Silent Speakings

"so the lover must struggle for words" -T.S Eliot

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Anonymous asked: Hey, I like your story about not committing suicide, how it effects other people, and that it led you to God, but that's not how firearms operate. There's no way you dug that cartridge out of a tree fully intact like it is in the picture. So what's the real story behind that necklace?

I’m being serious when I say I dug that bullet out of the tree, I’m not sure how firearms work, but I got it out in two pieces. It’s glued back together. And the bottom part is really bent and scratched up. I’m not sure if it was supposed to be in a worse condition, but this is how I found it. I dug it out with my old pocket knife, a saw, and something else(honestly I don’t remember). It took me a few hours I think, and I took a huge chunk of the tree out too. But yea, whether you believe me or not, this is apart of my life story, and that bullet came out of that tree somewhat intact. Thank you for your question anon. :))

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Its okay not to be okay…

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One of my favorite bloggers, James Altucher, once said that “If you’re not afraid to post what you wrote, don’t bother posting it”

I am definitely scared to post this one.

I’ve wanted to write this for so long, and with the recent death of robin Williams, there’s no greater time. You see that necklace I’m wearing, well I just don’t wear a bullet around my neck for fun. There’s a whole story behind this little thing. But before I get to that, let me start with this:

My heart has been stirred and broken over the last few days. The death of Robin Williams and the subsequent conversations about depression, and suicide have flown all over the cyber world. Yesterday I spent several hours reading blogs and Facebook posts. I felt the sting of this fallen world as I read about people who have lost loved ones to suicide as well as personal accounts of battling clinical depression.


The death of Robin caught my attention for two reasons. First, I really enjoyed watching him over the years. I was sad to hear that Robin took his life. I thought about the pain that was hidden behind his smile and laugh and it broke my heart. I thought about his family and friends and the new reality that they are forced to accept. I have watched people go through this process and I do not want that for anyone— even people I have never met. So to be honest with you, when I heard the news, I wanted it to be wrong. Second, I was shocked over some of the very ignorant blog posts. “robin Williams didn’t die from a disease, but by his choice” or Facebook posts like “he was being so selfish”, these things being said by people who don’t understand this disease called depression, and yes I said disease. Depression takes you and tries to destroy you. It blinds you to those who care about you, makes you believe your alone, it smothers you. Depression is an inward battle that’s fought daily. If he was to die of cancer, we would call him a fighter!, but since he committed suicide we call him a quitter. Robin Williams didn’t die from suicide, he died from depression.

And here we are, getting sad and debating over the suicide of one actor, but we pay no attention to the reality that almost 3000 people commit suicide daily. And that for every person who completes a suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives. DAILY. Am I the only one who sees a problem here!?, am I the only one who’s heart breaks reading this!?. Am in the only one mad that it takes a celebrity to die of depression for us to pay attention!?. You might be asking "why are you so passionate about this?". It’s because I could have been one of those 3000. I could have been just another statistic

Story time?

Yup.

I was about 15, I just moved to Stockton, and just started going to public high school for the first time. I thought life was horrible, certain situations(that I don’t have time to talk about) had happened, and I thought life would never get better. Me and my group of ‘friends’ we’re constantly picked on, but we found solace in each other. we also found a common ground of cutting, pill popping, drugs and alcohol. Skipping class to smoke by the dumpster and compare our sad lives. One day, during summer break I had enough. This is the part I’ve never shared before, whenever telling my testimony, I only ever said that “i had everything planned”, I’ve never gone into detail before. So this is my first time being transparent about this. It was a Friday night, and I got my hands on a gun(which is sadly very easy to do in stockton). It was a little thing, I wasn’t even sure how to use it. I sat on the roof of my old apartment building. I had taken a few of my mom’s subscription pain killers, and was feeling quiet numb to the world. I sat there for what seems like hours and hours. Just having this tiny gun pressed to my head. But my finger just couldn’t do it, everything else in me was ready, I was so blinded by this deep depression, but my finger wouldn’t move. Finally something happened, I had felt something, almost like someone grabbing my hand. It took the gun away from my head. I pointed the gun out toward this tree across the way, and I finally fired the gun, my finger could move again and I shot the tree across the parking lot. got some crazy backlash and a bad bruise on my temple. I cried, I hardly remember what happend next. But the next day, I went and retrieved the bullet from that tree. I now have that bullet as a necklace, a reminder that I’m still alive, and I’m alive for a reason. That Saturday I got invited to a church, that Sunday I went to that church, and the rest is history. That was almost 5 years ago. I still refuse to be another statistic. Depression tries to sneak up on me but, I’m a fighter, and I will always win with God on my side.

