• Coping in troubled times

    Well, Hello world! Been silent over in LIGHTforMI lately, huh? To be bluntly honest, I have been trying to avoid this entire idea of towing the line of continuing a ministry about mental illness on my own while my mother was in college. In fact, I actually didn't want to continue in the ministry at all. I was kind of falling away from my own therapy and use of coping skills... And so, I thought in light of this truth, I'd talk about what therapeutic skills have helped me personally when depressed.


    • Music - I have found that music has impacted my life in wondrous and mighty ways. A few things I really enjoy to do are singing, dancing, playing, and listening to the beauty of the melodies, rhythms and vocals of music. It's in my veins like lightning.
    • Reading - I have found that reading is a great escape for me, as it is for many, I am sure. When I picked up a book and relate with a fictional character, I just don't feel alone anymore. That connection I have with a character helps me through some really tough time. Even in nonfiction, I find a connection with the author of the book and sees things I've never noticed before.
    • Movies - I love to watch inspiring Christian and non-Christians films with an uplifting message in particular. I always walk away changed, even if I've watched it more than once... it's always an encouragement when I need it...


    Those before mentioned things are the general things that many others do as well, always should have a balance in them... it's better to avoid listening, reading or watching something that triggers you even more-- which many may think is obvious, and it is... but it typically it is the last thing someone who is depressed wants to do... DO IT ANYWAY!


    Some other things that helps me, and these are more personal to me... Writing prayers, poems, stories, and creating art helps me to find a release that isn't selfharm. I also find that a balance in the time I spend alone or with friends and family is quite helpful. Crafts, games, and other things are nice as well, sometimes... So what do you guys do to cope in troubled times? Comment below and let's discuss this!

  • Freak of Nature

    As far as I can remember, I've been an outcast, especially in the church. I sensed it even at a young age, but I didn't grasp it enough to know why... I was a freak of nature-- at least I was in the company of mirrors and in my bedroom, alone... Hey I'm Arianna. That daughter of Valerie's, the one with bipolar disorder NOS. I was already struggling with my mental illness by the age of 3yrs. I was like a lion caged in the body of a little toddler, which grew with me even to and through my teen years. In my early teen years, I believed my disorder was a monster inside me and could never be tamed. I often wished I was "normal", as my mother sometimes wishes she had a "normal" family. But, with that out the window, I had-- and still have to learn to live with and embrace this monster that lived inside of me... I began to befriend it.


    There are times it still leaps out of me and almost swallows up family and friends. Also, my days of living through the years have been filled wishing I was someone else, never born, or worse..... dead. Mental illness has been, and is a struggle that I have fought since birth. And though I began cutting at the age of 14... I have been self-harming much longer. I often beat myself up over mistakes I've made-- even the ones that happened in my childhood. With shame being the trigger of it all, and all this self-inflicted abuse being a punishment for just being myself. To be honest, I often struggle to understand why I do these things, and often don't know why I even have these problems... If anything I wish I could stop these things... but, when you are addicted to something, you are dependent on it, and it is not as easy to break lose as most Christians believe.


    Most of the beliefs of my being a monster were formed from several phrases that, I'm sure anyone with mental illness has heard...


    "True believers cannot be depressed."

    "You must be in sin."

    "You must not have enough faith."

    "Mental illness is demonic possession."


    Do any of these sound familiar to you guys? To the young children who grew up to adulthood with these things being said of you as gossip, or directly at you, or even said to your parents... I want to tell you this one thing; you are not in the wrong to be depressed. Your depression, your mental illness is NOT you. Would you point to a handicapped man on a wheelchair, with an amputated leg, and tell him that his disability is his identity? If not, then do the same for yourself, and realize you are not your disease. You're not necessarily faithless, in sin, or possessed just because you have these problems... I grew up believing the voices out of the home and I never trusted the Lord for his wisdom and truth to pierce through, so you guys aren't alone in your experience...


    I'd love to say I'm used to my illness... if I told you I was then it would be a lie. I can be terrified of myself. Afraid I''ll self destruct... hurt others,or I'd soon kill myself. I've been so unpredictable that I was terrified of the idea of even stepping outside of my room. I don't always have control over my thoughts... and actions, and at those times, I'd do anything to regain that control. I never chose to be this way. And if I could I would pray it all away... but, sometimes God lets you go through this flame of refinement to build your faith, and perfect you... I have often went through this refining fire, and sometimes it held the illusion of hell to me... But, unlike hell's fire, this fire was there to design me into the person the Lord made me to be... It's a process, a war, and it can take a long time to overcome, and more times than not, it continues untilwe are 6-feet below... But, still God can use it. And He continues to use it for His purposes.

    "Be at peace with yesterday. Be wise with today. And be secure with tomorrow."

    In Christ Alone,



  • High-low, high-low! The Bipolar Life For Me!

    Hello, to all of you. I wrote this, yesterday to give a glimpse of my day to day existence. And I often create things that give you that glimpse as well. Should you want to find more done to express this I'd advice you to visit me on my blogs The Peculiar Tales of a Ragamuffin Warrior Princess#30daysofbrave challenge(on pause), and The Oneiric Ambiventure: How it Feels Project, and my journals on wattpad, and the Artisan Chronicles.


