Is Medication Really The Answer?

Hey guys. 🙂 I hope you’re all doing well. ❤

Most of you who have read my blog or know me personally, are aware that I have bipolar disorder. I was diagnosed almost 5 years ago now and have been on medication for it ever since.

At the time, I believed medication was necessary. I was certainly not well. Fast forward to present day and in the last few months especially, I have seriously questioned (although not the first time) why I take or even need medication.

Before I continue, please make note of the fact that I am A: Not a doctor in any sense of the word and B: Speaking from my personal experience only.

So yeah, medication. The day I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder I accepted the fact that it was in my best interest to take it. That being said I have never been a big fan of medication in general. I don’t like taking medication for any reason if I don’t have to. It’s just a personal thing.

Over the course of 5 years I have been on several medications. The first thing I was given was an anit-depressant/aniexty pill called cipralex better known as lexapro in the US. For as many medication changes as I have had, cipralex was the one thing I haven’t changed the entire time other than the dosage.

If you’re like me, you like to research and educate yourself about the medications you take. In my case, I felt like I had to. In my experience, it has not been an easy journey trying to navigate the mental health care system. Where I live currently, the mental health care system is severely lacking in numbers. If I’m not forced to cancel an appointment with my psychiatrist for some reason, they’re canceling appointments on me and sometimes I simply forget I have an appointment. I’ve been forced more times than not to sit in outpatients for hours just to get my prescriptions because I never get a prescription for more than 3 months at a time which would be fine if I was guaranteed I could get a follow up from my doctor for refills/adjustments but that is rarely the case.

Then there’s the fact I currently have no coverage for my prescriptions and in turn there have been numerous times I can’t even afford to take my medication. I end up going days and sometimes weeks without it so after awhile you start to wonder – “What’s the point?”

It’s not just the logistics and financial aspect that has me shaking my head, it’s the research on the medication itself. For example, cipralex isn’t even supposed to be prescribed to patients with bipolar disorder because it can and has been known to trigger mania. However in my case I was also diagnosed with generalized aniexty disorder and have always maintained that the anxiety was my biggest issue and so I was thoroughly convinced I needed to stay on cipralex. So I did. You would have to of pry it from my cold dead hands for me to stop taking it.

The truth is, anti-depressants/anxiety medication isn’t exactly meant to be taken long term. I have been taking it for nearly 5 years and so I wonder…Is that necessary? Is it healthy? What kind of impact does the long term use of this drug have on my brain or even my whole body exactly?

I also take a mood stabilizer. I have been on several over the years at varying doses with mixed results. If you read about mood stabilizers, a lot of them are anti-seizure medications which happen to have some positive effects in regards to stabilizing the mood swings associated with bipolar disorder but their primary design and function was not created with bipolar disorder in mind . This has never sat well with me. Taking a medication for years that honestly wasn’t even designed with my disorder in mind. I don’t have issues with seizures and yet for years now I’ve been taking medications that treat it with questionable results. So I ask again. Is it necessary? Is it healthy? What is the long term effect on the brain exactly?

When I look back at my life prior to my diagnoses and even for some time after, there were environmental factors playing a huge role in my mental health. For one, I was using alcohol and drugs to cope with my life and medication didn’t simply stop that. I found myself jumping into unstable relationships. Surrounding myself with toxic people. I was in said relationship when I was diagnosed. Was I living like that simply because of a chemical imbalance in the brain or does it really have more to do with the fact that I grew up in and around constant emotional and physical abuse? I’m not trying to blame my childhood for my entire life as it stands today but let’s face it, if your childhood was riddled with abuse, chaos and financial troubles and if you ultimately lack the knowhow and support to seek proper counsel or healthy outlets you tend to start out your adult life doing what you know best and in my case, what I knew best was not ideal. It was toxic at best.

I lacked a foundation and tried to build my adult life on sand. I repeated the same mistakes and coped with them by doing my best to escape them through less than healthy means. I attracted toxic people because I was a toxic person. I allowed toxic people to influence and walk all over me….after awhile a person has their rock bottom do they not?

I wonder if my life had been the complete opposite, would I be admitting to people I have bipolar disorder right now?

