Hello, Hello Beautiful People,
So, my biggest question for y’all today is: can y’all keep a secret? As you all know by now this is where I wish you all well… I still do hope you guys are doing well, but today it is going to be a little different. Now, for those who follow consistently, I typically post every single Monday at 9 am, but recently due to unforeseen things, I haven’t been posting as often. I want you to all know that I simply couldn’t wait another moment to post this; and I will also be posting every other week or once a week depending on my time schedule. With the upcoming school year looming on the horizon, I should be able to get into a solid writing schedule, but alas, we shall see.
With that being said, today is going to be a little different. Now this is my sixteenth post (holy crap, right??) and I have recently realized that I have never in-depth told y’all my testimony; therefore, I (with a ton of preparation and prayer) have come to the conclusion that it is time to open up in full and tell y’all my story. Now I’m not going to lie, it gets ugly, and honestly, I almost wasn’t going to do it until I received a letter in the mail on Saturday. Hayley McGhee, I know you’re reading so I want to give a shout out specifically to you: thank you for hearing me. Thank you for listening. And thank you for being my friend. Your words of encouragement that you sent had so much impact on me, and not only that, they gave me the courage to write this today. Thank you so much, you truly are my other half.
With that being said, let’s begin, shall we?
My story begins truly in my eighth-grade year of public school. During that time, I was beginning to learn how to pitch in softball, and I was just starting to feel confident and get good at it. Now for me, I was always that shy kid in school. I was the girl that always had a book in her hand and barely said two words to you unless called upon, and yet, I was pretty good at sports. When I was in the fourth grade, that was when I began to play softball. Like many, it became my first love, and where I began to draw a confidence from. I loved playing. For me, it was where I could be free. I played cocky and confident and I didn’t give two cares about what anyone thought. I was a good player and I knew it. But my eighth-grade year, all of that changed.
One day, we were practicing for all-stars before our regional tournament. In this practice we were doing a live scrimmage where the pitchers were throwing to our hitters. On this particular day, I was throwing really well. My change-up was hitting all the right locations and my fastball had just enough of a speed difference to throw the batters off—I was throwing good (with the only two pitches I had at the time), and I was living for it. I remember going off the field to get water in like an emotional-high state, I was so excited, but then I heard from the voice of a teammate, “Hannah sucks at pitching. She’s never going to get anywhere with it; she should just quit while she’s ahead.” And in that moment, I could literally feel my world tumbling down. I’m going to fast forward through all of the heartache now, but the main thing I want y’all to know that was the moment where a lot of doubt and insecurity began to creep into my life.
From then on, I felt like I started going through the motions of life. I noticed that I wasn’t necessarily thriving anymore, just merely getting by. My freshman year of high school, I remember this short period of extended sadness—a funk—that I was in during the second semester. Somehow, by the grace of God, I got out of it and back into the going-through-the-motions state. The very next year (my sophomore year) the exact same thing happened. I (after getting my heart broken) fell into that sad state again, only it didn’t last for a week… it lasted for over a month. I remember a huge loss of energy, I began to lose motivation to do things that I once used to enjoy doing, and the scariest thing that I remember were the thoughts of self-harm and the thoughts of “if I got hit by a car or if something tragic were to happen to me right now, I would be okay with it.” Life began to lose its meaning to me in scary ways, and the idea of dying had little impact on a fifteen year old girl.
Finally one night I got so sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, that I finally hit my knees and prayed. I was raised in church, so I knew of the Bible and of Jesus, so I hit my knees, folded my arms, laid my head on them and said, “God, if you’re out there, if you’re real, I need you to come save me. I can’t do this anymore… I can’t keep living like this anymore.” And man let me tell you, in that moment there was a peace that I can’t even describe that washed over me. Now don’t get me wrong, I was still a sobbing mess, but I didn’t feel so alone anymore.
Now I am going to fast forward here, I ended up getting plugged into a church (ironically by the same girl that said those things all those years ago… after we forgave each other) that helped me be shaped into the young woman I am today. But allow me to fast forward to this week. Stay with me this is where the story gets interesting. Recently, my mother was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. It was this huge thing that honestly was really terrifying to hear about when you are three hours away at school. After talking to her about it and taking into consideration our personalities, we decided that it would be best if I got checked out. I went to my doctor and she asked me some questions, I was very honest with her, and she made me fill out a few questionnaires.
Come to find out, I have been diagnosed with a mild case of both anxiety and depression, and I began to freak out. Like freak out, freak out. As soon as I left the doctor’s office, I began to cry in my car on the way to work. Part of me was honestly hoping that if I did end up having this (because I kind of had a feeling) that I would feel peace because it would explain everything; however, I left that office feeling very weak, crazy, and quite frankly, alone and unlovable. I’ve fought a very hard journey of self-love and trying to find confidence again, and in that moment of panic all of it went to waste, for I thought how anyone could love me, if I can’t even love myself right now. It sucked, I’m not going to lie.
I’m also not going to lie and say that all was right with the world, that my faith didn’t even shudder, because, honey, it was shaking like a leaf. I was angry, and I was sure as heck was going to tell God how I felt about it too. But I am so so grateful for the friends I have in my life, for they all played a key role in calming me down, even if they didn’t know I was struggling with this yet. Hayley, your letter came at such a perfect time, and God is using you in incredible ways even if you don’t feel it yet. Stamp, Kal, Finster, all of y’all love me so much, and I’m so grateful. Julia, you’re the older sister I’ve never had, and I’m so grateful to have you in my life. And Andrew, thank you for calling me (even when you’re 2000 miles away) and talking me through this. I love you all so so much. You know, a huge part of my ministry was to love on people so hard that they would never have to go through the pain that I’ve felt, and y’all all do that for me, and I’m so grateful.
This will be the last thing I say before I close out, my family is so great. They’re supporting me and pushing me out of my comfort zone to help me grow. And all of y’all, you guys reading this, give me the strength to keep going. As I’m writing, there’s one verse that keeps popping into my head, and I feel like it really applies to this situation here, it is:
“9But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. 10That is why, for the sake of Christ, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2nd Corinthians 12:9-10).
There is one final thing I want to say before I close, remember when I said that I was in the funk for about a month? That was one of my phases of depression I have been in for over 5-6 years, and with depression, there is a two-week cutoff period. After the two-week period, the neurotransmitters in our brains become unbalanced to a place where any normal coping methods don’t work to get us out of that state.
(THIS IS WHERE IT GETS GOOD, AND I’M STILL SHOOK BC I FOUND THIS OUT LIKE THREE DAYS AGO)
Now I was in it for a month, and as I said as soon as I prayed, I felt a peace that can’t be described, and you know what? It didn’t click until I found this out three days ago, but it was almost as if I could feel everything balance back out, for that very next day I had energy and passion again, and life felt worth living again, even if I didn’t fully know where I was going and how it was going to turn out. It wasn’t until that moment where I had to look back in time and I heard someone explain the science of this disorder, that it all clicked. God is so good y’all, and He is always here for y’all. Trust me and know it’s true.
I love each and every single one of y’all and thank you all for reading and listening to my story. I hope you all got something out of it, and God blesses y’all immensely this week. I’m praying for all y’all, and I can’t wait to talk again!
Until Next Time with Love,