Monday, November 15, 2010

Voice of an Angel that Calms

"TRUE THINGS" - Lyrics

I’m not the clothes I’m wearing
I’m not a photograph
I’m not the car I drive
I’m not the money I make
I’m not the things I lack
I’m not the songs that I write

I am … who I am
I am who I am
There are true things inside of me
I have been afraid to see
I believe, help my unbelief

Would you say again what you said to me
I am loved and I am free
I believe, help my unbelief

I’m not the house I live in
I’m not the man I love
I’m not the mistakes that I carry
I’m not the food that I don’t eat
I’m not what I’m above
I’m not my scars and my history

There are true things inside of me
I have been afraid to see
I believe, help my unbelief

Would you say again what you said to me
I am loved and I am free
I believe, help my unbelief

To your love I’m waking up
In your love I’m waking up

 JJ Heller is a woman with an angelic voice. I discovered her music earlier this year as I was going though some difficulties. My grandmother was quite ill and no one really believed she'd live though her open heart surgery. I spent every waking hour I could with her in the hospital, although she remembers very little. Soon after, I had my break down and ended up in the hospital myself. The songs of JJ Heller from her cd, Painted Red helped me get through those difficult moments. 

Her lyrics ring true to me and can keep me from going to dark places. On my cell phone I had downloaded the only song I knew of at the time, Your Hands. Each time therapy became too much for me I would go to the woman's restroom, play and sing along to that song. Sometimes I'd even sing it over and over again on my lunch break. It would always calm me, allowing me the strength I needed to return and finish what must be done. 

In my opinion if someone ever tells you therapy is easy, they must not be doing it correctly. It was by far one of the best things I've ever done and most necessary, yet it was on most days the most trying thing I've ever gone though. JJ Heller is an artist I respect on a very basic level. She helped me in a way no one else could. Above I've listed one of my favorite songs, True Things.

Below are some links to other videos of JJ Hellers music on You Tube. 

Love Me

This one just made me smile

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Save a Child or Teen from Themselves

This blog combines two of the things I'm most passionate about, the protection of children and mental illness. Each year nearly 7% of all children suffer from mental illness yet few of them ever receive the help they need. Below is a link that will take you to vote for funding that Pepsi can donate to the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation (CABF) to fund a campaign that will help both children and their families that suffer from mental illness.


Although I was recently diagnosed with mental illness, I've had it for quite some time yet no one noticed and as a child and teen I didn't know how to reach out to the right people and get help myself. I attempted, thankfully unsuccessful, suicide several times as a teenager. If I had been better at killing myself I would just be another statistic of suicide and no one would know why.

There are many kids who grow up feeling out of sorts with reality. They know that something is wrong. They want to be like everyone else, yet no matter what they do nothing ever works. 

They learn to talk more slowly, not realizing they talk too fast when in a manic state. They isolate themselves, reading the minds of their family thinking no one loves them when they are depressed. They don't think it will ever change because depression and manic states are all they know. They are a bipolar child. 

They ask their parents every time they leave the house where they are going and when they will be back. They make sure everything is planned out so that when things do not go according to plan, they can cope more easily. They stay away from messy homes or rooms, sometimes secluding in their own room which is perfectly clean, so much so that if you move anything they will notice. They are the child who suffers from anxiety. 

They have a difficult time falling asleep. They have nightmares when sleep finally comes. They get uncomfortable and frigidity when left alone with a man of any age.  They refuse to talk to a man of any age while alone. They have panic attacks when trapped in a room with a man of any age. They are the children with PTSD due to trauma suffered.

The signs are different for each person. The examples above are purely mine. Fact is that it happens. Children of the world have mental illnesses and they need help so that they can live. With your vote children may not only live, but live well. They can learn what it's like to not always be "sick". They can enjoy childhood, which I guarantee most children who suffer undiagnosed do no enjoy. They have no childhood. All they have is worry and despair.

Please Help, Please Vote. 
Deadline is November 30th, 2010.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Coming Home

As many of you already are aware I'm new to Omaha. I've lived here with my husband and kitty for less than a year. For me this city is overwhelming with stimuli which I don't need especially considering I'm overly sensitive to people, noises, stuff. Too much of anything can cause me to fall into a depressed state as I become overly stressed and overwhelmed. Simply put, I don't care for Omaha very much. I would be much more content in a small town, similar to Valparaiso, NE. There's less than a thousand people who live there. It's the perfect size for me. For my husband though small town life is not home.

Jason grew up on a farm. I grew up in large town or small city, depending on where you're from. My grandparents own a farm and I took solace there trying to visit when ever possible. After my college roommate married I moved on to the farm and lived in the small town for a few years. It was bliss. I loved it! Jason was bored a lot while growing up, yearning to be in the city. I guess there would have to be a point in our lives that what we're comfortable with in terms of living conditions would collide. This time has arrived.

I want to be the supportive wife and be happy here. I want to be content living in a city that is too large to walk from one side to another in an hour. I want to be able to be at peace when I look out my window and see the constant view of hustle and bustle. Hundreds of buildings, homes and vehicles in view. I'm hoping to be happy here, so that Jason can be happy.

