I have got to be one of the luckiest people in the world to be surrounded by such incredible people. I had a Skype date with one of my girlfriends from South Africa last night, and she and I had a great time catching up on life and all its glory. This particular girlfriend I love and am so thankful for because she is always brutally honest with me. She’s that one person I know I can go to with anything and she will give me her honest opinion from a loving heart and a spiritual point of view.
Allow me to take you back to 2010 when she and I first met. We fought and still fight so much 🙂 mostly because she’s always wrong and I’m always right, it’s that simple, and for some strange reason, she doesn’t see it that way. Jokes. One day in the fall of 2010 we had a conversation in the car about mental illness to which I sat and listened while she spoke. She asked me if I had ever been to therapy since the passing of my mom. To her, I looked sad and perhaps needed to talk to a professional who could look beyond what friends and family could not see. For a kid who lost everything she knew and loved at 9 years old, moved from a total of 8 foster homes, you would think that the topic/or thought might have come up at least once, but it had never occurred to me to seek professional help for all the sadness and loss I carried alone. South Africa as a country does an awful job in that regard anyways. We are taught to take it all in without complaining, but no one ever taught me where and how I would find an outlet for all the baggage I so proudly carried.#ANGER
For some reason, mental illness in South Africa is correlated with craziness, and no one wants to be crazy. That was until I came to the conclusion that we are all just a little crazy in our own way and we walk around with the disabling “I’m fine” facade because again, no one wants to be crazy. If we were all crazy, that meant I was crazy too. What was my craze? That was a question I would pursue head on, which grew from that little spark my girlfriend ignited in that car ride that one day in the fall of 2010. Funny how life works right? #ACCEPTANCE.
Back to the car conversation with my friend. Lacking the knowledge and discernment on mental illness, my defense was instantaneously up and ready for battle the instant she even suggested I was crazy. Did I mention that she and I had just met? Who was she to think I was crazy, if anything, she was the one who was crazy for thinking me crazy. #DENIAL. Fast forward to 2015 in my 8 months of living in Thailand when everything came crashing on me all at once, out of the blue might I add. I was busy minding my own business, enjoying the hot and sweaty Thai weather all by my damn self. It was the first time in my adult life that I had lived alone. Everything I had safely tucked away in my “I’m fine” treasure chest came to my company. #DEPRESSION. This unexpected guest turned out to be one of the most beautifully frightening experiences yet. This time, I had no where to run to, and I’m grateful for that inability. I cried, the kind that makes you feel 20lb lighter afterwards. I forgave where there needed to be forgiveness, and this time I meant it. I did the forgiving before anyone asked for it, and this time I did it for myself, not for the other person or for my pride. I did it for me, for healing, for peace and for sanity sake.
I had gone to counseling when I was in college and for some reason I didn’t find it helpful. I actually went to see the school counselor every Wednesday, just because. Which might have been one of the reasons why I didn’t find the experience helpful. Therapy was free and available to all students, so I thought why not. I don’t know what my expectation(s) of therapy were at the time, but whatever I went looking for, or looking to find, I did not find. #BARGAIN. I haven’t given up on it though. I hope to return once I find a stable home and job. Without any expectations this time.
Today I’m grateful for my girlfriend’s bravery to ask a question that according to society, should have ended our friendship. I’m grateful for her heart of servitude. I’m grateful for her honesty that has the ability to wound like a dagger to the proud, but brings healing to the willing heart. I’m grateful for a renewed heart. I’m grateful for healing.
Whatever your crazy is, depression, anxiety, bipolar, self loathing, an eating disorder, substance abuse, porn addiction, etc.. my prayer is that you will seek help and set your mind free from bondage. There’s so much more to life, and to live for than being imprisoned by the organ in your head. With time and patience, you will find a healthy balance that works just for you. Heck I’m having to make the conscious CHOICE of fighting everyday. Every morning when I wake up I choose joy, I choose, peace, I choose faith in things unseen, I choose to trust in God and his unfailing power, I choose, I choose and I choose.