Ministry Major Malaise

I wish that I could write a post that fully shows how much depression sucks. I wish that there was a way I could let you take a peek into my world and what it's like living in this world. A world where you don't trust anyone, lest of all yourself. A world where it's like you're reaching and grasping for something, a shred, a spark, but perhaps it just doesn't exist. A world where it feels like a game of Jenga, and that you never know if the next block being removed will cause you to wobble, collapse, or stay sturdy.

But yet, I'm taking a break from writing about depression to try and write about something else. Because it all interlinks together. It all fits together, somehow, someway. It all overlaps and it's all a part of the same puzzle.

I'll be honest, I haven't talked a lot about my week at IHOP. How it completely shattered my faith. How in so many ways, it screwed up how I view God. How it completely broke me. How it played mind games with me. How I went on such an emotional roller coaster. And frankly? I feel stupid! HOW could one week, "onething", affect me so deeply? It was just a week, for God's sake! There's no reason it should have shattered my faith so badly, that it should have so badly demented how I see God. There's no reason, and I beat myself up constantly for it. I know who God is. I know logically, I know all the facts, but convincing my heart to believe what my head knows is a struggle.

I find myself on the brink of self injury. Why, you say? Your scars are fading. You've been free for so long. Why would you throw all that away for just a few moments of solace, of false serenity, of bittersweet relief? IT HELPS. It lets me out of my inner hell, my inner demons, for just a little while, and that is help enough. It's not worth it in the long run, but sometimes we do things that aren't worth it in the long run just because we don't know better. But no, how dare I ruin God's temple. How dare I screw up the gift God gave me. How dare I turn to myself! I'm a pathetic excuse for a Christian because allegedly His blood was enough so I don't need to shed my own. (You will see how this relates, I hope, and this paragraph isn't just random).

I'm struggling to keep my head afloat. I'm struggling to keep normal sleep patterns, eating patterns, living patterns. I find myself escaping to books, video games, TV shows, and movies just to try and get a break from my brain, from my crazy self. And what I hate the most? Several years ago, I'd turn to God. Several years ago, I'd pray. Several years ago, I'd find refuge in my faith. And now I don't. Now my faith, the very thing I'm studying in college, the very thing I desire more than anything to do with my life, is what is scaring me and plummeting me deeper into the pits of despair. I find myself angry at God: angry at Him for allowing that week, angry at Him for allowing all the hellish moments of my life. Then I get angry at myself for getting angry at God because who am I to be so angry at Him? I find myself angry from events at old churches that shook, shattered, and tore my faith to shreds. I find myself furious of what people do in the alleged name of God, the horrible hurtful things they do - some intend to hurt, some because people are just sometimes dunderheads.

And yet, I hurt myself. Because I see how I am not worthy. I see how I am a bad Christian, and maybe all those terrible lies I believe in reality are true. Maybe there's a reason I went through those various church and ministry-place-related struggles, because they're the truth. Logically, I know that's a bunch of bullcrap, but who said my brain is always logical?

And worst of all, I'm terrified. What if I make some mistake in the ministry? What if I totally screw someone up, shake their faith, tear their soul to shreds? How would I ever live with myself? What if I mess someone up as badly as I was messed up? Am I being rational? Am I irrational? Would I have these fears if it were not for how badly I've been hurt "in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?" What would church pastors say to me? What would fellow Christians say to me? What would atheists say to me?

It's difficult. I've been hurt in so many ways, by so many people. And an age-old saying is "hurting people hurt people." What if... what if I hurt someone? What if my hurt ruins someone else? Is it just a vicious cycle that will never be ended?


Because reason says I should have died three years ago

Living with depression sucks. Plain and simple. There's no way to candy-coat, sugar-frost it. It's a neverending nightmare that I feel trapped in. I have moments of happiness, but at the same time, I feel overwhelming anguish. I try to hide it, try to convince the world I'm fine with a smile and a joke. Kind of funny how humour is a coping tool, just like being cynical and sarcastic is. We all cope in so many ways, eh?

I haven't been suicidal in a long, long time and of that, I'm glad. But at the same time, I still feel overwhelming pain. At times I want to cease to exist: not die, per se, but not exactly live either. I want to find a state where I can just be nothing. Feel nothing. See nothing. Hear nothing. Just for a break from myself. Just for a time out from life.

And I'm scared. What if I'm this way forever? What if it never changes? What is this is truly all there is?


You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one

I have so many dreams and hopes and wishes but I am so terrified that they won't come true. I dream and long for these things so badly, but at the same time I'm so scared they won't come true. What if I'm a disabled girl living on disability forever? What if I never achieve my dreams, and I'm just hoping for nothing?

What if I dream and find myself longing for things, and never achieve them? I long to visit Australia. I long to work with children with special needs in a ministry setting. But what if I'm not good enough? What if I don't make it?

What if I'm never able to achieve my hopes? What if I'm a failure forever? What if I never graduate college? Never get a real job? Never get to visit other countries?

I am so terrified of not achieving my dreams that maybe one day I will give up dreaming.


