(Photo: Pixabay)

Mental Health Awareness Month

COLUMN: With my faith keeping me strong, I am grateful to be alive

Seventeen years after starting my journey to health, each day offers a new chance to grow

I am wanted. This warms me to the core with gratitude.

“I wanted you in your Mother’s womb,” it came to me like a whisper as I prayed in a church in Phoenix, Arizona on a retreat.

How did I go from being wanted to wanting to escape from pain and wanting to end my life at 17? I thought it was my only option. The negative thoughts felt more like shouts.

“You are not enough. Why are you here? It would be better if you were dead.”

I am grateful for that knock on the door and my mom’s question.

“Are you okay?”

“I am not okay.”

I am grateful for her hands that helped me off the floor. I slumped into her arms, my tear-stained face, pale. She handed me my purple and white snowflake pyjamas.

“Dad and I are going to take you to the hospital,” she said.

That hospital stay was the beginning of my journey to health. When I had run out of hope, I was not left alone.

I am grateful I escaped an untimely death. Seventeen more years have brought much needed healing and resilience. The love and belonging I have received – and continue to receive – from my family and friends help me to thrive.

I am grateful to bipolar disorder for re-organizing and repurposing my life. Now, instead of shrinking from pain, I reach out for help.

I am grateful for my faith and relationship with Jesus. My faith in Jesus has strengthened through all the ups and downs of a mental illness. His love for me shows up in the support and caring of my boyfriend, family, and friends.

In the morning, I look at each new day as a chance to begin again, to grow, to become. Writing about my struggles is part of the lifeblood that keeps me striving. My mental health is better when I take the time to write. Reflecting on and expressing my interior life is healing. What helps you?

The most amazing thing to come from blogging, writing, and podcasting about having bipolar disorder is that it connects me to other storytellers who also know pain and triumph. And it is so good to know you are not alone.

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.” (Tecumseh, Shawnee Leader)

This Thanksgiving, I am grateful to be here even in all this uncertainty. I want to be alive and I still struggle. And the most important thing we need to thrive is love.

“Some scars will be carried for a lifetime,” wrote Eric Greitens in Resilience Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life. “But not everyone who’s been beaten will be broken. And usually, no matter how harsh the hardship, there is a possibility of light on the other side.”

What will you be grateful for this season?

Lisa Rumple is a writer, speaker and mental health advocate. You can check out her podcast, The Resilient Catholic: Shining light on your journey to flourish with Mental Health, available on popular streaming services.



edit@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow us on Twitter

mental healthSurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police investigating multiple stabbing at a Newton townhouse on Tuesday night. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Man charged with murder, aggravated assault in Newton townhouse stabbings

Harpreet Singh is to appear in Surrey provincial court on Oct. 29

Do you have someone you would like to thank? Or maybe something to get off your chest? Email your rose or rotten tomato to edit@surreynowleader.com.
Roses and Rotten Tomatoes (Oct. 22, 2020)

Our weekly collection of compliments and complaints sent in by readers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Police investigating indecent acts in North Delta park

Police received two separate reports of a man masturbating near the Mackie Library on Oct. 21

The Surrey Eagles are currently seeking billet families for its players in advance of the 2020-‘21 BC Hockey League season. (Garrett James photo)
Surrey Eagles in ‘desperate’ need of billet families for BCHL season

COVID-19 pandemic has made finding homes for players difficult: billet co-ordinator

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s Senator Reid reporting first COVID-19 exposure

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after purchasing electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

The Anonymous YVR is an Instagram page that reviews restaurants and other establishments around B.C. based on how well they adhere to COVID-19 rules. (Instagram)
Anonymous Instagram page reviews COVID-19 safety measures at B.C. businesses

There are a number of public health orders various types of establishments must follow to slow virus’s spread

The Vancouver Canucks and Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen have agreed to a two-year deal with an average annual salary of $2.55 million. (@Canucks Twitter photo)
Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen, Vancouver Canucks agree to two-year deal

Two sides avoid arbitration, Virtanen will receive average annual salary of $2.55 million

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Jordan Naterer, an electrical engineer from Vancouver, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. (Facebook photo)
Search efforts to resume for missing Manning Park hiker; Trudeau speaks on case

PM says he’ll do what he can to ‘nudge’ efforts to find Jordan Naterer, yet has little leverage locally

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

Swimco announced recently it is shutting all of its stores in Canada, including in Langley. (Swimco website)
Canadian-owned swimsuit chain bankrupt

Swimco had been in creditor protection for several months

Most Read