The truth is, in the last two years I have seriously questioned the validity of my diagnoses because my environment has changed drastically. I stopped surrounding myself with toxic people that trigger the worst in me. I found a wonderful and understanding husband to be. I would not have found him if I hadnt been willing to put my foot down and start ridding myself of the people and things that were making my life toxic. I stopped boozing and turning to drugs. I got back in touch with my family and my faith. I turned to God. Did my life turn into some magical fairy tale because of that? No. In fact in some ways it’s been harder because you know what God has really helped me with? Getting brutally honest with myself. Sure, I wasn’t in control of my childhood and yes I made a bunch of crappy mistakes during the first decade or so of my adult life but there comes a point mental illness or not when you just have to start facing that stuff head on, forgive yourself and then move on and I can assure you that no amount of medication can make you do that. You have to actively seek that out for yourself and that’s what I’ve been doing and in the process my focus has turned to God and I couldn’t be more thankful for that.

I stopped taking anti-depressant/aniexty medication almost 2 months ago now. Yes, the withdrawal was real but I’m past the major withdrawal symptoms. I’ve noticed that I feel stuff again. It’s good to just feel. Before, I felt my like my feelings were detached. Like I knew what the appropriate feeling for any given situation was but I didn’t actually feel it. Not in full at least. I’ve also noticed I have more energy and actually feel like doing things. I’m more productive. Before I would jump to the conclusion that if I felt good and had energy to do things that I must be manic. Turns out you can feel good and it has nothing to do with mental illness.

I will say it’s been overwhelming to let go of my crutch. When you turn on the part of you that feels when it’s been dialed down for so long it’s an emotional reunion to say the least but guess what? It’s normal to feel! In fact I’ve let go of this crutch during a rather stressful time. Certainly not an ideal time. I’ve been facing things head on good, bad and ugly and I have to say that yes it’s been painful and difficult but it also feels good to just face the emotion for what it is. It’s cleansing and it’s been getting easier to do that and just move on to the next thing instead of simply suppress it like I was.

As for my mood stabilizers. On paper I have bipolar disorder and should be taking them but I am currently in the same predicament that lead me to quit anti-depressants. Cancelled appointments, lack of funds, valid questions with no real answers and the thought that hey maybe the majority of my personal mental health has been environmental and therefore if I make a point to nurture a healthier environment perhaps this is manageable without the need for medications. Perhaps I needed medication initially and I am certainly not knocking the short term use at all but I am definitely questioning the long term use paired with a shaky mental health care system. To me the world seems highly medicated with real issues and feelings shoved aside.

I can’t tell anyone what to do and I’m not out to judge anyone on how they choose to take care of themselves but this has been my experience so far. I’m not saying medication should never be used or that medication is bad. Clearly I’ve taken enough to know the positive effects it can have and I’m glad it’s out there but for me personally I have reached a crossroads regarding it all and I have a feeling I’m probably not the only one.

Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle

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The Post That’s Still Getting Hits

Hey guys 🙂 I hope you’re all doing well. ❤

It’s time to take a break from the emotional roller coaster I’ve been on lately and lighten things up a bit. 🙂

Awhile back, I made a joke about taking a side road in my blog to address SEO and said to think of it as A Christian In Bloom – SEO Addition.

To my surprise, this post is still getting hits. I saw the need to explain SEO in a way that would not overwhelm people who are just starting out with it. I focused on WordPress SEO specifically by breaking down easy ways to understand the analytics system WordPress provides but that many of us just starting out will tend to shy away from.

That being said I want to share that post again –

New To SEO? Don’t Worry! It’s Not As Scary As You Think.

I also followed up with this post –

Add, Edit and Delete Categories and Tags

These posts may have nothing to do with growing as a Christian on the surface but it allows me to do something I love. Teach. I love the idea of being able to take something that someone has found difficult to tackle and show them that when you break it down, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist. You can learn something new and own it.

So now I can’t help but ask you. What post/s have you written that you have noticed is still getting hits over time? I invite you share your “nailed it” post in the comments section. I would love to take my mind off some things today and read the cream of your crop and share it with others 🙂

Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle

The Layers In Answered Prayers

Hey guys 🙂 I hope you’re all doing well. ❤

My last two posts were simply poems. Sometimes when I’m going through difficult situations it’s just easier to express myself that way.

Today, I want to open up and expand a bit from the poems. If you would like some context feel free to read Still I Pray and Wash Over Me.

