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Today I gave a speech about mental health awareness. All around us are people that suffer from depression, anxiety or even more severe disorders such as bipolar disorder. How many of us really even notice? Have you ever had that waitress that didn’t seem to have it all together? Did you stiff her on the tip or did you bless her? Maybe she was having a bad day.

We are afraid to talk about mental health but why? Are we afraid of what people will think? Is it because we don’t know how to talk to someone struggling? I know I don’t always know what to say, but most times it’s not about what you say. It’s about what you hear. Sometimes people just need someone to talk to.

I’ve been there. I’ve had a loved one that struggled with depression and I didn’t know how to handle it. I didn’t know what to say or what to do or even understand their struggle. I’ve also dealt with anxiety on a personal level. I lost my niece in a car accident in 2014. It was the most devastating thing I’ve ever walked through. I questioned everything I ever believed in. I went from denial, to hurt, to anger and back to denial. I still go into panic mode every time I hear sirens. I have to text my kids and ask if they are ok. I remember shortly after her death that I saw someone in the Dollar Store that I knew and I panicked. I was afraid they would ask me how I was doing and I couldn’t handle it so I left my buggy and items and walked out of the store. Sometimes life throws us a curveball, but guess what. God is not done with us. He loves us and even after the pain there is joy. The night does not last forever.

Maybe you are that person struggling right now. You are not alone. You are made for so much more. God is not done with you. After the rain there will be a rainbow, just hold on a little longer, but don’t choose to stay where you. Draw close to God and he will draw close to you. We don’t always know why things happen the way they do, but one thing is true. God is with you in your pain and suffering.

#mentalhealth #dontgiveup #suicide #imnotalone #godlovesyou

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