This one is pretty personal and something that has not been very easy for me to talk about but if it can help at least one person, then it is worth it to me..
For those of you who have never dealt with the effects of depression and/or anxiety, it’s probably not something you will fully understand by reading someone’s blog post… But I will do my best to explain it by telling my story.
I grew up witnessing someone in my family struggle with depression. They say it’s sometimes hereditery, but I thought there was no way in hell I would ever end up that way.. feeling such intense sadness and feeling hopeless.. Why would I? I had an amazing family and the best friends in the world. To me, my life was great.
It wasn’t until I was in high school that I started to actually understand what they had been struggling with all these years. At the time, I never considered myself ‘depressed’.. In fact, I considered myself far from that. I was one of those people who was always smiling (to this day, that is still me), but when I was alone, I would get so sad. And most of the time, I didn’t even know why. People always ask “What could be so bad in your life that you think you’re so depressed?” And that’s the hardest part because there isn’t always a reason and people who don’t struggle with it, won’t understand. Sometimes it’s just a feeling that you can’t help.
I struggled with it a little in high school, but never bad enough to the point where I felt like I needed to say anything. I really started to struggle over a year ago when I moved to Columbia to attend the University of Missouri. Not only was I homesick (yes, I missed the crap out of my mom!!), but coming in as a junior was a lot harder than I imagined it would be. I watched my sister, who was a freshman, making so many new friends, joining a sorority, keeping busy, and having the time of her life and I was wondering why I wasn’t as happy as she seemed to be. I decided to fake my happiness for a while until I just couldn’t anymore.
I opened up to my sister one night about how unhappy I was and how I felt like there was no way that things could get better. Side note: my sister is the greatest person I have ever met but she is not always the sappiest person. And to be thrown the words “I literally don’t want to live anymore” at you from your older sister would probably leave anyone speechless and in shock. But of course, she consoled me and she told me that it would be okay and things would get better.
At that point though, I didn’t really believe a word she was trying to tell me. I was hopeless. It was getting late so I gave her a hug, left her dorm room and on my walk back to my house, I thought of ways that I could end my life.. I was about to cross College Avenue and I thought to myself “What if I just walked out in front of one of these cars?” I just stood there for what felt like a good ten minutes and then I got a text from my sister that said, “I love you”. She saved my life that night and unless she is reading this, I’m not sure she even knows that. I continued to walk home and went to bed that night.
No, things did not get better but those words from my sister were enough to keep me hanging on a little longer. A few weeks later I started talking to a boy and all of a sudden I couldn’t think of a time where I was not so genuinely happy. He came into my life when I needed him the most and things were finally starting to look up for me. I was loving Mizzou and loving my life again and especially loving him. Things were great for several months, but like most things in life, they don’t always go the way you wish they would.
Last spring I started feeling very depressed again, but this time it was worse than ever. This boy was no longer in my life and I was beyond heartbroken. I was also very stressed out and overwhelmed with school and other things going on in my life. I kept telling myself that I would be okay and I wouldn’t feel like this forever, but actually believing that was the struggle. Fighting a battle against your own mind is one of the hardest things in the world. Deep down, I truly believed that it would not get better.
Being a diabetic, I obviously have access to insulin so I thought to myself how easy it would be to just ‘give myself too much insulin’. Not thinking of anyone else that entire day, I decided to do it. I laid in bed and finally felt a sense of peace, knowing that soon I would no longer have to feel this way.
But for the first time that day, someone actually popped into my mind. It was that boy. My heart dropped thinking about everything he had gone through after someone very close to him had ended their life years ago. As much as I was hurting, I knew I cared about him way too much to ever let that happen to him again. And I also thought about all the other people in my life whose lives would never be the same if I wasn’t in it.
Weak and unable to get up, I yelled for my mom and told her what I had done. The next day I went to talk to someone and shortly after, I was prescribed my first anti-depressant. Things have gotten better since then but there are still days filled with sadness and hopelessness and I do still have those thoughts. And to be completely honest, I’m sure there will be more days where I will feel like I have hit rock bottom. But I know that things will get better. They always will.
Although that boy is no longer a part of my life, he is the one person that continues to save my life every single time I feel like there is no way out. I’m not sure he even realizes that and that is okay. I think of him and my mind goes in the opposite direction. And for that, I will forever be grateful that God brought him into my life, even if just for a while.
This year I got to stand by my older sister’s side as she married the love of her life, a huge moment that gave me so much to look forward to in this beautiful life. I have my good days and I have my bad days but I have placed all my trust in the Lord and I know that with HIM, good will come from this. I have the greatest support system, so many people that love and care about me and I know that because of them, I will always be okay.
As long as I….
You are not alone.
If you are ever feeling that way, please talk to someone.
I am always here.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
“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 💙