Sunday, May 15, 2011

Opening Up.

I am one of about 10-15% of Americans.

I have depression. 

In my early teenage years I struggled with depression for a couple of years and I thought that was all behind me, but then in December it came back and by the beginning of March, it was back with a vengeance. It was beginning to seriously affect my life and was stealing my happiness away from me. All I wanted to do was eat and sleep and eat some more. The things that I used to take pleasure in, I no longer enjoyed.

You know the commercials for depression pills where the people have to wind up the little figurines of themselves? That's how I felt - like I had to wind myself up just to get out of bed each morning. At my lowest point, I experienced something that totally opened my eyes to how others feel: I didn't want to live anymore.

It's not that I was suicidal. I didn't want to kill myself; I just wanted to cease existing. It was so strange to experience that, and that was when I knew I needed help. So after 3 months of keeping this intensely personal battle a secret, I made one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make: I told someone about my depression.

Doing that was one of the most TERRIFYING things I've ever done.Honestly, I was worried that it would cause me to carry a stigma. I was worried that people would think of me differently and would behave differently around me. And you know what? Some people did. But that's ok.

Going public with my depression has been one of the greatest and most humbling things I've ever done. I prayed about it for awhile and decided that I needed to be on display with my depression because I believed God would glorify Himself through it. So I decided that if I was gonna gonna go in, I was gonna go ALL in. I cannonballed into the water by telling my parents, my fellow staff members, my GrowGroup family, and a few others as I felt necessary about my battle. 

By being open about it, God has opened up so many opportunities for me to minister to other. I can't tell you how many times I was transparent with someone about my depression and I saw their disposition totally change. It was like new life was breathed into them as they realized they weren't the only ones. Every time I told someone about my depression and saw how God used it to bring healing to them, I also felt healed a bit.

As treatment for my depression, I started counseling. Let me say, I have always had massive respect for our counseling team at Del Sol but it wasn't until I actually started going to counseling with Justin that I fully understood and appreciated what God does through our amazing counseling team. They have so many great resources that can really help you find healing in God and be transformed as you put into action the plan they give you. I am amazingly grateful to our counseling team for helping me through this.

So now, 4 and a half months into this ordeal, I'm at a point where I feel better because I am transformed. I don't know if I'll ever be "healed", but honestly I don't know if that's even the point. But I do know that Romans 12 talks about being transformed by the renewing of your mind, and I know that 2 Corinthians 1:4 says that God comforts us in our troubles so that we can comfort others with the same comfort God gives us.

In other words, my depression can be a ministry. So if I'm never healed, but God can use my pain to minister to others ...I'm ok with that.

Psalm 3:3 says that God will lift up my head. I can't even count how many times since December I have asked the Lord to be the lifter of my head and restore to me my joy. He has answered my prayer because there is incredible power in prayer.

So now that you know about my struggle, will you pray for me?


Seriously Though said...

Thank you so much for this post. I literally just got back from taking my teenage for treatment with depression. I am so thankful that he asked for help after trying to keep it hidden. It's answer to prayer. He is doing so much better and has some joy back. I pray that God will restore the Joy of the Lord for you completely. I know it's hard to open but I think this post will help people.

Ariel said...

Thank you so much, Seriously. I'm glad and humbled to know that my struggle can be used to help others. If I have to go through pain so someone else can find God's healing, I'm ok with that. =)

india celebreties said...

nice post....

RebeccaHedwig said...

Similarly to 'seriously though' thank you for posting about your depression. I was just randomly flicking through different blogs when i found yours. That part about wanting to not exist is exactly how i feel sometimes and i guess like everyone, we feel we're alone. I have my good days and my bad days and people have started to notice. It's been going on for about nine/ten months now (i'm not sure when or why it all started) and the first person to notice the change in me was actually my chemistry teacher. He came out and told me that he believed i was depressed, i think deep down i knew that i was but i felt so confused i just broke down. I do feel like some people, some friends and family members have almost turned a blind eye to everything that's happened and i think i tried to, hoping it would get better. Sometimes i feel it is getting better but i'm so easily affected by mundane things these days that i can suddenly change moods and all i want to do is sleep. Sleep seems to be the closest thing to not existing.

Again, thank you :)

p.s and keep blogging, your posts are really interesting and refreshing.

Ariel said...

Hey RebeccaHedwig, I'm very glad and humbled that you were impacted by my blog post.

I would encourage you to go to Campus/eAttendNE.htm

Listen to the message "Toxic Thoughts" from May 22nd. I think it might help. And if there's anything else I can to help, please feel free to contact me at