[my story]

This will probably be my most raw, vulnerable, and honest post yet. This is my story.

When I was in the 7th grade my life began to fall apart. Along with hormonal changes, a couple from my church who has mentored me and loved me told us that they were getting a divorce. I loved them like they were my parents. On top of that my brother, who I really admire and look up to, was planning on joining the Marine Corp.

I don’t remember why, but I began self-harming in 8th grade. This nasty habit and negative coping skill has left me more than broken. Once my parents figured this out they sent me to therapy where I met my first therapist we will call R. R was great and we worked though a lot of stuff. She was great and I looked up to her but soon things changed. She grew impatient with me and looking back she was probably dealing with something personal. She told me she would rather be home with her kids or relaxing at home. I became heartbroken that she wouldn’t give me more time to open up. I really struggle with opening up. One day R decided she had enough and quit on me.

My parents thought that maybe I didn’t need therapy now. I felt like they didn’t believe me and that R didn’t either. I began planning my suicide attempt. The compulsive thoughts would not leave me until that day which I swallowed the pills. I called the pastor at my church and he took me to the ER.

After that I went to a recovery group place. It was fun and I really enjoyed it. I liked the support and help I was getting. Soon insurance was done paying for this and I had to quit going to the group. But then I found a new therapist who we will call L. We worked together for about a year then I decided to call it off because she did most of the talking and she didn’t give me time to say what I wanted to talk about.

Leaving L, I met my current therapist, M. M has been amazing. She has helped me work though so much. We have gone to the deep and the dark places as well as experiences of joy and contentment.

My mental health has improved with the help of a great support system. Along with my doctor and therapist, I had people from church who mentored me and helped me through the dark times. I still struggle with anxiety, depression, and thoughts of suicide or self harm. Depression and anxiety keep me trapped on a daily basis. I am learning to overcome. I am learning healthy coping skills. I wish I could say it has always been this positive but it’s not. A month ago I was hospitalized again for the third time.

I always hated it when people said “It will get better!” Yes, it has, but the struggle is still there. I don’t think I will ever be cured from anxiety and depression. It has been the thorn in my flesh like Apostle Paul says. When I am weak then I am strong. God’s strength shines in me and through me when I am weak. He makes me strong.

There is hope in Jesus Christ. I wouldn’t have been able to get through these times without Him. This does not mean I have always been a devote Christian. I have gotten mad at God, screamed at Him, rejected Him, blamed Him. I have been so angry with Him. But by His grace, I can still run back to Him and He will greet me with open arms and a friendly smile.

He is there, my friends. He is calling your name. Run to Him.

feel the fear and do it anyway

My therapist always tells me the best way to fight depression and anxiety is to do the opposite of what it tells you to do. For example, depression and anxiety tell me not to go out with friends. The best way to overcome this is to feel the fear and do it anyway. So I would then go out with my friends to fight my depression and anxiety.

I have decided that this summer will be very good but also very hard. This summer I am going to really push myself with my recovery.

Ways I am going to do this:
• I’m going to get a job. And I’m going to work my ass off trying to get one. This means doing the hard work: making phone calls and doing job interviews. I’ve already applied at Panera and they sent me an email saying they would call me soon. If they don’t call by next week I’m going to call them. This is going to be hard but I’m going to do it. It honestly scares the shit out of me.

• I’m going to stop apologizing for things that aren’t my fault. I always apologize when I’m at the store and I pay with the exact change. I’m going to stop that. This also means saying no. Im going to say no and let that be my final answer. I need to be more assertive.

• I’m going to stop going through the self check out isle at the store. I need to better communicate with people.

• I’m going to try to be more open, honest, and be myself in therapy.

• I’m going to hang out with my friends and even invite them to do things with me.

• I’m going to better communicate with my parents on how I am feeling with my mental health. We’ve already been working on this but I want to continue with this.

• I want to meet new people and Try new things. I’m going to try to be more active and involved in my community. I want to meet new people and make new friends. This means I will go places and talk to people. I will also try harder to be more outgoing and friendlier with people.

• I am going to make more phone calls and spend more time with my grandma.

There is probably more but this is all I can think of right now. This is going to be a life changing summer. I’m not going to isolate myself.

The beginning of a new chapter

It is currently 4:10 pm, Wednesday, May 10th 2017. and I am joyful.

I graduate high school in 17 days. 
I get done with high school classes in 8 days.
I go on my senior trip in 9 days. 
I start my new job in 19 days.

I am excited. I am so very excited to start this next chapter in my life. I am so ready to be done with classes as the Senioritis is real!

God has big plans for me!
First off, The Senior Trip. It’s a classical tradition for my school. Each year we plan, fund raise, and end up going on a senior trip. This year we are going to St. Louis. I’m very excited to spend four days down there with some of my best friends.

This summer I am working my new job at Panera Bread. I’m pretty excited but also very nervous. It will be good to earn some extra money and just to get out of the house.

Next year I plan to go to a community and study psychology. After my two years I plan on going to the University of Northern Iowa. My end goal is to become a recreational therapist. Obviously this is subject to change, but for the moment, I would love to become a recreational therapist.

I will probably write another post soon on why I want to become a recreational therapist!

Have a great day!

