The pressures in life can weigh heavy. There is so much expectation on people to achieve their best goal NOW. Time seems to have sped up, in the drive-thru world we live in. Achievements can always be better and the “You can have it all” hangs in the corners of our minds.
But what if you can’t have it all? Or what if you have it all and it’s still not enough? Depression is no respecter of persons; its dark claws clawing at your mind. And suicidal thoughts can affect anyone, even our superstars.
One such superstar, all-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Phelps, has opened up about his struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts. It’s hard to imagine someone like him – someone who in peak health and appears to have it all – could feel that way. But some of the world’s most successful and famous people have suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts. Why? Because no amount of money, adoration or worldly success can fill the hole inside your heart. We were created by a relational God who wants us to have a relationship with Him and to gain our sense of self-worth from Him.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” (Jeremiah 1:5)
Lots of factors go into why we do what we do in life. It goes without saying that our upbringing has an effect on how things turn out. For Michael, his parent’s divorce had a huge impact on his sense of self-worth. No amount of success healed that wound, and it drove him to excessive drinking. Finding solace in alcohol, he was driven to self-sabotage.
There are many ways people mask their pain. Alcohol is just one of them. But drugs, sex, spending etc are all distractions; anything to stop you feeling the pain or emptiness.
Talk to someone
One of the most important things you can do if you’re feeling low is to talk to someone. Do you feel hopeless? At the bottom of a dark hole unable to socialize, hiding away or doing the opposite, putting on a front and being the life of the party to mask the pain? Talk to someone. Don’t feel ashamed no matter who you are.
Thankfully for Michael, a friend Ray Lewis gave him a copy of Rick Warren’s ‘Purpose Driven Life’. Ray a former Baltimore Ravens linebacker recognised Michael’s need for God, he shared his own past struggles helping Michael to find hope in the midst of his.
If you need help, reach out:
In the UK call Samaritans samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us
In the US call suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
If you’d like to speak to an online counselor about anything:
Talk with a licensed, professional therapist online today. Affordable, private online counseling. Anytime, anywhere. Click HERE or the image below.
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