After all this, I have learned that the worst thing about life is not death, but not living while we’re alive.
I had just finished texting the suicide crisis hotline after a fit crying uncontrollably for over an hour. Everything seems like it falling apart. As I was leaving my apartment to see a friend, I noticed a note on my door and saw an eviction letter. 5 days to move out everything. I thought I had more time.
I was resolved to not tell her anything on the way to her house. I held back tears ignoring the strain on my nasal cavity and rubbing my eyes raw while driving. When I got there, I broke. Completely.
I’ve avoided going to the hospital for a while for my mental health. I figured everyone gets really low at some point, so you might as well suck it up.
The truth; however, was that I was scared, embarrassed and ashamed to admit I needed to go. Knowing I have depression is one thing, admitting myself to a psych ward for it is another.
It’s devastating to try to keep or gain everything just to realize in the end that it’s nothing.
I was always “fine”. Strong, responsible, reliable, trustworthy, intelligent, creative, clever, witty, kind generous…overall good by the most basic of standards. I’m not the best person or sinless by any means, but I’ve tried to actively do more good than my inherent bad.
But the facade was breaking. More than breaking; in fact, disintegrating into complete ash beyond repair. I was hurting more than I was willing to admit, even to myself.
Now I had to admit it though. I had done such a good job of fooling myself that I pushed me to a point of hospitalization to break down my own walls. I have been there for everyone else even when they left me, but it was time for me to be there for myself now.
My friend drove me Sunday afternoon to the hospital after we moved out all of my items from my now vacant apartment. I could have sold what I had, but I chucked everything instead. It’s devastating to try to keep or gain everything just to realize in the end that it’s nothing.
I wrestled with my diety the entire time. Even months before. I still don’t know what or how I feel at the moment about them. It’s a work in progress and I’m discouraged heavily but reluctant to give up just yet on my faith. If I have any left, that is.
I walked into the emergency room check in area specifically resourced in protection from COVID-19. I may have felt embarrassed, but I was resolved to be honest. I told them everything.
Most of my old church friends and contacts no longer considered me a Christian when I left their congregation and severed contact or became absent. I was processing memories of over 400 traumatic deaths from my previous place of employment accompanied by deliberate underpay of about $15000 and a supervisor with a knack for taking credit for work he didn’t do while finessing a falseness of advocacy for my well-being that he never intended to fulfill. My family had a hard time understanding mental illness, so when I reached out for help, I received wordy advice far more than listening ears. I was struggling to make ends meet financially in the middle of this pandemic and reluctantly asked for help from friends I knew well. Not to mention childhood traumas that conveniently decided to pay me a visit at the same time as these issues.
It’s been almost a year…and I just wanted everything to go back to normal. Normal, as in, solvable, manageable, enjoyable. But if I went back to that job or that church, I’d go back to fake living. I liked that “normal” because it was comfortable but that doesn’t mean it was real or really what I believed or wanted.
You’re gonna to be ok. Just let go. Just. Let. Go.
I needed to let go. Let go of everything I had tried so hard to hold on to and fall just to find solid ground again. So, in one move that I knew would be my rock bottom and scare me shitless, I spent 5 days under the care of physicians in the psychiatric ward at a local hospital.
It was the best decision I ever made for myself.
The patients I met alongside me were the best people I have ever met in my life and I fell into them at the right time. I don’t believe I’m worthy to have been in the presence of the strongest men and women on the earth. They were single moms, divorced dads, military veterans, Black, White, Asian, and Hispanic. Some had criminal records, some had lucrative jobs, some were addicts, some were students, some were homeless, some were preparing for a funeral, but we were all under one roof as equals. We were hurting. We were human. And THAT made us family.
The food wasn’t all that great, nights of intense self thought and questioning, I got anxious at group therapy at some point, I hated being monitored like 5 year old, and not having the ability to go outside but remain on the floor I housed in for my own and other’s safety.
But, there was a hell-alot of laughs. Pacing up and down the corridor 40 times snuck in a mile long walk. Sitting at the end of the hallway with everyone opened the door of indiscriminate vulnerability. Everyone had something to work through. Some area to march through. And it led us together and to ourselves.
Those who asked me how I was actually wanted to know that absolute truth and I retired the word “fine” with relief for a few days. I was honest with everyone there. The patients, the doctors, the therapist. And most importantly, myself.