Does my Daddy love me? Probably not

I miss my dad. Even though Bob Kelso said it best:

But it doesn't change the fat that he was my father, that is is my dad.
And I miss him.

He can't remember the times that he thought,
Does my Daddy love me? Probably not
That didn't stop him from wishing that he did
Didn't stop him from loving and worshiping him
He guesses he saw him about once a year
He can still feel the way he felt, standing in tears
Stretching his arms out as far as they'd go
Whispering "Daddy, I want you to know
I love you  this much,
And I'm waiting on you
To make up your mind, do you love me today?
However long it takes, I'm never giving up
'Cause no matter what, I love you this much."
-Jimmy Wayne


I am more than what I look like, and I'm more than where I've been

I am Nora. I also answer to Ang, Angel, Anniebear, Norabear, Liquie, Lique, and a plethora of other names. Never call me Angie. I am obsessed with Pokemon and Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts and The Legend of Zelda, Mario and Knights of the Old Republic. I read manga and watch anime. I never match my socks.

I love pictures and my picture frames are everywhere (not quite everywhere as one fell off the wall today. Oops. Must fix that tomorrow). I love fleecey blankets. I love my stuffed animals. I love books. I collect DVDs. I collect soundtracks in languages other than English for no reason other than it's fun. I hate wearing velcro shoes.

I love my friends and am fiercely loyal. You mess with them, you're messing with me. I love and laugh and play. I love to sing. I used to play violin, but it's been years. I can also play recorder and tin whistle. I know that makes me wicked awesome. I also clearly enjoying using slang that makes me sound like I'm from England, but since I have a speech impediment might as well make people think it's a bloody accent, since I get asked that constantly, right?

I love Harry Potter and Narnia. I love cups of hot chocolate with whipped cream and nutmeg, and cups of tea with milk. I love The Princess Bride and Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Fruits Basket and Fullmetal Alchemist, Air and Kiki's Delivery Service. I'm a Disney nut and I know a great amount of random Disney trivia that can dazzle your mind. I collect sock monkeys and ladybugs, decks of cards and Beanie Babies. I love penguins and elephants, keychains and postercards.

I like playing in the snow although I hate the cold, I love being barefoot in the grass. I love the feeling of fleece against my skin, I love the feeling of a warm heated blanket. I hate hugs and physical affection, but at the same time it's what I crave and long for.

I suffer from many disabilities and do not know what it's like to live a day without physical pain. I also suffer from major depressive disorder, ADD, anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, and eating disorder not other specified along with suspected OCD, nonverbal learning disorder, and other things. I have too many physical ailments to list. I have both visible and invisible disabilities  but none of them are who I am and none of them define me.

This is who I am. Not just the last paragraph, but all the paragraphs. I am not just a cripple. I don't have faith that can move mountains just because I'm disabled and I'm not a superhero. I'm a regular person, just like anyone else. I'm a person who wants friends, who craves love and acceptance. I'm Nora, above it all. I'm no different than you, please don't treat me like I'm a lesser person just because I happen to be handicapped.

I hear the comments you make behind my back, and you can really bugger off. I watch you laughing as I'm struggling to open the door. I hear the snide remarks. I see the dirty looks. I'm not blind, I'm not deaf. And even if I were, you'd still be an asshole for acting like that. I'm a human being, despite my disabilities. I'm Ang, no matter how you slice it.

You don't have to act different around me, just because I'm Angelique: Optional Parts Not Included (And Even Missing Key Parts!). I'm still a friend you can trust, someone who would love to watch movies and play video games with you. It doesn't matter that I'm broken, because one day I will be mended albeit it may not be during this lifetime.

I am a person who loves rarely but deeply, who just wants someone to understand that I'm more than a disabled person. I just want people to realize that disabled people are just like anyone else. Even though at times we need more understanding, even though at times we may have to cancel plans last minute because we're sick, we're tired, we're hurting, we're in pain. We still are people, and just want to be treated as such.


Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road

It's a new year. 2013. I cannot believe it's 2013. This year will be seven years since I graduated, eight years since I last saw my father. Crazy how time flies. It's been a year of highs and lows, of getting an apartment, of finishing my first semester at a new school, of falling deeper into depression, of riding the health rollercoaster. Of repairing broken relationships. Of building friendships.

It's been over three years since I last cut. Crazy, huh? Some days I find myself wanting to lapse back into because it helps dammit but I know it's a really poor life choice, It's stupid and foolish, and it's sick and twisted, but isn't that what addiction is? It's the very thing we hate, driving us to do the very thing we don't want to do with such a sick, burning passion. It's kind of like lyrics from a BNL song " And the very fear that makes you want to die / Ends up the same as what keeps you alive / It's way more trouble than some suicide is worth."

It's so surreal that it's another year, another year to explore. Another year of ups, another year of downs. As I continue my therapy journey, my medical journey, what will it bring? Will I only find more pain? Will I finally find hope? Will I learn how to love again? What will the doctors learn, what medications and tests will they put me through this year?

What will this next year bring? More fears? Or joy and peace at last?