Life Goals


 

I recently read an article by this woman who said she would rather have liver failure from all of the medication than to deal with life off medication. I can see the pain in her writing and ultimately making that choice. My time will come, at one point or another for me to decide as well.

Do I keep going or do I start experimenting with alternative, holistic methods? I am aware and have researched enough possibilities to say it’s worth a try. However, this would potentially put my family and myself on a different kind of roller coaster. Trying different things and to go off the beaten path is scary. Just the thought of the lengthy process it would be to wean me off of all my meds. makes me want to back down from the idea entirely. I have been on a pretty steady amount of medication for about 10 years. I don’t even know who this Rachel person is off meds. Who am I really and truly when I am off medication? I don’t even remember. I do know I would want to give this whole crazy idea of being off medication over dying way to early from a failing liver. Now the question is ……when? I know there will never be a good time to do this. I know things will be hell as I transition to a new life off drugs, but what if I fail? I will literally be starting a new medication routine all over again. Yet again, Is it worth the chance? I see no other option. Also this TMS thing I mentioned in a previous post is still on the playing table. We are just waiting on the super slow insurance company. I will let you know, if approved, how that all pans out. Now, don’t hold your breath to see how things will work out for me. I am not looking at doing this anytime soon. Except the TMS. If that bad boy gets approved I’m all in! As for ditching the drugs, I would rather not be the guinea pig! Surly someone has done this! I must find them. Inquiring minds want to know! So right now I will continue to be a good girl and take medication as prescribed and I will still make it to all those doctor appointments every month.

 If I ever get anything out of this whole bipolar/schizo/lupus/fibromyalgia thing it would be that I think at this point I can say that I can relate to a lot of people. I understand and I know the pain they physically and mentally feel. I’m in this place in my life right now where I want to allow God to reach through me to touch so many people like me. To tell them their lives are worth something and they are loved.

Of course there is perfect timing for everything and as much as I want to get out there and implement all of these things, I am still dealing with my own can of worms. Even if I can’t go all out, He has made it clear to me, a little bit here and a little bit there. I am still struggling with the constant thought of me just being stuck in this body where Rachel resides somewhere. I say yes to Him and to have His way in my life. My life as it is right now. Lord, I want you to teach me how to set aside how I feel and how I think to bring glory to your kingdom to the best of my capabilities. To love on the broken when the opportunity arises. I want Him to use me as a vessel at anytime He sees fit. To minister to the weary and heavy laden. I do believe one day I will be able to do more of things that God has planned for me in His timing. My hope is to share His powerful, redeeming love to anybody who needs it and will listen. Especially those with mental disorders and/or chronic pain. I can and will thank the Lord every morning for another day to be alive. I will continue to ask Him to give my doctors wisdom and understanding to my specific needs and for the Holy Spirit to speak to me when it’s time to cut the drug cord. I will put my trust in Him. I will keep my head held high. He has whispered to me in His reassuring voice to not be so hard on myself for feeling guilty for not doing enough. I am right where He wants me to be. He has spoken to my heart and ministered to my soul that sometimes simply being alive is enough s and sometimes that’s all He asks of us. 

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.                        1 John 4:11 NIV 

 

Jesus appointed me

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Being Reborn


As I have dealing with my birthday that was a couple of weeks ago, there have been  a lot of feelings that I couldn’t pin down. As I began to analyze and dissect my thought and feelings, I started to see just how much the bipolar, schizophrenia, panic, anxiety, lupus and fibromyalgia were keeping me a prisoner. I was allowing fear to literally cripple me. I didn’t know who I was anymore. The enemy of my faith was literally killing me.

