Hi. My name is Jackie and I suffer from mental health issues, specifically, major depressive disorder (MDD). I had been able to hide my true feelings for many years. Though recently, it became very evident that I needed help. I could no longer hide behind a fake smile. The energy exerted to put on the appearance of having everything together was exhausting to the point where I felt trapped inside my own body.
So now I draw on my iPad and I write in this weekly blog as my own way of coping with depression. And recently, my prayer has been that my writing in this blog would have a positive impact on someone’s mental health. After publishing my weekly blog on Fridays, an automatic email is generated on Saturday morning to a list of about 130 people — and perhaps some bots too. The email is simple and contains links to my latest ramblings here on this website. Nevertheless, I am happy to hear reports from people saying that have had a positive impact on the lives of others.
God’s Perfect Timing
How often do we overlook someone’s cry for help? Well, God’s timing is perfect. In last week’s blog titled Putting an End to the Stigma of Mental Health, I touched on listening and being watchful of a subtle cry for help.
Dear friends, don’t let this one thing escape you: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:8-9
Acknowledging the Cry for Help
My friend had reached out to me a few weeks back asking for prayer. After inquiring a bit more, I realized his situation was more serious. But when we started to chat over text messages, my brain went into high anxiety alert as I quickly began to look for ways to avoid getting involved. Not because I do not love him. On the contrary, he is a very good friend who truly means a lot to me. It was my own mental instability causing my hesitation. I also had this feeling of being completely inadequate.
“With my own mental health issues, how in the world can I help?”.
Additionally, thoughts of regret for not noticing his cries for help sooner troubled my mind. So I had finally heard his cry for help and thinking back over the past few months, I can clearly see those missed signs — missed opportunities. The evidence was clear but I just missed it; being caught up in my own struggles I guess.
Battling Depression Over Coffee
We were all set to meet on Sunday after church but then my anxiety kicked in. I actually had a slight panic attack as I sought out options to avoid having to meet with him. But my friend had been going through a rough patch and just need a friend to talk to. God had placed me on his mind so need to gird up my loins — put on my big boy underwear — and help out my friend.
We first met for lunch and then moved to a coffee shop. The discussions were great and I had a feeling that perhaps I was having a positive impact on him. But as is usual for God, when helping someone out, God in turn will bless you. I came away from that coffee shop feeling refreshed and in one of the best moods, I have experienced in a very long time.
Now we are planning to make this a regular occurrence to meet up, enjoy a cup of coffee, and just talk about life. Please join me in prayer as I pray for my friend daily. I pray for him to heal from his troubles. I pray for God to give him the strength he needs to push onward.
So again, as I wrote about last week, I implore you to never distrust or disregard someone’s plea for help. You never know when someone’s cry for support could have been the only time they were able to muster the courage to seek out help. And please watch for those signs and listen for those cries for help. You may be the one person that someone confides in about their mental health. Your decision to ignore or accept their cry for help could be the very difference between life and death.
If you made it this far, please consider commenting below, subscribing, and also sharing on your social media sites. Most importantly, I ask for your prayers. I write this weekly blog as an outlet in my fight against depression. However, my hope is that something I write here may help others who may be struggling. If you would like to help with my battle against depression, check out my online Etsy store. Most proceeds are donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
If you or someone you know may be contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or by dialing 988. You may also text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. In emergencies, call 911, or seek care from a local hospital or mental health provider.
Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Used by Permission HCSB ©1999,2000,2002,2003,2009 Holman Bible Publishers. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.