Monday, March 13, 2017

Sadness is Not a Sin Part II : Find What's Best

Around this time last year, I was inspired to write a post entitled "Sadness is not a Sin" that I ended up being glad I decided to share. In it, I mentioned that I have experienced periods in my life of what I believe to be depression. Today, almost a year later, I feel that I should return to that subject again, because I feel like although it's an uncomfortable subject to talk about, it is important that it is indeed talked about.
I mentioned that I had struggled problems that were most likely some form of depression, even though I say again that this was not an official diagnosis, and I had not sought out any kind of diagnosis at that time. My problems did not manifest in the ways that our society is comfortable with. The way I see it, we live in a society that is largely uncomfortable talking about anything having to do with mental health, so we either make it a joke or avoid talking about it at all. We casually armchair diagnose people, even entire political parties, with mental illnesses when we can't comprehend why they do the things they do. I'll admit that I've done that, thankfully in private conversation and not in a public forum. We make fun of celebrities and public figures for "acting crazy", because that's more comfortable and more fun than acknowledging the very real issues that people deal with.
The reason I bring that up is that in a world where we observe other peoples behaviors for entertainment, the behaviors that I have experienced when I've gone through hard times are not entertaining at all. I did not become a fun party girl, or take long road trips to find myself. I did not write whimsical poetry or make art. Instead, I became stuck in my own cruel cycle, bored and withdrawn. I sat I the same chair for hours, doing nothing of consequence, racking my brain in an attempt to figure out how I had reached this point. When I go through my low points, the effects are embarrassing to talk about, so I usually don't. It's only on rare occasions like today that I've been comfortable enough to share a little bit of myself that is usually not revealed.
There's a song I've been hearing a lot lately, even though it's been around for a little while. There is a line in the song that says “Lay down what’s good and find what’s best.”, and I feel like that describes what I am trying to do currently. Right now, I’m okay, some of the time I can even pass for good. But I have decided that good isn’t good enough anymore. I am ready to be the best version of myself, and if that means that I have to do things that make me feel a little uncomfortable, then so be it.
I have found that for me, trying to pretend that I'm okay when I'm not only makes things worse. If you're not really okay right now, that's okay. I am writing this in hopes that, even if you take nothing else from reading this, you will realize you are not alone, because that seemingly simple realization has helped me tremendously. There's no shame in the way you feel, and there are steps you can take to help yourself feel better again. I took one of those steps myself earlier today, which is what prompted me to write this.
I'm so thankful for that Psychology professor I had who was so open about being a Christian, and at the same time so unafraid and unashamed of encouraging us to take care of our mental health. I'm also thankful for the other examples in my life of good Christian people who have encouraged me to take care of my mind just as much as I take care of myself in all of the other ways that our world hasn't attached shame and stigma to. I am taking steps to lay down what's good and find what's best, and I encourage you to do the same. If I can do it, so can you.

No comments:

Post a Comment