To Whomever it may concern,
It’s documented that 300 million people and counting suffer from depression worldwide. It’s estimated that 10% of young people self harm, but people of ages participate in self harm as well. Lastly, 1 million people a year commit suicide. Please, please don’t be one of that 10% or a part of that 1 million a year. I know it’s hard. I know how difficult it may be to put on a brave face to face the world, or lie about how you truly feel when someone asks you how you’re doing, or even get out of bed because the darkness in your head, but you are Resilient and you are stronger than you give your self credit for. I have good news for you, it will get better. How do I know? I’ve been there, and other people have too, and we have walked out of the darkness. Allow me to show you how.
In my life, I have seen divorce (twice), I have heard my parents constantly talking ill of one another, I was bullied most of my life for not drinking or smoking or not having sex or even not having that first kiss (still waiting at 25 in case you’re wondering) and for being a Christian, I’ve been blatantly lied to countless times, I’ve been abruptly abandoned by my friends in high school, and I have stopped at least 4 suicides.
Let me tell you, yea I didn’t feel like the happiest guy in the world. In fact the only time I would be in the same category as happiness is if you put “fake” in front of it. There were times I was so hurt and lonely, I turned to self harm, misdirecting my anger on people who didn’t deserve it, and lust. Let me just say I regret every second of those vices, because the physical and mental scars I’ve made are still visible to this day and they’re asking me “Was it worth it? Was that moment in time worth the still visible burn mark peaking through your tattoo? Was it worth hurting your family with your anger? Was it worth not being able to look at a female regularly? Why couldn’t you just talk to someone?” No it was not worth it. It wasn’t worth it at all, but thank God for Forgiveness. Thank God for Faith. Honestly if it weren’t for my faith in God and my faith in a better future, I don’t know what I would’ve done.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”Jeremiah 29:11
Because I eventually trusted in him and I’m assuming with the help of my parents prayers, I sought out help and talked to people and didn’t keep to myself and eventually I wasn’t so lonely. I have gained so many amazing people in my life. One of whom is letting me write this feature, (when you get to this point Michelle, I want to say thank you so much for your friendship. You mean more to me than you realize. Thank you so much). When I do get low and make up hypotheticals in my mind, which still happens, I struggle but I say a little prayer and I go to friends like Michelle, and they say a prayer, and I eventually come out alive.
“When I was brought low, he saved me. Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.”Psalm 116:6b-7
In preparation for this Blog, I asked a few people to describe their journey with Depression. One of them Heather, a staff member at Church By The Glades, has battled depression and suicidal thoughts since she was a little girl. I asked her 3 key questions about her journey from then to Now, and she gave me permission to share Her experiences and her advice. (She did say that these are her answers from her experience and the help of her doctors, and these are not universal answers)
1.) How did it get to the point of Suicide?
Heather: “It got to the point of suicide because I was not diagnosed, not walking intimately with God, and not under the supervision of a christian therapist. All three of these I have adamantly subscribed to over the last twenty years. Though I still battle the temptation to commit suicide, I have not attempted w/ these three parameters in place.
2.) What made you reconsider to live?
Heather: Because I know God brought me into this world (Psalm 139, Jeremiah 1:5), by faith, I trust Him with what day to take me out.
In the meantime, I avail myself to His Book of life, when I get tempted with death. I memorize them, put them on sticky notes in my bathroom, carry them with me on a notepad in my purse. His Book of life is my biggest weapon against the enemy’s whispering lies to die.
3.)What would you tell others who are severely depressed and are considering suicide?
1) Call 911 or the lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
2) get a christian therapist or counselor, at the very least, a christian pastor
3) Find a psychiatrist to diagnosis the cause and see if there is a particular Rx that can help level out the disturbed brain cycle.
Now Heather has a staff job at one of the biggest churches in Florida, She has a wonderful family, and shares her story all over south Florida. Though she still struggles, she still fights every day
I often ask myself these questions, “If I ignored my faith and just given into my depression, how would it affect the people in my life? Would those people I talked to still be alive? What did I rob my future of?”
Questions like that are why I, and other people like Heather keep going. Often times we can feel like we don’t matter? At least I think that sometimes, but that could not be further from the truth. All of us matter. My mentor says all the time “God Doesn’t Make Junk” Whether you believe in God or not, YOU WERE BORN FOR GREATNESS AND THERE IS A PURPOSE YOU WERE BIRTHED INTO THIS WORLD!!! If you ever find yourself in a situation where you don’t feel great, have the courage to find someone, whether it be your parents, a teacher, a counselor, a friend, etc. and say “Hey I could really use your help right now.” Let them listen. Listening saves lives. Just listen to the story of Kevin Berthia, who was literally on the cord over the Golden Gate Bridge ready to jump but a highway patrol officer named Kevin Briggs listened to him for an hour and half, and eventually Berthia climbed back over the railing onto the bridge.
Saying something will save your life and your future. You may think that being alone will make you feel better, but only love can fill that hole. Like I said, next time you feel like you’re at rock bottom either say a prayer, or talk to someone. Maybe that person has been there before and they can help you.
“A recovering Soldier with PTSD happened to be passing by. The Soldier with PTSD cried out, “Hey, help me. I’m stuck in this hole!” Right away the recovering Soldier with PTSD jumped down in the hole with him. The Soldier with PTSD said, “What are you doing? Now we’re both stuck here!!” But the recovering Soldier with PTSD said, “Calm down. It’s okay. I’ve been here before. I know how to get out”
You are stronger than you think you are. Don’t be afraid! I wouldn’t want you to be apart of that statistic I mentioned earlier. Don’t Give Up! I want you to be a part of a statistic of people who make it. Stay Alive, Friend!
“Fear Not, For I Am With You” – Genesis 26
[ to hear more of Collin’s journey check out his WordPress account and stay up to date with all his latest posts]