living with anxiety.

Yes, I realize that this isn't Monday.  This post explains a little bit about why I didn't post on earlier this week.

I have pretty bad anxiety.  I haven't had a doctor diagnosis this, but I know I have it.  I feel it every time I try something new.  I feel it every time my body feels a little different than it did yesterday.  I feel it every time I'm overwhelmed.  I feel it every time I think about college and the future.

I'm a very anxious person and it affects me physically.

1. I push through a lot of stomach problems.

I deal with a lot of nausea.  Don't worry, I don't suffer from some sort of gastrointestinal disease.  My nausea is caused by nerves.  Many days, I have to choke down breakfast before leaving for school.  I have to clench my hands together and make myself look like I'm not super sick the block before a test.  At the end of my freshman year of high school, I stayed home from school for 3 days because of severe anxiety-induced nausea (the plus side of this scenario is that it got me out of dissection in biology).  This nausea isn't something I can pray myself out of.  Sometimes it's there without the "butterflies in my stomach" telling me that I'm nervous.

2. I don't have a lot of energy.

Anxiety takes so much energy out of me.  Almost every day I come home from school emotionally exhausted, so I can't do much other than homework (barely), doodle (which relieves stress for me), and watch tv.  My family always gets on me for being tired all of the time, but coping with anxiety is exhausting.

3. Sometimes I can't reign in my thoughts.

You know those out of control panicky thoughts that go along the lines with, "I'm going to die"?  Sometimes I find those rushing through my head at lightning speed and I can't stop them.  No matter what I do to try to take my mind off whatever I'm freaking out about, I still freak out.  My mind wanders from the book I'm so desperately trying to get sucked into.  My mind wanders away from the comforting Psalms I try to read to calm myself.  (I'm actually having that right now.)

4. I freak out very easily.

One of my biggest freak-out triggers is people acting suspicious and my health.  For some reason, both of those things set me off.

5. The only person who can help me through this is God.

In Peru, I had a major God moment (well, moments) where I realized that I wasn't following God at all.  The trip drew me closer to Him, but not as much as the past two weeks have.  Okay, I'm going to go back in time for a minute.  On the Peru trip, there was something called Cry Night (basically confession night).  I gave up my fearfulness.  But the past two weeks, the Enemy has been attacking me with a lot of fear and anxiety.  The only thing I can do whenever that happens is to pray and try to read God's Word.  Basically, I could use a LOT of prayer right now.

Do you deal with anxiety?  What are some ways you cope with it?  Has it drawn you closer to God?


my tip to writing faster (especially when you aren't motivated).

I'm the kind of person who will look at the clock, realize I have an hour of misery left in this miserable class, and then tell myself that I have three 20 minute increments left.  Suddenly, an hour seems much less.  That sounds super weird, but I'm kinda weird like that. :)

Where am I going with this weird time thing?

A couple of years ago, Katie Grace told me about this amazing site called WriteDeck.  Its a site where you race other writers (or yourself) to a certain word count.

WriteDeck motivates me to write even when I don't want to because a.) I'm competitive and want to win and b.) it's a different format.  Also, it's tricking my brain into making me write faster.  Why, I don't know.

I usually race myself so I can get the full amount of words in.  If I do 2 races to 500 words, I have a thousand words written!  Breaking up the word sprint into smaller intervals helps keep my creative juices flowing faster.  It's also how I've written some of a new WIP. (hint: it's contemporary and apocalyptic. #queenofmixingopppositegenres)

Have you ever used WriteDeck?  Did it help motivate you to write?


Changing Dreams.

This is going to be a very real post, friends.

When I was 8 years old, I made my first movie.  It was based off a book I wrote.  As I grew older, I made many more short films with my sister.  They weren't scripted and usually lacked a plot, actual special effects, and guys.  It was my dream to be a movie director/editor/actress/literally every spot in the credits.  (I'm not kidding. In my movies, the end credits were littered with my name.)  Whenever someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was, "I'm not quite sure, but I want to do something in the film industry."

As I matured, I wanted to make better films.  But, I didn't have the resources to make the movies I wanted to make.  I wanted to make an awesome medieval movie with dragons...but I only had 2 actors (though sometimes 4), nothing to make a CGI dragon, and no medieval costumes.  I kept coming up with stories, so I created movies with words.

Slowly, I became more devoted to writing than filmmaking.  I took up graphic design, where I can make fantastical images.  Though I didn't want to admit it...my dream of being a filmmaker faded.  It isn't my dream anymore.

My dream now?  To share God's love through quality books and graphic design.

I don't feel God calling me to go into the movie industry.  I feel him calling me to be a storyteller with words and still images.  Right now, I kinda feel like a little of me is dying, but it's good.  I'm changing.  God is directing me to where He wants me to go.  And it's beautiful.  I can't wait for the future.

Has your dream ever changed?  What is your dream now?