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I need to write about Jarrid Wilson.

It felt like we all lost.

Like the entire community of us, those who have been fighting it for years, decades and those who are recently discovering themselves and how to cope with it, it felt like we all lost the fight.

That’s how I felt at least, when I heard the news about Jarrid Wilson: pastor, father, husband and mental health advocate, taking his own life.

It’s….unpleasant in general for many reasons…and by unpleasant I mean tragic, terribly sad and disturbing. The extremely haunting truth about his death…the part of it that sent me down a roller coaster of difficult emotions last night….emotions that were stronger than they should have been for someone I didn’t know was this: he was fighting the same thing I and many others fight everyday. He was doing the right things. Sharing. Talking. Helping other people through his struggle. He was a pastor. He loved Jesus. He loved people. People loved him. He wasn’t alone. And it still over took him.

For the rest of us. Those of us who maybe still struggle to say the words “I need help” out loud. Those who have said it but who play it off nonchalantly as if it were a cute quirk or something. And even those of us who have never said it out loud and maybe won’t for a few years because they don’t yet know there’s a name for what they are feeling. For those of us…it begs the terrifying question of do we even stand a chance?

Jarrid’s death was brought up casually last night, in conversation in-between Facebook scrolls. I heard it. Moved past it. Continued to watch my show. In the quiet of the night however it crept back into my subconscious as I dug to figure out why this name was familiar. When I found out why I knew his name I kind of tripped and fell off of an emotional cliff. It was already a rough night due to some family conflict. So my brain was already vulnerable and off spinning in a direction that it needed not to go in. But the realization that we had lost another one was really, really heavy to me.

The only thing I can loosely compare it to is if you were diagnosed with a specific kind of cancer, and everyone tells you that you can beat it. But then you hear of someone you know of who’s healthier than you, more equipped than you, on paper stronger than you, who just died from the same thing you have in you. There would be a small pang of hopelessness. Even for a moment…wouldn’t there be?

I think within the Christian community we’re a little timid to talk about mental health for the monster it is. Too often people are met with “if you have enough faith” or “pray harder”. And all that does for the person who has faith, and the person who prays hard, even in tongues is make them wonder “am I holy enough yet?” “Am I righteous enough yet for God to love me enough to heal me?” And we strive. We try hard. We try to earn our healing…and that within itself is a monster.

Can we just be real enough to understand that sometimes God doesn’t deliver us from every affliction…and can we learn instead how to use these afflictions as keys to helping others?

I think, without knowing him, that the most honorable part of Jarrid’s life was that he took what he struggled with, and shouted it from the rooftops. Because according to him HE understood the depths of the struggle of depression. HE understood the powerlessness. I guarantee he even understood the strange parallel of understanding Gods love and power and that sometimes God doesn’t take that thorn out of our side…and even tho it may feel harsh…there’s a love in that.

I have more questions than answers. I have more fears than comforts. I have more confusion than clarity. But what I do know, right now, in the clarity of daylight and the newness of this morning is this. There is hope.

We haven’t lost the fight. It’s okay to be saddened. It’s okay to struggle. There’s a war to be waged…we just have to figure out how to fight it.

3 Tips if You’re Struggling

1. Talk to someone with resources. It may be easier to talk to a friend about your struggles but a) friends can listen, but they’re not always the most equipped to help. b) your friend could be struggling too. Someone with resources could be a coach. Teacher. Youth leader or a therapist if you can afford/access one.

2. Keep tabs on yourself. Be aware of your triggers. You may not always be able to avoid them but knowing what sets you off before it sets you off can at least help you identify the reason for your emotions and help you to better communicate them in the future. It can also help you be aware of when you’ll need to be more gentle with yourself.

3. Connect yourself to positive sources. A lot of people who struggle with mental health (mainly teens) tend to follow other social media accounts of people who negatively cope with their struggle. They are constantly surrounded by struggle and that’s the easiest way feel hopeless. Be smart with your connections. Don’t self sabotage.

These are just things I’ve noted over the years. They’re not life savers, but they’re helpful.

All in all. Be gentle with yourselves. You matter.

#suicidepreventionweek

{photo courtesy of Anthem of Hope. An organization founded by Jarrid Wilson}

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Hi! I’m Nicole Eva, Journal Enthusiast, Healthy Habit Builder, and Advocate of all things Rest and Wellness. My job—to introduce you to YOU; The healthy, beautiful, authentic you. The you that sometimes gets lost in both the mundane and chaos of our world. I do this by sharing tips, stories, videos, guides, and more. I’ll challenge you, encourage you, and celebrate you all the way through your discovery of YOU. Currently, I’m studying to gain my certification in Holistic Nutrition and Health and Wellness Coaching and I’ll be sharing the cool things I’m learning with you along the way! Big fan of tea, cozy things, and well-designed spaces, so we’ll definitely talk about that too. Looking forward to getting to know you!

11 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this. Your words are exactly what I have been feeling. When I read the post about him passing I literally just kept saying out loud “No no no no no no.” If I’m honest, i was shook to my core and am still having a difficult time wrapping my mind about it. But thank you for speaking up, advocating, and using your voice. 🧡 It is so needed in this time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m still processing too. Writing about it has definitely helped. And hearing about how others are processing is also helping, but it will definitely take time.

      I’m still very saddened. But I’m encouraged by all of the people who are now taking his message of “talk about it” and actually talking about it, that’s how we win.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for writing this, it is exactly how I am feeling. I suffer from depression and have worked on my self for years now. My brother died by suicide four years ago, it almost destroyed me. I have become and advocate. I have felt so much better. However this has hit me hard. People are always saying things like “you need more Jesus” however I love Jesus with my entire heart! So now what do we do when we have Jesus and can’t fight anymore? It is hard to process all this. Whatever we are doing for mental health isn’t working, suicide is an epidemic. Thanks for writing this and helping me be able to express my thoughts. -Liz Frensley

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for expressing your thoughts. I’m so sorry about you losing your brother. That’s really hard. It’s beautiful tho, that you’ve taken that pain and turned it into becoming a voice for those that maybe don’t have the words to express their pain.

      Keep loving on Jesus. Keep loving on people ❤️

      Like

  3. Thanks for this Nicole. I also did a post on this but mine, though not intended, seems a little less gracious. But my heart does go out to him and it is so sorry for what he must have been going through. There is much for me to learn around this topic and I am very sorry that another Christian simply could not make it through the night.

    Liked by 1 person

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