I know it’s been awhile since my last post. The past couple of months have been difficult for me and I just needed some time to myself to reflect. As I look back on 2014, I am filled with a mixture of emotions. I am thankful for the courage to confront my demons and allow myself to live a more authentic life.
When I wrote my first blog, I wanted to show how I overcame my depression in hopes of helping others that struggle with this horrible illness. In reality, that just wasn’t the case. It took a while for me to accept that depression wasn’t an obstacle to overcome, but it was a part of me. This was one of the hardest things I had to accept because as a Christian you are taught that God will not give you more than you can handle. I struggled with finding a healthy way to cope with an illness that was all consuming and taking me over the edge. I prayed every night for God to take the pain away. The techniques I learned from therapy helped, but unfortunately no amount of therapy or praying can save you from life. It happens whether you are prepared or not.
My darkest hour came this summer when I experienced several deaths back to back and I couldn’t shake the guilt. Why did I feel guilty? When you have had moments where you contemplated or attempted to take your own life, you never forget it. By the grace of God I was able to fight off those urges and feelings of emptiness that led me to believe that was my only option. Seeing people that I loved and cared for lifeless brought back all those feelings. Why did their lives have to end? Why didn’t I spend more time with them? Why were they taken instead of me? I am not important; no one needs me. I don’t have a family that depends on me to take care of them. If I died sure people would be sad, but they would go on with their lives.
Two of the people that died were parents and one was a child that barely got to experience life. I would have given anything to take their place because it hurt me to my core to see the ones they left behind grieving. They were the heart and soul of their family and I couldn’t believe they were gone. Their sons and daughters will have to grow up without their mom and dad. The innocent child that passed away had health problems throughout her entire life. She was deprived of going to middle school, falling in love, getting her driver’s license, buying her first house, etc. No parent should ever have to bury their child. It wasn’t fair. They didn’t deserve the cards they were dealt.
I have always been a sensitive introvert that feels deeply. When I say I love you or call you friend, I mean it. I take all my relationships seriously. Once I let you in, you’ll be in my heart forever. I don’t throw words around because I understand their power. No matter how hard you try there’s no escaping your thoughts or feelings. The highs of life are breathtaking and the lows are devastating. I have never felt more sorrow and despair. Making progress was short-lived because it only made me feel guilty for moving on. I also envied them a little because they were free from the horrible world that we live in full of hate, bigotry, and no regard for human life.
As I mourned, it became clear that I was looking at the situation from the wrong perspective. There was no point in comparing or determining whose life was more valuable because every life has value and is precious. Isolating myself from people and beating myself up for still being alive would not bring them back. In addition, the people that died would not want me to wallow in my sorrows. They would want me to be happy and live life to the best of my ability. This tragedy gave me a better appreciation for life and forced me to let go trivial things. It allowed me to refocus my attention on what matters and mend relationships with people that were once estranged to me.
Living with depression is a daily struggle. Some days I wake up feeling fine and other days I am saddened that I have lived to see another day. I want to stress that admitting that doesn’t make me any less of a Christian. I believe that sometimes God gives each of us our own cross to bear. Depression is mine. You wouldn’t tell a person dying from a disease that if they die or are never cured it is because of their lack of faith. So telling a person struggling with depression to simply get over it or stop being sad is just absurd and cruel. I would argue that having a mental illness is just as hard as a physical illness because there is no quick fix or pill that makes you all better. You have to make a conscious effort to figure out what method of treatment works for you and even then there are no guarantees. Robin Williams received a lot of criticism for committing suicide. So many accused him of being selfish and having no reason to be unhappy. All I could feel was empathy and compassion because I know it was the hardest decision he ever made. We are all in the pursuit of happiness and no amount of money or success can make you whole. You are the only person that can unlock the key to a fulfilling life. I encourage everyone to be more understanding and less judgmental. I thank God everyday for giving me the strength and desire to be happy. I know that bad things will happen in life and no one can save you from them. You have to take the good with the bad. I want to embrace my sensitivity and give myself the freedom to feel emotion without shame or fear of society’s disapproval.
In 2015, I want to let go of last year’s baggage. I’m at peace with who I am and where I’m going. I appreciate everyone that supports and encourages me. Writing is very therapeutic and I gain more confidence every time I share my truth. My goal is to start writing a post at least once a week, so get used to hearing from me! Meditating and focusing on a scripture or inspirational quote helps me start the day off right on a positive note. So I will definitely start sharing more of those in the future. I’ll also post more TV recaps and movie reviews.
Happy New Year everyone and I pray this year will be prosperous and memorable ☺