So what is normal you ask? I sure wish that I knew because all I want is to feel normal. For nearly my entire life I have felt different; different from everyone else in school and then later on at my places of work.
Having battled mental health for many years, a vast majority of which was battled alone, I can say with confidence that coming out about my depression has helped me immensely to cope. Do I feel normal, whatever normal is? No, because I am apprehensive that these decent feelings will dissipate over the next few months when things typically worsen. My fear is that any gains I have made will be lost.
The below passage from Matthew 6 is what I hold onto daily in my struggle.
“This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying? And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these! If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t He do much more for you—you of little faith? So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. - Matthew 6:25-34
As I have mentioned before, I have severe separation anxiety. The anxiety stems back to a childhood memory; a time in my life that I believe may be the catalyst for the beginning of my depression symptoms. I am not ready to share the details however if I can find the courage I may share in the future.
Some days are better than others; however, every time I see my bride walk out the door either for her part-time job or just going to the grocery store, I have this fear that she may not return. Is she going to get into an accident? Will she thinking about leaving me? Is she tired of my mental illness and wants to find someone normal? I know she will come home however deep inside, I have this fear which stems from the traumatic experience as a young teen.
Parents, please remember that your children hear and see everything that you do. The cliche statement of “children are like sponges” is actually absolutely true. Guard your words when around them. The lasting effects on a child from our actions can lead to mental anguish later in their lives.
In closing today I would love to hear from you. I would love to hear if my weekly musings are having an effect on you. My goal for this blog is to bring awareness to mental health and to the challenges it poses to those who suffer from it. To reduce the stigmatism seen by many in today’s society of, “Oh He is just faking it”. You can help by commenting below and on social media. You can also help me by sharing with your friends and family.
If you would like to purchase the canvas print from this week’s blog post, please check out my Etsy store here.