I was so devastated when I read of the suicide of Cheslie Kryst, Miss USA 2019. Even as I write this I get a little choked up as I think of how beautiful she was and how excited I was the year she won the crown. It was a year that black women were dominating the pageant world. I keep thinking, but she was so beautiful and looked so pleasant and happy. As the news was spreading, I found myself going on her Instagram page, watching videos of her, trying to look in her eyes to see if someone missed something, wondering if something could have been done. Then I realized, even if she had shown a sign, nobody would have caught it. Why? Because she was a smart, educated, beautiful woman who did her job well and touched the hearts of all who were in her presence. Even had she shown a sign, it is possible it would have been dismissed.
A week or so before Cheslie’s news hit, we heard about Regina King’s son. Months before that, I remember stumbling upon a Facebook thread where a male had set a status that basically stated he was about to end his life, and all the comments were trying to reach him and saying don’t do this, and people were frantic, and all I could think is “My God!!” I had no clue of who this male was, and I cannot remember how I saw it, but it was sad to watch unfold.
Depression doesn’t have a face nor does it discriminate. Mental illness is plaguing our country, and it is saddening. I have heard different things about how the pandemic has caused a huge increase in depression and anxiety, and it scares me. I reflect on my own bouts of depression and anxiety, and I find myself praying, “God, just keep my mind” because people are taking themselves out left and right. What I come to understand is that is the enemy’s plan. It is a spiritual battle. If the enemy can get you to think your life is not worth living anymore, that there is no way out of your pain, and that it is too much to bear, he has won the battle. He wants to make you feel alone and that no one can possibly understand what you are going through, but I just want to say anyone feeling this way, “You are not alone, and there are people who love you who are there to help if you just speak up and say, I’m not ok, and I need help! You have a purpose, and God has a plan for you. You may not see it now, but know that trouble doesn’t last always, and you will get through it. Just keep going through because there is glory on the other side. Ask God for guidance, seek therapy, reach out to friends you trust, and don’t believe the lies of the enemy….you are NOT alone, and there are people you can talk to.
There is nothing wrong with seeking therapy. Find one who fits you, talk it out, and/or get the right medications if you need to. Know that you are loved, and you are worthy of life. I speak life to you right now. You will get through this. This is only temporary. There is peace on the other side.
Lord, as I end this post, I asked that you touch the hearts and minds of those who are battling depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts and actions (and all other mental battles). I pray that YOU cover them and comfort them so that they feel Your presence, and they know that You are in control, and You have a purpose and plan for their lives. I ask that You give them peace and that they learn to rest in You. Send a friend, a word, a sound, any sign, that reminds them their life is worth living. I asked all these things in the name of Jesus, Amen.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” ~Joshua 1:9 NIV
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: If you would like immediate help, please call 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). Through this toll-free phone number, they offer a network of crisis centers across the country. These centers staff their lines with people who are trained to listen and offer support to people in emotional crisis.