“Write hard and clear about what hurts” - Ernest Hemingway
Mental health struggles aren't talked about very often, especially in the church; they're almost treated as though they're invisible due to the generous complexity the particular illness may accompany.
They do need to be talked about because community is important. People are important.
Real and raw vulnerability isn't always easy nor especially comfortable, I'm scared actually.
Life isn't always sunshine and rainbows, but in order to grow and reach one another, sometimes it takes a genuine and vulnerable self, especially as a writer.
Even though I'm scared, I'm learning.
I am learning to be still.
She wakes up and she wonders if she’s going to be strong today.
She is curious if her body is going to allow her to fight back, if she is going to maintain control over her mind and the thoughts that entangle her, the lies that hold her captive and the feelings that devour her.
She wonders if she is going to be able to keep fighting, to overcome herself and the dark lurking monster that creeps in when she’s weak. She can't do it all herself. Anxiety that invites depression, depression that engages the self-inflicted scars and the scars that summon the demeaning lies that then relinquish the cycle to start all over again.
Right when you thought you made progress you indulge another mark on your body, all because of the lies. Those scars are ugly, but your story has the potential to be beautiful. One day, maybe those scars will prove you are stronger than those lies you hear. Those scars only reminisce the fact that you’re human and conceived from the age of Adam, in the land of sin.
One day there will be no more suffering, He overcomes. He overcame. He fights for you every day. He fights for me. She wonders why today is a dark and anxious day already, within the first four steps out of bed.
Why was yesterday sunny and normal and today she’s weak.
She wants to pretend she isn’t actually feeling what she is, that she’s not depressed with these overbearing thoughts and lies, that the sensations and trembling quakes in her body are just the brewing of yet another panic attack beginning to erupt.
She tries to trick herself into pretending she wants to get dressed and not crawl back into bed; the alarm went off and it’s time to decide if today she’s going to fight.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made, she reminds herself.
Lord reign in her. She needs to remember to put on her armor, keep her head up, go brush her teeth and to overlook the scars as she decides what to wear.
She needs to tell herself it's OK: “I just forgot to fight that day,” but today is a different day.
She needs to remember that those scars... they may not fade, but they do mark of a journey and serve as a reminder, to not let them win. To not let them win and multiply themselves again with the shame and discouragement, resentment and pain they bring. The release the scar brings is only momentary while it comes with a decent shed of blood; the defeat and regret that accompanies the mess is just another battle gone wrong.
I cannot fight this on my own; he must be my strength and refuge.
She needs to remember we all have our battles and every day is just another in the fight. She needs to remember she can’t defeat Goliath without revealing her weapons and putting on the armor of God. The day might be long, hard and trying, it might try to refute her being and existence, but those are just lies, and the same once before. Therefore she must let go and move on in the distance.
“Depression is the most unpleasant thing I have ever experienced. . . It is that absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad. Sad hurts but it's a healthy feeling. It is a necessary thing to feel. Depression is very different.” - J.K. Rowling
Surrender, that word offers quite a large load of profound meaning, concept and bliss; but the thing is many can’t always find the literal action among their wildest consent.
“Take my life Lord and let it be, consecrated all to thee”
Surrender. If only she could try a bit harder, remove all her flesh stains and start again, real from the beginning. If only she could come to humble herself, to allow her great God to reveal himself. Surrender is just; it is to admit you’re not enough, to acknowledge yourself as weak as you are.
To surrender yourself is to tie down your thoughts, to retreat from your desires and remember only God’s. Surrender is to submit yourself unto thee, to give him your weakness and bow to your knees. Humility is key, but foreign to flesh. We’re smarter, we’re better and we know what’s best. Surrender and humble yourself. Stop believing and receiving the lies, start knowing and accepting his grace.
How I do wish I could listen to those words more.
When it feels dark and seems quite hopeless, when your mind and your body feel as though they've gone mad, surrender. The dark one, he preys on those moments of weakness and he fights us until we surrender and cease things; but to surrender to whom is most vitally important. Those moments can be the ones you regret for forever, a lifetime even. Humility is key. I must bow to my knee's and remember these marks are just battle scars and that these days are just seconds in the midst of eternity. So on my weakest of days and my lowest of times I must truly remember to surrender my life. So when things feel so dark and seem so very hopeless, I try to remember He will fight for me and that I only need to be still.
I am learning.
a fighter on the battlegrounds of anxiety and depression.
"The Lord will fight for you, you only need to be still" Exodus 14:14