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You can rise up no matter the fall

Christian mental health activist Sarah Tushemereirwe battled mental disorder, depression and attempted suicide during her previous years. This week she received a surprise birthday treat at Worship Harvest Church, head of her 32nd birthday celebrations. Photo | Courtesy.

By Sarah Tushemereirwe

I have peace today not because there are no storms in my world, but because the Lord is my peace in the storm. It has been 32 years, 28 years of which I was existing but for 3 years now I am truly living. I have been through the fire, it burned me but not beyond healing.

I have been in the jaws of distress. They left their mark on me or rather their marks. See I have proof! I was completely engulfed in their teeth. How they did not touch my face? I will never know but yes, I was wooed out gently.

Oh, the monster of mental disorder that had been mothered by early childhood trauma and the father of lies – the devil, I was shredded, but not beyond repair. The fangs of sexual and physical abuse, emotional and neglect bit so deep into my skin. And the monster grew new jaws with each passing year.

One of the worst ones was the self-inflicted cuts; no wait, what about the forced vomiting each time I would eat? What about the month long coma? This monster had so many teeth. It’s saliva and enzymes made everything worse. Things like guilt, shame, stigma and judgement from other people made the jaw clutch much more unbearable.

Death became the most appealing option. And believe me I tried; by taking overdose, jumping out of fast moving cars and trying to release this pain in so many unhealthy ways.

I have been in the valley shadow of death. They were not just shadows. I came so close to death yet I am alive now. For 28 years my mind was in distress, so I ended up existing. But all along the hand of the LORD was graciously sustaining me.

With His love, an amazing family and incredible friends, I made it out of the monster of mental disorder. Although I’m still experiencing challenges, the difference is that I am in a place that is free from restriction to think or choose better.

I’m now living for the first time. What is living? According to me, living is summarised in these there sentences

1. Forgive

Being able to receive the forgiveness of God, forgiving yourself and others has unleashed me from the entrapment of bitterness. Without receiving forgiveness and giving it, you won’t be able to find peace within your heart and the enemy will have control over of your soul.

2. Love

Being able to know and experience the Love of God and truly loving yourself while genuinely loving and being concerned about others brings a warm feeling to my soul. Try it, you won’t regret it.

3. Right perception

Life can either be half empty or half full. It is true that there are troubled times, but how one thinks about those times will enable one to exist or live. My life has not been easy, in fact if to call a spade, a spade. My life has been monstrous, but I am now able to smile, to plan for the future, to be expectant of a good life, marriage and so much more because my perception changed.

My way of viewing life changed. I know that I cannot control life’s circumstances but I can always control my reactions. I cannot control your reaction to what I do or say but I can control my reaction to what you say or do.

I am not hopeful; I am full of hope. When despair, disappointment and discouragement come, I choose all 3; Forgive, love and perception. I choose to live and not exist.

I have been burnt yet I can still hope. Am I insane for hoping that we can all rise up no matter the fall?

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