoke it was back. The sinking feeling in my head, the despair, and the rain. All before opening my eyes I knew today and a few following are going to be rough.

I should be celebrating the bible study I went to last night was great. I even felt comfortable, I'm thankful I've found a church here and can even get past the 60+ min sermons because I know God has called me there. Not to mention the wonderful co workers I'm around today. We had such a fun outing this weekend and I'm just so so thankful I work here.

All I want is to be around my church family and friends who know me, know my illness, my moods and can hold me while I cry. It's so so hard for me to meet people and be open. It's exhausting pretending to have it together!

At the same time I see a light at the end of this tunnel because in all reality I'm thankful I had enough "good" days in a row I forgot the meds.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

dreams, half marathons, and more

When I was little I wanted to be on broadway, be in the WNBA, a vet, and back on broadway. I loved to sing and dance and was surrounded by people (mostly family) telling me that I could actually do it. I could dream big and be whatever I wanted to be. Deep down I knew they didnt really believe that and I would never be on broadway. Same for the WNBA. I always thought I was too fat and not good enough to do any of those things. But my family still kept on the  you can be anything in the world mindset. A teacher put the nail in the broadway coffin once by saying " there are enough fat actresses on Broadway, you should stick to ag where you belong" so I did. I gave up, and dropped out of drama. Much to my surprise I won state in that year (they didnt), in multiple FFA team events, and somehow was the best poultry judger in the state. If you know me now you most likely know that story, because I'm proud of it........ because I did it. Me... miss too fat and not good enough won.
I am still so so proud.
Same goes with my finishing my 4 5ks... I finished. I'm proud. I did that. me. 100 lbs over weight, un healthy, depressed me. Finished 4 races. 

Sometimes I wish I could go back to that Sarah.

I'm reading a book called "Lets All Be Brave", there is a chapter called just start, how God made you for a purpose and sometimes you just have to start, even if you think you'll fail.

I decided it was time to go back to my half marathon training. I started looking online and realized that the Seattle Half Marathon is at the end of November. I jumped out of bed and ran in the other room to my mother to ask if she though I could do it.
She said no.

I then retreated back to my room and texted a friend to see if he thought I could do it... he didn't say no, but he nicely said he didn't think it was the best idea.

I got mad, then hurt, then cried a few moments and thought oh well. I proceeded to convince myself I couldn't do it anyways.

Until today.
Today  I started reading "Lets All Be Brave" again. I finished the chapter and then walked 3.5 miles.... Day one of my 8 week half marathon training.
I talked to mom about it again at dinner and we agreed that I would start training and as it got closer go to the dr to make sure im healthy enough... turns out she wasnt really meaning to be a dream crusher, its just how it came out. I said "you think i can do this?" she said "no." end of story... she left out the my heart health isnt the best at the moment part.... I just heard no.

 Ive learned alot in the past few years of spiraling depression ..... I've learned I just dont try anymore. I believe I cant do anything and have completely stopped trying.

I've given up on loosing 100 lbs...
given up on actually going back to australia, ( I should be there right now... I had a trip planned)
given up on being mentally stable,
and being the person I know God made me to be.

So if this turns into another one of my I can do it, failed attemps at something blog so be it.
At least I tried. and will hopefully keep trying......

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sarah in Seattle

To me its home of
Coffee- Which I don’t drink
Hipsters – Who don't exactly mix with my small town county self
Salmon – which I don’t eat
Rain and gloom- Which don’t mix with Depression

Yet somehow God has open some doors or giant windows I have no choice to walk through. I mean I'm kicking and screaming but gonna go anyways. Cause I think its time for an adventure, I mean come on, we all know I'm allergic to life in Austin.

So yes its official I'm moving to Seattle. Luckily for me some close friends are making the jump too. Basically I'm hitch hiking with them all the way to my moms.

I'll be living with her while I attempt to get my mental health under control, a job, and some money in my pockets.

All in all I really am excited about this adventure. I have about a week left and tons to due.

You can pray pray pray for
safe travels
Calm emotions
someone to buy my non running car
the energy to pack
Stephanie and Andrew while we figure out what to do with my part of the lease and/or the money to pay out the last two months.
My mother and I while we attempt to live together again after 9 years
Calm emotions
a new home church
supernatural knowledge of Seattle's public transportation
Calm emotions
and most importantly a job.

If you are a super packer or just want to visit please feel free to come by!

Secretly, or not so secretly, I'm really hoping this is a segway back to oz but who knows what God has in store.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Bus stop HATE

As y’all know the bus stop isn't my favorite place. If you've been in my neighborhood at night you understand why unless given a ride, I don't leave the house after dark. Our part is great but the bus stop is not. The walk there is brutal on most days but sometimes in the morning its cool enough to actually be enjoyable.

This morning was one of those. I got all dressed up to go to an interview, did my makeup, hair, and pulled myself together with my “FFA Disney overdone” smile and rockin personality to go yet another interview. I was so peppy I got to the bus stop early enough to “treat” myself to a kolache and bottle of water from the store across the street, though I wonder if there is a market for bus stop vending machines?

