Love that Inspires Growth and Hope through Trials

Love that Inspires Growth and Hope through Trials

Mental Illness and Our Take on It

Our Struggles, Our Testimonies, Our Hopes, Our Dreams

Hello, to all of you. I wrote this, yesterday to give a glimpse of my day to day existence. And I often create things that give you that glimpse as well. Should you want to find more done to express this I'd advice you to visit me on my blogs The Peculiar Tales of a Ragamuffin Warrior Princess#30daysofbrave challenge(on pause), and The Oneiric Ambiventure: How it Feels Project, and my journals on wattpad, and the Artisan Chronicles.


What time is it? Where’s my phone? There it is. 2:30PM. Really have to get up at some point. No time like the present… Time to get dressed. It sounds simple to you, but for me, I have two chest-of-drawers one with 9 drawers and the other with 6… giving me 15 in total and there are just bandannas in the top drawers with books and mismatched socks thrown haphazardly in them. Maybe I can find something from the hamper that smells halfway alright? But no, I’ve worn almost all of the variations of outfits over 100 times. You may ask why don’t I just spend a moment to wash my clothes? It’s pretty easy to do that once a week right? Well, not for me. Why? I’m depressed. So I grab the outfit I wore yesterday, I’ve only worn it like 50 times, so it can last a little longer. And thus, I get dressed and onto day 8760 of the same war different battle…


I’m nothing. I’m pathetic. I’m disgusting. Not worth it. Can’t do anything right…. I’m thirsty. I’m hungry. My parents would be better off without me. I’m not worth eating… Just water right now, then I’m lying down. I’m ugly. Not worth it. Am I even cared for? Is this even worth it? I get into a fight with my dad, and looking back on the fight it seems absolutely pointless. Our relationship feels like an unresolved argument… I try and try and try to fix it… I sit down and cry for a bit, Then through teary eyes I look outside and think that the afternoon is lovely. I need to stop being depressed for a moment. Music? Yeah, music…Take a short walk and maybe I’ll be better.


And so I take a walk, jam to my tunes. Return all hot, sweaty, tired yet pumped. And I’m drinking my second cup of water. I leave to cool down and I get enough energy to take a bath. Change into my nightgown for the evening… Then it’s dark all too soon. Even though it seemed to partially silence the voices of self-hate to have taken a walk, bathed, and rested…. The feelings never left. And now it is the hour in which the memories of the weeks, the days, the hours that have passed…By the time I’m in bed I am weeping hard. Accusing myself that I should not be considered human. That I’m a monster. That I should die and nobody would care if I did…. Hold on til morning, I beg myself. You’ve got this…. This pain will end and the light will carry on.


People see me smiling away. Manic, hyper and excited all the time. But even in the times I’m happy, these thoughts play in my head… I can have a an entire emotional roller coaster in one day… Most times these thoughts are there, but I hide it with my mania. I grin, and even I believe that I’m fine. But these thoughts will pop out of nowhere...And I ignore them with happy stuff. These things are not to I’m constantly depressed.


But I can, even while manic, feel the shadow of depression hovering silently above me, basically grabbed a stamp to my heart and pressing it on me. Depressing word in manic colours… I will joke about it, I will laugh lightheartedly at it. And I will feel it in my happiness. But it’s not to say I can’t do work, that I can’t have fun, that I can’t laugh and enjoy my day. There are sometimes, rare though they are, that I will have the most fantastic day. Everything will be fine. I’ll go up until night time, happy and jovial…. Then I’ll crash in bed… crying hard. I do what I can. I try to force myself out of depression on a day to day basis. I laugh, I love, I live. I do these things and even then, I’m not always able to stop the tears. But I’m not weak. I’m not always broken. I am just a fighter against myself.


Luceo non uro,

Ari Joy

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I would remain silent but I believe sometimes silence can be read as acceptance. This isn't for me for I've already made my decision to not return the church from whose leaders did this. But instead it is for future people like me who enter.... it is not acceptable nor right for a church to limit any one place in the church for the reason that they are immature, psychologically crippled or anything of the sort. I am absolutely appalled by the behaviour of the leaders of this church. I know that you believe it was for my betterment but truly you are blind to the fact that it was in fact not Christ-like to keep me from fellowship.

You said I was welcome for worship. But truly what does the whole boundary from fellowship truly say? I was not welcome. I understand where you were coming from and I commend your concern for me. But it isn't about fixing me, nor about helping me. If truly you wish to help them you went about all wrong. If you truly wanna help those like me here is where you begin;

1) don't come in, aiming to fix us. Believe it or not just cuz we are psychologically imbalanced doesn't we are impaired. We are fully capable to work on ourselves. We do not need fixing, we need open arms and ears.

