By LaTesha W. Thomas

As Mental Health Awareness Month approaches, so has SPRING! Generally, spring is received with much anticipation. The sun shines longer, temperatures are warmer, and we see NEW LIFE budding – from insects chirping to great egrets and birds of all kinds flying; trees taking on life as their bark distinguishes and darkens; and buds becoming flowers. It is a gift and a reminder from God that one season is leaving and a NEW season is springing up!

  However, for some, spring may not always come with excitement. The same can be said about Mental Health Awareness Month. The subject of mental health is sensitive, surrounded by stigma. Hence the need for a watering of the seeds of insight and awareness to provide buds of education, resources and services and to decrease the stigma surrounding mental health.  

As spring approaches, I am experiencing a spiritual season like autumn. As I grieve the loss of one sibling four months back, I have more recently experienced the loss of my youngest brother. Both were affected by substance use disorder. One was addicted to alcohol and the other to alcohol and substances. Their addictions impacted their own lives as well as their family and friends.

  I loved my brothers dearly and tried to maintain good boundaries with a balance of compassion, understanding and love. But sometimes those boundaries, compassion, and love were tested. I imagine no one picks up a bottle or a substance with the intent to become addicted. I imagine they just want to escape or to feel something other than pain or fear. I imagine they initially manage their use well – until they can’t manage without it. Addiction is a habit that slowly becomes a disease of dependence that progressively robs the user and their loved ones of precious moments and the opportunity to reach their potential. Addiction begins like a tsunami — a breaking at the core that causes a series of undercurrent waves moving quietly, almost undetected, gathering enough force to devastate the user and others. The aftermath is usually much regret; however, for both natural disasters and addiction, recovery does exist.

  Recovery, like springtime, comes after winter, when things often fall apart, stop growing or die. Both recovery and springtime are built on change and renewal. It is the period to renew our attention toward a more purposeful life.

  Although we observe Mental Health Awareness Month once annually, recovery is for a lifetime; yet it is possible if you believe and work at it. Recovery can be your comeback and the way back to managing your life, health, and mind while regaining your strength so that life SPRINGS up anew and you flourish in all you do.

But the people who trust [hope in; wait on] the Lord will become strong again. They will rise up as an eagle in the sky [with wings like eagles]; they will run and not need rest [grow weary]; they will walk and not become tired [faint]. – Isaiah 40:31, EXB

Jesus said to him, ‘What do you mean “if”?  If you are able to believe, all things are possible to the believer.’ – Mark 9:23, TPT

Dr. LaTesha W. Thomas is owner and operator of PACE Synervations LLC, a private counseling, Christian life coaching and consulting practice; and she works as a full-time social worker with the Mississippi State Department of Health. LaTesha can be found at, or on her business Facebook page, PACE Synervations Counseling, Coaching & Consulting. You may email her at

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