Tuesday, December 23, 2014

victory days

Today was a big victory day.  A victory day is something I came up with when I was struggling to find hope for my future.  When it started out, a victory was something as simple as remembering to take my medicine, or actually showing up to therapy.  Those victories were called "small victories".  Each accomplishment small, but moving me towards bigger successes.  The small victories gradually got bigger and bigger.  Adding to the list of everyday victories was getting back into a routine with school.  There were days when depression took over, and even eating breakfast was a huge deal.  See, this is how it is.  When you struggle with something like depression, you learn to set aside the big things and just do everything you can to fight to make it to the next day, and on the bad days even to the next hour.  It's all about the fight, and the strength.  It is hard.  I know it is.  It really sucks some days, and you just want to give up and scream that you are a failure and can't even remember to feed the cat.  Let me tell you one thing.. and listen closely.  YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE.  You made it today.  You win a battle the second you put your feet on the ground in the morning, and fight for the little things.  It's okay that your goal at the moment maybe isn't to get into Harvard.  Maybe it is just to find happiness in that day.  That is okay.  I got my drivers permit today.  This was my big victory.  I never thought that would be possible for years, given what I have been through up until even a few days ago.  I am living proof that you can defy the odds even if its a million to one chance.  Walking out of the DMV today, to someone they might be happy for me, but for me personally it went so much deeper than that.  It meant that with that same strength and fight I use even to get though the day, I could do anything.  So don't loose sight of that when you are feeling hopeless.  Yes, it might seem impossible at the moment.  Heck, a month ago I was sitting in the emergency room in yet another one of those 'bad days'.  That was a month ago.  30 days.  But, here I am now.  I am still moving forward in the ways that I can.  It isn't downhill from here, I will still struggle.  It simply goes to show that even though life can kick the living daylights out of you, you don't have to let the depression win.  You have the choice to fight.  I'm going into the next year ready to face whatever comes, knowing how far I have come.  Don't give up just yet, God isn't done with you.  The unknown day will come when I will pass away, but I am not going to be the one to make that decision.  I have been to the edge, ready to take that jump, and it is one of the darkest places a person could ever be.  Something in me knew I had to stay, if not for myself, but for others.  My life isn't about me.  It is about serving others, and going through experiences that shape who I am.  Most of all, it is about the big guy upstairs.  With Christ we can do all things, even the most seemingly hopeless.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

two-thousand fourteen

Well this past year has been an interesting one.  Never thought I would be writing some of the things written in this blog.  But here I am, this is my reality.  Some of the 'highlights' are:

3 inpatient hospital stays
3 months in residential care
1 year of therapy, doctors, hospital visits
20+ visits to the ER
2 hospitalizations for Pneumonia
2 bouts on Mono
6 months of missed school

The list goes on.  Haha I'm laughing because this isn't your usual "Year In Review", because it isn't.  The experiences I have had in a 12 month period, are not common occurrences.  They do happen though.  It happens so much more often than you think, some people just hide behind closed doors.  They hide it because it isn't a glamorous lifestyle.  Some have shoe collections and have been to 4 different countries.  People like me, have collections of bracelets and plastic hospital cups, and have been to 4 different hospitals.  It isn't something that the world understands.  The world perceives people with mental health issues to be unstable and something to stay away from.  It is quite the opposite.  Yes we have our unstable moments, but not everyone with a mental health diagnoses is certifiably insane.  We are simply fighting an illness, that is very much mental instead of physical.  We wake up fighting everyday to make it to the next day, or even hour.  We fight voices in our heads telling us we are not good enough, too fat, too ugly, not worthy to live.  To an extent, every person that is born struggles with some form of questioning their self-worth.  When I said the thing about people who have shoe collections and travel the world, that doesn't mean that our life might not look like that too.  Some of us live a 'Secret Life' in the mental health world, and I often find myself to be one of those people.  I would say 75% of the time, I am an open book about my struggles.  I'm only open about it when the situation is one where my story could be encouraging.  Though struggling is not something to be ashamed of, I will hide this side of me in some instances.  Pretend it isn't happening, and post a picture of hanging out with friends, or wearing fancy clothes, or modeling for family pictures.  The truth is, those pictures capture a fraction of a second of our lives.  They don't capture the truth.  They are made to be happy and shiny and to "Put up a good front" to seek favor from others.  I am not ashamed to proclaim Jesus as my Lord, and acknowledge the fact that without his love and mercy, I would never have the courage to share what I do.  I say this to encourage you, whoever you are.  I'm not saying you have to go out and announce on a billboard how much life can completely suck sometimes, ha!  I am saying that if you are struggling in some way, tell people about it.  That's how we work.  As humans, we thrive on interaction and love, among support and empathy.  Do be warned, not everyone will accept your reality.  Heck, even in writing this blog over the past year, some people who were very close to me have created distance, simply because they don't understand or cannot relate.  That's OK.  Share whats going on in your life with those that care to listen, be transparent.  I took a risk in opening my story to share, but I don't regret it one bit.  I get so much encouragement to keep sharing, because it relates to people.  I love that it helps, even just a little bit.  I never want to stop writing, and yes someday the stories will change, and this phase of my life will be yet another chapter in the past.  My writing is not perfect.  Thats the thing, neither is my life.  Think of it as a journal.  No, I don't tell you what I eat for breakfast or what I am wearing today, but every once in a while I share the important things, because thats the story that needs to be heard.  Oh and by the way, Merry Christmas to everyone!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

it's christmastime!

