This Year.

This will probably be as cliche as you’d imagine. However, for my own personal progress, I do think it is important that I share with you guys, my small but fantastic reader base, what my New Year’s resolutions are because you have the ability to hold me accountable, at least in my mind. Here it goes.

1. Lose 10 pounds and keep it off. I know that one’s typical but oh well.

2. Journal everyday. I actually have been keeping up with this so far, but it’s only been four days so who knows.

3. To speak less and listen more.

4. However, I am going to start putting my own well-being closer to the top of the priority list.

5. That list will have God at the top of it, by the way.

6. To grow my relationship with Cody in a God-centered way.

7. To get better at piano, guitar, and singing.

8. To keep in better contact with old friends and my family.

9. To save $1000 by the end of the year.

10. To pay for Chapter Camp (an intervarsity retreat).

11. To regularly clean my apartment/bedroom.

I hate that there’s 11, but I really do think that’s all. If I think of more, I’ll add them later. I’m planning on this year being the best one yet, so stick with me. Hopefully you hear from me a bit more frequently.

Advertisements

The Darkest Days I’ve Known.

In light of Robin Williams passing, a man who without a doubt brought so much joy to so many people for years, and yet could not find joy himself, I feel it appropriate to share my depression story. This is not for me, to get attention or complain, but for anyone else who may feel this way right now. It gets better, and you can conquer every part of it. 

When I was in late elementary school, I realized that I looked different than my friends. For the first time in my life, I was aware of my body and I understood that I was not as thin or as “pretty” as my friends were. And little comments would send my mind whirling in a fit of self-hate. I had a pair of blue glasses that did a cute kind of cat-eye thing that I loved. I got teased about them the first day I wore them. I still remember who said it and where I was- kids never forget things like that. 

Sixth grade came and that’s when things got worse. To everyone else, I had a “perfect” life. I was a smart kid, I played three sports competitively, stayed out of trouble (except for detention for talking too much) and I had a solid family structure. But my self esteem was so low that I can honestly say I hated who I was. I hated what I looked like, I hated that things would come so easy to my friends. I hated that I felt guilty every time I ate almost anything. And in my first “real” relationship I got cheated on. I was only twelve years old. The only thing I found refuge in was music.

Seventh grade got even worse. Suddenly, I had no worth without a boyfriend. I had to have someone, because that meant someone loved me, which in turn made me love myself. I went through so many “relationships,” some lasting only a few days even, but one on-again-off-again, completely toxic relationship carried me through. Nothing about it was healthy, and this was a terrible year. On the outside, once again, everything looked great. My head was so full of just numb pain that I hardly remember that year in any kind of detail. I wrote in a journal every night, and even though I wish I’d kept it now, I hate thinking about the kind of scary stuff I used to put in there. You know those scenes on tv sometimes where someone is standing in a hallway and they’re walking really slow, but everyone around them is going really fast? My whole life felt like that, except more chaotic and suffocating and in your face, like stuff was being kicked around and I was sitting in the middle of the hallway with a book on my head and my eyes closed waiting for it all to just stop.

Eighth grade was about the same. I broke up with that guy for the last time, and within a week he was dating a girl I played softball and volleyball with so that was fun to see. This is actually when the numbness really set in. Most of the friends I had kind of distanced themselves a bit. My best friend at the time got a steady boyfriend. I watched as my year sort of just passed by. That was when I got the bright idea to self-harm. Just typing that made me flinch. Luckily, that same best friend found out and told her mom, who told mine. As pissed as I was then, I’m so grateful now. I just had gotten so desperate to feel something, I thought pain was better than nothing. Obviously I was wrong, but when someone is sick the way I was sick, there is no convincing them otherwise. Logic is out the window and desperation takes a hold so tight. Toward the end of eighth grade, things begun to change a little. I at least knew, okay, I didn’t want to die and this thing I was doing and the way I’m living cannot be healthy. 

On the last day of eighth grade, we went to Six Flags for a field trip. It was a fun day, aside from it being 50 degrees and rainy. We rode a water ride like 20 times because we were virtually the only ones in the park. I clung to a guy I should have stayed far away from the whole day, which was typical of me at the time. In good spirits though, I got in my dad’s car at the end of the day. Up until that day, I’d been so silently desperate for something to change. I wanted that first terrible guy back for no good reason except to have someone, and I needed an out. Well, I got it. That car ride was the moment my life would change forever. My dad told me we were moving to the Salt Lake City area. I was furious. I’d lived in the same town since birth, and now, right before I turned fifteen years old, they wanted to move me across the country. 

