Six year ago, my father took me to school one day. Six years, 12 days, and 1 hour ago, I was called out of my AP biology class. The two years after that point were a blur. The worst part is that I remember so little about that time. I just remember it was the worst feeling I’d ever felt. I was 16, still really learning how to live, but I had to learn how to navigate being an adult when God’s original design is broken.
One of my favorite stories I’d listen to when I was a child was Frank Peretti’s explanation of Adam and Eve. I can quote you the entire story if you asked! There’s a line in the story and he says, “Back in Genesis 3, the Bible tells us about Adam and Eve. God’s perfect couple!” Frank continues on in the story and talks about how they disobeyed. These two sentences always stuck with me though… God’s perfect couple. It’s true. God created Adam and Eve for grandeur to have the perfect life, no hurt, no sin, no brokenness, no struggle.
I thought a lot about this sentence when my family was going through the divorce. I have no shame in saying, I idolized my mother, father, and family. I say I have no shame because I know it to be a fact. The day my dad dropped me off at school and called my mom asking for a divorce was the day I realized there was something terribly wrong. The average life I led, full of squabbles with my sisters, drama with friends, learning how to be a teenager, all of those things came to a screeching halt as my family fell into ruins. One of my sisters sided with my father, knowing about his plan months prior. I had seen, felt, heard, and thought understood what was happening. What I didn’t know is this event would kick start a series of bad decisions.
I don’t like to talk or think about the dark places of that time. A dark lurking voice that seems to come from the nape of my neck spreads throughout my brain like smoke. Whispers of blame and half truths echo in my thoughts. Some days felt better than others. I felt foggy and anxious. My eating habits, already bad to begin with, quickly worsened when “eating something was better than nothing.” I’d stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning scrolling through tumblr reading quotes or looking at pictures and gifs that made me feel a little less lonely because starving myself of sleep meant the second my head hit the pillow was the second I would fall asleep. I couldn’t stand the minutes, sometimes hours, in between the time I got into bed and when I actually fell asleep. I woke up at 6:30am to get ready fo school getting barely 4 or 5 hours on a good night. The emptiness was such a huge weight. I felt cavernous.
Which is why I tried so long to ignore the simple fact that “my depression is back”. I associate my depression with what I consider to be the worst time of my life. The energy and emotional toll that it took on me was always more than I could handle. Yet I am here again. With what I keep telling myself is “not a good reason to be depressed.”
I texted a friend on Thursday, knowing full well if I told her what was going on in my head, she’d come over and do something about it. I’d thought for about two weeks about letting her know. She knows me and knows what it’s like, so why am I hiding from her? I knew I was just denying the inevitable and finally I texted her, “I need help…”
What does help look like though? Well… Mainly prayer. The last several days, it has been extremely difficult to even get out of bed, something I never thought I’d type. Basic life tasks seem to be too much for me to do and can be extremely exhausting. However, when I feel good enough, I need to explain where I am. I need to remind myself depression does not have a place in heaven. I know there is perfection waiting when I meet the Lord. Perfection without depression.
When I finally admitted to myself that I was, in fact, depressed; I tried really hard not to say “again” afterwards. Square One was when I realized depression can be caused by traumatic life events. Square 1.2 is when I realized I need to learn how to let God handle my depression because I can’t do it alone.