I share this to encourage you. Keep fighting. Suicide does not just stop suffering, it stops life from ever getting better. When your depressed, its like wearing Sunglasses, they block out the light, everything is seen from a different reality than what really is. You believe no one will miss you, that everyone will just go on without you as if you never existed, but none of that is true. Your choices impact everyone around you, whether you know it or not. It’s scary to think that if I would have pulled that trigger that night I would not be here right now. That this quiet, stubborn, passionate, funny, and creative person would not be typing this into her Kindle at this very moment. I think about all the people I would have devastated, how many I would hurt, and I think that maybe, just maybe my story may keep someone from doing what I almost did. Things. Get. Better. Life. gets. better. Trust me on this one.

A sister blog of mine wrote THIS beautifully written blog post. And I really like what she had to say:

"Don’t only turn up the praise songs but turn to Lamentations and Job and be a place of lament and tenderly unveil the God who does just that — who wears the scars of the singe. A God who bares His scars and reaches through the fire to grab us, “Come — Escape into Me.” Nobody had told me that"

Depression is not a character defect, a spiritual disorder or an emotional dysfunction. And chief of all, it’s not a choice. Asking someone to “try” not being depressed is like asking someone who’s been shot to try and stop bleeding. Having faith in God’s ability to heal is hugely important, and personal faith can help ease depression. But to deny medical or psychiatric treatment to someone suffering from mental illness is really no different than denying them to someone with a physical illness. Add that to what feels like the inability just to be – every shaky breath hurts and getting out of bed is impossible – and you’ve thrown gasoline onto the fire.


The Word is full of wisdom and encouragement for those suffering from depression and anxiety disorders, but it doesn’t come in one-verse doses. 
A true examination of depression and anxiety in the Bible shows the existential dread that accompanies the illnesses instead of an easy out, one-and-done antidote. most of us have no idea what David meant when he further lamented, ‘I am forgotten by them as though I were dead.’ Severe depression is often beyond description. Anxiety and depression don’t look how we often think. When I’ve opened up to Christian friends about my own battles with depression and anxiety, they’re often surprised. “You seem so happy and calm all the time!”. Well some of us have learned and understand that “the joy of the Lord is my strength”. That when the invisible weight of the world comes crashing all around us, we cry our eyes out and ask God to take it all, and he does. he gives peace that surpasses all understanding, and that alone can sustain my weary soul. Things don’t always have to be perfect. It’s okay to not be okay. whatever you do, do not pretend everything is fine, don’t put on that ‘christian mask’ and pretend like life is perfect. Life. Is. Not. Perfect. its messy and its hard, and your gonna need peoples help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. pretending is the most dangerous thing you could do, because that’s when you start to feel alone. Ann Voskamp wrote “I’d rather walk tall with a crutch than crawl around insisting like a proud and bloody fool that I didn’t need one.” 

Churches often don’t address mental illness, which gives people even more incentive to keep it hidden away. If churches begin responding to mental disorders as a community willing to offer encouragement and support, people suffering from those illnesses may just be able to accept the help. It may just be people you never expected.

 Christ, the Great Physician, came to heal the sick. As His body, it’s time for the Church to do the same.

