I’m not a psychiatrist and neither did I study psychology of any sort. I don’t perpetuate to know everything, in fact I don’t have factual answers for anything. What I’m sharing with you here is based on where I come from, on who I once was.
I remember it like it was yesterday. I sat on the edge of a step. It was late in the evening, no one was home except for my three-year-old daughter, at the time, who lay peacefully asleep in bed. A deep sadness lurked within me. My eyes slowly covered by tears. As I inhaled on the Stuyvesant, switch, menthol snuggly positioned between my fingers a tear drop fell down my right cheek. This sadness wasn’t new though. I had met her several times before. She lived within me, she had become a part of me. She was all I knew. On this particular evening however, she had matured, she was stronger and she wasn’t alone. She was accompanied by a thought. As I sat on the step, inhaling this toxic substance the evening breeze stroked my emotionless face and suddenly a voice only heard and understood by me spoke and said “there is a way out.” As if the voice and my mind where one, I immediately glanced over at the car port and realised how easy this way out was, how easy it would be to hang a rope on the beams, pull the noose over my head and end it all. It was possible. I was ready. But as if by the grace of God another voice spoke, what about your daughter? It asked. By that time, I was standing under the car port inspecting the thickness of the beams, I immediately stepped back, took the final pull and threw the cigarette bud over the gate, rushed into the house, locked the door and never looked back again.
I was saved by a voice that had one question, if you kill yourself, what will happen to your daughter? At that moment, a 3-year-old child oblivious to what was happening to her mother became my reason not to die, she became my reason for living. In a split-second energy that had been turning darker and more self-destructive every day was replaced by huge amounts of hopeful energy.
Depression is real, I know what depression feels like, I know what depression can do. The biggest thing for me though is for us to understand what causes depression. What is it?
For a huge part of my life, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I went from relationship to relationship, job to job, looking for some sense of identity or purpose. Who was I? Why was I? I knew I was talented, I knew I was intelligent but I could never apply neither to anything big enough to make an impact, well an impact big enough to satisfy me. Day by day, from one month to the next I would sink deeper and deeper into my own self destructive patterns. I sought relief in food, drugs, people anything really that would distract me from this urgent need for purpose. I was always trying to make something happen in my life, but nothing much happened except all the drama that emanated from me trying to make things happen.
I learnt the hard way that until an individual is able to truly begin to identify themselves, to understand their assignment, their purpose, their life never truly begins. Nothing will ever make sense, efforts barely produce reward and at times life itself begins to seem pointless. It is at this stage that you begin to die to self. It is at this stage when depression becomes a reality. It is at this stage when depression can take your life.
The actions that began to unfold that evening, in 2013 were the end result of months and years of trying to identify who I was, years of seeking purpose, years of trying to find meaning in a life that I had come to see as meaningless. What saved my life was the voice that gave me purpose. That evening on the verge of death my daughter became my purpose. My daughter became a good enough “WHY” for me and in an instant I had a reason not to die. I had a reason to live.
Depression for me is where we go when we are unable to find our purpose. Depression is what happens when we are unable to identify who we are in this great game called life. Depression lives when we don’t understand why God created us in the first place. Depression is spiritual and requires a spiritual remedy.
My days of depression have long disappeared, my daughter is my life but I have since continued to search for greater meaning in life, I have continued to try and put the pieces of my life together and I can say that as I write this my purpose is becoming clearer and clearer by the day.
If you are reading this and find yourself in a state of depression or know of someone who may be showing signs of depression I want you to know that there is indeed a way out, there is a better option than what that crazy voice inside of you is telling you about. You are a spiritual being; your remedy is spiritual. God has created you for something grand, something so big that it needs time to reveal itself to you, don’t give up, not now, not tomorrow, not ever. It will come.