The summer of my junior year, I had gotten home after being gone for six weeks. Since I hadn’t had much personal time for myself, there were a lot of things I wanted to do before school started. That’s why I couldn’t understand why day after day I would just sit on the couch and stare out the window. I couldn’t understand what was going on. I was wasting my summer!
One day, it hit me. I had depression! The idea scared me. All I knew about depression was sadness and suicide. I didn’t know what I should do.
I finally decided I was going to snap out of it. I thought I was being kind of lazy that summer. Before I went to bed, I made a list of all the things I was going to do the next day. Once I woke up, I was going to get started immediately on my list. I would be able to sit on the couch and stare into space when I finished the list. Obviously, a person can’t snap out of depression so the list thing didn’t work out. I eventually had to give up on that idea.
I did some research about depression and while I didn’t understand all the symptoms, as time went on, I began to recognize them in me.
A year later, I was still suffering from depression off and on. It got particularly bad my senior year. I was taking a very difficult class and I was very stressed. I reached the point where I would rather spend all day sleeping. When I was asleep, I was able to forget about reality and live in my dreams. Since I had to go to school, all day sleep wasn’t possible. I would still go to bed insanely early though.
Also during my senior year, I wished I didn’t exist. There were times that I wished for the Resurrection. I wanted Jesus to come back and take his followers to Heaven. It is a good thing that didn’t happen because I didn’t surrender my life to Christ until college.
I knew I was going to be depressed in college. I had learned that many college freshmen feel depressed at the beginning. And since I already had experience with depression, I knew the odds were in my favor.
And just in case they weren’t, something happened to guarantee that I would be depressed. I lost my grandma a couple weeks before I started freshmen year. I had never lost anyone I was close to and sure enough, I ended up depressed.
Things got really bad my last year of college. It was then that I started thinking about suicide quite regularly. Not only was I thinking about it, but I was thinking about how I would succeed.
Being a Christian at this point, I knew suicide was wrong. I am supposed to be trusting God and here I am trying to take control of my life. It I wasn’t a Christian, I don’t know what I would have done.
Since graduating college, I have found that while I still have episodes of depression, they aren’t nearly as bad, as often, or as long as they were before. I have read that anxiety and depression might be linked. Now that I am not constantly worrying about tests and assignments, I have a little less stress in my life.
I am ok with not being depressed. I have told God before that He is not able to use me when I am depressed. I mean, I barely have the will to live let alone do God’s work. God just laughed at that though. Who am I to tell God that He can’t use me? God shed some light for me in my last semester of college though on how He can use me.
I had attended Campus Crusade for Christ quite often my first year of college but I had pretty much stopped going for various reasons my last year. One night though, I was on the group’s Facebook page and saw who was speaking. I felt led to go even though none of my friends would be going.
The speaker talked about how we are all broken. We all have experienced terrible events in our lives but that God was working through them. I thought about how I have depression. How could God work through a mental illness that plagued my life?
God gave me the answer. I am a Christian writer. I like to write about things I know while giving glory to God. Why couldn’t I also write about depression? I mean, there are people out there who don’t know a thing about depression. And here I am, knowing way too much.
Yeah, I have depression. It isn’t a lot of fun. But God is using me through it. I may be broken, but I am God’s servant and He has plans for me that include depression.