I was a stay at home mom from the beginning 14 years ago. I had plans of returning to work or doing volunteer work once my 3 children were all in school full time. Right after my youngest child was born 10 years ago I was diagnosed with the mental disorders. My plans started to crumble. My dreams crumbled. I tried to take care of a baby and 2 other children, all 2 years apart, and at the same time trying to manage a mind that was not my own. The physical diseases came in to play about 3 years ago. Fast forward to the now. I am still at home ALL. DAY. LONG. By myself for a good 7 hours, 5 or more days a week. I rarely leave the house and being that we moved out of state to Arizona last May, I don’t know anybody. I feel isolated and alone. When I do venture out it is mostly for doctor appointments. I get my hair cut every 6 weeks and grocery shop with my husband on Friday nights. I can’t sit  through movies in a theater or at home without having to get up and leave because the anxiety and nervousness get to me. I have seen maybe 1 or 2 movies that I can think of over the last 5 or 6 years. I can’t even begin to watch anything unless it’s comedies or romance because everything else can trigger me. I have to even be careful for the music that I listen to because of triggers. Forget any other activities. It’s either my mind or my body and sometimes both that make things impossible. I have missed out on more events at school for my children than I can count. The heavy, burdensome guilt of not being the mom I think I should be or the wife I should be eats me apart daily. When I try my hardest it’s never good enough to outweigh the guilt. My dog has become one of my best friends. We talk a lot. This is my life.

About a week ago I decided enough was enough. I spent countless hours just being with Jesus and something in me felt alive again. I wasn’t going to change but I was going to pull from the depths of soul who I really am. Last Wednesday I marched right on down to the tattoo shop and got something beautiful on me that I had been wanting to get for years but was too scared to do. It was a liberating and powerful moment for me. Last night at the very last minute, I booked a flight to head to Utah to be with my parents. I had about 30 minutes to pack and flew, with my dog, for the very first time. Something I never thought I could do. Guess what? I did it. All by myself. This last minute trip was an emergency decision based on my overall health, mind and body. This was the first time I have been away on a trip, for me, from my husband and children in about 6 years. Maybe more. I am giving myself some much needed R&R and of course it didn’t help that there has been some tension between my husband and I and I just needed a mommy/wife break.  I need to collect myself, recharge, and cry in my mamas arms. A change of scenery was needed and I had to get a break from the depressing life that has held me captive for so many years. I don’t know how long I will be away for yet. I know this person, Rachel, that has been crying out for so long to be out of it’s cage was starting to flap her wings. That latch that had been holding the door on that cage closed for so many years had unlocked. Finally feeling some freedom and breaking out of that comfort zone feels amazing. I am little unsure on how to let this wild child, that I knew was in there, out without ruffling to many of the feathers on the few people that are in my life. I think I’m just going to ease into it and let God take control of this creature, that is me. He created me perfect in His eyes and knew who I was going to be before I was conceived. I am leaving it up to Him to remove the guilt and to teach me how to forgive myself. I talk to my kids all the time about how God dosen’t want us comfortable or in a box. He wants us to live freely in Him and do what He created us to do. It is time for me to listen to my own advice. Change is good and sometimes needed. Jesus knew all this was going to go down. He just asks me to trust Him and that’s what I’m going to do.

Welcome to a new world Rachel. A new big and exciting world. An even better example for my babies and learning how to love that husband of mine, who has stuck with me for 16 years this Friday,  unlike any other time yet.

So take care of yourself. It’s okay. You were placed here to love and cannot do that if you don’t first recognize and love this creation, that is you, as God has intended.

Psalm 139:13, Isaiah 43:1, Galations 5:1 and 2 Corinthians 3:17

 

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly


Yesterday morning when I woke up I was filled with an excitement throughout my body. Think Disneyland excited. An excitement that caused butterflys in my stomach. I sat outside with my coffee and knew that this excitement that I was feeling was because it was Good Friday. As like many Christians, Good Friday marks the start of a very exciting and emotional weekend. Good Friday marks the day my Jesus was crucified. Without Good Friday there would be No Resurrection Sunday (Easter). Yesterday morning I opened my Facebook page and saw that World Bipolar Day had fallen on Good Friday this year. Something struck me as I read this. Something stirred in me and almost made me uncomfortable. I didn’t quite know what to do with these feelings and had no idea why I felt the way I did. As my day went on I was trying to connect with God at every moment I could. It was the early afternoon and during one of these moments that the Lord spoke to my heart and unraveled my thoughts and feelings.

