Today’s Quote

Giant turtle and small gator touching

An alligator and big turtle that I saw together. What a showoff that would have been.

I saw this and knew that I needed to reblog it. My last few days have certainly been stressful. In fact, I nearly wanted to give up many times. “Why are you making me go through this, God?” I wanted to scream.

However, even these struggles are teaching me to be a stronger, kinder, wiser person. When I come to the end of them, I will face new trials. Yet, tools that I gained from facing my past ones will make it easier to deal with the new issues.

Soul Gatherings

gemstone

A gem cannot be polished without friction,
nor a man perfected without trials.

~ Chinese Proverb ~
___________________

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Note from a Graduated Woman

Students at Oxford

Students at Oxford

Dear world,

I am free. Well, I am free from my university to embark to new places, meet new people, have new experiences, and face new fears. Sure, there are still things that hold me back such as student loans, anxieties, commitments, and finances. However, those do not control my life completely.

Today was lovely. As I walked across stage and listened to my commencement, tears welled up in my eyes and trickled down my cheeks. Being in this position, fighting so hard to recover enough to get through school, refusing to back down on my beliefs or give up on my university – my college journey has not been easy. No, not easy but it has valuable and empowering.

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Lapse, Relapse, or Collapse

Taking on the Woes of the World

It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it. – Lou Holtz

When someone who struggles with a mental illness or addiction slips back into unhealthy habits, it is often labeled as a “relapse.” However, where does one say that a relapse is detrimental versus part of the normal recovery process?

If someone eats two extra cookies that were not in her meal plan, is that a relapse? Why, then, is the same word used for the man who eats a whole pie, tub of ice cream, and three bags of chips? Similarly, “relapse” describes when a girl cuts herself once or 100 times.

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Why Are People So Blind to Others?

Who Will Love Me

The biggest disease this day and age is that of people feeling unloved. – Princess Diana

So many people are struggling in the world. Just think of a five people (coworkers, friends, family, etc). Then think about what they are dealing with right now. You will probably notice that most are dealing with something difficult. Those who are not currently will in the future or did in the past; either that or you do not know about their current difficulties.

If that is the case, why are people so blind to others? How come instead of reaching out to each other, we draw back in fear? Why are others so closed to seeing the pain of those around them?

Lately, this has bothered me a great deal. Whether I am congratulating others for getting into a show and they fail to ask about me, nearly in tears over confusion with my faith, or working while others chatter with friends, I constantly feel alone. When no one reaches out to me, anger boils up inside as bitterness towards the whole human race increases.

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Recovery in the Media: #66. Imagine Dragons

This band might have dark songs, but their honesty and glimmer of hope make the music powerful.

This band might have dark songs, but their honesty and glimmer of hope make the music powerful.

66. Selected Imagine Dragons songs

Rock music usually overwhelms me. Heavy beats and screaming lyrics were what I associated with this genre. However, as I have been exposed to more types of music, my tastes have begun to broaden. The first song that I heard by Imagine Dragons was “Radioactive.” The somber lyrics and apocalyptic feel bewildered me, but something about the eerie tone transfixed me. As I have listened to more songs by this band, I have found that the morbid nature of their lyrics actually has some hope hidden beneath them despite the darkness in our world. Likewise, depression can cause one to see things in a grim light, yet hope remains for those of us who struggle with mental illness.This is one of the reasons that I chose them for Media Monday.

Selected Songs:

    • “Monster” from their Smoke + Mirrors album
    • “Demons” from their Night Visions album
    • “I Bet My Life” from their Smoke + Mirrors album
    • “It’s Time” from their Night Visions album
    • “On Top of the World” from their Night Visions album Continue reading

Worrying That the World is Messed Up

Do you ever feel anxious about the state of the world? Violence, natural disasters, and corruption seem rampant. This can lead to worrying or hopelessness in the state of our lives and futures.

Being worried about the nature of the world is normal but certainly not simple to handle. Since the beginning of time, people worried about what was happening around them. Horrific killings, wars, death, and starvation  are certainly not new problems. That does not make our current pain any lesser but can help us put it into perspective.

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My Ten Favorites of 2014: Movies, Moments, and More

Me in front of Buckingham Palace

Me standing in front of Buckingham Palace

Over the past year, I have grown so much and been greatly blessed. There were both beautiful and heart-wrenching moments. As this last day of 2014 finishes, thinking and writing about my favorites from this year seemed appropriate.

Thus, I decided to choose ten different categories and write my ten favorites of those things. By the way, can you guess my favorite number for lists? Each list is in no specific order. Thus, one does not mean my favorite or the best. It is simply the order they happened in or how I wrote them down on the post.

1. Moments – The ones I will not soon forget

  1. Studying abroad in Oxford
  2. Writing, acting in, and touring with Theater on Purpose: Cathedral
  3. Finding a waitress/running job for myself at a movie theater
  4. Moving onto campus at school with two wonderful roommates
  5. Seeing Demi Lovato in concert
  6. Being a mother to a dying child in The Yellow Boat
  7. Finaling in speech team
  8. Receiving a job from my internship at Celebrity Cafe
  9. Tutoring people at school (many great moments)
  10. Feeling beautiful in my red dress at the film festival at school

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Helping Others While in the Midst of Suffering

Standing with Joni Earkson Tada who struggled with depression after being paralyzed

Standing with Joni Earkson Tada who struggled with depression after being paralyzed

Yesterday, I was honored to receive an award that I dreamed about winning ever since I heard about it several years ago. My classmates and faculty nominated me to win the Friend of ADA (American Disabilities Association) Award at my university. The reason for this was my work blogging and advocating for those with mental illness and aspergers.

For most, yesterday was a dream come true. A lightness lifted me as I carried my bouquet of flowers around campus and blushed as people congratulated me. This award seemed like the first step toward helping others on a more global scale and winning the Noble Prize one day.

Yet, another part of my day was filled with gut-wrenching sobs and suicidal thoughts. As I cried so hard talking to my mom that I nearly collapsed, I shuddered to think of what people must think when they passed by my heaving form. What a failure I was to the award that I had just received!

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Coping Skills: #66. Text a Friend

Mario and Anna Rose on the phone

On the phone with Mario copying me

“Are you doing alright?” A friend looked me straight in the eyes and inquired about my emotional state the other day.

“Yes.” I replied at first on autopilot. Then, I stopped and was honest. “No. Today is a struggle.”

She smiled knowingly and placed a hand on my shoulder. “Would you like to talk? I have to work later. However, if you need me, just call.”

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Lacking the Motivation to Continue

In the depths of depression, people sometimes cannot even find the will to commit suicide. All energy to hurt themselves is drained away from their spirits. Walking through the halls at work, smiling at a friend, waking up in the morning – all of these simple actions take exhausting energy. Even normally enjoyable activities fill one with apathy. The world is painted black, and each movement one takes is like trying to go through tar.

This lack of motivation to live is one of the most difficult parts of depression. There seems to be no hope in sight even when others are clamoring to look on the bright side of life. Mentally, you know that good moments are in store and the world is not an evil place. Yet, the heaviness inside is greater than one person can hold.

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