The convergence of these dates and their significance in my life leave me without excuse to be silent. For me they have become my Ebenezer stones or “stones of help” – reminders of God’s divine intervention in my fragile, fleeting life.
I am a survivor.
Nine years ago this month, severe clinical depression was violently destroying my picture-perfect world. Deep-seeded insecurity, stress, perfectionism, spiritual oppression and grave physiological imbalances collided, shattering my world in bits of broken pieces.
There are moments like right now when I second guess why I continue to share the ashes of my life instead of forever bury them beneath false appearances of someone who has always had it together.
But I’m alive and for the sake of my Savior I will not be silent.
But God is my helper. The Lord keeps me alive! (Psalm 54:4).
I’ve known the feeling of death and dying within a body that keeps on living. I’ve known the ruminating, relentless thoughts of self-hate. I’ve known what it’s like to want to disappear forever and to believe the lie that world is better off without you in it.
But I also know that hope is real.
I know that such pain doesn’t equal permanence. That God is still mighty to save.
That the God who formed you and holds your life in His hand can heal your mind, mend your broken heart and give you a new song.
I believe that clinical depression is a very real, but very treatable illness that can have emotional, spiritual and of course physiological components. I know that if you are suffering, you are not alone and that there is hope for you too. Do not give up.
How has mental illness and/or suicide impacted you or your loved ones? Do you have a message of hope to share or a verse of encouragement?
For a list of resources & helplines, please visit the TWLOHA’s Find Help page. Check out their I AM ALVE t-shirt which helps fund an online crisis network.