My name is Christella and I am an overcomer. I’m 29 years old with a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. At the age of 24, I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety. At the age of 26, I was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder. I have also survived many years of trauma which led to PTSD in my daily life.
A Troubling Past
I have endured every possible trauma to be imagined. I always called myself “God’s red-headed step-child” because I seem to be the punch line to everyone’s joke. Between verbal and emotional abuse from my parents, rape, and trauma from marriage, I couldn’t imagine surviving.
The more I overcame a situation, more was put on my plate. I became so physically ill that my son stopped growing in my womb. By the time I was 26, everything seem to be crumbling around me. I had 2 kids, a destroyed marriage (husband had an affair with a 15-year-old girl and is in prison), no relationship with my mother, and no job.
I was constantly dissociating, having traumatic flashbacks of what was happening in my life, and self-harming to cope with the pain. Everything around me was a trigger. People laughing, playing, touching each other, kids, adults, it didn’t matter. It all caused me to hyperventilate and cry.
A Necessary Change
I made it to the point where I felt trapped in my life and despite having children, I just wanted out. That’s when I knew something had to change.
I shut out the outside world by removing myself from social media.
I got more active in my church and joined a life group of women who had been through the same things I’ve gone through.
I found a job teaching English and dedicated everything to being a great teacher.
I found a counselor who was able to not only diagnose me but help me walk through my healing step-by-step.
Steps in the Right Direction
I was anxious for a quick fix to all of my issues. I asked my counselor for medication or some kind of immediate relief to all of the hurting. Instead, he affirmed me that healing is possible, despite it being slow. He anticipated 3-5 years of consistent counseling to get me at a healthy mental state.
I did it all in less than 2 years.
What I learned
The most important things I learned in the last few years is that:
*Pain is never wasted. God actually has a purpose and an intention for every moment of hurting and for every tear I cried. I stopped fighting the pain when I realized my hurting was about more than just me. I can heal from this and help some people who also feel trapped in their lives.
*Healing is a journey… not a destination. There really isn’t a quick fix if you want a thorough healing. Although my journey was painful and heart wrenching, it was worth it to be this functional despite my many mental health struggles.
*I am dearly loved by God. All that I went through was worth it to discover who I am in Christ and what makes me unique and special. In my trials, I discovered my worth and how my hurting did not define who God was… it only reminded me to depend on Him and that His will is perfect.
*People are noisy, but necessary. Although I did unplug from social media to keep the madness out of my mind, I also plugged into the right people who had seen similar life challenges and were willing to support me. Accountability became key in my life and I am grateful to those women for being the support that I needed to survive my many trials. We’ve built a sisterhood from our trials that I thank God for everyday.
The Beginnings of Life with Stella B
This blog is a culmination of what I’ve seen and learned over the years trying to heal from so many mental health disorders. I am using this platform to provide hope for those who think there is no way out of the situation they are in. God is in control and your pain will not be wasted! I promise!
Today, I am still teaching 10th grade English and I am still married and I am taking care of my two babies alone while my husband serves his sentence. I am still hardwired with depression, anxiety, and trauma triggers, but in practice with God, I am able to overcome those symptoms daily to live a life I love with children I adore.
Ready to do life with Stella B?
I would love to hear from you. If there are resources I can provide on this site to support you, please let me know.
The way we support each other is by doing life with each other and that is where Life with Stella B came to life. I hope we can do life together on this journey of mental health.