I apologize for the lack of update in these past months.  Things have been hard.  I have been writing everyday, but more to help myself to process the events.  The things I have written are bare and raw.  Things that I am just not ready to share because the pain is still so fresh.  I am still here, but I'm not sure that I can share that much of what has been going on.  I am tired, and weak from this battle.  Having people come alongside me especially right now means more than I can describe.  I will not be  updating very often for a little while so I can have some time to sift through what I can and cannot share.  Thank you all for the encouragement in sharing what little I am able to.  Things are in full swing preparing for Christmas, when I get to see so many of you in Arizona.  All 5 of us will be in town around Christmas and New Years.  I want to see a ton of people, but as you can imagine, with my anxiety that is hard for me.  My intention is to at least say hi and give people a hug even if I am not able to do something for an extended period of time depending on how things are going.  Please message/text me if you are in town, there are SO many people haha so I will not be able to keep track unless you let me know.  Anyways, I hope everyone is having an amazing holiday season!  I will try to update as I can.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Its amazing to see how far a person can come in just a years time.  I have chosen to be more private recently, for personal reasons.  But here goes.. 

I feel so horrible, and stripped having to type this, but somebody needs to know how I feel.  I honestly dont even want to share this, but some people need to know how much depression can affect a person, and their daily life.  this is it, the real feelings, The truth.  I am not mad at anyone, but can someone just show me that they care?  I don't want to sit in my room anymore talking to a cat.  Would anyone even care if I was gone?  I dont even want to think about that, but hopelessness trickles in.  People who don't get it say, oh it's fine, it will go away.  Or even things like, "Oh its not that bad, it is probably just all in your head."  THAT IS THE PROBLEM.  It is in my head, and thats why it will not go away.  Don't try and convince a person with clinical depression that there is something wrong with them, or that they should be ashamed for not hiding their depression.  The best thing you can do is just be there for that person, be a shoulder to cry on.  That is exactly how I feel.  I need a friend right now.  I need someone to help me, talk to me, LISTEN to me.  Someone that isnt my parents or a therapist.  Someone that will just cry with me, and just care.  I hate that it has come down to this.  I am so swamped right now with Therapy and doctors etc.  Where are all of the people who said they care?  The ones who said they would always be there.    I hate pretending like I am someone I'm not.  I am so lost.  You said you were going to be there, where are you?  I could keep typing... but I dont even know what else to say.  Someone, anyone...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I'm Only Human

Yes, I leave the house without makeup on, and I am not ugly.  I hangout with my family (AND ACTUALLY ENJOY IT), Im not too cool to pretend they don't exist.  I dance around the house like nobody's watching, Im no Pro but it brings me joy.  I still listen to pop music.  I love cats, that doesn't make me a crazy cat lady.  I have problems that I can't hide, that doesn't make me insane.  I am a hopeless romantic, I am not obsessive.  I make mistakes.  I do the cup song literally every time I see a plastic cup.  I am not perfect, and I don't strive to be.  I am not what the world defines as a "Popular kid".  I am homeschooled and I love it because it works for me.  I am Christian and I am not judgmental. I don't have an iPhone (anymore), I have a red slide phone and that doesn't make me "not cool".  I spend my weekends watching netflix and eating ice cream, that doesn't mean I am anti-social; Its my way of recharging after a crazy week.

Guys, listen.  You don't need to be defined by what the world says about how you need to act, or what you have to do or what you have to like to be accepted.  Don't listen to the societal norms.  I know you get these "Braveheart" speeches all of the time, and I am not here saying you have to listen to what I am saying, It isn't "My way or the highway".  I am talking from experience.  I scroll through Social Media thinking "Oh I wish I had those clothes!"  or "Gosh, why does everyone else in the world seem to be perfect? They are going to parties, having lots of friends, listening to Bands I have never heard of, and I'm here not doing any of those things."  Truth is, everyone leads a different life, life experiences look different for everyone.  This is even true in families.  I love my sister, but we are not very similar.  At this point in her life, she has lots of friends, is always going somewhere and doing something.  She gets up and goes to a school everyday, she has an iPhone, she is well liked, tall, beautiful, and really funny.  I look at her life and want to be her so badly.  I am so blinded by my desire to be somebody that I am not that I miss the point.  God made everyone unique.  That being said, nobody can be the exact same, but everyone is similar.  We are all human.  You think you are alone in feeling anxious or self conscious or whatever, YOU.  ARE.  NOT.  Everyone shows it differently, people only post what they want you to see.  They don't tell you that the same day they went to an amazing concert, had a photo session with all of their friends and posted all of the pictures, and went to dinner with their girlfriend/boyrfriend, that they cried themselves to sleep that night because they felt like a failure.  They have fears, they have dreams of perfect situations that didn't happen.  They don't share these things, but they are real.  My point is, you don't wait until you are older to realize that all that popularity, all those trips to Forever 21 to get the latest trends, all the selfies, all the starving yourself to get that thigh gap, all the second guessing, it just isn't worth it.  In the long run, all you need is to be confident in who you are and what you love.  Be crazy, be passionate, be human, don't be afraid to mess up, an just love.  The ones who really matter will accept you regardless.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

That little light at the end of the tunnel...