If you’re not up for backtracking, the short of it is this – “Still I Pray” is basically a letter to someone who needs to read it and “Wash Over Me” is about processing the emotions of a failed reconciliation with a family member that made me wonder why I bothered and even prayed for the chance. In the poem I am basically asking God “What gives?” Needless to say my heart was in a dark place at the time.

God has truly been working on my heart lately. When you let God inside to clean house, prepare yourself to be rattled because he’s there to do a deep clean not dust the curtains. God has been preparing me for this moment gradually and in more recent months, quite rapidly because wow has it been a bumpy ride. I have managed to hang on but pretty sure I lost my grip there a few times. Yet still, God answered my prayer for reconciliation, just not in the way I imagined. He did me one better in fact. It appears I was not meant to reconcile with the person in question as I had thought and hoped for. Instead, through that event, God gave me the opportunity to reconcile with my damaged inner child once and for all and for that I am eternally grateful. ❤

I would not have grown from previous lessons or learned from previous mistakes without God in my heart. I would not have the maturity right now to accept the valuable gift from this recent experience. I would have simply remained a child. A victim of circumstances. I would be fuming for a time far from healthy. Trapped in the past.

It has taken 34 years to finally lay that child to rest and 13 years estranged from the person I prayed I would see again before it was too late. Hoping that something could be salvaged from the past. At first it seemed like that was exactly what was happening. I had high hopes. Too high perhaps. Within 2 weeks the rose colored glasses would be ripped off and I would quickly find out not much had changed about that person after all. Yet I do not regret the time spent together because up until that point, I saw a glimmer of the person I always believed they could be. It’s something good I can take with me despite the end result.

I realize that when we pray for the same thing repeatedly and time passes, we start to wonder if God is even listening. Then one day without warning, God answers your prayer and plops it right in front of your face.

When a prayer request takes what feels like forever to be answered, I have learned that you are praying for more than you know. Understand that a delayed answer to your prayer means you’re on to something big. Perhaps you don’t quite understand your piece of the puzzle just yet but when you make a point to pray and pray honestly, God will not leave you hanging. He will answer that prayer and he’ll answer prayers you didn’t even know you had in the process.

Know your role and responsibility to an answered prayer. Little did I know but you have one. To get the most out of an answered prayer you have to be willing to stick things out to completion. My observation? There can be several parts to a fully answered prayer it seems. Be patient. Remember God’s timing is always perfect timing and an answered prayer can look like a hot mess and feel like a terribly bumpy ride if you demand a prayer be answered but refuse to hang on or worse, take the reigns yourself prematurely. Good going. Now you’ve given God twice the mess to clean up and you just added extra time on that answer you’ve been waiting for yet not willing to wait for.

You may find yourself not even liking God during the process of an answered prayer (guilty) but cut him some slack. After all, he’s perfecting his plan for you. God doesn’t do mediocre. When you find yourself losing hope and patience just remember to take a deep breath. You’re going to get through this. I promise. ❤  Don’t look back, down or sideways.

Look up.

Jeremiah 33:3 

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.

 

Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle

 

Wash Over Me

I beg you dear Lord

Please wash over me

Let it not be this tormented sea

 

I struggle to see you

I reach out my hand

I long for peace and the promised land

 

The cleansing of heart

Deep is the pain

Please tell me your plan is not all in vain

 

I pray and you answer

In more ways than one

In ways unexpected

Exhausted

I’m done

 

Trying to please you as much as I can

I stand here convicted

Not enough?

What’s the plan!?

 

To you I bend knee

Bow head

Persecuted

You warned me of this

Yes you did

Yet I skirted

 

Here I am now

Stripped and so bare

Raw to the bone

Do you care?

 

There are flies all around me

Ready to feast

Prey and flesh that I am

Reveal scars of the beast

 

I write here and now

To move over the boulder

To ask for forgiveness

To cry on your shoulder

 

I know I cry like a child with tantrum

Best to let it out here

In a poem

Pain made phantom

 

No one gets hurt

I spend time with you

You give me the words 

To sooth me

It’s true

 

As the high of the pain gently falls down

Peace surrounding all over

Poured upon me

Sweet crown

Down

Down

Down

Wash over me

 

Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still I Pray

Round and round and round we go

The past is shaken

From this I grow

Accusations fly

The confusion sets in

The judged will be judged

So I’m glad I’m with Him

 

As was then

So is now

You reap what you sow

To you I bow

Yet not in defeat

Far from in fear

I bow in sadness for your soul my dear

 

God has spoken

Do you not hear?

