The Whirlwind of Last Year

4:43 PM

Hey guys....

First of all, I'm alive.

I imagine myself blowing the dust off this precious blog of ours and wishing I was able to write as fluently as once before, but this last year has been the test of our lives together. The refining fire some may call it. Everything has been in the fire. My health, my faith, relationships, our marriage, our future. EVERYTHING.

I stopped writing for so long because I have been wrestling with an internal battle. FEAR.
After much prayer and some confirmations in my life, I'm not going to be fearful anymore about my writing.

I have several posts sitting in drafts currently because just as I would hit "publish" rush of fear would come over me. What will people think of the truth? What will people think of me? What if I lose friendships and family over my reality? 

The what ifs have plagued me for months. On the counter side of it I've been sensing God nudging me to share my story. Nudging me to not be afraid and that the voice telling me that I need to stay silent about my story and about what my year has been like, is only keeping others from being touched and healed. 

What if someone could relate with what I write? What if someone is struggling with the same things and afraid themselves to speak about it? It only took a visitor that is dear to me and loves the Lord to confirm to me that my reservations were not rooted in truth.
"Your witness is your testimony."
Those are the words he spoke to me that resonated to the depths of my heart and gave me the courage to be me. I am raw. I am open with my life and my thoughts. It's who I am and who God made me to be. When I'm not operating in that, I feel squished, confined, and suffocated, and depressed. 

When I am not sharing my testimonies through life of what the Lord has done, I am depriving the world of who God is in my life. Telling people about the Bible and God alone is one way to witness, but truly people connect through our personal stories and seeing what God does in our lives. So no longer will I be hiding my light under bushels. It's time to share my testimonies.

Since Thanksgiving it's been a whirlwind for us. I got a psychological test done to confirm my original diagnosis by my counselor. We wanted to explore bipolar, anxiety disorder, borderline personality disorder, and depression disorder just so we could get a clear picture of what we were working with. 

After our Christmas/New Years trip, the results came through and I found myself facing the reality of PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Some of what that would look like is:

You wake up from nightmarish dreams that you can't stop and then go back to sleep continuing the same dreams, usually about some of the worse memories of your past, but feeling helpless to do anything about it.
Once waking up you feel groggy, exhausted like you haven't had any sleep at all cause you haven't!

Irritable, weepy, depressive and emotional. But then within a couple hours or so you're suddenly feeling much better and have a swing of happiness and excitement. You find yourself full of energy and start getting super productive! 

But then you become obsessive and can't stop what you're doing. Before you know it you've accomplished all the things that have built up over a month all in one day!
Just not normal!

By the end of the evening most likely I've gotten upset over something, irritated, and then depressed again only to have a bad night again. This time not sleeping at all and feeling hyper. 

I've gone a whole night writing three blog posts in a row (all in drafts) or watching almost a whole season of a netflix show all night long because nothing would help except staring at a screen and binge watching Netflix. Mindless.
When I wake up even though I had no sleep I am feeling wide awake and hyper all day. Usually that's another productive day and I end up wanting to go out with friends and laugh and can't stop talking. 

Eating has been a problem. I can go hours not eating anything and not being hungry. I've been having to make myself eat at least 2 meals a day or my body just doesn't react. I've been told it's my body stressing out. I also get these "episodes" we will call them where I have to calm myself down or I end up exploding like a volcano and struggling to regain control of myself. I'm plan on targeting this area more in continued therapy.

One thing that has been aggravating has been how tired I always am. I can do everything. Eat healthy, get enough sleep, etc. but I consistently feel tired. It's all part of the PTSD. Health wise I have a clean bill of health with no internal issues going on as far as what's been checked.

Though this sounds extremely overwhelming, (and it is!) I have been taught some coping mechanisms and techniques to help get through my days. Over Christmas a friend gave me my first adult coloring book which I treasure with my life! It has helped curb some oncoming panic attacks recently and I'm getting much better at recognizing and stopping them through the techniques. I recently bought at discount of course ;) some better coloring pencils since the ones I have aren't doing it for me. 

For coping techniques, I have developed a habit of some deep breathing, aroma therapy where I go into my closet, light a candle I like and just sit there while I mindfully focus on the candle in my hand. It takes my mind off the mess and helps me focus. There are many other ways for mindfulness practice. If you are resonating with my story and you would like to learn some, feel free to shoot me a message or comment. :)

The night before he left for NJS.
As some of you may know, Jason left for Rhode Island to go through his NJS school for ten weeks. (He comes home tomorrow! Yay!) 

It left me with many mixed emotions. I knew the initial adjustment would be painful, but it's a good trial for me for deployment and separations in the future. 

