Picking up the Pieces: Part I

My number one New years resolution was to try to be more consistent and deliberate with my faith, rather than living like a crazy hap hazard lunatic bound for a crash landing.

I am sharing my story with you in hopes that it will help someone struggling in a similar situation or that it will shed light on a subject, depression, that leave many confused, misunderstood and completely in the dark. 

I have always been very honest on this blog and I plan to continue to be. I am going to attempt to tell you a little about my story lately.

About 6 weeks ago, I took three weeks off from blogging, the longest I have ever taken, because I had a full blown nervous breakdown. You can read about it {here}. Since then I have been a fragile little being, holding on to the edge of life's cliff trying to keep it together for my family. And now I am so eager to pick up the pieces of my broken spirit.

So bare with me a moment while I explain something about myself. Ever since I can remember I have had A LOT of trouble balancing anything in  my life. I would say finding balance in any one area of my life is probably and has always been my greatest life long struggle. That constant out of balance state is what drives my extreme highs and lows, hence my resolution to incorporate faith daily so that I don't tend up on my  knees begging for mercy because I thought I could manage EVERY.SINGLE.THING. on my own.

From a pretty young age I was VERY independent. I think it was a combination from my strong willed personality and being a product of a broken home.  There weren't that many adults around to rely on too much anyway and I was quiet happy, so I thought, on my own from a younger age. 
So , I did everything on my own, I cooked, cleaned, I worked 2 jobs,  changed tires, changed oil, moved furniture, mowed lawns, you name it; Nothing would stop me. Not my age, not my gender, nothing! If only I could bottle my will power and sell it, I would make millions I tell you!!! I can do ANYTHING I set my mind to which is a great characteristic if you know how to use it right.

From the ages of 8 to 24 that's how I lived, like a crazed kamikaze super human that thought she could do anything. Never, taking time out for myself, considering my feelings, my own needs or what kind of disaster I was leaving in my wake. 

So around age 24-25 I had my first real depressive breakdown that FLOORED me, left me unable to function completely. Of course this was totally foreign to me because my entire life I had ALWAYS just toughed it out, white knuckled my way through EVERYTHING and I mean everything. There were many, many times when I was suffering with depression and surely needed professional help but just never sought it because I thought I was tougher than that! 

Finally 15 years of white knuckling it all came crashing down on my head and I was left broken, in pieces, not even knowing where to begin or which piece to pick up first. 

So my journey with depression and how to deal with it officially began. I finally sought professional help. It helped a lot but my life has still been a roller coaster to say the least. I don't know any other way to live than with an "all or nothing" attitude. I simply just don't know how. SO things get really good (so they seem) and then things get really bad (so they seem) because I have no consideration for what happens in between. 

So my resolution is to find a way to moderate this by incorporating faith every single day whether I feel like I need it or not so I don't end up in desperation alley. 

My life circumstances since a fairly young age have been less than ideal, at this point it is hard to tell what came first, the less ideal circumstances, that I had no control over, or the ones I did but the combination of the both left me a walking disaster. Things calmed down significantly after my husband and I lost everything we owned in Hurricane Katrina, I started nursing school, we bought a house, got married and things seemed like they were going to straighten right out. 

I have noticed, that now even when there is no chaos is my life, I create it. Granted my life has been very chaotic the last year or so with many heard ships and difficult situations but had none of that occurred, I would probably still be in the same place. I suppose it's all I know and so I thrive on it in some awful way. I want it to stop. I want to live, a normal, simple, balanced life. I suppose we all do, right?

So this is the beginning of me trying to pick up the pieces of a broken spirit.

My friend {Casey Wiegand} recommended a book to me. The book is called, A Beautiful Offering by Angela Thomas. 
The second chapter of the book is titled "Broken" and let me tell you I sobbed my whole way through that chapter. It SPOKE to me in a way that I could truly understand and IT.WAS.ME. 
Exactly me!!!!!

This quote spoke to my core, 

"When  life is overwhelming and burdens become more than one human can bear....When your circumstances are unrelenting, or the consequences that have come to you heap higher and higher......When tragedy sneaks into your life to ambush you like a stalker, or the world bangs down the door and says,'Let me teach you a few lessons".....When there is just too much and you almost can't breathe..then people break. Hearts break and the will is broken and dreams shatter and the spirit is crushed."

I thought this was said so perfectly, it was said with just the right amount of description to  realty capture the feeling of truly being "broken" without having to go into details. 

As part of my quest to live a better, more balanced life I have begun to seek a greater relationship in my faith. I am reading, as mentioned above "A Beautiful Offering" by Angela Thomas and I am also reading "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young which is a daily devotional book. My husband and I happened to receive it as a gift, I recently formed a great relationship with Alissa from Rags to Stitches and she is also reading it and encouraging her readers to have a little study group about it so I'm really excited to have a little support in that way. 

