“One more day, just one more day!” – is what I tell myself when I’m ready to give up and want to take my life. ”Lord, please STOP the pain”, was my daily plea. The intense emotional pain, anguish was brought about from PTSD, which caused clinical depression for the next 3.5-4 years. This was a result of various factors, but chiefly triggered from caregiver burnout and guilt whilst tending to my mom’s sudden sickness till she passed on within a span of 6 months on a Good Friday! Relationships with family, friends, church ministry, work suddenly were all breaking down. The societal stigma towards mental health did not help. I was so severely depressed, I gave up hope, and became suicidal. But somewhere, during the sickness, I felt God ‘tell me’ that I am to use this experience to help others with similar conditions.
By God’s grace, I was completely off all the anti-psychotic and anti-depressants in April of 2018. I still have intermittent mini-flashbacks but it’s manageable now.
Here are but some key tips for recovery:
- Be kind to yourself.
- Do something you have always wanted to do but have not tried. A new sport, a new hobby?
- Get some sun.
- Join a support group – you are not alone.
- Identity – know your values, interests, temperament & life goal/mission. Re-discover your purpose!
I would like to help break this stigma, to tell anyone out there, that there is hope, recovery is possible. And that caregivers are just as important as those who are suffering.