'Are you hoping it will make you famous or something? Why do you think people want to hear what you have to say? You are nothing special!'
Well, yes I am still 'going on' about Mental Health and NO I am not hoping to become famous.
I'm going to give you some background information to help you understand how I now see myself.
My parents are Baptists. My father is a retired Baptist Minister and although retired, he never misses an opportunity to 'spread the Good News.' Reaching out to those in need and providing guidance and support to the Christian family and loving his Lord God, is my father's calling. A great preacher, and yes I am biased, he has lived his passion and shares the great love of God with all who will listen.
I no longer call myself a 'Christian' although I can relate to much of it's teachings. I am a spiritual person who is finding her own way, wearing the shoes that fit me (see blog 'The Wrong Shoes').
My passion comes from my own journey to the light, if you like? I have been lost in the depths of despair, suicidal and so ashamed that ,at the time, I asked God to take my life. I remember the disgrace I felt as I battled Post-natal anxiety and depression. I recall the terror of a Panic Disorder and Generalised Anxiety Disorder. I can feel in my gut the heaviness of suicidal ideation(thoughts and plans) and the utter mortification at my complete inability to feel grateful for anything.
I had years where my medication kept me on a level plain but I rarely felt joy and contentment. It seemed each time my symptoms were to return, they would come back worse. I imagined them sitting in the background, gaining momentum and power and then ' BAM', they'd strike me down even harder than before.
Oh how I prayed! I asked for someone to save me.....a therapist, new medication or new man in my life. I repented. I practised forgiveness. I tried so very hard to be the person I thought I should be. I tried to be the person I thought deserved to be well. I read every self- help book I could find. Confessed all to my therapist. Surely there had to be something or someone that could save me?
What had I done that was so wrong that made me undeserving of wellness?
If you follow my blogs you will know where I found that saviour: in the mirror!
That's not to say I fell in love with myself or just decided not to be unwell anymore.
Slowly I learned that the gift, saviour, therapy I needed was self- love.
I decided to stop attending church because I all I was taking from it was guilt.
(This was not the Pastor's or the church's fault, this was just where I was at.)
I started to look within and found 'me'. I didn't find the grown up woman who was a mother and then, single parent. I saw the 5 year old me. I saw a cute little girl who was funny but scared. I saw the younger version of me that needed to heal. I continued with my therapy at the time but also began the process of deep inner healing. A practice which I still work on today when I recognise my reactions are those of a frightened child rather than an adult.
Jumping forward to the present day and the statements at the top of the page, I see myself as similar to my dad. Similar in that I want to spread a message too. A message of hope.
I want to reach people who are lost in their own version of hell or stuck in a life with no joy. Mental health issues can make you feel unworthy of love, misunderstood and a failure. So I am here to tell you that these are lies. You CAN feel better. You ARE worthy of support and love and most of all, that there is ALWAYS hope.💙