So I suppose a blog post is long overdue.  I have been in major transition mode.  GOOD transitions.  Absolutely blessed transitions.  The meds I have been on for the past year, all 4 different brands have not been working.  Things are always gonna be hard in life, but I just can't seem to understand why everything seemed to be going wrong... all at once.  A little over a month ago, all hell seemed to be breaking loose.  I had lost control, I was worse than I have ever been.  Panic attacks multiple times a week, passing out all the time, tremors all over my body, major mood swings, and my family walking on eggshells trying to keep me from totally loosing it yet again.  I couldn't handle being at school for more than 15 minutes before the school had to call EMT's because I was having a panic attack.  My mom finally scheduled me to see my doctor thinking that we were going to need to change my medication once again.  About a week before that my counselor had my mom give me a genetic test or something that she sent in to a Lab.  Anyways, a few days before my appointment my mom got a call from my doctor.  She wanted to see me right away.  So she moved the Appt. up to the next morning.  We went in... My doctor started to explain my test results.  She said that when my results came back I tested positive for Pyroluria.  I thought "Oh big deal... this just means I will have to take a few more vitamins."  I had never heard of Pyroluria, but my doctor explained to my mom and I.  She said it is an immune deficiency, causing my body not to produce B6 vitamins and zinc.  She told us that the range for the results was on a 1-9 scale, with 1 being a small deficiency, and 9 being a quite high deficiency.  My results came back a 66.  Talk about off the charts.  Pyroluria, though not commonly known, is often mistaken for psychiatric disorders.  People with this disease have extreme imbalances in their body chemistry, causing dramatic mood swings, panic, anxiety, depression etc.) Patients who have Pyroluria are often misdiagnosed with a psychiatric disorder like Bi-Polar, and Schizophrenia, Clinical depression or various anxiety disorders.  My doctor immediately put me on an extremely high dose of B6 and Zinc, that can cause extreme side effects, and can possibly kill a person who doesn't have this disease.

OK enough of me ranting with a bunch of medical talk.  My point of this entire post, is celebration!  I have been on these supplements and various things for about a month now, and I am certainly not out of the woods yet, BUT I AM PRAISING THE LORD.  I am finally feeling better, and seeing strides of stability in my life, and my family's lives.  I am smiling, dancing, writing, and just being dorky (HA), but thats okay because it means I am feeling happy again.  For me its kind of like learning to ride a bike again.  I am learning how to be happy and confident and bright for the first time in so long.  Prayer has been so so so huge, and I can't thank everyone enough who have been praying for these days to come.  I still have my daily little battles, but overall it feels like a brand new life.  I can finally see that little light at the end of the tunnel, and I am elated to someday live in the light for eternity with my Lord and Savior.  More updates to come soon!

<3 Mads

Monday, August 18, 2014

My top Makeup Picks for Summer 2014

These are my top everyday makeup picks for summer 2014!

Elta MD Skincare
Tinted Sunscreen and foundation

Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Treatment Concealer

Dream Bouncy Blush in Fresh Pink

Saks Fifth Avenue
Blush and Bronzer

Vibrant in Vancouver Pallate

Perfect Point Plus
Eyeliner in Espresso

Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara

Residential Treatment

A month ago I stepped out of the doors of a place I had been for 3 months.  It was a gut wrenching experience.  It was hard, there were tears.  Overall my experience was a good one.  Residential did and continues to change my life as I look at possibilities for more treatment.  I want so badly to share my story and make an impact in this hurting world.  To let others know that they are not alone.  One of my biggest struggles is with self harm.  It became almost an addiction, to feel the pain because I felt so numb.  I continue to struggle with Self harm even today.  It is tearing apart my family and I can't let it do that anymore.  I am so sorry to all of those that I hurt by hurting myself.  That is why I am seeking more help.  Never be afraid to ask for help.  I have had to ask for help many times.  Heck, I even had to call the National Suicide Hotline.  Depression is so real.  I never would have wanted this for my life.  I want to be a normal 16 year old girl who doesn't have to be monitored 24/7.  I don't want to have to go into my little sisters room with blood dripping from my body crying for help.  I don't want to have to worry about my parents asking me to take meds.  What happened at the mall a few months ago, I planned.  I planned to cause damage.  I planned to cause hurt.  I scared the crap out of my boyfriend by pretending to pass out.  I am broken and crying out for help.  Lord, please pour your peace on me right now.  I need you now, I need to rest in you.  All of those things I have done were in a desperate attempt to show how much pain I am in.  I did this because I didn't want to communicate or didn't know how to communicate with my words.  It was like a knife in the heart.  Yes this post was meant to talk about Residential, but I suppose it turned into me communicating the pain I am experiencing.

