Mental Health: A HOPE

Today I went to see the dentist. It was one of those visits you ignore until one day a dull ache comes in and graduates to real pain that cannot be ignored further. In the process something went totally off – different from what I expected… But it didn’t begin there. I began optimistically, knowing I had made the right choice to seek help. I knew anything could go amiss despite being a minor procedure. I began confessing God’s truth, I acknowledged Him as my shepherd, I would want nothing. My lover and my protector! I felt peaceful and nodded to the conversations the dentist and the nurse engaged me in. Until I began drowning and I felt terrible… I was choking. I was in a panic and I didn’t even know it.
What began as a panic with tears running down my cheeks grew into a mature, full blast meltdown. I could not pretend, I could not hide. I began saying I am sorry, I am going to be okay… I thank God that they let me be! I asked to be trained how to breathe with all the dental equipment in my mouth. I would later laugh at how I had missed that I could breath through my nose!! 😎

From a doctor’s perspective, they appreciated how numb I was! When asked what the problem was, all I could say was that I was tired and just needed to sleep. That is when they pinpointed what I feared all along – I was running away and wanted to solve the issue by sleeping – running away and hiding away. I remembered how the past few weeks I has been having trouble waking up. This is usually an indicator that all is not well, at least in the visible realm.

So I calmed down over time after they allowed me to cry my heart out. Its funny how the words please stop crying or please relax makes some of us sob even the more! I was surprised how much we can unmask before strangers but wear masks before close family and friends. My diagnosis: trying to keep strong for ourselves and others around us.

Mental Health
1. We feel that because everyone has problems there is no need to share our own. We bottle it up until it becomes too much. I remember expressing today that I didn’t want to feel that I was always the friend always in need of help. You don’t have to be superwoman or supermom or superhero at work. I have learnt that I am a needy person – honestly – aren’t we in one way or the other?
We all bleed the same We’re more beautiful when we come together We all bleed the same So tell me why, tell me why we’re divided – Mandisa: Bleed The Same ft. TobyMac, Kirk Franklin

2. We lean on our natural tendencies without realizing that we could be really numbing and running away from the problem. As I sat on the table at that hospital, numbed by anesthesia to be aware that I was numbing what was disturbing me. I accepted where I had been and how I got here. Instead of numbing, lets reveal the REAL issue and embrace the WAY OUT.

3. Talking it out to a trusted person (s) is a first step to healing
We all need a support system of true friends. I am so grateful I have those but sometimes I feel am overburdening them. They’ve always listened but me – this time – I felt that I didn’t need help so often – when I really needed it. I remember a time I felt I was losing it, in a similar meltdown as today and quickly called my friend who is like a sister and told her to come running. She did and within no time I was back to a smile and grit! ASK FOR A LISTENING EAR. I am grateful that I didn’t feel judged by those medical professionals today. Better to share than die inside!

4. Its okay to care for yourself
As an antidote for numbing, find out your unique safe outlets for stress and pain. That fatigue, worry. For me journaling is my secret sauce – not a secret anymore! It works for me as I SCRIBBLE away my thoughts, my feelings, my fears and my hopes. It works to settle my thoughts and reveal the HOPE that is a sure ANCHOR for our souls. I remembered that I didn’t remember the last time I had sat down to journal.

5. We were made for more
The rates of suicide, depression and mental illness. The dark places will be there. Only we mustn’t remain there. You may think you are going through the worst kind of personal struggle… You are not alone… Please speak out. Please speak up! Don’t bear the pain alone! Don’t stay indoors forever. You were made for me. You are worthy! I personally overcame depression. Talk to me if you feel all alone. Let us not allow any wounded soldier to be sidelined and die alone. Scars may remain but the wounds can heal.
We were made to THRIVE – Casting Crowns

6. Hope doesn’t disappoint
Most importantly I remember talking to my ‘friend’ doctors that I believed in God – the Branch – that I had HOPE! Hope to push through the hard places. Despite today’s meltdown and any others that may come – I am redeemed – I refuse to mourn like a pagan who has no hope. Times and seasons may change – but my God is Ebenezer – the far I have come He has been faithful.

As I write this I invite you to come we preach to ourselves. Our Redeemer liveth!

Psalm 42:5
Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become restless and disturbed within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall again praise Him for the help of his presence.

Hebrews 6:19
This hope (this confident assurance) we have as an anchor of the soul (it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whatever pressure bears upon it) – a safe and steadfast hope that enters within the veil of the heavenly temple, that most Holy Place in which the very presence of God dwells.

Praise be to God who daily bears our burdens!

Blessings to you,

From Hope’s Advocate

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