It’s been about a week since I shared the most recent chapter of my story. And the response has been so encouraging, so positive, so understanding. I’ve been overwhelmed with the number of people who have reached out with their similar tales. I’m thrilled that anyone is finding help and hope in my sharing.

And yet. It’s been much harder than I expected. In my imagination the hardest day was going to be the first day. The first chapter. The first post.

But hitting “publish” and “share” hasn’t gotten any easier. Each time I fight the anxiety and have to make myself publish the post and then walk away, battling not go back and delete it, or obsess about who might be reading it and judging me.

It’s also been more challenging than I expected to relive some of my darkest moments, to face them again and again as I write and edit. In fact, this last week has been extremely tough. Like sunburnt skin that hurts to the touch, I am Raw. I’m edgy and sore and hiding. I’ve found myself sleeping more, easily irritated, and ignoring my to-do list in favor of something mindless. It was bad timing honestly, to start this endeavor during the holiday season. We are all so busy, so tired, so frazzled.

But the thing with mental health is that it is ALWAYS bad timing. It’s never a good time to be fighting depression or anxiety.

I haven’t finished sharing my story; I still have to tell you about how angry I got at God, how I swore at Him and called Him names. And how He was faithful in the waiting, even when I wasn’t. Or about when someone I love so very dearly admitted to fighting the same battles and I stood in the trenches with her, crying and begging God again for healing for her. And how that time….I made sure she knew that God loves her, that she was beautiful and loved and lovely, that needing help didn’t mean her Faith was diminished, that help could come in the form of therapy and medication without shame.

I’m still here. I’m still fighting. For myself and for others. I don’t get to share from a place of victory, but from a place of empathy and compassion. And I have to believe, that maybe this is what the world needs, that this is victorious in its own way.

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