Healing

In trying to get back into the swing of posting regularly, I’m participating in 5 Minute Fridayhosted by Kate Motaung.

The rules are: each week there will be a new word/theme, and bloggers write about it for five minutes; no over-thinking, no over-editing. Just writing.

This week’s word: Heal

Ready? GO

I don’t talk to a lot of people about this, but the first time I knew I was depressed and felt hopeless, like, really hopeless, I was in 6th grade.

At the ripe old age of 11, I was convinced of some pretty big lies about myself & the world:

I’m worthless
I have no purpose

I’m unwanted and unlovable
Nothing will get better
This world is a terrible place
God obviously doesn’t love me if this is the life I have,
and His people absolutely don’t care about me.

I was convinced to the point of wanting to die…at 11.

And, you know what? Things didn’t get better.

At least, not right away. As a matter of fact, after deciding I wanted to actually live, things got worse, much worse.

But, here’s the thing about healing:

Sometimes, it takes time. Often, it takes time. Rarely does it happen over night.

This blog began near the end of my 10 year battle with depression, and the demons battling my soul.

I felt as if I had no voice…I had been writing for years, but never shared. And, there was so much God constantly laid on my heart to share…

God never left my side, not once.
And, if He never does anything else for me, I owe Him my life, simply for creating me & giving me my life.

And, I know my healing journey isn’t completely over. But, what a beautiful journey it’s been…

STOP


I used to think my path was about being a voice for the voiceless but, I’ve discovered that no one is truly voiceless.

I believe the path God has before me is to be a voice for the temporarily voiceless, while helping them find their voice, tell their story. We each have a story, cloudy & messy as it may be. And, each of us has a beautiful, unique voice to contribute to the world.

It is my desire to help others discover and share theirs, while reminding them of the Beauty & Grace of the Author.

One of those precious souls, is a friend of mine from school. Not that she needed any help finding her voice, but she is now boldly sharing on her own blog, opening it up for discussion, out of her own place of exploration and healing. Go check her out and show her some love…

If you are where I was, I encourage you: reach out to someone. Reach out to me. Reach out to a trusted friend.

Pray. Pray for peace & healing.

Take care of yourself. You are precious.

Let that healing journey begin today; and know that I am praying for each person who reads these words.

It’s Time

Belittled. Demeaned.
Hiding in her room.
Creeping down hallways,
Tears staining a frightened face.
Stop the yelling!
It’s too loud…
Why do you tell everyone you’re so proud?
Do you even know what love is,
When smiling photos are just a lie?
This is God’s plan, they say.
So, He wants little girls and boys to 
Suffer this way?
Who couldn’t even make their own choices,
Or know of anything else?
Stay strong, they say.
As if I have another choice.
Just give it to God, they say.
But, wait, didn’t they say it’s been
In His hands all along?
How do I trust the God who led me here…
Again?
Where do I begin…
Again?
Lord, I do believe,
Now, please help me in my unbelief
Because, on my own 
I.Am.Nothing.
On my own, 
This will surely
Crush.My.Soul

10 years. 10 years I fought the biggest battle of my life. Depression came in 2nd only to my choking anxiety. Though, I felt insecure, sad, and confused early on – I was 10 years old when I can remember actual depression starting.

The dark cloud followed me. My world lacked definition and color. I existed in a grey world. Lacking joy. Lacking peace.

I was just a little girl…but one voice in my life told me a big lie, showed me his words were “true” and an enemy unlike any I could have imagined took hold.

But, though God had never abandoned me, He finally took hold. There was finally a release. And, for 8 years, I’ve been free. Beautifully free.

Six months back in the worst place I’ve ever known, around the most toxic person I’ve ever had to have in my life, and it’s almost back in full force.

When I moved back, I thought it could be different; things were getting better. I thought I could stay clean here – but I’ve relapsed.

I thought I had the tools – I do have the tools.
And, though I do this with others daily, still the question arises:

How do we use these tools when the toxic environment doesn’t change?

You see, we lack a voice.

Depression and anxiety have kept me so worried about my family that I have no voice – no way to expose the abuse & injustice done…Unfair for a 5 year old. Unfair for a 13 year old. Unfair for a 28 year old.

And, after all, who can I talk to in the church? The “safe place”.

Because, honestly, the church has, as a whole, been extremely irresponsible when it comes to Mental Health concerns & abuse.

Over the years, I’ve heard:

Well, what did you do?
He’s the head.
Your job is just to be submissive. Your mom, too.
This is God’s plan.
Just try to stay strong.
Shh. You can’t talk about that. Especially not here.
How he treats your mom is none of your business.

