Saturday, May 28, 2016

Stigma Sucks

Good evening/early morning all! I can't sleep quite yet just because I thought it was more important to post. ALSO: Follow Depressed But Blessed on Twitter: https://twitter.com/depressbless

You might have read the title of my post and wondered...stigma? What's that?

It's defined as: "a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person."

In other words, it's shaming something you might not know a lot about. Sort of like a stereotype. And for those of us with mental illness, I'm sure we can all testify to the fact that we face stigma...A LOT. And I firmly believe that if the world knew more about mental health, we'd be a lot more understanding of one another.

So I thought I'd give you some insight into some stigma I have personally faced, and some good explanations as to why they aren't true.

1) You just have to wake up in the morning and choose to be happy. 
First off, as somebody with depression, it's hard to even wake up some days. Many times throughout the school year, I would just lay in bed and cry because the thought of getting out of bed seemed like too great of a task and I just couldn't handle even the simplest things the day had placed before me. Secondly, happiness is not always a choice. It's a feeling. Perhaps positivity is more of a choice, but even then, there are many days when it is the harder one, and you just can't fight. Therefore, it's not as simple as you put it. Chemical imbalances are real and can be extremely frustrating. People with depression just see life differently. With a lot of gray filters. And you can see the difference quite clearly in the image below:


2) You're selfish/self-centered.
I think this was one of the worst things to hear. If we take a step back, aren't we all selfish? Are we not all the same selfish sinners? We think we can save ourselves, and that's where the problem is. Our salvation comes through Christ. Even in the ugly world of depression, it's not something you can fight alone. Jesus is the answer. He was the opposite of selfish...for me and the rest of the nasty sinful world. But I promise you that I have a big heart. Really, I do. I, myself, do not hold that terrible of a selfish nature in the personality sense. But my demons do. The ones that take hold of my life and make my head spin. They're the self-centered ones. But me? I'm just trying my best to take care of me first, and even then, I'm helping others along the way. Hence, Depressed But Blessed.

3) You take too much pride in your depression/Depressed But Blessed. 
Pride. Does that even make a lot of sense? I am not proud of the darkness that sits inside my head. I am not proud of my scars, rather ashamed. I am not proud of only myself for coming this far. You know why? Because this is not my battle alone. Christ has conquered death, the devil, and the world for me and for you! And that's something to take pride in. The fact that my God sent His Son and humbly died upon the cross. I can rejoice and be proud of the fact that I have eternal life waiting for me at the end of all my struggles. Only because Jesus tackled it all for me. 
As far as pride in my blog goes, you need to understand why I write. It's purpose is to help all of you. At first, yes, I did start it to help me get some of my feelings out. But now, it's my way of showing you that you are not alone, and that you have a God who is always by your side. I don't want any of you to feel like you have to run the race alone. Because I know that not all of you have faith in Christ like I do. And with such faith, I can only pray that maybe I can be a blessing unto you. I truly only want to help put an end to stigma against mental health, and the only way that comes is by spreading the word about what it really is. 

4) It can't be that bad. 
I'm sure we can all think of those Tumblr pictures of teenagers in settings with solemn looks on their faces, right? It probably has a sad (and maybe cheesy) quote to match. Here's a newsflash: depression is scarier than having some tears run down your cheeks as you sit in an empty parking lot. It's terrifying. It means having days where you can't even recognize yourself. You don't feel human; you go through the motions of living but yet you aren't truly living. You're just trying to survive. The demons in your head bully you and the constant internal battle nags away at you. Mental illness takes a huge toll on not only your mental/emotional health, but also your physical health. Sleeping, eating, learning, and many other things become challenges. So, I mean it when I say, I wouldn't wish depression or anxiety on my worst enemy.

 I am a firm believer that stigma can be reduced a ton if we just took time to do some simple research, or listen to others. That's why I am a proud supporter of Project Semicolon and Mental Health America. We just need to educate each other on these things and soon enough, we can all feel a little better about ourselves and others.

Take the "stigmafree pledge" here: https://www.nami.org/stigmafree

Let's make the world a little better of a place to be; 
and let's go  and be #STIGMAfree,

Marissa Mayer

Sunday, May 22, 2016

5.22.16

Good evening! Although I don't have a specific subject for tonight, I have some things I'd like to share:

1) Thank you all for your support. I know I say it quite frequently, but it is greatly appreciated. There have been days where I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel, or the benefits of this blog, but you guys tell me to keep on writing and I am constantly reminded that God is at work.

