As a young college student, I didn’t have a very favorable attitude toward people with depression. Especially those living in America eating three meals a day with a roof over their head. In my mind, they had every reason to snap out of it and get on with their lives.
I was so wrong.
I called off a wedding at age 20. It was truly the hardest thing I had done at that point in my life, but I also knew it was right, and that’s why I had done it. I expected the weeks that followed to be painful but looked forward to what life held for me instead.
Instead of getting better as time passed, I got worse. I was in a constant state of mental anguish. My emotional state was deteriorating. I felt like I was losing my very self, everything inside that made me. And I didn’t know how to make it stop.
Every good thing I tried to do in hopes of fixing the problem actually made it worse as my hopes were dashed every time I continued to plummet into hopelessness and despair. One of the most devastating moments of my life happened while on a hike to a waterfall with my aunt. I had gone on the hike to hopefully clear my head and be in a place where I could feel close to God. Instead, as I stood in front of a waterfall I realized I wanted to be at the top of that waterfall and fall off. I had lost the desire to live. And I was mortally terrified.
In time, I quit feeling much of anything. However, I did experience complete devastation at knowing what I was doing to my family. The girl they knew and loved had disappeared, nearly overnight. As if that weren’t heartbreaking enough, the girl who remained was sucking the life out of them just by being in their lives. I was well aware that if I took my life, they would be utterly devastated. But I truly, truly believed that remaining in their lives was causing even greater damage.
I owe my life to my loved ones. Their love never ran out. I was certain it would.
I know angels, sent to answer their prayers, protected me. I literally remember sitting down to write a suicide note, and it was like someone was holding the pencil, preventing me from writing.
And my loved ones demonstrating that there was nothing I could do that would change their love for me still leaves me awestruck to this day. Love truly is the most powerful force in the universe. And it finally led me to believe that this self-loathing, this extreme hatred I was directing at myself was not justified. I was more than a decent human being. I was a courageous human being of unfathomable worth in the sight of God. And it was time I started treating myself that way.
This strange and terrible chapter of my life, one that causes me to look back sometimes and wonder if it really happened, has changed me forever for the better. I appreciate joy because I have experienced intense despair.
My depression story is written in 15 chapters on my blog at www.muchmorepreciousthangold.com. Isn’t it interesting how our personal battles can later become the sacred ground where we passionately strive to help other people? My desire was to create a place that could have made all the difference had I stumbled upon it when I was in the darkness. I can tell you what it is like down there. I have known the darkness. I have known the wretchedness. And that is why I want you to believe me when I say there is hope!
About the Author
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