How My Faith Got Me Through My Darkest Days of Mental Health Struggles
What is the one thing that was most important to you in your recovery?
We asked one of our Peer Support Specialists, Lydia, to share what helped her through the darkest days of her own mental health struggles, and what sustains her as she walks alongside others on their recovery journey.
This is Lydia’s story.
Dual-diagnosis means you struggle with both mental health and substance use challenges. If you don’t deal with both, a person will go in complete circles until both issues are addressed.
Without God, I would not be where I am. People don’t talk as much about mental health as they do about substance use or alcoholism. My story is in mental health, and I think more needs to be said about mental health.
Many of my clients at SouthLight have dual-diagnoses. That means they struggle with both mental health and substance use challenges. If you don’t deal with both, a person will go in complete circles until both issues are addressed.
Family and friends are a great support, but my faith in God is what keeps me going. It was my faith that got me through my darkest days. Just like with substance use, a person with mental health issues has similar struggles.
I want to let people know that in order to heal from anything, you need something or someone bigger than you are to hold on to. That’s where my faith comes in.
Here’s how my faith keeps me going. I had a client that was dually-diagnosed. He addressed his mental health issues and at the same time was addressing his substance use.
He stopped taking his medications and quickly went back to using drugs. He lost his housing and became homeless. I met him one day at his doctor’s appointment, and he broke down in front of me. He had tears in his eyes and said, “I can’t keep going on like this.”
I knew he had a strong faith, so I said, can we pray together. In that minute of praying with him, it was the most powerful thing that I’ve ever shared with a client.
He realized he needed to get back on track. He did get back on his medications, got into stable housing, and even got a part-time job.
You can’t neglect your mental health; that’s a constant struggle I see with my clients. When you go into recovery, you have to address the mind, body and spirit all at the same time.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with mental health, reach out to SouthLight. Learn about our community-based Peer Support Services and our outpatient mental health and substance use services. We can help get you started on the path to recovery.
About SouthLight Healthcare:
Founded in 1970, SouthLight Healthcare is one of the area’s largest nonprofit providers of substance use treatment and mental health services. SouthLight partners with individuals and communities to provide innovative treatment solutions delivered with compassion and dignity. With outpatient and community-based programs, SouthLight provides prevention, education, and treatment services in the Triangle and beyond. Call 919-787-6131 for help or more information or visit www.southlight.org.