“I wonder what would have happened if I made that decision that day”
My mind ran a thousand miles to when it all started
I sat on the fence that day looking at daddy with a cigarette in his hand while mum laid with bruises on her back, they fought for the first time in twenty years and my emotions went bizarre, I never would have guessed what really happened or when it all started.
“Daddy, I made dinner”
“I am not hungry dear”
“What’s the matter?”
“Nothing, but if anything happens to me just hold your mother responsible”
That very statement knocked off my heart as I went upstairs; a thousand thoughts invaded my mind. They were all summed under the big question:
What was really going on?
I was still lost in my thought when my roommate walked in, she caught me red-handed with a knife in my hand and blood on the floor, and the first time I tried to take my own life
I was that girl who you would describe as Christian but I was depressed by my environment
Everything seemed to work against me
“Anthonia, what on earth are you doing?”
“I thought I locked the door” I managed to say as she collected the knife off my hands and helped me to a seat
“What’s wrong with you?”
“I just want to die, a cold death”
“Something tells me if I died that everything would be better and everyone would be just fine and…..”
“We would have world peace right?” She completed my statement laughing
“Stupid girl, it’s about your parents again abi?”
I nodded in reply
“I don’t ever want to get married” I cried it was not the first time I said that but it might be the last
“But you will get married and to the perfect will of God”
I know you just read fiction but also a snippet of the lives of some Christian girls
Stop here for a second dear friend, let’s talk
What would have happened if you made that decision today, I mean right now with a gun of depression and rejection pointed to your head ready to take your life if the odds were in your favour.
Voices from that abuse, the divorce, the jamb wahala, the job rejections, the death of a loved one
I may not have experienced all these in bits and neither do I sincerely want to experience but I must tell you one thing; I am here to listen to you and you can cry on my shoulders if you wish.
THE VOICES OF DEPRESSION
I used to have much demonic voices of depression in my head as well, speaking to me, they started after I failed my first Waec and was held back, one of the struggles that comes with being assumedly intelligent or smart is dealing with failure, I had never failed in a while and I was a good student but always struggled with mathematics only to finish Waec and be given an outright F in mathematics which meant no admission, I became worried cause I knew I may not pass mathematics and because of the height I had placed myself before my parents, I felt so bad and sad and withdrawn but that was not the bulk of it.
My parents had issues and each day as I stayed home, I was reminded I could do nothing about it, gradually my mum began to zone out before me, always crying and threatening to leave us and the very thought of my father bringing in a second wife killed me several times
I would always lock myself in the toilet puffing up smokes from a rolled paper into the air or sometimes in my father’s room all locked drinking from his bottles, I struggled with pornography and was introduced to masturbation at that time, believe me if I had the means I would have gotten a boyfriend and had sex or probably taken in
For no reason, all that enticed me was to destroy my life
“The devil is a liar and I know he is selling same lies to you”
Yet, there was nobody to talk to
I would dress up and wash up. All smiles headed to fellowship each single day but I was far away from God, I only cast a reflection of myself to him, I wanted to always remain “precious, the perfect girl”
Phew such a long tale right? I don’t even know why am saying so much
And on one of such days, I drank an overdose but as death came close and choked me, I discovered it meant nothing and I actually valued life as I gasped for breath
And the women conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.
Another time I sincerely begged to live and survive was when my severe asthma attacks came at midnights, at conferences and anywhere, disgracing me and throwing me off balance and each time I am plugged to oxygen to help me breathe
I cried and prayed
“Lord, I don’t want to die”
Read my article on “I saw death” here
You see? Life as we take it to be trivial and simple is much valuable especially because you have a purpose to fulfill
How I wish I could hug you and let you cry in my arms. I would tell you how precious and beautiful you are, but you might not let my voice overpower the seemingly stronger one in your head. You see, I know, because I’ve been there. I know, because some days, I’m still there. But something has changed in my life something that makes smashing that evil voice in my mind possible. No two people are exactly alike, and no one else will completely understand your own mental illness because, if I’m honest, most days I don’t even completely understand my own. But sweet girl, I want to tell you, I’ve found hope, and can be offered for you too.
However, depression is a battle that does not go away. Depression is not easily or quickly cured.
Though it can go as quickly as it came, it can also reappear as quickly as it disappeared. And so, once again, I find myself in the embrace of depression. I find myself back down in the pit of darkness and despair.
Why are you at this place again? You may not be sure. You have struggled, at times more intensely than others, but the darkness has never completely lifted.
I have learned many lessons from this struggle.
First, depression comes and goes, even for Christians
God allows us to be in the darkness for a season, but he is always faithful to bring us out of it. He is there in the darkness whether I feel him or not; he will not abandon me here.
Second, I need others to help me in my struggle.
I have a few very close friends who know very intimately my struggle, as much as I love my space. There are just certain people I could never keep secrets from. When I get to these places of tears, these dear Christian ladies know they need to check on me and remind me of God’s truth.
They often spend time speaking God’s word into my life and reminding me of his care for me. They spend time both praying with me and for me. They are invaluable to my fight.
Third, and most importantly, I am constantly reminded of my complete and utter dependence on God.
He is the one who has to sustain me in these times. He is the only one who can bring me up from the pit. I cannot do this Christian life on my own apart from God..
Without depression, I would never take the time to allow God into those hurtful places. I know that God will not leave me here forever, though if he chose to, I also know that he would sustain me through it each day. God is good and faithful even in these times.
So let me encourage you if you find yourself in this place
First of all, you are not alone.
Many Christians have very real struggles with depression and have for the whole course of time. You can be a Christian, even a strong, mature Christian, and be depressed.
Next, let me encourage you to get help with your battle, which cannot be won by yourself.
This battle demands encouragement, counseling, and, at times, medical treatment and prayer. You have to be courageous enough to speak up and admit your struggle. Until you ask for help, you can’t get help.
However, the irony of depression is that sometimes we are unable to ask for help. Even though they may be silent, they are suffering, and many times by themselves.
If you are struggling, then find a friend in whom to confide. Talk with your spouse about it and start sharing your struggle instead of staying silent. We have to be honest about our struggle, but we need others to ask us about it as well.
Finally, let me encourage you that God knows your need.
He knows where you are and He will be faithful to you in these moments. The work that Christ did on the cross provides forgiveness for our sins and our shortcomings and gives us the freedom to walk with God and not lose his favor. The work Christ did provides healing for our souls. You are not alone in your struggle, you are not alone in your darkness, and you are not alone in your pain. God is real and his people do care, and he will bring you through this struggle with a greater love and dependence on him
Lastly, each day you wake up, what are the words you speak to yourself?
If you have got none, let me inspire your thoughts
Keep saying to yourself
“I exist for a reason”
That reason dear friend is to make impact
What is your reason for existence?
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