2) This reminds me...I have been getting some crazy international views. Added to the list this weeks was Turks and Caicos! How crazy. Not only that, but I got quite a bit of feedback this week from other bloggers. I also encourage you to check out: http://twoblondesnablog.com/ . The two authors, Madelyn and Maria, also struggle with depression and anxiety and since they checked out Depressed But Blessed, I said I'd shoo some of you guys their way too! It's beautiful knowing that there is a supportive community of people with very similar issues. Not only can we support each other, but it gives me the opportunity to witness!

3) So, I wore my shirt to school last week (the Depressed But Blessed one) and got tons of compliments. I've come to the decision that I'll start taking orders for shirts around the one-year birthday of DBB (is that acronym even cool to use?). So, stick around, keep reading, and I'll get you more updates as soon as late-July rolls around.

4) I'm not sure how many of my viewers use Twitter, but since DBB (yep, that's a lot simpler to type!) is on Facebook, I thought maybe I'd start a page. I'll probably do it this next weekend since I'll be out of school and all! Tweets will be encouraging notes and Bible verses for you all. I'll put up a link as soon as I start.

5) Okay, so I tried the video blog post. I recorded it on my phone and it wouldn't let me put it up here. So, my next shot is going to be using the camera on my laptop itself. Hopefully I'll try it out again soon...should be something new and exciting! Some things are just a little easier to express verbally.

6) Don't forget to like DBB on Facebook: CLICK HERE and follow me on Instagram: HERE

7) As always, I'm here if you ever need some support or just somebody to talk to! I'd love to hear from you! Feedback is always appreciated. Feel free to contact me in the forum on the right side.

Hopefully I'll be posting again later this week! Here's to my last week of junior year!

Blessings and prayers,
Marissa Mayer

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Tough Goodbyes

Good evening...(or morning) to you all. Today was graduation.

As a junior, it was a time in which I came to realize that my own future is coming sooner than I expected. I watched my school mates walk across the stage, receive their diplomas, and smile bright, I couldn't help but remember...God has such big plans for all of them.

One of my best friends, Collin, was salutatorian of his class this year. The minute he walked up to that podium with that energetic smile, my eyes welled up with tears. The cap and gown, it was all suddenly real. Speaking on behalf of many of us students, I think it's safe to say that it was a little heartbreaking to watch our friends take such a big step towards their future. And away from us. A mix of feeling proud for them and yet sad that they're leaving us.

I'm proud of them all. Not only their accomplishments, but their growth in faith. While this has been incredibly good for the seniors, it's been especially good for those of us behind them. Their example of leadership has left an impact on my life and I'm sure on a lot of others.

I couldn't say goodbye to Collin enough times. Lots of hugs, laughs, and talking about the future. While I cried half of the way home, I am incredibly happy for this young man and all he has done. He's been more than a friend...but also a wonderful brother in Christ. He's been there when I needed him most and always manages to make me smile. The goodbye was rough, but I know it isn't forever.

Leaving those that we care about can be incredibly hard. It reminded me of when Jesus ascended into heaven. The disciples were somewhat confused and not quite sure what to do now that they were on their own. Their heavenly leader/example was leaving them and now they were being sent out into the world on their own to proclaim the Word of God. It can seem a little difficult to get along on our own and do things in the footsteps of those before us. However, as I said earlier, God has big plans for all of us. The biggest and best part of that plan was giving us His Son on the cross for our salvation. And that's why goodbyes don't have to be so tough. Because we will someday be reunited in heaven.

So here's to all the graduated seniors who might come across this post...congratulations! You did it. May God bless your future and keep you in His care.

And for my fellow juniors...it's our turn now. To be leaders in Christ.

Blessings,
Marissa Mayer

Sidenote: Thank you SO much for all the support lately! I've been getting lots of pageviews and feedback. God is working and He is most certainly good! Love you all.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Saved Yet Again

Good afternoon! I thought I'd take some time to write because today has definitely been a challenge for me.

