On my Facebook page, I promised I’d be sharing about my struggles with depression and anxiety. And I really want to.
But the difficulty lies in arranging my thoughts, the narrative, into something that makes sense. These are blog posts that should have been written throughout much of the last year. And honestly, the struggles originated years before that.
I could just be one of those writers that drops you into the middle of a story, with flashbacks to explain background. I’m honestly not sure how to proceed.
Throughout this struggle, I know I need to get it all out on this digital paper. I’m still processing much of what I’ve learned about myself throughout the past year or so. Embracing my story is crucial to understanding myself.
I’m probably going to make some of you uncomfortable. And some of you will probably judge me throughout what I have to say. But I’m okay with that. I’ve learned throughout this entire personal journey that you judging me is not my problem. I’m not here to please anyone, save Christ Jesus.
So here’s the Cliff Notes version and I’ll soon expand upon all of this (right now, it’s just existing in a puddle of thoughts in my brain and some random pieces of paper). Life threw me a curveball. In a matter of four years, I birthed three children, and I grieved the loss of two pregnancies. Then, I jumped in feet first in a major ministry at my church. Not long after that, I started homeschooling. The everyday stresses of life, the grief in my heart and the resulting spiritual and philosophical questions, and the burdens of my responsibilities (both at home and in ministry) overwhelmed me.
I, who once viewed myself as a wonder woman, came to realize that I have limitations. The fact that I have limitations bothered me and manifested itself into incredibly oppressive self-doubt and negativity. And I found myself depressed and battling worsening anxiety. I was pretty much angry all the time, and I never was an angry person in the past. Feelings of failure and my struggles with perfectionism gripped me. I didn’t like who I was, but I wasn’t sure how to process all this.
If you’ve been here before, you know, for a period of time, the anger can feel good. Wallowing in your own misery becomes the new normal. You resign yourself to all of it and almost convince yourself you’re okay. Almost convince. But deep down, there is no convincing.
Last June, I started living bravely. I contacted a Christian counseling center. I made an appointment. I told some dear friends that I was finally getting help so that they would hold me accountable and make sure I went. (And they did. One friend called me just before my appointment when she knew I’d be driving there in order to make sure I actually went).
And for the past year, I’ve been in therapy or counseling or whatever you want to call it. Personally, I called it seeing my Life Coach. I guess I still have some denial I needed professional help. Ha!
The journey of self discovery, learning to embrace my story, has been amazing. God’s been good. He’s been patient with me. Lessons I wished I had learned seven years ago might not have been so meaningful then. I’ve worked out issues I’ve had with my faith. I’ve learned so many things about the way that God created me – after all our personalities were shaped and formed by him, no?
New Living Translation (NLT)
10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
I’m going to share how I learned to embrace my story and how it led to braver living, but it won’t necessarily be in a neat little order. Now you have context, and I feel a certain freedom to write as I feel led.