The air outside was frigid, and the temperature of my soul was bitter. It was the winter of 2005, and I was distraught and desperate, lying face down on the carpet, alone. On this dark night of the soul, all I wanted was out. From a mental standpoint, I was done with me, with life. The thought of inhaling one more breath of the stench wafting around my spirit nauseated me. I begged God to make the pain go away, even if it meant beaming me up from the floor permanently into His arms. Somehow, in that disorienting moment, I felt my spouse and children would be better off without me. The words of David consumed my being, “And me? I’m a mess. I’m nothing and have nothing; make something of me. You can do it; you have what it takes. But God, don’t put it off.”
This was a year after God woke the sleeping giant of my past & encouraged me to deal with the pain of my childhood sexual abuse. Doing so began a necessary unraveling, but the coming undone was overwhelming. The immersion into the healing process dismantled me.
Although I didn’t know it at the time, in addition to coming to terms with my uncomfortable past, I was also in the debilitating throes of Bipolar disorder, a diagnosis that would come later. I couldn’t deal. The more I couldn’t deal, the more hate I heaped on my heart: hate for myself, hate for my past, hate for my present. In my eyes, I was a fraud. Plain and simple. But I also played a wicked game of poker, not many people could read my card face.
Have you ever been there? In a desperate place so full of pain or unrest that the world numbs out around you? Such an awful state of being can push us to the point of despair. The hopeless mindset means something is terribly off; a piece of ourselves missing altogether.
After my dark night on the floor, I awoke the next morning battered and bruised from the inside out. God somehow lured me into Church, and the first person I saw was my Deacon friend, who may as well have been Jesus himself. I fell into his arms and sobbed, unable to speak much beyond sharing my desperate state of mind. He wrote down the name and number of his friend, a Christian counselor, and encouraged me to make an appointment. I agreed, which proved to be a defining and life-saving moment in my life.
I have a tender space inside for all who suffer abuse & struggle with mental health. I understand the depth of pain and stigma that so often goes along with this kind of suffering. This is why I’m proud to support the To Write Love on Her Arms @twloha movement. Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, and I want you to know that this world is BETTER WITH YOU IN IT!