I faced some struggles that I just couldn't seem to handle. The devil took me by surprise and attacked me from behind. I had an anxiety attack that seemed to last forever. The suicidal thoughts swirled in my head but I knew I was too scared to try anything. For me, it was like I knew I didn't want to live but I was to afraid to die. I collapsed onto my bedroom floor and stayed there sobbing into the carpet. How did life always manage to deal me the crappy cards? I couldn't move and it took a lot of effort to try and breathe. Thankfully, the somewhat stable part of my brain told me to get help. I called my friend Noah and he talked me through most of it, but when he had to leave for work, I still felt terrible. For the very first time, I called the suicide hotline. Not necessarily because I was going to attempt, but rather I was afraid things could spin out of control if I didn't get help now. The woman I spoke to had a gentle voice and told me that if I was home alone, it was best to stay in contact with somebody I knew. So I called my boss and she told me to take deep breaths and then prayed for me.

I felt the peace of God settle my heart. I let out a deep breath and told the demons to leave me alone. God reminded me that I am loved. Even writing this now, it's as though I can feel His loving arms wrapped around me. He saved my life...yet again. 

This was another close call for me. I haven't had an attack in months. But once again, He reminded me just how loved I am, and that I have been not only saved multiple times on earth, but also given the gift of eternal life. Saved forever. And that, is the most beautiful thing I have ever known. Salvation.

Thank you Lord, for keeping me here. For calming my heart and sending your Son so that I can someday rejoice with you in heaven.

I survived,
Marissa Mayer


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Emotionally Paralyzed

Good evening to all of you. My heart is heavy, my mind is full, and the darkness has snatched me into its hands. I'm hoping it's only for the night.

I feel like my whole life is a game that I just don't know how to play. I move one space forward and then two spaces back. I always wind up losing. I've been around the board too many times, and I'm tired of playing and losing. Playing and losing...over and over.

I was lied to by a boy. Led on, if you will. He put me on cloud 9 and then watched me fall when he told me the truth and walked away. Because I already have a soft heart, it hurt a lot more than I wanted it to. A lot more. I'm disappointed, ashamed, and I feel nothing but regret. I prayed every night for this to work. God gave me an answer I don't like and it has left me feeling hopeless.

Beyond that, I miss my best friend. Despite our recent disagreements, I cannot help but look at our past. I scrolled through pictures on my phone and cried because the days I spent with her were some of my happiest memories. She has been my lifesaver and one of my biggest supporters since 6th grade. Without her, I feel incomplete.

And when the heart hurts, it will bring back a million reasons as to why it feels broken. So, of course, I am reminded that I am essentially fatherless. The phrase "daddy's little girl" was used in chapel today, and it felt like a punch in the stomach. My dad doesn't make much of an effort to talk to me now that I live with my mom mostly. Even when I visit him, I feel like he's a stranger to me.

I cannot focus on the English essay I'm supposed to be writing right now. Or the Physics lab that is due tomorrow morning. My body is cold and lacking energy. I came home from school and collapsed on my bed. Emotionally paralyzed. Unable to move. Trying to breathe.

I'm trying to be okay right now as I write this. I just need lots of prayers. Hopefully things will be okay in the morning. I'm sure they will because "weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning..." 

In the wise words of my boss: boys come and go, but Jesus is forever.

A loved daughter of the King,
Marissa Mayer

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Adopted Into The Most Loving Arms

Happy Mothers Day to all you wonderful moms out there! I thought it would be fitting to have my post fit in with the day...so here's a little insight on what this day means to me.

As you probably already know, I'm adopted. I was born on August 4th, 1999, to parents who were unable to keep me due to drug and alcohol issues. Thankfully, I was given into the loving arms of the mother I have now, and I cannot picture my life without her.

But when I was growing up, I knew that being adopted made me different. I didn't look like my mom and dad like the other kids did at school. I had two parents whom I loved dearly, and two more that I didn't really know at all. When I was little, I was forced to go on mandatory visitation, which I hated. Often times I would cry and throw fits because it's like I was being handed off to strangers. My biological parents told me that I had to call them mom and dad, and my adoptive parents by their real names. They always told me they loved me, and trying to say it back felt wrong because I didn't mean it. I didn't know them. Strangers who brought me into the world, expecting me to love them in despite of their poor decisions. It didn't seem right.

The whole situation hit me when I got older. I held a lot of anger towards my biological parents. I didn't understand how you simply give up a child and continue on a poor path of wrong choices. While I was incredibly happy with my adoptive parents, I felt abandoned by my mother and father. At the same time, I didn't want anything to do with them. I blamed my mental illness on them (it runs in the family), and dreaded visitation (this ended about a year and a half ago). But with a lot of prayer, God has settled my heart and has shown me that I'm better off where I am now. And I suppose that if my real mother ever reads this, she should know this: Thank you. For bringing me into this world and allowing me to grow up with the right family. While I don't always understand your choices, they certainly worked out for the better.