I am stable now, but seeking out more help.  Please keep me and my family in your prayers, and pray for the Lords guidance in the next step he wants for me to take.  Whether thats back to Residential, or whatever he has planned.  This blog isn't meant to be shiny and happy, it is meant to be REAL.  It is simply me crying out saying that I am a broken child of God.  I continue to wake up every morning, still here, and it makes me cry because I know it means I have a purpose.  I feel so purposeless, but I know God has a plan when he continues to hold me when it seems that every fiber in my body is broken, my brain is fuzzy and I don't understand.  Because of this I will praise God everyday, and will continue to give him crumbs.  Some people would ask why, If there was a God would such a loving God allow so much pain?  I strongly believe that it is my purpose to go through all of this.  I will come out of this someday and will have proof of an amazing journey.

I love you all, and continue to stay strong,
<3 mads

Friday, August 15, 2014

Anxiety and Peanut Butter

Anxiety is a disorder.  You can't just snap your fingers and everything is okay.  You feel like you are drowning, having irrational thoughts.  Irrational thoughts that make you do irrational things.  I have found that in my life, as I look back I have let anxiety win far too many times.  Just like the scars on my arms, I can't let this define me.  That is letting the devil win.  I want to be that Pinterest quote that says: "I wanna be the type of girl, that when her feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil cringes and says "oh crap, SHES up.""  I refuse to let the devil have a foothold in my life with my anxiety.  Yes, I do have an anxiety disorder that feels like peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth, and you work hard to get rid of it, and it is hard but it won't be there forever.  With a hell of a lot of work, I can kick anxiety's butt.  It won't be there forever as long as I am willing to do the work.

Much Love,

- mads <3

Playing with Fire...

"Depression, anxiety and panic attacks are not a sign of weakness.  They are signs of having tried to remain strong for so long"
                   - anonymous

My mom shared (some obvious) insight with me today.  Everyone, someday will die.  We were talking in the context of cats oddly enough, but the point should still come across.  We are not meant to last forever, we are meant to last long enough to make an impact for the glory of the kingdom.  I am not weak because I cry myself to sleep, or have a panic attack, or are depressed.  I have dealt with pain for years now.  I am by no means giving up, but I am going to be open.

Yesterday was another tough day where I doubted if my existence on this earth meant anything to anyone, and I put my family and those who were close to the situation in between a rock and a hard place.  I am reaching out and asking for prayer tonight, for me, my family and for love and peace to surround our home as we are trying to figure this out.  I am beyond blessed to be apart of an amazing ministry called Death to Life Revolution.  Without them, I would not be here today.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Maddie Regan: My Video Blog

Check out and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for Vlogs, DIY, and more!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

These scars, they are so real.

n. a mark left on something following damage of some kind.

A Hurting and broken person.  That was me, I was hurting and broken and I chose to cut my body.  In turn, leaving various scars.  I honestly always thought "Oh that will never be me, I will never do that to my body."  But here I am, and my scars would argue otherwise.  If you are reading this, and you can look yourself in the mirror and see scars, please know that you are not alone.  In fact you are never alone.  I was a walking dead girl.  I hid for too long.  I never spoke up and asked for help until things got out of hand.  I never stopped myself.  I wish I had, but at the same time it wouldn't allow me to share that experience with other people like me.  Cutting your body, or "Self harming" (Which can take many forms) is not the answer.  If I was honest with myself, I wouldn't listen to this advice, but this is why you NEED to.  It wasn't only hurting myself, but it was hurting others around me way worse.  The people I affected were left with emotional scars that nothing I could ever do could heal.  My family, my friends and everyone close to me was hurt every time I decided to break their trust in me.  I lost trust.  I lost my mind.  Now I can't look at a pencil sharpener and not think of the damage I could do, how corrupted is that?!  It has been 2 months, and a lot of hard work for me to say I am clean.  They are no longer cuts, but healing scars.  The definition of a scar is spot on.  I was damaged by depression and chose to cause scars, which in turn caused its own damage.  It is a vicious cycle.  If you are reading this and hurting, I have a different answer for you.  Jesus.  Don't run for a blade, run for the cross as fast as you can.  You don't have to listen to me, after all Im just sixteen.  What do I know?  But I do know something.  I know that my scars are healing, and there is so much hope.  


Death to life.  Like I said, I was a walking dead girl.  I went from death to life.  This website and this ministry helped change my life.  For all of those who are hurting and broken, it is an outlet for you to talk with other people about hope, instead of giving up.

I love you all, and always be strong.

Hebrews 2:10 -
"For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering."

