Stories of Renewal: Sam — St. Peter's Fireside | Vancouver, B.C. 

by Stories of Renewal
October 5, 2016
3 min read

The thing about living with depression is that it’s incredibly hard to translate to others what it’s like, and I guess that’s one of the major reasons on why it took me so long to give the heaviness I lived with a name, nobody saw it in me, I had to see it in myself. The bad nights were becoming more and more frequent, I had to start cancelling plans, going to bed early, and taking time off work, all because I didn’t feel “right”. That’s when I reached out. It was hard because vulnerability is always uncomfortable, but it was one of the best decisions of my life. I told a couple people that I was experiencing “heaviness”, that I wasn’t finding joy in anything, that the world just seemed kinda meh to me. They both told me that I needed to see a doctor; I didn’t know that you could see a doctor for feeling sad.

I was told I had depression and was given medication. I thought that was a good step but I knew I needed more. Medication alone wouldn’t bring me out of my funk. I managed to start pursuing my creative writing through a new lens, as a way to explain what was going on inside my head through story. With sharing my story came acceptance, with acceptance came validation, and I think validation was a large part of the hole that needed to be restored.

My community has been so understanding of my process, they’ve been there to support my art, they’ve been there to sit in my pain, and they continue to be there to keep me going. Community heals loneliness, and although I still struggle with anxiety and depression daily, it’s comforting to know that there are people who understand and want to help me through it.

I was asked earlier to write a creative piece to express my mental illness to our congregation, here’s the poem I came up with:

You feel as though your feet are cinder blocks.
You feel like the world is crumbling around you; like you’re splitting in two.
You don’t want to see anyone but you don’t want to be alone.
This is your thorn in your side
Your cross to bear
And the pain is sharp
And the weight is defeating
It is consuming
It is silencing
It is isolating
But this does not define you.
You are not defined by your panic attacks
By your substance abuse
By your self harm
You are not defined by:
Unanswered messages.
By people saying “just look on the bright side”
By rejected advancements
You are not defined by your bank account.
By your friend count.
Or by your physical appearance.
You are loved
Patiently
Kindly
and unfailingly
You are the apple of your creators eye.
Not the pit of the peach.
You are not alone.
he will rejoice over you with gladness
You are not a waste.
he will quiet you by his love
You are not isolated.
he will exult over you with loud singing.
You are not a burden.
You are not a burden.
You are not a burden.
For the One who loves you knows you, brings you to quiet waters, and rejoices with you.
Open your scarred hands and receive.

about the author
Our Stories of Renewal feature people connected to St. Peter's Fireside who are experiencing spiritual, social, or cultural renewal. If you'd like to share a story, we would love to hear how God is working in your life! Please email us.

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