When Life - Hooked in Hope
I know what it's like to feel like you're invisible.
To feel like when people do see you, it's only to criticize or make fun of you.
To be told, "I say these things because we're friends. You know I'm just kidding." And to choose to believe the lie, because the thought of making new friends literally makes you ill.
I know how it feels to truly believe that no one would miss you if you left, or just chose to end your life.
I remember being told to take antidepressants and a semester off school to "fix" me. The university psychologist spoke to me for 10 minutes. 10 MINUTES.
I remember stopping the drugs cold turkey because they made me feel numb, and it was easier to fake happy than forget what it felt like to feel any other emotion.
I remember telling myself I had to hide how I felt from everyone to avoid being judged or put into the hospital. From then on, I was fine - great even! Everything was good, I had no struggles, and life was lattes and rainbows.
I remember being a newly married woman unable to explain my feelings to my husband because I held that much fear of judgement - I need to make it clear that this had NOTHING to do with him. It was all in me, in my mind. He never gave up on me, through any of this.
I know how it feels to be afraid of being pregnant, and then feeling like a horrible mother when I had a miscarriage and lost that baby. I was convinced before it even happened that it was my fault, but I hid my feelings again to protect everyone else.
I remember the instant fear when I discovered I was pregnant again 18 months later. I was bullied by my doctor, had multiple panic attacks throughout my pregnancy, and was constantly told about the horrible things that *could* happen to my baby. I could taste the fear in my constant heartburn.
I remember feeling not enough from the beginning of my son's life. I spent 38 hours trying to be induced, when I do not believe it was necessary and I did EVERYTHING right but ended up having a C-section.
I remember the absolute terror that held me as we drove home from the hospital. I had a week with my husband and mother to help me, and then the same day they both left me on my own with this helpless little human. I had no faith in myself, and constantly had thoughts of him somehow falling down our steps, or the couch, or out of bed, or so many other terrible scenarios. I was paralyzed with fear and just cried constantly.
I remember realizing I needed help. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't relax, I couldn't do things for myself because I was so afraid that if I wasn't constantly caring for my son something awful would happen and I would never forgive myself.
I remember my epiphany that I was absolutely co-dependent, along with being diagnosed with major depression and anxiety. My counselor seemed confused during my first appointment because I spoke about the depths of my struggles but appeared to be 100% functional.
I know how it feels to be afraid to hope. To hope for change. To hope for help. To be afraid of the hard work ahead. But oh, my friends, I know what it is to have that Hope realized. To feel the weight of all your fears and insecurities and everyone else's expectations of you as it melts away.
I am learning what it is to know that my God cares for me, even when I can't care for myself. He also cares about my son so much more than I ever can imagine. His reasons for what has happened to me may not be entirely clear to me in this life, but one thing is for certain...
We walk through trials so that we can hold others' hands through theirs. Our experiences are never the exact same, but we're never never never the only one dealing with a struggle at any given time. The scars I carry, which may never completely heal, allow me to encourage others who are in the deepest, darkness, most painful parts of it. To show them there is Hope, there is light and there is love in this world.
Please don't be fooled though - I'm fighting my anxiety every.single.day. My depression makes appearances, but my anxious heart just won't quit. Through Christ I learn every day that I can trust in Him, even when I don't have the answers, or when I don't like the answers I get. There are reasons for all the things that happen to us, and for me, I choose to trust that even if I can't figure it out now, someday I will be able to look back and understand. I made some decisions in college that I still regret to this day, but I know now if I hadn't made them at the time, I probably wouldn't be around today.
More than anything, I know what it feels like to believe God doesn't want you or love you, and thankfully every day I am reminded that these thoughts are entirely false. He loves me, He has always wanted me, and I believe the same for each of you.
Submitted by: Chelsea
Chelsea is the owner and operator of Hooked in Hope. She crochets custom pieces all the while sharing her journey of recovery from devastating anxiety and depression. You can find her on social media here: On Facebook or Instagram.
Thank you Chelsea for trusting me with such a vulnerable piece of yourself. I struggle almost on a daily basis with anxiety and understand firsthand the difficulty it can present in almost every facet of your life. I was diagnosed with severe post partum depression after the birth of my first son and needed medication to get through that time in my life. I felt so out of control and unfit to even be his mother.
