Alex’s seven year battle with depression
I had never known anyone who had battled depression. The only frame of reference I had was from movies. At that time, no one discussed mental health issues. For you to admit that something was wrong with your brain was taboo. There were so many negative stereotypes with depression that I convinced myself for a long time that there’s no way that’s what I was battling. People who love Jesus can’t be depressed, right?
It was my freshman year in college. I was going to church, reading my Bible, and leading a group. Everything in my life was steady. I was doing all of the right things — and yet, in the middle of all of that, it felt like someone turned the lights out. I went from knowing who I was and what I was doing to not being able to tell which way was up or down. In a matter of weeks, my life completely changed — at least on the inside.
People who love Jesus can’t be depressed, right?
I allowed my spirituality to be tied intimately to how I was doing mentally. On the good days when I was happy, God was pleased with me. On the bad days, God was upset with me. I was convinced that there was something that I needed to learn. There was just one thing I hadn’t discovered yet. But month after month, the same old tired thoughts would come back: “you’re not seen, you’ve been forgotten, God doesn’t care about you, you’re a bad person, you’ll never be happy, and you’ll always be depressed so you should just get used to it — it’s who you are now.”
After 7 years of battling depression, God began to draw me back to Himself with the help of medication, counseling, deep friendships, and revelation. I began to feel a tug at my heart. I knew it was an invitation by God to start trusting Him again.
I don’t believe God caused my depression but I do believe He used it in a mighty way. He allowed me to get to the very end of myself to show me how desperately I needed a Savior. He allowed me to experience a season where my emotions were running wild to teach me that my emotions are not God, and God is not my emotions. Regardless of my ever-changing thoughts and emotions towards God, God never waivers in His love and desire for me.
On the other side I can confidently say that God never left me!