My Purpose to Share My Story

Now I believe in God and the Bible. I read the Bible literally. I know there are many who don’t and that’s fine by me because I don’t care whether someone believes in Him or not. I want to preface this post with that because I don’t want needless debates about His existence and what not and I also don’t want people to think that just because I believe in God that I’m somehow ignorant or stereotypically like one of those “Westboro Christian” types. I don’t condone or even agree with the things they do and say to people. I don’t even want to call myself a Christian because I don’t agree with a lot of the things that churches are shoving down people’s throats.

Suffice to say, I firmly hold to the philosophy that to each his/her own and I don’t judge a person by what they do or don’t believe. I judge a person by what they do or say unto others.

Now that we have that out of the way… Let’s get to the point of today’s post.

Today, as I was sitting on the couch with my dearest husband watching a YouTube video, a thought struck me. “Why am I still alive? What is the point of me being alive? I struggle so much every single day and every single day, I just want to die. I want to die because I feel like everything is out of my control and I feel overwhelmed. I don’t get why God would still keep me here on this Earth…”

Then as I finished that thought, another thought entered my mind. This time, it was a stronger voice that said, “Maybe it’s because God is not done with me yet. He still has plans for you. Maybe He is keeping you here because He wants you to keep sharing the story of your struggles. Maybe He is using you as a means to touch others’ lives and to advocate for all those with mental illnesses…”.

The thought calmed my anxiety down a little. It dampened the depressive pressure that I’ve been feeling these past couple of days. And suddenly, things shifted into a different focus and perspective.

When someone is struggling with mental illnesses, it’s hard for them to see the big picture because all they feel is pain every day. That’s how I feel every day. It’s hard to see the big picture. It’s hard to get my mind out of the dark alley. When I do though, suddenly things are just that little bit easier to deal with.

Tonight, I was struggling. My worst days in the week are usually days when I have to work because as I’ve mentioned before, I work as a server at a restaurant. And to those who have never had to work in a restaurant before, consider yourselves extremely fortunate because restaurant work can be the most soul sucking and life draining job someone can have. I suppose most jobs where you have to deal with unreasonable people can be the same way.

Halfway through my shift, a couple sat in my section. Probably about an hour in to their dining experience, after they received their entree, I went by to check on them to make sure they were doing alright.

The husband said to me that he noticed the tattoos I have on my arms. (My Inkbox tattoo had faded and I’ve applied new ones. Now I have Pi on my left arm on top of the word “Worthy” and a semicolon on my right arm).

image

image

He said that he was intrigued and would like to know what they meant to me. So I explained to them that I’m a nerd and I like math so the Pi which is a mathematical constant is there because I like math. Since it’s a constant, it’s also a reminder to me for how even when everything else in life sucks, that there are still things that will never change – like Pi. Then I explained that the semicolon is a way for me to advocate for suicide prevention and awareness. It is also a reminder to myself that despite the struggles, that I do have a choice to continue my life. I explained that there is a movement called “Project Semicolon” whose purpose is to advocate for mental health and suicide prevention. The couple expressed that they have never heard of such a thing before so I briefly explained the social media reach that this organization has. I also explained to them that I struggle with ADHD, Depression and Anxiety.

It was then that the wife told me that their 15-year-old daughter struggles with depression and anxiety as well. And she said that it is amazing that they ended up at my section and ended up talking to me about mental health. She mentioned divine providence and it reminded me of the thoughts I had this afternoon. Perhaps I was supposed to speak to this couple and to share with them a little about my story.

At the end of their meal, I gave them the address to my blog and told them that I write my story here because I believe that when you share your story, others will share theirs too. And I believe that no one should ever suffer in silence and no one should ever suffer alone. I also gave them my email address and told them that they’re free to contact me any time they’d like or if their daughter just needs someone to talk to, that I’m willing to lend my ear.

They seemed genuinely grateful for this short interaction and I was too. I’ve always described my depression as me being dragged into the sea and struggling to stay afloat while waves crash about me. Tonight, after this interaction, I felt like I was able to pull myself up from under the waves and take a deep breath. I really appreciated them asking me what my tattoos meant. I really appreciated being able to be share my story.

Sometimes, all someone wants is to be heard. I’m glad I was able to be heard tonight.

Update:
It turns out that this post is my 100th post on this blog! Wow! What an amazing coincidence!

image

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “My Purpose to Share My Story

  1. What a lovely encounter with that couple. I can imagine you brought them some comfort. I also think that by speaking honestly about mental illness to them, you help to undo the stigma often attached to it, which can also make it easier for them to talk to their daughter, or to talk to therapists themselves or to friends who can help them as they try to help her. Whether or not they contact you directly later, it seems like you will have made a very positive impact on their family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • JL says:

      It was quite exciting. It’s moments like these that make me thankful for being able to share my experiences. I saw the lady wipe her eyes after we finished talking. I wonder if like you said, she was feeling like now she understands her daughter a little better. Maybe she was touched. You’re right, speaking about it openly does undo the stigma. They seemed a little hesitant at first to mention what their daughter was struggling with. I was a little hesitant to mention my own suicidal thoughts but then I thought to myself, “Oh what the heck. Might as well talk about that!”. I find that people are a little more willing to talk about suicide once someone else opens up about it. Anyway, this was quite an interesting incident!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s