A month in I began to settle down in my emotional state. Now it's just the struggle of sleeping. Average I was getting about 4 hours a night which is not healthy, but my body and mind were apparently so stressed out that they took on a mind of their own...

Things are finally getting adjusted and I'm sleeping better this last month. Of course right when he is returning I get used to it all and comfortable in my new environment and lifestyle.

I realize that I'm not alone in this illness. There are many out there suffering in similar ways and seeking healing and I'm here to say that there is healing. Even on those days where everything seems hopeless, THERE IS HOPE. 

Living with PTSD may not be pleasant, but with God in my life, someone has been holding me the entire time. He sends people my way in my lowest of times to encourage me, He has provided in so many ways and keeps me protected and my health maintained even though I'm struggling eating. 

He has brought purpose and jobs in my life and been guiding me to what He is calling me to do in life. But most importantly He is healing me gradually as I deal with onion layer after onion layer of the wreckage from my past. The fact I've gotten through 10 weeks without Jason is a testament to His care and strength for me. 

The fact we got through and have come out more resilient and bonded from a rough patch in our marriage brought on by the separation, is a testament to His faithfulness. The fact I have been able to do what I love and help others while doing it, is a testament to His provision. 

God has used me in my brokenness and illness to reach out and touch many hearts. I've seen some people saved this year, I've seen people with similar illnesses and pasts be motivated to get help and therapy, and I've seen relationships be restored after the threat of being torn apart. Why He would use little ole' me in His kingdom work? I don't understand it, but He does and is and that is humbling. 

It's funny cause this year I have learned more about myself despite everything:

  • I'm way more introverted than I thought. You might as well call me a winter hermit. :P
  • I recharge from alone time and need it.
  • I can't stop helping people! I thrive off seeing people be helped with their problems. But what's nice is I don't carry those problems around with me. I am able to separate them in my mind from my own emotions and life. 
  • It bugs me when I see people being treated poorly. A little fighter comes out in me and I DEFEND!
  • I don't give up easily even when things get very difficult. I might lay it down for a little while to regroup, but I tend to come right back and try try try all over again. 
  • Not that this is new, but I really really love computers. I have fixed so many computers last year and troubleshooted, worked on sound system equipment, installed a new computer for my church, blog designing....it's brought me joy and kept me going through these difficult months. God has been literally sending clients my way and keeping me busy and yes I'm getting paid which is such a blessing! I'm learning so much.

See? There's something positive in even this!

I don't want to make this very long and laborious to read so I will save the second part of this for another post. I just wanted to write again and let everyone know what is going on. I have more to fill you all in on, but I will be posting that soon. I know I have been leaving all of you in the dark, but I now feel released to share. Love and blessings to all of you. 
The rare moments when Skype was clear and the internet connection was working. So happy he comes home tomorrow. We made it. :)



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3 comments
Rebekah Samuel

AUtistic. 🧠 Artist. 👩🏻‍🎨 Author. ✍🏼 Life-Coach. 👊🏼 Techy. 🤓

I speak on faith, the military life, social issues, politics, ASD, mental health, and God's Word.
🔍 I am helping people heal through my writing, life coaching, and counseling. Check out my new book "Letters of Love"! ♥️

IF YOU WANT TO HELP SUPPORT ME IN MY WRITING, RESOURCES, AND MINISTRY,
PLEASE CONSIDER GIVING A LOVE OFFERING. THIS HELPS ME CONTINUE TO DO THE WORK I AM DOING.


Comments

  1. Have you tried doing yoga for you're anxiety? It does wonders for mine ♡

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  2. I can only reiterate how incredibly proud I am of you. Your journey has been a difficult one, but you have strongly pressed forward. Getting married itself is difficult, nevertheless moving. But getting married to the military lifestyle adds a whole new layer. This is not an easy task for anyone, so remind yourself that it is OK to feel - any emotion. The good, the bad, the frustrating. It's a huge commitment and adjustment and I can only tell you how proud I am of you. This year held many surprises and new steps, but you keep paddling to the top regardless. Sharing your story takes a lot of courage and strength, which further proves your strength and determination. You are a wonderful person, and I am honored to walk by your side. I am here for you!
    And! Not to forget: Welcome back Jason! Please remember both, that the good times can only be memorable when they are highlighted but the not so nice ones. But as you both know, it is these tough times that make you even stronger and better - together.
    Again, I am incredibly proud of you for sharing your story. Keep on pushing forward! You will get better.

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  3. Aw Daniela thank you so much for this! It's a blessing to be walking in this military life with you as such a good friend and mentor of all things military wifey haha! Your words of encouragement always make me feel so much better about things! Love our phone conversations and excited for your own adventures to come! *hugs*

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