<3 Mads

Monday, August 4, 2014

Happiness... A Testimony

There have been so many reasons to smile today and everyday.  Most of the time I ignore them, but I am so happy right now.  I am not going to ignore these things.  I just wanted to say how much people encouraging me through this has made me happier than words.  A good friend once gave me an amazing analogy.  Through this whole experience I feel like I have ignored the Lords will for me through this.  She told me that even if all I could give him was crumbs, that was OK.  He will take those crumbs and turn them into something amazing someday.  So there were days where all I could give were crumbs.  I would thank God for the simple things.  I remember when I got baptized.  It was at my favorite place in the entire world.  Kanakuk Kamps.  This place changed my life.  I was ready to finally tell the world that I have committed my entire life to the Lord, no more hiding things.  I was baptized at 9pm in Table Rock, together with some of my best friends.  Cabin 7.  A year at Kanakuk that will be unforgettable.  I grew closer to the Lord that year than I have been in such a long time.  If you are wondering what Kanakuk is, WELL it is craziness, happiness, hyperness, smiles, tears, love all mixed up in one.  Kanakuk is a sleep away camp in Missouri.  4 summers ago I went to K1, my first year at Kamp for a month.  K1.  My counselors Anna, Joanie, and Danielle changed my life and showed me what living a life devoted to Christ was really like.  Then the next year in middle school at K-West, Anna and Lexi were my counselors.  These women were amazing, they brought our cabin so close knitted in Christ's love, and again, were true examples of women devoted to a life of Christ.  Then last summer in 2013, I was ready to show my true commitment.  At K2, the summer before my Sophomore year in HS, I was baptized alongside so many girls from our cabin, and I couldn't thank Monica and Leah enough for being there for me and those girls in love and again, true examples of Christ loving women.  I didn't go to Kanakuk this year.  I was still in treatment when Term 1 started.  I cried a lot on that day, May 31st.  I wanted to be there so badly, to see my friends and be filled with the Lord.  God had something else in mind, healing in treatment.  Healing and resting in him.  I have met some of the most amazing people through the past 6 months in treatment, who have been there for me, and still encourage me today.  I want to go back to my residential treatment, just so I can give all of the staff a hug and say THANK YOU.  Thank you for changing my life so I can be living my life out in the world  today.  Like I said yesterday, this is my life, but I am living every day for the one who made the heavens and the earth.  This is his life he made for me.

If you wanna check it out I strongly encourage it, Kanakuk Kamps is an amazing ministry and I can't wait to go back.  kanakuk.com <--- Check it out, it will change your life, It changed mine.

Love y'all (an yes I say y'all, and I got that from spending my summers at Kanakuk in the midwest, and every time I say Y'all it makes me smile and think back to the summertime)

God Bless! - Mads <3

Sunday, August 3, 2014

This is my life.

I wish I could say this isn't my life.  I wish I had never caused this much pain.  I did.  This is my life.  As much as I want to change my past, and go back to the times where everything was happy, I cannot.  It built me to the person I am today.  I know many people are inspired by my blog, but I also know that my writing inflicts pain in a handful of people's hearts.  They don't want to see me like this.  Believe me, I don't want to see me like this.  Writing on this blog is therapeutic for me.  Most people don't get it unless you've lived it.  I lived for so long in a lie.  Hiding things from friends and family, lying, putting on this mask.  This blog is a blessing.  Yes I am going to be honest and blunt, but thats only because I have the guts to be transparent.  If people don't like what I am writing, than they can choose not to read it, it is simple.  I am not going to hide anymore.  I want the world to know my story.  This isn't about you, it isn't even about me, it is about healing and hope.  I would rather live life with abandon and learn things than hide in a dark hole.  No more hospitals, no more treatment centers.  That goes to say, I still have urges to hurt myself and people need to understand that.  I am taking a huge risk by saying that openly.  I am not fully recovered, but I AM getting stronger every single day.

This is my life and I wouldn't change a thing knowing that it brings hope and encouragement to so many people. "She was never crazy.  She just didn't let her heart settle in a cage.  She was born strong, and sometimes we need people like her.  For it's the horrors in her heart which cause the flames in ours.  She was always willing to burn for everything she ever loved. - RM Drake

I have come such a long way in these past few years.  I have endured the storm, and no the storm isn't over, but I know I can see light at the end of the tunnel.  This is who I am.  I am the girl with a story of hope.  Yes my story is hard and brutally honest, but thats who I want to be.  I was never crazy.  I am just like every other person.  I have one eye, and I wouldn't ever wish it different.  I have a birthmark shaped like a band aid on my arm, which makes me smile every time I look at it.  I have scars on my arms that remind me of a brutal past, but hope for a future.  They were once bleeding, but now there is healing.  I am not ashamed of these things, because yes.  This is who I am.  This is the new me, and I couldn't be happier because it means hope.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Finding hope amidst sickness...