I make it back to the stop and next thing I know a middle aged man ( if I explained him further some might call me racist) was sitting next to me, all of my senses were off (I think due to new meds), yet my gut told me to get up an run.... fast. Of course I ignored my gut because we all know I don't run. Plus I was really excited to eat my breakfast (when you dont have a job a kolache is a spulrge). He keeps talking and next thing I know it I was being touched.

For some reason I felt like I was in a dream state mixed with lots of Seriously! After everything going on in my life right now this cant be really its 9:30 in the morning, all I want this job and to eat...... this isnt real.. God seriously... It was real and it was happening.

Fast forward passed the touching, yelling, comments, the purse grab, the 911 call and me shoving him away.

Lucky for me there was a patrol in the area... ya know.... cause this is the “east” side or whatever. It took the police hardly anytime to get there and I was super impressed. I did however wish I was in Snyder where someone on the block has a gun near their porch but nope. I'm in hipster land.

During one of my crying spells with the police, trust me there were lots, I was so mad about the kolache. Leave it to the fat girl to cry cause some jerk took her food. I mean the touching I can deal with but not the food. That jerk took my 99 cent kolache, UGH. The two policemen agreed that all of my inappropriate comments were better than just having a complete melt down and that lots of people use humor to cope.

Rewind to yesterday. I cheated on my diet and made Alfredo for the first time in months. It was wonderful, until I spent most of the day “hugging the porcelain throne” while my body rejected all that pasta.
Then today I got the Kolache.

Moral of the story is that I should never cheat on my diet..... or maybe just avoid that bus stop. Or both.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Invisible Illness

I'm currently sitting on a blanket outside in my back yard staring at the clouds and trying to force myself not to think. I set a timer for 15 mins just so I could be outside today. On of the many things I “should” do to help myself heal while the medicine does its job

Eat 3 meals a day
Take the medicine
Keep your space livable
dont shut people out
apply for jobs
Dont worry about my non working car
Exercise at least 15 mins a day
Keep up with therapy and appointments
Don't isolate
Don’t spend too much time on social media
Listen to music
Limit TV
Have fun
Keep it to your self
Learn to say no
Learn to relax
Sleep well
Keep a list of your symptoms
Learn your triggers
Don't think about Australia
Focus 100 % on finding a job
Read more
Pray harder
Don't blame your self
Don't take naps
Answer the phone even if you dont want to
Just Smile
Choose Joy

This is a list of things that I need to do, someone has told me to do, or have found online when suffering from Mental illness.

Personally its all extremely overwhelming. How about we add breath, don't scream at people, and turn on the lights to the list. These are the hardest for me at the moment. 

I like Sundays. I can function on a Sunday, at least for about 4 hours or so before retreating to nap the day away. Its in those hours at church when I remember who I once was and can still be again. Its singing or laughing or just sitting around watching people and their families that reminds me that I am in fact still alive and breathing. Sometimes it feels like this is all just a dream ( dont worry, they say its a symptom and total normal for someone with my mental state).

The rest of the week is the hard part. Mondays blah, Tuesdays Blah- unless we have bible study and I get enough willpower to take the bus to get there, Wednesdays more blah- unless bible study repeat process, Thursdays nope, Friday and Saturday are the worst. They are the days in which I want to get out and have fun but cant. I just sit here doing the same things over and over but adding the seeing friends out having fun while I sit at home thing. ( which sometimes makes the depression worse. Its a viscous cycle)
Just know that I'm trying. Trying to function, trying to leave the house, trying to hold on the the last threads of friendship that I haven't pushed away or blocked out. I'm in my late 20s and I should have my crap together now, or at least a plan on how I'm going to get there.

I've learned some things in the online/pintrest world called “Invisible Illnesses”. These people may not look sick, or show their symptoms (some life threatening) on the outside but fight a unseen battle daily. I'm not just talking about Depression, Bipolar, or Mental illnesses, Lupus, Fibromialgia, Chronic Fatigue are all examples of Invisible Illnesses. If you know someone (besides me) suffering from an “Invisible Illness” reach out to them. They might need it, they might not even know they need it but they do. Just a simple thinking about you will suffice, you dont have to visit or bring them meals ( though for some that is needed) or spend hours on the phone listening to them cry. For me personally its extremely hard to answer the phone or texts sometimes, You might think well she isn't “doing” anything else... yes, I am. I'm trying to live without spending every day crying for hours on the bathroom floor ( more on my “safe” place later). It doesn't mean they don’t effect me or encourage me. This week I had one of my super good friends growing up message me just to say hang in there and don’t give up, It meant the world. Another friend keeps sending me pictures of her precious baby girl with have a good day messages. I got about 6 before I ever responded, yet she kept sending them. Casey calls me everyday when he gets off work, even if I'm a total Bword to him for no reason(besides the obvious fact that im cray cray right now). Then there is Jared who doesn't complain when insomnia kicks in and I blow up his phone since Australia time difference means he is awake.
Not exactly sure why this iceberg resembles Africa.

People don't need lists of things they should and shouldn't do to cope.

People need love, support, and comfort even if they don’t want it.

They NEED it.

Mental illness is selfish, and ugly but at the end of the day we are still called to love just as Jesus did. Something I think the Church can work on. So I'm starting with me, Im going to attempt to love as Jesus did, despite my issues.