A few years ago, I had been admitted to the local mental institution due to a sudden mental break-down and shortly after my release I fell into a deep, deep suicidal depression. Everything happened so quickly and the origins behind it is a long story.
It happened during a time when my husband and I were growing spiritually. One day in 2012 maybe (not sure), my husband was struck with a desire to fast and pray more. I looked at him wishing he would include me in this spiritual journey with God that he had embarked upon. So I asked if I could join him in his morning prayers. So we started to pray every morning. Then I asked to include our 2 older sons and all agreed. I also allowed our younger kids to sleep on the bed while we prayed in the early morning hours, like around 5am.
Then my husband would send me Joel Osteen sermons and messages. Actually, my sister had sent me a few of Joel’s daily messages in the beginning as well. And my husband would send me YouTube videos of people’s experiences with the supernatural. So I came across a video about a young Korean girl’s paintings of hell. When I saw what she depicted, it caused me so much grief. And I started wanting to fast and pray more. Please note, that I was also breast feeding a 19 month old baby at the time as well. So, I did not take this into consideration with my gung-ho desire to fast. Then one day, I guess my brain couldn’t take it anymore and I had a mental break. I started singing a praise song uncontrollably called “Every Praise”. Somehow my sister, under a sense of ‘concern’ called my other family members. They ultimately called the ambulance and I ended up in the mental hospital.
I still kept a positive spirit through it all and talked about God a lot, things that made sense and things that didn’t. Even a few days before I was taken to the hospital, at work I talked to my colleagues about the rosary and the attacks of the enemy and how to ward them off, etc., etc.
So anyway, as soon as I arrived at the mental institution late one Friday night, they locked me up in a seclusion room. It was like a small cell, approximately 4ft by 4ft. They kept me there for 3 days. While there, they administered medication and offered me food but I refused to eat or drink for the whole time.
In hind sight I realize that it was highly unusual for me to have gone so long without eating or drinking. I was delirious and I remember a lot of the nonsense that swept through my head. I sang, shouted and even cursed at one point in time. The staff even told my husband that I was speaking in tongues. I envisioned a lot of strange things while locked away and finally on the last day of my 3 day seclusion, I released dark colored urine in the corner of the room where they had provided an adult diaper for use, as there was no restroom in the seclusion cell. I also distinctly remember that the night before, I had prayed the Divine Praises with my head pressed to the ground next to a small sleeping mat they had on the floor. After the 3 days, they released me from the seclusion room and I stayed at the mental facility for the required 2 week period.
Upon my release from the facility, I was very extremely happy, wanting never to return to that place. Nor would I want any of my loved ones to go there. Nonetheless, I was free, but shortly thereafter, I experienced a series of events that released a deep depression upon me. It happened after I returned to work. When I got back to work I was fine, but a week later, I began to enter into a darkness that didn’t allow me to sleep at night.
My husband was at his wits end and didn’t know what to do to help. He talked with his boss, with other spiritual women whom he got to call me and prayed for me. We continued to pray together in the mornings, but prayer to me was so dry and unpleasant, yet I forced myself to pray even though I didn’t want to. Prayer was my only hope even though I felt I was passing through a dry, dry desert. I felt a dryness even in my body. When I drank water it never seemed to quench my thirst.
Yet I must admit that I have the greatest fortune to work with a group of prayerful women. They all supported me and prayed for me. But it just wasn’t enough for me to break through the dark despair I was in. I felt so unworthy to have what I have, the husband, the kids, the job, etc. I felt that I had done so much wrong in my life, even though I repented. I felt that I hurt so many people by the things I said, or did or didn’t do.
So I began to search the internet to see if there was someone, anyone out there who was going through what I was. Someone who could give me some advice. Someone who fully understood what I was going through. Some people did, but they recommended worldly things to do, like exercising, bike riding, and cold showers/baths. I was like, my goodness, I don’t even feel like getting out of bed, much less exercising. I had no energy for exercise in the mornings and at night, I would stand on the side of the bed rocking back and forth and side to side unable to rest. I couldn’t lay down to sleep. Whenever I tried to lay down to sleep, I would shake. It caused my husband so much grief. He would lay his hands on me to pray. He would press the crucifix to my head while praying for me, bless me with oil and holy water, but nothing seemed to work.
Then I came across a website called Pray More Novenas while I was going through much psychological anguish, distress and despair. I don't recall exactly when I had signed up to the website, however I hadn't started praying any of the novenas simply because they would go into the Promotions tab in my g-mail account. I used to see them there, but never cared to pray them since I thought well, I already pray a lot now, and I had no appetite for more prayers.
Until one day when I was particularly tormented at my desk at work, I saw that the novena to Our Lady Undoer of Knots came directly into my Inbox, the Main tab. So I thought well that's strange. Maybe God wants me to pray this novena. I prayed it a bit reluctantly because I said to myself, well I've prayed novenas in the past and nothing ever seemed to happen, but I decided to do it anyway because:
So I started praying it a bit half-heartedly at first, with the main intention of there being peace in my heart, my mind and in my home. Then low and behold things started to turn around slowly but surely.
It was not an instant change. The change started within me first. The way I thought about things started to improve. I began to get motivated to clean up my surroundings and get organized both at home and at work. I was able to sleep better. I felt the need to exercise and eat healthier. I always prayed in the mornings when I got out of bed, but I began to feel more positive during my prayer time. I just started feeling promptings in my heart to do better for myself, dressing better (with some encouragement from my husband as well), taking time to treat and fix my hair properly, and doing more for my children (I have 5 by the way).
When school started I decided to include little positive sticky notes
So basically, the change and improvement had to start with me, but it couldn't have been done without the intercession of Our Mother Mary. And from then on, I began to receive so much grace from heaven.
My husband and I suffered through so, so much during our marriage, due to illness, financial distress (pregnancy while unemployed), death of my mother, etc. But thanks be to God things have improved tremendously and the novenas website has been one of the best things that has happened to me, in particular.
I am so gratefull to God the Father that, with His grace and mercy through His Son - our Lord Jesus Christ, with the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I am healed and pray that my life continues to improve as I journey in my relationship with Christ.