Still very sick :(  I went to the doctor yesterday, and was told that my pneumonia refuses to go away (Ha!), and I have the adult form of Mononucleosis... which was suspected at first.  I am continuing to smile though I feel very betrayed by my lungs.  On the very bright side, tomorrow I fly to LA to go to Newport Beach for a few weeks.  I can honestly say I am a little nervous, but a lot excited.  Blogging everyday helps a lot with my anxiety, writing is my passion.  I don't know how many people read my writing, but it means a lot to know I have somewhere I can go with my writing.  I have been passing out a lot, and am very forgetful which hurts.  It gets to the point where I have to say my name out loud just to believe that I am... well... me.  A lot of people have wondered about my faith through these trials.  I am going to be honest, when things were getting really bad a few months ago, I felt totally abandoned by God.  It took going through "The Friday Incident" to really realize where I stood.  I realized God had not abandoned me.  I find that I use the footprints prayer analogy too often, but it is so true in my life.  The story goes something like this... or at least this is my take on it:

When you go through a rough time or a "storm" some people look back at their footprints in the sand or the places they have walked through their journey, and they only see one set of footprints.  They feel alone, abandoned by a God who promises to be with us always.  They cry out to God, and he answers.  "The footprints that you see in the sand are not yours, for they are mine, I was carrying you the whole time".

That is one of my favorite stories in the world.  It gives me so much hope.  I know God never leaves me.  He was there in the Emergency room on that Friday.  He was there at the Parry Center.  He was with me in the hospital, and he is here with me now.  He always will be.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Just Keep Swimming...

It is all real life today.  I suppose it is every other day, but today feels different.  I had freedom today.  I am capable of a lot of things but today I am making good decisions.  I got to be alone for a couple of hours which is refreshing considering I have been under constant surveillance for 4 months.  It was good.  I ate some ice cream (duhh) :) and had a lot of time to think.  I thought a lot about how I need to be more real.  I have been such a fake for so long, putting on a smile and living life.  I was living a lie.  Going back to my freshman year of high school.  I was the seemingly sweet and shy girl, who was always nervous and almost never spoke up in class.  I was at SCA.  I thought I was happy.  I wore cardigans to hide scars, I would avoid eating lunch and lie about it, I was anxious up to my ears.  It was a silent battle, one I wasn't willing to share with anyone except for a few people.  I wanted so badly to be popular, to be known but something was holding me back.  I LOVED choir and wanted so badly to be apart of the drama department, but every time I went to audition I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  It was ridiculous.  This wasn't me.  When I was little, my parents took me to disneyland.  All day I begged my parents to buy one of those spray fans from the merchandise carts.  I was just a little girl, but I knew what I wanted.  My parents patiently told me that they did not want to pay for anything like that.  In my tiny brain, I took it upon myself to get this fan.  I walked up to an older couple and reported that there was a fan that I wanted and my parents couldn't pay for it.  My parents were horrified, and the couple felt bad so eventually somehow I ended up with a mickey mouse spray fan that day.  See?!  I wasn't afraid to go after  what I wanted then, so why couldn't I now?  I didn't realize it then but it was severe depression and anxiety that were swallowing me whole.  I prayed continually that year for SOMETHING that would make me felt like I belonged at that school.  God opened my eyes so wide to the work he was doing in my heart that year.  I had countless friends who came alongside me, and blessed me by being there for me.  Secretly part of me wishes I never left that school.  I miss SCA a lot, all of the friends, all of the teachers, all the amazing memories.  Yes, you could say that it was one of the worst years of my life, with the escalating of my eating disorder, consuming depression and anxiety.  But no.  That was not God's plan for me and it still is not.  I'm not meant to wallow and feel bad for my past, but to change my life and run as fast as I can towards the cross.  I was given these trials for a purpose.  For the purpose much greater than I could ever imagine.  I just want to reach into my computer and hug every hurting person who reads this and cry with them, and tell them that everything is going to be just fine.  Yeah life sucks, and throws a ton of crap (being real y'all, life can have crap sometimes) at you from all directions.  We are made strong by our heavenly father, you can do it!  Never give up, for a sunny day is coming.  Tomorrow is always waiting.  I love you all, and God bless!!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Painful memories… The worst day of my life