I was one of the last to leave amongst them at the ward and was saddened to see each of them walk out of those doors wondering what would happen to them. Because of my last job, I knew some of them may end up back in the Ward or worse, but I hoped for more them. I saw them and yearned for them in deep longing to know that they are deeply loved and wanted and valued far beyond what they could ask, know or imagine. That their lives are better than the shiniest gold or clearest diamond. They were each absolutely magnificent and if, despite it all, I had to choose all over again to go back to the ward, I’d go because of them.
Going and leaving the ward didn’t change my eviction. Praying through my time there didn’t suddenly land me a job coming out. We didn’t fix each other’s mental illnesses, but we hit some solid ground again.
Falling from that height was scary as hell but I don’t regret letting go. You take it day by day. The best you can. You’re gonna be ok. As will I. Just let go. Just. Let. Go.
Untitled Poem Written while in the Ward
I remember vividly when the war within me started to turn
The facade of fine I’d held so well began to crumble and burn
The consuming fire let loose a truth long ignored by mental demand
I watched in terror in front of my eyes, cradling ashes in the palm of my hand
I wanted for years to feel normal, so I faked it and made an excuse
But the pain itself felt eternal and cried throughout the abuse
I’ve been abandoned, bruised, neglected, misused, treated no human, but a mere token
But I fantasies that shatter realities where silence is louder than what’s spoken
I know not where this leads as I don’t too much care
As my hope and my faith become what I bear
On these shoulders of mine instead of despair
I will be “here” when God meets me “there”
Perhaps there is more than the now I feel
Where a God unseen can seem more real
Maybe tomorrow has songs to be sung, grins to bear, joy to be sprung
Maybe there’s sorrow, maybe there’s hurt, but perhaps too an abundance despite the dearth
And maybe this war with help from above
Should be buried of hate and resurrected in love
Where white flags are raised for this war within
transforming myself from an enemy to friend
On this battlefield, proving once and for all
That strength, too, can come from embracing the fall.
My niece just brought this up to my attention recently and I thought wow, I haven’t done anything with this in years so some points may not be relevant, but if it helps someone, good! I made this in 2012 so have mercy on younger me.
Hello! If you are reading this, this is a rough guideline that has helped me to find and acquire scholarships. Does every single method work for every single person every single time? Nope. But, I share this in the hopes that this can help someone else. These tips have helped me find a way to go to school for free and have an excess of funds for me to spend freely. Am I an expert? Nope. Am I a mere student trying to help others graduate or at least get through school with as little loans as possible? Hmm, I should say so. I went to school for free because of the scholarships I found and the glory of God! I am sharing with you reader some practical ways to find some financial aid for college whether you are still in high school or in college. To God be the Glory with your findings and I pray He blesses you as much and even more than He has blessed me. Ready?
June 19, 2012
Dear Students with Dust and Cobwebs in Your Wallets,
I’ve been asked and even offered any help I could give in finding scholarships or financial aid to my peers. God has blessed me with many scholarships including Gates Millennium, Horatio Alger, Kiwanis Club International, Hope Scholarship and Pell Grant from the government. These are only a few of the funds I have received. Am I a scholarship guru? NOT IN THE LEAST. Lol. Just a simple student who refuses to pay for school. But let’s skip the intro and go on to a more interesting subject…Financial Aid.
First things first: Pray about this. Nothing will ever help you more than God’s intervention. Some scriptures that I wish I knew to encourage me along this process were Jeremiah 29:11, Matthew 6:25-34, Psalm 40:1, Philippians 4:4,6-7,11-13, James 1:16-17, Proverbs 11:28, John 14:1, Proverbs 23:4-5, Matthew 6:24) Now that we have passed these formalities…
What do you need the funds for? Have a solid idea of what you need the finances for because many scholarships only apply to certain areas of your education. For example, some may only pay for tuition, some for books, some for housing and etcetera.
Some Tips Before We Begin:
Make Sure You Fit the Requirements. Just about all scholarships have some kind of preference for the potential applicators. Whether you must have a certain GPA, be going to a certain school or even have a certain major, make sure you research the scholarship thoroughly.
A little Goes a Long Way (Hebrews 13:5-6). Many try to go for the “Big” Scholarships. No joke, No lie; they help! However, if you receive $500 from here and from there that’s already $1000 helping you out! Even if it’s $50, strive to get it. IT HELPS, and IT WILL COME IN HANDY.
Never Doubt You Can Get a Scholarship (Hebrews 11:6; Luke 1:37, 18:27). I’ve heard many peers say, including myself, “I’ll never get this scholarship.” Well, why even try if you’ve already admitted defeat? Half of the scholarships I’ve gotten I have said those words, but they were faithless. If you fit the requirements for the scholarship, then APPLY and TRY! It is better to try and get a possible “yes,” than to never try thus never know what the outcome could have been.
