Okay, maybe that's overkill.
It's not really a black Friday. It was more of a black Thursday night. But I'm still feeling it today.
I have so much I want to share. I have experienced real joys in this season of refinement. But there are certainly days when the pain of what I fear comes at me with the strength of a thousand men. And I break down.
This is the picture of mental illness.
There I said it.
We all experience it at times, in varying degrees. And there is such a stigma attached to those two words.
It conjures images of padded cells and wild eyes and restraints.
But the truth is that the mind is a part of the body. And the body can break.
We need to speak out about the reality of this truth. I am no great advocate. But I see what leaving mental illness untreated has done to people close to me. And I feel the constant urge to make sure I am pursuing what is best for me. Not just for myself, but for my husband. For my relationships. For my community. For my faith. For my ministry. For my God. Mental health is not just mental. Just like physical health is not just physical. We are beings with all kinds of needs, and all of these needs are connected. Spiritual. Mental. Physical. Emotional. There must be balance in our lives if we are to be healthy in every way. I am working on making sure I have that balance in my heart and my mind. And I am grateful that when some people who- even as they try so hard to empathize and support- still don't understand, there are others like my dear friend Mary Beth who know exactly what I need.
I have made an appointment finally to start seeing a counselor. And I call out to my Jesus each day with desperation for freedom. Please pray for me in this time, if you will.
I wish I could just say everything. After all, I am not afraid to be transparent. But some things, even here (or perhaps especially here) are better left in the heart, between close family and friends. Just know that there is pain in my mind and heart, and I need healing. I don't know why I feel the way I do. Outwardly, all is well. But I can't put on a happy face and pretend anymore. It does a disservice to myself and to others. And perhaps my experience will not only prepare me to face greater challenges in my life with courage, but will also allow me to serve someone else with the same struggles.
Either way, I love you. And I thank you.