It is kind of a funny thing, missing a psychiatric facility, but I do.  I miss my friends, I miss the staff, I miss the campus.  I was there for 90 days.  The majority of my time there I was a mess.  Having panic attacks almost every day, my medication was off.  I just did not want to be there.  I would say however that the last month of my stay at The Parry Center, I saw a change.  I wanted to get better.  Before I had told someone that I wanted to stay here for as long as possible, I didn't want to change.  I wanted a label.  I told them that I wanted to be labeled as a psychiatric patient, who never wanted to live a normal life.  That all changed in one single day.  This part is painful for me to write as it was a day of horror for many people, so be warned if you are sensitive because I am going to be very real.  It was a Friday.  I had been waiting for this day for weeks.  I was ready.  It was the big day for my shopping day with my friends and sister at Washington Square.  My therapist and mom signed a few papers allowing me to go off campus, and then we were off.  I picked up all of my friends and we were Washington Square bound for what everyone thought was going to be an amazing day.  In my head, I knew differently.  My mom dropped us off and reported that she would be at the Starbucks in the mall if we needed anything, and then we were free.  I cringed as I realized my new found freedom.  At the Parry Center it was total lockdown, you had to ask to go to the bathroom and even to get into your own room.  This was the mall, I was "free".  We went to a few stores and bought a few things.  We decided to split up and thats when I knew I had my chance.  Quickly I went into a makeup store, and bought a eyeliner sharpener.  I told my friend that I had to go to the bathroom, so we both walked towards the restroom.  My palms were sweating, I knew what I was going to do.  I quickly went into a stall and smashed the sharpener retrieving the blade.  I looked anxiously at my left forearm, and then I did it.  After making several cuts I started to get dizzy, and things were starting to get fuzzy.  I had to get out of there.  I quickly hid the blade, put on my light grey sweatshirt and walked briskly out of the bathroom.  My friends asked if i was doing alright and I lied.  To this day if I had only told them I wasn't fine, maybe this would have all been different, but I told them, "I'm fine."  They told me that I had to go to my mom to take some meds.  I did not think twice, and went to take my meds.  As I walked into Starbucks I looked down at my arm.  Blood was seeping through and starting to drip.  I panicked.  It was too late.  My mom started to scream and I tried to run, but she and my friends grabbed me.  Things could have gone a lot differently.  They wouldn't let me go.  I started to hyperventilate and passed out.  My friend had to call 911 as me and my mom sat on the floor in the middle of Starbucks.  They took me in an ambulance to the hospital.  Emergency room number 15.  This will be important later on.  I never got to see my friends, and have not seen them since "the friday incident", it breaks my heart to know that I deceived them.  I love my friends, I still cannot believe I did this to them, my sister and my mom.  I was put in every restraint they could find at the hospital for trying to run.  As I laid strapped to a bed, my parents read my personal journal out loud.  Tears all around the room and sobs as they read horrifying words that I had written about myself, and how I had planned this whole thing knowing I would end up in the hospital.  I was taken that night back to the Parry Center, crying the whole way.  What did I do?  I ruined everything.  I lost more trust than I realized even then.

I look back on that day and wish with all of my heart that none of that ever happened.  I wish I hadn't lied.  A few weeks later after taking a few weeks back at the Parry Center to recuperate, I went on another outing.  My dad took me back to the mall, and this time it was not about schemes or shopping, but about healing.  We walked the entire mall, praying every step of the way for healing.  I walked into that Starbucks and tearfully asked for forgiveness from God for what I had done.  I am thankful for that time with my dad, and now I am not afraid to go to the mall anymore.  WELL this was quite the long blog, but I needed to say what I did.  Without the Lord, I would have ended my life.  I praise him everyday for a second chance.  Monday I discharged from the Parry Center, and came home with a fever.  The sickness quickly turned into more than just the flu.  I went to the hospital, to get a chest x-ray and fainted.  They took me to the emergency room.  Room 15.  The exact same room that had been so painful before, full of restraints and tears.  Now it was full of sickness, but laughter and smiles.  We prayed over that room.  Another chance God gave me to heal from "the friday incident".  I tell ya, God is amazing, and he works in the weirdest ways to bring good.  I am home now after spending 5 days at Randall Children's Hospital with Pneumonia.  It is SO good to finally be home.  Thank you all for continuing to pray and support me, it means the world to know that I am doing work for the king and hopefully encouraging other hurting people.  I love you all, and thanks for listening to me!

- mads

Monday, July 21, 2014

Humbling pnemonia

It has been 4 days in the hospital with pnemonia.  4 days meeting people like Patrick, Maria, Courtney and Monica.  All nurses who never stopped smiling and never left my side as I was recovering.  I reached a point today when my mom came to visit, I was done.  My arm was aching from the IV.  Wires were plugged into me from all directions.  I hated being in bed, I just wanted to go home.  Later this evening I was completley humbled.  As I walked up and down the halls of the 8th floor of Randall Childrens Hospital, I realized something.  I am crying as I write this because I realized I am only here for a week or so.  The posters and balloons and flowers I saw lining the rooms of other rooms meant they have been here for so much longer.  I am blessed to know kids like these.  Kids who battle illness much greater than mine.  True warriors disguised in hospital gowns.  I don't want to be here but I can honestly say I am humbled.  I am a princess and so is every girl in this hospital, amd every boy a prince.  Royalty of the true king, the healer.  I am praying everyday for each of these kids as they are on their journeys.  Thanking the Lord tonight for his mighty grace, and prayong for healing in this hospital.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Diary of Reckless Abandon...

