This has been an interesting year at the blog, but my favorite thing has been the introduction of the Not Alone Series. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I am to the eight people who have shared their stories here. Struggles with depression, with anxiety, with feeling alone.
I'm not posting any new stories until the move to the new blog, but I did want to give any new followers a chance to read some of the previous stories that have been shared.
For real, these posts are always some of the most popular that go up. So to those who have shared already, thank you, from the deepest place in me. You are making a difference.
To those of you who have read and commented or shared links, thank you for supporting those who have written here. It takes amazing courage to pour out your heart like this and it really helps to have people validate their thoughts.
And to those who have read and not commented, thank you for coming here and reading the words. It encourages me to know that these posts are reaching others.
If you've thought that you might like to share your story, I'm always accepting submissions. Shoot me an email and we can talk about it.
These are the first four posts that went up. Lots of amazing stuff here. Thanks for taking the time to check it out!
- Katie McNemar: Little Miss Sunshine -- I never know when it’s going to happen. Sometimes it will hit me when I am in the middle of laughing at a joke. All-of-a-sudden, I’ll feel a million miles away even though I am, physically, still in the same location. I feel totally alone even though I am surrounded by people. I look at the people I know and I feel like I don’t know them anymore. The feeling of panic starts like a wave. It grows in momentum until it finally comes crashing down on me. I break out into a cold sweat. My fight or flight response has been activated for no real reason. I want to run, but I don’t want to freak everyone out or look like a crazy person. It takes every drop of energy I have to not run. The world seems to close in on me; wrap itself around me and squeeze so hard I can barely breathe. I wish I could just unzip my skin and run out of the body that has me trapped inside. The inability to calm myself down or talk myself out of this makes me feel like I am on a runaway train. My stomach starts cramping and I get hot. More sweating. (read more)
- Misty Chaffins: Depression Defined -- There are times that I feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders…that’s enough to depress anyone! Some days, everything feels like it weighs 20 pounds heavier. My arms, eyes, the milk, my feet, the air…everything is so much harder to do. It would be easier to just stay in bed. Overwhelming exhaustion occurs, but sometimes with the inability to sleep. Outrageous thoughts swirl in my head. Everything feels like it’s my fault. We are out of toothpaste, my fault. It rained, that’s my fault too. My outlook is undeniably pessimistic. Nothing will go right again. Ever. Typing this stuff out…I can see the absurdity of it, but it’s what is seriously in my head. How do I get someone who has never had thoughts like this to understand me? (read more)
- Julia Dixon: Trains and Chains -- I have had minor bouts with depression off and on for many years. I would slip into counseling and then slip right back out again. I was very afraid of medication. Many members of my family are strictly against antidepressants and I have a family member who has been on medication for as long as I remember. My solution - Don't start taking it and you won’t have to keep taking it right?Not exactly! (read more)
- Jamie: Tearing Down Walls --I had a wonderful childhood with amazing parents who are still together and have been for 33 years. I always had friends and made good grades in school. I accepted Jesus into my life at a very young age and have never known life without Him. But I've also dealt with depression on and off for the past 11+ years. I married very young and our marriage didn't last very long at all. After we broke up, I pretty much spiraled a bit out of control. It ended up with me heading downhill very fast. This was my very first encounter with the monster called "Depression". I felt very alone, hopeless and helpless. I felt like nobody knew what I was going through, much less cared. Of course, that wasn't the case but when we start to feel that way, it's easy for Satan to come in and build on that and make those feelings grow until we see nothing but the despair. (read more)
Thanks again to all for making this series possible.