It became apparent to me that I was dealing with a spiritual experience as well as a natural one. There are so many scriptures in the Bible that talk about not being anxious and focusing on joy and positivity, but for the life of me I could not combat the negativity that was clouding my perspective. I would pray and ask God to take the fearful thoughts away, but in response, I was overloaded with fear, doubt and darkness. I went on like this for months, and at some point confided in my pastor about what I was going through. One time, in the middle of the night, I was so fearful of ending my own life that I called her at 3am and shared the sabotage that was happening in my being. She stayed on the phone with me for at least 4 hours, literally talking me off of a cliff. And it wasn’t as if I wanted to end my own life, I just did not know how to escape the mental hell I was in, and it got to the point where I couldn’t even trust my own self.
I ended up coming across a book during this time called “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life” by Dr. Daniel Amen. The leaders of our spiritual group had recommended it, and interestingly enough, we were learning about our mental health and brain at the time in our fellowship. Well, I know God wanted me to buy that book! Simultaneously, Dr. Daniel Amen and his wife were doing a FREE online Youtube course on healing your brain. I knew I needed anything that was free because, if you remember, I was laid off, and therefore did not have health insurance.
The thing is though, if I had health insurance, I would have went straight to my doctor and said, “Meds please!” I wanted a quick and easy fix to this pain, but that was not the way God would lead me. I do believe medication can help others though, so I would encourage you on your own journey of mental health to use the resources that assist you in your healing.
I signed up for the Youtube tutorial and started reading Dr. Daniel’s book. I learned that I was to tackle this fear on all fronts: physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. I learned that we are whole people, (although often in western culture we tend to compartmentalize ourselves).
In addition to Dr. Daniel’s teaching, I was re-reading Joyce Meyers’, “Battlefield of the Mind”, an oldie but goody (I also was able to see her preach in person during this time and the word was very confirming!). God had led me to re-read this book because it is filled with scripture, and He needed me to renew my mind with the word.
I started fighting spiritually, even though I really didn’t want to. But God made it clear, that we were going to have to fight back in order to win. So, He sent me tools to fight with.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ
2 Cor 10:3-5
Of course, it was still going to be a while before I would see some real progress in my healing journey. My mind, at this point, felt like it was being eaten alive by rats, as if they were gnawing at my brain! I so desperately wanted relief.
What tools are you using in fighting your experience with mental health issues? Do you have someone or people in your life to confide in with your battle?
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention lifeline at: 800-273-8255.