A Tribute to Flash! Friday Fiction Competition

Flash!Friday had their Flashversary Competition this past Friday but it was also the very last FF contest…ever. I stumbled upon this site through another Flash Fiction Site  about ten months ago. Once I started competing I was hooked! These weekly competitions have helped me gain confidence in my writing and find my voice. I will be forever grateful.

Our story requirements:

Must be exactly 100 words

Must start with “On Friday everything changed

 

This is one of two ( read the second one here) stories I submitted.

On Friday everything changed. The last notes of a song rang out, beautiful words from stories past floated by in memories so strong that hearts swelled and eyes blurred.

This is not an ending but a transition. One that can be embraced with gusto. Courage was born here. Those who hid behind their words emerged and flourished, finding their true voices.

This is a place that will be forever in our hearts, a stepping stone that got us where we are today. And as we continue to move forward, we know that the friends we’ve gained will come with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mental Health Monday – Scrupulosity

I had read on a few blogs online from other OCD sufferers that OCD can effect one’s faith. I did not , however, know that there was a term for it or that it was it’s own condition.

Scrupulosity : “A form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) involving religious or moral obsessions. Scrupulous individuals are overly concerned that something they thought or did might be a sin or other violation of religious or moral doctrine.” –IOCDF

When I went to my first therapy appointment recently, she asked me when I started to notice my depression coming back. I thought for awhile and said it was a year ago, when I started to doubt my faith. She asked me to explain my doubts and fears about it. As the session went on, I explained my OCD thoughts and compulsions, not realizing that the religious stuff was at all linked to my OCD.

After a while she finally stopped writing notes, looked up, and said that I definitely have OCD with emphasis on scrupulosity. After she explained that OCD is sometimes called the doubting disorder and that it lies and attacks everything we love and everything we are, it all started to make sense.

My whole life has been about God. I grew up in church, I became a christian at age 5, I was active in youth group and strong in my faith as a teenager. My whole relationship with my husband was based on our faith together and before started dating  we spent a month in prayer and seeking God’s will for our lives. If He didn’t exist, if my whole life was based on one big lie, then what does that leave me with? Does that mean my choices were all wrong? What purpose does life have? I was completely lost and alone and I felt like I could tell no one. No wonder depression had taken over my life.

Practicing my faith became very hard over the past year. I doubted everything I thought and everything I heard about God. I started tuning out the pastor’s sermons because with everything he said there was this little voice that would contradict and pick and cause doubt.

If I tried to pray, I was convinced God wouldn’t hear me because I doubted. I didn’t read the bible because I could no longer accept anything it said.

I was in the praise band and every time I played I would be berating myself inside.

“How can you be leading worship when you’re not even sure you believe what you are singing? All these people look at you and hold you to this standard that you are failing to meet. They think you are this great christian woman. You are a fraud.”

After a while I couldn’t do it anymore so I pulled myself out of praise band. I was letting everyone down and they had no idea why.

But now that I know there’s a reason for this doubt, that this is not me but my OCD, I can start to fight back.

I will be starting ERP soon. It is going to be a slow process. My therapist said it might be a while before we can address my faith based obsessions because they are huge and we need to start very small. But it gives me hope that I will one day be able to have a relationship with God again.

For now, I am going to take a small step on my own. After being out of the band for a while and not being able to play christian music, I am going to try to play a song for the Christmas season. I can’t promise I’ll succeed, but I am going to try and push through even when OCD is screaming in my head. I am not going to let OCD ruin who I am.

I know God is real. I know he sees my heart through all the doubt in my mind.

OCD lies. That is the truth that will keep me pushing forward.

Late Lines

It took all day to come up with lines for #3lineThursday. I saved them so I could run them by my husband before submission and then I woke up Friday morning. My first thought as I opened my eyes was,  Oh no! I forgot to submit my lines!!! What a horrible way to wake up.

Anyway, I will post them here even though I missed the deadline.

 

Photo by: Julie Jensen

Photo by: Julie Jensen

 

 

Hungry, they devoured numbers and set their sights on power

And though they rose and reigned on lofty thrones

They saw no beauty, forever veiled behind their pride

 

 

Rise

Photo by Philip Harris

Photo by Philip Harris

 

Tomorrow peaks through, kaleidoscope colors dance upon dead limbs
It’s pleas seep into your skin, prodding you to fight
Unrelenting, it provides hope and solace for a weary soul

________________________________________________________________

Written for Three Line Thursday

ERP – A New Journey

Yesterday I had my first session with a counselor who specializes in Depression, Anxiety, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Confession

One of the reasons I put off going to see a specialist (besides bad experiences and lack of finances) was that I knew that getting better, truly attacking OCD where it hurt, would mean going through Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) therapy. I follow many blogs and have read many articles and they all say the same thing. ERP is the best way to treat OCD. But the thought of exposing myself to my fears and doubts terrified me and thus I used the excuse “I don’t have the money and it’s way too expensive.” So I put it off and continued to get worse.

