Up From the Ashes

TW: Depression, dark thoughts, suicide, mental health, Bipolar, OCD

Life is full of disappointments.

I have spent so much of my life feeling disappointed.

Disappointed by others, myself, experiences, love, and so much more.


Recently my grandfather shared so much wisdom with me.

We talked about how life has 4 quarters, and I am in the first: ages 0-25.

He explained how so many great and amazing things happened to him within his first quarter.

I am not going to lie…my eyes immediately welled up with tears.

I always feel so terrified when people tell me that the years I am in right now will be the best of my life.

Within the conversation with my grandfather, I had a flashback to a night during my senior year of high school.

I was having to make a timeline of all the bad things I had experienced within the last 6 years of my life, and then I was supposed to rip it into shreds and leave it in my “past”.

My timeline reached from wall to wall.

It was full of sorrowful and saddening experiences I had felt and walked through towards the end of middle school and all my years of high school.


I look back at my first quarter thus far, and all I can see is that timeline.

Four or five brutal times through out high school of having dark, suicidal thoughts.

Experiencing tragic heartache that I did not even think was possible to feel.

Depression that was so consuming that it left me isolated, with only me and my pessimistic thoughts.

And fear, lots of fear.


But as my grandfather talked to me about the four quarters of life, he told me how someday when all of us reflect, we will truly see just how amazing life was, and how the good always outweighed the bad.

I stand today, alive, seeing that this must hold to be true, or else I would not still be here.

I would go through all the heartache that I have endured all over again if it meant that it would lead me to whom I love today, because he is so worth it.

I would go through the friendships that have come and gone in my life that I miss so dearly if it would lead me to the couple of great friends I have now, because they are worth it.

I would take on the uncomfortable and excluded feelings I had all through high school because I was not like others if it meant that I would have the opportunities to pour into some one, somewhere, because he or she was worth it.

My grandfather helped continue to open my eyes to see that it is all worth it.

So often I look at my past and see wasted space and wasted time.

I see a messed up teenage girl with no idea what to do with herself.

For years I had dreams, images, and replayed moments in my head reminding me of the time I had someone I loved tell me he would never feel the way I felt for him.

I remember times that I have been lied to and left in the dust.

I remember continually giving more than I ever got back, but it was all worth it.

I hope I drove the people insane who I loved so deeply because at least they saw what it meant to be truly loved.

I hope I made people so uncomfortable by how much I cared for them because they deserved to be that cared for.

Even in moments when I feel like I have been done so wrong, it was worth it, because it was all supposed to happen.

It has left me with who I am, who I have, and who I want to become.

None of that matters now. What matters is what is ahead.

Do I look at my past and feel proud? Absolutely not. I was broken and defeated.

But now I look at it all, and I see how much it has shaped me.

I was forced to reinvent myself from my ashes.

I felt like I was thrown overboard.

Like I was left, abandoned, and forgotten by the person that I would have literally died for, but it is fascinating because it lead me to the person who did die for me.

I do not even care if that is the most cliché or mushy thing I have ever written, it is true.

I stand today alive and better than ever! Still not great, but I am getting there.

My grandfather taught me something that I will now never forget, life is about perspective.

It is about reflecting and not seeing all the times you failed or were forgotten, but about how many times you rose from the ashes and continued to fight.

I have always been told that my “first quarter” would be my best quarter, but that clearly has not been the case.

But it is not too late to turn the tables.

It is not about me, it was not about me, and it will not be about me.

It is about what is supposed to be, and if that was what needed to happen, than I am thankful.

I know what I want now.

I always felt like throughout high school the tragic moments I had felt within my heart were just going to cause me to grow more and more bitter as I grew older, but I think the opposite is coming about.

I think times are looking up, at least for now.

Since the eighth grade I have been taught lessons that could not have been shown to me any other way other than through experience.

The lesson of love, losing it…and it never returning.

The lesson of trial and error.

The lesson of fighting for my heart.

The lesson of fighting for my joy.

The lesson of fighting for my life.

The lesson of fighting my mind.

The lesson of fighting off demons.

And the last and most important lesson, the lesson of Christ’s faithfulness.

The number one person that I felt like left me was here all along, or else I would not be here.

I spent endless nights lying in bed bawling thinking, “where is the God who said He so desperately loves me? If you love me, than why am I am so empty and disgusting.”

I felt like I was better off dead, and I figured He thought the same of me since I was not progressing what so ever.

But now I see the devil’s nasty tricks.

He fooled me into thinking a human’s rejection meant I was unloved, forgotten, and dismissed by all people.

But God proved me wrong, He always does.

The very times I think He is the farthest away are the times when He is standing not even beside me, but in front of me, fighting off the demons, and fighting for my life.


And that is where my fresh, new, and beautiful perspective starts.

Life still scares me.

Love still makes me sick to my stomach for fear of losing it, yet again.

I am still terrified to trust.

I still have my questions, anger, and doubt.

But my perspective is literally being changed each day because of faithfulness.

God is removing the callous’ from my heart that the devil so desperately tried to cover me in.


I am my own worst enemy.

Medication- it is a beautiful thing.

But, as a person who struggles with bipolar disorder, it can be viewed as an enemy. A prescription given to me to take away the feelings that I view as normal.

The feelings I have had for nineteen years.

After seven months of working up to the therapeutic level of Lamotrigine (lamictal), a mood stabilizer often given to those with bipolar disorder, I am truly feeling it.

It absorbs itself more within my bloodstream each and every day, taking away my highs and lows.

My times of being overly wired, hyper, talkative, engaged, introspective, and the list could go on, feel as though they have been brought down to a slower pace. And how does this make me feel?

