maybe i was just a girl… interrupted

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DISCLAIMER
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this post is long. this post is involved. this post has some very hard things to swallow in it. if you’re easily offended or shocked or simply don’t want to know this much about me, i implore you to go about your merry way and come back when there is a new post. leave your hateful or negative comments at home because i don’t want them here. you have chosen to enter in to this post.

otherwise… welcome to my mind…

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END OF DISCLAIMER
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some of you may remember a post i wrote a while ago about not knowing how much to share and whatnot. you can read that one here.

when i began this blog, there were things that i wanted to talk about, things that i wanted to share, things that i wanted to get off my chest in a somewhat anonymous way. i wanted to talk about things that i couldn’t really talk about with my in-real-life people because i’d have to look them in the face. and i am not strong enough for that. i know this.

there were several things that contributed to my final willingness to really put this out there, to let people in a little bit. to let those who want to be allowed in.

but allow me to begin at the beginning.

i have depression. i was diagnosed in October of my freshman year of college. that would be nearly five years ago now. i was tired all the time. i was sick all the time. i was depressed. i was suicidal to an extent. i say that because i didn’t want to die as much as i simply wanted the pain to go away, i wanted to not feel.

i don’t think that it was any one thing that triggered it, one catastrophic event, but more a long series of little events that i was increasingly unable to deal with. but by the time i got to college, i had really had enough.

now i’m not entirely sure if you’ve caught this or not, but i am a Christian. i always have been. it’s simply been a part of my life and i wouldn’t know how to live any other way. and being as such, it frustrated me that i felt like this. and i tried to find a church and a bible study and friends that would somehow magically change how i felt. i thought that it was my fault that i turned out this way. that i felt how i did. i thought that i wasn’t doing enough, that i wasn’t being ‘christian’ enough.

in October, i ended up in the er because my friends thought i was going to kill myself. they didn’t know what else to do. suddenly everyone around me found out what i had known for months. i had a problem. my parents found out. my siblings found out. my friends found out. my extended family found out. my church found out. everyone.

i was on meds for a while. a few years. the first one made me tired all the time. i slept all the time. i would go to class and then go back to sleep. the second one did precisely what i wanted it to do. make me numb. i felt no emotions. or at least very muted emotions. i saw counselors and pastors and psychologists and psychiatrists but i never seemed to get anywhere. i never got to a point of trust with these people where i would share with them what i was really thinking. what i was really feeling.

i now think it was because my feelings and my thoughts terrified me.

i could not imagine sharing the depths of my feelings, the depths of this pain that had seemingly unknown origins, the way i looked at myself, the way i thought about myself, the way i hated myself. i simply could not bring myself to share and even to this day, i have a hard time going there. i still have a hard time with feelings and emotions even though i’ve long since been off those pills.

i closed myself off to people for fear of what i might say. for fear of what i might reveal. for fear that they would find out the truth about me and what i’m really like. for fear that people would begin to treat me the way i was treated my freshman year. mouths and lips guarded, sugar coating everything because they were afraid that what they said might have been the thing that would make me take my own life. i kept my mouth shut because i didn’t want looks of pity anymore. i didn’t want people to be so worried about me.

part of me is still afraid of that. here on this blog. part of me is still afraid of the things that go on in my mind. but i also know that if i ever want to get better, if i ever want to heal, i have to be open. i have to share these things. i have to get them out of my mind.

i have found some of the sweetest and most caring people in this world of blogging. and that makes sharing this a little bit easier.

before, i said that there were a few things that contributed to my final willingness to share.

one is the people who read my blog. i don’t have to worry about TOO many people knowing. i don’t have to worry about more than a few in-real-life people knowing. i don’t have to worry about a lot of things.

two is that i’ve already been sharing some things that i want to share and it’s been tremendously helpful. most of the he/she posts are just that. things i’m feeling turned into prose. me working through situations and my feelings about them. me sharing part of my heart and soul with people.

and the last thing, which is the biggest reason. this past week, i relapsed. what i didn’t mention up above is that i have an addiction. one of the things i used to try to fill the gaping hole that i felt in my soul. something that i tried to use to take away some pain. and it worked. it worked for a long time. until people found out and started getting worried again. they began to fear their words again.

girl_interrupted

this is a blip from the movie Girl, Interrupted that really spoke what i was feeling the first time i watched the movie. there is a point to it being here, i promise.

