Friday, 28 March 2014

Let's Try This Again

The title of this post has pretty much been my mantra over the last couple months. If you’re at all familiar with my blog, you know that I started it to help people who have faced struggles similar to the ones that I've faced. Things like depression, anxiety, bullying, and unhealthy self-image.

I started this blog after I thought I was pretty much over some of those issues. Oh, I knew that I would never be perfect. I knew that there would still be battles. Life is a series of ups and downs, right? But starting about the end of last summer, I got caught in a major down. I got up again. Then I fell. And the cycle kept repeating. Every time I fell again, it was worse than the previous time. Just imagine being punched in the stomach. Over and over and over.

Honestly, I’m still recovering. I had avoided posting, because I had no idea what to say. How was I supposed to bring encouragement and write something uplifting when I had barely found motivation to even get out of bed that morning? My family was walking on egg shells around me, because at any moment I could snap and pretty much become a monster. We had so many family blow ups, and I was the dynamite.
I tried to keep praying and reading my Bible and do all the things I knew to do, but I felt so guilty. How could I pray to God when just a few minutes before I had considered ending it all? Every time I looked in the mirror, I detested what I saw. Staring back at me was failure. Hopelessness.

I realized that suicide wasn’t the right answer, though the option entered my mind all too frequently. So I tried to change. I had gotten out of depression once before; I could do it again. I hit burn out so many times as I tried to do everything I thought I was supposed to do. I used the coping methods I had learned from therapy before. I would try my best to say positive things to myself. I tried to constantly be pleasant to my family. I tried to hang out with friends every chance I got, because I felt that I was only worth something when I had friends around me. I worked to develop the good Christian things that should be growing in my life. I worked out for an hour twice a day to change my body to something I would be happy with. I didn’t eat until my mom made me, because I felt that any food I ate would make me fatter than I already was.

And then the inevitable would happen, and I would mess up. I would scream at my mom. I’d eat an Oreo cookie. I would miss a workout. I’d have a breakdown. Then after a day or so, I’d pick myself up and go at it again.

I don’t know how many of you have struggled with depression, and everyone’s struggles are different anyway. But just let me tell you that it’s a scary place to be. You feel so alone. And then you start isolating yourself from others. Putting on a fake front, so no one knows what you’re really like. No one could possibly be dealing with the same things you’re dealing with. No one could possibly be so messed up.

And that isolation fertilizes your problems. It takes your lion-sized struggle and turns it into an elephant-sized battle.  Among the many bad decisions I've made in the last couple months, I have made one good one. Last month, I started opening up. I talked to my mom. I also opened up to my pastor’s wife, and to some other mentors I have. My problems haven’t vanished—far from it. But I know I’m not alone anymore. I know I’m not the only one struggling with this, and that brings a little bit of hope.

I was reminded of the reason I started this blog in the first place. To put an end to the isolation. I wanted to start a place where people can come and know that they’re not the only ones who are struggling.

So I invite you to join me on this journey. I can’t promise you that all your problems are going to go away. In fact, I guarantee that your problems aren’t all going to disappear. But if you’re open to it, I think you’re going to discover that you’re not alone. I’m not going to sugar coat things. I’m going to be raw and vulnerable, and I want my readers to feel like they can be the same way. Because I believe until you truly reach that point where you can’t go on anymore, you’ll never make any progress in the right direction.

I think my first few posts were kind of practice. Now that I’ve gotten my feet wet in the blogging pool, I’m ready to dive right in. So here’s what I’m gonna try. I might not be able to totally stick with it, but I won’t know until I try.

On Mondays, I’m not going to post a long post, just an inspirational or funny quote or song to start off your week. I’m not a big fan of Mondays. In fact, Garfield probably likes Mondays more than I do. So I feel like a good laugh would be a good way for me at least to start off the week.

On Wednesdays, I’m going to talk about mental illness, and some practical coping methods. Mental illness is an issue that has affected many areas of my family, and it’s an issue that is very close to my heart. I also do a lot of reading and research, so I’d like to share some of that. I’d also like to share some coping methods that I've learned and that others have used. I would love to hear some of your feedback as well on some things that you do when life gets tough.

Fridays are going to be the day for inspirational posts. For the next few Fridays, I’ll be talking about my journey over the last couple months. I’d also love to hear from some of you guys about your journeys.

Saturdays are going to be story days. I have yet to meet someone who doesn't love a good story. I love writing stories, and I also have several friends who are crazy talented authors. Once again, I’d also love to have stories from my readers. Having Saturday stories might take a little bit of time to get up and running, but I’m hoping to have it going soon.

I really visualize this blog as being a community. I know it might take some time for people to feel comfortable commenting and writing blog posts. But I’m willing to be patient. And if only one person gets helped, I’ll be ecstatic. So, I encourage comments. I want to hear your stories. You can be anonymous as well. I get it that these are some scary topics.  

But no idiots. I have no tolerance for bullies. Okay?

I’m excited about sharing this journey with you!

P.S. You may have noticed that there wasn't a photo with this post. I’m more of a writer than a photographer, and I’m never sure of what pictures to put with a post. If you are a photographer or if you just love taking pictures, please send me some, and I’ll put them up with posts. I can mention your name or you can remain anonymous. Thanks so much!


  1. Jyllena, you are so inspiring. It takes such a strong woman to be vulnerable enough to share your heart with the world; a quality I truly admire. From the first day I met you, I remember thinking "wow, what a beautiful person". As I've come to know you, I've realized that your beauty radiates from the inside as well as the outside. By sharing how God is working in your life, you are being an amazing witness and a light in the darkness. Thanks for setting of an incredible example for me and so many others. You are loved more than you know girl :)

    1. Oh, Cheryl, that means so much!! You too are such an inspiration in my life! I wish I could put it as elegantly as you did! I know you are touching lives everywhere, and you have impacted my life in ways you have no idea of!


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