I didn’t want to wake up. I didn’t want to face another day. Sunlight from the window gently spread across my face and I waited to embrace the warmth on my skin. But that hope was quickly depleted. I felt nothing. There was no warmth. As my eyelids drifted open, dread and despair radiated through my entire body. I tried to muster up the strength to roll over, but I couldn’t move. This was why I didn’t want to wake up. Day after day, I felt like I was drowning. Waves of emotion constantly battered my mind, shattering any hope that I could stay above the surface. I was weak, I was trapped, and I was broken. How much longer would I be able to hold on? I eventually collected enough energy to get out of bed and go about my day, but I didn’t feel alive. Being awake was torture. The pain, anguish, fear, and anger caused a wound that tormented me every second of the day. The air was so thick around me, pressing viciously on my entire body until I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was physically moving, but my soul felt lost and paralyzed. It was as if there was a wall of fog over my mind and I couldn’t seem to get through it. The longer that this sorrow and agony went on, the more worthless I felt. Nobody cared about me. I’m not worthy of anyone’s love. The world would be a better place without me in it. Nobody would miss me. I am a failure. These thoughts circled through my mind often. I became an empty shell of nothingness. The darkness enveloped my whole being until I became numb. There was no more feeling, no more color, no more hope. I was completely and utterly alone. As each day came to an end, sleep became my escape. My escape from the living hell I had to live through every single day. And I hoped that I wouldn’t have to wake up to face the torment and pain all over again.
If you can relate to what I just described, I want you to know that you are loved so deeply by our Heavenly Father who knows and understands what you are going through. He has not forgotten you! There are certain trials and challenges that we are meant to endure on this earth. Each one of you is SO strong and you are loved so much! If you will turn to the Lord and allow Him to take on your burdens, I promise that the heaviness and despair will begin to get lighter.
As one of my favorite songs says, YOU CAN MAKE IT TO THE SUNRISE! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlScrMv7Pd8) Each day is a new day. I know how difficult it is to get out of that dark place and have the willingness to fight. I have been there. But I need you all to know that there is a way to push through the misery and find the tools you need to fight the nightmare you are living. It only takes just a little hope, a little bit of light, to drag you back to the surface. It takes work, it takes time, it takes support – but all of it will be worth it in the end. You will begin to see yourself as God sees you. As you let Christ in and let Him work His grace in your life, your faith will be strengthened and He will start to mend your wounds. You will have HOPE.
“Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.” -D&C 18:10
How important this is for each one of us to remember! You are NOT worthless. You are NOT a failure. Each one of you is so vital to God’s plan and have a crucial mission to fulfill. How great your worth is! There are people who NEED you in their life. They need your guidance, your love, your support, your nourishment. There are people out there who only YOU can make a difference to. The self-destructive thoughts that you are feeling are trying to tell you that you have no purpose in life and that you are not important to anyone. But I need you to know that this is not true! You are unique, you are genuine, you are loved. You have been given specific talents by the Lord that can help you impact so many people. You are a child of God! God loves you more than you can even comprehend. He wants you to find happiness in this life, even though our trials can sometimes seem like He is trying to do the complete opposite. I can testify to all of you that the Lord will never give you something that you can’t handle. I know this to be true! You are STRONG. You can and will get through this. Believe in yourself. Look to God. Purpose will flood into your life as you share your most inner thoughts, desires, and fears with the Lord. Keep fighting! Keep enduring!
If you are reading this and don’t suffer from depression, but have a loved one who does, I want you to know that there is HOPE. There is not a whole lot that you can do to help take away this burden from someone, but the one thing that you can do and SHOULD do is LOVE them. Always show your love to them. Be empathetic with what they are going through. It can be hard to be patient and understanding to those who are in such a dark place all the time, but please do everything in your power to show your love to them. It means more than you will ever know. Your love can save those you know from stepping off the edge.
Depression is a very real and scary mental illness that affects many people. I have struggled with depression most of my life. I have been to that point of where you just don’t want to live anymore. I was so numb and hurt that it seemed that the only option was to end my life. But I am here to testify to all of you that there is so much in this life that each one of you is meant to live for! Handling depression can be so hard and challenging. I still have many days where the burdens of life seem to really weigh down on me. But through my experiences, I have been given so much hope that I WILL make it to another day. Another week. Another year. I just have to take each day as it comes and push through the challenges, with the help of my loving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. The strength that I receive from the Atonement is such a powerful aid in my life. The Lord has also placed so many amazing people in my life who have supported me and helped me through some of my darkest times. I am so grateful for all of you who have been there and who have helped pull me back to the surface. My heart goes out to anyone who is feeling worthless, hurt, forgotten, and broken. I want you to know how much I love you. And more importantly, how much God loves you. You are so important to Him. You are worth more than you even know! Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said: “However many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made.., I testify that you have NOT traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.”
Just keep fighting. Keep pushing through the dark fog that is trapping you. Look to our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ. They will give you the strength you need to overcome this horrible monster. And always remember, YOU CAN MAKE IT TO THE SUNRISE.
(Next week’s post will be about how I have learned to cope with my depression)