Of course you do

Convicted ear

 

The hurt is yours and yours alone

I will rise above

My heart is not stone

 

I will pray for you

Heap coals on your head

I will praise the Father

For my soul is fed

 

Know you’re His child

Yet you push back your plate

He cries for your soul while you lie in wait

 

The devil divides us

But God knows the way

I hand over to Him

What I cannot say

But know this my dear

I will pray. ❤

 

Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minister To The Flame Of Conviction

Hey guys 🙂 I hope you’re all doing well today. ❤

Wow does it feel good to be back at this keyboard. As you know, yesterday I had a major update on life after some time away learning some rather gigantic life lessons. If you missed that story, feel free to take a peek at What I’ve Learned In Two Months

I can assure you I learned a lot…the hard way lol.

If you don’t have time to read it that’s more than Ok. The one thing I will take from that article and repeat here is

“Never stop praying.”

Honestly if I had one single piece of advice for people even if I just met them on the street it would be that. Prayer is powerful. Prayer is the one thing that kept me sane during a recent dark moment in time and more before that. Prayer keeps you constantly in touch with God and constantly aware of the fact that he’s with you. Prayer brings you closer to other people. When you pray for others and others pray for you it creates a constant flow of good. Prayer is the positive energy this world is in desperate need of.

There are people out there who claim God is nothing more than some made up character in some made up book and that people are idiots for believing in such a fairy tale. Honestly, I can appreciate that but you know what I find interesting? A lot of those same people, when life gets really tough (as it often does) they ask for your prayers. In that moment as a Christian it may be tempting to point out the hypocrisy in that and take the same smug attitude towards them that they have taken with your faith but if someone asks for your prayers, no matter what, give them freely and without judgement because truthfully I believe that everyone at their core has a flame for God, A higher power, something bigger and better than this mere Earth.

I don’t believe that people just flat out don’t believe. To make the effort to not believe in something takes the same leap of faith believing does. I think most people would like to believe in something bigger and better and again we all have that flame at our core it’s just for some that flame is brighter but remember that flame took time to grow and it took support from others with a flame that was bigger than theirs. If we turn our backs on people simply because their flame is smaller than ours well I’m sorry but that’s just not cool of you.

Before I go any further I just want to point out one thing in regards to this. Yes, don’t put out anyone’s flame big or small but personally, I also feel you should not simply waste your flame on people trying to gaslight you. It’s one thing if someone is struggling to believe, has questions, wants prayer but isn’t even sure if God is real etc. Of course try and minister to that person but if someone is merely making a mockery of your faith in an attempt to upset you, keep your cool and know this. That person is convicted. If they weren’t, why would they bother wasting their time picking apart your faith just to get a reaction out of you?

I have always found this interesting among so called atheists in particular. There are people out there who claim they don’t believe in God. OK, sure. That’s your choice. No one is forcing you to believe anything. I have noticed people will get overly heated in explaining why it makes no sense to believe. How church is nothing more than a cult etc. Some get rather insulting. Their unprovoked hostility makes me wonder why that person cares so much about proving God doesn’t exist. Why they feel the need to point out how people who believe in God are stupid. It seems like a waste of energy doesn’t it? In my opinion, An atheist with hostility is a convicted person and actually has the potential to be so much more not only to themselves but to others.

Some of you may be wondering what I mean by a convicted person. In this case, when you are convicted by God in my personal experience it means this –

God has been talking to you but you don’t like what he has to say because it means you have to change and you’re too scared to do that even though you know it’s what you should be doing.

As human beings, we like predictability. We like what we can see and we like to feel comfortable. Change is uncomfortable. Most of us will protest change but of course once the change is made for the better many times we wonder why we didn’t change ages ago. What were we so afraid of? It wasn’t that bad after all.

The thing is, take Christian and atheist out of the equation for a moment and simply put, when you are facing your life honestly and head on, the people who aren’t have an issue with that because it means they might have to look in the mirror and step up their game.

People who are willing to get their hands dirty, who are willing to learn and grow from their experiences will always in my opinion come out on top one way or the other. The people not willing to do that are looking for shortcuts in life and would prefer people getting ahead be brought down a peg or two so they can justify staying right where they are. It’s amazing how much effort people will put into resisting and dodging positive change when if they had just put that effort into facing their life head on, all that drama would have left their lives ages ago.

