In this season of giving and thankfulness, I have to stop and be reminded of what I am thankful for and what my heavenly Father has given me.
This post will get a little personal, and I hope that even though what I am about to share is very personal, you will understand that this is my struggles and I trust my readers with this information.My hope is that you will hear my story and feel a closer connection to those that struggle with mental illness or maybe feel comforted that you are not alone if you do, yourself.
For most of my life, I have suffered from deep depression. The kind that robs you of all joy, leaves you feeling physically ill and makes you think terrible thoughts of hurting yourself. I remember feeling this way all the way back to early childhood. I never knew why I felt this way and I didn’t know why I felt different than other people. As a young teen, (age 14) I found myself for the first time in a mental health facility. There were many more trips to that same place throughout high school and into adulthood.I took a whole pharmacy of meds, went to tons of different types of therapies and nothing ever seemed to work.
There were so many times I just didn’t want to live anymore. I never understood why God allowed me to feel so tortured. I used to cry out to him asking him why. I now know that in my opinion, it was not something he allowed, but rather something that drew me nearer to him. It was my cross to bear.
Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart and you shall find rest in your souls.
– Matthew 11:29
I had an experience last fall that I believe was a spiritual. I decided to try a radical way to deal with my depression. I requested to be approved for ECT, which stands for Electro-convulsive therapy or better known as “Shock Treatments”. I was very sacred because I had seen too many Hollywood movies and I only knew what most people know about this-it’s scary, painful and barbaric.
The ECT of today is not the same as in different times. I was asleep during the procedures (I had 6 in al, over a 2 week time period) and I didn’t feel any pain, nor did I foam at the mouth or thrash violently. ECT is essential sending electricity into the brain to induce a seizure. It is said to re-set the way the chemicals in the brain work. It is not entirely understood how it works, but this is the theory. Each seizure is controlled and lasts anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute and a half. The patient is given muscle relaxants and anesthesia during the treatment.
I had significant memory loss for a couple months after the procedure mixed with a lot of confusion and anxiety. At one point, I was unable to even leave my home at all. I still struggle with anxiety, but it is a lot better.
After I started to remember things again, I remembered a moment when I was under that was truly supernatural. I believe that was the moment God answered my prayers. I remember being under anesthesia and having Jesus come to me and tell me I would be free from depression. It took my a while to even remember this moment and I did not remember it immediately after coming to, only weeks later.
Because I had prayed for so long, I was unsure of my own memory of it or if I had imagined it. Now, a year later, I know it had to be real.
While I have had moments where I had depression since then, it has been far less intense. For at least 6 months now, I have been free of suicidal thoughts and I believe God led me to blogging shortly after my treatment because he knew it would help my healing process. I truly do feel free of these thoughts that used to plague me and I now feel strong enough to help others.
By HIS stripes, I am healed!