There was some significance with Good Friday and world bipolar day falling on the same day for me. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about bipolar awareness and busting the stigma, but as I was seeing bipolar posts flooding my Facebook page there was a personal decision that I needed to make. Yesterday I choose to not blog, post, or share anything bipolar related. I choose Jesus. I could have very easily recognized both Good Friday and world bipolar day, but my heart told me “no”. When Christ died on Good Friday, when He endured all the things He did that day, He did it for me…..for you. With every lashing, every blow, every thorn that dug into His precious head, He took on a sin, a sickness, a disease. All of my grief, sorrow, sadness, depression, mania, ocd, anger, pain was in every strike He took. All of the games my mind plays on me, my low self esteem, my regrets that eat at me, ALL of it He took upon Himself. When He died, it was not just my sins that died too, but ALL of my suffering both mental and physical. Without the selfless act of dying for me I would have no hope, no future, no healing. Because I live in a fallen world I will still battle (Ephisians 6:12) until I see my King in Glory. But that is just it, it’s a battle not a way of life. When you think of wars or battles, you think of someone winning, right? This is why I battle bipolar, lupus, fibromyalgia, because at the end of the day I win. With Christ in me, I win every time. And so for me setting aside a day to “recognize” bipolar was like giving it credit it absolutely does NOT deserve. bipolar you are so big and bad that you get your own day! No fricken way! And then for it to fall on the same day as Good Friday! My decision was clear. By not recognizing world bipolar day yesterday, I was saying this disease, I choose not to carry. He already carried it for me today, Good Friday. bipolar is not an extension of me, like my  hands and feet, those are taken. My feet run the race that is set before me (Hebrews 12:1) and my hands were made for this battle (2 Samuel 22:35 NIV). bipolar is not my identity. It is more like a very temporary mask that I wear, an ugly mask, a mask I did not ask for. But one that is worn and then torn down, ripped to shreds, stomped and spit on when I win the battle for the day. This very disease that wanted to steal the limelight for yesterday was not even given a second look. The bipolar that TRIES to still my life at times DIED on Good Friday. This evil, sickening spirit that is bipolar just needs a constant reminder that it has, in fact been defeated some 2,000 years ago. I choose Jesus. He was going to get all of the attention, the limelight, and the glory yesterday for what He did for me. And on Sunday when I celebrate with my family His resurrection I will rejoice in the fact that one day soon I will be with Him pain free forever.

John 11:25 NIV , 1 Peter 1:3 NIV, Romans 10:9 NIV

 

 

 

 

My Heart Is Full


As I sit outside in the backyard of my grandparents house in California, I am overcome with a sense of peace, love, and thankfulness to my God. My grandparents are both in their eighties. I have spent my entire life with a deep affection for them that has only has only grown as I have gotten older. The last time I saw them was in May of 2017. This was the day before we started out on our new adventure in Arizona. My heart has ached to be with them as they have been sick a lot over the past year. My worst nightmare was receiving a call that they had passed and knowing the last time I spent with them was almost a year ago. I am grateful for the two years we spent back home here in California between our life in Utah to the new life in Arizona. My children were older and were able to spend more quality time them that I knew they would remember. Even with the bipolar and the fairly new diagnosis of fibromyalgia and lupus, I spent as much time with them that my body would allow. My children were able to soak in the stories and create some wonderful memories like learning to make homemade tortillas with my Nana. Although the two years back home were short I was grateful for the extra time spent with them, I have missed them dearly. About a month ago I spoke to my Papa on the phone. Something I tried to do several times a week. When I hung up the phone something changed in me. Talking on the phone was not enough. The desire to be with had reached a head. My husband came home that day to find me very emotional, breaking out in tears throughout the evening. As I expressed to my husband how much I missed them, his wheels began to turn. As I spoke to him that night about how much I missed hearing them laugh, hugging and kissing them, and the smell of their home, he told me that he would take us back home to see them. I was overcome with joy. And so the plans were in action. My mama, who is one of my best friends, was planning on going back to California from Utah. Shortly after we had picked the dates for our trip, my mama planned her visit around ours. What a blessing! Just the thought of being around some of the people that mean the world to me was enough to make me lose sleep out of excitement for almost a month as I anticipated the time that was to be spent around my grandparents, mama, and my Tio whom lives with them. In this last month I have had days that just dragged on and some days that flew by. I could hardly wait! Monday night my husband, children,  and I arrived in California. Since their home is not big enough for my family to stay overnight, my husband and children are staying with my husbands aunt whom was gracious enough to open her home. Wanting to spend every waking moment with my nana, papa, and mama my Tio gave up his bedroom for an air mattress in the living room so that I could be here with them as much as possible. My mama arrived last night and is sharing a bed with me ( love me some mama cuddles). My world has come full circle and once again feels complete. We have laughed and cried tears of joy over the last two days and I look forward to every day that the next 2 weeks holds. Although I realize the next 2 weeks will fly by, I will soak in every hug, kiss and meals shared around the table with my family. I refuse to allow any of my illnesses to rob me of time spent here.  Creating new lifetime memories will be had.