That’s conviction.

This is why to me it’s so important that we pray. It keeps the flame in our hearts strong and bright and it tells God we’re here to minister on his behalf. God will use us to minister to people in the most unusual ways sometimes. It can almost feel like a waste of time in some cases because you wonder, “Why has God put me in line with this person? Is he trying to make me lose my mind? I promise you he’s not. I firmly believe that good or bad we never cross paths with another person for no reason and to me ministering to someone does not necessarily mean wearing your Bible on your sleeve armed with Bible verses ready to hurl at someone. It means that whoever you cross paths with in this life, make a point to be kind. The world needs kind hearts. People need to see that not everyone is some hardened monster out to get them and if you cross paths with a convicted person you may find yourself taking some proverbial punches from them but honestly do not take offence because a lot of times the bark is worse than the bite and if you’re willing to look past that for a moment you might just find out that God put you in front of that person so that he could use them to minister to you. ❤

Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I’ve Learned In Two Months

So this feels like a long time coming but I am finally ready to start writing here again after an interesting 2 months and I’m warning you now, I have a lot to talk about…

I fell off the map in regards to my blog and I want to explain why and I hope that sharing my  testimony will maybe help some of you who are going through a rough time right now.

OK, where do I start? Well, lets rewind 2 months. I was at a job that was making me miserable. For reasons I refuse to waste anymore time and energy on. Then I was fired from said job. Yup. Oh life how I love ye.

The day I was fired was the same day my finance and I got the Ok on a house we were about to move into. Great timing. First time for everything. Really quite wonderful.

To cope with that stress I applied for medical EI benefits. Needless to say I was not in a good mental state. I take medication for Bipolar 2 Disorder but in cases like this, medication can only do so much. Mental illness or not, anyone is going to feel the pressure from that scenario.

I started seeing my psychiatrist and  they made adjustments to my medication so I could start sleeping again. That was nice I must say. I was so sleep deprived it was ridiculous.

I knew I would be approved for medical benefits but the agent I spoke to kept wanting my side of the story in regards to the event that lead to my loss of employment. After 4 phone calls, he finally understood I had no desire for regular benefits. I understood why he sided with my former employer and would be denying me regular benefits. I understood that no matter what I said or did I would not be seen as the good guy because the government doesn’t care about context in a he said/she said story if it means they might have to compensate you for it. My employer had the one up on me because like an idiot I signed something I shouldn’t have. I found out later from some people that I could have signed it and wrote “in duress” but I didn’t know that. I could have flat out denied to sign the document but I was worried that would cause more problems for me than signing it. Boy was I wrong.

Anyway, the agent made it sound like I wouldn’t be getting medical benefits either which cannot be denied fired or not. I am well documented with a legitimate mental illness. I had acquired two doctors notes regarding this particular issue and that is one thing I find so frustrating about the whole thing. I try very hard to not play the “mental illness card” I don’t like my identity to completely revolve around that fact but I had two major life events happening at the same time. Loss of job and a new home…how the heck was that going to work? My stress levels went through the roof and go figure it was very triggering.

Despite that, I did get approved for medical EI benefits….after a month of back and forth and having to relive the moment I lost my job over and over again, I got them…and then…they were gone. The CRA decided it would be a good time to collect on a student loan I haven’t been able to pay off in over 10 years. They garnished my medical EI claim. After all the stress I was put through with the CRA just to get the benefits I was entitled to, they were taken away as fast I got them.

Now what?

Well, I decided I had two choices. Completely fall apart or pull up my socks and pray my butt off. I prayed a lot but my butt is still here unfortunately.

I decided I was not going to let this get the best of me. For the first time probably ever, I faced my debt head on. This student loan had been haunting me for my entire adult life. No more. I called an Insolvency Trustee to find out how I could deal with my debt. I was tired of having it loom over me. I was tired of the government period. Ironic that they put money into mental health care programs when they are the source of most people’s stress…

Anyway the trustee and I went over options and it was mutually decided that the best option was in fact to go bankrupt. I had considered that off and on but I had been avoiding that part of my life for so long I just didn’t dare to face it in any sort of capacity good or bad.

You think I would have felt a sense of shame in claiming bankruptcy but quite the opposite happened. I felt relief. A weight lifted. I was a prime candidate actually. My credit was horrible (do not get a store credit card when you’re 19. Just don’t.) I have no assets that the government considers to be valuable and at the time I made my claim I didn’t even have a job. At that point, what did I have to lose exactly?

