I Survived, Part 2

By: Chaunte McClure

Hiding behind out masks

Even when we look our best, we can be experiencing some of the worst times of our lives. We smile like everything is going well, yet we have so much hiding behind our masks. Hurt, shame, disappointment, and heartaches are tucked behind our masks because we don’t want to reveal the pain. I’ve been there. I eventually became depressed and I didn’t want to carry the weight of all those negative emotions any longer. Last month, I gave you a peep into my story about depression and now that the I Survived Women’s Empowerment Conference is over, today I will tell you more.

I got to a very low point in my life and I decided that I was too tired to continue living. I was tired of the struggles, tired of being angry, tired of being sad, tired of the stress and tired of fighting. One Saturday I thought I really understood why people commit suicide. I started wondering how I could do it. How can I end my life?

Then I saw the faces of some of my family members – the people whom I would’ve hurt the most. I have no doubt that was God’s way of stopping me from making one of the worst decisions I could have ever made. It was after that moment that I finally asked God to help me. I had been so focused on all of the situations and life changes that eventually led to depression, that God really wasn’t my focus any longer. I was overwhelmed with emotions, but I asked God to help me through it. I was too broken to even try to help myself and I realized that my situation required God’s power.

God said He would heal me, but it seemed like when I got two steps ahead, I would take one step back. I started getting frustrated, because I believed God would heal me, but I would occasionally have setbacks. I pressed forward and I anticipated the day when those symptoms would finally go away. I wanted to be healed right away, but it was a process and I believe God was teaching me patience and how to persevere through the process.

It was a long road to recovery, but I made it! I had to pray and I had to fight the negative thoughts that crept in mind because this was a spiritual battle and a mental battle, but with God’s help, I survived. You can too!

I Survived

By: Chaunte McClure

Women's EmpowermentOn Easter Sunday morning a parishioner stopped me to ask about a flyer in which I was pictured on Facebook. She was referring to the flyer about an upcoming women’s conference I’ll be participating in this month. As I shared information about the I Survived Women’s Empowerment Conference, she was eager to know what I survived. When I told her, she was utterly surprised. That’s usually the reaction I get when I share my story. Matter of fact, when I reflect on the state I was in, I can hardly believe it either. I survived depression. For months I walked around trying to be myself when in reality I felt like someone else was living inside of me. I felt different. I was miserable. I was sad, angry, and frustrated. These emotions were on repeat for nearly two years, but I survived. I survived after not wanting to survive.

How did I become depressed, you may be wondering? A series of unfortunate events led me to a dark, lonely place. Just when I reached a defining moment in my life, it seemed like everything fell apart and landed on top of me, but I survived. I survived because I allowed God to rescue me from that pile of rubble and restore the peace I once had. Was it easy? Absolutely not. I had to fight every single day from the moment I finally asked God to heal me until I was completely healed.

Why am I sharing this with you? Now that I’m healed, I want to encourage other women who are in that same dark place. God “… comforts us in all our afflictions so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any afflictions with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:4) I know there are others who need to be comforted and if sharing my story in a blog, sermon or other public speaking avenue will motivate someone, I’ll keep writing and speaking because it’s a matter of life and death – physically and spiritually.

There’s more to this story, but I don’t want to spoil it for those who will be attending the conference to hear my story and the stories of other women who also survived some challenging issues. I’ll plan to revisit this topic in another blog post to tell you the rest of my story.

I’m Chaunte McClure inspiring you to SURVIVE.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. If you or someone you know is suffering from depression or any other mental illness, get help. Don’t let the stigma of mental health hinder you from getting on the road to recovery.