All that I know is I’m breathing.

on April 6, 2011 in Ze Bloggy Goodness with 26 comments by

Maybe I opened Pandora’s box a little more than I meant to yesterday talking about exercise, body image, self-talk, etc.

I don’t often make my blog a place of SUPER SERIOUS TALK, but sometimes it just happens.

Because dear reader, I write my blog. So I write about my life. So some days my life isn’t always hilarious.

[A lot of days it is pretty hilarious. I’ll be honest.]

But even now, as I sit at my desk and look at a picture of myself from Fall 2009, I think, “why do I feel so disconnected from her?” What is going on in my head right now is nothing close to the positive self-talk that was her everyday staple. It feels like a different girl.

Nothing has happened. I’m wearing the same clothes, hanging with the same friends, I haven’t been hit in the face with a shovel or anything. But my mind has somewhat become an enemy.

[Before I continue, rest assured that people in my life are speaking into this. My blog isn’t a place that I share things looking for counseling. I LOVE your comments, but I just want you to know that my parents, my counselor, my accountability group, and my friends have been invited into this as well.]

Anyways.

I was telling my mom yesterday that the massive amount of lies and ugly self-talk that has been going on in my mind recently is unrivaled in the last ten years or so. It’s been bad.

Here’s the crazy thing. It used to be this bad all the time. I just didn’t know any different, so I accepted it. I was a prisoner in a dark dungeon for years- the kind of dungeon that doesn’t have room for fresh air and so you breathe stale gulps thinking it is sufficient to keep you alive.

But then I was free. And for years I have breathed real air. Everything changed. My mind knew freedom from the lies and it sighed with relief.

On and off, it has been a battle. Capturing the lies, throwing them away, replacing them with truth. Knowing who I am, who loves me, what I’m worth, and how carefully God made me.

For the love- I even WROTE A BOOK ABOUT IT. So certainly that means the battle is done. [Yeah right.]

But within the last few weeks, it has gotten miserable again. The stale air slips through my gritted teeth and after all those years of freedom, my lungs are begging for a breeze, for real air.

And it will come. This isn’t my home- this dungeon isn’t where I belong. But for a time, the battle happens here for me.

Normally, I wouldn’t talk about this. But here’s the thing- there are women around the globe who have read my book and found fresh air for the first time. And there are other women who have read it and think, “I can’t win this battle. I will never get out of here.”

To both groups of women, I want to say, “I know how you feel.”

I’m telling people what’s going on in my head. I’m talking to God about it. I’m reading my Bible and claiming truth. I’m working to remember all the things I know.

And I’m breathing.

Ingrid Michaelson has a song called Keep Breathing and my favorite line is, “all I can do is keep breathing…”

And so I will.

Because even though the dungeon is dark and I’m fighting every day to get out, and even though I’m honestly kind of scared and this hurts somethin’ fierce, I will keep breathing.

I won’t give up.

Just because I’m fighting doesn’t mean I’m losing.

All that I know is I’m breathing.

All I can do is keep breathing.

26 comments

  1. posted on Apr 06, 2011 at 5:28 PM  |  reply

    Maybe it’s my post-partum hormones rearing their ugly heads, but this post made me cry. I have been believing a lot of lies about myself lately, especially as a new mom who feels like I have NO IDEA what I am doing, and I needed to be reminded that they are lies and that in fact I have a choice about whether or not to believe them. Thank you for sharing your heart. This was just what I needed to read today.

  2. Sarah
    posted on Apr 06, 2011 at 6:00 PM  |  reply

    you have no idea how much hope you just gave me. i’m not alone! THANK YOU.

  3. posted on Apr 06, 2011 at 6:42 PM  |  reply

    Obviously I don’t know EXACTLY what you’re going through, but it sounds awfully familiar to me. I know that it sounds funny, but in working on my “negative self-talk” I was really struck by lyrics to a song by Pink (of all people!): “Change the voices in your head, make them like you instead.”

  4. posted on Apr 06, 2011 at 6:46 PM  |  reply

    Also keep in mind that you became even more vulnerable to negative thoughts when you stepped out in faith and wrote your book. I can’t imagine what a huge step in humility it truly is and I admire you for being transparent!

  5. posted on Apr 06, 2011 at 7:12 PM  |  reply

    I am so hearing you today Annie. Thank you. All I can do is keep breathing… isn’t that the truth?! I so need to read you book. And soon! ?

  6. posted on Apr 06, 2011 at 7:23 PM  |  reply

    Annie,

    I agree with Melissa on this. When reading this all I could think of is this is how the enemy attacks when God is using us for big things.

    Will be praying for you friend..

    B

  7. posted on Apr 06, 2011 at 8:16 PM  |  reply

    annie, i soooooooo know where you’re coming from on this. i’m kind of in the same place myself and the gym actually gives me a lil’ boost of doing something about it. i’m determined to win this!

  8. Tay
    posted on Apr 06, 2011 at 8:54 PM  |  reply

    I just want to let you know that I have been reading your blog for a few weeks now and I am really enjoying it.

    I am going through a somewhat stressful time in my life right now your blog really brings a smile to my face. Reading your blog is really a highlight of my day.

    Thank you for making my day with every post you write and being an encouragement to me!

  9. posted on Apr 06, 2011 at 9:08 PM  |  reply

    just because i’m fighting doesn’t mean i’m losing. well said…whoever. especially if it’s you.

  10. Joanna
    posted on Apr 06, 2011 at 9:42 PM  |  reply

    Its in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ….He had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everybody.

