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"Surviving Depression
With God's Help"

I was in 8th grade when I had my first experience with the feeling of depression. I was bullied for my acne and looks. I was always a nervous kid anyway, so I never knew how to respond to this hate I received. I usually cried in the bathroom between classes. 

I was also very anxious from a young age. My parents divorced when I was in fourth grade. I have experienced years of trauma from my dad. He was manipulative and was a liar. He messed with my head so much I was so scared to even be around him. So, as a result of this, I was always anxious and awkward in school. 

Towards my 9th grade year, I got a boyfriend. He was very nice at first but, over time, was very mentally abusive. He eventually pressured me to do things I did not want to be involved in, and he eventually sexually assaulted me. 

To be honest, I did not even realize I was assaulted till about a year later. Sometimes our body responds to trauma by "forgetting" that memory until later in life. 

I confronted him one day, but because he was my boyfriend when it happened, he claimed that it never happened that way and that what was done was wanted mutually. 

I chose not to argue and blocked him out completely. To this day, I struggle with it. I was so depressed and hated myself for so long for letting someone treat me so bad. I started to become very depressed and suicidal. My anxiety only got worse over time. 

In my 10th grade year, things were a little better. I had another boyfriend. He was nice but smoked pot constantly. I invariably have settled for less.

 My 11th-grade year was very intense. I not only became severely depressed, but I started smoking pot all the time. I began to experience derealization. (you might have to look that up for a good explanation as to what it is) I was at the peak of my illness and was considering killing myself. 

Eventually, I stopped smoking and worked up the courage to go to therapy; this was very hard because my mom did not like that I went to therapy. I think she felt guilty as a parent because I wanted to go to therapy. We started arguing a lot. I eventually told her I had been depressed. 

That was the hardest thing I have ever done. It broke my heart when Mom downplayed my mental illness and said, "not enough bad enough things have happened for you to be depressed." I lost a lot of respect for my mom that day. I decided to keep her out of these aspects of my life, and it hurt me very bad I did not have her full support and understanding.

A couple of months later, I started to become more involved in my Christian faith. I read my bible more, listened to podcasts, and meditated. I had a spiritual awakening, and I felt myself "starting my journey" to my true self. 

It is hard to explain the feeling I felt of "starting my journey." What I mean by that is I felt myself becoming a better version of myself. I became wiser about many things, and within a couple of months, I knew a lot more about what I wanted out of life. I started to become a little more carefree about certain things.

Through all of this, I have become more in touch with God. When I meditate, I feel God with me. When I have a bad day, I feel God when I see a pretty bird in the sky, or the clouds look beautiful. I can just look at something and start to smile because I know God intended for me to see it. 

My whole point was to share my mental health story with you or at least enough to understand what I have gone through; Because I want people to see that God can help you persevere no matter what you go through. 

Today, I now have a plan to go to college. I am working hard towards my future. I am saving to visit Germany as soon as I can. I have taken out toxic people in my life, and I have begun only to bring good people into my life.   

I just want you to understand that God has helped me through all I have been through. I have survived depression and sexual assault because God gave me the strength to get to where I am today. 

I am not completely healed; I truly believe that it takes a lifetime to heal completely. But, I know with my faith in God, I will get to where I need to be in life, and he will continue to help me fight my illness and help me through all that life will throw my way. 

I encourage you to worship more. Listen to music or podcasts while you're working, or even just sing worship songs. Please know you are not alone and never give up. I love you, and so does God.

"Tears are Prayers too."

Autumn: United States

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Samuel L Mills
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Maryville, TN 37802