For most Americans, their day starts with a fresh hot, or iced, cup of refreshing coffee. It wakes them up, puts a sparkle in their eye, and a pep in their step. A nice start to the day, or what gives them a reason and energy for their brain to function.
As a kid I had no drive, no motivation, no anything. Heck, I didn’t even want the future to happen because it looked like a vast array of nothingness…a pit of despair that just needed to end, and end soon!
I couldn’t bring myself to an end, because I realized that as a minor this life wasn’t my own. I am and always have been a rule follower so I knew I was my parent’s property, and I was just living this life under their rule. Shortly after graduating high school, turning 18, and failing to apply to any colleges (due to no motivation) I had, what one doctor referred to as, one of the most severe suicide attempts he had ever seen.
After being released from the mental health facility, a friend of a friend who knew where I’d been reached out to me asking, “Do you want to get a cup of coffee sometime?” And let me tell you, my life began after that cup of coffee.
Now, I should preface by saying this isn’t about religion and is definitely not about forcing my beliefs, it has no intended offense, and should not be looked at as cure. But this story is my cure. This new close friend invited me to church and asked me to join their community, which thank God I did, because this was my first ever close tight knit group. I found people who actually cared enough about me to check and see how my day went.
These were people that I actually looked forward to seeing and I couldn’t wait to spend time with people who suffered and struggled in their own lives and own families. They taught me to empathize and love like I had never done before.
Looking back now that’s kinda like a coping tool they talked about in the hospital; find a close group that you can open up with and vent. These correlations between church and mental health recovery don’t stop there. A few months later I finally applied and got into college and I checked out the church on campus to reform the close group I left behind. After about a month of school I was invited into this meditation group. ANOTHER TOOL FROM THE HOSPITAL!
At first an hour of meditation was the worst. The anxiety that was stirred from sitting in my own head for 60 minutes was horrifying that 3,600 seconds, and I remember each one being excruciatingly long. The next week I was told, “If you get anxious just say, ‘God take my anxieties away.’ and mean it”
So I went in and after about 2 seconds I screamed inside my throbbing brain, “GOD IF YOU’RE REAL, MAKE THESE F*#KING THOUGHTS GO AWAY!”
Do I think God came in and controlled my thoughts? Maybe. But what’s more important about that moment is that for the first time I chose to stop being the victim of mental illness. I declared that depression and anxiety can not push me around anymore and that I will win this battle. I was committed and still insist that I will be victorious.
Years later, I still struggle with my depression, I often don’t want to get out of bed, and some days my thoughts are winning the daily battle, but now I learned how to fight back. What made the real difference was when a friend of a friend introduced me to this whole new world of organized coping tools, MY LIFE BEGAN AFTER A CUP OF COFFEE.
I met a monk once who argued, “I’m not even alive in the morning until I have my coffee.” Trust me, he wasn’t kidding. He also told me, “If you ever want to get someone to church with you ask them to go get a cup of coffee first, life begins after a cup of coffee.”
About the Author:
This author of this post has chosen to remain anonymous. We are grateful for the contribution and appreciate the honesty and hope of the writer.