with a little hope, you can do anything

Posted on June 16, 2010

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For awhile, I mulled over what to do while away in Africa. Wi-fi is possible – but not a guarantee. And honestly? I really don’t want to worry about publishing posts and tweeting and updating statuses. I will write – but most of it will be my hand to a sheet of paper. Once I decided this, I knew I needed to ask some friends to take over my space for a little while. These are women I trust, admire, love and respect. I can’t wait for you guys to meet.

Over the next two weeks, women from all across the U.S. will share their perspective on story. The first time I met Kimber, she walked into my room, handed me a jar full of change labeled “ICU” and walked out – without saying a word. The jar was money donated to our Invisible Children club at the high school, and I was anxious to meet this student who raised/saved fifty bucks of pennies, dimes and nickels. Her presence became a staple within the club, and within a year, she blossomed into our largest spokesperson – even earning a trip to DC to lobby for the children in n. Uganda. (and a picture with Pete Wentz from Fallout Boy) Even though she came out of her shell through her involvement with IC, she soon realized it wasn’t going to complete her. And that’s where I’ll let her take over.

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Life is comprised into a series of moments. A collection of choices and memories. It is important that you know those moments. Recognize that those moments form to create a bigger picture, a bigger story. Your story.

My story, like everyone’s, is complex and far longer than one would expect a 19 year-olds to be. Filled with various climaxes and extremely broken downfalls.

I cut myself for the first time when I was 13. I don’t remember why. All that is left of it in my memory is a blood soaked rag and the most amazing natural high. I can remember how the blade feels and the how much better I felt. After that night it became an addiction. When the screaming in the house got too bad or the loneliness became too real I took to the knife. I didn’t think it was so bad. I felt better, and that was all I cared about. Feeling better.

I was blinded by my own addiction that I didn’t notice that a close friend needed me.  She tried to commit suicide when I was 14. I remember seeing her covered in blood. She survived, but to me she is dead. After that day she became a stranger. Never to see her again.

In high school I quite. I had enough with cutting. I told myself that clean was better. That I would have to suffer like a “normal” person. And I did for a while. It helped that I had a charity to pour all my love into. When I had no one else in the world, I had them. I had Invisible Children when I needed someone the most. I had minor relapses throughout high school but over all I was alright. I tried to manage despite the fact that I was being evaluated with Borderline Personality Disorder. Something I didn’t want to admit until recently.

I thought I was doing alright but I was wrong. This charity was there when I needed someone, yes. But somehow it was never within reach. I was never good “enough.” I was never on point “enough.” In the end I became distant. Invisible Children and I were good for each other, to an extent. I realized they could never fill the emptiness I held inside. They only masked it. So I began to cut again.

In the summer after graduation I decided to end my life. I would have been my fifth, and last, attempt at suicide. There was nothing left in me. All I felt was empty. This time it was going to work. This time…

I had one good friend. She asked me to go to an anime convention. I gave this to her. I went as my goodbye to her. July 17, 2009 was the first day of the convention; it was also the beginning of my real recovery. I met Kimberly Freeman that day. She is singer. I enjoyed her music that evening so I bought all of her cd’s after her show.

Later I listened to her solo album and I felt, for the first time in a really long time, hope. She has a song called “Overdose” and I cry every time I hear it. I couldn’t believe that there was another person in the world that felt the things I felt. She helped me build myself back up. I had to keep living. If she could than I could too. She is my mentor.

I tell her things I never tell anyone. I tell her how I felt like a freak for having a weakness. Cutting. I tell her that I never felt good enough and I am always alone. And she tells me that those things I am feeling, she feels them too. She tells me that I am beautiful. I am a freak, but those things that make me a freak are also those things that make me beautiful. I am her beautiful freak.

Now that I have realized how much life is worth living I have done so much. I took a semester off and took a roadtrip to Florida. I have spent that whole trip in different bars every night with her. I have sold my first painting. I have a family. I’ll be it a strange one. But a family none the less. I write everyday and I have people giving me encourage to keep going. I have, for the first time in my life, hope. And with a little hope you can do anything. You can even change the world.

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Thank you, Kimber for sharing with us! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you are meant for great things. I’m so blessed to have you in my life.

Africa Prayer Requests:

– We continue our work in Kibera today with the sports camp. Prayers for energy, compassion and unity are welcomed!

– The students will also be leading halftime for the first time today. Halftime will consist of testimony, fun songs and games, and skits. Pray for creativity and that the Lord would speak through these teenagers in a way we never anticipated.

– Also pray for homesickness. Many of these kids haven’t left the country, let alone Austin. Spending days without their family will most likely be incredibly difficult. Today, in the middle of the week, after a few days to acclimate ourselves to the new surroundings, emotions may be fragile. My prayer is that strength and wisdom would sweep through the group and allow unity to really form amongst the students & leaders.

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Posted in: Community, Story