I just can’t keep quiet for a single second it feels like. My fingers can’t sit still. My words can’t stay in my head. This is burning inside of me and I just need to get it out.
I had planned a much more articulate way of sharing my mental health story with you, and I still will share it in more detail someday, but for today I just need to say something.
A great and devastating and earth shattering loss was felt in the life of our friends recently and I just can’t sit quiet for one more second and not speak for mental illness.
mental illness is real!
anxiety and depression are real things.
And hear me real loud on this one…
there is absolutely no shame in your suffering!
it can happen to anyone at any time.
Mental illness does not discriminate by race, gender, age, religion, or anything else. It can come on at any time.
For me, the horomonal shift that occurred during pregnancy seemed to really escalate the anxious tendencies that were already there.
let me tell you a tiny bit of my story
I have always been a slightly nervous person (didn’t like to be home alone, etc) but I also travelled alone, got sick and didn’t panic, moved to a new town all alone and did lots of things anxious me probably couldn’t have done.
When my second daughter was born 5 years ag0, a number of things happened that I consider the perfect storm, and I hit what seemed to be rock bottom. I was barely coping. I mean, barely. Well, lets be honest, I really wasn’t. But I convinced myself I was. I am so very thankful both my kids were young enough to have no recollection of those days. I’ll never forget them. I kept so much of what I was going through to myself because of how ridiculous it sounded. And really my fears were quite out there BUT to someone suffering from anxiety, it feels very real. I remember I couldn’t open my blinds even, as I was scared I would see tanks coming down the street. I didn’t sleep. Like, at all. Only if I was on my couch so I could see both points of entry to my house. Jesus brought me through it. Without a shadow of a doubt. I’m not saying He didn’t use people to do it, He absolutely did, but He reached down into a pit and He pulled me up out of it.
For a long time after that I thought I was free and life felt normal but it was still dormant. It was still situational and waiting to rise back to the surface. This past fall, I really did hit rock bottom. This time it looked like actually having someone come stay with the girls and going to the hospital, crying for hours, telling them I just didn’t know how to cope anymore. I had reached a point I didn’t know how to put one foot in front of the other in my day anymore. Anxious thoughts had taken over my entire mind and there wasn’t room for anything else. I wanted to be free so badly. I told my husband I felt like I was in prison and I had no idea how to get out.
Jesus saved me. Again. Sometimes Jesus saving us looks like a doctor giving us meds to help us regulate whats happening in our bodies. Sometimes Jesus saving us is a counselor near by popping up in a google search. Sometimes Jesus saving us is a Bible study at the exact right time in life, on the exact right topic, with the exact right people to help you up. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Know Him. Call out to Him. Hold on tight to Him. (If you are reading this and have no idea how to know Jesus or how to talk to Him or how to experience His help in these situations, please reach out to me.)
I really do long to share more about the breakthrough I experienced in being set free from this paralyzing anxiety at some point but really what I want to do tonight is to lend my voice to the voice for mental illness. I want to say, I understand. My life probably looked totally normal on the outside and I probably put on an awesome front but inside I was LOSING. MY. MIND.
It took me years to be able to admit how bad things were other than to a few confidants. To those who knew, who prayed, who listened….thank you. You were the hands and feet of Jesus to save me.
If you are suffering, you do not have to suffer alone. If you are going through this and you don’t know Jesus, I can only assume you feel there is no hope. There is hope. I promise you. I have been where you are. Please reach out and let me tell you about it. There are people that love you! You are important. Your story is important. Your life is valuable. There is help for you.
If you are suffering and you do know Jesus, run to Him now. Search your Bible and commit to filling your mind with His truth and not the enemy’s lies.
If you are struggling, go tell someone NOW. Make sure at least one person knows where you are mentally.
If you are struggling, seek medical help. Please. There is absolutely no shame in this. I fought receiving medical help for my anxiety for way too many years. Why did I let myself suffer when there was something right there to help? Let me just say it again:
there is no shame in seeking medical help and using medication to help your mental health.
Most of all, I just want you to know you aren’t alone. You feel like it, but you’re not.
If you have never experienced any type of mental illness, I’m betting you know someone who has. Lend your voice of support. Let’s end the stigma and make sure this is talked about.
**( Edited to note that I am currently doing great! I felt like a bunch of things that occurred after that terrible rock bottom moment in the fall worked together to really pull me out of a dark place. That is what I was mentioning above that Jesus uses different ways to help us. I really did experience a break through and healing and I am doing so well in regards to my anxiety at this time. But thank you to everyone who checked in on me! Love you)**
In memory of a man gone too soon and in support of a loving family left grieving.