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Most recently, I’ve read several blogs and watched several commercials listing clinical points about depression and mental health which were all informative and brought about much needed awareness in emotional wellness and mental health. These articles and commercials awaken in me my past, in which I too suffered from deep depression during two crucial seasons in my life. Once in my teen years and again as a single parent in my 30’s
I have read there are many individuals suffering depression due to a chemical imbalance or due to a genetic background. Then there are individuals, like me, who have suffered deep depression due to life’s situations, such as disappointments, emotional neglect, heartaches, relationships, job loss, abuse, etc. In my case, I didn’t wake up one day and decide to be depressed! No! It took a series of painful, heart wrenching events that slowly drove me to deep depression, leaving me feeling “stuck!”
My first encounter with deep depression was at age 17, in which I attempted suicide. The incidents that lead me to want to kill myself began as early as 12 years old. I can remember as if it were yesterday! In my life, it began with what I call “emotional abandonment” – not feeling loved, never being told “I love you,” being teased by family and peers, not feeling accepted, and never being hugged by those who were suppose to love me, lead up to my deep depression. For 5 years I lived life believing I didn’t belong, didn’t know why I existed, while at the same time trying to find love. I remember my mother telling her best-friend, “I think someone put a curse on my daughter!” Unfortunately, she never asked me “what’s going on with you,” or “are you alright?”
I was teased by my peers quite often because I didn’t fit into their mold of how I should look or dress (I was very tall and very thin as a youth) so this also added to my deep depression by the time I was 17. Then the most devastating of all happened for a teenager, the breakup with my boyfriend. This was the final straw! During this time, I had an after school job working for a doctor, so yes, you guessed it – I stole some narcotics from his office. I knew the exact pills needed to end my life and I took them home. I was deeply “stuck” in depression, but no one noticed. No one helped me! When I look back, the signs were there, but back then I don’t think many understood emotional wellness and mental health like now, including my parents.
My suicide attempt was the very next day after taking the pills from the doctor’s office I worked for. I will never forget that day, it was a beautiful summer afternoon, I could feel the warmth of the sun shining through my bedroom window. As I sat fully clothed on my bed, I wrote a quick suicide note to my parents, quickly took the bottle of pills, then I called my mother at work to tell her “good-bye!” That evening I awoke with a tube down my throat and my parents standing over me.
At the age of 34, after 12 years of mental and physical abuse from my ex, I found myself a single parent struggling to support 3 children. Anyone who has suffered from abuse knows the pain and mental agony. Single parents whether with one child, or more than one child, know the financial struggles, especially when not receiving child support. All these adversaries, once again lead to deep depression. For two years of my life as a single parent I was what I called a “functioning depressed person!” During those two years, I would get up and get my kids off to school, go to work, come home and cook dinner then spend the rest of the evening in bed depressed feeling sorry for myself. One day while in bed, in my depressed mood, I started contemplating thoughts of suicide and began complaining to God at the same time for my hard life and asking Him why He made me this way. Something happened that evening that startled me to my senses! The Lord answered me back! He said “how dare you complain abiut how I made you, I am the Potter, you are the clay!” I sat straight up in my bed, looking around for the one speaking to me. You see back then I didn’t believe God spoke to people, so you can understand my fear at hearing this reply. By the way, I was a born-again Christian at this season if my life, but I had allowed satan to lure me into a deep dark depressed web of confusion and self-pity, which lead me to doubt God. When, I finally came to myself, I started praying asking Father God for His forgiveness and thanking Him for intervening and stopping me from wanting to commit suicide and for supernaturally bringing me out of that deep depression.
In both incidents the steps that lead to my depression were a series of hurtful adversities and destructive thoughts doing havoc in my mind. I can remember my mind wandering all over the place with negative thinking about self and others and repeated thoughts of self-hatred. My heart was lonely feeling I didn’t belong or fit in, I had so little self-worth during those seasons in my life. But, all praises go to Father God, who brought me out of those dark places and taught me in His Word the truth about me and others, especially those who victimized me with hurtful words and actions.
This story is not about blaming, rather I am writing this in the hopes of bringing awareness to the pain of depression and prayerfully to someone who needs help in becoming “unstuck.” Depression hurts, but we have a living God that can deliver us and free us from any situation or adversity we find ourselves in. If you know of someone battling depression, don’t ignore them. Reach out to them with kind words of encouragement and prayer guiding them to the One who can deliver them and heal them from depression. The Bible lists many who were tortured with mental illness and Jesus set them free. A touch from Jesus and the “free” gift of salvation along faith in our powerful God can set any captive free.
Now before anyone writes me hate letters, this is my story of depression and how God supernaturally healed me from decades of depression, which lead me to want to end my life. I pray that anyone reading this that is suffering with depression or if you know someone suffering with depression, please seek professional help, or speak with someone who has a intimate relationship with Father God for prayer and Biblical guidance; but please know and believe that Father God can and will heal you if you trust in Him to do the miraculous through you.
Please know you are wanted, needed and loved! God created you with purpose and He has a marvelous plan for your life. My friend, you are fearfully and wonderfully made! No one can do for you what God has planned for you. Know right now Father God is smiling upon you, wait for Him and listen for His voice. Don’t allow others negative words or actions to control your thinking. People who are abusive with words and exhibit violate actions are the ones with the problem, not you. Today, call peace to be still in your mind, and rebuke those thoughts and negative thinking in Jesus Name. Now call upon Jesus to be free from self-destructive behavior. You have been created with great worth, so today chose to live and walk in the victory Jesus died just for you and He is now sitting in Heaven cheering you on! Be free in Jesus Name!
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