This is a story of hope…
And yet it begins with an almost complete lack of hope. As 2007 dawned, I had pretty much given up on the idea that the year ahead would hold anything to hope for.
Having been diagnosed with clinical depression three years earlier at 14 – life had seemed to get progressively worse. And I was tired. Of life, and living.
In medical terms, I was acutely and chronically depression – and yet, it was when I was hospitalised for a night that God planted a seed of my calling. Because amidst the blinding pain of my depression, I felt a flicker of something. How can we bring the light of God into this place? How can we get people to understand what others go through every day?
It was a spark that lay dormant and often forgotten about as I fought to recover. Recovery was, and is a long and difficult road – but the glimmer of hope I saw that night in hospital remained as the years that followed continued in a cycle of getting sick, well, sick, well, sicker and well again.
It was not until I went to LST that I began to think about that spark. It was ignited by people who loved and believed in me as I started to think about having a future. The desire to make a change in Churches and communities in the way mental illness is perceived was strong in me.
Because what had been my darkest night – ignited my hope – in the God I serve, His mission and the part I am called to play, amongst those suffering in the darkness of mental illness.