For 19 years, I have been quietly suffering from severe depression and anxiety. I also have Bipolar Disorder. What people know and see is the happy me. No one sees the constant noise and suffocating darkness that lead me to many erratic decisions. I dread every year that comes because the battle gets harder and the will to live gets weaker. It’s painful that I have lived this long, when my prayer every night is for God to take me home.
Being a pastor’s kid, a missionary kid and a youth leader, it’s hard to be real honest with people, because you get judged a lot. How do you explain to others that you love God but you hate your life? That you’re sure of your salvation but suicide’s call is clear and persistent? That you’re strength is in the Lord but you’re steadily tired?
A lot of people have stopped talking to me. I understand they don’t know what to say once I start talking about mental health. But there are so many of us suffering from depression, anxiety, trauma and all sorts of brain-related illnesses. I guess it’s time we speak up and stop being afraid to share how we really feel. It’s also time for our circles to intentionally listen and learn more about mental health. Stop saying, “I’ll pray for you” or “keep fighting”. For us, we’re thankful but words are empty. You can do so much more to lift up a drowning person.
Whenever I fly, I tip my wings and shed a tear for all the people suffering in the dark. It’s been a long and tiring journey for us all. Some of us will rise above the clouds and others will fold their wings before they land. Until then, let’s keep taking off!