Thursday, January 14, 2016

Comfort in the Darkness - Part 2

We moved to Ohio just before I started 7th grade.  We joined a great church where I had a solid group of friends, felt included, and was able to really shine.  People encouraged me in everything I did and I started to see that Christianity was not just for Sunday mornings and holidays.  I went to Young Life camp and accepted Christ as my savior.  I had heard the story of the crucifixion countless times before, but this time it was more than just some historical event.  It was personal.  I was on fire and wanted everyone else to know what I finally knew.

Now that I look back, I can see that the next year was Spiritual warfare.  Depression was being edged out by a relationship with God and he didn't like it.  I continued to try to be active in my church, but those whispered words were back as a constant roar.  I couldn't smile, I couldn't sing, I couldn't think about the future, I couldn't read, I couldn't even get through class without crying.  It was suffocating.

"You are a burden to your family and the people you call your friends.  They are so nice to you, but you know you don't deserve them.  They will be better off without you.  Look at yourself.  You cry all the time.  Nobody wants to be around you."

I started to think about how I could relieve everyone of the burden I thought I was.  I knew that the Bible said that suicide was a one-way ticket to eternal separation.  I decided that I would rather sacrifice my eternal life than continue to hurt those around me.  I didn't want it to be bloody because I didn't want anyone to have to clean up a mess.  I thought that maybe I could take pills, but I knew my mom would find me before I died.  That would lead to a hospital visit and who knows how many doctor visits.  I couldn't think of a way to effectively kill myself that wouldn't cause more problems for the people around me.  And that is the only reason I didn't commit suicide my 9th grade year.

My depression had become so obvious that my friends talked to our health teacher.  She called my parents and they tried to talk to me.  I denied it and they dropped it.  I didn't know how to explain to anyone what was happening to me.  I felt that the only option left was to fake happiness.  When we got the news that we were moving once again, I was genuinely happy.  Another fresh start.  I desperately needed it.

Like every other time, I hoped that Depression would not follow me.  Like every other time, he did follow.  My parents found a church they liked.  I tried to get plugged in with the youth group.  I felt like an outcast.  I wasn't able to plug in the way I had before.  And so, with me being a believer, but my fire just barely flickering, Depression did not feel the need to roar anymore and went back to the gentle whisper that slowly and quietly robbed me of my self-confidence.  We existed like this for many years.

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