Earlier this year, I found myself in hospital. I never planned on being admitted to a psychiatric ward and I never imagined that I would sit facing those white halls and come out with a blog to write.
Funny how life works- isn't it?
Depression and other mental health issues will do that to you though. They lead you down paths you're never meant to take, and steer you through doors you're never meant to walk through. The lines that I had firmly vowed to never cross became blurry, and the once forbidden path looked like just another road.
And because it is just another road, I began the journey down it only to end up at a destination far from the one I intended.
Like I said, I never planned on going into psych ward; nevertheless, there is a part of me that is thankful I did. There s something about being in the midst of people so broken down that refreshes the perfectionist in me.
You see, in the psych ward, in rehab, in support groups- you don t have to pretend. You don t have to act like you have it all together because if you did, you wouldn t be sitting in that chair. You don t have to wear the mask because (for once in your life) you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that everyone else in that room has issues too. You don t have to be ashamed of your problems because you know that the woman in the corner talking to the dead shrub has already surpassed yours by galaxies.
As odd as it sounds, it s one of the most normal places on earth because it s the one place people don t pretend.
I met a young girl in there, who was just a few years older then myself.Her family didnt come and visit her. Infact they all thought she was 'crazy'. My friend was not crazy; she was hurting. She was hurting so much on the inside that she purposely created pain on the outside. She desperately wanted to know that someone saw her, and for those few days i was there, I was the one who looked her way. Even in the midst of my own pain, I knew that all she wanted, all she needed, was to be noticed.
We were so alike. We were both so deceived.
Sometimes I wonder about my friend. I wonder if she is still alive, or if she finally gave in to the constant hammering of suicide. I wonder if she ever learned that Jesus sees her, just as He saw me and just how He sees you. I wonder if she ever discovered the hope that dispels the darkness.
I pray that she did, but the reality of depression and suicide haunt me like shadows in my dreams. Statistics are high. So many young people choose to throw away their lives because the pain of dealing with stuff is just too great. So many young people feel so invisible and alone that death seems like the only option. So many young people take their own lives everyday or live under the grasp of depression because they have never experienced the reality of a God who loves them.
If they truly knew that God, in all His might and authority, saw them, in all their humanness and muck, maybe things might be different. Hope might be taken hold of, and lives might be changed. If they truly understood that Jesus died to give them life and Christianity is not just another dead religion, they might have a chance. They might put down the pills, throw away the destruction, and finally learn what it means to live.That's what keeps me going: Knowing that God loved me enough to die for me and saw me in the midst of my struggle. That's what keeps me sharing my trials, hoping that someone will finally 'get it' and embrace the hope God offers.
That's what this week has been all about: Hope. Whilst i still face a lot of downers in life with depression and other chronic illnesses, and whilst this week i have learned news that has cut me to shreds. I have Hope in a new purpose. Hope in a new life. Hope in the One who came to die for us who had no hope to live for. Without Jesus, I would be just another statistic. Because of Jesus, ive gone to sleep at night, and woken each morning and have been given the strength to slog out another day.
You were never invisible to the eyes of God. In fact, He considered you precious enough to not only see you through your pain, but He also sent His sinless Son to die for it too.
Now thats gotta be something to live for.