I wrote this prior to today and was comfortable with its content. However, as Tuesday approached I tried to talk myself out of actually pushing the publish publicly button. I tried to convince myself that it was therapeutic enough just to have written it and that I didn’t actually have to share it. I was concerned about how those closest to me would receive it, panicked by how I would be judged by those who do not know me, and flustered by trying to anticipate the hateful comments secretly exchanged by those who still pray for my demise. But all of that doesn’t matter, I was told to do something and I’m going to do and I’m going to push publish before I conjure up anymore reasons why I shouldn’t 😀
This is a testimony that only me and my Father in Heaven know. My therapist didn’t know, my husband didn’t know, my mom has no idea, you get the picture. I was praying New Year’s Eve morning and I was so grateful to see that day. I felt as if I had made it! I don’t have a terminal illness, I haven’t even been hospitalized overnight this year. However, I felt I had cheated something. I fell to my knees and began to sob silently as to not wake the kids and I began to thank God and then confess my sins.
In the middle of my devotional time I got what is best described as a flashback to about eight months ago when I just knew I was going to die. I didn’t know how, but things had become so dark in my life I just knew eventually it’d be lights out. I was praying fervently at that time and I trusted that God would do what He promised. As I look back know, every single thing WAS in fact working out for my good. The fact was I was deeply depressed! Now, I’m not going to give you my credentials, but I am well versed on the types/ symptoms of depression, treatment options, etc. I was even in treatment at the time. Yet, I directed the conversations and the therapist focused on what I wanted her to. Don’t get me wrong she was amazing, it’s just that the hole I was in was 25 years deep and I knew how to play the counselor game.
I didn’t look like depression or sound like depression unless you were keenly aware and trained. I took time to ensure I didn’t (as the Church folks say) look like what I was going through. The most obvious signs were in my most personal relationships, those with my spouse and my kids. I was unquenchable, hair trigger angry, and anxious. I would only smiled for the Gram or sarcasm. It impacted our lives in ways that I pray daily aren’t irreversible.
The most taxing part was that after, I dragged myself together, put on my happy face, left my family in shambles every other morning; I was bombarded by other people’s problems, a toxic work environment and a passion I felt increasing inadequate at addressing given status quo. To make matters worse there was no one I could talk to. No one who understood that like Langston said, this life ain’t no crystal stair. Indelibly, I was targeted as the one who has her stuff together simply because I refused to come out in sac cloth and ashes and scream woe is me. So everyday I gathered my stuff and all my newly acquired junk and took it home. Some I gave to God, some of it stayed in my heart (I’m human). So now, I have to forgive your family member for what they did to you before I can move on with my own meditation. Thanks!
I can only speak for me but I was beginning to feel a bit like a martyr. I know God has given me the ability to effectively intercede for others. I was doing what I was commanded to do and watching what I prayed for come to pass for them and wondering well when will it be my turn. I know the midwife shouldn’t deliver a baby and wonder when it will be her turn, but she may feel different if she were barren. So I was not only depressed but feeling spiritually deloate (now I might lose some of you and that’s alright, this is my testimony and I’ve got to tell it…I still love you). If I can be TRANSPARENT; I complained to my Father that I was feeling a little cheap, that I knew these people, they keep coming to you with the same stuff, do I really have to keep praying for THIS! I was swiftly corrected. One all gifts come from God and they are His to use as he pleases and quite simply the Lord gives and the Lord takes away.
That last statement played in my mind and had an unintended negative impact on me and my prayer life for awhile. So the Lord wants to see me like this! You get the picture, me giving God all these human hater attributes. However, that’s not Him at all. His will is what I needed to be more concerned about. When I got that understanding, I realized that I wasn’t to intercede for everyone. There are people assigned to you. I began to pray His will for my marriage and my family. The result was, He totally transformed me! I began to do my job in excellence and continued even when I almost lost my son and they took that opportunity of perceived weakness to attack my character with vigor.
After the school year concluded despite every lie and attack, I was still able to move forward unscathed. People will continue to lie, I learned that a long time ago. However, I have been graced to forgive them of all both current and future. For like the three Hebrew boys, I don’t smell like smoke and nothing is singed. However, once the spiritual storm was over, the forgiveness experienced and the fighting done. I still noticed that I was anxious, if not depressed at this point. Years of workplace stress had taken is toll on my body and I gained 25lbs in less than two months. Which only added to my anxiety. I’d been blessed to not have to work but I was unable to sit still, heal, and listen to my thoughts. So, I took on a part time position that is fulfilling and provides peace. All in all, I have a pretty awesome life! So, why am I feeling like this! Because although the stress and dumping are gone, the anxiety and the bouts with depression stayed.
I still pray, admittedly not as fervently as I should. However, I have standing appointments to speak with a professional. Additionally, it’s not a crime to change or enhance your circle. If all someone can provide me with are their broken pieces to reassemble, I will love them but I cannot be in close relationship with them. I now pray for and seek relationships where everyone has a little glue, some ability to speak words of encouragement to each other, and the ability to pray for/with me just like I do for them. Relationships should be balanced. All relationships, unless you are raising your friends have a reciprocal element. I have my hands full with my two teenagers, so I’m not in the market for additional adult children. Where one is weak, the other should be strong, etc. Any relationship you invest in must also invest in you. Don’t let people throw that selfish label around when you call them out for treating you like their personal receptacle. They are the truly selfish ones, maybe not intentionally, but self-centered none the less. If they dump their emotional trash on you without permission or regard, then walk away relieved to dance in the moonlight while you are crying in it, that relationship is noxious. It will suffocate you!
Coping with anxiety and depression, was a tiered approach for me. I had to look at what was sapping my life force. I reviewed my routines, took inventory of my thoughts-what was I saying to myself (was it primarily negative or positive), seek professional help (and be the patient for once) and most of all I had to be completely comfortable with the notion that I cannot do it all nor should I be expected to. Honestly, prayer/ mediation did and still does help with my anxiety, but I needed additional help to make into 2016. If you are a Believer and you suffer from any mental illness, seeking treatment and following through on your treatment plan doesn’t mean God has failed you or that you do not trust Him.
You owe it to yourself, to your family and to the Kingdom to LIVE 💋
I love you with the love of Christ!