Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Coffee-d Thoughts

Anxiety and depression are a part of life on earth. Even though one can be cured of anxiety and depression, he/she can never be completely immune from it or its effects.

Everyone goes though times of anxiety, stressful situations, fear and worry, money problems, etc. No matter how mentally "healthy" you are, you will still experience anxiety. "Life is pain, highness, and anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something!" to quote the classy Wesley of the classic movie Princess Bride.

In the same way, everyone goes through depressing times. Break-ups, losing a job, failed expectations, and so on.

To the degree at which it interferes with your life, determines whether you could be diagnosed with "Anxiety Disorder" or "Clinical Depression", for example.

But once you get help for these mental illnesses, dealing with the "normal" stress and discouragement in life is much MUCH more productive. This is where coping skills come in.

Some people don't get help for anxiety and depression because they think that's life....which it IS! But the difference is, when you have a mental illness, the depression and anxiety are always present or debilitating at the worst times.

It's very hard to realize you have a mental illness. Usually, your loved ones will let you know something is not right. HOPEFULLY, your family and friends can help you get through this life-threatening disease.

You are not a wimp if you get treatment for a mental illness. Sure everyone goes through depressing circumstances or stressful situations. But not everyone HAS anxiety and/or depression.

Listen to and trust your loved ones. Don't listen to the disease...it just wants you dead. We want you here for a long LONG time.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Miraculous Eating Disorder Recovery


I look back on all the horror of my eating disorder and I feel like I am where I am today by nothing short of a miracle.

How is it possible that I recovered from such a distorted relationship with food and a horrendously negative body image? I am at a loss to detail the journey. I'm sure I'll still try though.

What were the specific steps I took for healing? I don't know. I wish I could spell it out day by day to help others who are also suffering with this awful disease. I don't know how to help though.

All I know is that five years ago, I wanted to die.

All I know is that I wanted to kill myself.........but I couldn't.

The main thing, the one and only thing, that stopped me from "going through with it" was, "I am too fat to be found dead."

..........I am too fat to be found dead? What. the. hell.

Seriously. This is the sad truth. The only thing that kept me from killing myself was the FEAR of the judgement of my "fat, dead body".

That is how much I hated my body. That is how much I hated myself because of my body. That is how much I was suffering.

Ironically, the eating disorder was simultaneously killing me AND keeping me alive...it was nothing short of torture. Every single day was sheer torture.

My severely depressed brain would only take comfort in my vow to postpone killing myself until I was as skinny as I thought I should be.

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Why am I so passionate about having a healthy relationship with food?

Why do I shudder and cringe when I hear people talk about "good food/bad food", losing weight, and diets?

Why do Fitbits and "getting your steps in" make me want to scream?

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This perspective is a result of the road I've been traveling since high school. This is my perspective based on my experiences. I know not everyone will understand my passionate hate for Fitbits.

Because of my experiences, I general seclude myself from the outside, social world. I actually feel like it's my duty to guard my soul and stay away from certain situations, at this point in my life. I've been give this miraculously wonderful gift of eating disorder healing, a gift I am so unworthy of receiving, and I don't want to throw it away. Our society has absolutely no understanding of this gift and they will stop at nothing to rip me to shreds.

I don't follow current events. I don't have a smart phone. I don't have TV stations, so I don't have to watch commercials. I don't go on the Internet without a specific, intentional purpose. I don't have other social media besides a selective Instagram account, and I guess this blog counts too. And I don't go clothes shopping.

Don't worry, I do have indoor plumbing, a dishwasher, and a microwave.

However, I cannot watch a single college football game without encountering at least a dozen references and insinuations to the "Only Skinny is Sexy" agenda. Think I'm overeating? Don't believe me?  We are desensitized by the constant bombardment of the degradation of the human person. I am blown away in disgust at what I see on TV.

I have to do my clothes shopping online because every single retail clothing store makes me feel like "I am too big to be beautiful".

The world wants me to believe I am not good enough to be loved.

God wants me to rest in His constant, unwavering, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.

Are you placing conditions on who can love you and how they can love you? Think I'm overreacting? Surely things cannot be THAT bad?