There is hope, there is love, there is joy, and there is peace. God is our rock and salvation when depression rears its ugly head. Stand strong, and fight. we got this.

from your fighting friend,                                               -SS

"In You, O Lord, I put my trust;
Let me never be ashamed;
Deliver me in Your righteousness.
Bow down Your ear to me,
Deliver me speedily;
Be my rock of refuge,
A fortress of defense to save me.

For You are my rock and my fortress;
Therefore, for Your name’s sake,
Lead me and guide me.
Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,
For You are my strength.
into Your hand I commit my spirit;
You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.

I have hated those who regard useless idols;
But I trust in the Lord.
I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy,
For You have considered my trouble;
You have known my soul in adversities,
And have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy;
You have set my feet in a wide place.

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble;
My eye wastes away with grief,
Yes, my soul and my body!
 For my life is spent with grief,
And my years with sighing;
My strength fails because of my iniquity,
And my bones waste away.
I am a reproach among all my enemies,
But especially among my neighbors,
And am repulsive to my acquaintances;
Those who see me outside flee from me.
I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind;
I am like a broken vessel.
For I hear the slander of many;
Fear is on every side;
While they take counsel together against me,
They scheme to take away my life.

But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies,
And from those who persecute me.
Make Your face shine upon Your servant;
Save me for Your mercies’ sake.
Do not let me be ashamed, O Lord, for I have called upon You;
Let the wicked be ashamed;
Let them be silent in the grave.
Let the lying lips be put to silence,
Which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

Oh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men!
You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence
From the plots of man;
You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion
From the strife of tongues.

Blessed be the Lord,
For He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a strong city!
For I said in my haste,
“I am cut off from before Your eyes”;
Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications
When I cried out to You.

Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints!
For the Lord preserves the faithful,
And fully repays the proud person.
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord” -Psalm 31

Filed under suicide depression robin williams god help anxiety jesus james altucher

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Introverts unite!. Separately… in our own homes…

"You’re too quiet"
This comment and others like it have plagued me almost my whole life. I don’t know how many times I’ve been told that I needed to come out of my shell, to be livelier, or talk more. As a child and teenager I allowed these these remarks to hurt me deeply. For awhile I listened to this kind of ignorant advice. I thought they we’re right about there being something wrong with me, and in the process didn’t honor the way God made me. I became more and more reserved, and self-conscious. I was constantly aware of people waiting for me to talk, and when I did the response didn’t make it better, “wow, she talked”

The older I got, the angrier I became. Each time someone tells me I’m “too quiet”, I wonder what exactly they are hoping to achieve. Do they think that I have some sort of magic button I can press, and BAM I’m little miss talkative. It doesn’t really work that way, sorry. Am I supposed to bark on command like a dog?, Am I supposed to just dive into a conversation that I’m completely uninterested in? I prefer deep and meaning full conversation, small talk just makes me cringe. When I need or want to communicate something, I will, and I will do so effectively. I only speak when I have something to say.

Science shows that the brains of introverts and extroverts are actually different, and hardwired differently. God made introverts physically different from extroverts. It’s not a personality, or temperament. It’s not a habit to change its who God created us to be.

Work with how God made you, God makes us this way for a reason and a purpose. I consider my quietness to be a gift, just like the talents and spiritual gifts God has give me, that make me a unique creation.

The hallmarks of introversion tend to be thinking more than speaking, recharging one’s batteries through solitude and thriving on good conversation with a small group of close friends rather than a large party of acquaintances.

appreciation for introversion has slowly come more to the forefront. A spate of books on the topic have been published in the last two years, including Quiet by Susan Cain and Introverts in the Church by Adam S. McHugh. Both suggest that introverts often zap their energy endlessly trying to “play extrovert,” while ignoring their own inherent talents and gifts.

