Can We Please Ease The Pain

Anxiety is something that only certain people feel. Some people only feel it before a test or before speaking in public. Some people never feel it. It’s this deep pain that I would rate worse than a headache. A headache is more direct. Most of the time you know why a headache is there and how to ease its pain. It could be because you’re dehydrated, watched too much TV or videos on your phone and/or allergies..etc. In most cases, you can point out a reason for a headache. Just take some medicine and you are good to go in about an hour.

Anxiety can come without reason and it’s this deep pain that you wish would just go away but it doesn’t. The only medicine you can take for it can mask the pain for a little while then if you don’t take it, after a while the pain comes back. This pain also comes with thoughts. I think your brain tries to look for a reason for the pain and it causes you to think about all the terrible things that are happening in the world, the bad things that happened to you and all the terrible things that you have done. It also brings up my worst fears and tries to make them reality. My brain tries to help but it only makes things worse.

The devil wants me dead and he just doesn’t want to leave me alone.

Sometimes I feel like giving in and letting the fear and pain wash over me and take me under. It’s becoming harder and harder to fight and swim to shore when the waves that crash drag me back out with its currents.

How does one get rid of the pain? How do I break through this feeling of being trapped in my mind and the feeling of being alone even when I am around people who love and care about me? How do I stop pushing them away when they only want the best for me?

I know people say “prayer” and believe me, I know and it does help, but it’s still there. It’s still lurking in the shadows waiting for me to let my guard down again.

Where do I go from here?

Depression and the Decision

Depression & Anxiety effects at least 18% of the US population, but yet we feel so alone.

Among that percentage are people who suffer from PTSD are among the lower percentage of 3.3 % of the overall US population. This can be for number of reasons. Military veterans, Rape victims, people who endured some form of traumatic experience in their life will experience. According to the ADAA “Rape is the most likely trigger of PTSD: 65% of men and 45.9% of women who are raped will develop the disorder.” With active duty and military vets a close second. Also among these statistics are people who’ve were raised in a traumatic environment such as home life and also religious cults and victims of brainwashing scenarios.

When people such as myself suffer from anxiety, depression and/or PTSD we are trapped in our minds. Sometimes people lash out at others thinking that the reason they feel this way is because of someone or something that is causing it. At times it’s hard to free ourselves from a specific event, even something so small as a text that was sent that doesn’t get a reply.

Recently, after hitting rock bottom and hanging out there for a while, I realized that me fighting was becoming too much to bare and I was almost to my end. Then God found his way to me on April 9th standing and singing a song called “I Look To You”. I made a decision to keep going and to turn my eyes upon Jesus. I felt 10 feet tall and I thought I could conquer the world. I was ready for this. I thought for sure that this would be the end of my depression and my anxiety for sure.

Wow… Was I wrong.

It took two days after this for me to lock myself in the bathroom at work and have a full on anxiety attack. All my past decisions and regrets came back for me. Though I was the only one in the bathroom it felt like the room was filled with people who wanted me dead, or wanted to kill the people I love. Voices were telling me that I “wasn’t good enough and that God wouldn’t save someone like you. Not after everything you’ve done”. This finally subsided and I thought that was the last of it… Again I was wrong.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that the Depression that I thought would go away after rededicating my life to Christ, came back with just as much force as before. I was under the assumption that the rededication to Christ would fix it. That was not the case. I prayed for Gods healing and it didn’t happen, or at least I thought it didn’t.

Now after some realization, I have come to understand this after all. Depression, anxiety & PTSD are all disorders that people suffer from. These are things that I can honestly say that I suffer from. There is no easy fix for these. God can take them away and there has probably been times when God did decide to do so. For me I feel this just wasn’t the case.

I have a long way to go in regards to the depression and I have a long road ahead of me to learning Self-Love.

I now realize that yes, depression, anxiety, PTSD are all things I still have to live with. This isn’t going to go away anytime soon. This is a battle within my mind and within my heart. But for once I feel that I have a weapon to fight with. Something that actually gives me a chance at beating this. God is my sword, my shield. As Psalms 28:7 says:

“Psalms 28:7: The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him.

God has not taken the battle from me, He desires that I fight. So this is what I will do. I am helped. For that I rejoice. With my Song, I will praise Him. I have a long battle ahead of me, but I know that Jesus is right there with me. He is ready to step in at times when I am weak. Just as a reminder that He is here. To remind me that my help comes from the Lord.