The Diary of Reckless Abandon is the title of my story I'm working on.  I have been writing things for year about my life and am just now working on putting things together.  I came up with the title when I was listening to a song about living a life of abandon.  It got me excited and I knew that that was perfect.  Since life is not perfect, I added a little reckless in there too, describing my life on this rocky road at times.  On that note, I will be blogging a lot more, and not sharing too many spoilers about my story.  For those of you who have been here since the beginning you know that I got to come home for good on Monday, and am elated!  There is a really neat story I thought I would share, hoping to encourage all of you.  About 6 years ago I went on a Mission Trip to Mazatlan, Mexico.  I went with a few very good friends and my Dad.  Our amazing hosts the Schofield family were gracious to host us.  We have known this family for a long time now, and have been praying for their mission work.  They recently took a team down to Puerto Rico, and while they were down there they read my story that I had posted on Fathers Day to the team. Since I got this news I have gotten hundreds of Post Cards from people in Puerto Rico on that trip.  It has been breathtaking to see that even in the midst of pain I am able to start something amazing for the Kingdom of God.  My Ministry is just beginning, and I am more excited than words to be able to share with the world.  Please share this blog and or my Facebook with anyone you think would be encouraged :)  Feeling very very loved today, and very honored to be doing work in his name, just by doing the simple task of writing.  I hope you will continue to pray alongside me and follow me in my journey!

- maddie

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Vanilla Boutique

In 2010 I started a business and named it "The Vanilla Bakery and Boutique".  Now, in 2014 my business is still growing but affectionately named "The Vanilla Boutique".  I handmade polymer clay charms, hair bows, bracelets, and everything in between.  My passion is also in event coordinating.  I looove throwing and decorating for parties, and spend way too much of my time on pinterest :)  I am very excited to see where business takes me in 2014, as this is something I am very passionate about and hope to continue doing for a long, long time!  I am also in the works of blogging more, as well as writing a book.  I am so extremely excited for this year, and hope I am able to encourage many people along the way!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Courage in darkness...

Courage is something that is hard to have, and hard to hold on to, especially in the midst of a storm.  I am a strong believer that everything in life has purpose, and I find that so hypocritical in the midst of my anxiety.  It is true though, life has purpose, and it will take MANY times of people telling me that life has purpose until I can fully grasp it.  I want to start to share my story with people, because I want to heal.  I do want to get better.  I was born Madeleine Marie Regan.  My life started out being a challenge.  I was a premie baby, born 4Ibs 6 ounces.  My dad tells me stories of how he used to be able to hold me in the palm of his hand I was so small.  My parents tell me one of their favorite things about me is that I was born without my right eye.  I let the lies that this is a bad thing creep in much too often.  Before I was 3, I had multiple surgeries to remove fluid from my brain, and to do partial facial reconstruction.  I spent the first few years of my life in and out an hospitals, doctors, scans, pokes, and things that still to this day remain vivid in my mind.  My accessories were my head helmet to help the shape of my head to develop, and various pieces of gauze, tape and eye patches covering my right eye.  I don't remember all of it, but their are many pictures with me and my one bright blue eye staring back at the camera with the biggest smile.  I didn't know I was different from the other kids.  I thought that it was a normalcy to have one eye, and to have one side of my nose very much smaller than the other.  Innocence.  In 2nd grade kids would ask questions, they would stare and I hated it.  I was a little fire ball ready to fight and stand up for myself.  Thats when I remember loosing my "happiness".  Little by little I was fading away from the happy and bubbly Maddie that everyone knew.  I have always had the gift of sympathy, and would always love healing people with just a little smile.  So much has happened since those first years of my life, I crossed the line of being a teenager, I survived my freshman year of high school, a move thousands of miles from Arizona, and here I am today.  Today I hold onto courage that things do get better, everyone has their storm, and one day things WILL be better.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Endless love, Unconditionally

It has been long overdue for a post.  I was listening to the song 10,000 reasons this morning, and totally started to cry as I do every single time I hear this song.  It tugs at my heart like nothing else.  It was the song that we sang every year at every church camp on the night that brought so many kids to christ.  It was the song I sang through tearful eyes as I declared my love for Jesus as I was baptized this summer.  Not a lot of people know what has been happening in my life these past few months, and I am not here to share details, but to encourage others, and just be real.  I have been going through one of the hardest storms of my life these past few months.  I really have hit the bottom, but I listen to the song 10,000 reasons, I am reminded that there is SO much to live for.  I refused to hear this truth in the midst of my storm when I was questioning whether or not life was worth living.  While I am still recovering from the storm, I can see a light at the end of the tunnel that I didn't see before.  I just can't thank anyone enough for their prayers, and cards, and endless love for me and for my family as we battle this challenge.  I was in such a dark place these past few months.  I sing that song of 10,000 reasons for why I should live.  My purpose in this life isn't over yet.  I know that now. I thought that there was no reason for me to be alive, I was questioning God and his endless love for broken people, like me.  I just want to encourage anyone who is in a storm right now, and is yet to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Life is so worth living, and I want to scream that at the top of my lungs, because I know how it feels to be hopeless, and to shut people out, and to even go to far as to hurt yourself.  I promise you it isn't worth it.  I am forever grateful for the people that have loved me so unconditionally, so that I could be here today.  I do believe that things will be better.  I have not finished this trial yet, but seeing just a sliver of hope brings me so much hope for everything.  I made a poster that I put on my wall in my bedroom that says, "today I will choose joy".  This is what I need to tell myself, joy is worth living for.  The people in my life who know what is going on, THANK YOU for not giving up on me, especially my parents, you have blessed me more than I could ever say.

Today I will choose joy.