istock_depression-teenageOne thing I am asked often is, “Heather, HOW did you get through it?” I’ve given the answer to this LOTS of years of practice. And with prayer and collective wise counsel, here is a list of 5 things I’ve done (and will do) when my mind isn’t well. They are in no certain order–as ALL of them, combined–gave me light in a dark tunnel…

  1. Christian Counseling. I’m not talking a one-hour-on-the-couch-thank-you-for-your-time-I’m-healed session. I’m talking a relentless resolve to go, every week to every appointment for the entire hour, UNTIL, You + God + Counselor are in agreement that your time is done. In 2000-2001, I went 52 weeks in a row. This step is of utmost importance.
  2. Pray on my knees. This was a powerful step for two reasons. One, it forced me to get out of bed every morning. To pray on my knees, I had to rise from my pillow. It’s that simple. Two, it gave me a chance to release all my tears, penned-up anger, and “crazy” unto the Lord before taking on the day. I can’t recommend this enough.
  3. Journaling. “Oh, Heather, you’re a writer, that comes easy to you.” Nope, that’s not why I journaled in my darkness. I journaled because I was lonely. I didn’t have anyone who could handle all my pain and darkness and pity and trauma and psychosis. But it was all a nasty infectious–and I didn’t want it in me. So I dumped…journaled…to God. You should see the collection of journals I have. If I write it out, I’m not holding it in. Period.
  4. Prescription Meds. I know, I know…its controversial because Christians shouldn’t need to depend on this. I know, I know, it’s a crutch. I know, I know, there are side effects. I know, I know, not all insurance companies cover it. Look, I’ve heard them ALL–from friends and adversaries. Putting all the dogma aside, here’s what I know, and truty believe for me: My brain gets sick and there are prescriptions that can help it get better. When my body got sick with a cold, I took antibiotics. When my body was recovering from surgery, I took pain relievers. If I had diabetes, I would take insulin. The brain is a part of the body that gets sick too. Thats alls I got to say about that.
  5. Read. Read. Read. And then Read. I think people get sick of me saying this, but I read like a maniac when I’m walking through a mental affliction.  For two reasons: one, it is good for me. Reading forces me to sit, quietly, and get my mind off my mind. I can’t go crazy, I can’t freak out, I can’t have any kind of attack if I am quietly reading. It’s been a safe recreation in my darkest hours. Two, there are experts who God has allowed their stories and their knowledge to be put out there for our gain. I have a vast collection of books that have been huge in encouraging me and helping me heal. (If you would like to know my list of books, email me at heather@wondHerful.com)

I hope this encourages someone today. I’m not an expert. Just one on a journey with a little calamity in the mind. Thanks for stopping by. And remember that it’s always too soon to give up.

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