All I know is that I am such a loving, compassionate and passionate person, there MUST be an easier, no-kamikaze way to life and find more balance for me and my children.

I hope you know this is in no way a negative thing. I want to share my story with you so that I can help you to understand where I am coming from and why. Also I hope maybe some of you can relate to me. 
Thank you for listening. 

This was part I of my story, my struggle, I look forward to sharing more and sharing how I am balancing my life as I go, hopefully with great success!

And I might just take the weekend off but we'll see. You know I can't stay away too long:)

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CC said...

I will be praying for you, Hanna. For peace and balance in your life. While I am not on medication, I too have struggled with serious depression for much of my life. I will say that taking things one day, one hour, even one minute at a time has been a major help. Also the whole point of faith is dependence on God. And that my dear friend is so very much harder than it sounds and yet the best place in the world to be. God bless you sweet lady.

Jamie F said...

Thanks you so much for expressing your feelings! I can relate to how you feel! Although I do have faith in my life prayer, study and balance is the key, no matter what challenges we face.You can do it!:)
Happy Blogging,
P.S. I do have a question for you: When your training and running, do you jog outside on a treadmill or at the gym? I'll be training for my first marathon soon!

Robyn Burke said...

another beautifully transparent post. you inspire others with your honest struggles and your desire to seek healing. Faith is the key that unlocks the door to a full life in Christ. God bless you in your journey, as always. xo robyn

Andrea {kerubo mama} said...

That was beautiful, Hanna. I have been so slack with reading and commenting on blogs for a long time, but I was so encouraged to read this, and sense your vulnerable honesty. You are an inspiration, especially in the way you accept help and admit your weakness. Thank you for this, sweet lady! xo

Elise@growcreative said...

Thanks for sharing this. I think a lot of us can relate. We all have our breaking points. I had mine when I went through depression 3 years ago. It was at that point that I realized I couldn't do it all and that I needed some help. It was the darkest point of my life, but once I started to let go of the control, and have some faith in my savior, the darkness started to leave. I hope you can do the same :) Hugs!

Erica said...

Thanks for opening up to us!! I too love that book, because of Casey's recommendation and read it over ad over!! Happy new year!

Leah said...

i don't know if the message tonight at church was meant for me to share with you.
it was about finding strenght in the Lord and in His joy.
many times life will hit us HARD. knock us down, trample us and leave us almost dead but in order to stand against it, in order to fight and be victorious, we must be prepared. Fervent prayer is our weapon. it is what draws us close to God and allows us to be joyous in difficult times as we know He will be in control. When Jesus was about to be crucified, He went and prayed intimately with His father to find that strenght, that joy.
I just read your post of your breakdown, and it's such a blessing that you have so much support and family that loves you.
I firmly believe that you taking steps to be stronger in your faith will bring joy like no other to your life, even when it seems like everything else is falling apart.
my heart goes out to you sweet Hannah. (hugs)

SueAnn Lommler said...

Sometimes the journey is dark and now well lit...but He can light the way. Hang on to His hem...He will take your hand and bring you into the light. My thoughts and prayers will be with you.
Hugging you

Sarah Mc. said...

I think sometimes we hear "Let go and let God" so much that it becomes just a phrase and loses the meaning behind it, but it's so true. I struggle with my sense of independence, always wanting to be self-sufficient and afraid to ask for help when I should. God is really working in me about my desire to fight against his leading and go my own way. Daily study helps, really helps soothe my soul. I'm stepping it up this year and adding that my study must come from the Book itself and not from my iPhone Bible app. Something about actually being in the pages of a book make the words seem more substantial. I should add this book to my reading list!

Yo Momma Runs said...

I love how you are so honest and open with your feelings and emotions. I know a lot of people reading can relate -- like me! Thank you!

Yo Momma Runs said...

And I love that picture of you, BTW!

Marnie said...

Hi Hanna, I wish I could give you a big hug right now. I've been there. I've had different problems than you, but I've been there.

The fact you are taking action, means you will get through this. I have often found that just when things look like they could't get anymore glum then something happens and there's a shift.

You are a good person, and amazing mommy & wife. I have complete faith in you (I also think you need to stop beating yourself up). xoxo

Julie Marie said...

i relate so well with "trying to create chaos" even when things seem to be going well. I have done the same thing several times. I notice that i become addicted to feeling like crap. haha does that make sense? so i almost get bored without something to be obsessed with or sad about. I dont know if you noticed i mention that, in one of my posts how we get so accustomed with that feeling, we seek it out almost.

Here is a couple vlogs I did. tears and all, explaining a little more how i learned to rely on the grace of God to carry me through that all...


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