In light of #WorldMentalHealthDay – which I found out was today, here’s an old, but still very personal sharing that I wrote when I was 28 for a Sister’s Conference. I recently opened up to a couple of new found friendships about this. It made me realise even more that this is something I couldn’t keep to myself. It’s time to create awareness and it starts with me.
Hi Im Mez and I’m 28 years young.
I’m in SFC where I happily serve as a household head.
I’ve just finished my first year of my Masters in Teaching… and I am happy.
This is my story.
I tell this story not to boast. Not to create attention to myself.
I tell this story because I am imperfect and I am a sinner.
I tell this story because, at times, I feel unworthy. That I am not…. lovely enough.
But most of all, I tell this story because I know that I am not alone.
Sisters, right now, at this very moment.. I’m content. I’m at peace.
But I haven’t always been like this.
I’ve suffered, and still do, from my insecurities, on the daily. I struggled to feel worthy, to feel lovely, to feel beautiful, to feel good enough, to feel loved by my own father, to feel like I matter. And it is because of these insecurities that I struggled with my happiness.
It came to the point where I just felt nothing. I felt numb.
In 2011, I called in sick for work one day, and I needed to go to the doctor for a medical certificate. I used the usual, “I’ve got a headache” excuse and my doctor happily gave me a certificate. As I was leaving, he asked me if I was ok. And I knew, by the way he asked with a genuine look on his face, that he wasn’t asking about my physical health. He said that I looked hurt, and for the first time in my life, I talked to a complete stranger about how I really felt. He then suggested to do a mental health test on me and later diagnosed me with Depression. He made a few recommendations and strongly suggested I talk to a professional. And there it was. It made it more real. Everything I was feeling, thinking, doubting – that piece of paper made it official. But I was too scared of the reality so until this very day, I never took his suggestion.
I went through a pretty dark time in my life after that, where I contemplated suicide numerous times, but have always been scared at the thought of not going to heaven. Because someone told me that hell is a place without God and I cant comprehend a world without Him.
So I kept going through my life, wearing my insecurities like handcuffs on my wrist, crippling me emotionally. I’d have good days, weeks and months. But I also had terrible days, months, years. Last year I was so unhappy that I went through 7 different jobs, until I finally chose to change my career path and go back to studying… to be a teacher.
2014 for me, started with a lot of anxiety and fear, but also hope and new opportunities. But for those that have experienced depression, or know someone that has, you know it was always around the corner, waiting for me to crumble. And so I kept going back. The evil one kept feeding me with these thoughts. He knew I was insecure. So even the smallest things triggered my depression.
Honestly, one day I’d be ok. But within moments, all these doubts just made me feel so unworthy.
2 weeks before my birthday this year, I had an argument with a family member. It doesn’t really matter what they said, but it triggered a lot of insecure thoughts in my mind. And I was fed up with it and I was fed up with life so I decided that I would end it on my 28th birthday.
I set a date because I knew that if I was to do it in the moment, I’d back out. I planned it to every last detail – where, how, what time in the day, what I would say to my family or my friends if they asked where I was going, and what message I would leave behind. It was set, I was ready.
The weekend before my birthday, I attended the SFC National Conference in Brisbane. I came into the weekend with no expectations. Feeling empty and dark inside, no longer capable of feeling any sentiment, no longer capable of praying for better days… I saw the weekend as just another 3 days to get through before I would end everything.
Little did I know, that God had placed me exactly where I needed to be. We got these little conference kits which came with our ids, a pen, a bottle of water and this cross. It’s a called a holding cross and it fits perfectly in your hand like this…
…so you can have it on you on your biggest trials and your biggest triumphs. (If you want to know what it feels like, Im happy to show you later.)
Sisters, this is my cross. On the Friday night of the conference there was a session with 5 sharings. 5 beautiful brothers and sisters of Christ who shared about their cross and how they overcame it.
My cross is my insecurities. That night I was told something profound. Something I’ve never heard before. Everytime I spoke to someone about my depression they would say the usual. “I’ll pray for you”, “It’s going to be okay”, “Just make a choice to be happy and you’ll be happy”.. I appreciated all of these things but it never went away.
But that night, I was told to LOVE my cross. My cross. My beautiful sisters. I’ve always wished I didn’t have these insecurities. But for first time in my life I was told to love them. Because loving them meant accepting what God built me for. Because loving my cross meant that I would accept my struggles. And these struggles is what’s going to bring me closer to Christ.
Sisters, that was a life changing weekend for me. Literally. I wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for that weekend. I stand before you as a witness of His Love.
And so I am here. To tell you this story. To let you know that you are not alone. To encourage you to talk to somebody. Before it’s too late.
This is real. This is happening right now, either to you, or someone you know. Go and TELL SOMEBODY.
Too often in our lives we hear about a friend, or a friend’s friend, or a friend’s friend’s friend who sadly took their own life without anyone what they were going through.
We never hear enough success stories of people overcoming depression, or thoughts of self harm or suicide. This is my success story!
I want to end with a beautiful quote from a book that a dear friend lent to me. It’s called The Five People You’ll Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom…
“No life is a waste. The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone.”
I also ‘wrote’ a blog a few of months ago while I was going through an episode of Depression. In it were some helpful links for those who want to understand Depression a bit more, or for those who are going through it themselves. Here are the links:
- “Living with Depression” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJ_S5Rjt_iI&feature=youtu.be
- “What I wish people knew about Depression” – https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/soul-seeing/what-i-wish-people-knew-about-depression
- “Here’s how I battle the Depression I suffered for years” – http://www.ncregister.com/blog/pattyknap/heres-how-i-battle-the-depression-ive-suffered-for-years
Here are some hotlines (for dem aussies):
- Lifeline – 13 11 14
- Suicide Callback Service – 1300 659 467
- Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800
Lastly, feel free to talk to me, or a friend, or a friend in me if you’re feeling down. I’ll do my best – at the very least, I can lift up a prayer for you. But I strongly encourage you to talk to a health professional, who can guide you through all the resources available to you.
“This too can serve Him.”
xo – M.