The summer turned dark. The boy I used to date said he wanted to have sex with me before I left, and even though I didn’t do it, I have never felt so disgusting knowing that he even thought it might be possible. I stayed up lonely and desperate until four in the morning, and slept until three in the afternoon. I didn’t care anymore. I was done. I was out of tears. 

Moving day came and Utah was weird but pretty. School started and I made a couple friends. A girl named Kaylie introduced herself to me on the first day, which helped a lot. I played volleyball for the school. But things really didn’t start to turn up until I started regularly attending Alpine Church. This gave me the basic understanding that God loves me. He created me. Every time I cut my skin, I was hurting him, and hurting this thing he created in his image. So that gave me motivation to at least try. I really wanted to just start fresh and be this great thing in this new school. That didn’t really happen but all of the sudden all these people in my youth group cared about me and invited me to things and for the first time in a while I felt wanted in a healthy, loving way. Everyday from there out it has been a battle.

That was five years ago now, and I’m mostly better now. I still have that toxic insecurity sometimes, but I’m conquering it with God’s help and everyday is getting better. I’m about to start my second year of college and my life is the best it has been in years. I can actually relax and have fun now. I’ve allowed myself to love and be loved by an incredible man who I’ve almost been dating for a year and a half. 

This is all to say, it gets better. I don’t know what will save you from your sickness. But in the meantime, find something that makes you want to be better. If that’s your faith, great. If it’s not, fine. Every day is a gift, even the days when you want to hide and let everything go on without you. When you’re standing at the edge of a cliff, you have three options. You can do nothing. You can jump. Or you can walk the other way with your head held up and know that you have defeated another day, another demon, another fear. You are so much stronger and so much more valuable than you even can begin to know. You are already so important, and you can do so much. It is up to you to rise up from the ashes of what you were and walk on to tomorrow. And then do it again. And someday, you’ll realize there’s less and less ashes there and you feel lighter and more free until you free yourself completely and then when you think of your past, even if it still hurts, there will be victory there in knowing you survived. You can survive. 

I love you all. If any of you ever need anything, come to me. My email is amandadonnelly@mail.weber.edu. 

Decisions.

I wonder what the moon sees and

I am forever fascinated by decisions. 

That’s all life really is, isn’t it?

A set of decisions you make from birth until death.

How small are some decisions, though,

when you compare them to the moon deciding

to shine the light of the sun off of it each night,

while I have a complex at three am

about a small word said days before.

Summer Updates and Thoughts

It’s definitely been an exciting summer to say the least, and with August on our heels and it beginning to wind down, I want to reflect on all of the exciting things that have happened.

I learned to relax and let go. I’m a traditionally laid back person with the ever-going impulse to want to control everything, but this summer I’ve begun to just let life happen, and I can attribute that to really good friends, and the solid belief in God and that He is the one that’s meant to be in control. I cannot change what happens to me, but my attitude and response is up to me and I refuse to be beat by circumstance.

I went camping for a weekend with four of my very best friends. It seriously was one of the best weekends of my life. We did such fun things, like explore a really old amphitheater, go stargazing there, shower in a river (sort of), cook all of our own food, go to the beach, swing from a rope swing, and honestly, one of the best moments of the whole trip was when a song was on that we all knew and the windows were down even though we were going way too fast for that, and we screamed every word. There are times in your life you know you’re going to remember forever, that was one of them for me.

I’ve learned to pray this summer. To really pray and not just for myself, or my family, or my friends. But for others who have become family to me and their families and their problems and we’ve praised together in good things and we’ve grieved in bad times and I have never felt more taken care of by a group of people than I have this summer. These are lifetime friends.

I’ve gotten so much closer to Cody than I even was before. I look forward to nights where we both aren’t working or doing anything so we can just talk about what’s been going on in our lives. We pray together for each others’ walks with God, and we have an incredible understanding of the fact that love is a choice, and I wake up choosing to love him everyday. I would never choose anyone else.

So that has been my summer so far! Hard to believe it’s almost August but truth be told I’m really looking forward to the school year. I bought my new comforter and other kitchen utensils yesterday and it’s all starting to feel like time is going really fast. I’m enjoying every single day, though. No complaints here.

Love you all.

PS. When I get home from work I’ll post pictures from this summer.

(:

 

Growing out my Pixie Cut! (Now short bob)

Growing out my Pixie Cut! (Now short bob)

Here is my grown out pixie cut, now styled with ombre and a bob.

