Mental health is a hot topic right now. Advocates are working hard to remove the stigma of depression and anxiety. As a person who struggles with both, I consider myself an advocate. I’m a survivor. I hope to use my own story of darkness and pain to encourage others. But over the last couple of days, I’ve been listening to the lies being thrown at me that I’m not measuring up to my own standards as a mom, I’m not working out hard enough because I’m not seeing the progress that I want, and that I’m passing my own head garbage down to my kids. Do you hear that? That was a lot of me-focused statements. I was crying to my husband tonight and carrying on about feeling like a burden. I’m constantly feeling like a 2-ton stone he has to lift and carry from one day to the next. I. I. I. Me. Me. Me. And he said something that hit me between the eyes. In the best way possible.
He looked me square in the face and said, “When you don’t let me help you, you don’t let me be who I’m put on this earth to be. Let me help you.” Whoa. I’ve been feeling incredibly guilty all this time for being such a burden, and he’s been wanting this whole time to just be there for me. And he has! He kept me alive for 5 of the darkest years of my life. He WANTS me. He WANTS me to stick around. He doesn’t see me as a burden. Do y’all know how liberating that was for me? With one statement, he freed me of my disgust in myself for being a hardship to him.
Now. I know there are those of you reading this thinking, “I don’t have anyone who would say that to me,” or, “My person thinks I’m super annoying.” I hear you. I’ve been you. Have you TALKED about it with them? Do you know their heart on the matter? Talking more about my situation has become the best (and sometimes most annoying) thing my husband and I do to make this better. Sometimes I don’t want to talk. But I have to. So do you. FIND SOMEONE YOU CAN TALK TO. Reach out to a friend or family member. My friends have been incredible sources of strength and joy. YOU ARE NOT A BURDEN. You are a treasure, valued by many, especially by the One who created you. Never count yourself as a waste. Never let the lies you tell yourself tell you that you’re not worth saving. You’ve got a purpose and a future.
I recently got my first tattoo, and it’s a reminder of just that. While I once felt completely dead inside and that I couldn’t go on, I now feel fully alive. I chose to continue my story. I didn’t quit when the lies were deafening and the days were dark. I have the support of my husband, my family, and my friends; and the love of a Savior to keep me going.
If you’re reading this and you don’t suffer, I’m so happy for you! Now, I want you to reach out to someone who does. Be the person who looks them square in the face and says, “YOU ARE NOT A BURDEN. I was put here to help you. Let me.” You could be the one to save their life.