Valerie: What would you have said to her?
Susanna: I don’t know. That I was sorry. That I will never know what it was like to be her. But I know what it’s like to want to die. How it hurts to smile. How you try to fit in but you can’t. You hurt yourself on the outside to try to kill the thing on the inside.

that is one of the things that i do. i realized that it was a problem a long time ago. a problem for other people. it didn’t bother me and to an extent, it still doesn’t. it bothers me that i have to answer to someone. it bothers me that i let people down. it bothers me that it bothers others.

but if i were to be left all alone about it, it wouldn’t bother me. it wouldn’t because it’s a release. when life gets to be too much, it’s a release. when there’s too much going on inside my head, it’s a release. when i don’t know how to deal with life, it’s a release. and there is a list of people who wish that i would call them to talk instead. but it’s not the same. and anyone who reads this and has an addiction knows this to be true.

a very large part of me wants to be healthy. wants to not deal with this anymore. which is why i’m actively in recovery for it. hence the word relapse. you can’t relapse if you’re not trying to recover.

however, right now, the addiction has the upper hand. because i’ve given into it so many times over the past few years. i’m sharing this now so that i can begin to get the upper hand on this.

so that someday, when i’m stressed, i don’t go this direction.

so that i don’t have to avoid certain parts of my place of employment because the temptation is too strong because it would be so easy.

so that i can develop healthy coping skills.

so that i have even more accountability.

that i have a place to share my feelings.

so that i’m not keeping secrets.

so that i don’t build walls to keep people out.

so that i can blog about what i want to blog about and not have to find ways around saying things or sharing things.

in a few weeks, i will be hearing from a seminary in southern California. and in one word, they will change the rest of my life. because i want to help others like me. i need to help others like me. i need to educate people. i need other people to know that being a Christian doesn’t make you immune to anything but that depending on Christ will change everything.

i’ve forced myself to suffer alone for too long and i can’t allow myself to do that any longer. and my resolve to get through this and to recover is getting stronger, day by day.

it is unbelievably terrifying sharing something this person on such a public space. but it’s something that i need to do. something that i’ve wrestled with doing for three months on this blog.

and longer on other ones.

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4 thoughts on “maybe i was just a girl… interrupted

  1. courtney903 says:

    cari, i’m terribly sorry to hear all of this. i knew some, but never all of the details. my heart aches for you.

    but you don’t have to be afraid, because i will always love you no matter what, and so will all of the other people who truly matter. i’m proud of you for following the call to california, and i know you will be okay. you are strong. so, so strong.

  2. tabithablogs says:

    i am so impressed with your raw honesty here. the occasional time when i manage to write up stuff that’s this open and uninhibited, it feels so great. i mean, the actual subject matter usually sucks. but vocalizing it (so to speak) does wonders for your mind and spirit. it feels weird to say this since i don’t know you, but like courtney, i’m proud of you, too. i think you are stronger than you know, and your passion to help others with the things you’ve dealt with is going to make such an impact, lord willing. whatever the word is from so-cal, i hope you’ll take every opportunity to share, even if it’s just a semi-anonymous blog post that might reach the ear (er, eye?) of a struggling reader who can relate.

    you’re great. 🙂

  3. DeMo says:

    Thanks for being honest on here. There are times when I wish I was an anonymous blogger, because of the things that I’d like to say but I know that if I was ever found out that things wouldn’t go so well. Kind of like what you mentioned in the post that you link to here.

    I found your blog from blog surfing, can’t remember who linked to you, but just wanted to leave a hello comment. I don’t know your story, but I will be reading more from you. God bless. Sounds like you’re headed in the right direction.

  4. D. Kendall says:

    I stumbled upon your blog, and I’m always amazed that people think the same things while suffering depression. I was diagnosed last year but suffered for about 15 years before doing anything. I don’t want pity either, and I’m currently loving the numb feeling. But I know that at some point in time I have to deal with my brain and what it can do to me.

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