The most freeing words I’ve ever heard from a pastor was that the ABUSER breaks the covenant with God by abusing the power & breaking God’s will. Not the spouse. Not the kids.

This is why I have spent my entire adult life giving a voice to others’ struggles…reflecting places where I could not give a voice to my own. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

But I refuse to be afraid anymore.

So, I’ve decided to attempt to extend an olive branch, do some patch work, explain my side, demand a response, and let the chips fall where they may.

But, I will no longer stay silent. I will give a voice – finally, a true & honest voice – to my pain, my struggle. I will no longer live in fear or walk on eggshells.

Not for my family. Not in my church. Not in my life.

Because, I fully believe God did not intend for me to live this way.
He intended for me not to live in the darkness that has been so familiar, but in His light.
He did not intend for me to fear judgement of others, but to trust in His love.
His intent was not that children would be used, rejected, & broken,
But to be loved, trained, and disciplined through both.

You see, what happened in the darkness – secret things like this – are not meant to remain secrets (Mark 4:22, Matthew 10:26, Luke 8:17)… So, after 23 years, it’s time.

It’s no longer a burden I will carry. At least, not alone.


Linked up with Tuesday @ 10 over at FindingtheGraceWithin.

I am #ProHealth

A broken mind cannot produce a healthy body…and likely will destroy it…

Give…

That’s what this week’s Tuesday @ 10 prompt is over at Finding the Grace Within.

Mine will be quite a bit different, different than what I’m used to posting & different from what many are expecting to read when they see the prompt.

In 2015, I will give support; I will give inspiration; I will give encouragement. I.Will.Give.Hope.

A broken mind cannot produce a healthy body… and likely will destroy it.

Whether those of us who eat too much (& likely move too little…), or those who eat nothing at all; a need to be beautiful, loved, & accepted drives us to the darkness. Ana & Mia (or a false “body positive” attitude) whispers in our ears. And, it truly is but a whisper  – at first. Some of us refuse, defying their directive by shoveling food in. Still others give in, each day, as the whispers become louder, until Ana or Mia (or both) have taken over – completely.

And then, we feel not ourselves. But rather:
AM Ana
I AM Mia
I AM Fat

There is no longer a distinction – only the identity. 

But we are broken. Not in body, at least not at first. 
We are broken in mind. 

And, a broken mind cannot produce a healthy body…

       ——————————————————————————————————————-

I know I need to lose weight. I may be healthy now, but if I continue to keep carrying close to 200 lbs on my 5’5″ frame, I won’t be healthy long.

I refuse to give in to the whispers Ana or Mia sends my way. I refuse to even acknowledge the temptation to do this any other way than the healthy way. I will not limit my intake to an unhealthy intake simply for the sake of a better looking figure, an unattainable figure, an unhealthy figure.

On the flip side, I refuse to give into the “fat acceptance” movement. I refuse to lean on the excuses of heredity & metabolism. I refuse even the strong temptation to simply “love myself at any size”, because, honestly, I do love myself. But, I also cannot be blind to the fact that “at any size” would one day become a truly unhealthy size, because if we are honest, not all sizes are healthy – on either end of the spectrum.

I refuse to allow my mind to be hijacked by any trend or lie. I refuse to allow it to be tricked in the midst of my refusal to continue to hide behind my body fat.

Most of all: I will rely on Christ to keep my mind & body strong.

And, I will always be #prohealth #prorecovery #antiana #antimia #bodypositive #faster #smaller #stronger #fitspo #notthynspo #healthier #profitness #antibrokenness #prowholeness

In 2015, I will use my story to inspire those, on either side, who want to find a way back to the healthy spot… and I will always remind them it starts at the cross.

His scars cover mine.

You see, one of my goals in the Psych field is to research, shed light on, and treat adolescents with Eating Disorders (both over & under). Also, focusing on the big role Social Media plays today in promoting not only these Disorders, but many others, as well as other extra-societal rituals & practices among teens. These would include today’s #Ana, #Mia, & #Recovery communities, as well as the other side of the coin #bodypositive & #fatacceptance.

All of these young people need love, support, & prayer in the positive direction, the healthy direction; not in favor of their eating disorder.

I’d also like to be in a place of educating & alerting parents, loved ones, & educators on what they may be blind to, may be unaware of, or may be overwhelmed by.

I’ve shared the struggle these kids feel. I have an actual weight problem that has come from too much of the wrong stuff & too little of the right stuff. I have hated myself, hated my body, and hid the scars. I have battled the demons & heard the whispers.

