About this blog:
This was once a missionary blog. It was an outlet for my nerves and excitement as I set out to serve the Lord full time. I enjoyed writing it. Now I’m adding to it and shifting the focus in the name of sharing my experiences with mental illness (more about that later). If one human being who thinks they are the only one who feels the way they feel and has no idea what to do about it reads this, I will be content. If no one reads it, I will be content. I believe that words can have power to heal their writer.
*Disclaimer* I know that talking about mental illness can be tricky. My words are in no way doctrine and I’m far from being a doctor. Please take into your heart only the things that help YOU. Everything I share is truth from my perspective. If you have anxiety/depression or think you might, read on with caution. If you feel the slightest bit triggered, put it down.
I served for 14 months in the great Texas McAllen mission. I knocked doors, talked to people on the street, handed out pass-along cards, washed dogs, painted a house bright orange, and gave every kid I met a sticker. This was my humble offering to Heavenly Father and my attempt to invite others to come unto Christ. The experiences I had in that time are sacred to me and I have more love for South Texas and the people there than ought to be allowed.
I also developed severe anxiety and depression on my mission. At first I didn’t know what I was feeling and thought I might be dying. I went to doctor’s appointments every month for a while, took 9 different medications, went to therapy, kept journals, and did meditation. I played with a yo-yo and carried a worry rock and blew bubbles and colored with gel pens and ran barefoot on the concrete. Some days all I could do was shower. I fought with all the strength I could to stay in the mission field. But I was weak, I wasn’t eating, I had lost a lot of weight and I was having suicidal thoughts. So on November 23rd, 2016 the Lord called me to return home.
My journey since then has been long and beautiful, dark and light and everything in between. I’ve learned more about God and myself and other people from this experience than I could have ever imagined. I’ve seen four doctors, three therapists and been on 3 new medications since being home. There are times that I think I might never get more than 3 or 4 good weeks. But I keep moving forward, searching for the miracle that will lift the darkness for good.
I try to put all my faith and prayers into each new thing (doctor, medication, strategy) that I try, hoping it just might be the miracle I seek. My current Miracle is called the OCD and Anxiety Treatment Center. There, it was determined that I was actually living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I was in an Intensive Outpatient Program for four weeks and it was the first time will be devoting all of my time to my mental health. It changed who I am and how I live my life. I’m still on a path to really understanding myself and learning to live the life Heavenly Father has given me. Aren’t we all though?
You’re all invited along that journey with me.