Philippians 1:3  NLT

 

Sweetlife18


I am flooded in my mind and in my heart with words, sentences, and phrases. My God has once again “done it”.

It has been almost 2 months since my life was changed…..again. I have not felt led to share on this topic until now. When I saw my pdoc around the 4th of December I couldn’t even drive. Things had gotten so bad with the bipolar schizoaffective that I was being visited by some of the old demons. The lupus and fibromyalgia also thought this was a good time to hit me full force. I had ticks back and nothing was “right”. If I felt as though the seam of my shirt was crooked it put me in tears. A constant moving and tugging was how I was living. I was like a roller coaster, anger that would cause me to do terrible things, sadness where crying never seemed enough. My daughters and husband would help bathe me at night, even applying lotion to my hurting body. My daughters would lovingly brush my hair. I would ask Matt why this was  happening to me. Why me! My young life had already been riddled by what I thought of as every thing that could possibly go wrong. As I have told you so many times in previous posts that My God was still there, at this time I found myself feeling more confused than ever. More lost than ever. This time around I could not see that light at the end of the tunnel. Although I believed that My God was indeed with me, I just didn’t see how He was going to pull this one off. I have been waiting, hoping for that very moment where God would heal me of EVERYTHING! Jehovah Rapha, The God That Heals. I would read His living Word sprinkled with promises of healing and almost felt taunted. The enemy of my faith whispering his lies, telling me My God’s healing was for other people……not for me. Up until the 4th of December I felt useless, broken down and turned upside down, but not defeated. I still hung on to that little bit of hope. The very promises that the Lord had spoken to me were chiseled onto my heart.

That day of my doctor visit I left with a new prescription along with more changes to my current meds. That night as I prayed over my new medication (something I always do with new ones) I had no idea what was up God’s sleeve. Within 2 weeks of starting the new med., the ticks had left me. I felt some kind of normalcy that I hadn’t experienced in almost 10 years and really longer then that if I reflect on my childhood up to my early twenties.

January 4th I saw my pdoc again. By this time my doctor pretty much had me pinned. His goal being as few medications but just enough of the right ones. I left this time with another new med to address the insomnia that I had been battling with since I got married in 2002. As I held this new med. in my hand with the rest of my pill cocktail, I prayed as usual over it. The next morning Matt made a comment that I had slept peacefully, no yelling, kicking, punching, or scratching that night.

It is now the 24th of January and to say my life has changed is a severe understatement. Miracles have occurred. Peace now fills my heart. Joy has been restored. Every day after January 4th I had waiting for the fluke of “the good feeling” to go away. A phase, a passing fancy so to speak. And everyday I am in awe of this now permanent place that the Lord has brought me to. A place I have never been to, a place just for me. A custom made, unique life that has changed so much over the years. Trials, pain, sorrow, depression, the highs and lows are now no longer holding my hand but crawl behind me. Trying to keep up with a Rachel that it thought it knew, but now that Rachel is running. Running freely in her life and in her walk with the Almighty God. I serve a God of promises kept. I have not only excepted but embraced this new miracle that is my life. I am doing things I never thought I would do or be able to do. I am realistic that being human I may still have episodes here and there and challenges with my mind and body. However these things are NOT the ruler of my  heart. They no longer dictate what I can or can’t do. I still have to take care of myself and take precautions as my medication affects me.

