"Listen to the words that others can't speak; speak the words that others can't hear."

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Where Do I Even Start?!

It's weird, at first I thought it was a sick joke that all these celebrities were dying each day at the beginning of the year. At the same time politics seemed like another cruel joke, more celebrities going into rehab or being hospitalized, more death... Then I had friends start passing away, I wasn't sure if people in my own family would make it, I started feeling like I might lose my own battle with mental illness and finally when I decided to voluntarily (somewhat involuntarily) sign myself back into treatment... well, I guess that's when I knew this year wasn't messing around.

This year is almost over, and boy were our parents right when they said "life isn't always fair". Needless to say, I can't wait for this year to be over with.

On Friday I got a fortune that read "the current year will bring you much happiness". I don't really buy into that stuff, but I found it very ironic because it seemed like the current year was trying to kill me... Then I thought about it for a while and honestly, God is so good you guys!

The beginning of this year was so tough. Most of you know very little if any of the stuff I had to deal with during the first half of the year, but let's just say it was a lot. Through it all though, God gave me the strongest support group I could have ever asked for. He gave me co-workers and a supervisor that supported my decision for treatment. He gave me a treatment team that only cared about my wellbeing.

Then, after all that was said and done, I was given the opportunity to interview for a new position and I got it! So as much as I want and probably could complain, God has been good to me this year.

I can agree that the current year will bring me much happiness because it already has. I'm not waiting for something to make it a good year, I made the decisions necessary to make it a good year. Don't get me wrong, a lot of bad stuff has happened, but I have been able to move past that, to not hold on to the negative.

The other day, when I got into my little accident, my first reaction was to think that already, this day sucks. At seven o'clock in the morning I had decided that my day was ruined, all in the blink of an eye. I took some deep breaths and stepped out of the car. The man in the other vehicle smiled and said, "don't even worry about it, it's raining, it could've been any of us." After we traded insurance information he told me that he hopes my day turns around and that I have a good day. That small gesture flipped a switch in my mind that said this doesn't have to ruin your day. Start over. It's never too late.

So instead of calling in to my first day of training, I drove my messed up car all the way to Arlington and turned my day around.

A part of me is still very sad and angry. I guess those are my go-to emotions. I am angry about the accident, I am sad that our family's dog passed away. I am sad that I won't ever get to work with some of my old co-workers anymore. I am angry at things in the past.

I also realize that all of those things, they don't define me, my life, or my future. I realize that amongst the bad, many good things have happened.

I'm just blabbing now so I'll stop, I guess the point I'm trying to make is that you shouldn't count yourself out just because things don't seem to be working out. I personally believe it's all a part of a bigger plan, but if you don't believe in a higher power, you can tell yourself it's the universe. After all, in a world like ours, I hardly believe in coincidences.

Stay true to yourself,


PS- My dad told me the other day that my grandfather said he can now die at peace. He beat Fidel. I love that. I love that he outlived the man that caused him and the family so much pain and anguish. Fidel, all I have to say is, "se acabo lo que se daba."

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Life Lately. :)

I'm not really sure where to start. It has been a long couple of months.

"You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortal will never again strike terror." -Psalm 10: 17-18

When I first started treatment at Eating Recovery Center of Dallas I was very hesitant. I have done this so many times before and this time I wasn't sure I was ready or even wanting recovery. From the very beginning my team was extremely supportive and pushed for what they knew was best for me, even when I pushed back.

Kara, my therapist, wanted me to live in the apartments so that I could practice what it's like to live alone (in this case with roommates). I was afraid that moving in would give me more freedom to act on my behaviors, but after thinking about it for some time I packed my bags and moved in. They are letting me stay free of charge, normally it's $50 a day. I cried as she explained to me that I was deserving of the help I was getting. I cried because I felt (and sometimes still feel) like I don't deserve help. I'm the only person in this world that can't recover.. I've come to realize that is not true.

Kara wanted me to do family therapy with more than just my family, so I volunteered my best friend Aimee for the task. We had a couple sessions and I was able to open up to her more and tell her when I was having urges to act on something and what exactly the urges were. Let me tell you something, being truthful about urges is extremely vulnerable and difficult; I believe we grew stronger in our friendship because of this.

At ERC they talk a lot about values. I had never thought about my values because I simply didn't think it was important. I have always felt like I am going to die young, so why even bother? Kara had me do an exercise with 100 cards with values on them, I had to slowly eliminate cards until I got to just five. Sounds simple, it is much harder than you would think. My top five values were: 1) Inner Strength 2) Creativity 3) Spirituality 4) Family 5) Safety. I am working on figuring out how these play out in my life and what I want to do with them. I believe God has exciting plans for me and my future.

Lastly, my transition back to work has been trying. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do and I know I am good at it, it's just hard to balance work, treatment, meals, therapy, doctor's appointments and try to still have a social life amidst all of that. I think I've been doing well. I had the privilege of seeing a friend I grew up with just last week and my heart is still so joyous! I've reached out to old church friends and started going to weekly Mass. Unfortunately, now that I'm working 12 hour shifts on the weekends I won't be able to go for a bit but I do want to work harder to go back to church and renew my faith.

