The other day while I was attempting to study for midterms that are slowly approaching, I got a message from an old friend who asked why I haven’t written anything on my blog since December. I gave him all sorts of reasons such as, school has me pretty busy, I’m working on some other projects, and etc. Simply put I have been putting off writing in general for a few weeks now. I just have not been up for it and mentally I was drained. He began to fuss at me. I started laughing and asked him why he was so upset. “Jas you do not know who out there is counting on you to bring forth an encouraging word,” he said. “You should never sleep or pause on what it is God has called you to do.” “This is your ministry and if you don’t start taking this seriously and really put forth the work, how can you expect God to continue blessing you and what it is you are trying to do?” I was speechless and felt pretty bad. I never really considered my blog to be such a “big deal” that people would want to listen to whatever I wrote, let alone take my advice. To be honest, for a while when people came to me and said they enjoyed my writing, or if I met total strangers they would tell me that they saw a light in me that the world needs to see or that God had something special for me soon, I would literally let it go out one ear and to the other.
In my previous posts, I have held back a lot of what I really wanted to say in fear that people would not respond to it. I could have written about the panic attack I had back in November shortly after Thanksgiving (really a few days after I wrote Home Is Where The Heart Is). I could have written about the suicidal thoughts I have been having for some time now. I could have written about the fact that I have been battling anxiety and depression for the last few years. I could have opened up and wrote about several others things that I have happened to me in the last few months but my fear wouldn’t allow me to do it. I was a mastermind at hiding everything. If you looked at me you would only see what I had going on the outside. I felt like it was no one’s business but my own when it came to my problems. To be real, a few of blog posts have almost been complete lies. The scriptures I had quoted, the messages I written, I had the nerve to think people would listen and take heed but when it came to myself I had a really hard time using those words on my situations.
I GOT TIRED OF FAKING IT.
Towards the end of 2014, my mind was in complete chaos. I was tired mentally. I have allowed myself to fall victim to my insecurities and fears for way too long. I knew I needed help. I knew I had to do something because here it is I am about to be 25 and I refuse to live my next 25 years in this mess. I began to tell some of my close friends and family about my battle. Some were in complete shock. Some were very angry that I had hidden this from them. Some were empathetic. Some pretty much told me to pray about it and it will be alright. I had a hard time dealing with that last comment. I have been in constant prayer about my illness. The stronger I grew in my faith was when I was tested the most. I gave up for a while. However, I knew that really it didn’t matter what others had to say, I had to get help for my sake. I had to do what was best for Jasmine. I started going to counseling at the beginning of the year. The sessions have been very emotional but I am definitely feeling a lot better these days and comfortable allowing myself to be open and transparent throughout this whole process.
As I told my friend about what has really been going with me, he simply said “Jasmine this is what some young women need to hear.” “How do you know if there is not another young lady out there battling depression? How about fear?” I really began to see the bigger picture. I read one of Heather Lindsey’s blog post that spoke about not being ashamed of your past issues. You should be thankful that God allowed you to get out of it and want to share your testimony because that will help the next person get through their storm as well. In her post today she says “This crazy world needs you. They need your story. They need your transparency. They need you to be obedient to what God told you to do.” This really spoke to me and woke me up. It brought what my friend had to say back in mind. How can I sit here and allow my excuses and insecurities to hold me back and keep me from fulfilling what it is that God has called me to do.
I have to take this one day at time.
As mentioned earlier, today I am fine. I can’t dwell on yesterday and I can’t predict tomorrow which is a day that I may never see. All I have is TODAY to get better and continue being the vessel that God has called me to be.
To learn more about mental illnesses and what you can do to help spread awareness, check out: www.who.int/mentalhealth or www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org