My depression is no longer a death sentence. It’s a fight that I have hope of winning. I am no longer fighting alone.

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Transparency

Why do we feel this need to “put on a show”. We go through our day to day struggle trying to show people that everything is okay, while deep inside we are slowly falling apart. We play this mascaraed for people and even for God. We pretend because we feel like, if we just work hard enough to be “normal” and to be “happy” then eventually we will start to believe it. Why can’t we just have transparency in front of people and more importantly God? We don’t pray about our struggles because in everyone’s eyes, we are okay. We don’t have a mental illness, we don’t have anger issues, we don’t have postpartum depression. We don’t have PTSD, we are “fine”.

If we, however, been a Christian for any period of time, you know that God see’s everything. There is nothing that God doesn’t know about. People on the other hand, can’t know everything, but people have already picked up on your vibes and they know that something is not quite wrong with you. Your secrets will never be secrets for long. Here’s the thing, we already know that God see’s everything, and we know that people are smarter than we give them credit for. So why do we still lie?

The children’s song that comes to mind is “if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands” That’s what we are doing, we are clapping our hands regardless of how we really feel inside. Even as a kid, I would be in a bad mood and if they asked us to sing it, we would. We are clapping our hands to make everyone think that we are happy. So why, when we know the two has and/or will know the truth, why do we still lie? The truth is, we are not lying to the people or to God, we are trying to lie to ourselves. “If I just show myself that I am happy then, maybe it will be true.”

Here is the thing, We see our imperfections, we see the flawed version of ourselves, we see broke, ugly, unloved. We don’t want people to see that side, so the other side that’s showing our unhappiness will be covered up. Yet, we still know that it’s there. God, on the other hand sees Perfection, He see’s flawlessness, He see’s repaired, beautiful, loved. Despite everything God see’s us as He see’s Jesus.

Let’s become transparent. Let’s live our lives as God see’s us. Perfect. Life is not easy. But it’s easier when you have purpose and when you have self-worth. Let’s be thankful for our imperfections. They make us unique. Let’s begin to see each other as God see’s us. Let’s provide the world transparency.

 

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Why I Don’t Do Public Speaking

When it comes to public speaking, people tend to have the best techniques. Some have that ability to bring their point to an open discussion and present it well.

I am not one of those people. Friends and associates ask why I don’t speak in front of people, when it is so easy for me to sing. 1. It’s not easy to sing and a lot of times I am shaking all over when I do. It takes all I am not to perform in front of another living soul. As a piano player and a singer. It takes every ounce of courage for me to stand or sit in front of a crowd and perform. It’s a constant battle for me to do it. 2. I know what to do. I know the words I sing, the volume needed to project my voice. I know what tone of voice to bring the point to focus. 3. My singing is not the center focus. There is other sounds, musical instruments that accompany me. With public speaking, between each sentence there is dead silence. Only one sound projecting from center stage and that is my speaking voice. I deal with my own complexes with my singing voice as it is, when I hear myself talk I become annoyed very quickly with the sound of my voice. If I despise it, I know I am not the only one who does.

Example of me failing at public speaking would be at my most recent training at my work. The trainer asked a question to which I knew the answer to. It was a question that I remember it being asked in a previous training. I knew exactly what to say and without hesitation I raised my hand. Unfortunately when I started speaking what I had in my head was not what came out and I spent the remainder of the training beating myself up and I never answered another question. I was mortified. I got it wrong, when I knew I had the answer in my head. But that’s not what came out.

Me and public speaking are mortal enemies. I don’t think this feud will ever cease. It has caused me to sink lower and lower in my pit of social anxiety. I fear the day I have to speak openly again. I shall avoid this at all cost!

 

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Social Anxiety vs Hair Salon

When you’re an over-thinker, the smallest task can feel like a much bigger one. We basically live inside our heads going over ever scenario of past, present and future.

Friday, I went to the hair dresser and I couldn’t help but notice my over-thinking and anxiety was on high the moment I walked in. It kind of went like this:

Getting checked in.