I wish I could reach out and give you a hug right now because I know the pain and sadness can be too much sometimes. You are loved and you have, like you said, a great Hope in Him! I pray nothing but peace over your life!
I am so happy we connected and found one another.
Love and lemons,
I thank God that He has kept His hand upon you, Chelsea. And I praise Him as I sit and watch Him heal your heart, mind, body and soul. There’s not another person on the face of the earth that loves you more than I do, but I’ve realized that only Gods love and healing touch can heal us of some hurts. I’m proud of you for laying out your heart for others to see, because in them you point to God. You’re strong in Him, but your loving heart is what is enabling Him to use you. I’m proud of you, daughter. You’re fighting the good fight. I love you, my sweet girl.
I have struggled myself with depression and anxiety. The truth is one out of every three Americans will suffer with a clinical depression at some point in their life. Stylistically speaking. It’s a real issue many of us have faced. Some ignored it. And others come to terms with the fact that they need help. Depression is not an inability to cope with life. It’s actually a neurologic problem. The chemicals need reset sometimes. It is just as much of a disease as diabetes or heart problems. Dont get down on yourself because you may need treatment is what I tell my clients. Mist are relieved to hear the science behind clinical depression. That’s my thoughts for tonight. I teach classes about this disease.
Such a wonderful story. You are an inspiration to the secret struggles so many women deal with. I am 64 years old and STILL trying to believe I have value as aperson apart from the work that I do. 5 yes 5 failed marriages and many many bad choices when I was young. Instead of help and support I was judged and rejected as worthless. I have spent my whole life just trying to be loved and appreciated without ever really feeling like I belonged anywhere.
I never really knew what it was like to have a family that loved and supported me until I found my first church family. It was after a suicide attempt that I finally dropped to my knees and told God I just could not do it without Him. I got up from my knees forever changed. I still struggle with feeling unloved and unwanted. I was 37 years old before I ever heard that God loved me. I could not believe that no one had ever told me that GOD LOVED ME or told me what wonderfulf healing He could provide. I, like you am still a work in progress but I hold on to His Word, “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion…”. Thank you for sharing your story and for your ministry!
Sharon, wow, thank you SO much for sharing your story! It amazes me that even as hard as it is to talk openly about our struggles, it’s easier now than it was in the past. Thank you for choosing to do the hard work to recover. I know every day can be a battle, and I pray that you have built a solid support system as well. I know I couldn’t survive without mine! It’s amazing what we can do when we really get a glimpse of what God sees when He looks at us – flaws and all. 💜
Thank you so much for sharing your life story. I’m so glad that you sought help from professionals and that you have a great support system. It’s good that you share this AND that you admit that the struggle continues daily.
Some people believe that once depression and anxiety are diagnosed and treatment/medications have begun that the depression disappears and the anxiety melts away….
IF ONLY…. I’d gladly take that pill!
Women in my generation struggled with these thoughts and fears as well. Some could overcome their fears and rise above the situations. More often than not, I was just like you, constantly questioning my thoughts-feelings-fears.
I tried to share…I tried to get help… I was just told how I needed to “get over it” to change and accept…. thus reinforcing my belief that I was broken, flawed.
I got very good at wearing that happy mask, always helpful and encouraging to others.
Throughout my adult life I have made some very good friends. Or I thought so…. but several have left my life…. shortly after I finally felt comfortable enough to open up a little bit and share some of my story. Two very close friends chose to walk away when we had a very different opinion about a topic…. both were especially mean in their reasoning for their actions.
It took me sitting on my parents grave with a bottle of xanax and 2 bottles of wine….. 😔
before I finally got the help I needed. I was 57 years old and I finally had validation for my emotions and some one who was truly invested in saving my life.
I am still a work in progress…probably always will be. I’ve finally realized that I am a strong woman, not a victim, I am an intelligent woman who has an empathetic kind heart full of love and compassion. I finally love ME…
I’ve known for years that God loved me warts, scars and all… but the fact that I have been experiencing and more aware of the many “Godstops” in my life
has finally convinced me that although I am not worthy, I am LOVED by Him. He will never leave my side.
Untreated depression and anxiety can meld into PTSD and CPTSD just through life experiences and sorrows.
So glad you are seeking and getting the help you want and need… and that you have a great support system.
Keep up the good work!