So last week I launched my podcast The Elephant In The Room – Navigating A Lifetime Of Emotion, the podcast that helps you manage your emotions. I have taken the lessons learnt during the 35 years I spent in depression, plus the last 9 years of overcoming depression and put it into the podcast to help and inspire others.
I can’t believe I actually fulfilled one of the things on my visions board, and to think I only put it on there in April! Who would have thought I would be producing fruit from a vision board I had to pussssssh through mentally and emotionally to produce. That was one of my hardest battles with depression, keeping my dreams and vision alive long enough to connect and run with them.
I would often get an idea and feel the energy from it rushing through my bones. In my head, it would pan out just as I imagined. No obstacles, no issues, no delays. But then I would wake up one day feeling low, and all sights of my vision, dream or idea would be gone, lost in the weight of whatever heaviness I was experiencing at the time. So you can understand why this is important to me.
It feels fulfilling having achieved the launch of the podcast, and though it is presently ranked #77 in the top 100 mental health podcast charts, I still have lots of work to do in order to keep it going and remain committed to my commitment. That said, #77, God is GOOD. Who would have thought such joy would come out of so much pain?
I get the same feeling when I look at my book, God’s Romantic Getaway. I was on the verge of a breakdown, seriously looking for a reason to live when I went away for two months to be alone with God and my thoughts. I was tired of trying and failing. I was tired of feeling heavy and living with depression. I was suicidal and on the verge of a mental breakdown. I wasn’t sure what I would find, but I was desperately looking for change and a reason to wake up and keep going on. I spent two months alone with God and came back with a book under my belt, a zillion reasons to live and a notice of eviction for depression.
At the time I had been a Christian for 29 years, so it wasn’t like I just stumbled upon God, we had history, we just didn’t have intimacy. Intimacy with God changed everything for me and I share that story in the book. A book that has impacted the lives of many in their own intimate walk with God as well as those struggling with mental health.
Open Your Mouth And Speak
I never thought my voice would be of any use to anyone. Yet somehow my life seems to serve as an inspiration to many, which is extremely humbling because when God told me I needed to tell my story, I told Him I didn’t have one! Having put in the work to change my mindset, I can see things a lot clearer. A lot goes on behind closed doors, a lot goes on that the world doesn’t see, only me and God., but it is because of what takes place behind closed doors that I am able to function.
My intimate relationship with God has been the driving force of my life. Though I have been a Christian for many years, these past 9 years have taken me to depths of intimacy I never imagined possible and has been the one thing that has kept me going, my one stable, dependable rock!
God and my intimate time with Him is the reason why I am able to do what I do. rising in the morning at 4 am I am often giddy with excitement when I sit down in my quiet time with Him. There are no words to describe it, other then it is so hard to leave at times. Everything I do stems from the time we spend together daily.
Every issue, concern or worry is discussed during that time. Every joyous praise is released during that time. It is there wisdom and guidance is sort. It is there God’s peace that surpasses all understanding is outpoured.
I talk a lot about managing your emotions, but without God I wouldn’t know what to measure that by
Me And God
When I worked from home, I would often spend my quiet time alone with God in my morning field. I have lost count of the number of times I fell to my knees in tears, or sang and worshipped like myself and God were the only two beings in the world. Now I have to grab time in the outdoors with Him when I can, which is why our early morning meets are so precious to me. They create balance and keep me mentally, emotionally and spiritually connected
When I suffered from depression, I spent my time meditating on my pain, now I spend my time meditating on what I have gained in and through Christ. The way He has taught me to control my thoughts and manage my emotions, without it, I would not be able to do a fraction of the things I do today
There are days when I have to pinch myself, to make sure I am alive and not dreaming. It is not that life is a bed of roses but because I can function in spite of things not going right. I can face disappointments without having a meltdown. I can face hurt without feeling rejected. I’m getting to know my mind, addressing and managing my thoughts. When they try to overwhelm me triggering an anxiety emotion, just being able to take back that control and feel the emotion subside is something to be grateful for, something to smile and rejoice about.
When I look back so many wonderful things have been birthed from my pain, proving that God really does works all things together for our good and there is life after depression.
Living With Empathy For Others
My loneliest Christmas was spent alone in a hotel room in Orlando Florida in 2004, crying, sleeping and eating cold leftovers. I was hurting and hiding. I was too embarrassed to share what I was going through and chose to hurt myself instead of choosing help and healing. Besides that Christmas, which really hurt, others were spent volunteering my services or working, anything to escape the pain Christmas brought and the empty void of losing my mum.
When I started ABCD, providing tailormade food hampers for families affected by depression at Christmas I wanted to reach people like me who for whatever reasons were hurting at a time when many around the world were celebrating. Many people struggle to understand why I do what I do, it stems from knowing what to is like to feel pain, to feel alone and have nothing. I’ve been there!
Today is World Mental Health Day. Had my emotions had their way back in 2011, I would not be here and you would not be reading this blog. Back then I was hurting so much, not only did suicide look peaceful, it seemed like the only way out.
Statistics show that 971 billion people, 13% of the world’s population suffer from some form of mental health disorder. For 35 years I was one of them. Today I work at being emotionally and mentally free. Taking care of what I allow to sit and fester in my mind. I have to. I need to, my life depends on it.
Outside of managing my thoughts and emotions, something I trained myself to do. The best thing I ever did was to get out of my head and start talking. There are many counsellors out there with a spare chair and an ear just waiting to hear from you, so don’t isolate yourself and don’t suffer in silence.
Help is out there, use and make use if it.
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