Today I went to a new church, yet again, trying to find a church home to which to belong. My anxiety goes though the roof when I attend a new church, especially alone. Jason usually doesn't attend with me, so I'm always alone in my search.
A few years ago I worked in a church and found out how political and corrupt some people within them could be towards each other. This was disheartening. I was naive when I began thinking that people would abide to their faith above all else. I find my self a bit jaded now. This experience scarred me, possibly as much as the childhood abuse I endured. The main person who hurt me while I worked there is someone I struggle with daily to forgive. As you can imagine that experience doesn't make this search any easier. A co-worker invited me to his church a few weeks ago and I attended but I was not comfortable because the church was small and I knew that if it were to become unhealthy the size would make it more susceptible to fall apart and really hurt some of it's members in the process.

The church I attended this morning could be referred to as a mega church. It is quite large which puts some of my anxieties to ease and stirs up others. The stimuli there is sometimes a lot to take but I just try to stay focused on why I'm there and not all the people around me.

Overall I had a good worship experience. The music was rejuvenating. The message spoke to me, especially on a level that really hit home with my past church political experiences. The message was focused in the book of Titus. It was a beautiful message, given by the pastor who created the Children's Ministry Curriculum of which I am very familiar. The Children's Ministry Program at this church is one of the strongest I have ever seen and I would love my own children to be one day raised in this environment.

After service I walked to the "Guest Services" area forcing myself to say hello to the volunteers. This was stressful for me as I'm not a person to be forwardly social right away in a new situation. After doing this and receiving a warm welcome I decided to push myself a little further and visit the Nursery. One goal of mine in finding a new church in Omaha is finding a place where I could bring our children when we have a family. This is especially important knowing how much Jason loves it here. While I look for a home church I try to keep in mind that by finding such a place in which I'm comfortable I may grow to like or even love Omaha. The Nursery seemed nice and as a major plus, the director of the Nursery used cloth diapers on all her children and doesn't mind if I were to be a future parent using cloth.

I think I found my home. A few more weeks will be the test. In a few weeks if I still feel at ease here, as though I'm coming home, it may be my new church home. With a new church in Omaha, perhaps, eventually I can feel at home in this now very uncomfortable city.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Jason Saves The Day!

Sunday, October 31st...Halloween aka Reformation Day.....

I love this holiday, likely because I adore children so much. It was a down day for me so it did not start out well and there was nothing I felt that I could look forward to as there are no children in our home anymore. There was no one to dress up, take trick-or-treating, paint pumpkins with and since we live in an apartment once again no one to hand candy out to. Disappointing was the way the day started and my mood wasn't helping. I've been cycling rather quickly this past month or so. Yesterday was a down day where as Thursday was a manic day.

Work was okay. Nothing special. Not that difficult to get through. Coming home was a different story all together. Jason was off for the day so seeing him was good but that was as far as my mood would allow me to go in a positive direction.

I came home with the intention of making chocolate chip cookies from scratch. My instant cookies have been nothing but disasters lately so I really want to do the homemade thing once again. Problem was when I looked at the kitchen it was as though I had been sucker punched. There's no counter space and thus when there are a few dirty dishes it's overwhelming to me. I did not feel like cleaning so that I could bake for an hour then clean some more. That required a lot of energy I did not possess. Depressed I leave the clean mixing bowl and the bag of chocolate chips on the kitchen table and plopped down on the couch.

I curl up with the couch pillows and my favorite throw, put on FRIENDS and lay there. After a while I get up as I haven't ate much all day and look for something that doesn't require a lot of room or dishes to make. I didn't have the energy to clean and am very hungry at this point. The only thing I find requiring no room and no dishes was a sleeve of Ritz crackers. I bring them back to the couch and devour nearly the entire package. Not good for me, I know but I didn't care.

I take a nap. I do this way too much when I get bored, upset or simply depressed. I can't cope so I sleep. When sleeping I don't think and I don't feel which during these down times is all I want. 

Evening approaches and Jason asks me what I want for dinner as I stir on the couch. I reply, "Something that doesn't dirty a lot of dishes and that is easy and fast. I wanted french toast but we have no bread. I wanted pizza but we have no pizza. The kitchen is so messy I can't stand it and it's overwhelming so I don't want to go in there for very long." I go back to sleep. I know I wasn't very cheery, but it was the honest truth. If there's one thing I do well, it's telling the truth. I'm honest to a fault.

When I awaken I hear a buzz at the apartment door and Jason leaves. I try to go back to sleep but thankfully I was unsuccessful. Jason returns with delivered pizza and bread-sticks. I wander into the kitchen to grab a plate as I'm so happy we have pizza! Even more surprises, Jason has loaded the dishwasher and the kitchen is clean! Oh, bliss!! I wasn't super perky but not so depressed either. After having yummy, yummy pizza the coffee maker was easily accessible so I made some coffee. No more sleep for me.

The remainder of the night turned around. By noticing what kind of mental state I was in and realizing that I was not going to be able to pull myself out of this one Jason saved the day! He did what was needed for me to be able to function for the remainder of the night. I'm so happy that Jason is understanding a little more about this crazy illness (no pun intended) and there are some days when I cannot do what needs to be done on my own.

I'm super clean myself but when others are not there are days I just don't care to clean up after them. It's too much. Clean equals peace in my world. There's less stress when things are all in order.
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