I’ve been gone for a while…

I’ve been gone for a while it feels like it’s been longer than 6 days

My mania caused panic and I needed to be hospitalized again

All is well now

I’m resting, pondering and deeply seeking Gods word to put my anxious thoughts at ease

Its a process

I am giving myself grace

God is doing something bigger than me

He is revealing my calling and purpose

He’s molding me in his hands

He is showing me that i must accept this invisible illness

It’s a part of me but it won’t consume me

I am not to feel guilty, ashamed or tormented by getting sick sometimes

The best thing I can do for myself is seek help and be consistent

I will not break

I was born from strong genes that have overcome much more and with God I can do all things

I have faith and that is what keeps me sane

God’s Presence

A very old journal entry.

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Prayer Starter: Father, thank you for making Your home in my heart. I need Your presence today, Lord. Help me to honor You with my thoughts and my words and to be a blessing to those around me.
Memory Verse: John 14: 23 Jesus replied, Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make out home with them.
I woke up this morning with a prayer in my heart, to obey Gods word.
This year I am making a vow to myself and to the Lord. Not only to spend more time in his word but to share the message of the gospel. I want to share my testimony and moments of my life where God has been revealed to me. I want you to know that Gods love, provision and plans for us are real. His presence in my life has been magnified as I have drawn closer to him and it is just the beginning.
During difficult times last year, I could have gone down a very dark and lonely road. Thanks to a handful of prayer warriors God was with me. I did not lose sight of him. I chose to stand on his word, his promises and to live a life that brings all glory and honor to him.
Not by my own strength but by HIS.
This year will be better than the last because God will remain in the center of my path. I will not look left or right, I will move forward following the steps he has ordered for me and my family. I pray that you will do the same and join me on this pilgrimage towards the life he has planned, it is the life we dream of and desire, that’s what he has in store for us. I guarantee you, it will be better than you can even imagine.

I made it back home

Safe and Sound

Children are fast asleep

Feels like a dream

What happened to me

Focusing in

Relying on God for clarity

He’s answering my

Hearts

Desires

As I rest in his presence

I was just released from the hospital and I am more than grateful to be back on the outside

It feels like prison to be in a psych ward is not something I would wish on anyone

It is difficult to get better around other sick people you agitate each other

You feed off of each other

You have conversations about your racing thoughts and get even more paranoid

I have no idea how it’s supposed to work but the system is broken

So I’m in the hospital because I haven’t slept in over 11 days

I was prescribed a mediation that was not even equipped to treat my symptoms

Broken sleep

Restlessness

Racing thoughts the whole shebang

But I’m placed with a roommate that doesn’t sleep, talks to herself at night and is disrupting the very sleep I need to get better What in the world and I to do

Why are we in the same room

Sometimes I feel it would be best to get well at home around your loved ones in a safe and stable environment

I was placed right outside of the medications room close to the entryway so there was constant traffic, noise, people looking in my room and one lady even tried to walk into my room

It was terrible and I know the medical team tries to manage and do the best they can

I made the best of my time by worshipping God, praying and asking Him to heal me and help me sleep

I felt like a disciple imprisoned and suffering but still praising and preaching the word of God
I missed my girls and felt like such a burden to my family

Here is the bright side

I met a special young man

A prophet I will say someone who loves the Lord proclaims it and like a true brother held me up while I was there

We talked about God everyday

We read specific scriptures and encouraged each other

Where two or three are gathered God is there

So my point in all of this is to say Angels show up when you need them the most and in the most mysterious ways

My friend the Prophet is an angel sent by God

He was there getting well too but he was my accountability partner

God was saying yes being hospitalized sucks but you have to go through the and you will not be alone

I am with YOU

Feeling anxious Just Breathe

What if I told you it was that

simple

Anxiety doesn’t always agree with this simple suggestion

But God sees you

Even in your anxious state he is with you

The Bible says be anxious for nothing

He is your Refuge and your strength

Rest in him

How do we rest in him?

Listen to yourself
Be kind to yourself
…………………
Take a deep breath
Listen to what you are doing
Center all the great things you do
  1. Take 5 minutes in a quiet space. Set the timer. Ask yourself what do I need to do to be my best self. Truly start to hear. Move on to 10/15 minutes.
  2. Speak life. Say 3 things I am proud of everyday.

