I think the greatest thing I could say about myself is that I am a child of God. For many years I never understood what that actually meant. Despite growing up as a Pastors child, being surrounded by Christianity, I never really understood God’s love, grace and mercy. I understood the rules, the do’s and don’ts of Christianity, but not how to actually achieve them. I looked good on the outside. I followed the rules, read my bible extensively and was heavily involved in church ministry. On the inside I was crippled. Crippled with many thoughts and voices, a lot of them conflicting and damaging. I struggled with addiction, suicidal thoughts and depression. I loved God and wanted to please Him, however, I thought that meant that I had to prove I was worthy of His love. I thought I knew who He was simply cause I knew the bible and all of the ‘rules’. Truthfully I had no idea!
At the age of 30 I fell into incredibly deep depression. It was not the first time I had suffered with depression. I had struggled with this wretched sickness since I was a teenager. In the past I found a way to ‘overcome’ and ‘beat’ it. This time, however, I could not. I was a mother of two, my second child about 17 months and I felt like I was failing. I was in a dark fog. The emotional pain I felt was horrendous and my thoughts were very dark. One day when I was out with my family I went to walk in front of a car. My husband sensing something was wrong grabbed my hand. I remember him whispering in my ear, “You may want to die, but I give you three good reasons to live”. What he didn’t understand was that I was so sick that I thought those “three good reasons” would be better off without me. What a lie! I am so blessed to be here today with my family; now a family of five. I believe it was God prompting my husband to grab my hand that day. I am forever grateful.
My story is a story of falling into the depths of despair and being carried out of it in the loving arms of God. It’s a story of discovering mental illness and the shame that accompanies that label. After seeking help from a counsellor, it became obvious that I was a person that carried many conversations in my head. Conversations with very real people; split-off versions of me. Up until now (August 2015) I have hidden this part of my story; I guess I never felt ready to talk about it. I was diagnosed with what is medically known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). As a child I would go to the ‘back’ of my mind and an alternate person would come to the ‘front’ and face my pain for me. It sounds strange and scary and at the time of diagnosis it was. But having gone on the journey to the end, I now see it as a beautiful way of providing the protection I needed as a child. There came a time when I needed to face this pain, and that time for me started when I was 30. Healing came, but it came slowly and painfully. Today I am fully integrated. This blog talks about things I discovered on my journey to integration and continue to discover since. God has remained faithfully with me every step of the way. It was in the midst of the pain that I discovered God in new way – His love, mercy and grace. I gained a better understanding of His character and the beauty of being His precious, deeply loved child.
My discovery of God and who I truly am hasn’t stopped. The beauty about God is that the more I get to know Him, the more I discover who I am – the God-made me.