Today I am inspired. I’ve been thinking a lot about depression lately. Not because I’ve ever truly battled depression – I haven’t. I’m too connected to music, and I don’t mean for this to sound like denial or a coping mechanism. I was once formally diagnosed with “excessive happiness” by a very annoyed psychiatrist who didn’t understand why his time (or mine for that matter) was being wasted (Kameron’s former wraparound provider made me go after my mom died. She thought I was handling it a little too well). But, that’s the way I’ve always been – my heart finds a song. I sing myself out of (or into) whatever moment I need to get to. Of course it’s not always that easy, but, sometimes, it pretty much is.
Unfortunately, not everyone can so easily get themselves out of a sadness. In fact, two of the people I love most in this world on more than one occasion have been so sad they no longer wanted to be on this planet. At all. That’s hard for someone with excessive happiness to understand. I am everyone’s encourager. And I mean everyone. People I barely talk to will come to me when they need a pick me up. I’m the drive thru coffee shop of feel good-ness. And I’m okay with that! I’m really good at it, too!! Until it’s not enough. When words can’t reach you, that’s a different level of sad.
The church doesn’t like to talk about that level of sad. Christians tend to wish that prayer and Christian music should be the cure-all for mental health. IF there is such a thing. Isn’t it easier if we pretend it doesn’t exist? Understand, I fully believe in and recognize the power of prayer and healing. I also recognize that not every prayer gets answered the way we hope or expect.That doesn’t mean that we forget about everyone who struggles with a chemical imbalance.
But, that’s not why I’m inspired today.
Today, I am blown away by the strength of some beautiful young women. They share a bond of being survivors of suicidal thoughts. Reading their stories, I was amazed at how brave, strong and incredible their words were. I was brought to tears. I wanted to hug them and tell them that they were going to change the world. I wanted to tell them I was proud of them, that one day, their stories, their very lives were going to save the life of someone else. I wanted to tell them that in those few moments, I realized how much I loved them and how necessary they were, how glad I was that they were here.
You see, even though the church (and for that matter, the media) never really shines a light on mental health and leaves those who suffer in isolating silence, sometimes we get our happy ending. Sometimes, there are heroes who rise above circumstance and change their world. Sometimes, someone figures it out and reaches outside of themselves to help those in need and lives are changed forever because of it. I love when that happens. I love that we don’t always have to have the sad stories.
So, today I’m inspired. I’m inspired by these ridiculously beautifully amazing girls and their precious lives and their incredible organization (Alive on Purpose) that’s going to change the world one day at a time. And I’m especially inspired by the two people I love who decided being here was worth it, even when for a moment they thought it wasn’t. I’m glad I don’t have to miss them. I’m glad I don’t have to wake up knowing that they aren’t here anymore. I’m also inspired by a truly awesome woman who chose to be like my big sister (her younger sister is one of my best friends and insists that I keep trying to steal her family anyway….she’s pretty much correct). Through her, I found out about these girls and their stories. I have so much love in my heart right now, my face hurts from smiling so much. I blame you for that. Thank you and ow.
I could think of a witty or charming or even moving way to close this, but when Steven Curtis Chapman has already done such a fabulous job of that for me? Have a wonderful evening, everyone.