Saturday, April 29, 2017

A letter to someone who deals with Depression.

For some reason, this post took me a while to write. I’m not sure what was hindering me from sharing my story. I share a lot about my life, but a piece of my personal testimony has not. So I wanted to open up and be vulnerable and share how I’ve overcame my battle with depression. So many people are battling with depression, yet no one really wants to discuss it because let’s face it, people deem this as being weak or she’s/he’s messed up. No one wants to deal with someone who doesn’t seem to have it all together. Reality check: No one does.

A straight A student, 3 sport athlete, vice president of my senior class, homecoming queen, who would have guessed? That me, yes being all that I was, was battling with depression.  I didn’t let anyone know because I wanted to seem like everything was okay and I was this girl that had it all together. It was an inner battle that I struggled with. From the outside looking in, you would have seen this bubbly, outgoing, loving individual who didn’t know a stranger. Although all those things described me, I had made myself believe that I was not worthy to be loved.

If you have ever dealt with depression like I have, you would know what it does to a person.  It’s like being scared and tired at the same time because it feels like you’re  just existing not really living. Even though I was there physically,--emotionally and mentally,  I was checked out. I wanted to tell those closest to me how I was feeling, but fear kept creeping in, crippling me from reaching out. I would just smile and say, yeah I’m fine, knowing I was screaming on the inside.

I remember coming home from school and just go into my room and just cry for hours. My houseparents always thought I was trying to seclude myself from the other girls in my home, but this was something much deeper than wanting to be around others. I wanted the pain to go away but didn’t know how, besides contemplating to take my own life.

I would sit in my room and think about different ways I wanted to end my life. I never attempted anything, just tried to plan the best way to go. Something in me though, wouldn’t let me. I would always think of my father. He died when I was just five. I knew that I couldn’t put my family through the pain of losing another. I guess that’s why I wanted to stick around.

People didn’t understand the pain that I felt, nor did I let them close enough to feel it. I had to be strong for my brothers and sisters. I had to let them know that I was going to do everything in my power to make sure they were well taken care of. It was the fight in me that wanted to protect them from knowing the pain that kept me up at night writing in my journal how I didn’t want to be alive. I became numb. I had built up anger towards God and reaching out to him was no longer my go to. I was hurting. It was scary, and lonely  being that I felt like it was me against the world.

As I am writing this, tears are running down my face, because God saved me when I wanted to end things. He gave me hope when I was hopeless and at the lowest I’ve ever been in my life. I was in a dark place, but God lead me to a light that made me hold on a little longer when I wanted to give up. When nights felt like they would never end, he came and comforted me.

He gave me the strength to make it one day at a time, putting one foot in front of the other. Though it was hard at times, he saw fit to walk me through each step of the way, leading me to believe that yes, I too, have purpose. My time here wasn’t yet fulfilled, that I had a destiny to live out.

When I was broken down to the point of no return, I ended up back in the arms of my Father as He held me & reminded me that He would never leave me. The pain that I was feeling didn’t just go away overnight. It was a process that took years. Healing that filled the holes of emptiness, loneliness, pain, sadness. Healing that turned my battle to a victory.

For those who are dealing with depression, here are a few things I learned through my healing process. It’s okay not to be okay. There will be days where you feel sad for no reason. Days where  you want to be left alone. Whatever you are feeling, don’t let someone try to make you feel like you aren’t able to have feelings. Never forget how much you matter.

God is your rock and your refuge, when you feel like giving up and throwing in the towel, know that God is with you and won’t ever leave you when everyone else does. You are well loved my dear. Call on God, seek him for strength. You never really know all the battles people are going through so be kind and gentle. Learn to listen rather than lecture. Sometimes an opportunity to have someone to just hear us, brings healing & comfort.

Working through traumatic experiences like I had to, wasn’t easy, but it was freeing. Working through emotions was not easy, but necessary if I wanted to break this bondage of being captive to my own negative thoughts about life & myself. I had to remind myself that the pain though it felt off and on, wouldn’t last forever. I knew in the midst of it all, there was joy that would shine through. 

Stay strong. Know that you are more than a conquerer, who allowed God to turn your mountains into hills. And will continue to be right beside you every step of the way as you continue fighting this battle you are facing. Whatever battle that may be. You are not alone. You matter.

"I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God." Psalm 40:1-3

"The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

"Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33