Wonderland in Ruins

I’m going to warn readers right off that this post will deal with some pretty heavy things and will be fairly long. I feel this is something that needs said. Since starting work at a hospital, I have noticed a growing trend in something that is often overlooked or simply looked down upon: mental illness.

When I was eighteen, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. I went up to my mother one day and told her I was not okay, something was wrong, and I needed to see my doctor. She took me in a few days later and spoke with my doctor as I cried the whole time because I thought I was broken. I don’t even remember the appointment except my momma holding my hand the whole time and telling me I was going to be okay. I changed medications three times before I even felt somewhat like my old self. Everything seemed fine.

Until it wasn’t.

This last year, something happened that I can’t even begin to explain. I fell into one of the deepest, darkest depressions I have ever been in. Then suddenly, I woke up one day and was the happiest I had ever been in my life. I had so much energy. There was color in everything. Everyone was so beautiful and amazing and I wanted to love everyone. I was laughing and smiling until my chest and face hurt, but then my fiance and friends started noticing weird things I was doing. I would start making decision on a whim which is unlike me because I’m very strategic. I would say and do things like there were absolutely no consequences. It came to the point where I thought I was happy and I didn’t need my medications anymore and nothing anyone said would make me change my mind. This lasted about a month, and then I fell back into a depression.

Something didn’t feel right. I knew I had MDD, but there had to be some underlying cause that was forcing the insane emotions. I started to do research and chart out my symptoms with the help of my fiance and my roommates. We discovered something I never thought I would deal with. I was experiencing something called hypomania which was a symptom of Bipolar II Disorder. I didn’t self-diagnose myself, but the symptoms I was having fit everything about the illness. I had more lows than highs and when I did have a high, it only lasted a short period before I fell back into depression.

My fiance took me to the doctor this time armed with a list of the symptoms I was experiencing during both depression and hypomania and held my hand as he explained to her what was happening and what we were going through. I was referred to a psychiatrist, and a month later, she told me that although no diagnosis regarding the mind is concrete, I fit the symptoms and she diagnosed me with Bipolar II Disorder.

With her help, we straightened out my medication, and I can truly say I am happy. I still have my lows, but they aren’t nearly as bad as they once were. The hypomania hasn’t reared its ugly head since the first time, and hopefully, I won’t experience it again.

I don’t post this for sympathy. I don’t post it for the “Oh, I’m so glad you’re better”. I post it to bring awareness to a demon that plagues so many other people. I want to bring awareness to those that feel helpless, lost, scared, and guilty for being alive. I want to bring awareness to those living in the dark, and I want them to see that they’re not alone.

Mental illness is a real thing and anyone that says otherwise has never dealt with the feeling of helplessness, brokenness, and just pure darkness that I and many others have dealt with. We can’t just “be happy”. We know there are others that have it worse than us, but we can’t help it that the chemicals in our minds are so out of sync with the rest of us that it makes us feel like we’re going to snap. We can’t just “make ourselves better” with a little rest and relaxation. It’s impossible.

There is such a stigma on mental illness that needs to stop because there are so many out there that are lost and cannot find the light to get out of the dark. They need help and treating them like their mental illness doesn’t exist may be the very thing that pushes them over the edge.

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Thanksgiving

Today is a day of thankfulness. I, like many others, have many things in my life that I am thankful for: family, friends, a house over my head, clothing, a good job. If someone would have told me in high school that my life would be like this, I would have laughed in their face and told them they were crazy.

However, as I look around my front room and see the empty soda cans and open chip bags from my roommates, I realize how blessed I truly am. Yeah, my house may not be the cleanest and I may have to walk over animals and clothing just to get to the bathroom, but it’s lived in, and for that reason, I am thankful. Yeah, my family may live an hour away across the Illinois boarder, but I know I can show up on their doorstep unannounced and I’m welcomed with open arms, and for that reason, I am thankful.

So, stuff your face with turkey and ham and whatever else you want to. As we enter into the holiday season, I urge everyone to make a list of things they’re not thankful for. Once that is made, ask yourself, “How can I turn this into a list of things I’m thankful for?” One would be surprised how a simple word or phrase can be turned into something much more.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! 

