Anxiety and depression can really make you feel like you have a split personality at times. I used to be very good at placing that perfect mask on my face, letting the whole world know that I’m “just fine”. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
I’ve had more than a few people mention they would never have guessed I struggled so terribly with a mental illness. I’ve also had people tell me when I’m talking with them, that I would never understand their struggles; in fact, no one would understand their personal chaotic journey.
Yes, everyone has their own experiences, but as I’ve often mentioned here at Living With Real Joy, no one is ever alone. Oh yeah, it feels like you’re alone at many times, but trust me, I know what it’s like to feel alone. I know what’s it like to feel like no one would understand my situation, that no one cares about my situation, and quite frankly, that no one would miss me if I was no longer in their inner circle.
Allow me to share with you the emotions and events of those early days before I was diagnosed with depression, so you know that I do understand what others are going through.
Living under a “Black Cloud”
Yelling at my kids over the most insignificant things
Ridiculously high expectations for myself and others
Invaluable as a human
Too weak to fight my mental battle
Questioning God and His love for me
Being an awful mother
Being the worst wife (especially to a Pastor)
I distinctly remember, at my worst point, driving to attend a church function with my 3 kids in the van, and wanting to drive my van straight into a tree. I was completely exhausted and wanted to be DONE fighting this battle inside of my head. I truly believed that if I was no longer around, life would be better for my kids and my husband. I turned that van around and went straight home, finally confessing to Chad the personal mental battle I was facing every single day.
There were 3 significant constants in my life at this time, that stopped me from destroying myself:
I was raised in a Christian home, and even though I didn’t believe God loved me, I knew enough about Him to know leaving my family was not the right answer.
Chad was a constant support to me and although this time of our life was one of the most difficult for him, he did not give up on me.
I have a close Christian friend, who I could be completely honest with. She listened to me, loved me, and reminded me how much God loved me too.
After I confessed to Chad that I thought everyone would be better off if I was dead, he scheduled an appointment for me with a Christian counselor. This counselor discipled me and showed me that God’s truth is not based on feelings, but on God and who He is, regardless of my feelings.
The journey I walked through was real. Those feelings, emotions, and thoughts of that time were something I will never forget. As God brought me through that painful journey He helped open my spiritual eyes so I could see His truth. I had never before experienced this type of true freedom and internal peace. Because of this, I want others to understand this very same freedom and peace is available to them.
You simply need to be willing to let someone show you.
I invite you to walk with me as I share 3 truths that helped me overcome anxiety and depression once and for all, no longer allowing it to have control over me. Click on the image below to download this free guide today!
Join me in Choosing JOY, my Facebook group for women to encourage and support each other through depression and anxiety.