less pills, more laughter.

About a week ago, through a series of interesting and divine events, I stopped taking my anti-depressant. This decision has resulted in a, well, interesting past week. It is because of this past week that I’ve decided I’m going to chronicle my silly, emotional, dramatic and senseless stories that come about as a result of this withdrawal process. Why? Because laughter is the best medicine and I want to remember that principle as I start down this path.

Yesterday, after coming home from classes, I decided to do my dishes. They had been sitting there for a day or so and I felt bad that I had just left them there, so in an effort to alleviate this guilt (never a good reason to do the dishes friends) I decided to do the dishes. I got through about three of the dishes before I picked up a wine glass and proceeded to drop it. It, of course, broke. Immediate tears welled in my eyes and I became so annoyed with myself. I then, in anger, picked up the stem of the wine glass and threw it back down in the sink with more force which of course only made a bigger mess. My annoyance grew and the tears started falling down my face as I collapsed on the kitchen floor with sponge in hand.

Broken Glass

Friends, none of this exaggerated. I literally sat on the kitchen floor for probably about 10 minutes just sobbing. Pathetically sobbing I might add. You know the type, where you can’t breathe so you start to make noises like a seal and snot starts to try to fall down your face and you wipe it away with your sleeve? Yeah I did that, but forgot I was holding a sponge, so then I got soap in my eye. That did NOT go over well with my tears. As fast as the tears had come, they subsided. I took a deep breathe and stood up, cleaned up the glass, and finished the dishes. I then sat on the couch and pondered over what had just happened. I think it was in that moment I knew where my writings would be focused for the next bit of my life.

Some of this might make you think, “um, sweetie, you need to stay on the anti depressant”or you might even pity me a bit. Neither of which I want so let me explain. Withdrawal from an antidepressant (cymbalta to be exact) can cause symptoms ranging from neurological to physical. One of the official scientific terms for a symptom that often occurs is “brain zaps” as well as vertigo, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, extreme mood swings, tremors, and so on. The symptom you just previously read about are those “extreme mood swings”. Coming off of a medication like this can be extremely difficult and the rates for successfully doing it are low, to say the least. However, with the help of vitamin supplements, patient friends, a lot of Jesus time, cup after cup of water, and regular lavender baths, I believe I can do it.

So please don’t pity me or worry about me! I have an amazing support system, an understanding psychiatrist, and a loving Father. All who are helping and equipping me to make the wisest decisions when it comes to my health. Instead, laugh with me over each mood swing, or time I cry at the crippled bird on the street, or bathroom mishap. I’m sure there will be lots of stories along the way, and I’d love to have people that help me see the humor in it all. Honestly, this could be hard, but I know that laughter is my lot in life and so I am embracing it!

I pray there are no broken glasses in your day today and that you get to laugh from pure joy. Blessings my friends.

Katey.

xoxo

P.S. If you are currently taking any sort of antidepressant, antipsychotic or prescribed medication that helps with psychological problems, please do not stop taking them without the advice of your current physician.

I also would like to clarify my friends that I am fully aware how necessary medication can be. I make no judgements on those taking medication. This is simply my own journey that God is taking me through. If you have ANY questions about this particular subject, please feel free to ask or message me. I love you all!

the name

Have you ever had a moment in life that you know you’ll always remember? Something so monumental happens (you may not even know what) and you know you’ll always remember that moment? I have a couple, but the two I remember most gave my unimportant blog an important name.          

  “Be Brave”                                                                                                                                                            A little while after a suicide attempt, in a “Cognitive Behavior Therapy” Program at a hospital in Southern California, I met a man who gifted me with one of these moments. His name was Keith and he was schizophrenic, sometimes violent, and troubled. A stylish and exuberant man in his early 50’s, I was immediately drawn to Keith’s magnetic personality. He was always kind to me and showed me nothing but love. In the 6 weeks I knew him, I knew a man who was selfless and kind, unique and protective. Everyday, in the midst of my continued abhorrence of who I was and what my life was, he would tell me how strong and smart I was. On one particularly horrid day, when fear seemed to be the only thing I was capable of feeling anymore, Keith came to me. He gave me a fatherly bear hug and then became very serious as he looked me in the eyes and simply said to me, “Katey, Be Brave.” The smile that lit up his face after he said those words to me was so full of confidence and love, I couldn’t help but smile too.

I never saw Keith again after that day and I’ve chosen to believe that Keith was my angel. Because even when I feel the fear knocking at the door and the darkness trying to drown out the light, I remember Keith and his strength as he said those words to me with such purpose and confidence. I now know that if Keith, an imperfect human (or angel, wink wink) could have that much confidence in me, how much MORE confidence does God have in me? And not only that, but how much more strength, courage, and purpose does God give TO me, so that I may live a life pleasing to Him?!


“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9.   

   “Habibti”                                                                                                                                                                   Habibi حبيبي (male) / Habibti حبيبتى (female), is an Arabic word used to describe someone the speaker likes or loves. It literally means my beloved, and is normally used between close friends of the same or opposite gender or between couples romantically involved.


Syrian Refugee Camp in the Beqaa Valley

I have a unique love for this word. I spent about 6 weeks in Lebanon amidst the Syrian refugee camps and getting to know the Lebanese people. Before we left for this trip, we were given a, very, small lesson on Lebanese Arabic so we could communicate some basic language while visiting. This word “habibti” was easily my favorite word but it wasn’t until I learned the intimate nature of this word that I heard God say it to me personally. It is a word reserved for someone who truly is special to you. It is not thrown around easily and it is not said to someone of the opposite gender unless they are in love. I, as a female, would not call a guy friend “habibi” unless he was also my husband. And I, as a female would only call my very best girl friend “habibti”. The word has a weightiness on it akin to that of “love”.

Weeks after I came home from Lebanon, as I was spiraling in pain and quite literally shaking in fear, I cried out to God. He held me in his arms and whispered to me, “habibti, oh habibti…be brave.” In that moment of intimacy with my Father, I remembered my love for the arabic language (well, the little I know), my love for the Lebanese and the Syrians, I remembered God’s love for me. Shaking in the arms of the Father, I remembered that I am his beloved and he is mine. I felt courage surge through my bones and laughter bubble in my throat. In that moment, my puddle of pain quickly became a dance party. And over and over again, I would hear Papa say “habibti, be brave.”

 

So there it is. The important (at least for me) reason behind this just begun blog. I just felt like someone should know. Goodnight my dears.

xoxoxoxox

 

 

Katelyn: Phonetic form of Caitlin – the Irish form of Katherine; Pure.

Hello Friends,

My name is Katelyn and I am pure.

From the day of my birth, when my parents named me “Katelyn”, they gave me a legacy and an identity. This identity was one I didn’t know how to live up to for many years. For many years I floundered in not only my fleshly purity but in my spiritual and emotional purity. I gave my mind, heart and body away to men and women alike, as I searched for love and identity in all the wrong places. By twenty years old, after a heartbreak with the man I thought I would marry, I believed myself past the point of saving. If a man who loved the Lord more than anything, couldn’t love me in my brokenness, then who would ever love me? I somehow knew enough about God’s love to know that it could equip other people to love monstrously, but didn’t realize that God’s love reached all the way to me, without having to have another person as a conduit of this love.

Instead of embracing my name as a prophecy over my life and believing it to be me, I embraced the opposite of my name’s meaning. I became enveloped in sin and dirt; running from the one thing that could help me… the Father’s love. Yet, I remained angry and bitter that the Father didn’t pull me out of the pit I continued to crawl back to. Isn’t that how we humans often react to the Father? We want him to pull us out of our sin, but we are the ones who crawl right back to it, and we continue to blame him. Through all our abuse, he remains full of mercy and grace, always pulling us back to his lap to comfort us and gently correct us.

Over the last year, God has been teaching me so much about the prophetic nature of our names. I think of bible times when names inspired not only identity, but it often prophesied over the child’s life. I believe, wholeheartedly, that my name is a prophecy over my life. I’ve heard it often said (forgive me for paraphrasing) that the areas where you struggle the most, or even feel weakest in, are most likely where your calling in life resides. Satan and his demons comes against us most strongly in the areas of our breakthroughs! He does not want us to hear the true calling on our lives, so he does whatever he can to convince us that we are weak and powerless in these areas.

For years I have said that I want to work with women who have suffered sexual abuse, who have lost their innocence too young, or who just want to know their sexual identity through the eyes of Christ. Only now do I realize that this was prophesied with my name. God called me pure at birth, and though it has been a struggle to understand this, to embrace it, I now know that the things that God has taught me and will teach me, will be used to help other women know their identity in Christ as well! I have not, by any means, arrived at perfection, nor am I saying that I no longer struggle or am tempted by things of the flesh… No, these things still try to control me. But I have the Lord Almighty on my side and the Holy Spirit resides within me. My soldiers and I are constantly ready for battle if need be. I finally feel equipped to embrace an identity of purity and let God lead my life as he wills.

I hope you’ll hang out with me as I start to fully embrace this journey. I’m not always the best writer, but I know it does my heart good to write, and so I will set out to inform you guys of God’s goodness and love as much as I can. Blessings friends!

Katelyn (Katey)

xoxo