I write this blog because I believe in the messages I share not because I’m cured, but because I am here fighting, just like you. I was with a friend recently and we were talking about where I’m going with my writing. What am I really trying to say? I found one particular idea that stood out to me: I want my readers to know THEY are NOT alone. I think one of the hardest things to battle is the isolation felt when coping with a mental illness. I had a friend once call me up and say “How are you doing?” I replied, “I’m struggling right now.” Her response? “Okay, I’ll talk to you later.” Click. All throughout my life I’ve experienced rejection. I’ve been told I’m “too negative” more times than I can count. It’s hard to believe your worth when people you feel closest to claim they need to protect themselves from you as if depression was contagious. It hurts so much to reach out and be rejected. To be down in that hole, begging to get out and feeling like people are stepping on your fingers as you reach to lift yourself up instead of extending a helping hand.
So, how do we go from the black hole that is mental illness to building a support system that we can rely on? You’re not going to like the answer: SLOWLY. And, it won’t be easy or painless. It’s going to require you to reach out from the pit of despair you are in and get help. It’s going to risk rejection but I’m telling you, YOU CAN DO THIS!!!
I really struggled with writing how to do this because the best way I know is to grasp the idea that no matter how you feel, there is a higher power by your side. Belief in God is hard to share. Some people have so twisted the reality of it that many people don’t want to talk about it anymore. I share those concerns. There have been times in my life when the last thing I’ve felt is God’s presence. I’ve been hurt in the name of God. I see people twist the Word of God into a weapon claiming that God has called them to be judge, jury and executioner. This is not the truth. When Jesus came to earth he didn’t yell at the sinners, the sick, the searching. On the contrary, he offered help and healing. He didn’t come to earth and throw a party for the Pharisees. He condemned them, teaching love and forgiveness, instead.
I’m not advocating any particular religion. I am asking that you open your heart and mind to consider the idea there’s a being by your side that you can turn to with your pain. I’m not saying there will be an amazing intervention bringing immediate healing. I’m saying you can fight to get better, knowing that you are not alone. You are loved. Reach out to your higher power drawing on strength outside of yourself.
There are other, more tangible resources available to you, as well. There are 24-hour crisis lines ready to help. You can find one at: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or call 1-800-273-8255. You can search for a support group near you. Develop a hobby and reach out to others with your same interests. Join a gym and take a few classes. Not only does it increase your physical wellbeing but it also brings about the best of your emotional wellbeing.
I know trying to do this when you can barely get out of bed seems impossible. Like I said, I’ve been there. Try saying a simple prayer: “God I need your help. Make your presence known.” See what happens. What do you have to lose?