And thankfully, God has brought me to the understanding that He had a better plan for me in mind. My mom now, Leah, was unable to have children. And I, was unable to have a fit mother. A perfect match. She is the most wonderful woman in the world. Despite her own struggles growing up, and facing a recent divorce, I see so much strength in my mom. She picks me up when I am down and has helped me through every round of depression. My mom has the most beautiful heart and goes to great lengths for my brother and I. She is more than a mother, she's my best friend. I can always tell her anything, and she's always got me laughing. I used to wonder if she would love me more if I was her biological child, but I've come to the realization that DNA doesn't matter. When I look at my mom, I can only thank God, because His plan turned out better than anything I could have dreamed of.

So, Mom, here's to you. Despite my sassy attitude, occasional crabbiness, and my strong-will to be somewhat independent, I still need you. And I love you more than you will ever know.

Here's to my wonderful mom, hand-picked by Him,
Marissa Mayer

Monday, May 2, 2016

Doing What's Best For Me

Happy Monday!

Okay, so I'm sitting at Culver's (yes, I'm here often, I am fully aware). I had a sweet little date with a friend (got my nails done for prom...eek)! But my mom wasn't home so I decided to treat myself to dinner. Plus, I study a lot better when I am not at home (Netflix is a huge distraction). 

Thankfully, my friends at Culver's don't mind me coming in to get some homework done and eat dinner alone. And you know what? It feels great. A friend of mine was being ridiculous and arguing with me and was disrespectful. So, of course, being the soft-hearted person that I am, I was naturally upset. But going on this "Marissa date" really brought me back up (my dad and brother actually showed up here too...).

What I'm trying to say is, sometimes you gotta do what makes you feel good. While I could have continued to argue and get hurt by somebody, I chose to help myself. And really, that's okay. It can do you a lot of good in the long run. 

So tonight, if you're facing a rough time, I want you to do something for you. Take a bath, go on a walk, read a good book, start a new show on Netflix, bake...the list goes on and on. Another great suggestion is to read God's Word. It's full of wonderful things to cheer you up! If you need help, check out my Psalms Project tab. Or, contact me, and I'd be more than happy to chat and give you some uplifting verses!

When life gets rough, it's important to put you first. And sometimes, stress can bring a very physical impact with it. So as a little note of encouragement: keep on smiling, trying your best, and don't be afraid to have a little date by yourself.

Doing what's best for me,
Marissa Mayer

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Blessed Beyond Belief

Good evening all! I had a fantastic (and SUPER busy) weekend. Hope you all are doing just as fabulous as I am.

Lots of good news from this week. Remember how I was upset that I got my heart broken? Well, on Monday morning, one of my best friends asked me to prom. He's so sweet. So I'm looking forward to that now.

We had musical practice all week long so unfortunately I missed both of those meetings I was planning to attend for stigma and mental health. Thankfully I have 3 meetings beginning next week for MHA. It's called the Honest Open Proud Workshop and I'm super excited to see what I'll be learning and hearing from others. It should be an amazing experience and I'm so thankful for this opportunity.  But anyways, it was a longgg week of rehearsal. Lots of late nights and homework too. However, it was fun bonding with some pit band kids. We finished our last performance this afternoon and I'm honestly super glad I decided to join the musical crew this year.

And last but not least, I went to state solo and ensemble this weekend and received a first place there! All the hard work really shined through and I can't thank God enough for blessing me with such talent. It's silly for me to even question it sometimes...

I'd also like to thank my band director for being so encouraging to me when I needed a little support lately...whether it be music or other drama. And thanks to pretty much everyone who dealt with an overtired Marissa this week! It was long but incredibly fun. Just more blessings that God has opened my eyes to!

While there have been a few rough days here and there, God let this past week really hit me in the heart. He never fails to amaze me. He has saved me from suicide multiple times. Not only that, but He has saved me from eternal damnation! I am forgiven, and if that isn't a reason to smile...I don't know what is! I deserve nothing from Him, and here stands my God, giving me more than enough. Giving me success, love, and grace. What a wonderful God I can place my faith in.

Until later my loves,
Marissa Mayer