Image

Summer Living and Updates!

It’s finally summer! That means I can post much more frequently.

So far this summer has been seriously so fun.

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I flew back to Illinois to visit my parents. My family has always been my rock and I’m a complete home body, so I was very excited. I got to see my sister be in a talent show (and win) and my best friend growing up play softball. Both of these were awesome to see. I also got to see my brother’s performance in Jesus Christ Superstar on dvd and I was once again blown away by how incredibly talented my siblings are. It’s really hard to be away from them sometimes, knowing I’m missing a really big part of their lives. They’re doing so well, and I keep in touch with them when I can. 

Since being back from Illinois, I have had many nights where I’ve stayed out late with friends, playing board games or around a bonfire. Cody and I have had lazy nights in, and then really late nights out. Yesterday, we had a date day and went down to Station Park (which is a new outdoor mall) and browsed around. I picked up a new hat and some socks, and Cody got himself some cologne. Somehow, no matter what we do, everyday with that boy is extraordinary. I just can’t get over him.

In more serious news, my schedule for my second year of college is all situated. It’s insane to think that I’m already a year into this. I remember when this felt so far away. The ride has been so amazing so far, and I can’t wait to see where it goes. I also have two jobs set up for this fall! Sounds crazy, but they balance each other out really nicely. The first is just a desk job answering phones and stuff. Really nothing too exciting, but I love the people I work with so it’s fun. Also I can do my homework there. TIP (for college students): If you can find a job on campus where you can also get homework done, get that one. It has actually been a lifesaver. The second job is a tutoring job where the pay is really good and there’s potential to make more as time goes on. That one has short shifts because it’s just appointments. 

Also, to update you on growing out my pixie cut, not too long ago I got my hair cut into a cute, short bob. I also got ombre put in so I’m really excited for this because it actually looks like a style instead of a mop. No more extensions either! Those were no fun. So I’ll attach a picture of my current hair on here at the end of this post.

Hope you’re all having a wonderful summer! 

Brave.

Hi, all.

So over the last few months, I’ve battled with anxiety. My worst fears were mostly things relating to my health. I had a migraine back at the beginning of February that made my body do some pretty weird stuff, so that didn’t really help my cause. And then you hear about random things happening to people, like someone just complaining of a headache and being dead later that day. Scary stuff, right? But what I have discovered since recovering from a month of being sick is that you cannot live in fear of what your body will do. This is something that is out of control, so if I let myself be afraid, I will either wind up with my fear happening, or it will ruin my life. I cannot let the chance of me getting some disease when I’m older control my mind now. I will not let that happen.

I think what was the worst about dealing with all of this (and I still do sometimes) was the knowledge that I didn’t used to be this way. I wasn’t constantly afraid back then. I didn’t let anxiety rule my life then. So why now? Exactly.

I’ve discovered some really cool tips that help with dealing with anxiety.

1. Acknowledge it. I used to hide it because I felt stupid for the things I was afraid of, especially when nothing ever really happened. However now when I feel anxiety coming on, I talk through it, right then. I tell my boyfriend, Cody, how I’m feeling and what’s going through my mind. The more I talk, the more distracted I become. This means that I can get over the attack sooner. Also, and I’m not recommending that you do this often, but know that your anxiety does NOT control your body, so just once let it get as bad as you can. Freak out. And then cut it off. Understand that you are above this thing. No matter what yours stems from, realize that conquering it is possible and you really can do it. 

2. Eat healthy. It sounds kinda weird and unrelated but I promise you it makes all of the difference. The better you eat, the better you’re going to feel. Let yourself enjoy foods that make you feel good- eggs, fruit, turkey, lean stuff that makes for a healthy body. And chocolate is okay too because it makes you happy, and happy is what we’re aiming for!

3. Work out when you can. Working out makes a huge difference too! Again, you’re improving the way you feel, which is exactly what you’re trying to do. Also, it makes you sleep better and get to sleep easier. You’ll feel great and it’s a great distraction from fear. 

4. Finally, PRAY. Now I stress this one because it’s the one that’s made the biggest difference for me. I placed my faith entirely in God, knowing that He will take care of me. He knows my fears and understands that this is hard for me, but I know he’ll protect me no matter what. This has been the game changer.

So basically, I have decided that fear does not rule me. My body is MINE, and yes, life can come up and make everything difficult and scary, but I’m never alone. I’ve got incredible family and friends, and a God who is above medicine and human works. This year has started off a big rough, but I know it’ll be the best one yet.

Previous Older Entries