First Things First

The deep and wide extent of his love for sinners

Creates an awakening that which can not be seen

Burn the midnight oil in pursuit of God

Get on your face and call him by his names… Yahweh.. Abba Father… Jehovah Nissi.. Jehovah Raffa

Sing his songs of praise

When your soul is thirsty for God

Start your day in His presence

You will enjoy how it feels

To be loved by Him

Oh Jesus

Is an open door

I love you, Lord, like never before

Oh Jesus please take us home

We are waiting to see your throne

We are longing for the dead to rise

So we wait for you

Heaven is real and Jesus is coming soon

In the meantime

Change your posture

Bow down in worship unto Him

Wait and see the Lord is good

Saying Yes to God

Another very old journal entry 2015

Today we started a 6 week bible study series utilizing a workbook by Lysa Terkeurst, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God. Experiencing Life in Extraordinary ways.

If I am honest with myself and reflect back to what happened when I said Yes and continue to say Yes to God. I can see the things he has brought me through, how he has molded my life, and what he has gotten rid of. And I thank God for that! As I continue on my walk, new things are revealed and its a gradual process of learning to receive his gentle nudge and act in obedience. We also must not forget to thank him for what he has done and be grateful for answered prayers.

About 2 years ago, I prayed that God would place women in my life that see me, know me, understand and accept me. I prayed that God would lead me to spiritually mature woman that could help me grow. Iron sharpens iron. I need woman who speak life into me, who put fire under my butt, who are honest, loving and authentic.

Its been a process but I can see how God has drawn closer and blessed me with women that are like-minded, have God-glorifying goals and really can encourage one another.

Because of my past experiences, I have always wanted to be accepted, I would go searching for love and significance, I thought highly of being noticed and recognized. Today, I realize the only person that I should be seeking approval from and honoring is God. The one position I should want is to serve and share the gospel.

I have to get right with God and constantly seek his face so I can remind myself, he accepts me, he loves me and wants the best for me. I cannot live up to expectations or perfection but I can be renewed daily to live a better life and to model after his perfect life.

All this to say, he has answered my prayers. Sometimes you pray for something and don’t realize your prayers have already been answered. As a new Christian I prayed to be set free and inadvertently sat in the prison of my thoughts and my past for years before I decided to walk in the truth of who I am in Christ.

Today, I can look around and agree that God has placed lovely God-fearing women in my life. They encourage me, they have a heart after God and they are going to make his name known by their actions in love!

My prayer for the next 6 weeks is that God continue to pour his wisdom into our hearts so we can continue to seek his face. I pray we continue to bless those around us that are waiting for a word from God.

HE is the Great I AM, use our mess as a message. Touch your people and revive them with the truth found in scriptures and relationships wrapped in your love and presence.

Rest

Sometimes bipolar disorder can feel like you are fighting your way through two different worlds.


The real world and the one you miss when you’re “normal”

What is NORMAL

I can only assume that you are going to judge me. But I know I am not sure of the days

Were here, but we are gone, tomorrow.

Wait

See

Test

The spiritual thins of the world.

Focusing on this moment in time. And also 🌙 sleep.

Tomorrow is another day.

And it carries worries of its own

This season God is calling me to rest

Write and play with my girls

No more striving to succeed

Just pause for a little


For years I’ve operated at max intensity, Mania. Change and moving was my obsession.
I’m finally learning to love resting in every sense of the word.


Resting and being content with my life and loved ones. That’s all the magic I need in my life.
#freedom #healthy #minipoemsbyp #guerrera4jesus #imasurvivor #mystorycontinues #depressionawareness

Ending Conflict with Myself

A dear friend gifted me with this writing course for the New Year. It’s called New Year, Better You created by Alex Elle. It’s a 4-week online course, where you get emails each week with videos and writing prompts. You learn how to overcome self-doubt, negative self-talk, work on forgiveness and learn to write affirmations to manifest the desires of your heart.
Little did she or I know what a blessing this course would be. Unbeknownst to some friend(s) I’ve been struggling with depression.
It started a few months after I came home with Demi Grace. The signs for me were increased sleep during the day, no desire to cook, clean or eat. I literally craved my bed. And the more I slept the more depressed I felt. As my eldest daughter transitioned to Pre-K in September my routine with our new baby changed.
I would take Dani Rose to school with a newborn and come home to an empty house. By 9 am, I’d feed the baby and whenever she would sleep I’d go to sleep with her hopefully until 12:30 than I’d start to get ready to pick Dani up at 2:20.
I didn’t think this pattern was unhealthy until I started to feel guilty and ashamed about it. I started to dream about working and wished I had a routine outside of the house. I desired so desperately to go back to work. Stay-at-home mom’s life was just not a good fit for me this time so it seemed. 
You see what people don’t know is. When I go through transitions of any kind I am susceptible to a manic or depressive episode that is outside of my control.
The one thing I am in control of is taking the right medication for what my needs are at the time and to be honest, sometimes even the meds are hit or miss.
When I became pregnant with Demi Grace I voluntarily stopped my meds. I didn’t want to harm the baby. When I was about 6 months pregnant with her I ended up having a manic episode and was admitted to the psychiatric ER. I signed myself in to stay in the hospital for almost 2 weeks to get better and the doctors helped me choose a medication that would have minimal if any side effects on the baby. That’s when the drug Haldol was introduced.
Haldol is a typical antipsychotic drug effectively used in the management of mania, agitation, and hyperactivity in various mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder. While Haldol can be an effective treatment, it also carries the risk of significant side effects which includes unusual tiredness or weakness.
Though it took time. I am now on a new medication feeling relief from the unusual and debilitating drowsiness Haldol used to cause.
My routine has changed. I get up feeling hopeful about the direction of my life.
I have forgiven myself for going through something completely normal for a new mom and a mom of two children.
I thank God for his grace and mercy that I get a chance to have a fresh start. His mercies are new every day.

