Letters on Womanhood: Mental Health
“I just don’t think I’ll ever be happy.” Saying these words out loud to my spiritual director changed my life, and I want to reach out to you with some hope if you’ve ever found yourself in a similar situation.
My eating disorder took hold of my life. I was so drained and numb, like a walking zombie. I was just trying to get by, and I only prayed when I was laying in bed with no energy to move. I had been to a few on-campus counselors while I was in college, who tried to tell me to “just eat” or just believe that my body was a temple of the Holy Spirit. That was the last thing I could believe.
Last November before my 20th birthday, I planned on killing myself. I felt I was worth nothing and had no purpose. I didn’t know what to do anymore. I felt as if I were a robot. I was working 80 hours a week and sleeping the rest. I was so lost that I dug myself into a deep well of depression.
The story of Jesus raising Jarius’ daughter from the dead is one I come back to again and again. …How often I’ve been in the shoes of these angry, grieving family members, and how often I’ve been this little girl, pronounced dead to the world.
“It was an ordinary moment on a mundane day when I realized that the darkness was back. I’d run into a friend who works at my doctor’s office, and as she checked me out, she asked how I was doing. I wanted to simply say, ‘Fine,’ but I couldn’t keep the tears from filling my eyes….”
“We all have different paths that lead us to God, don’t we? At the end of our earthly lives all of us will hopefully be able to look back and say, ‘Ah, so that’s why I went through that.’ For me that path has been depression.”
Meet Samantha. After enrolling at UC Berkeley at the age of 16, Sam fell into depression. This is the story of how Sam reclaimed her identity as a Catholic woman through a journey of hardship. We hope this story inspires you to ground yourself in what never changes.
"My name is Chelsea, I am 30 years old, mother to three little girls. As I write this I am watching my oldest play on the porch. It's a warm, spring day. She's singing and playing with sticks in the sunshine. It's a beautiful moment..."
If I’ve learned anything in the last two years in my struggle with anxiety, it’s that life isn't wrapped up in a little bow, easy to understand or accept. It's much, much messier.