I have struggled with bouts of depression on and off my entire life. Officially diagnosed at five years old, my depression has been accompanied with anxiety, mood swings, and even feelings of suicide at the worst of times. I stumbled my way through high school - visiting doctor after doctor, therapists, psychiatrists, and testing rounds of medications that caused me to lose weight, isolate myself, and essentially walk through life as a zombie. Everything was a blur - I was emotional, weary, and miserable until I moved off to college and things got worse; I had been accepted to a university over an hour away from my family, in an isolated part of the California desert.
After the first year of living on my own, I was at the lowest point of my life: stuck in the rut of a toxic relationship and contemplating taking my life at least 3-4 times a week. After reading self-help books, running, doing yoga, eating healthy, making new friends, going out, staying in, and everything in between, I finally understood that suffering alone through my declining mental health was going to be the end of me if I didn’t do something about it.
I began to pray that God would make himself known in my life, and that he would drag me out from the dark pit of my depression and allow me to fall in love with my life again. It took another year, but I was able to find a family in the Christian club on my campus which helped me rediscover not only God, but joy in my life again. Though a healthy mind is something I have to fight for each and every day, having Jesus as the ultimate lifeline has allowed me to alter my perspective on my depression, and realize the power I have to be positive, spiritual, and genuinely happy. Thinking back on some of the worst days of my life, I am reminded of this scripture in Isaiah 43, and how God was not only with me in the darkness, but waiting all this time to pull me into his light:
" But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, he who formed you: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior... Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life."
- desiree cervantes