We only get one life, one chance, one soul to serve the ONE GOD.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

For all the Christians suffering with depression

Depression is not "your" cross to "offer up".

Depression is not "yours" in the sense that it is not "yours alone". God is not commanding that you get through it by yourself or without help from other people. If you think it is "your" job to deal with your mental illness, then you are being prideful. Not recognizing that you have depression is one thing, but rejecting treatment on the account of your faith is quite another.

Depression is not something you should just "offer up", keep hidden, or try to mask with work or busyness. Offering up your suffering and uniting it with Christ's on the Cross is a very holy thing. But let's figure out what that really means.

Suffering is a part of daily life. It looks different now than it did even 50 years ago. But despite our smartphones, air conditioning, and microwaves, suffering keeps popping up in different forms! We just can't get rid of the darn thing.

Depression is excruciating suffering. First hand experience. Every task is an impossible mountain to climb. You can try and try to get through life and offer up the suffering, but eventually you will run out of reserves and are in danger of giving up. I think every healthy minded person can agree that suicide is not God's option for you.

When I had depression, I thought it was my cross, mine, to offer up. I kept trying and trying to offer up this suffering, but it was leading me further and further away from God. I didn't realize I had depression at first - it was just this suffering that I couldn't explain. I truly believed I had to work through it, offer it up, and be content with "God alone suffices".

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

-- St. Teresa of Avila


Does God alone suffice? Heck yes. Remember, He created us. He is our Divine Master. We are His. He created us. He created us as human beings with a soul .........and a body.

Is our body in the way? Sometimes it sure does feel like it.

God is not asking us to have a contest to see who can torture themselves the most. He is asking us to accept the suffering that has been given to us, not to go out and purposefully seek suffering for it's own sake in and of itself. Suffering is only good because it can lead us closer to God.

God alone suffices because......

......when the kids are hungry and crying at my feet and I'm also starving because it's an hour past lunch time, I serve them first because I know God alone suffices. I can sacrifice my needs in order to take care of them first. After they are ok, I can make lunch for myself. God alone suffices for me to delay my immediate needs to take care of others and serve Him through it.

God doesn't intend for me to give up eating entirely.

God alone suffices, because we are utterly dependent on HIM. Even though God alone suffices, I have to humbly eat to keep myself alive. I have to take showers and order more contacts...humbly. I am not a robot nor above human requirements.

Can you serve God when you have depression? Sure thing. But you can serve Him better when you are treating the depression. Can you serve God with a broken leg? Most definitely! But you can serve Him better when you are healthy. It would be ridiculous to reject a cast or disregard the advice to stay off your feet for a while in order to let your leg heal. When you get a broken leg, you are still offering up the suffering even if you humbly accept healing. We have to humble ourselves. It's all about humility. Humility through the suffering and the healing He give us. ...realize that He made us as human beings with a human body and He asks us to take care of it.

Humility.

Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. Sometimes, the suffering we have in this life is not related to whether or not we "earned it". Depression is not the result of something you did or did not do. You do NOT deserve depression.

Theologically speaking, we "deserve" far worse. Because of our sins, our perfectly just God has the power to send us all to eternal suffering. But in His Mercy, He sent His Son to suffer for us. Any suffering we have, any sacrifices we make, can NEVER make us worthy of Heaven!! We can only get to Heaven because Jesus died on the cross FOR us.

So let's humbly accept our measly little suffering God gives us in order to let us be a part of His eternal plan.

It's like when I let my son, Dominic, help me make cookies. The whole time I'm thinking, "patience, patience, patience". Is Dominic helping? Well, yes, but my two year old couldn't do it on his own.

We know this life on earth is not our end goal. That's what makes us different. That's what makes us unique from the rest of the Godless society. It is easier to live through the suffering now, because, when we've done everything we can to take care of ourselves and still experience suffering, we can take comfort in the fact that it is only temporary.

Living in the world but not of the world -- Not that we reject our humanity and try to live as Gods.

We have to live in this world until God says our time is up. Because it's all about His timing, He requires us to take care ourselves until He calls us home.

Treat your depression. Don't reject the medicine or counseling because you think God is asking you to get through it on your own. He's not. He's asking you to humble yourself and ask for help so that you may serve Him to your fullest potential and help other people along the way.