Confession of the Leviathan

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I had several people ask if I had more of Leviathan’s story. I appreciate all the compliments given, and all the support makes me want to write and learn even more about my mysterious Templar. For those that want to know, the inspiration came from a favorite song of mine called “The Truth Beneath the Rose” from Within Temptation. It’s about a Templar that starts questioning her faith and what it truly means to be a warrior of God. Enjoy!

Leviathan’s hands clasped together as if she were grasping onto the hand of the Father himself, and her body shook from the resentment she had toward her blade. The booth she sat in seemed almost like a courtroom with the High Priest sitting on one side waiting to hand down her sentence and her in front, cowering beneath the critical gaze.

“Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned,” she whispered, her voice filled with the turmoil she felt. “I have sinned against my Almighty Father and brother.”

“The Lord be in your heart and upon your lips that you may truly and humbly confess your sins: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” came the reply between the crosshatched wicker.

She repeated the teachings she had been taught throughout the training as a Templar, although it felt like acid on her tongue. “I confess to Almighty God, to his Church, and to you, that I have sinned by my own fault in thought, word, and deed, in things done and left undone; especially driving the silver through the gypsy child’s chest. I pray God to have mercy on me.  I firmly intend amendment of life, and I humbly beg forgiveness of God and his Church, and ask you for counsel, direction, and absolution.”

“It was not a mistake, my child,” the priest replied, his voice sounding as if it were coming off a recording. “The child would have grown not in the way of Christ, but in the way of a savage.”

“Could I have not saved his soul? Turned him from the way of evil and unto the love of the Father?”

“Nay, I say. Satan never would have let go of the resentment and hatred toward God.”

“Father,” she began, her voice shaking as much as her sword had after drawing it from the child’s chest, “God forgives everyone, and if I had taught him the ways of Christ and his followers, perhaps—”

“No,” his voiced caused her to jump, and her gray eyes turned to the wicker, “he would have resented you and the Church more than Christ.”

“I do not understand how the Father’s teachings would not have taught him to forgive as you are forgiving me now.”

I am not forgiving you, Child,” he said, shifting on the other side of the wall between them. “The Almighty Father God is forgiving you.”

“But are you not the vessel in which he speaks, Father? Are you not the one channeling his forgiveness and mercy?”

“Perhaps, but if you truly speak forgiveness, does it not come from within me, but within the angels that deliver his message and his response?”

“I do not understand, Father. We are taught within The Inquisition that forgiveness is only handed down through the blood of Christ.”

“Did you not spill the blood of the savage child? Does that not justify the means? You do not need forgiveness, Child, but clarification of what the Word of God speaks. Satan has a strong hold of your heart, twisting your beliefs until you think you have done wrong. You have rid the world of the very evil that is wrought upon it, and for that, the Gates of St. Peter welcome you.”

“I should not ask forgiveness  for spilling innocent blood?”

“It is not innocent if it goes beyond the hands of God.”

She bit her tongue to a retort. “Yes, Father.”

“Now, you should return to your quarters and study the word of the Father. He will lead you in the way of forgiveness, my child.”

She slid out of the booth, her heart a little more heavy than it had been at the beginning of the session. She knew the priest was feeding her lies that The Inquisition had taught him, but there was no way to stop it.

Lest she wanted a sword through the heart like the blue eyed boy.

 

Rise of the Leviathan

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Hey, everyone!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve updated, and I feel I’ve been slacking. So, rather than continue to be a hermit, I’ve decided to follow in the footsteps of my mentor and publish a bit of writing I did while at the James Jones Writers Workshop Retreat. I was rather proud of this piece of writing, so enjoy!

(AN: I do not own the rights to the picture posted above. All credit goes to the artist Maia Kyi’Ra Nartoomid)

The Inquisition called her “Leviathan”. The way she could cut down six men in three blows had earned the title for her. Opposing armies cowered when they heard the name, and allies cheered. At first, she bore it with pride like the bloodstained armor she took off after every battle.

Now, the very mention of the name sickened her. It twisted her stomach as if the Demon of Envy himself had wrapped a tentacle around her lungs, squeezing until the thought of air was only a mere memory.