 

But after these recent dark weeks I knew I had to push through and take the first steps to getting better. I had no Idea how I was going to pay for it as we are currently struggling financially due to some unfortunate circumstances. But God saw the struggle I was in and even though I have been doubting Him and everything He is, (this, as it turns out, is a facet of my OCD) He has graciously provided for me through my church as well as other ways.

Sitting in that room with the counselor and listening to her explain how my OCD worked and how she can treat it was eye opening. I already knew some of what she talked about but hearing it from her seemed to help me come to terms with my disorder and be willing to commit to ERP.

I am so fortunate and greatful to have a great support system. I had my husband, a close friend, a mentor, and a few fellow Christians praying for me yesterday and I could feel it. There was such a peace when she spoke and i felt like I was exactly where God wanted me to be.

This new journey is going to be hard. I know that it may get worse before it gets better, but I have to be willing to go through the pain of demolition before rebuilding can happen.

 

Mental Health Monday – Seeking Help

Some of my readers may have noticed that I have been away from my blog for a while.

The truth is I was am in a dark place. I sunk so deep into myself that I could not see the light. I felt like I was trapped inside my mind clawing hopelessly at the walls of my skull.

My thoughts were so twisted I didn’t know what was real. My beliefs were shaken. Truths that I have know my whole life felt wrong.

The anxiety overwhelmed me. I felt like there was something wrong when there was no danger.

My OCD was in overdrive.

I had thoughts of not wanting to be here anymore.

 

Confession

I have not been seeing a therapist for quite a while because of a bad experience with the last one. It’s been over a year since I’ve sought out help. I had it under control though.  My depression had gone away due to diet and lifestyle changes. I was doing great. Until I wasn’t.

 

Taking action

After two breakdowns and a major panic attack I finally reached out to a close mentor a few weeks ago and after hearing my doubts and fears out loud I realized I needed to do something about them and soon. So I sought out a qualified therapist to deal with my conditions. Unfortunately I live in a tiny town with very little good-quality mental health resources so I had to look in towns an hour or more away. But I found a therapist that I’m hoping will be able to help me.

Today

Today is my fist session. I am so nervous because I have trust issues when it comes to therapists due to past experiences. I can’t let that stop me, although right now I want to crawl into a ball and “forget” about my appointment. The depressed little girl in me just wants to hide away where it’s dark and safe.

 

I am hoping that this therapist is the right fit for me because I don’t know if I have it in me to search out another one.

 

 

 

Poetry/Writing Prompts – #wispwrit

Great news, followers!

Some of you that follow me on twitter may already know this but, I just started a new #poetry/writing prompt twitter account. You can find But A Moment @wispwrit.

I will be posting a one word prompt to inspire you to create something. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday 9am EST.  While most people do micropoetry (140 character limit on twitter) you are also welcome to go further and create a longer work on your own blog and tweet the link. Not a writer? Do it in your own creative art or photography. Tag whatever you create with #wispwrit.

Not on twitter? Feel free to post it on your blog. Be sure to tag it with #wispwrit so I can stay conected.

These prompts are just for fun. No judging. They are meant to get you creating in your own unique way.

Each prompt will stay pinned to the top of the But a Moment profile page until the next prompt is posted. Thursday’s is still up so go take a look and be inspired!

Be sure to follow me @wispwrit and @RealMommaRamble

I will post the prompt on here too so that everyone can take part.

Shaken Foundation

Over at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie they challenged us to do a Loop Poem or a Shadorma.

Loop Poem Guidelines

1)  No restrictions on the number of stanzas or the syllable count for each line;

2)  For each stanza, the last word of the first line becomes the first word of line two,
the last word of line 2 becomes the first word of line 3,
and the last word of line 3 becomes the first word of line 4;

3)  The rhyme scheme is abcb.

 

Shadorma: a non-rhyming six-line poem with a syllable count of 3 / 5/ 3 / 3 / 7 / 5.

 

For this challenge I decide to do a combined poem. First and third standzas are Loop and second and fourth are Shadorama.

 

wojciech-siudmak-door-wikiart

 

Heaven seems unattainable

Unattainable to only me

Me who can’t seem to separate real from fake

Fake like the voices that won’t let me be

 

I can’t seem

To hold on to You

I have lost

My will to

Fight against these pressing doubts

So where do I stand?

 

Where do I place my feet?

Feet that can no longer hold me up

Up, where I should be facing

Facing You, holding my empty cup

 

I’m tired

I have lost my strength

Who am I?

Who are you?

What do I have left with out

The faith I once had?