Numb. Boring. Uncomfortable.

Yes, I am aware that people with bipolar disorder highly struggle with staying on their medication, because it takes them away from their different forms of mania.

People want to feel what they feel.

Their moments of feeling unstoppable, invincible, powerful, and alive.

Sometimes, taking this medication can make me feel like I am losing who I am.

So many thoughts run through my head saying, I don’t feel like I need this. I can handle myself. I wont have another hypomanic episode. I wont fall into a deep depression again. I wont lose control. I will be okay. I can be normal.

The tension that can come along with taking medication can be heart wrenching.

I feel as though I am having to learn a new way of life after spending nineteen years of being an insanely passionate, depressing, overly anxious, hyper, excessive human.

Now do not get me wrong, I will always carry these traits with me, but the lamictal will help to stabilize them.

Sounds like such a good thing right? Then why is it so hard to view it this way?

My mind whispers things to me about how I am being told to take this medication because I am supposed to “fit in.”

I have to take this medication to be “regular.”

My own judgmental and angry thoughts try to take me away from the point of my medication, which is to help me be safe and sustainable.

Half of the challenge of having a struggle related to mental health is choosing whether or not you are going to fight it.

It is so much easier to give in.

To not take my medication when no one is looking and then lie and say that I did.

To stop going to counseling.

To allow myself to go off the charts again.

To lay in bed until I am forced to get up.

To wallow in my own self pity for weeks, cry until I physically have no tears left, and reflect on my life, thinking about all the “what if” questions.


But the real challenge is standing up to myself.

I would have to say that I am by far my own worst enemy.

Therefore, I have to choose to have a stronger voice than my own whispers and thoughts.

I have to learn to tell myself the exact opposite of how I feel.

For the past month…I have felt numb.

Am I actually numb? No.

But my mind is used to vigorous peaks of hypomania and depths of depression.


This medication helps to keep me sane.

This medicine helps me to not be depressed.

This medication helps me to be stable.

But I have to force myself to see this bright side, or else all I can see in front of me is a pill that is trying to alter who I am.

I have always been so overly in touch with my emotions that I am terrified of the idea of feeling emotionless.

Emotions are a beautiful thing, but we can so easily abuse them.

Befriending Yourself.

With my freshman year of college behind me, it has caused me to reflect.

This year has been insane, literally.

I have officially been diagnosed with Bipolar 2 disorder as well as OCD.

Many mental illnesses have been overgeneralized, downplayed, and even made fun of because people are not fully grasping the severity of them.

As I continue this blog I will definitely go into further detail about what exactly these disorders are as well as my personal experiences with them, but for today I will stick to my other thoughts.

I waited to post this until I felt like I was ready to come to terms with it myself.

I have been battling my own judgmental thoughts for the past seven months.

How do I allow these labels to bring me peace when I feel so shameful of them?

How do I remain confident when the stigma behind so many disorders is that “those people are crazy” or “those types of people just need to stay on their medication.”

We must change this stigma.

Souls, moods, personalities, hearts, and minds are broken because people feel out casted for things they cannot control.

My entire life I have questioned my sanity.

Now that I have learned about my final diagnosis, I have had to remind myself that it is okay that I am different from others.

That my mood may be more rapid.

That my thoughts might be more intrusive.

That I may be much more emotional.

More depressed.

More anxious.

More talkative.

The likelihood of me having Bipolar disorder as well as OCD was slim to nothing.

There was a 1.5% chance of me having Bipolar disorder, and 2-3% chance of me having OCD.

I do not line up with any of the statistics.

So, this has left me with two options: to hate myself and every single way I operate, or to realize there is a specific reason I was made this way.

I was made this way on purpose.

My extreme highs and very low lows are painful and can be harmful, but through out my life I have been able to connect with others in ways I did not even think were possible due to how many different feelings I have endured.

My intrusive thoughts that have caused me to stay awake until 5:00 AM, only to be woken back up at 7:00 AM from morbid dreams that leave me speechless.

These exact moments are the times that make me empathize with those around me the most.

I want to comfort people’s minds.

That is why I am here.

The issue with our society is that everyone feels so alone. They think no one understands them whatsoever. But we are all thinking this exact same way…that no one understands us.

Therefore, we never even give people a chance to, and this leaves us completely isolated with our thoughts and ourselves.

You are not defined by what the world tells you that you are.

Male or female, you are a beautiful creature.

The goal of this post is to express that nothing is too weird, nasty, or intense to not share you story.

It does not matter how different it is from others.

In order to bring souls together all over the world we must break free from the bondage of our own minds, and the world’s critical remarks.

Embrace your creative, intricate mind.

I have spent my entire life staring at a reflection that I loathed.

Sometimes, I definitely still do, but I want to change this so that I can really understand what it means to love myself.

I do not care if this takes me my entire life, I will fight for my mind and my mood.

When intrusive thoughts crowd my mind and suffocate me, I will befriend them, and speak things over myself to reiterate that I am in fact okay.

I will welcome my disorders so that I can better love myself.

I cannot keep running from who I am, and who I will be my whole life.

They make me the overly passionate person that I am.

Yes, this makes me different from my peers, but I must move past this in order to continue doing big things in the world around me.

Do not ever think you are too emotional, too unstable, or too crazy to have a say.

I stayed quiet for so long because I thought I was psychotic, and needed to get over the things that haunted me from my past.

I thought my dark thoughts were normal.

I thought my extreme mood swings were just part of “being a girl”, but these things are not true.

So today, I am openly speaking about my diagnosis, because I am choosing to love myself.

If this is you, speak out.

Remember you are unique. Not strange.

Yes, this journey will be long, but I am no longer ashamed and no one should have to be.