God made many different types of personalities, and He gave us all a multitude of special strengths to use for His glory. we hear that a gentle and quiet spirit is very precious in God’s sight (1 Peter 3:4) and that we should be quick to hear and slow to speak (James 1:19). We should use what we have been given, not try to hide it and force ourselves to attempt to gain what comes naturally to others. Let go of the insecurities and brokenness that comes from people’s careless words, and find peace in who you are in Christ.

Well with my slight ranting over, I’d like to just add another thing I’ve been working on. How does one handle and “introvert christian?”

Here’s how you handle us.

1. In a small group or Bible study or cell meeting, do NOT make us talk.
Introverts are much more methodical and tend to process things In a group discussion, our silence doesn’t mean we’re not listening.
We’re just trying to fit the pieces together in our own head. We aim to be thoughtful and deliberate.Please be sensitive to our secret mind palace. We’ll talk when we dang well feel like it.

2. Do not ever rebuke us in public.
Or you and I are done. Forever. You should never do this anyway. Just. No.

3. Extroverts: be patient in conversation and don’t treat my every word like your personal victory.
Extroverts, it’s OK if you monopolize the conversation. We do like to listen.

But please don’t treat us like your personal project with a precious pearl inside. And don’t try to squeeze out my life story as if you’re trying to save us. Earn trust by being a friend first.

Unlike extroverts, we’re not good at being best friends on the first day.

4. Fellow introverts: Find us quickly.
See me standing awkwardly on the side of the sanctuary watching everyone else have fun? Hurry up and find me so we can make amusing sarcastic comments about life and possibly grow a lifelong spiritual bond.

5. We can do anything an extrovert can do.
I’ve seen an entire spectrum of personalities take the “front stage” of church. Not every introvert is meant for “behind the scenes.”

Just coach us with extra grace.

6. We get super-tired around a lot of people.
My limit is about four hours, and then I actually get a headache from just hanging around human beings. My Sabbath rest is leave-me-alone-time with my non-judgmental dog.

Give us that time without trying to counsel us about it.

7. Don’t be offended if you see me being extra talkative or friendly with someone else.
Sometimes introverts just interact with people in different ways. It doesn’t mean we don’t like you—it just means we choose to reveal that specific part of us to another church buddy or that cool introvert I just met five minutes ago.

You should be cheering us for even opening up at all

8. Sometimes we’re just moody. It’s not depression or a “spiritual attack” or “unconfessed sin.”
One word: space. Lots of it.

9. We don’t always know what to say, but we still care about you.
We use less words and we don’t always use them well, but if we chose to spend this time with you, that means we care.

10. When life gets hard, you don’t have to say anything. Just be there.
Sometimes we just get totally flustered and want to give up—but that’s not the time for lectures or theology or super-awesome advice. Bring a movie or something; bake a cake; bring cookies. Be there for the meltdown, and we’ll eventually ask for the wisdom. We very much treasure your scalpel-like gentleness with us.

11. When we get hyper, we are weird and corny and loud and awkward—so be ready for that and embrace it. Just a fair warning.
On the third day of a church retreat or when it’s 5 in the morning at a lock-in, the inner-beast might be unleashed. But it’s not very cool and calculated and witty like an extrovert.

It’s all kinds of nerdy and neurotic with a shaky voice and twitchy flailing, as if we’re learning to use our bodies for the first time—and in a sense, we are.

When that happens, please don’t humiliate us. Roll with it, laugh with us and endure our horrible dance moves and bad impressions.

That’s all for today my friends,
-SS

Filed under introvert quiet people quiet introvert christian christian god hope god made introvert in the church quiet: the power of introverts in a world that cant stop talking

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A crowded room full of people talking about nothing of interest to me is one of the loneliest places in the world. I’d rather sit and observe in silence.
(via akiyamacho)

293 notes

I learned not to trust people; I learned not to believe what they say but to watch what they do; I learned to suspect that anyone and everyone is capable of ‘living a lie’. I came to believe that other people - even when you think you know them well - are ultimately unknowable.
Lynn BarberAn Education (via words-and-coffee)