We've been here now 9 months and life couldn't be more different than what we had in Texas. For one thing, it's light years slower paced than Austin. The people are genuinely kind and seem to care about each other with no hidden agenda.....refreshing. We live on a farm and have been enjoying the benefits of rural living. Grandpa is only a few miles down the road so that's a major perk. We've planted a giant garden as well as the 2000 gladioli bulbs which are now in full bloom....love delivering them all over town with him.
Now that you're pretty well updated on this side of the world......I have a hot topic to address. I'm not sure how to gracefully go about this but I want to talk about....one subject I never want to ever have to talk about, especially in writing:
one of the most difficult subjects to wrap words around….. Remember when we heard about Robin Williams death? What a shock that was to us all. Well my dad also committed suicide (a few years back)… and most recently a friend from high school took his life leaving behind 2 little kids. Not that every case of depression has such a tragic end, but I assure you
(Here's the video: https://youtu.be/nBigoN2zMFA)
Trying to wrap my mind around clear thinking and articulating this very raw subject....and to what end? How deep shall we go? Should I tell the story? Questions abound.
I was 14. Girls can be mean in middle school. Degrading insults shot at me like fiery darts and dug deep. The honest truth is I was quite the ugly duckling....long, lanky, and awkward. To top it all off my step dad had iron clad rules which kept me home, without friends and little activity. I was miserable. I would sing that silly song "nobody likes me everybody hates me guess I'll go eat worms." (Salty tears stained my face for many years.) One afternoon I walked home from school sobbing. Life was dismal and I couldn't see taking another day. I searched the house high and low for any pills I could find and without hesitation I swallowed every single thing I found. No one would miss me. In fact they'd be better off. No more fighting with parents, no more jeering kids from school....no more! Well who knows how much time had passed when my sister found me lying on the cold bathroom tile. The doctors pumped my stomach, my mother prayed and I lived to see another bleak day.
Ugh this is tough. I don’t want to talk about it....but at some point it has to be done. I must break out of my box of shame. I am now on the other side….free! Maybe now I can help someone move through this yuck.
There's much more to my story that may or may not come out in random pieces but to sum it up....all throughout my wildlife I rode an emotional roller coaster of drastic ups and debilitating downs. It wasn't until I was 38 that I was officially diagnosed with Bi-Polar and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to some pretty big n heavy stuff that took place in my past. At that moment, when those foreign-to-me words came out of my psychiatrist's mouth, I felt like my world crashed in a million pieces all around me. I had no clue what I was experiencing even had a name.
Let me briefly describe how bi-polar manifested in my life. Most of the time I was “manic”, which for me meant that I got a lot done, I slept only a few hours a night, I was the life of the party, always up for adventure and creating memories. I did NOT stop!!! I would redecorate the house on an average of about four times a month. Mostly in the middle of the night while my family slept. My husband got used to our mannequin, Penelope, moving every few days. I loved my world relentlessly spinning in all directions.
The other end of this cycle of madness was the embarrassing side. It invaded my life far too frequently than I care to admit….I had depression. I remember days where I simply could not get up from the floor. Tears stained the front porch where I would sit for hours. Crying for no apparent reason. I would bathe only when I absolutely had to and even then it was a struggle. I would wear a smile for people around me because I hated the negative attention of a frown that and I didn’t want anyone knowing what pain I was in. Bottom line…..to say I was “down” would’ve been a grave understatement. I needed a major move of God in my life. I was chained.
During one of my lowest weeks I had a friend in church say she got a vision of me prancing through the halls with such a radiant joy all around me. I sobbed when she told me and my face lost all it’s makeup within minutes. Sometimes God sends a vision of what's to come and I believe that's what she had.
Slowly but surely I began to reach out. I called a few of my prayer warrior friends to pray for me. As a result of the power of prayer I was able to find the right doctor, who then over a process of several months was able to find the correct dosage of medicine my brain needed in order to level out. And yes, I do believe God can use doctors, and medicine for that matter, to help people…..don’t you?
I have a curious question for you: what if you had diabetes. Would you be ashamed to walk into a doctor’s office for help for fear of how others would judge you? Certainly not. What if your child were born with a heart problem…would you seek medical services? Why, yes you would. Without a doubt. Nevertheless I felt shame.
Now I’m living a peaceful life….free from fear and shame. Yes I’m occasionally manic and even occasionally down but I know I’m healed and I know from where my help comes from. My help comes from the Lord. I will stand on His promises and I am FREE!
If you’re out there and you think you may be experiencing depression….you may even have contemplated suicide. Life doesn’t end here. In fact it’s only just beginning. Reach out. No longer allow shame or fear to keep you from getting the help you need. There is help out there and people who honestly care. However, even the best doctor can never take place of prayer, honey child. (Enter strange accent)
Healing comes in many shapes and sizes. One thing is for sure…..God has a very special plan for your life. Let God lead you on your special path. Psalm 32:8 says "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” You never know, yours may be the story the world needs to hear. It all starts here.
I believe nothing is impossible with God.