I Am a Sign



The treatment process is so delicate and everyone is different.

It requires patience that you may not feel you possess.

I know.

The first medication you're prescribed may not be the one you stick with.

Some people come back from therapy with really negative experiences. I have been in a therapist's office and I could sense her disdain for my faith and my background. That was when I was 20, and my parents and I kept shopping.

My therapist and I found out after the first 25 minutes that we share the same faith. We have an agreement that we can discuss things under the context of God and religion and misconceptions depression has caused me to have about them, and also how I find strength to press forward in the challenging face of mental illness through my faith. And it's nice to be able to talk openly in that way.

The neat thing about therapy is that it is one one one. I could tell you all the things I learned while talking to my therapist, but it would not be the same as discussing them in the context of your own fears and problems and experiences.

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A little over two years ago, I published my blog, Much More Precious than Gold. It was such a satisfying experience in so many ways. I shared my experience when at 20 years old, I had stood on the edge and looked into the expanse of death and wanted it more than life, and then I had come back and lived a genuinely joyful life. The hardest thing that had ever happened to me could now be turned around to help people. I knew life beyond suicidal thoughts and feelings was possible and it was a message I wanted to share with the world.

I love writing, and I love speaking to audiences, and the kind reception so many people gave my blog gave me opportunities to do both.

I used to hope that I could one day craft the perfect blog post, or put together the perfect presentation that would gently lead people out of that dark place. My therapist was very frank with me one afternoon when she told me that I am not qualified to pull people out of depression. To charge myself with the responsibility of leading anyone but myself out would be unwise for many reasons.

I have been not so gently reminded through my difficulties in the past year that depression is far more complicated than that. And that maybe we are not meant to be pulled out, but to adjust the lens through which we see our battle with mental illness.

Together, my therapist and I scaled my job description waaaaaay down. I can offer my experience, lace it with words of hope, and like a sign, encourage people on the path to treatment. Then maybe someone who is suffering from depression will see a little bit of themselves in my story and find the courage and strength to get help.


Next Chapter: Summer Prayer



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