I mentioned in previous posts about seeking professional support in my life for my mental health. I have had great experiences on both occasions that I needed to seek treatment because my mental health was affecting my quality of life.
I know it is not the same for everyone because there are several biopsychosocial complexities regarding mental health. For example, seeking treatment may not be accessible or feasible for everyone so it can be extremely challenging for people to navigate.
The first time I saw a psychologist was in 2008 when I was a 18-year-old experiencing suicidal ideation. After making a decision to follow Jesus for the rest of my life, I went to see a psychologist for a few months. It helped me identify emotional eating was deteriorating my mental health and physical wellbeing. My psychologist helped me implement healthy coping strategies like exercise back into my life after a 2-year hiatus.
In 2016, after I experienced my second miscarriage and I was in a depressed state. Almond encouraged me to seek professional support so I saw a psychologist who specialised in grief and loss. It was Gods divine intervention that my psychologist was a lover of Jesus Christ too.
To give you some context, in the space of 18 months, I had experienced 2 miscarriages, my grandmother passed away, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, I lost my job, withdrew from my university studies and went through a family breakdown.
I had experienced my first miscarriage which I have mentioned in a previous journal about my miscarriages at the 12-week mark while at work. The company I worked for at the time went into liquidation so I lost my job too but so did thousands of other people across the country because it was a large company.
I was not coping with everything which affected my ability to study full time, so I withdrew from University. It was actually the first time I truly considered quitting my degree. I remember sending in proof of my miscarriages, loss of employment, my grandmother’s death certificate and my mother’s cancer diagnosis documentation to my University to get approved so I would not get a financial and academic penalty.
I was distressed, sad and angry about life being unfair. I was also confused because I knew God’s promises for my life but I couldn’t comprehend the presence of pain in my life. I remember one night after playing a social game of Touch football, my team had lost and I went home and cried over it which I had never done before because it was like I could not bear losing anything else in my life.
Almond was the only person who knew that I was seeking weekly professional support because I was embarrassed to share it at the time. During this time I had a family member tell a family friend they should not talk to me because I am unstable. The shame of seeking treatment was heightened when I was called unstable and I thought to myself what does stable even look like? It’s a funny concept because perception and deception can often summarise or define the projection of stability. The lack of compassion broke my heart because they had no idea about my journey. However, by the grace of God, we got to talk it out and God’s supernatural healing bought peace.
I was also in a moral predicament with my family when I shared the truth about a loved one and their situation. As a result, they were dishonest and I was deeply hurt about the entire situation. To this day, I wonder if it was worth all the heartache it caused everyone by speaking up or should I have remained silent? However, God is all-powerful and he supernaturally restored family relationships that I was ready to leave behind.
I am forever thankful to God for Almond who encouraged me during my 6-month journey of seeking professional support for the grief and loss I experienced. It was a slow and steady process that turned my pain into perseverance for God’s purpose and passion in my life.
'Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.' Romans 5: 3-5 NIV
I believe God helped heal my heart, mind, body and spirit through therapy, prayers, tears, reading my word and fellowship at Church. It is a constant reminder of God’s love in every aspect of my life and that he will continually make a way when there seems no way. Everyone has a mental health journey that they are trying to manage and it is something that I will continually commit to God. The renewing of my mind is a daily commitment and I am forever grateful to God for his power continually protecting me on this journey we all call life.
Take care and talk soon
Love G x