You Are More than These Moments.

By Jessica Morris

I wouldn’t consider myself sick anymore. In fact, I would say I am now the opposite and am living some of the happiest, most fulfilling days of my life. Yet, when I go to the doctors and they order my medication, they label me as “severely depressed.” And I guess you could say I am. Well, at least if you are assessing the chemical imbalance in my brain, anyway.

When I was a teenager, this chemical imbalance caused me moments of severe anxiety. Most of the time, it was like I was constantly in a state of stress and panic. I felt out of control and couldn’t understand what I was feeling or doing. You know that saying about “making mountains out of molehills?” I could have invented it. I stressed for days over so many glances, side brushes, and miscellaneous thoughts that I should have just passed over.

These moments seemed incredibly long and were hardest when I was alone. The reoccurring thoughts of self-injury visited me daily from the time I was 13 years old, and I soon became terrified of them. Every time they nested themselves in my head, I would go into fight mode. With the help of a psychiatric nurse, I began to put things in place to combat these thoughts. We developed strategies of whom to contact should I ever reach what I perceived to be “the end” and designated times for my family to check on me if I needed to be alone in a room. Yet, I found these strategies began to fade away in moments of intense anxiety. The people in my life, the things I owned, the promise of tomorrow—all turned sepia-toned in the moments when I felt at my weakest, when it was just me and the choice to live or die.

After fighting these thoughts and the monster of anxiety in my stomach for many months, I knew I had to resolve them. Depression makes you feel worn out, tired, and weary. The anxiety I was experiencing daily only added to this, and it felt like my brain wouldn’t turn off. Anxiety really had become a creature of its own, and I had to stop “it.”

Then, at 14, I made a promise to God. I promised him I wouldn’t hurt myself, that I would finish what I was supposed to do on earth. It sounds simple, really, but that promise changed my life. My anxiety, my fear, and my pain had boxed me in, night after night, threatening me with the inevitability that I would succumb to their taunts. But when I made the promise, it gave me something solid to stand on when I felt weak. From then on, even when it became especially hard, I made myself accountable to that promise. I learned to ride the wave of emotional pain in those moments. I used this promise to remember that better days were ahead. And if this was true, it meant I was more than those moments of severe anxiety and panic.

Life is made up of moments. Some are quick, and some last for a season. These moments—the highs, the lows, and the days of monotony—that’s living. And as we continue on our journey, we must somehow learn to navigate each of these moments. I am the first to say I struggle with this. In fact, during a particularly bad point last year, I made the decision to avoid certain parts of my routine, as they prompted obsessive thoughts to play with my mind once again. But I also remembered the promise I had made. It nudged me forward, insisting I remember that those “sepia moments” in my life were actually part of a collage full of color and promise.

Dear friend, life has a purpose. We are alive for a reason. I know the darkness you feel, when there are people surrounding you and you still feel alone. When you are hidden in your room or on a computer in the corner. That was me. But these are just moments, just part of a whole. They are images that, when put together, create the story of your life. Remember that. Remember you are more than the pain. Remember you are more than those words. Remember you are more than your mistakes. Remember you are more than these moments.

—Jessica Morris, TWLOHA Fall 2013 Intern

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Comments (32)

  1. gludz

    God bless you, Jessica

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  2. Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing. I went through a very similar thing and it’s great to hear stories of people who have been through similar things and also made it through to the other side. It’s beautiful, keep sharing your story and planting hope into the hearts of others!

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  3. Jim

    dear Jessica,

    Thank you for sharing your story of hope and road to recovery. You are very inspirational and your story will help countless others in their struggles.

    Reply  |  
  4. Anonymous

    Thank you so much! I needed to hear/read this.

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  5. Mandi-Sue Lyon

    It gets better.

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  6. Anonymous

    This is beautiful and inspires me to continue to live every moment of my life. Thank you.

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  7. catrin

    Thanks a million for your words. I find myself in them and I, too, got better. Thank you for your story, I’m sure it’ll help a lot of people just as it did help me.

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  8. Lydia

    Thank you for writing this. It is exactly what I needed to read today. I feel like I’m living in all the purposeless, grey moments of life right now.

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  9. Lisa

    This post really spoke to me. This has pretty much been my life the past 5 years. I mean I haven’t dealt with depression my whole life but I think that has actually hurt me, because when it did hit, I wasn’t prepared and no one around me was prepared. No one understood or could help me. But TWLOHA has. And this right here is exactly how I’ve felt the past 5 years and exactly what I’ve slowly come to realize as I worked through everything. Reading this has drove it more home.

