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  • Ri

for the ones praying for mental HEALTH

as someone who has seen the deepest depths of depression, i can also speak to the light.

but night time comes before the sun shines in the morning. so let me talk about that, the night time.

i struggled with mental illness for a long time. like, back to elementary school type of long time. it started as separation anxiety from my mom, which grew into depression. then my depression would cause crippling anxiety. and the cycle continued.

cutting. suicidal thoughts/actions. wishing i would get in a car accident and die because i’d rather be dead than face the reality of the night. not being able to get out of bed to do simple tasks like brush my teeth. not leaving the house. crying some days and feeling numb and aloof others. it’s like i was stuck in an abyss.

the thing about my depression was everything in my life was great on paper. my parents, still married, so loving and supportive of me. i had the best friends and family a girl could ask for. i did okay in school and sports. so why? why did i feel like a giant black cloud was constantly hanging over my head?

now that i'm in a place of healing, restoration, and mental health (not illness), i can look back on the seasons of my life where it felt as if i would never see the sun again. i am able to process those very real feelings and emotions. i'm able to do something to hopefully prevent the depression from coming back. and if it does, i'm more prepared to cope with it.

so, what have i realized? it's not as profound as you might think, it's actually the opposite of profound. it's mundane. i got trapped into thinking in terms of this world, not my heavenly home. Satan really is the master of lies because he had me convinced i would never see the light of day.

i now believe, i accepted that it was "just depression". i figured that was the cross i'm carrying forever and it's just something i have to deal with. i became accustomed to telling myself that i have a chemical imbalance and have to live with this for the rest of my life. don’t get me wrong, i definitely have a chemical imbalance, but again, i accepted that. it’s like i was waving the white flag and surrendering to the darkness of depression. i had given up. on myself; on hope. and to be real with you, i had given up on believing God could heal me.

it's funny that the things that i had given up hope on, are the things that actually healed me. yes, Jesus healed me. but maybe not in the Biblical way that you may be picturing right now.

The Lord put people in my life to help heal me. my parents, friends, and primarily, my husband.

my husband, Luke, opened my eyes through the Holy Spirit. he challenged my obsessive and derailing thoughts. he made me realize i don’t have to accept this. i can do something about it. being proactive about taking supplements and medication when needed, physical activity, overall health and wellbeing. slowly but surely, i was able to put one foot in front of the other and start to make real progress in my healing. he spoke truth into my life, little by little, and helped me to truly believe that i am strong.

now it may not be a spouse for you. God may have used or be using a friend, a co-worker, a family member. but it’s someone who fights for you. it’s someone who walks through the depression with you and lifts you up. shows you the light. it’s the person who will sit with you while you cry. who will play you a song, or pray over you, or speak truth into your life. it’s the person you pass by on the sidewalk who gives you a smile. it’s your mailman telling you to have a nice day after he drops off your packages. it’s those people. who, maybe without even realizing it, are saving you. who are reminding you of the goodness of God, that you aren’t alone in this.

my husband saved me. he prayed for me. he sat with me. he helped to start my healing process. he pushed me. he would tell me i was going to make it even when i didn’t think i would. he was (and is) an advocate for me.

so, to those in the thick of it, in the valleys of mental illness, i just want to encourage you to simply be aware. take 10 seconds and think of who that person is for you? who reminds you of God’s goodness and gives you the hope that you need? who is lifting you up in prayer and encouragement?

maybe it’s one person or maybe it’s many but i ask you to think about that because when you are in a place of healing, i want you to remember them. hold on to them for dear life. cling on their words, their smile, their prayers. you’ll remember them forever because they are a glimpse of Jesus.

and trust me, don’t think i’m dismissing how you feel in this moment right now, because when you’re in it, really in it, you don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. you don’t feel as if anything could get better. you can’t picture a life without debilitating sadness.

but i'm telling you there is.

i am living proof that there is. and that’s why i ask you to fight for yourself. ask for help, please. let people come around you and help you to heal. you don’t have to do it alone, friend.

finally, to the friends, co-workers, family members, husbands, wives, strangers, mailmen, and anyone who has come alongside those who suffer from mental illness, thank you. you don’t know how big of an impact you have on those around you, even if you don’t know the hurt in someone’s life. kindness, encouragement, listening, prayer, and a smile... any and all of those things really do save lives.

it's the reason why i’m still here.

fighting with you and praying for you,


1 Comment

Feb 18

Riley, sweet girl, YOU are a GIFT to many. You LISTEN, ENCOURAGE, RADIATE LOVE, are GENUINE and GIVING!! SO THANKFUL GOD placed you in our family!! ❤️❤️

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