She could still hear the sickening slicing of her blade cutting into the gypsy child trembling behind his mother who had fallen from her sword moments before. She could see the bright blue eyes glazing over from fear to the sweet kiss of death and his body sliding from the sharp silver and into a heap on the ground. Blood blossomed within the dirt, mingling with the grotesque flowers of those The Inquisition had deemed as “heretics” or “witches”.

The sight haunted her thoughts now until she felt like a hollow tree, strong and brave on the outside, but empty and decayed within the branches. She no longer felt the faith and freedom she had before when she thought God was on her side. She knew now God had damned her along with the rest of The Inquisition, and the strength she once thought came from the Almighty was only a lie told to her to keep her from questioning the cruelty of her actions. She believed the bloodshed justified the means, but now she had removed the scales from her eyes, and the truth was far more horrifying.

There was no such thing as a “Holy War”. Blood was not salvation. Within those seconds of staring into the child’s eyes, she had discovered the darkest part of her soul, and it was the faith she had held so dear.

Love Will Leave a Mark

19424100_10209088835353840_7263875388070877200_n.jpgAccording to Merriam-Webster, an anniversary is the annual reoccurance of a date marking a notable event.

Six years ago, I was a sixteen-year-old girl at a small church camp, and this auburn haired seventeen-year-old boy introduced himself to me. On June 27th, 2012, I gave my heart away during the movie Evan Almighty. I don’t even remember most of the movie because I was too busy planning my future with this boy I had met two days earlier.

Two months of harmless flirting and awkward encounters later, he told me he was a psychic at one of my brother’s football games. He told me he knew what I was going to say to his next question, and then he said six words that changed my life forever.

“Will you go out with me?”

At first, we only saw each other once a week. It was hard and my heart ached each time we said goodbye. We went through ups and downs and times where we didn’t even know if it was worth it.

On April 8th, 2017, the man of my dreams said seven words that once more changed my life.

“Breanna Renee Fairchild, will you marry me?”

They were the most beautiful words in the world.

Now, on June 27th, 2018, we are celebrating six amazing years together. We’ve spent it looking for houses to buy and making the future we planned together at a little church camp a reality.

As I like to say, my parents sent me to church camp to find Jesus, and while I did find Jesus, I also found the man God had made for me.

Happy Anniversary, Cody. Thank you for showing me what love is and supporting me in all I do.

Oh, Deer…

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Everyone knows the panicked feeling of waking up on a Monday and dreading the work day. I woke up two minutes before my alarm went off and cursed the rotating Earth. When I arrived at work, it was pouring rain and windy. The board was flooded with phone calls and our systems were running slow. You would think the world was ending. I wished for the day to end.

And then I realized what I was wishing away.

As I was driving out to my parents’ house, which is about 20 minutes from my place and an hour from work, I came upon a familiar scene from the Midwest. It was the age old “Truck vs. Deer” we see so often here. Except this time was different from the rest. This time, I had driven upon the deer running off into the grass and the Ford F-150 pulling over. In those few seconds, I saw the deer breathe its last and collapse onto the ground.

It really made me stop and think. We wish so much of our lives away that we don’t spend it “living”. We “wish” we had a better job, a better car, a better house, a better LIFE. Many of us don’t realize we only have ONE life until we see those headlights coming for us.

The deer didn’t wake up this morning expecting to die. She didn’t wake up this morning cursing the sun or the pouring rain. She woke up with one thing in mind: to live.

The concept is so hard for humans to grasp.

Does Being a Writer Make Me a Serial Killer?

UpdateThings in my life have been absolutely insane lately. I recently moved out of my parents’ house and into an apartment with three others. Since then, there has not been a moment of boredom in this household. While juggling a new job, a household, and healing from a displaced disc in my back, I have hardly had a moment of peace.

However, I have managed to make my whole household afraid of me.

Being a writer may sound like fun, but it takes research. Lots and lots of research. At first, it started out as small things like how people in a certain country act and talk, and soon it upgraded to how to do a chest tube insertion, a resuscitative thoractomy, and tranquilize someone with carfentanil (elephant tranquilizer). Tonight, I was sitting here researching the latter and found a page on how to make carfentanil. My roommates did not mirror my excitement whatsoever, and now they’re convinced if they make me mad, I may poison them.

Above is my research bookmarks for my novels. You get to decide if it’s alarming or normal.