I had my first taste of mental illness the day I learned how my Dad died. I was eight years old. Such a tender age and I was already deeply troubled.
Rightly so, my mum took me to a psychologist.
It was there, with my aunt, step-dad and mum in the room that the truth came out – my Dad had committed suicide.
Jennifer is a part of the North Pointe writers community. This is the first place she has publicly written about her journey. When we dare to drop the armor that protects us from feeling vulnerable, we open ourselves to the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives. “Vulnerability is the birthplace of joy, belonging, creativity, authenticity, and love” says Brene Brown. Jennifer and I couldn’t agree more with her.
My dad took his life a few doors away from where we lived.
I was five years old and the last one to see him alive.
I’ve often wondered, “What if I had followed him? Would he still be alive today or would I have ended up dying as well?”
Journey To Hope
Since the age of eight, my overwhelming desire to die led me to self-injury. As a teen I hid the cuts on my arms as much as I could to the point of wearing a hoodie on +30C days.
Suicidal thoughts and tendencies refused to go away. I attempted suicide. More than once.
At the age of fourteen hope entered my life. It came through a girl in my school who reached out to me. Her family drove me to church and youth group every week.
I became a Christian and learned about Jesus, His promises and His love. Even so, I found it hard to get out of the mindset that life was worthless and blaming myself for my Dad’s death.
When Bad Days Outnumber Good Ones
My struggle is still very real. I’ve been to many psychologists, counselors and pastors. Depression is not an easy thing for me to deal with.
There are good days but even more bad days.
How have I survived?
My way Forward
Living life one day – sometimes one hour at a time – is the way forward for me.
Go for a walk.
Read God’s Word.
Are you facing mental illness? There is nothing wrong or to be ashamed of in having a mental illness.
You are not alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a trusted friend, doctor, pastor or your spouse.
The “what ifs” in your life can be daunting or wonderful. It’s a matter of perspective. There is always a positive in the negative.
A Bible verse that has helped me out of darkness is, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
The possibilities are endless. Nothing is impossible with God.
There is always the possibility to help others through sharing your story. I’m living proof of this. This can be your outcome too. You can use your life struggles, triumphs, sadness, joy and happiness for the good of God to minister to others.
There is a purpose and a plan for everyone’s life. It might not be in plain sight right now but God will help you discover what you’re on this earth to do.
I’m glad I’m alive.
Like me, you can discover so much more in your life.
Depression: My Story by Brock Harrison
Things Christians Tend To Get Wrong About Depression
5 Insights To Depression: Sisterhood Of The Semi-Colon
16 Helpful Insights About Depression And Loss
APPLICATION: Please leave a comment for Jennifer below. Thank you.
I write to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose. If this material is helpful to you, please follow me.
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