My trustee is a great guy who knows his stuff and talked to me like a real person. He took the time to understand the things I felt no one else was listening to. He was in fact part counselor. It was a breath of fresh air to finally have someone say – “Don’t worry. Take a deep breath and know that we’re going to help you.” and that’s exactly what they did and continue to do. I’m now learning how to keep a budget. How to manage credit. I do my “homework” every month for the next 9 months and yes my credit will be shot for 7 years but what difference does that make when it was beyond repair? Seems to me I should be avoiding a credit card for that long until I learn how to properly manage my money anyway. It’s the fresh start I have needed for a very long time.

You see, there are many reasons money and I have never been friends. Number one, I didn’t grow up in a financially sound home. Single mother living paycheck to paycheck with 3 kids. I really had no one to help me learn about money early in my life. Which in hindsight I think is so important for young people to grasp early. They really should if they don’t already have a class in high school on this sort of stuff so that they don’t end up like me. Thirty-four and bankrupt.

Also, I was living with Bipolar 2 Disorder unknowingly until I was 30. It took an obsession with suicide to have that finally diagnosed. The thing is, when you live your life mentally ill and don’t know what’s wrong with you, you live a very volatile life that you start to think is normal. I never lived in the same place for very long, I never seemed to be able to stick with a job for very  long. My relationships were intense and unhealthy and in turn my finances were unstable and my priorities completely warped. Yet the fact I kept a roof over my head still amazes me to this day.

I would eventually turn to substance abuse to cope with my life never having it occur to me at the time that these things were all correlated with Bipolar Disorder.

It was a vicious cycle. A mental illness I didn’t know I had was contributing to my less than stable life, especially in the financial department and that lack of financial stability was exasperating the illness.

Move to present day and I find myself in a much more stable place. I’ve overcome substance abuse. I even quit smoking. I’ve been properly diagnosed and treated. I’m in a good relationship with a wonderful man. I have found my way back to God and couldn’t be more thankful for that and my church family. My personal family is in a good place for once. We’re growing closer together, not growing apart. I love being an Aunt andI’m more in tune with myself than I ever was before. Yet here I stand, still unable to take my debt by the horns and control it. Instead, up until this moment, it’s been controlling me.

But no more.

I have faced my debt head on and I feel liberated. I’m working towards a better financial me so that everything else I have worked on in order to improve myself can come around full circle.

My fiance and I are finally starting to truly enjoy our new home without stress. We live in a wonderful community out in the country and have a wonderful land lady and neighbors. I have started a new job and it feels good to be going back to work. I was never looking for a vacation when all of this went down. Just something to help me get from point A to point B but sometimes God has others plans and you really do have to trust him. I must admit he made me scratch my head a lot but God was out to teach me some things and when you make the effort to pay attention you WILL learn something.