Make Sure It’s a REAL Scholarship (Psalm 119:163). Unfortunately, some people like to put up fake scholarships to get your personal information or maybe even to use whatever you send them so they could use it in some way. A good way to find out whether the scholarship you are looking is real or not is to put the name of that scholarship or contest in your favored search engine and see what pops up. If there is an actual organization supporting it, then it is real! However, if you see things like SCAM or that the scholarship no longer exists then you’ll know. It worked for me!
Where are you looking? You need to have ways to find out or discover scholarships or any kind of aid. There are several ways to find out about them.
Find websites that will alert you of several scholarship offers at one time. Some I know are: Fastweb.com, UNCF.org, Zinch.com, Cappex.com, and Scholarships.com.
Look at the school you are applying to. More often than not, colleges and universities have scholarships for incoming, transferred and current students. Go to their website and see if they offer any aid based on your GPA, major or more.
Google Corporations. You don’t have to use Google if you don’t want to. You can use yahoo, msn, bing; whatever you want. Just use a search engine to find organizations and/or corporations that could have scholarships. You’d be surprised how often these companies get overlooked. It’s simple! Just search a random company and see if in any of the tabs they have anything extra community outreach of the sort. This will most likely take a little more patience, endurance, and time on your part. Sometimes the scholarship area is difficult to find on the site or they just may not have any. Here are some places to start you off: McDonalds, Visine, Tylenol, Footlocker, Microsoft, Coca-Cola. The rest is up to you. (You didn’t expect me to do ALL of the work, did you?)
Google contests, scholarships pertaining to your history, hobbies, interests or major. There are some scholarships and contests that are not listed on the sites found on the first bullet. It’s your job to find them on your own time. These findings will interest you more in doing whatever is required of the scholarship; whether that is writing essays, doing poetry or even art, singing, video making and etcetera. There are also scholarship pertaining to certain ethnicities, experiences* and more. For my people who were not so blessed with the “creative touches,” do not lose heart. There are plenty of scholarships for you in this area too.
Ask your Counselor, staff, teacher, fellow peer. Some of the ways I found scholarships were asking others if they knew of any. (This is especially beneficial if you are in high school.) See if any Staff personnel or peer could tell how they are getting or have gotten through school. Maybe they will give you some nuggets of gold-not literally- of information that could aid you in your search.
Do You Remember? It’s good to keep a track of the scholarships you have applied to, have gotten, and/or will apply to. That way, you can call the company/organization/corporation on whether they have gotten your application or if they have sent out any notices. You can use what I made in high school. It’s been changed a little, but Feel Free to Edit this to Your liking. Just copy and paste or use on paper.
Name of Scholarship
Amount of Scholarship
Deadline to Apply
Application Sent Date
Notices Sent Back Date
Received? Yes or No
Finally…Thank God for It All. Honestly, remember that in everything given to you, was out of God own storage of untold riches for you (Hebrews 3:5-6, 1 Chronicles 16:8, Psalm 100:4, 2 Corinthians 2:14). These are only a FEW scriptures that persuade us and aids us in understanding how God has worked for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28) However, I should also say this…it could be possible that God’s will is that you may NOT receive any scholarships. I repeat: it could be possible that God’s will is that you may NOT receive any scholarships. Asking God to provide you with scholarships may not be a part of His plan. And you shouldn’t use prayer as if you will always receive what you asked. I know that there is scripture that says that you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer (Mark 11:22-24). However, what MUST be understood is that, God’s Will be done regardless of what we pray. Not that God is cruel or mean in any way, but His will accomplishes more than we think and it’s always to help us grow in some way. Not everyone who prays always gets what they ask. It’s more important that you ask for God’s will be done, than to always ask for the financial aid. If you need proof, you can read Matthew 26 starting at verse 36, Mark 14 starting at verse 32 and Luke 22 starting at verse 39. In all of these, you will see how even God’s own Son asked if there was some way to avoid the cross, but even in the end Jesus still wanted God’s will be done. And obviously, you know what happens at the end…God’s will was bigger than what Jesus desired. God’s will served and still serves a bigger and better purpose. Be secure in that even if you don’t receive any aid, God still has a plan to get you through with your finances. With this, we have reached the end of this rough guideline. I pray your harvest is plentiful and that there will no longer be dust and cobwebs in your wallets…but God’s will be done! Many prayers and Much Love.
A Fortunate and Thankful Student,
Namaste, Friends. Namaste…in my bed. Because I’m tired now. Onward to the Master’s and PHD!