In a conversation with my sister, I told her this: “Freshman year was awful, and I peaked in sophomore year. Junior year felt a bit like a dumpster fire, and senior year feels like that dumpster is just careening down a hill and no one can stop it.”
Okay, yes, that is definitely a bit dramatic, but I can tell you one thing for sure: throughout all of that, I felt a pervasive sense of isolation and sadness. I never opened up to anyone about my feelings, and I certainly never allowed my Savior to carry my burdens for me. I was the one that friends would unload on. I gave and I gave until I had nothing left, too afraid to fall into the worldly “self-love” culture to speak up and say, “Hey, I need some help over here.”
I have always been fiercely independent. I hate placing “unnecessary” burdens on those I love. I always thought that if I just covered up how I felt, if I swept those feelings of isolation, depression and anxiety under the rug, that they would eventually just go away. But shoving dirt under a rug doesn’t actually do anything but make the rug dirtier and that much harder to clean. I needed to be washed in the cleansing blood of Christ, and I needed to allow him to carry me.
As my Savior began to knock down the prideful walls I had constructed, I learned that it’s okay if I’m not okay. My Father in heaven does not need perfection. He doesn’t say that it’s selfish to ask for help, and He certainly doesn’t ask me to fix my depression all on my own.
In Ephesians 3:18-19 Paul says, “...that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Christ wishes for me to understand the vast love that He holds for me. Because of His redemptive work on the cross, I am rooted in that love. So when the aforementioned dumpster goes careening down a hill, I can rest easy knowing that I cannot be uprooted from the love of God.
When I feel alone in my depression, adrift in an endless sea of unknowns, I know that my Savior is near. And because He loves me, I know that I can ask for and receive help.
If you’re feeling the same way, I am sorry. I wish that I could tell you that I learned all these things in one night and suddenly life was good again. I can’t tell you that it will all get easier and that one day you’ll never have to feel like this again.
What I can tell you is this: Christ’s love is already given to you. Accept it. Remember, just like you tell everyone else, it is okay to not be okay. The people surrounding you would love to help you.; it’s not a burden to them, I promise.
Most of all, remember that even when you feel most alone, Christ is there with you. Psalm 139:11-12 says, “If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,”— even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”