Here is the takeaway from the last 2 months of my life –

  1. No matter how unfair the circumstances, don’t be a victim. Own your role, learn from it and move on. It was my fault I got fired (and I use the term loosely) I handled that job and its toxic environment all wrong and in the end I paid for it. The way you chose to handle something is in your hands alone but know this. Sometimes it takes something like being fired from your job to realize God had other plans all along. Bigger plans. Better plans. Sometimes what feels like a punishment in life is in fact the best thing that can happen to you.
  2. Do not. I repeat. DO NOT. Turn to your job for a social life. That’s not to say don’t be social at work but that was my biggest mistake. Becoming too emotionally invested in the social dynamic of the workplace. The drama. The rumor mill. The hypocrisy. Listening to and participating in the “bitch fests” about the job and the people. In turn I became part of the very thing I frown upon in an attempt to make everyone happy. I allowed myself to become part of the problem and when I finally had enough and tried to call it all out. It was too late. I ruffled feathers, put a huge target on my back and was seen as the sole troublemaker. I can assure you there was no one standing beside me to back me up when the walls came down. Oh sure they agreed behind closed doors but I was the idiot who thought maybe everyone truly wanted things to change. I was wrong. Do I blame them for dodging that bullet? Not at all. If anything it was best for everyone involved that I was removed from that narrative.
  3. Don’t look back. It’s hard to not look back and relive a moment in time that leaves a bitter taste in your mouth but ask yourself this. Do you think the people in question are honestly wasting that kind of energy on you? Good chance they’re not. Do yourself a favor and just let go and let God. Trust me on this one.
  4. Face your fears head on. The more I turn to God for help the more I realize something. God does not help us in the traditional sense. It’s not like you go to God and say “Hey, can I bum five bucks?” and God is like “Sure man no problem.” No. You see when we ask God for help, nine times out of ten we’re asking some pretty big things of Him. God wants to help of course but like any parent, if you do everything for your kids all the time they are never going to learn how to stand on their own. We’re God’s children. He will always be our Father. He will always love us and he will always help us but God also wants to help us help ourselves and to make sure we don’t repeat the same mistakes. He needs to make sure we have learned something because it is only then that you can truly appreciate his blessing and his plan for you. It’s only then that you can truly move forward with your life.
  5. Money is a necessary evil. I am finally coming to terms with this fact of life. I have let money/debt control me for so long. You don’t even realize the true weight of that kind of  stress until you finally take charge and in my case admit that you truly need help with this area of your life. I was admitting to everything else that I needed to work on and I was making the effort. Except for my debt and I think there are many more out there just like me who just dig their head in the sand in the hopes it will someday just all go away but I’m telling you friend it does not. It stays there and collects interest quite literally until one day you have no choice but to face it and when that happens your biggest nightmare comes alive and you realize that all your fears you built up and buried for years are actually not as bad as you imagined them to be. They are in fact manageable. Scary yes but manageable and trust me, if I can say that there is hope for everyone.
  6. God is not out to make your life miserable. Sometimes it can feel like God is taking things from you and not leaving you with much else but I believe that God likes to take the things you already have and give them back to you shiny and new but because we are impatient, whiny babies most of the time, we cry that God took our “blankey” and won’t give it back when all he was doing was laundry. That “blankey” was filthy. It needs to get washed at some point and when God feels you’re finally a big boy or girl he puts the “blankey” on the shelf in the hopes that you will finally turn to him for your security as it was always meant to be that way. God can’t help you and use you for good things if you’re not willing to grow up.
  7. Accept help. If someone offers to help you. Take the help. Swallow your pride. Did you ever think maybe God is trying to help you through other people? God works through us and for us remember? I needed that reminder and when I got it, it humbled me greatly. We cry we need help and then when God puts it in front of us we let pride take over? What a slap in the face to God. As the saying goes, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
  8. Give back. Receive help yes but also pay it forward because trust me the latter has more value. For example, during our time of need, our church was a rock. In moments like that you are so grateful but if you’re any kind of decent human being, you want to repay the kindness that was extended to you. Well God made sure to put that opportunity in front of me and my fiance. Not long after, there was a call out for volunteers to help out on a kids carnival at church. Our kids program is in need of help but there just hasn’t been the man power to propel kids programs. My fiance and I saw the opportunity to give back. We jumped on the chance. We created a bunch of fun games for the kids and helped to run the games. The carnival was a huge success. My fiance and I managed to help lighten the load for our church, we got to make a lot of kids happy and we got to spend quality time together building carnival games, eating glitter and letting out our inner child. It was nice to just pour ourselves into something, watch it come alive and see the joy it brought to the kids, the parents and the church. You can’t buy that feeling.
  9. Do not feel ashamed. If you are learning from your mistakes and putting yourself out there to improve and not repeat history, you are further ahead than most people no matter what walk of life you come from. Never be ashamed for giving an honest effort. People can and always will judge you but the only judge you need to worry about is God and when you finally start to grasp that concept you find yourself less inclined to be concerned with what a fellow sinner thinks of you.
  10. Never stop praying. Last but definitely not least. Never stop praying. I’m not even talking about traditional prayer. I just mean never stop talking to God whether it be with your voice or your actions. Trust me, God is the voice and he is the action. When you open your heart to God, when you talk to him and act on your life, following and trusting that gut feeling that is God despite your fears, you will reap the rewards. You will receive blessings from God you didn’t even know you needed. It will allow you to be a blessing in another person’s life even if only for a brief moment and that is an awesome feeling. God loves you. He knows the plans he has for you and to God you are his child. You’re beautiful to Him. You’re worth it and you are stronger and capable of more than you know. Put your fears, your worries, your insecurities. Put all of that into God’s hands and I promise he will take care of you always. ❤

 

Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle