2.5 Year, 6 Schools, and A Very Broken Sammi

Happy Monday everyone! If you’re anything like me a new school year means only one thing, FALL IS NEAR!!!!! Fall is my absolute favorite season. Changing leaves, apple orchards and pumpkin everything; what’s not to love?!

This will be the first year, since leaving high school, I won’t be headed to campus in a struggled attempt to get my Associates Degree and it feels bittersweet. Around the end of July I start to get the itch for new books and fresh schedules. But not this year, nope, this year I get to watch my youngest brother take his first college courses and my mom finish her Master’s Degree.

As she was headed to her class reunion this past weekend and it got me thinking; how strange is it to see how much everyone has changed? Which then lead me to the thought of my own high school reunion. What would others think of me? What is new in my life? How have I changed? Would they even remember me? 

You’re probably thinking, “Why wouldn’t they remember you? You went to school with them for 4 years.” Wrong.

Quick background: I attended 6 high schools in the course of 2.5 years. Public, private, 2 charter, online, and boarding school. This may confuse some of you because my family never moved and I wasn’t a drug addict. Like most teenagers, I just hated high school. What really caused my inability to deal, was the fact that my depression and anxiety was so severe. I would get physically ill every morning over the thought of having to face another day there and end up late for class. I had convinced myself that no one liked me, that they were always laughing at me, that I was the one black sheep out of 600 kids. That may seem dramatic but at the time it was very real and very scary.

Life at home hadn’t been easy. I felt very alone and unloved. I lost most of my friends from junior high and going from school to school, I didn’t have the confidence, or the time, to make any real friends. I was frozen with fear, petrified, if the teachers called on me or assigned us to groups. I felt like I wasn’t good enough. I would have strangling panic attacks that came out of no where. I was always on edge. Eventually, I was hurting so bad that I became numb. A shell of a person. 

Flash forward to this summer. I did something I never thought I would have to do. I moved home.
This is pretty common for many grads. For me it wasn’t the nagging feeling of not being able to support myself but the fear of seeing those I grew up with, that made the transition most difficult. What would they think of me? Would they remember that scared little girl? Would they recognize me at all? What if they try to have small talk with me? How can I show them I am not who I used to be? 

Then I realized that I was looking at this all through the lens that had clouded my vision before. Depression and anxiety no longer had a gip on me and

I WAS NO LONGER BROKEN!

That scared little girl is no more. I HAVE BEEN HEALED. I don’t have to worry about ever being that person again. The change is visible. If confronted by anyone in my past there is no need to be embarrassed about who I’ve become, there is only reason to share my story; to be honest with how far I have come. I find the more honest you are with people the more they respect you, the deeper connections you make. Many I wish I could have made back then. So I want to share what it was that really changed me to help you all understand that this was nothing short of a miracle.

 One of my resolutions this year was to grow closer to God and through that process I have been able to see exactly how much he really has done for me. The realization that I no longer have to fear being controlled by these demons, dawned on me during one of my morning devotionals. I cannot put into words how freeing and awestruck I was at this thought.

Accepting that I was no longer under the control of something that had been so vicious and unrelenting, has helped me let go of so many thing. Things I had associated with being home; things that I had allowed myself to still be controlled by. Always feeling like I was treading in a vast ocean just waiting for the next panic attack to sink me for good.

Through these past few years, God has shown me how amazing his grace really is.

When he healed me I wasn’t just given a break, I was given a new life.

I don’t have to be afraid anymore. I never have to fear the numbness, the despair. I’ve gone to therapists. I’ve taken the medication. I’ve done a 3 month out-patient treatment. I’ve tried breathing techniques. None of these have ever worked, not completely. It wasn’t until I fully put my trust in the Lord and accepted all that he has promised, that I let go. And I will NEVER go back.

Now

I am brave.

I am strong.

I am healed. 

and

I belong to Jesus. 

My faith has lead me out of the darkness of my own mind. To take credit for overcoming these things wouldn’t be truthful. My strength comes from God. He has shown me that it CAN and it WILL get better. I will always and forever trust in the Lord because he has shown me only a fraction of what he can do. By not sharing this with you, I feel I would be hiding life’s biggest not secret. This is a freedom that no one should be without. We all deserve to live a life where you are never alone, always loved, and never forgotten. A new beginning.

Each school year I feel like it’s a chance to start something new.

I’m more productive with goals if I treat them semester style. New Years resolutions are great but reinstating a short term goal always works better for me. This September I’m going to reinstate my NYR and continually strive to grow closer to God, along with saving more, staying healthy, and becoming more of a person who acts, not reacts.

I hope that you all take today as a new beginning, not just of a new week or a new season, but as a reason to be a new you. Let go, and let God. Or if you’re more partial to Disney, just let it go. Let go of the old you, allow God (or whatever your higher power is) to transform you into who you were always meant to be.

Have a wonderful new semester!

Hugs & Kittens,

Sammi

** What really inspired me to be honest about how my faith has changed me was a sermon I listened to a week ago. You can listen/watch it here.

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