When you look at the span of a lifetime, ten years barely seems like a blip on the radar…but when your lifetime only spans the course of two decades, ten years seems like an eternity, and it has. Ten years ago was when my battle with depression, anxiety, self injury and suicidal thoughts began. I was 13 years old, but I somehow knew I was different, I knew I faced different things that my peers did, and somehow I knew no one around me would understand. And they didn’t. For the majority of that ten year period, I kept the truth about myself hidden. I didn’t seek help. I covered up my arms, put a smile on my face and pretended as if life was the best thing going for me. In the latter part of that ten year period, I found help and hope. I found help in the form of therapists, of mentors, and in the healing of speaking to others who have faced the same struggles. I found hope in the love of friends and pastors who constantly spoke life into my situation. These were people who constantly reminded me of the purpose God has in my life, who showered me with love in the darkest of times, and who spoke healing into my heart and mind and gave me hope that one day it will all truly be in the past.
But even though I had these amazing people surrounding me, struggles still came way and I let them destroy me. I had never learned how to let anyone in during the storm; I would share my story once the storm had passed. I didn’t know how to truly turn my pain and heartache over to God, and so I let those feelings consume me and lead me back into the pit and back into addiction. The past year and a half has been full some of the most painful moments of my life so far. I have never felt so heartbroken, angry, betrayed and weak in my life. (The time has not come to share that part of my story yet; I know God has a purpose and a plan for it, but that time is not now.) I allowed brokenness to creep back into my life because I wasn’t standing on the promises of God. I allowed the situation to control me and my feelings to the point where I didn’t speak about anything for an entire year. I allowed those feelings to grow and consume me rather than addressing them, praying to God about them, and leaning into the same support system I always had. I hid the lines on my wrists like it was second nature; I wiped away the tears before anyone could see. But as much as I tried to prevent it, I eventually broke. I sunk into the pit further than I had been, and everyone could see. With no where else to turn, I finally turned to God. I thank God that He never turns His back on me. I am still in the process of restoration, there are many areas of my life that I have to lend over to God so that He can fix them, but I believe that restoration is coming for such a time as this.
I recently turned 24 years old which is normally not considered one of those major milestones in life. But, in my life, it is a huge milestone for me. First and foremost, I never even thought I would make it to 18 the way my life was going in the earlier years, but here comes 24 and I know a lot of great things are coming with it. I am no longer part of that decade of pain. This is the 11th year of my journey, and it is said that 11 is the number that represents over abundance. I truly believe that and call it into action in my life. I have already seen things changing in these first few months, and I am excited for what is in store for the future. I don’t believe that the things I feel and dream about are so far off anymore, I believe they are within my grasp. I believe that 2011 can be the year where I truly prosper in every area of my life.
What does this year mean for you? What are your goals for the next six months? What do you HOPE for?