With Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain taking their lives only days apart, it is bringing the problem of mental illness into the spotlight. It’s one that needs some serious attention. People who have everything going for them still chose to commit suicide. They know the devastation they are leaving behind for their family’s, wounds that may never heal, and yet they do it anyway. I wrote an article about the prevalence of suicide in today’s world and I just couldn’t seem to finish it. People who commit suicide baffled my mind. It was something that I just couldn’t wrap my mind around.
I’ve never been clinically depressed. I don’t suffer from bi-polar disorder, and the only time I contemplated suicide was when I was in the throws of a pity party that I couldn’t seem to pull out of. My husbands drinking was at an all time high, our bank account at an all time low, and I was sick of carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. I had no intention of taking my own life, I asked God if He would PLEASE do it for me.
I was on my knees, in front of my hope chest of all places, and I remember begging God to take me now because I couldn’t live the way I was any longer. I was crying, no wailing, at the top of my lungs. My chest was tight, my head pounded and it was the most miserable feeling I had ever experienced. And the difficult situation I was in, was one that I brought on myself.
Thankfully I never found myself that emotionally distraught again. I’ve experienced some really hard times but I haven’t sunken to that depth of helplessness and sadness since. I’ve had some pretty big pity party’s though, and today my soul decided I should attend another one. I need to add that it was completely against my will.
I am down with a broken ankle. It is the first broken bone I’ve experienced in my 58 years of life. And this morning I wasn’t handling it well at all. My mind and my spirit knew that I would gain nothing by attending Satans invitation-only bash. Neither of them wanted to go. They wanted nothing to do with the soiree of self-pity that my soul was insisting they attend. It was an all out battle of wills and my mind and spirit were at the losing end of it.
Why is that we humans sometimes actually want to feel bad? Our conscious mind says this is ludicrous. But a part of us wants to hang on to the pain. I was conversing with God and asking for His help to shake the horrible, whoa is me feeling that I didn’t care to indulge in. Stupid lies from Satan filled my head. “Your husband is already sick of waiting on you and it’s only been a few days. You have crappy insurance and this will drain your bank account. All of your travel plans will be ruined.”
I couldn’t seem to shut off the negative thoughts, no matter how hard I tried. I finally turned my Pandora worship music on and stuck my headphones in my ears. My husband was trying to sleep and I was trying to suffer in silence. I say trying because yes, I was trying to suffer. I hated the feeling and it took many spirit-lifting songs, but eventually, my mind escorted my soul away from self-pity central.
When I’d recovered I couldn’t help but wonder if I’d had a small taste of what people with mental illness deal with. How horrible it must be to have these nightmarish feelings overtake you on a regular basis. To be doing everything you can to fight them, taking medication, getting therapy and still not be able to escape them. It gave me a perspective that I needed in order to be more merciful towards those that suffer from Satans plague. That’s what I think all mental illness is. Call me a Jesus freak but that’s my take on it.
I was able to snap out of my delusions with help from the Holy Spirit. I lean on God for all of my needs and when I’m in distress I have no problem calling out for His help. How awful it must be for those who don’t know Him. My heart breaks for them. I’m very unhappy about my broken ankle but I know that it will heal. I also know that help for my broken spirit when I’m down is only a prayer away. I’m actually thankful that I got a glimpse of what it feels like to be helpless against negative emotions that overtake you.
I have more empathy now, and I will pray more fervently for those who suffer from depression. I may not be able to understand it completely but I believe I will be more sensitive to the folks that need deliverance from it. If I can help just one person see light at the end of that awful tunnel it will mean the world to me.
My own son suffers from depression and I am powerless to help him. He’s been on more medications than you could count and he still has bouts that keep him from being there for his family. He won’t want to join his son and me at the pool. He’d rather stay in his home alone and sleep. I’ve always been irritated by it. I’ve wanted him to snap out of it. But most of all I want him to invite Jesus into his heart to help him because I know He is the answer. You can’t force Christ on anyone but the Bible has promises for our children. One day my son will be delivered.
If you or a loved one need prayer for anything I want to be here for you. Jesus is the answer and if you would like an introduction I’d love to be the one to do it. He’s gotten me through countless rough times and I know I will get through my current one. I’ve been asking, “Why God why?” Maybe He has someone out there that I will be able to help because of this experience. 2 Corinthians 1:4 addresses that. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
I can tell you from experience that the number one thing you can do to feel better is to do something for someone else. Be praying for those suffering from mental illness as well as their families. Reach out to someone who looks like they might be hurting. Volunteer for a crisis hotline. You may save someone’s life. It may even be your own.
Do you need comfort? I’m here. You can email or private message me. Join my Facebook group Love Notes from the Lord for daily encouragement and prayer.