Fat Girl,

The Process of Being.

By Dani Ward April 16, 2017 0 Comments

This Saturday, April 22, I will turn 30 years old. (Want to help me celebrate?)

Frankly, this terrifies me.

All my life, I never envisioned myself living past the age of 28. I figured that either the rapture would have occurred, or I would have killed myself. So you’d think 29 would have been my all-out panic year, but I spent 29 dealing with a lot of other things.

Now, with 30 at my doorstep, I’m caught in its headlights, awaiting its impact with an ever-increasing sense of dread.

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Haikus With Dani: overwhelmed; overwhelming.

By Dani Ward February 28, 2017 0 Comments

Brought to you by intense introspection during a season of traumatic anniversaries. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to describe my mental health struggles, and I think I touched on a couple of things pretty well here.

i do not mean to
overwhelm you. i simply
overwhelm myself.

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As dumpster fires go.

By Dani Ward December 31, 2016 0 Comments

I’ve been sitting here for a good 10 minutes, just staring at the screen. Occasionally typing a sentence or two, then deleting. The words I want to say aren’t words I feel I can say yet, and so I choose to be silent. Much like I have most of this year, if you’ve noticed. On…

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Cognitive distortion and taking up space.

By Dani Ward November 3, 2016 2 Comments

My brain is spinning with thoughts and conversations over the past weeks, the culmination of almost a year’s worth of introspection and mourning. “I looked through the journal section of your blog and noticed you haven’t really written lately,” a friend noted. No. I haven’t. I’ve been afraid, frankly. With some good reason and probably…

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Haikus With Dani: JerkBrain Edition.

By Dani Ward June 21, 2016 2 Comments

There’s a lot going on in my life. I’ve deactivated my Twitter for a little bit. Vulnerability is terrifying, but it’s easier to be vulnerable to an amorphous mass of people than talk to anyone in particular about what’s been happening, even the things that are only happening inside my own head. Therefore, you’re getting more of my depressing fragments of dialogue, this time brought to you by my very own JerkBrain.

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On treating depression.

By Dani Ward August 3, 2015 8 Comments

I’ve been on anti-depressants for about 2 months. On the one hand, I’ve been far more productive than I’ve known it possible to be in my life. I’ve been able to work on cleaning and organizing my house. I’ve been able to do laundry. I’ve been able to write and make art and live a…

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Celebrate the little victories.

By Dani Ward July 3, 2015 2 Comments

These are such small things. Such little victories. What right have I to celebrate them?

The same right I have to celebrate the victories of all of my friends and family who deal with chronic illnesses, physical and mental. Small victories are victories. Medication that allows me to escape the never-ending cycle of panic is useful. Wrapping myself in soft, warm cloth is calming and soothing. Touching my skin and putting makeup on with gentle, loving hands is crucial on days where I struggle to love myself. Such a short amount of time of my day, and yet now I am calm. I can think. I am okay.

Celebrate the little victories. Always, celebrate the little victories.

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No more faith: the whys and why nots of my deconversion.

By Dani Ward December 31, 2014 22 Comments

It’s really rather rare for people to ask me why I deconverted from Christianity. Like, really rare. It’s far more common for them to assume they already know, whether they’re talking to me while they’re expressing this assumption or not. However, in a single week, I’ve had two separate unaffiliated people ask me a variation of the same question about the role fundamentalism had in my deconversion. Of course, I’ve been trying to figure this out for myself on a less-specific scale for the better part of two years, though much of it has been in my own head. Perhaps it’s time for me to work out of my thoughts here with you.

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Lessons learned at the Fortress of Faith: Part 2.

By Dani Ward August 13, 2014 2 Comments

The atmosphere and its complete permeation of BJU dorm student life is important because of the necessary isolation it engendered. There was simply no way of knowing who was following the rules because they believed them to be right, and who was just trying to keep their head down long enough to get out as unscathed as possible.

Not without opening yourself up in ways that could have pretty serious consequences.

That made it all the more precious when people would accidentally let slip that they were a normal person trying to get by, just like me. These moments were quite rare, but absolutely sacred — memorable if for nothing else than the brief solidarity they brought.

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Robin Williams is dead, and I’m not okay.

By Dani Ward August 12, 2014 10 Comments

Content note: frank discussion of suicide, abuse, disordered eating.

It is August 11, 2014, and a voice, a face, of my childhood, is gone. I am shocked, and read on to find what has taken such a man from the world.

And there it is: suicide.

I am 6. I am 9. I am 12, 13, 18, 25, 27. I contain all of me, the sadness and shame and fear of an admittedly small lifetime, and all of me is grieving the loss of one who couldn’t fight the sadness anymore.

It was never a phase. It was never selfishness. It was never a ploy for attention. I was never a failure. I must tell myself these things, over and over and over, and I must tell you, too.

Because Robin Williams is dead, and I am not okay.

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