Me: *Walks through the door*

Scenario: *Everyone turns to look at who walked in the door, some with sour looks on their face*

Me: (in my head) “Why is everyone looking at me?” *Checks to make sure clothes are on right* “If they’re looking at my hair, well, that’s why I am here. So stop” *I pause for a minute, then proceed to the front desk* *Disgusted at how awkward I looked for that split second pause I did at the front door*

Hair dresser: (before I got to the desk) “Gus, have a seat we will be with you shortly”

Me: Thank you. (in my head “Wow, they remember me?… I wonder if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Probably a bad thing. This is not good.”

Sitting down.

Me: *looks around at everyone.* (in my head) “Everyone must have had a bad day. No that’s impossible for everyone to have a bad day isn’t it? Oh my, I wonder if something happened globally?!” *looks at phone* “Nothing that I can see. Maybe it is possible for everyone to have a bad day, in the same room, at the same time.”

Hair dresser: *calls someones name*

Me: (in my head) “Ok good. I am glad it wasn’t me. It’s too soon and people would be mad if I got in front of them. They can’t do that to me. They already said my name. I don’t want them to think I get special treatment. But special treatment would be pretty nice_ NOPE I am being selfish”

*Woman walks in*

Me: (in my head) “please don’t sit beside me, please don’t sit beside me…”

*Woman sits beside me*

Me: -_-

New woman: “How long has everyone been waiting”

Angry woman #3: “I don’t know why we even call ahead. It doesn’t do any good.”

Me: (in my head) “Oh no. Confrontation”

New Woman: “It’s a shame. (Salon Name) is going down hill. I don’t even know why I come here”

Me: (in my head) “I don’t know why you come here either. You should leave and let me have my personal space again.”

Angry woman #3: “It’s like they only have a few people doing hair and the rest go to lunch. Don’t they know we have things to do also”

Me: *scoots away from New Woman* (in my head) ” Oh god. I hope the hair dressers doesn’t think I’m in that conversation. I hope they know I am not with them. Let me see if I can position myself so they can see I am not with them.

*Angry Woman #3’s name gets called*

Angry woman #3 “finally I’m not getting any younger”

Me: *laugh’s at the thought of the hair dresser shaving Angry Woman #3’s hair off for being rude* (in my head) “hehehe”

Me: (in my head) “Did it look like I laughed at what she said, oh my, they are going to shave my head”

My turn.

*My name gets called*

*A combination of excitement and fear comes over me. The awkward social interaction over, but another is about to begin*

Hair dresser: “Hi how are you? Sorry about the wait”

Me: “You’re fine” (in my head) “why did I say that? I didn’t mean she is fine, I meant to say no problem… This is not going well at all” *Anxiety starts to climb*

Me: (in my head) “Please don’t ask me if I have any plans this weekend”

Hair dresser: “Do you have any plans this weekend?”

Me: “Not really” (in my head) “WTF, I say that all the time, I swear they never think I have a life”

*Awkward silence* (in my head) “OH great. I had a full on script to keep the conversation going and I forgot it all. FML”

The hair cut.

Hair dresser: “How would you like your hair cut today”

Me: (in my head) “Do something new DO SOMETHING NEW!!!”

Me: “The same”

Me: (in my head) “-_-”

Hair dresser: “would you like a beard trim and shampoo as well?”

Me: (in my head) “no I need to save money”

Me: “Sure” *dies a little inside*

The hair dresser proceeds to cut my hair. For a while I start to feel comfortable. She begins to start working on my beard and I realized that she isn’t cutting it how I like and thus starts the battle all over again.

Me: (in my head) “you have to tell her. you got this. DO IT. NOW!”

Me: “HEY” *too loud. hair dresser jumps, my face turns red*

Me: “Sorry, but do you mind adding a curve under the chin.”

Hair dresser: “Sure no problem!”

Me:

At this point I am so excited. I think I heard angels singing. I spoke up! I did what I hate doing, and it felt great! I feel like I can conquer anything. I AM INVINCIBLE!

Hair dresser: “would you like for me to trim your eye brows?”

Me: “Sure” *24K Magic playing in my head*

* Hair dresser forgets the middle part of my brow*

Me: (in my head) “YOU SHOULD TELL HER!”

Me: (in my head) “nope”……..

 

P.S:
Angry woman #1 & #2 didn’t really have a part in this because they were mostly quiet. Just scowling.

The rest of the story just has me replaying why I didn’t speak up about my eyebrows.

 

 

 

 

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