I rarely write about my faith for Where I Stand. I think partly because in some of my most difficult and trying times I met individuals who told me that my struggle with my own brain was a result of my lack of faith, my own sin, or being disconnected from God. Comments like this broke me in a way that is hard to explain as I was looking up from a deep hole that was my own misery of depression, self-hate, disordered eating, fear, shame and disgust.
This planted a fear in my heart of sending others that same message. Today it’s time to face that fear.
I want to scream from the top of my lungs that your struggles, your illness, and your broken heart are not a result of God punishing you for some “wrongdoing” of your own creation. That idea and thought that people put in my brain that spoke lies to my heart comes from a dark place – a place that is untouched by the light of the Father. Those messages were lies spread by “bullies of the faith”.
You do not “deserve” and you did not “earn” pain, trial and suffering. All darkness in this world exists apart from God. We are faced with trials and suffering, pain and heartbreak because of the world.
It’s NOT your fault.
I have about twenty five journals filled with prayers crying out to God begging for relief and comfort. At times I wondered “what did I do to deserve this?” and “Why is God doing this to me?” The truth however was that God was breathing for me during those times. Each day he gave me grace (sometimes as simple and small as a hug from a friend) that allowed me to endure the pain.
The world is filled with heartbreak, pain, and fear. Some people told me that God was the giver of these things; the reality was he was my refuge from these things.
This post is not to convince you, convert you, trick you, or tell you that God makes any of this easy. I’m writing this to you to tell you that God won’t leave your side. I’m alive today because he didn’t leave mine.
You are loved.
My name is Erin and This is Where I Stand.
Bad Day Prayer
By: Erin Elizabeth Casey
God sometimes my burden seems too big to bear
God sometimes my life seems too long to continue to live
God sometimes my pain seems too persuasive to persist
Those are my bad days
Those are the days when I need your Son the most
I need your Son to share my burden, my life, and my pain
I need your Son to remind me that it’s not about me
It’s not about my burden
It’s not about my life
It’s not about my pain
For on my bad days when I focus on You
I see the bigger picture
I see the goal to expand your kingdom and make this world new
But even with that sight I cannot ignore the pain
Pretending gets me nowhere
Except caught in more chains
So God my prayer for today and for all my bad days to come
Help me to focus on your one and only son
Perfect is something I will never become
But mold me, shape me, turn me and make me so that your work may be done
And finally God it is my truest hope
on the days when I don’t feel it
on the days when I don’t see it
on the days when I don’t understand it
I can read these simple words
Turn my face to You
And say to myself
“God I give today to You”
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People who serve in the military and veterans face some different health issues than civilians. During wartime, the main health concerns are life-threatening injuries. These include shrapnel and gunshot wounds, lost limbs, and head injuries. Some service members might also have health problems from exposure to environmental hazards, such as contaminated water, chemicals and infections.
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So far in the course of my life
I have stood for many things
These things have often caused me harm and strife
Hurt too, terrible pain, and those harmful things that always sting
My mind would always say:
The truth is….
This is where I stood:
On a mountain of shame and guilt
That I myself built
In an ocean of depression and doubt
Where I stayed silent then acted out
Below a cloud of anger and fear
Words of comfort and hope I could never hear
But today that has begun to slowly change
One foot in front of the other
I move from that dark place to brighter other
That is where I stood
This is where I stand
Here with you
Struggling my way through
Making the decision to do what is hard but right
So that my life may reflect light
Holding on when I want to let go
Knowing it’s okay if I go slow
Walking with others who choose to fight for light too
For what seem impossible for one is possible for a few
So this is where I stand
Fighting my own darkness
Fighting for light
And from where I stand you must know
We’ll be alright
This is where I stand
You choose where you want to be
My hope is that you will see
When it comes to mental illness, strain and strife
The only choice is to stand for life
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We Must All Know
Yesterday an old friend shared something hard
My heart went out to her pain and struggle
But I knew I did not understand
I have not walked this walk she’s been on
Where she has felt trampled upon
I cannot understand the exact beating her heart has endured
Or really understand the ways it’s shaped her and matured
Everyone is trying to get by in their own way
Desperately trying to get through the day
So we cannot understand the ins and outs
Of everyone’s emotions, fears, pain, and doubts
Because we cannot truly walk in their shoes
Or understand each and every bruise
But you can walk beside them as they travel
Remind them they are not alone if they fall in the gravel
If you don’t know where someone has been before
Recognize that their life, struggles and pains are different than yours
Grab their hand
Say: “You know, I don’t understand”
“But I care a lot about you”
“I want you to know and believe that is true”
“You are not alone in this storm”
“I will hug you if you need something warm”
No person will ever understand our lives in every single way
But that does not mean we’re alone each day
I’m really bad at letting people in my life. REALLY bad. It takes A LOT for me to trust someone. It takes A LONG time. It usually takes trial and effort.
I run from kindness offered to me openly usually. I question motives. I fear rejection.
So I push. So I pull. So I hide. So I run away.
I make it difficult. I make it hard. I’m sorry.
I could try to explain why I do this time and time again. I could make an effort to give reasons from my past, trauma, emotional hurts and pains – but I won’t. All you need to know is that I’m a work in progress. I’m broken like everyone else, and I’m sorry if I hurt you.
I’m sorry. That my pain caused you pain.
22 years old, Anxiety, bdp, bipolar, Bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, Byron Katie, change, depression, eating disorder, Eating disorder not otherwise specified, health, hurtful, Major depressive disorder, mental-health, Pain, positive, postive, victim, victor, you can do it
“As long as you think that the cause of your problem is “out there”—as long as you think that anyone or anything is responsible for your suffering—the situation is hopeless. It means that you are forever in the role of victim, that you’re suffering in paradise.”
― Byron Katie, Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life
I always think it’s kind of crazy when people say something like “you’ve been through so much – it’s amazing – you’re amazing.” I think it’s because I don’t see life that way. I recognize that I’ve been through a lot. But who hasn’t?
My life at 22 years old has been filled with trial and turmoil, but I am so thankful that I have come to a place of understanding, at least. Maybe I’m crazy but I consider myself lucky. I consider myself so fortunate. So yeah, my chart reads: anxiety, major depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, bulimia, eating disorder not otherwise specified etc.
I’ve been hurt. But who hasn’t? People leave. People say the wrong things. People in their own pain inflict pain. That’s life right? And that’s why we have to search long and hard for the little things that make us smile.
It’s messy. It’s painful. It’s dramatic. It’s hurtful. It’s long. But if that all we see we will forever be victims. I love art projects, my best friend, my new cat Megan, playing with kids and doing things that make a difference in the lives of others.
I could focus all my energy on every hurtful thing that’s ever happened to me. I could dwell on the dark spots in my life (some of which are quite large). I could think about each and every time a person has hurt me rather than helped, replay it in my brain over and over.
But each day I make every effort to seek light. I look for the good in the people in my life, knowing I’ve probably hurt those who have hurt me too. I do the little things that make me happy and I’m thankful that I’m alive.
I refuse to be a victim in my own life. I don’t think I’m amazing, or incredible or exceptional. I simply understand that if I allow myself to be the victim of my life, my circumstance, my world then I have lost the ability to to move forward.