Before I begin to write this, whomever comes across this, know that your healing may look different from mines and thats okay. It may not be today, but keep the faith. *TRIGGER WARNING*, I will be mentioning suicide and sexual assault.
Growing up, it was almost normal to have a sense of disfunction and chaos in my everyday life and surroundings. But as I take the time right now to be vulnerable and honest, I want to begin to write about healing and why we must strive for it. Now, I am not expert and will not claim to be one, but having studied the impacts of person-in-environment and the psychosocial emotional development in the human experience, I have dove into my own lived experience and the joy that has come from pursuing my own healing. I remember the first time I realized that I needed healing andI I had to seek it out. I was in in the 7th grade and I was being bullied almost every day and I hated everything about it. I would begin to hate my own existence the point of wanting to not exist, and for years this mindset would follow me. I would find myself fighting thoughts of “life would be better not here” and it has been a fight to choose life. My high school experience would shift for many reasons, one being that I became a follower of Jesus Christ at one of what I would described as the lowest point in my life. I was 16 years old and I had given up, I truly saw no purpose to life and things after thing kept happening. I would find myself at 16 years old, losing all my friends, my father walking out , dealing with PTSD from being mo*ested and still having that person in my life. It was a time!!! I felt depleted and drained and I wanted to tap out! But God! I will not say that my faith was the immediate remedy to my life issues but I will say it helped me know that healing was for me. It was an up hill battle from there. I began to lean not on my own strength because, honestly I had none, but I leaned on a hope that I will know freedom in my mind, in this body and in my soul.
When I was 18 years old, I found myself fighting in this battle of feeling loved and trying to elbow throw the pain of abandonment. And I do really mean a fight, tears, sweat and TIME was involved. By this point in my life, I was now entering a new atmosphere, moving away from home and going to college and having almost no one to guide me in this transition. Day after day, I was feeling lonely, feeling hopeless and anxious. For a time I hit, what felt like rock bottom, I developed a really bad drinking habit and thought if I can escape myself, maybe the pain, the anger and fear would just leave. That wasn’t what happened at all, instead it just amplified everything. I felt such a guilt and shame, but even in the midst of that I was reminded that nothing can separate the love of God from me. See, I was used to being abandoned, I was used to people giving up on me and this time, I was reminded that even if everyone around me disappears, Jesus will be right there. Many nights, many tears, many breakdowns, and many moments of loneliness, heck even moments of saying, “I’m done!” But I wasn’t, I couldn’t be even if I wanted to.
When I got to my junior year, I was no longer responding to things the same way, my mental health was a priority, my faith was foundational and I knew I had to keep on this path if I was going to walk in true healing. I have seen set backs and have felt like I was out for the count but here and now I stand, not perfect but progressing and not the 16 year old girl who thought not existing was the answer. This was and continues to be the fight for my life, and you know what I’ve gained some new battle tactics!
I stand today walking in healing and despite popular belief, we must chose everyday to do that. I choose to fix my mind on things that are “true, honorable, right and pure, lovely and admirable” (Philippians 4:8). Taking every moment and seeing them and their impacts. I’ve chosen to live instead of just be alive. This doesn’t mean that when depression creeps up, and memories come, that I ignore them, but I choose to see my right now. One of the things that I had to learn in my healing process is that everything that begins in my mind is a choice. When the thought comes I have to capture it analyze it but never let it shift everything. This means making sure that I have everything I need for my soul, making sure my toolbox is full. Why? Well because it is very easy to get swooped up and for me, having scripture, art, community, etc, is vital. If my soul is being filled with things that will fade, the results will be a very short lived joy. When my soul is filled, my body, my emotions, my mind flow on a higher frequency. This is for me, my faith has been critical for me in this mental health walk and this healing process. Find foundation because depending on what it is, your house being you, will either sink or stand.
Throughout the years, I have seen how my process has forced me into a space where I found myself feeling extremely lonely, and I share this because sometimes in healing people tell you, “go find community” but it takes time to find the right community. This has been my truth and I wouldn’t change this any respect because I’ve learned this, everyone is in their own process and it looks different for everyone. I have also learned that not everyone is capable to being a support and that is also okay. While there has been moments of process by myself, my growth is proven to not be dependent on who is around or not. It’s dependent on my willingness to grow and for that I am grateful.
Now that I have given a short look into my process, I really want whoever reads this to be encouraged and leave with this
- It really is okay to not be okay
- No one’s process looks the same
- If you feel like you are doing this alone, you just might be but don’t let that stop you
- You are loved!
- Healing is FOR YOU!
Sending so much love and grace to you all!
Amanda, Undeniable Grace Education
PS: I will be holding a community dialogue and will be sharing more details soon! STAY TUNED!