Week 2 – Ways you can be there for each other

Week Two – Ways you can be there for each other:

  1. Sharing your story will allow others to open up and share their story. My therapist always tells me this. She tells me not to be ashamed of your illness because once you tell someone, it gives them permission to share too.
  2. Educate yourself on another persons illness. This helps the other person and you to have a mutual understanding of the illness. It also allows you to have more empathy and compassion towards that person.
  3. Encourage your friend to get professional help. If you struggle with a mental illness as well as your friend, you know how hard it can be to try to help them. Encourage your loved one to seek out professional help such as a therapist or psychologist.

Mental Health Awareness

Four years ago I decided the depression was too much and I tried to kill myself. Four years later I am on my way to recovery.

Four years ago I was diagnosed with a learning disability. I thought I wouldn’t be able to graduate or make it through school. Four years later I am about to graduate high school.

All my life I’ve wondered if anyone would ever love me. Who would take on a challenging girl like me? With such decapitating mental illnesses? Then I met Paul. A wonderful, kind, sweet, gentleman. Who, I believe, does like me.

Life does get better. If you would have told me that four years ago, I would have laughed out of bitterness, despising every word. But now today, although I still struggle and know I will for the rest of my life, I know that it does get better. The hard days will pass and the sun will rise again.

Today depression and anxiety still have a hold of me but I know that I am strong enough and have a great support system to walk with me through this. I have gotten the help I needed and I hope you will find the courage to ask for help.

 

behind the blog

My name is Heather.
First and foremost, I am a believer and friend of the Creator. I am a Christian. God has called my His and I am in Him. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and through Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection believers in him will have eternal life. Jesus is the only way. Jesus accepted me. I am also a firm believer that prayer works and I have seen many prayers be answered.

I am a friend to the friendless. I look at others and see that God has loved them, therefore I should love them too. But this is not always easy. I want to help others see the value of human life. I am shamelessly a pro-life believer. Life begins at conception.

I am in recovery. I struggle with depression, anxiety, ADHD, and a hair pulling disorder called trichotillomania. I have been hospitalized three times. Once for a suicide attempt, once for a panic attack, and another time for my suicidal thoughts. I am still overcoming. It is not always easy, don’t get me wrong. This is my thorn in my flesh and just like Apostle Paul said, I will be content in my weakness because when I am weak then I am strong.

I am a student. In a few weeks I will graduate high school and then move on to a community college. I am excited for the future. I have plans to become a recreational therapist but that is always subject to change. I’m excited to see God work in my life.

This is a little of who I am. I hope you are able to get to know me better as I continue this blog.

Week 1 – How you practice self-care and personal well-being

Well it’s now Friday and I still haven’t written anything. I guess I have lost some will to write here. But anyway these are some ways that I practice self-care and personal well-being:
First of all, I love coloring. This is so mainstream but it really does get my mind focused on something beautiful. I also love painting which has been a huge saving grace for me. I have created my own series of art work called Heather’s Hope Collection.
I also practice self-care by doing good things to my body like taking a warm bath or shower. I have forced myself to do the things that depression tells me not to do like seeing my friends, taking care of myself, and putting my mental health first.
Self-care is not just physical things, it also requires healing of the mind, soul, and spirit. One big way I work on healing my mind, soul, and spirit is reading Scripture. God’s word is healing in more than one way and brings so much joy and peace.

I practice personal well-being and self-care through loving myself even when my messy mind tells me not to. I read Truth and pray to the Creator of this world. Although God has not healed me from all of this, I believe that there are far greater things ahead.

Mental Health Awareness Month

It has been a while since I’ve posted here but it is now May! Which means it is Mental Health Awareness Month!
This is my plan for writing this month:
Week 1 – How you practice self-care and personal well-being.

Week 2 – Ways you can be there for each other

Week 3 – Sharing stories of personal growth and development

Week 4 – Committing to continuous reflection and improvement

 

 

the not-so-valedictorian

* Disclaimer: as you read this you may find grammatical errors and sentences that are grammatically incorrect. But let me reassure you: I am smart, I am intelligent.


 

Greetings class of 2017! We finally made it!

You may be confused as to why I am talking. I am no valedictorian. I am just Heather Taylor. The student who seemingly doesn’t care about school or get her homework turned in on time.

You see, I do care. I speak for the students who tried their hardest, who spent their nights working on homework instead of going out with friends. I speak for the learners that have to take extra time because we were never brought up “gifted” but rather we were called out on learning disabilities and at lunch we’d leave early to take our medication to help us sit through class. But we are more than our learning disabilities and struggles.  Let my voice be heard.

No, I am not the valedictorian, but I speak on behalf of the students who tried hard but did not make it. I speak for the students with learning disabilities and the students who have other problems.    

I speak for a better cause. That maybe someday, our school system will have better resources for the kids that struggle, so that the not-so-valedictorian can rise up.

– Heather Taylor

 

hey there!

Remember me? It’s been awhile.

The past months I haven’t felt any motivation to write. Lately, that has changed. So what’s new? Quite a bit.

My best friend Jane moved back to South Korea. We text pretty often but it is hard with our busy schedules and the time change.

But I have also made new friends! Koki is one of them. She is from Ethiopia and also has a little brother who is in 7th grade. I enjoy learning about her country and culture.

I am now a senior in high school! Crazy. The time really does go by fast. I am enjoying it but I am struggling a lot more this year.

My heart is hungry for Jesus. I think reviving my relationship with Christ has made me want to write again. I am taking a class on the book of Romans and it is clearly changing my life.

This isn’t much but hopefully I will write more soon.