Today I attended my first ever ladies bible study. I not only made it there but I made it through! I was blessed beyond words just to be there. Blessed to fellowship with the 7 other gals at my table. As we discussed a topic of ” The Great I  Am” showing up in your life I was almost at a loss for words. Awe struck how God “did it again”! Wow! What a topic for discussion. As I tried to express to my group how much and how many times God has showed up for me, I realized I could not give enough examples nor could I stress enough how this never changing God has changed me so much. What He has brought me to. How he has kept me alive when I thought I was going to die.

Today God showed up and brought me Joy both tangibly and spiritually.

2018…..The Year of Battles Won


It is 1:00 a.m. on New Years morning. While the rest of my household is sleeping, I am awake still pondering in my heart the things of God.

2017 was a year of challenges and triumphs, promises made and promises broken. Many tears were shed. Tears of joy and tears of sorrow and brokenness. Lots of laughter, hugs, and kisses. 2017 ushered in many changes for myself and my family. We packed up and made our 3rd out of state move to Arizona. I have had to find new doctors and have been through many changes in medication and treatment. As we have been through so much this year, God has taught us to rely more on Him and to lean more on each other. He has brought my family together like never before. He has brought us closer to each other. I have watched in awe how God has grown and changed my children for His glory, plans, and purposes.

Some of the most life altering moments for myself have happened in the last couple months. God has brought people in and out of my world for life changing reasons. As I have become stronger mentally and physically, I am able to see more clearly His calling for my life. He has planted seeds in my heart. Some of which I have already been able to see grow. As I begin to see clearly for the first time in my life some of His plans for me, I find myself constantly second guessing myself and feeling unworthy for the cause of Jesus Christ. As He gently reassures me and whispers to my heart, I get up again to take up my cross. I feel as though I have been sleeping for so long and I am now waking up. Waking up to be that salt and light to those around me and to those God has purposely set in my path. He has called me to live a purpose driven life. A life foreign and unknown to me. A life that I have never lived or known before. He has filled my heart with a longing and desire that makes me feel as though I am on fire. A hunger and thirst for Him like never before.

Some days the pain in my body seems unbearable. Some days I am in constant war with my own mind and thoughts, trying to desperately gain some control. Some days I am so tired from medication and lack of sleep, that I don’t think I’ll make through the day. But throughout all of this I can hear Him gently whispering to me, Rachel….keep fighting. Fighting for myself and fighting for my family. Daily laying down my burdens at the cross.

While so much of the world is sleeping in their hopelessness, bondage, and fear, I will remain awake with wonder, hope, and a future. Ready and listening to be obedient to His word.

What He has instilled in the very depths of my soul will be a game changer for 2018.

Happy New Year.

There


I feel strong today. My mind feels strong, my body feels strong, but most importantly, my soul feels strong. I have been doing well, friends. The fibromyalgia is giving me more trouble than anything. It’s been super hot here and I don’t think my body likes it. I also had to get off my original fibro/lupus med because my new insurance was being not nice and left me with over $400 to pay for it. So I started something else which is not nearly as effective….bummer.

I’m starting to really miss church again. I watch sermons online and have my own time with the Lord most Sundays while the rest of the clan is at church. I just miss being there. You know “there.” Where He meets you, I know He will meet you wherever you are, but there is something heavy, worshipers united, Holy Spirit falling, being “there” in the midst of it all. I just can’t sit through it. I try and every time I have to leave. This doesn’t just happen with church. I can’t go to movies or even watch t.v. Sometimes I can read a book, but it has to captivate me from the beginning, no slow starters. And even then I can only read a few pages at a time. And so as it goes, when I do go to church I have to take my own car so I can come home early….bummer. I think I will try tomorrow. I can always make it through praise and worship and if I have to leave after that oh well.

Oh, how I love my Jesus. I love how He works from the inside out. I am so in love with Him and how He meets my every need. I adore Him and how His love has ravished my heart. How He is transforming and renewing my mind.