For the past few months I’ve had this post in my drafts unsure of when to hit ‘Publish’ on it. But the time has come + it feels right to let people read it. I hope you enjoy it. Here is my story… x
It’s one of the things people always comment on. I love to giggle (+ make my family pull funny faces in photos).
But behind the giggle there’s a story…
Aside from my psychologist telling me, “writing is a doing word, Beth. You must write” (don’t worry, we’ll get to that), there’s been a nudging inside telling me to write about it; not just for my own eyes to read, but for others.
Entering the New Year I wrote the sentence: “Putting pen to paper, + action to dreams; making a difference in the world.” In fact, it’s the tagline to this very blog.
The world was colourful, bright, + the possibilities were endless.
But then life took a detour + my world turned to grey.
At the end of 2011 + early 2012, a variety of things happened in my life that began to take their toll on me emotionally, mentally, + physically. After countless blood tests, doctor’s appointments, + becoming so frustrated, confused, + tired from being so tired that I felt like I was drowning + could no longer breathe, the doctor said these four words to me:
“You have depression again.”
“Nooooo! Not again.” I thought to myself.
But not only that, I also had high anxiety + high insomnia.
you may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.
See, I’d been depressed + incredibly anxious a couple of years ago.
But I got better.
So how the heck could I be depressed, again? And to be in it so much deeper this time.
I’m a Christian.
A Christian who had overcome depression, shared my story about it to an auditorium full of youth… + became depressed again. *cue feelings of shame*
I walked out of the doctor’s room with a sample packet of anti-depressants, prescription for sleeping pills, + a referral to see a psychologist.
And so the first week of May marked the beginning of my “treatment” (which I prefer to call, “The journey to Bethany’s freedom + the life she was created for…” Ha!)
When I originally started the process I decided against taking anti-depressants because I wanted to see how I felt after my insomnia lessened. But after 6 sessions with my psychologist (+ seeing some improvement), he + my doctor advised me to take them to aid the process. I know people have differing opinions when it comes to this stuff, but:
– There’s nothing wrong with taking sleeping tablets.
– There’s nothing wrong with seeing a psychologist, psychiatrist, or counselor.
– And there’s nothing wrong with taking anti-depressants.
In fact, there’s everything right with taking these measures.
If you had cancer or poor eyesight, you’d receive chemotherapy, glasses + whatever necessary means you can grab hold of to become healthy + well again.
It’s the same with depression.
You’re not a failure for taking them; you’re ridiculously brave. :: I’m not a failure for taking them; I’m ridiculously brave.
Why am I telling you this side of my story?
Because I need to.
Depression + anxiety is often misunderstood + kept silent, when it should be illuminated + spoken out about.
As I’ve gone down this path I’ve searched for blogs + books to help + inspire me along the way. Despite finding very little to none about it, I’ve discovered multitudes of people in the same boat as me but feeling overwhelmed + unsure about who to talk to or what to do.
It’s now September. A new season has dawned, joy is beginning to rise, life changes have been made, + I’m feeling the best I’ve felt in a really long time.
And now it’s time for me to help others out there. I’ve decided to start a series called ‘Hope’. It will cover the process from beginning, middle, + end. Example: what the doctor asks you when you see him/her (because that can be heck scary). As well as becoming healthy holistically in mind, body, emotions, + spirit. And most importantly, finding hope.
Because that’s what the process is: becoming healthy + finding hope.
But these posts will be for everyone. How? Because we all need to become healthy + hope-filled.
There’s no set structure or timeframe for when they’ll go up, but when they do, my heart is they’ll bring insight, clarity, practicality, inspiration, + spark hope.
My story is still being written. And this part is simply a paragraph or a chapter of it; it’s not the ending (which I can now see + say “thank goodness!” too).
It may be the hardest + most humbling thing I’ve had to go through in my life to date, but it’s the best thing that could have ever happened to me as it’s forced me to face my fears + rid the junk from my life so I can fully grab onto what’s ahead in my future with both hands + a big cheesy grin on my face.
And the best thing is that it’s changing me in the loveliest way as the path behind me becomes marked in giggles…
Perhaps anxiety is an act of grace because it encourages us to face our fears so that we can then choose to freely follow God where He is calling us.
- Rhett Smith