I haven't been writing as much as I'd like to, but I am making an effort to use my creativity and share it with the world. I've been drawing more and working on some poetry. I guess I can end with my most recent poem. I told my therapist I thought it was too depressing to share it with anyone, but she assured me that I only think it is depressing because I am depressed. I hope she is right. Slowly but surely I feel this pain is lifting. My team let my employer know that I struggle with ED, depression and PTSD so that I can be honest and take advantage of my meals and breaks to actually eat. I've noticed that by simply feeding my body, my mind and soul have benefited as well. Anyways, here is the poem I wrote just a couple of weeks ago. :)

Alone in the darkness,
Mind wanders.
Feeling, feeling too much.
Feeling nothing at all.

Alone in the darkness.
Alone in my thoughts. Alone.

The pills make the pain subside,
But when will I see the sun shine again?
When will a smile come without forcefully
willing my lips to turn upward?

Upward I go in my dreams...
A land unknown, a land for people like me. 

People like me weren't born for this world.
A world of anger and hate,
Shame so deep it runs through our veins.

We breathe in. We're drowning.
We breathe in. We are free.

Peace to you,


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sitting in my garbage.

I've been trying to gather my thoughts for a while now, but today something happened that gave me a nudge (or really a hard kick) in the right direction.

My best friend asked me to go to church with her, and with as angry as I've been with God I didn't want to go. I also have a lot going on right now and know that when I have felt this lost and confused in the past, God has been the only one that stood by me. Even when it felt like even He gave up, He turned out to be the only one walking beside me. So I got out of bed, put my big girl panties on (quite literally actually) and faced it. I faced the hurt, confusion, anger and SHAME, walked right into that church and sat in my garbage.

I felt so naked and was sure that everyone could see. But you know what? Whether they knew me well enough to know or just shook my hand for the first time today, I felt welcomed. I haven't felt welcomed (even on this earth) in quite some time now. It was incredibly refreshing. An amazing thing happened in that moment... As soon as the first worship song started playing and everyone stood up to praise, the only thought going through my head was, "Why am I telling myself all these terrible things?"

Now, y'all know my background and you know what I struggle with, so there's no need to explain the things I tell myself, but I'll go ahead and do so anyway. I had thoughts like, "you don't deserve to live", "you are a waste of space", "you're fat", "you're ugly" and "nobody loves you" running through my head. That's just to name a few. But in that moment of stillness and clarity, when I wondered why I was bullying myself, Romans 8:1 popped in my head.

Now, I don't read the bible very often. I don't know many  books, chapters or verses by heart, but this one I remember because back in the day my friend Jessica Volcansek (now Steel) sent me an email telling me that when I cry, Jesus cries with me. This verse was included in that email and although it's not usually in the forefront of my mind, when I need it, it comes back.

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..." 

The verse goes on to say, "because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death." But I just kept repeating to myself "there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ". No condemnation. It doesn't matter how long I've turned my back. It doesn't matter what church I choose to attend. It does not matter if I'm angry, sad or shameful. I am loved and wanted and welcomed in His eyes. That is truly all that matters. 

Ironically enough, as I sat there and cried,  the pastor talked about how words have the strength to heal or the power to hurt. I have been hurting myself with my words. I have been beating myself down with the negative things I tell myself. And I have been ashamed to admit it because doing so means admitting that I have a problem, that I am struggling incredibly with depression, with my eating and with self harm. But I am willing to do so today. And I am willing to come to you and to God and to say that I need help right now. I cannot do this on my own. And I feel so lucky to have such an amazing friend, whose family has shown me so much love and support. They have prayed with me and for me, they've spent both night and day with me when I have felt so alone and afraid. I honestly don't know how I could ever repay them... But I also don't think they expect that. 

I have been stronger this time around than any of the times in the past. My work has not suffered, but my home and personal life has gone down the drain. I have been able to keep myself just barely above the surface. 

I'm rambling now so I'm going to stop there. I will say that I am getting help and getting on a different medication regimen. I have agreed (in order to be able to keep seeing the therapist I have been seeing for years now) to start outpatient treatment. I promise to choose my words wisely and I have chosen to start writing, as well as sharing my writing, with the world again. 

I can't promise that it's going to be pretty. In fact, so far this has proven to be the hardest time of all for me to choose to get help because I don't feel sick enough. I would almost say I'm being forced into it, but that's also not giving myself enough credit. I made the assessment. I showed up to assessment, and tomorrow I will ultimately be the one showing up for treatment and signing the paperwork. So yes, I need to give myself some credit, even if I was given an ultimatum by my treatment team. 

Lastly, I truly hope you all are doing well. I know it has been over  a year since I shared any writing, and I know I have worried some of you and lost touch with many of you. But today I can say that in choosing to use my words for good, I have also chosen to share my writing in order to give a voice to the voiceless and hopefully give someone even the smallest bit of hope. Because ultimately, the is hope. There is hope, and truth and light out there... Sometimes we just have to search for it in order to find it. 

I hope you find yourself well tonight and this week. I will find myself in a room full of broken people, each one of us sorting through our garbage. 

Peace to you tonight, 

❤️ Bella. 

PS. This was typed on my phone so I do apologize for any grammar mistakes. 😁