The following essay, was for a testimony I was to give to the attendees of the “Celebrate Recovery” of my church. To be honest, I wrote that the last minute, because of the nerves I had built on writing this. The anxiety knowing what I said and how I said about my testimony would and perhaps could change a person’s life. It was nervewrecking for me (even though I brainstormed a couple times) to know I could have impact on someone’s life. But the time it was about two day’s before I presented my testimony I spent all night to put it together. Barely even rehearsed it, but it was already in my heart and memories of the recovery process I went through. But at the end, it seemed everyone liked it because the audience was applauding and one of leader’s of the program said some people were nodding or exclaimed how I overcame my obsticles. One person also joked about how I could have come from Harvard, because of how smooth I talked and how well written was. I can’t believe people liked it! Anyway without futher adieu, he is my written testimony I presented at my local “Celebrate Recovery” location:
I am a believer who had struggled with anger issues. I know it’s hard to believe that I have anger issues, but I do. I have struggled with anger issues for a long time…all pent up…angry at the world and angry at myself. And that was the insanity. But mostly I was doing it as a way to protect myself. My anger stemmed with loneliness, insecurities, lack, and uncertainty. It didn’t help either I grew up in a domestic violent household either. The shame of living through that (and feeling misunderstood or discounted) kept me from confidently making friends or getting into a relationship. I felt if I let go of my anger it would weaken me, make me vulnerable…and being vulnerable meant exposing myself to the hurts and feelings I’ve tired so hard to bury and forget. But like everything else, nothing lasts forever. Plus, all that pent up anger from childhood caused me to have anxiety and depression disorders.
To be honest, I didn’t want to go back into Celebrate Recovery, because at the previous church I attended the people at THAT celebrate recovery weren’t very interactive. And incase things didn’t turn out well and THIS celebrate recovery, I didn’t wanna leave my business out in the open. I mean sure, I wouldn’t see the attendees again, but I don’t feel comfortable leaving my hurts with strangers. Unfortunately, a couple years ago I didn’t have a choice. In late 2015, I was sexually assaulted and that had a toll on me. And then THAT eventually led to a falling out with my folks, which led me to living a friend, but even there I was falling apart, because I was still reeling from everything that happened in just a few months. I had to put school on pause for awhile too. Pretty much I was a mess and angry. It was then their family member suggested Celebrate Recovery. Even though I was facing some pretty rough circumstances, it gave me enough to focus on myself and the only relationship I had that was fully available: my relationship with Jesus Christ. Being in the program really helped me to vulnerable and a safe spot for me to heal. Plus seeing other people sharing their vulnerabilities helped to understand it was okay to be vulnerable….that there was strength in being vulnerable and strength in facing them as well. It was also encouraging to see other women wanting to grow from their pain and help each other out. The more I came, the more I was able to have a handle on my anger. The step that spoke to me, was the first which was “We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that lives had become unmanageable.” I needed to accept that, because I had to stop feeling the need to control things and keep to myself. It’s like the good book says in Genesis 2:18 and Matthew 18:20, in, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” and “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
Because I pursued my relationship with God and myself vulnerable to Him, I was able to be vulnerable to myself and better it and I was able to better my relationships. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s manageable, I’m manageable. I am freer and lighter, and I have a bit more confidence in myself and how I relate with others. Yeah, the pains of the past are still within me, but they don’t dominate me as much anymore. Since, my attendance in 2016, I’ve also been able to make friends here, which was something I did not expect. I was just focusing on bettering my spiritual side and managing my hurts. And what’s great is that we all help and support one another. This recovery journey has taught me that God is in control of everything, even my anger. I spent so much time feeling like because it was my anger, it should be my responsibility. But as I look back on my life: the relationships I’ve made, the circumstances I have faced, it shown me that God has dominion over EVERYTHING…good and bad but as long as I have him in my life I’ll be okay. I don’t have to take on everything my own, not even the pain I have. He will send me all the resources and support to see that I’ll be okay through it all.
