For the longest time, I thought that getting a prescription for an antidepressant, taking anxiety medication, or walking into a counselor’s office, was a sign of weakness. I thought that this meant that I wasn’t relying on God enough, that I wasn’t close to Him, that I wasn’t reading my Bible enough, or that I was simply just doing something wrong on my end. I felt ashamed and didn’t even tell close friends or family what I was dealing with. I thought that Christians were supposed to “have it all together” because they knew Jesus on a personal level. However, after some healing and talks with family, friends, myself, and God, I realized that my shortcomings and weaknesses weren’t my fault. They didn’t make me a bad or lesser-than person. They simply made me human. Scripture says that we “all fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and this never feels truer than when you are struggling in life.
If you ask for help, this is a sign of strength. I don’t know about you, but I’m not the best at asking for help. I like to be independent and to do things on my own. So sitting down on a couch across from a counselor – a perfect stranger – and saying “I’m struggling with this” was a daunting task. This mask of the perfect put-together Christian that I had been holding up in front of me would have to come down, and I would need to be vulnerable to really do the work.
I saw this drawing once of a man sitting in a chair with a thought bubble above his head and the thought bubble had a tangled mess of yarn inside of it. This yarn was connected to another thought bubble that was above the counselor’s head. In the counselor’s thought bubble, there were neat balls of yarn. This is one of the best representations of counseling that I have found. Sometimes, we just need someone to listen to us speak. We need someone to help us make sense of the jumbled thoughts rolling around in our heads.
As I went through counseling, I began believing the truths about myself and pushed away the lies that the enemy was trying to feed me. Yes, I genetically struggle with depression and anxiety. No, I am not broken. Yes, I am whole in the eyes of God and He fills every gap. No, God does not love me less because I struggle with these things. If there’s anything that I want to do with sharing my story it’s to help erase the stigma surrounding mental health. It is more than okay to ask for help – whether through talking to a professional or getting a prescription. I hope you know that God loves you with an intense love and going to counseling doesn’t make you weak. God is right there walking alongside you, and He is proud of the steps you are taking.