Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Three "F" Words

Good evening! Happy Thursday! Okay, I'm sure you're all really judging me for the title of this post, but I promise, you're in for some good stuff tonight. I know it's long, but stick with me! Here goes:

Standing at the top of my mountain, I feel like it's easier for me to look back and see just how far I've come. And when I'm looking back to the beginning of my depression up until now, I've come across the three "F" words that seem to perfectly describe my battle so far.

First, is fear.

I was diagnosed back in September of 2015 with my depression, but I remember it starting back in 7th grade. It wasn't as serious until my freshman/sophomore year, but I didn't fully understand my depression until my diagnosis. I remember hearing the word "depression" and having my heart pound inside my chest like it was about to burst. The darkness that filled my mind finally had a name. All those nights of being scared and alone, the suicide attempts, the hurting...suddenly there was a huge label attached to it. My mental illness. If we go back a little further, right before I started seeing a counselor, that's when it was the worst. The summer of 2015 when my family fell apart. I saw myself change into somebody I wasn't. I watched as my gentle hands were now able to hurt me. My imagination wasn't a healthy sort of creative, but rather an abyss of gloom and thoughts of death. In the 16 years I've been on earth, I've never watched anything scarier than depression take me hostage like that. The beginning of my depression had me fearful that one day, I'd fall captive to the demons inside my mind and try to take my own life...but succeed.

Secondly, is frustration. (I use this word a lot...I know!)

Okay, so I'm different than most of the kids my age. I watched a lot of my friends go on and live happy lives and do fun stuff while I sort of sat on the sidelines. I lost a lot of people in my life that I cared about. People who said they'd always be there...left the minute they saw the storm in my eyes. I was in a low place, I went through a period of time where I would try and hurt myself any way that I could because I thought this was all my fault. I'd scratch my wrist with the end of a pen cap or snap hair ties on my wrist until it was red and stinging. I didn't know how to help myself. God felt a million miles away, and all of my prayers felt unanswered. I had little support and I wasn't allowed to take medications. I became stressed with school and work. Where was I supposed to go and what was I supposed to do? My depression limited my motivation so I just sat in my dark little corner, tired of trying to get up only to fall down.

But then (most importantly), comes faith.

I knew faith was the answer to my depression. The devil in his ways made me question it a lot, but I distinctly remember the night it hit me the hardest.
It was one of the worst nights for me. I came home from school moving like a zombie. I didn't even bother opening my backpack because I knew it was going to be a long night. I sat on my phone, scrolling through social media. Not really reading or looking, just blankly staring at a screen. I flopped onto my bed and just laid there staring at the wall. I cried and left my comforter drenched in tears. My body was weak and I couldn't move. I was paralyzed by fear, and frustrated that I had been dealing with this for so long. My mom came in my room, watched me, and silently left. She later told me I had to get ready for bed so I went in the bathroom. I ended up sitting on the cold tile floor for a half hour before dragging myself into the shower. I went to bed feeling hopeless. My mom said goodnight to me, and when the lights went out and the door was shut, I sobbed. I groaned and kept asking God to save me. All I wanted was to be done with this life. My mom came back in my room and I couldn't stop having this weird attack. She threatened to take me into the hospital and I knew that would only make things worse. Eventually, my body tired out and I fell asleep. Over the next few days, I knew that God is what I needed. So I prayed...ceaselessly. Throughout the day. I would draw my semicolon on my wrist and told myself that Christ was my strength. He fought this battle for me and with me. He also fought eternal death for me despite my ugly sins...what great love that is!

Faith truly is the key to overcoming the other "F" words. Without it, the lows get lower, and the cycle of depression only gets harder to overcome. I'm lucky to have Christ by my side...a lot of people who suffer from depression don't have the hope in Him like I do. Faith is a beautiful thing. I don't always have to see God working visibly in my life to know that He is doing great things through me and for me.

Hold fast to your faith and pray without ceasing. You are deeply and eternally loved,
Marissa Mayer

"When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him out of them all." -Psalm 34:17-19

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