So, my advice to the newbies is this, you don’t have to take everything on your own (your addictions, your hurts) you’re in good company here as well as God’s company. So, don’t worry about what you do and don’t have emotionally or financially, nor how long you expect for change to happen in yourself. Just focus on spending the next hour here and focus on rebuilding your life with God and in his time, you will get you’ve been seeking.
The actress gave an emotional speech about how her faith pulled her out of her darkest moment.
— Read on madamenoire.com/1060343/letitia-wright-shares-that-god-pulled-her-out-of-depression-in-emotional-bafta-awards-speech/
Lately these past 2 months have been hard for me because of crippling depression. Yeah….I was battling anxiety, but I’ll just focus on depression right now. The depression was due to all the financial hardships I was facing, homelessness, and an exam I was preparing for (that I’ll be taking at the end of the week). Now…I’m struggling not to be depressed for being depressed these two months.
I felt I should have just focused on my exam instead of worrying. I felt like deep down, God was telling me “Just focus on the test. Don’t worry about the rest.” But the thing was…I did and I lost time to study. So what did I do after realizing this? I began praying to God.
Not saying I was not into prayer, but I haven’t made it a priority during the last few weeks of school. There was sooo much assignments to finish, that I didn’t take the time to make sure I kept my spirit replenish. While I take my meds (it helps to reduce the physical effects of anxiety and depression), having my spirituality helps me from letting my anxiety and depression from taking over me completely. So they both help keep me in tact.
It took me about a week and half to recover and to get back in the groove of my life. I hated that, because I had to like, learn to go back to sleep on time, push myself to communicate to my friends again, push myself eat and cook for myself, take my meds on time… Ugh! I was doing so well before that, before the end of school… Why was I regressing yet again? Look, I know that regression is part of the recovery process, but it’s so tedious because I had to relearn all my good habits all over again. Heck…I hard to push myself to attend “Celebrate Recovery” again.
When I attended my second week (since being MIA for about a month), Pastor Tom (not his real name), recounted his time overcoming his depression and he read off a scripture from the Bible that made sense why depression came back again:
When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, “I will return to the house I left.”
Luke 11:24 NIV
When I heard this, it was like a revelation to me. I’m rid of depression, I’m free and then depression, who apparently had nowhere to call home, said, “This isn’t working out. Guess I’ll return to the old stomping grounds.” Oh vey…
Well the good thing is even the Bible, mental illness was recognized. Well actually…it wasn’t called mental illness, because there probably wasn’t a name for all the mental illnesses that existed at the time. That’s probably why mental illness was never mentioned. In fact, the closest word that was used to define “depression” was “melancholia” (History of Depression). Sorry I’m going to sidetrack a little here. The ancient Greeks believed that all diseases were a imbalance of the four bodily fluids or the four “humors”: sanguine (red bile), phlegmatic (clear plasma) melancholic (black bile), and choleric (yellow bile). In fact that’s where the name melancholy comes from: Melas meaning “Black” and Kholé meaning (hmmm…doesn’t this also remind you of the word coal?) “Bile” (History of Depression). Ancient Greeks believed that if the black bile was not properly balanced with the other 3 humors, it would also impact a person’s mental and physical well-being (History of Depression). Well what do you know? Even the early Greeks believed in wholesome health.
Anyways… the more awesome news is Jesus sits on the throne.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
So lately, I’ve been asking God to help lift my spirits up whenever I’m anxious and/or depressed, because whenever I’m too anxious or depressed I don’t have the strength to call upon on Him. And you know something? It’s been working! Just when I’m about to be depressed or anxious, I feel my spirits rise from under me. It’s the best thing. I know it sounds weird to ask from this from God, but nothing is too big or small for Him.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and door will be opened to you.
In spite of living with mental illnesses, having it helps me to be more closer and more reliant on God and Jesus Christ. And there’s nothing wrong with that, because God doesn’t mind. Besides who know why else I live with mental illness. Maybe there’s something else God needs in me while having it. As long as Jesus sits on the throne, I’ll know be alright no matter how many times depression returns.
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.