So I came back downstairs tonight, straight out of bed. Almost midnight and tears coming down. Even to the point of asking myself what struck me so much about this news. After all we hear of famous stars committing suicide so many times, what is the difference with this. Could it be that on the outside Robin Williams seemed so to the contrary. Joyful and such a beautiful soul. Helping others, lover of the church. Or could it be the news on top of a dear friend who I have seen recently struggling against a pain that is far beyond any our comprehension. Or the person down the street who I spoke with who is so hard on themselves they won't even go to the park to be seen, even though she just had a child and already thinks society is judging her not perfect size 2 body.
Stories like this flood my ears and I'm open to them. I'm that person by the Grace of God who opens my arms like a caring Mother and wants to suck out every ounce of a persons pain and wear it. Just so they don't have to. It was the way I was made. To relate and mostly to empathize. Especially now when I don't have to say I'll pray for you only, I can say lets work through this together I understand.
One year ago, my life and my families lives were turned upside down in a flash when this dreaded pain struck me. Its a day I will never forget. A new Mom of a 4 month old and a 2 year old running around I was trying to keep it all together far away by ourselves. I was standing at the kitchen sink, getting dinner when it hit. A flood of adrenaline went through my body, heart pains, out of body experience that this was surely it I was dying. Although a post partum thyroid issue made me aware, now even though my thyroid is healed....the anxiety has lingered.
6 ER visits last year with attack after attack, denial that anxiety could feel this real--- I finally was convinced. Guess what where there was one in that ER that day, there were 15 more dealing with the same thing. No matter the cause health, situational, grief something was not healing. It was time to get real. I hid it a lot behind my health I think at times. I hid a lot behind cute Facebook pics of my kids and what I was living 9 hours away. Truth is I was lonely, scared to death and I will never forget my few neighbors and friends whom I did let in on my secret. They never gave up on me and they shared their love with me.
It took me 1 solid year because of mere shame and feelings of weakness that I finally sought help to see me through. I feel I'm finally better....mostly because ironically that year was the closest I ever became to God. Yes that is right imagine praising God, when the pain and suffering is so great you have every excuse to deny him. I wouldn't, I haven't and he has sucked me out of the depth of fear and anxiety.
I still have days where I focus on my worries, where I allow myself to get overwhelmed with triggers. Lack of sleep, too much caffeine, taking on too much. Yet now I know I don't have to hide behind it anymore. The Lord is so strong in my weakness and I"m no longer ashamed. Although my battle lies more in anxiety, the darkness of depression is real and the devil loves to capitalize in the depths of all of us regardless our battles.
What would the world be like if we all could get real. If all of us said the truth and never hid behind closed doors of deception. I've been blessed with many many things, trust me I thank God for them everyday. Yet I also know none of those things made me immune from the battle of everyday struggles within. Please be a person that makes everyone feel important. Take the time to really ask how a person is doing and LISTEN. Be a person that instead of judging and throwing stones, give Grace. Pray instead of peg someone with guilt and shame. Most people are fighting a battle you know nothing about. Our covers especially with instagram filters can look beautiful, don't be fooled. Remember God is strongest in our weakness. Allow him to work through the mud and mire.