The Bible says

Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
Lamentations 3:23 NLT
I am on a path that will fulfill my destiny and purpose even though I don’t see it, it’s coming.
I can be an inspiration to many women suffering in silence.
I have forgiven myself for broken relationships because of my bipolar disorder.
I admit I was not a good friend when I had my highs and lows.
I am making room for fellowship and new relationships that bring me closer to God.
I make time each day to read the Bible and encourage myself through the promises of God.
I have reached out to my family connect group and close friends for prayer.
I am using all the tools in my toolbox to heal.
Finally, I picked up this pen and paper to write and share my story so anyone else experiencing this doesn’t feel alone.
There is hope and you can change how you feel about yourself.
Seek God, medication and the help of mental health professionals. And use your resources.
My saving grace has been my mother and my spouse. I spend weekends at Mami’s house as a reprieve. She helps with the children and encourages me through the word of God and her prayers. My husband cooks and cleans more often than he should. He’s gentle and patient with me. Do not underestimate a determined praying mother or spouse. They are both God sent.
This is just part of my story. We are only 3 weeks into January and I’m writing again thank God. I hope to come back here to continue sharing my healing process with you.
If you’ve read up this point be sure to check in on your new mom friends and share this with them. No one should suffer alone. God loves us and wants the best for all of us.
For more information about New Year, Better You course go to AlexElle.com.

The Lies In a Manic State

It was April 2018, I was in the middle of the second most difficult manic episode of my life. The first time I had an episode in 2006, I took a cab to an airport at 3 am and tried to get a flight to Florida or Puerto Rico (with no plans/no one was expecting me). I had one credit card maxed it out by buying the ticket and didn’t have enough money to get back home. Angels must have intercepted because the airline did not give me an actual ticket. They gave me credit towards a flight. My questionable behavior must have been a red flag.

In a manic state a person has extreme highs and lows, I personally experience psychosis (psychotic features) which can include hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. These symptoms occur during episodes of mania.

I have no idea what I would have done had I been able to board the plane. All I wanted was to escape my reality any way possible. I had just stopped smoking marijuana and heavy drinking, all of my pain and trauma surfaced and I didn’t know what to do with myself. This was 2006ish.

I’m writing about my recent episode because I went through it with my husband and parents. No one else knows the details of what happened and I don’t want anyone to experience something like this alone. Maybe you’re reading this and you have experienced mental health issues or you’re reading it to educate yourself. Either way, I want you to know it’s real, very painful and I will not remain silent about my struggles.

After weeks of not sleeping more than 3-4 hours a night, intermittent fasting and exercise… I lost it. I was adding way too much to my plate without removing anything. I was doing good things (things that are important to me) and being “productive” but not pacing myself. For me, a number of simple stressors can trigger mania.

The last straw was fainting in church. That’s when we knew something was wrong. I took the next day off from work and slept over my parent’s house. This usually works. It’s still home after all. If I am about 3 days into an episode I can usually pop a Nyquil, rest, and slowly start to get better. Rest is key. No other intervention needed, or so I thought. But this time that was not enough.

I couldn’t sleep. I made an honest effort but after much convincing from my parents and husband, we decided I had to voluntarily admit myself into psychiatric ER.

Upon arrival, I met a few social workers who were trying to assess me and the one question they kept asking me was, “Why are you here?” I was confused and couldn’t answer them. I just didn’t understand why or how I got to this point so fast. I had racing thoughts and the sudden fear that my husband and daughter were both going to or had died. I knew I was not ok because I had constant thoughts of death and a fear that I would never be safe or healthy again.

I searched for the truth and it slipped through my fingertips. In a manic state, you can see with your physical eyes but you question everything. One second you understand the world around you and the next it feels like a movie reel and you are watching from a distant seat in the audience trying to figure out how to jump back in. You feel hopeless and alone.