  11. Kameron Morton
    posted on Apr 06, 2011 at 10:41 PM  |  reply

    Lord Jesus, please make your presence known to my sister right now. Bind the enemy from her mind. Lead her in Your truth. Protect her and breathe Your sweet, freeing breath into her. Because You are bigger than anything she can, will, or may ever encounter. Thank You for how you are using Annie to touch countless lives and sustain her through the battle she is as You use her. By Your might, Amen.

  12. posted on Apr 07, 2011 at 12:15 AM  |  reply

    I appreciate your openness and honesty about your struggles. I to struggle to keep my mind from racing with negative and bad thoughts about myself. I am constantly putting myself down in huge ways. I know it grieves God’s heart because in His eyes I am beautiful. But it’s something I’ve struggled with since I met God. I know one day I will arrive. Until, I will just breathe!

  13. posted on Apr 07, 2011 at 7:15 AM  |  reply

    I love your vulnerability in this post–so many will be encouraged toward the Lord by your words!

  14. posted on Apr 07, 2011 at 8:34 AM  |  reply

    i hope that one day i can be like you, annie.

  15. posted on Apr 07, 2011 at 8:58 AM  |  reply

    Annie, I love your honesty. It’s so beautiful! I feel like we could be best friends. Weird? I’m sure its not the first time you’ve heard it! (at least that’s how I’m making myself feel better about it…)

    I wanted to share with you some words I cling to when I feel attacked by the enemy from Exodus 14:14- “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Praying his peace that surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.:)

  16. posted on Apr 07, 2011 at 12:36 PM  |  reply

    “when satan tempts me to despair,
    and tells me of the wrong within,
    upward i look and see him there,
    who made an end to all my sin.”

  17. posted on Apr 07, 2011 at 1:04 PM  |  reply

    sister. i’m so thankful for your family and counseling and people in charge of speaking truth. but in my little corner of clemson, south carolina, i would like to say that every single day i wish i was your neighbor. you are one of my favorite people on the planet, and i can probably count on both my hands the amount of times we REALLY got to hang out. thanks for the honesty. i love the ups and downs, and i pray for a quick recovery from the darkness. lots of love to you, and many prayers going up from the davis house=)

  18. posted on Apr 07, 2011 at 2:15 PM  |  reply

    I just stumbled onto your blog, and I’ve really enjoyed reading what you have to say! Oh geez, that sounds like one of those spam comments. Haha! But I mean it. 🙂

  19. posted on Apr 07, 2011 at 5:15 PM  |  reply

    Annie D, I love you–all of you. And I miss you like crazy. You are better than waffles and peanut butter and I’m asking Jesus to show you that this week in some amazing new ways. {By the way, I’ve got the ugly thoughts comin’ on lately too. What is up?} XOXO

  20. posted on Apr 08, 2011 at 6:02 AM  |  reply

    I so appreciate your honesty and your words… Mostly I appreciate your reminder to breath. I keep telling myself it is one day at a time, tackle the thoughts for today… no going to tomorrow or beating myself up for yesterday. So today I will remind myself to just breath. I pray blue skies your way!

  21. jennifer
    posted on Apr 08, 2011 at 10:08 AM  |  reply

    Sweet Annie; Oh girl…I have been there. I have ached there. I was just talking to Jesus this morning about a really hard place I am in and yet this time, I feel His presence whereas in the past, I have felt abandoned. I know a lot of that is from knowing to run to Him quickly. Another part is trust. I know you know about “One Thousand Gifts” I have to say, if you have not read it just read chapter 8. It has spoken to me in the deep places… in a place that I can rarely put words to. It has helped. My mindset has changed, I am on the lookout for the ways God is at work and things don’t seem quite so lonely. I understand the blank spaces a little better and I don’t find myself fighting them so much.
    Annie, I love you so…probably not as much as your mama because well, she’s your mama and she is pretty amazing herself (this apple didn’t fall far from the tree!)but with great care and concern. Know you are being prayed for with much affection. I am so glad my daughter offers some comic skype relief for you…at least a fire alarm is not going off in your room! Much love and many hugs!

  22. posted on Apr 08, 2011 at 10:22 AM  |  reply

    So much of this post resonates with my heart. I am in the same dungeon right now and am struggling to find a way out. It’s dark, cold, and miserable. And like you, I know that sometimes, all you can do is keep breathing…and praying that God’s light chases away the darkness.

    Prayers for you!

  23. posted on Apr 09, 2011 at 12:14 AM  |  reply

    I’ve been reading here for a while, but haven’t ever commented.

    Until today.

    I read this the other day when you posted it, and I’m just now finding a moment to sit down and simply say “me too.”

    it’s been an interesting few weeks for that roller coaster of truth and lies. truth is, today alone has been a roller coaster of exactly those things.

    and I do have people around me speaking

    and I’m there. all I can do is keep breathing.

    and maybe, just maybe, that’s okay for today.

  24. posted on Apr 09, 2011 at 1:29 PM  |  reply

    I have been trying to figure out how to talk about this on my blog. I have been in the same dungeon and it’s been on and off. I know truth and I know Lies.. but this is a different kind of battle, one that I think the Lord is allowing to grow me, to refine me. Thanks Annie.

  25. Derrick
    posted on Apr 11, 2011 at 12:40 PM  |  reply

    Hi. I was reading your comments and i have to say they seem very similiar to some cycles of life i have been through as well. God blesses us, but I know too well he sometimes has a lesson or two in the process. I hope you can find your life passions again.

  26. Kate Adams
    posted on Apr 15, 2011 at 3:02 PM  |  reply

    If it is any comfort at all, probably the struggle has kicked up again because you are declaring victory publicly. You know who loves to try all of the tricks to get us to doubt our win. And yes, it is a win without a doubt. Even with the struggle. Proud of you!

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