2) Open your ears and shut your mouth. If we need advice we'll ask for it. Mainly when we come we just need compassion and open ears. We want a soundboard to bounce off of, not a mechanic... again we do not need fixing we are fully capable of fighting the battle. We just need a friend here as we fix ourselves.

3) don't panic and push us out of your community because you think you can't help. Believe it or not you are hendering the recovery by doing this. Scarring exactly where the church has scarred us before time and time again. Again we weren't looking for a mechanic. We were looking for open ears and open arms. We are fully capable to get through this, just not alone.

4) we aren't defects. We are human beings with strengths and weaknesses like everyone else. Casting us out because we can't connect with certain people is ridiculous. As there is no one person who can connect with everyone in a group no matter if they have a chronic mental illness or not.

5) We are not unable to mature. We only mature at our own pace. The best way for anyone to mature at all is for them to be placed in situations that we can learn from. The best places for that is meeting people they may have not been previously able to connect with and learning how to do it.

6) don't treat us like a ticking time bomb. We aren't gonna hurt you. We aren't all dangerous. We aren't much different from you. We just want to belong, to be treated with respect, and to meet people who give us that respect and are welcoming.

Well, there you have it! That's my two cents. Take it or leave it. But I do hope you learned SOMETHING from it!

Luceo non uro,
Ari Joy Schaffer

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Often times those in recovery are discouraged by the hardest part in recovery.... relapsing. As I feel in this time.... Now, I didn't say that relapsing is the end of recovery or the opposite of it... It is however the most difficult part of it, because you feel like it is the end and that it is the opposite. A relapse feels like a setback. A relapse makes one feel weak. But, this is me speaking to those lies.... When you relapse, it is only the end if you give up. So, this is encouragement to the relapsed recovery warrior. You may have lost the battle, but you've not lost the war! Do not give up, pick yourself up and do the same you did before.... take one day at a time. Overcome each obstacle. And you slip up again, just keep doing it. Although I reached 1 year, 7 months, and 2 days without cutting, I do remember I had relapsed several more times beforehand. It isn't over. It's not the end. You got this... Don't beat yourself up. You did your best. Tend to the wound. Mend the relationships. Fight the good fight. And keep hoping.


Luceo non uro,

Ari Joy Schaffer

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Yesterday marked my first whole year from cutting! My parents put a lot of effort into a 3-course meal and dessert to celebrate also taping a $15 iTunes gift card too!


In a tight time in our finances, I know this was an expensive meal, and appreciated this all the more. The whole thing touched me so much that when I left the room, I was crying a little.


Thankee, mum and daddy. You have no idea how much this touched me! I love you both!


Luceo non uro,

Ari J Schaffer

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Well, today, I am celebrating 11 months being clean. It is amazing to look at my scars and see them as they are... scars that have healed over and be able to be at peace with them. God has brought me out of a great darkness, but this only makes me want to release my other addictions with food and pornography even more. I will be honest, I have not let go of what kept me cutting to begin with and I really long to... My bitterness, hurt and rage towards myself and friends makes it difficult to continue in my recovery. Keep me in your prayers, please, my friends...


Luceo Non Uro,





Peace Hunger

by Arianna Joy Schaffer


It's hard to rest after today

The clock ticks as the minutes go by

It's past midnight and I can't even say

Just exactly how I feel tonight

You read this, and don't know what happened

But, I long, hunger, thirst after Truth

I would give it all up to Him

If I could only be renewed

12:30 nearing the time to rest

But I cannot even will my own eyes shut

It's taken this life's mess

To learn how to escape the rut

I want peace passing all understanding

To find a way back to His love

And these shall be the songs I sing

"Glory to the Lord above!"

Brother, sister, whosoever reads these words

I need to find where the wounded can be healed

My fellows at arms help me to bear good witness to His Word

So that Christ will bridge to the Father, my appeal

Haunted by memories of an internal war

I am weighed down by my shame

The corners of my mind have now been ripped and torn

And the wildfires burns the land and cannot be tamed

I want to experience a deeper peace

I want to be the instrument of it

No longer in bed in an eternal sleep

No longer on the fence to sit

But in my heart and my mind

I can find it nowhere, all I see is rage

I pray that God will grant the wisdom to leave that past behind

Start all over with reconciliation and a new page


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Who We Are

Arianna LIGHT for MI

Arianna is a proud authoress, artist, and musician, but the most important thing about her is; she seeks the hidden face of God with a passion. A lover of culture, art, music, and all things geeky and Celtic, her writings are often greatly impacted by these things.


Valerie LIGHT for MI

Valerie is the wife of a remarkable man, and the mother of three children, with two of whom having various degrees of mental illness. Valerie is no stranger to mental illness herself as a sufferer of depression on and off for years.


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