“I've had cyclical clinical depression for fourteen years. I'm twenty-three. When I was a teenager I didn't think I could be a real Christian and be depressed. Isn't depression a form of hopelessness? How can I have the best news about Jesus and still be hopeless? Time went by and I started to understand that depression hits people who don't belong. I had every reason to be depressed. Beyond the abuse and rejection I experienced as a child and young adult, I was different! I stood out like a sore thumb that just kept getting bruised. It was okay for me to be depressed. David was depressed. So were Elijah, Paul, John. Even Jesus. But I also had the tools to get better. I saw a counselor who listened to my whole story, acknowledged it, empathized, and then started to share with me how I could start to put my life back together. I also started medication that made a world of difference, just getting me to the point where I could function enough to make the changes I needed. I found a community of sorts, people here and there who helped me see truth and joy. We know the end of the story. We know it gets better. I hope whoever is reading this will hang on with me until we get to the end. Joel 2:25 and 26 says, ‘I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts... Once again you will have all the food you want, and you will praise the Lord your God.’
I was different as a pastors kid, as an Adventist, and because of my personality. I very much had a perceived audience as a child and teen because of the rejection I had experienced. I also had gender dysmorphia until I was 20, which made me incredibly self conscious. When I looked in the mirror, I saw someone who was insufficient the way I was. I thought I would be better, be natural and comfortable if I was a girl. According to people in my life, I was supposed to be anyway. Maybe if I was I’d be accepted. The aspects of my personality which were ridiculed would be normal. I could be the gentle and sweet person I wanted to be, and no one would see me as weak.
The people who made a difference in my life were the ones who acted like nothing was different about me. They sought me out, inviting me to do things, bridging the conversation gap, telling me their own struggles. When I felt I could trust them, sharing with them was the easiest thing. They encouraged me by being available all the time.”