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Artist’s book
7.75″ x 3″ x 3.75″

In April of 2019 I had a mental breakdown that sent me to the emergency room. My depression had reached a terrifying blackness and I was having anxiety and panic attacks multiple times on a daily basis. Very few people knew about my breakdown, not because I was ashamed, but because talking about it hurt. And on some days talking about it brought the terror, anxiety and panic back. I have always been open about my mental health; awareness is important to me. But this was hard. At the same time that I was spiraling down to my breakdown I had been reading in the New Testament.

I was in the gospel of Matthew with the woman who pushed herself through the crowd to get close enough to touch the hem of his robe so that she would be healed of an illness she had been living with for over a decade. And she touched. And she was healed. She was made whole. I was so jealous, envious, of her, and mad. To have that. That’s all I wanted. To touch and be made whole. To have my depression and anxiety taken away just like that. Why couldn’t I have that?

The definition of “heal” is to be made whole. To have the broken parts repaired; the missing parts filled. It’s been hard for me to accept that I can’t be a functioning being without medication; that the darkness and terror will always be at the back of my mind. But I’m still here. And I’m better. I may not be able to be made whole by the grazing of a garment, and not for lack of faith, but I can be made whole by the next best thing.

– Melanie Hewitt, Spokane Valley, WA

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