I would say I am most like Moses when it comes to flaws. The only difference is that my stutter happens in my mind. It is unseen physically, but mentally it’s written all over my face. I am a living testimony of someone surviving mental illness one day at a time.
Since age 19 I have been diagnosed with depression, social anxiety, panic disorder, bipolar and borderline personality disorder. I have had a few mental breakdowns and 3 attempts at suicide. On and off different prescribed anxiety medications, nothing seemed to work; or maybe I didn’t give them enough time to work? Either way, I stopped taking them, which I don’t recommend. I felt alone, isolated and ashamed that I couldn’t be “normal”. On September 8th 2012 I tried to commit suicide for the 3rd time in my life. I felt like it was my only way to feel free, like it was my only hope to gain relief.
I am a 26 year old woman who has had the thoughts of ending my life more often than none since high school. When those thoughts became actions, the effort to end it all was through drug overdose and alcohol consumption. Up to September 8th I had accumulated life scars from physical, sexual, and verbal abuse, abandonment and rejection. I had feelings of fear, anger, shame, inferiority, insecurity, rejection, pain and hurt. (Environment, genetics, and psychological aspects all play a part.) Believing I was unworthy, unloved, and unwanted it led me to a great battle with depression, anxiety and addiction. I felt like my life was pointless and I was just a lost cause; a waste of space. The hopelessness was like a Serpent wrapped around my neck to the point where I couldn’t breathe.
Pastor Rick Warren’s son’s suicide hit home. How his son felt is how I’ve felt no matter how many times I’ve been to the alter, been prayer for, or have asked for help. The torture within has been so unbearable and it’s real! I realize now that HOPE is also REAL. I want to defy all odds and LIVE! I have to choose to live, and to fight, and grow some thick skin to stand up for myself.
Anyone can walk with me, but nobody can do it for me. So I will talk about my mental health. I will ask questions. I will share my experiences. I will be there with support and encouragement for anyone who feels alone, because I know what it’s like to feel that way.
The people who have accepted me with no questions, I thank them so much. To those who have scoffed at me, turned their backs, belittled me, and had me believing I was “crazy” and just a nut that had no worth, I also thank them. They have made me stronger.
I am who I am. God knows my heart and my struggle and He loves me still. I know there are others out there struggling with mental illness and suicide. Believe me we are unique for a reason. We aren’t alone in this. We are survivors within our own daunting minds, daily! We can’t be intimidated any longer by stigma. What we have/what we are diagnosed with, is not WHO we are! We are strong! We are important! We are brave! We sometimes feel so alone, but we are NOT alone! We are HOPE!