I could feel that I was slowly but surely falling apart. I had no inner strength or energy to even try and pretend to hold myself together. Everything felt heavy, and I felt weak. I could no longer hold back the tears that poured from a very broken place. I couldn’t even string proper sentences together or verbalize what I was feeling. I suppose because I had no idea what exactly was happening.
I was unraveling, and I could no longer fight it. I bent with it and lay in and amongst it.
The disappointment, the shame, the guilt, the hopelessness, the despair, the consuming thoughts of feeling like a total failure, feeling tortured, conflicted, lost and alone.
My unraveling made me feel like a failure, and it made me feel disappointed in God. (I hope you don’t mind me being honest with you over here.) I felt upset with God, I felt like He had let me down, like He didn’t give me the grace , or the capacity to carry this heavy burden. There were days where I didn’t even want to pray or speak to Him. If I played any spiritual worship music in my car, I would just cry as I struggled to sing along with it in my heart. It was A very raw, vulnerable , dark space to be in.
But despite all of it, the only thing that felt constant, that felt like an anchor in and amongst my mess was my faith in God. I knew that regardless of what felt like the darkest season that He (God) was with me, and that He is always in my future. Knowing that with confidence, made me feel like there was hope on the horizon.
I knew that I needed help and that I needed to seek advice and counsel regarding my anxiety and depression. I think at this stage I was still in a bit of denial , and I kept telling myself through teary eyes; “You’re okay Cass, nothing is wrong, you’re just tired!” Whilst speaking with a doctor he very matter of fact mentioned that my seratonion levels are so low and depleted that my body isn’t producing it anymore, and he wants to me start on antidepressants and take medication whenever I feel anxious and overwhelmed.
WAIT. WHAT? ANTIDEPRESSANTS ?
Don’t you mean I need a vitamin B shot or a spa day ?
It made complete logical sense what the doctor was saying, but still it was hard for me to accept. I felt disappointed , I felt like a failure, I felt frustrated in myself and with God. It did not make sense to me, at all! While this was all happening, my husband was away in New York for work for most of the month, and I was directing a school production and looking after Malakai.
I felt very alone, broken, and overwhelmed by the thought of taking antidepressants. Thank goodness for my parents, that held my hand through it all and helped carry me during this time. I knew that if I wanted to move forward from this dark hole, I had to put things in place that would help me to feel empowered. As I did not want medication to be the only thing that I trust in to make me feel sane. Going forward I wanted to retrain my brain to not fall constant prey to anxious ways of thinking and behaving. (I will touch on that in another post.)
STILL I RISE
What felt like the darkest season of my life, I now see as a blessing in disguise. I knew that I had to unravel, and that everything had to completely fall apart, in order for something new to be birthed.
The word “Unravel” means :
Untangle, straighten out, undo, untie, untwist, unwind, unknot, separate out, unfold, reveal, clarify.
Before writing this post, I clearly felt that the title would be “THE UNRAVELING.” As I started writing it, I stopped for a moment and looked up the definition of the word unravel. When I read the meaning, I had a revelation:
In my unraveling, everything had to unfold, untwist, in order to reveal , clarify, and straighten out. All the anxiety that had built up over the years was forming constant knots. Every anxious lie became another knot, and it made made me feel ensnared, entangled, and enslaved by it. In order for something new to be birthed, all the old lies had to unfold, and untangle itself off of me.
Each and every single one of us has been called to greatness, and has been created with purpose. I believe that too be true, so much so that I knew I had to embrace all of my mess, and let every lie untangle itself off of me. This was not easy for me , as it meant (and still means) a constant choice, a daily choice, to keep on rising. Every knock to the floor, I stand up feeling stronger and more determined to see victory in this area of my life.
My anxiety, my depression will not have the final say over my well being. It will not dictate or define me going forward.
I know that many Christians struggle with feeling guilty for when they feel anxious or depressed. Whilst other Christians make those that do feel those things feel judged, or like they do not have complete faith because they feel that way. I am not here to judge either, faith is a very personal thing that I respect. I have been a christian for over ten years now, and I’d like to believe that I have never forced my beliefs onto anyone, nor have ever made others feel excluded, or not worthy when it comes to faith.
One thing I know is that Christian, or no Christian, mental illness is very real, and should not be frowned upon or shrugged off as being “emotional”. Sometimes just letting others know that you are there, and that you love them regardless, without judgement makes them feel less lonely, and less like a failure. I believe whole heartedly that God will always meet us where we are at regardless of where we have been or what we have done. We too need to always be mindful of meeting others wherever they are at, and love them without hesitation. Showing that kind of love and acceptance helps others to feel empowered, and encouraged to move forward.
Please note that I am not trying to glorify anxiety or depression. Merely sharing my take on it, and personal journey as I walk through this season. I will be touching on it from time to time, as a means of helping and encouraging others out there who feel lonely , misunderstood, helpless, and hopeless due to anxiety and depression. Please feel free to share this post with others that you think will be blessed or encouraged by it . Together we Rise <3 <3 <3