Life as I know it

Okay so let’s get real. I say that a lot. Life is not perfect. We all struggle and quit the BS if you say you don’t. We’re all imperfect humans who struggle with something. For me, it’s anxiety and depression. For others it may be drugs or alcohol or rage or porn or lust or fear or who knows what else. If we’re being honest, many of us don’t even talk about these. I know usually when I’m hitting the breaking point, I run to seclusion and put on the “happy” face and say “I’m good” or “I’m okay”. When things are actually hell it’s easy not to come out and say it.

But the other day I was sitting in counseling, crying, sad, anxious, mad and stressed and my counselor reminded me of something so important. My MENTAL HEALTH. It is so easy for me to focus on eating right, exercising, taking such good care of my body as taking care of my health. And often in the midst of depression spells I totally neglect the things I need to do to keep my mind healthy. Health is so much more then eating good foods and working out. It’s managing stress and hormones, it’s resting, it’s taking care of yourself when you’re down and even when your happy, it’s doing what allows you to be fully you. So much of that comes back to our minds.

How do you think distance runners become great? Because they just run fast, workout and eat healthy? BAH! Have you ever heard of running as a mental sport? Because it is. It takes so much brain power to keep your body going that long and in that much pain. How do you think they do when stress creeps in? Performance drops. What about depression? Performance drops. What about anxiety? Performance drops. What about broken relationships? Performance drops. When our minds start failing so do the other aspects of our lives. I can’t do what I love if I don’t care of my mental health. Why? Because I don’t have the capacity to do it. I loose motivation, I don’t sleep as well, Rusty and I fight more, I cry A LOT, focus is out the door, my capacity to love others (which I deeply love to do) shrinks-which then makes things even worse because I get sad about it, I turn from God, anger creeps in, lies pop up in my mind all the time, self hatred is a sneaky bitch, and my life turns into a spiral of depression. It affects everything.

There are days I can’t even get out the door. I start skipping events or start leaving early. I’m tired all the time. Relationships go down hill or don’t even exist. And all because of my mind and some circumstances.

But I was reminded on Monday I have a choice in the matter. Sometimes it takes every ounce I have. Honestly it takes me listening to a lot of advice I don’t want to hear at the moment, but later adhere to. For instance, it’s always so great to hear people tell you, lean on God, he’s the only one that has the power to fix it. HA. When I am not doing well and someone tells me that I want to be cursing God and yelling why the hell have you let this happen? I’m pissed and not in the mood. But the next day is better and I can think more clearly and I sit down and read my bible or play some Bethel and I believe the advice they gave me. Sometimes there are just things that you know to be true, but don’t believe them at every moment.

Depression is hell, but I know there is hope. So today I encourage each of you to take a moment and remember there is hope. At times I feel hopeless, there still is hope, it doesn’t just disappear because I don’t feel it. But I’m reminded I have to fight all the negatives thoughts. I have to fight to believe truth. I have to fight for hope. So fight when everything in you wants to give up and remember there is HOPE!

LifestyleJo Butler