“Clarity takes place in our lives when we make a conscious advanced commitment concerning what we are living for and what we are moving toward.”
—Pastor Dale Locke
Being Baker Acted in 2013 was an eye opening experience to say the least. My 2 days in the facility scared me into moments of clarity and sanity. It was a place I knew I didn’t belong in. I was not alone in that thought. Both a nurse and a medical student recognized that the facility was not the place for me. The medical student is someone I will never forget. After being forced to share the personal details of my life with the lead psychologist and his 3 medical students I returned to my room to get some rest. A short while later one of the female residents came into my room quietly. She disclosed to me that she had suffered with depression most of her life. She said she didn’t agree with the approach my psychiatrist and therapist’s took over the past few months and suggested I try CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy).
It was the best advice I received during that period. CBT helped teach me to change my thoughts of self-loathing to thoughts of self-respect and appreciation. It helped me cope and, most importantly, it helped me grow. I developed an inner strength and confidence that I never had before. Many people commended me on my newfound strength. It is something I am very proud of. Sometimes I think back to that time and how different I was. I was consumed by stress, worry, anxiousness, and feelings of worthlessness. I didn’t acknowledge God’s presence or recognize him as my savior then as I was an atheist. It was a hard journey and one I wish I had done with God and a practicing faith. It didn’t strike me until weeks ago that God was there— I just didn’t know it. His Spirit within me gave me the strength I needed. I didn’t have the power to control my thoughts, but God had the power to control my actions.
Easter is a day celebrating Jesus’s resurrection. It is a special day that holds so much meaning and hope. He who defeated death helped me conquer those evil thoughts that sounded so tempting. Jesus has the power to overcome anything and help those who need it most even when they do not ask for it. His love, strength, kindness, and glory are so incredible and overwhelming.
I wanted to share my story to spread awareness about mental illness and give those who are curious about it insight into the disease. Some people are confused by the disease and how it can be debilitating. The “chin up or it will be better soon enough attitude” are not appropriate. Professional help is required and some individuals may require drugs because there may be a chemical imbalance occurring. Although our physical bodies may be overall healthy, our greatest asset is being attacked. Our mind is like a generator. It fuels us and helps us live. Depression fogs our mind and diminishes our rational mentality. Without clarity, we lose perspective about life. Life is seen as overwhelming hard, uninteresting, morbid, unsatisfying, cruel, etc. This shift in mindset can lead to harmful thoughts and/or actions. If you know anyone suffering from depression, please be supportive, thoughtful, a good soundboard, and help distract them. Pray for them regardless if they are believers or not. I was an atheist too then and God did not withhold his aid or strength.
“It is often in our darkest hour that the light of God’s presence shines the brightest.”