    As I was reading this, I thought of a song. I know how much TWLOHA loves to use song for their messages, so I thought I’d share it. It’s called You Are More by Tenth Avenue North and it has been helpful to me. Maybe it can be helpful to others.

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  10. annonymous

    thank you for sharing this. I too have struggled and continue to struggle with self injury and depression. I so admire you for having the courage and strength to be healthy. I hope that one day I can get to that point. Thank you for your insight and the amazing impact you get to have on so many lives

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  11. Sarah Somewhere

    Wow! Stunning! You are so wise to acknowledge life as a collage of many different moments, some painful, some beautiful, because that is exactly right. You are an inspiration.

    Reply  |  
  12. Sarah Somewhere

    Wow! Stunning! You are so wise to acknowledge life as a collage of many different moments, some painful, some beautiful, because that is exactly right. You are an inspiration.

    Reply  |  
  13. Anonymous

    Thank you for this. I really needed it. Because sometimes it can get really hard to remember that there is more than your mental illness. And although I really don’t think we are here for a porpoise somehow knowing that other people understand what you are going through, and have similar “issues” as the ones you have can make you feel less lonely. I have been dealing with depression, self harming and eating disorders for quite some time now. And God knows I haven’t had any support from my family, or friends which makes the “battle” even harder . Therefore the feeling of loneliness and suicide thoughts worsen. Which is why I thank you again for this post, when you feel like the pain is unbearable it’s nice to know that you are not the only one and that some people have actually overcome this. So I think it is important to share this kind of stories because they can give you some kind of hope.

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  14. Will

    You have this way of putting together words which act as a polish to produce a crystal clear meaning rgarding your subject matter. I get it, because you make it easy to see clearly.

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  15. crazybeautifuljewell

    How do you get out of it? How do you get to normal? Nothing helps. I know, call on Jesus, read scripture, seek in prayer… but even then, things still seem hopeless. I know my medication is off, but just like every time I ask for some help, no one can see me for at least a month. It’s so scary, all the racing thoughts and then the sudden anger. How do you get out…?

    “I know the darkness you feel, when there are people surrounding you and you still feel alone. When you are hidden in your room or on a computer in the corner.” That IS me.

    Reply  |  
  16. Anonymous

    This post has connected with me far more than any of the other ones. Thank you.

    Reply  |  
  17. Monica

    I so get it!! It’s good to hear I’m not crazy b/c I have lived with my anxiety & depression for 20 years. Prayers for your contined journey to a more free life… That’s what I’m striving for.

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  18. Michelle

    I made a decision a while back to not say “I am bi-polar”, but to say instead “I have bi-polar disorder”. I didn’t want my illness to be my identity. This post brought happy tears to my eyes, and renewed my hope. God bless you!

    Reply  |  
  19. Crystal

    This is beautiful, thank you.

    Reply  |  
  20. Taylor

    This hit home! Thanks for sharing a bit of your story! I’m in the midst of but I know with God and my friends I can make it through! 🙂 <3

    Reply  |  
  21. Anonymous

    Thank you x

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  22. Anonymous

    I am at a loss for words, because as I read this It pains me to know that’s exactly where I’m at right now. I’m there, but unlike you I don’t have a promise to help aid me through it. I have nothing. I fight those thoughts everyday, sometimes I find myself not fighting hard enough, and give in. I just hope I soon get the strength you had, and move past this as successfully as you. So thank you!

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  23. Taryn

    I am feeling very stressed out and anxious at the moment, and something told me to just scroll the blog. I needed this, thank you for this.

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  24. Anonymous

    I still haven’t gotten where you are. But I’ve made that promise and failed many times. The pain just gets so overwhelming. I’m just glad you could and that one day I will too. God bless you.

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    1. Anonymous

      I got agape in Greek, a cross inside a Christian fish, and roses repping my mom & gma around my latest cuts on my wrist. I think it will help and help me not be silent

      Reply  |  
  25. Moxie

    Thank you so much for your words, Jessica. This blog is simple, sweet, perfect for how so many of us feel. Thank you for being brave enough to say these things out-loud for all of us to share… it helps to know we are not alone in this world with only the pain to keep us company.

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  26. Kaiby

    Stay strong

    Reply  |  
  27. Anonymous

    when all songs i hear make me think about cutting agai

    Reply  |  
  28. Jesse

    Thank you I really needed to read this

    Reply  |  
  29. mandie

    I love how you explain the feeling of being alone even while in a room filled with people basically…I love this blog thank you for sharing how you work threw the emotions and just keep going .

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  30. clark


    Reply  |  
  31. Danielle

    Thank you so much for these words, Jessica. They are a comfort to my aching soul. I love the idea to promise God you won’t hurt yourself, and I think I will do the same.

    Reply  |  
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