This past weekend I read about the passing of Pastor Rick Warren’s son. My initial thought, why? What could possibly cause him to take his life? He had wonderful parents, success, and a love for God. What more could anyone desire?

Then it hit me, I had all these things when I sunk to my low and tried the same thing at twenty-three. You see, non of these things matter if there is no inner peace.

I know all too well how the struggles of depression and anxiety can affect an individual or family. I faced a brief stint in my early twenties. The pressure of being a young mom, working and trying to become a success became overwhelming.

I’ll never forget the day. I took my kids to my mom. I left a note for her to find. I went home, cursed God, took some pills and drank almost an entire bottle of bourbon. Obviously, I wasn’t successful at my attempt. I woke the next morning; the sun was shining, birds were singing and all I had was a bad headache and upset stomach.

The first words I spoke, “Dam It! I can’t event kill myself right.” I laugh at this now, but then it was no laughing matter.
At that moment, I realized God had a special plan for my life. I decided to surrender it to Him. I took off my mask.

That day launched the new beginning of my journey. I was able to realize my value and worth. I have come to learn less is more and I don’t have anything to prove!

I want to acknowledge, I’ve never been professionally diagnosed with any form of mental illness. What I faced was a moment of depression and my lowest low’s.

I thank God for a supportive family. I had a strong father and mother who were always there for me. I have loving brother’s, a sister and host of friends and who have my back. I’d like to see Dr. Phil top some of the one on one sessions my family has. LOL!

The first step for me leaving the darkness, was taking off the mask. Once I took off my mask I was able to fly. I’m now able to Soar!

There are day’s when we all feel like climbing into bed and pulling the covers over our head. It’s in that moment when we should allow ourselves to feel, but not stay in that dark place. It’s important to reach out to someone and share how we’re feeling.

We shouldn’t concern ourselves with what people will think. Unfortunately, there is a stigma linked with mental illness. In NO way, should anyone who is suffering from depression feel or be labeled as crazy.

At any given point we’re all capable of snapping due to life’s daily challenges. Most of us have had that day when life seems too much. Heck, I’ve had that type of day and week.

I’m now a pretty upbeat person. I work on controlling that which I can and leaving the rest alone. Although, when I do have the occasional, “Get out my face and leave me alone day,” I pick up the phone, call my cousin, and we talk it out.
We can’t be afraid to show people our true selves. We can’t be afraid to show our weaknesses and insecurities. The strongest person you will ever encounter is the person who admits their shortcomings.

If you’re wearing the mask, it’s alright to remove it. What’s not alright is hiding behind it. My prayers and thoughts go out to the Warren family.

Remember, Continue to Soar and Celebrate The Brilliance Within!

Gina Grant
Women That Soar