I could see Papi fighting to hold back tears and Mami would just nod and encourage me, whenever I asked questions and tried to get clarity. Without words, her spirit spoke to mine and I knew she understood exactly what I was feeling. She’s been in my shoes. She guided me gently. Allowing me to choose voluntary hospitalization.

In the middle of processing paperwork and meeting with social workers. I had to take a break and just get away from the chaos for a moment. I told my parents to join me for lunch briefly before I was admitted.

The three of us sat at Au Bon Pan at Jacobi Hospital. I was intentionally procrastinating sipping soup as slow as possible and eating half a sandwich one bite at a time. I was ashamed to look at my parents. I couldn’t look at them in the face. I felt I was being a burden, a failure to my family. How could I allow this to happen? Why didn’t I see the signs? Why did so many little things overwhelm me to this point? What’s wrong with me?

As I sat there, one of the most terrifying thoughts crossed my mind. I kept visualizing myself walking in circles around our church sanctuary but no one could see me. It was as if I was lost.

I replayed the day I fainted in church, just about 48 hours prior to this. I was standing in the back of the church in a pew with my daughter. As the worship began I became exhilarated. I was full of emotion and joy and started expressing that by dancing. Somehow I got dizzy and passed out and as I was laying on the ground I started kicking my feet in the air, flailing my arms with my eyes closed. I was starting to have a hallucination.

The worst part was, my daughter was with me. An usher rushed over and told me to calm down. She gently laid her hands on my chest and told me, “Sister, you’re ok. Your daughter is scared. Can you stand up, please?”

That shook me. And I immediately stood up. I was terrified and didn’t know how to ask for help. I was afraid to leave the building because I felt safe there so I stuck around for the second service. I went down to our lower level. Talked to someone I trust but didn’t have the words to describe what I was feeling. So I just carried on as if nothing happened. I shared I was struggling a little but still wasn’t clear about what I was going through because I truly didn’t know. An hour or so later I fainted again. This time security intervened, a nurse took my blood pressure and a darling sister drove us home. She encouraged me to go to the ER.

Fast forward to the present, sitting in Au Bon Pan, sipping my soup. The devil… the accuser… came for me.

He said

You’re not really saved, Pilar.
You’re a hypocrite.
You’re crazy.
You’ve lost your mind and you’ve been this way for years.
You’ll never be healthy, again.
You’re actually satan and you’ll be roaming the earth lost forever!!

You’ll be separated from God.

Now, this is why I am writing today.

These are all lies that the enemy was trying to use against me.

.

The Bible says to beware of the devil who roams the earth like a lion waiting to attack you. He is evil, deceitful, full of rage because he knows he is already defeated. His future is death and he doesn’t want to go to hell alone.

For that very moment, sipping my soup with my parents staring at their sick child. I believed them. These are just some of the many thoughts that crossed my mind at once and they could have killed my spirit and robbed me of my future. This was a spiritual attack while I was in a manic state. The good that came out of this was I signed myself into the hospital. My employer was gracious enough to give me the time I needed to get better. I was placed on medication. And for the first time in over 12 years, I made a plan to take medication, seek professional help and continue therapy.

What I’ve learned from this experience is this… 

I can now identify when the enemy, the father of lies accuses me. I got his number and I’m not buying what he is selling.

But what if…

What if I believed him?

What if I continue to believe what he says about me, today?

What if someone you love feels this way and commits suicide because they just can’t take it?

In her book, Fervent, Priscilla Shirer, sums it up perfectly. She says, “He condemns for the purpose of destroying and humiliating”.

While I have to take personal responsibility for my health. Sleep and eat well. Take medication and seek professional help long term. I choose to believe that I am walking in the light of my testimony. And God has and is restoring the years I have lost.

His word says,
“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming [a]locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.
26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God.
Joel 2:25-26

This episode was one of many and there are many details I am leaving out. They all have one theme in common. They happen after I try in my own power to achieve too much, when I strive for perfection.

Slowly but surely, I have regained my confidence in who God says I am. God is uplifting, rebuilding and giving me hope that he will use this invisible illness of mine to connect me to my purpose and his plan for my life. That is what God does with our weakness. He can use anything you surrender to him. He will use me and my invisible illness the way he sees fit. In him the weak are strong.

If you’re reading this I encourage you to get comfortable talking and asking questions about mental health. Anxiety, depression and psychotic episodes are real. There are brothers and sisters in your church, friends and family members battling these things in silence. It’s time for us to open our mouths and have honest conversations about these issues. Let’s silence the enemies lies and remind him, his plans to harm us will never prosper. God has the final victory.

 

Read Jeremiah 29:11

 

Our Fathers word says, I have plans to prosper you (insert your name), not to harm you. I have plans to give you a hope and a future, (insert your name).

Trust the Lord. Walk in his light and he will guide your steps.

 

 

……..