But, my mind says, “you can change this – in a balanced, healthy way.” My confidence is high, where their’s is not. My mind is strong enough, my family supportive enough.

I know immediately that Ana is a fool, and Mia is a liar. I know immediately, also, that “at any size” will one day kill me, if I let it.

So, starting with my story, before I even get my degree, I will begin to give help to those who can’t seem to know this, or who won’t accept it, or who already find themselves slaves to Ana & Mia. Because,

A broken mind cannot produce a healthy body, and likely will destroy it…


If you have questions regarding these hashtags, or eating disorders, or if you have a story to share, feel free to let me know. You can reach me in the comment section or by email at candice@angelinkilluminations.com
We can make a difference if we are willing to stop hiding and start conversing.

 

One Day – A Lesson in Boldness

It was a cool October Saturday; it started off dreary, but by afternoon, the California sun was shining.


I was just getting over a bad cold and still feeling awful. I wanted nothing more than to stay home in bed, but instead, I had a mandatory all-day class. So, as I’m prone to when I don’t feel my best, I put on my comfy jeans, an over-sized sweatshirt, and pulled back my hair. And make-up? Forget it.

It seemed like a whatever kind of class, until the professor announced that most of the morning would be ice-breakers.

Round one – meet J. She became a wonderful inspiration & friend to me later in the program before she left school.

Round two – didn’t leave an impression.

Round three – left the biggest impression. I met the quiet guy who had been reading the sic-fi book when I came into the room. I’ll call him “Will”, because, he reminded me of Will Wheaton. Ironically enough, the ice-breaker question our professor wanted us to discuss was what we did when we were sick as children & how we take care of ourselves now. That, naturally, led to a discussion of The Big Bang Theory (which I had re-watched many episodes due to being down with the cold). 

There were a couple more ice-breaker rounds, but none really stuck with me.

 I just remember thinking, “hey, I made a new friend who is around my age and maybe just as much of a nerd as I am.”

Throughout the day, Will & I chatted a little bit more. About this book series, that tv show, why we are in the program.

The day drew to a close. Will and I were standing outside of the school talking & I found myself saying, “You know, I’m hungry. I was thinking about grabbing an early dinner at in-and-out, would you like to join me?”

The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them, before I could register what was happening. But, he said “sure, let’s go”.

So we went. One meal. One afternoon. About two and a half hours spent talking. Talking about a lot of things: from the inconsequential (tv shows, books, movies, food, music, work) to the more serious (why we had chosen this school, what populations we’d like to help, matters of faith [or lack-thereof], depression/anxiety & how people cope, drug addictions [his past, not mine]). So much covered in a short time. 

It was easy. I was relaxed, open, friendly. I was connecting with someone because I had made the decision to reach out. And, it was fun.

After that, a friendship began to slowly develop built on common interests. 

But, only a few months after that October day, the fledgling friendship was abruptly haulted because death is cruel and life is sometimes cut short unexpectedly.

Though this encounter had a tragic ending, it’s a reminder:
I made a connection, began a friendship, because I cast off fear of judgement & rejection and extended an invite that was met with a “yes”.

If I could do it then, I can do it now.

It was One day. One afternoon. 

It was a lesson in boldness.

Five Minute Friday – Write

I have been posting a lot lately… Mostly about my new adventures in dating.

But, today is Friday. And, that means a break from dating posts (or really any other kind of posts) to participate in Five Minute Friday. It’s a community of bloggers who write for five minutes, no extensive editing, no overthinking. 
And, this week’s topic is WRITE.

First will be my post, then, one of my works.
Ready? GO:

The compulsion is so great.
It is with me each day as I wake & each night as I end my day. It follows me always: an unrelenting passion.
Like an addiction that cannot be denied, even when I wish it silent.
A novel penned & published. A devotional in progress.
Poetry. Short stories. Works available on Amazon.
Facebook posts. Tweets. Blog posts.

Even my Instagram posts all have captions.

It’s part of my calling and cannot be denied.
It is a gift I can share with the world & I am learning to share it. Openly. Candidly.
STOP

Magnificent – Ephesians 2:10
I wonder if God exclaims
Magnificent!
When one of His courageous children
Begins to live out the 
Dream
He has placed in their heart.
God crafts each of us with such 
Care,
Making each of us a 
Beautiful masterpiece.
I can’t help but think
When one sheds the idea of
Impossible
He is in the heavens thundering
Magnificent!