    What time is it? Where’s my phone? There it is. 2:30PM. Really have to get up at some point. No time like the present… Time to get dressed. It sounds simple to you, but for me, I have two chest-of-drawers one with 9 drawers and the other with 6… giving me 15 in total and there are just bandannas in the top drawers with books and mismatched socks thrown haphazardly in them. Maybe I can find something from the hamper that smells halfway alright? But no, I’ve worn almost all of the variations of outfits over 100 times. You may ask why don’t I just spend a moment to wash my clothes? It’s pretty easy to do that once a week right? Well, not for me. Why? I’m depressed. So I grab the outfit I wore yesterday, I’ve only worn it like 50 times, so it can last a little longer. And thus, I get dressed and onto day 8760 of the same war different battle…


    I’m nothing. I’m pathetic. I’m disgusting. Not worth it. Can’t do anything right…. I’m thirsty. I’m hungry. My parents would be better off without me. I’m not worth eating… Just water right now, then I’m lying down. I’m ugly. Not worth it. Am I even cared for? Is this even worth it? I get into a fight with my dad, and looking back on the fight it seems absolutely pointless. Our relationship feels like an unresolved argument… I try and try and try to fix it… I sit down and cry for a bit, Then through teary eyes I look outside and think that the afternoon is lovely. I need to stop being depressed for a moment. Music? Yeah, music…Take a short walk and maybe I’ll be better.


    And so I take a walk, jam to my tunes. Return all hot, sweaty, tired yet pumped. And I’m drinking my second cup of water. I leave to cool down and I get enough energy to take a bath. Change into my nightgown for the evening… Then it’s dark all too soon. Even though it seemed to partially silence the voices of self-hate to have taken a walk, bathed, and rested…. The feelings never left. And now it is the hour in which the memories of the weeks, the days, the hours that have passed…By the time I’m in bed I am weeping hard. Accusing myself that I should not be considered human. That I’m a monster. That I should die and nobody would care if I did…. Hold on til morning, I beg myself. You’ve got this…. This pain will end and the light will carry on.


    People see me smiling away. Manic, hyper and excited all the time. But even in the times I’m happy, these thoughts play in my head… I can have a an entire emotional roller coaster in one day… Most times these thoughts are there, but I hide it with my mania. I grin, and even I believe that I’m fine. But these thoughts will pop out of nowhere...And I ignore them with happy stuff. These things are not to I’m constantly depressed.


    But I can, even while manic, feel the shadow of depression hovering silently above me, basically grabbed a stamp to my heart and pressing it on me. Depressing word in manic colours… I will joke about it, I will laugh lightheartedly at it. And I will feel it in my happiness. But it’s not to say I can’t do work, that I can’t have fun, that I can’t laugh and enjoy my day. There are sometimes, rare though they are, that I will have the most fantastic day. Everything will be fine. I’ll go up until night time, happy and jovial…. Then I’ll crash in bed… crying hard. I do what I can. I try to force myself out of depression on a day to day basis. I laugh, I love, I live. I do these things and even then, I’m not always able to stop the tears. But I’m not weak. I’m not always broken. I am just a fighter against myself.


    Luceo non uro,

    Ari Joy

  • In the Depths


    It's been a while since I've felt so low, but nevertheless, here I am. This time it was stress-induced with stressors all around. Home, work, church. No regular doctor anymore, so I don't know what to do about it. Taking a week-long sabatical helped. Arianna being released from the hospital helped. Knowing that God cares for me helps. I need more...

    If you are experiencing deep depression, what has helped you in your journey?

  • Refreshment

    I love the fall. Even when I'm depressed. This is usually a time for people to experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) due to the shorter period of daylight. Me? I think I get MORE light during the fall. Seriously! I live in the southern portion of the United States. The oppressive heat of summer (which starts in about March or April and ends in September or October) keeps me inside as much as possible. I hate the heat. It sucks all energy from my entire body. It affects my brain. If I'm hot, I'm irritable;I'm angry. I can't regulate my reactions to outside stimuli. In short, it makes my depression much, much worse.

    If it's cool, or cold, I'm a much more pleasant person. I relish in the cooler temperatures. Furthermore, I love the smell of Autumn! It's sublime! I love the colors as the sun hits the leaves on the trees. It's great. In short, I'm refreshed, and it brings hope into the depths of my depression. Why, yes, I'm alive and I appreciate that.

  • Supposed Suicide

    Copyright © 2015 Mari Fahel Mckimzey


    It happened so suddenly

    I hung myself to die

    Cracking my neck;

    Breathing my last;

    Dangling in the eyes

    Of a young 13 year old


    It happened before they could

    Stop me; alas, a child

    Has seen her sis

    Die before her

    The argument was wild

    Now she has PTSD


    I, now stand before the Throne

    God is seated in grief

    He gazes down

    In deep love asks;

    "You with little belief

    Why did you spit on my face?"


    Shaking in fear and sadness

    As my God asks again;

    "My child why did

    You spit on my face

    To right now have been slain

    By your hands you took your life?"


    I wept hard and responded

    "Lord I could no longer bear

    This life with all

    Of its trials so I

    Took my own life to where

    I would not suffer again..."


    God revealed everything that

    I threw away, showed me my

    Life got better

    And the ones who loved me

    I saw purpose in His eyes

    That had been transferred to me


    Then I finally knew that

    My life was not as dark as

    I made it out

    To be; then I cried out

    With pain in my heart "alas!

    Oh Lord please forgive my wrong!"

    He answered in grief, "I do.


    "But you had to see what I

    Had planned with your life when I

    Created you;

    And molded you in My

    Image; see the many eyes

    Of those you were destined to

    Guide; it grieves me you threw it out

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