Disclaimer: May trigger—mentions issues surrounding depression, self-harm, bullying, and suicide.
Intro: Many people I know around me are struggling, not only physically, but emotionally as well. As you may know, I have struggled with depression with many years, and I just wanted to share the hope I found with them—and with anyone here, reading this that may be struggling as well, that there is hope. If you are feeling strongly suicidal or need someone right away to talk to, please call this number: 1-800-273-8255. It’s free and there are trained professionals that can help you through this tough time, so you never have to be alone.
I see that you have been struggling so much lately. You may wonder through your daily routine, “ Is this life really worth it? “ You wonder if your suffering, your pain, will ever end. You wonder if anyone really cares about you—or each other– for that matter. You may not wonder these questions out loud, but subconsciously, you do.
I sometimes wonder these same things.
When I was in my sophomore year of high school, the pain was sometimes so great, I wondered if I had the strength to go on in life. I considered (more than once) a way to end my own life. . In one of my diary entries from that time, I had written: “I wish I could be more […] effervescent (lively). I feel dead without being physically killed. I hope I don’t die emotionally, but I am dying. If I could only find that zest, that greatness life is supposed to hold. But where is it, at least in me?”
I also see that you are emotionally dying. The spark, that smile, that I once saw, is now faded. You seem really stressed and broken inside—like I was when I was in my sophomore year of high school. I know you now see joy in my spirit, and a bounce in my walk. You also may think that “everyone likes me.” However, know that this was not always the case.
When I was in school, I struggled with being bullied, almost on a constant basis. People would mock my way of dress, my hairstyle, and even how I looked. This almost drove me to suicide, several times in my life.
Because of my history of being bullied, and being regularly excluded by my peers, I never really like I “fit in.” I felt that in order to be part of any group, I had to beg. Then, maybe someone would feel sorry for me, and hang out with me for a while. That would, of course, never last for too long.
Then, in high school, I had an instructor that basically made me feel like I was worthless and would never amount to much in my life. I had almost no friends that could uplift and encourage me during that tough time, and this was before I knew about God’s love and presence in my life. I didn’t feel like I could talk to my family because I had assumed that they would not be able to really relate to my problems. Also, I had felt hopeless that I would find anyone around me who would truly accept who I was, inside and out. I didn’t think anyone would be able to really love me, especially if they really knew who I was inside.
Sometimes, I hear that you are being mocked and bullied by those around you too, and for that I am sorry. I wish I could do more than just offer an encouraging word to you. I wish your bullies would know how much damage they are inflicting against your soul and your Creator as well, and repent of (i.e..stop) their bullying behaviors.
Know though that you are a valuable creation. No one in the world is exactly like you (even if you have an identical twin!), and no one can touch the world in exactly the way you do! Sometimes, I know you feel that you can’t do much positive, or live a legacy worth living. However, that is the depression speaking, and it is lying! Even if you are bed bound, you still can make an impact by greeting people who visit you with a cheerful and positive attitude, despite your pain and suffering. This will then make people look inside themselves, and say, “ Even with all the stuff that I’ve been through, I am grateful that even if I become bedbound, that I could make someone else smile!”
Also, reach out and get the help you need. You are NOT weak for asking for or needing help. On the contrary, depression is often a sign that you have tried to be strong too long. Know that you are not alone in your struggles. I sometimes still struggle too, but I know that there is hope for me.
I find that hope in a relationship with God and knowing that I am still able to make an impact on this world. It’s never too late to do something positive with your life—as long as you are still here!
So, what happened to me since high school?
I continued to struggle, off and on, with depression and suicidal thoughts, through my early twenties, though it was less than before I knew God’s love.
Then, about twelve years ago, I found a church that embraced me, and some friends who were willing to support and love me through the long haul. I am still in contact with some of them today. I am eternally grateful that God brought me to that church. I explored my passions for helping others and also began to write more often.
About two years ago, one of my managers, Chris* (NOT his real name), interviewed me for a position at my current job. This position I still hold to this day. Then, about a year ago, God brought me to another church, which has shown me how to love others, at a deeper level than I have ever known before. Both, through my current job and my church, I have found a joy and love that I had only dreamed of before.
It may take a long time to realize your dreams, but it is never too late to start somewhere. Don’t give up. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.