I don’t know what I would do without my support system.
My very small close knit to me circle of people is astronomically important to me. They get it. They deal with their own mental chaos as well and they don’t drop me when I accidentally go four months living as a shut in because I can’t find the strength to leave the house let alone answer my phone.
But, while I’m drowning they’re praying. They’re making sure I’m alive. They’re waiting. And when I resurface from survival mode they’re there. No questions asked.
And I don’t know what I would do without them. I hope I am able to love them and support them as much as they do for me.
When you are going through the highs and lows of life and of mental illness there is nothing more important than your relationship with the Lord and your support system of people who love you and the Lord. That combination is my rock.
My support system reminds me to go to God, they challenge me to read my Bible and take a shower and get out of the house. They encourage me to call my doctor and actually be honest with him about how I’m doing.
Sticking to my treatment plan has been so incredibly difficult. But each time I fall off the horse they are there to help me get back up.
I can’t do this alone. Mental health is not something you go through alone. You go through it with your doctor, support system, and God.
One moment I’m fine. I’m happy. I’m going through my day like a normal functioning adult. I’m taking my meds, and not the emergency ones, just the maintenance ones. I can go to social functions with little difficulty.
….and the next I feel like I’m drowning, suffocating, being attacked from all sides, yet so completely alone.
I feel defeated. Ready to give up. Sobbing in a crumpled mess, unable to get up off the couch because I’m devastated and exhausted.
I just don’t know why. I feel like a failure. A burden. A screw up. I can’t do anything right. I’m not supposed to be happy.
Everything inside of me dies.
I fall asleep from the exhaustion of the fight in my own head and the next question is will I wake up completely fine? Or will the feelings of mental devastation roll over to the next day?
This battle within me is a never ending tidal wave going back and forth. Back and forth.
People say I’m just not relying on God. My doctor says I need to up my medication. I tell myself to just give in to the hurt. Give in to the mental battle and give up.
I can’t give up though. Because right now I’m in the middle of a good moment. I want to keep fighting to live a life dedicated to serving the Lord and loving those around me.
So I refuse to let myself give up even when everything inside of me is sick of fighting.
I pray the turmoil inside of me subside even the tiniest bit so I can see the light. I pray I can see God’s hand when I’m on the floor and can’t breathe. I pray I continue to fight. Continue to encourage others to fight. And continue to seek the Lord. He isn’t done with me yet.
Oh the pit of mental disorders. Mental illnesses are nasty conniving liars. They tell you that everyone is out to get you, that the worst thing that could (or even couldn’t) possibly happen is bound to happen, they tell you that you are worthless, your life has no meaning, no worth, and no purpose, and no one likes you. They keep you up at night and they make you sleep too much. There is no in between. They give you unavoidable tendencies that make life a living nightmare. You establish unhealthy coping mechanisms just to get through the day because of them. They remind you of everything you’ve ever said or done that you aren’t too happy with yourself over. They tell you that you will never amount to anything. They tell you not to bother. Just sit this one out. Sit it all out. It isn’t even worth trying so why bother?
Mental disorders are best friends. When you have multiple diagnoses they are working together against you. Anxiety disorders are a constant hair raising whisper and a deafening scream all at once. Depression disorders keep you in the place that anxiety disorders tell you not to move from. Anxiety disorders tell you to not leave your bed because all of the worst case scenarios that play over and over in your head will happen if you step foot onto your bedroom floor and depression will keep you there. OCD and PTSD will refuse to give up the fight to let you live a normal life. One minor thing could happen to set off your PTSD and your entire day is ruined. You wanted a normal day? Well too bad. You aren’t going to get one.
There are so many of these binding and crippling mental illnesses that litter society and are never talked about. Suicide is mourned, yet depression is silenced. And when these life destroying disorders are left not talked about and untreated they can lead to a pit filled with darkness and despair with no hope of escaping. They can lead to self destruction and destruction of everything you love in your life. They can lead to lives taken too soon. Mental illnesses should not be silenced. They should not be kept in the dark. They should not be hidden. They should be treated. The thing with mental illness is you need to constantly work on it. It’s not one of those things you can ignore and hope it goes away. Ignorance leads to growth which leads to a less hopeful process of healing and treatment.
Do not be dismayed, do not rest in the feeling of defeat and loneliness because there is hope for us. There is bountiful overflowing amount of hope for everyone who suffers from a mental illness. Over the next four weeks I am going to focus on mental health and finding ways to stick to treatment instead of running and hiding from it. We are only as strong as we think we are. And with the right team and treatment plan we can all find a life filled with genuine happiness, fantastic mental health, and hope. Let’s get out of this pit.