From Despair to Hope

I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in 2011, but I've had symptoms of these disorders from about the age of 13. I remember things got so bad that I attempted to take my own life on two occasions. My life felt so dark, I had no faith or confidence in myself or other people, but I was still able to do the things I was supposed to do.

I didn't have that many close friends growing up that I could confide in, and I only told my closest friends about my condition a few months after I was diagnosed. My parents were the only people I could confide in, and they provided me with as much support as they could. Apart from my condition, I felt like I had a relatively normal childhood, but I never had a sense of true belonging.

In 2013, just before my A2 exams, my grandfather passed away, and my symptoms got worse, and I even developed new ones, like hallucinations. Only after my exams did I have time to process what had happened, and I thought more about the big questions in life, like what our purpose in life is, and what happens after we die. Around this time I made a Christian friend, and he offered to pray for me about everything I was dealing with, which seemed strange to me, because I had never been prayed for before, but I didn't think too much about it.

I then left for university that September, with all these thoughts and unanswered questions. During Freshers' week, I met someone from Agape student life, who offered to go through these questions with me. I was invited to go through the bible, and at this point I felt like I had nothing else to lose, and I was open to anything that could help.

Through reading the bible, I discovered how loving and comforting Jesus is, and not long after that, I started going to church. I remember when I started going to church, I would always cry, not from being upset, but because I was so overwhelmed by Jesus' love. During this time, I would pray and apologise to God about ignoring Him for so long, and to thank him for loving me regardless. It was all completely new to me, but I had finally found something that helped.  I wasn't actively looking for Jesus, but I was told he was searching for me.

I've only been a Christian for about a year, but with my faith and a combination of other things, my life is slowly getting better. I now know that I'll never be alone, and I'll always have Jesus with me, even though it may not always feel that way. I now feel like my life has purpose, and I'm not just living because I have to. I still relapse, and I have days or weeks where things seem bleak, but through Jesus I have found hope.

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