Depression, substance abuse, self-harm, and thoughts of suicide are all very difficult things to talk about, let alone struggle with. The pain is often too great to communicate, and the loneliness too real. If you suffer from any of these illnesses or feel trapped by your own thoughts, I just want you to know that you are not in fact alone. You are extremely and unfathomably loved. Below are a series of testimonies shared by friends, friends of friends, and even Twitter users who once struggled with these things so bad that they almost ended their own lives. I pray this would be an encouragement to you to push on, for there is hope and there is love.
Creighton: A Bad Drug Trip
As the summer began I started to do drugs with my cousin. This grew me closer to her – she just seemed so relatable. She seemed to be such a positive and sweet person at first. That summer she got “jumped” by her ex. As I was going to fight him for her, they pulled a gun on me and I said, ‘shoot me B.’ I didn’t know who this was but I knew it wasn’t me talking. I was so consumed by evil then but didn’t want to believe it. One day my cousin suggested tripping on acid together because it “opens doors in your mind.” It is a drug that, in my eyes is the devil’s vision. It’s all too real and scary but I didn’t know that until I was in it. I didn’t care to do the drug but I said ‘sure,’ because I’d do anything to please my family. I put the tab in my mouth and instantly I felt cold.
What did I do?
As the drug settled in, I began to realize this was going to end badly. I was going to have a “bad trip.” She took me outside because I was overheated and was breathing incorrectly. She said I could potentially die. It was 10 o’clock at night. I was so scared and I started seeing things. She began to say she was melting into the earth and she ran up to this dark forest and began to hug a tree. I ran away from her to what seemed like endless darkness. I couldn’t escape and then I looked back at her and she disappeared as if a corner closed up. I didn’t see anything but darkness around me and a light shining on me. I realized I was in hell and thought I was dead already but then she called my name and ran over to me and grabbed my hand. The corner re-opened. I was so scared. I knew this was hell and I was sure I was dead. By now I was seriously on the verge of suicide.
My heart was beating twice as fast and I couldn’t breathe. My body felt inflamed. I left the house at about 2 o’clock wearing nothing but socks and shorts. As we walked past the block where my cousin was jumped, she snapped her head at me, her hair went black, face went white and lips bright red. I looked up at God and I kept saying ‘let’s go to wonderland,’ as in heaven, and she said, ‘no, come to the darkness with me.’ My skin started to prickle and I felt something pulling on my face. I cried out to God while holding her hand as hard as I could. I kept saying, ‘Cousin you’re so dark. Cousin, why are you so dark?”
We continued walking and when we hit that block again, the sky grew two times darker and a church bell went off. I began to think I was dead and the only way to prove it was to grab a knife and stab myself. I thought death was my only way out but I knew God was telling me to hold on, telling me to look up and trust Him that I would see a way out. I was in that acid trip for 48 hours and God was there every step of the way. I heard the devil’s whispers telling me to come downstairs and to draw near to him but I didn’t. I trusted God and once I was out of the trip I went home and I repented to my mom and God. I began reading the Bible daily and prayed and cried. Days later I woke up new – reborn. I knew the person I was no longer me. That person was dead and I will never forget that.
Maria: Drowning Out the Hurt
So everything that I have overcome has only been through the saving power and grace of Jesus Christ. My life is a testament to His glory and supreme authority. As a child I immigrated to the United States from Chile, growing up in a multicultural house. I was sexually molested by one of my brothers when I was really young and it was a vivid memory that traumatized me long into my teen years. I had no hope and being in school only made matters worse. I was being bullied for the way that I looked and racially targeted because I was different than all of my classmates. A crippling anxiety began to develop in me and I would often have panic attacks and refuse to attend school and even refuse to even leave the house. I would have nightmares and night terrors – there seemed to be no end to my misery.
After years of abuse, I learned that as long as I went along with the jokes and played it off as a “happy-go-lucky” person, everything would be okay. I fell into a deep depression and I began to abuse alcohol and drugs to drown out the sorrow I felt and the discontent I had with myself. I hated who I was, how I looked and this went on for years. I was seeing a counselor and taking medication, but nothing ended the pain and despair I felt. I was abusing prescription drugs as well, and I was falling deeper and deeper into toxic habits. I was engaging in acts of promiscuity and even violence towards myself.
Finally one day, right before the start of my junior year in high school, I was at the end of my strength. I felt as if no one could love me and I couldn’t even forgive myself for the things that happened to me. In the midst of drinking and partying, I passed out and woke up in the middle of the night, alone. No one was there for me and I cried out to God, blaming Him for the turn my life had made. I was angry and in the midst of my screaming, I began to cry, overwhelmed with a feeling of helplessness. I wanted nothing but to end my life. Suddenly, I grew quiet as I heard the Lord say, “I love you, you have always been mine and nothing will ever change that. I accept you as you are, dirty, broken, worn, and tired, but I forgive you and I love you, I love you, I love you”. I knew God had spoken to me and for the first time in my life I accepted and received His love.
From that day I still struggled to accept His love as a free gift, but I knew who I belonged to and I was found in His love. Today I stand a transformed, set free, and renewed person. I have forgiven myself, those who hurt me, and this past year I have been completely healed of my anxiety and depression. I am in school to become a missionary and my desire is to disciple people to understand their divine purpose and identity in Him! The Lord is my everything and I want nothing but to serve Him and give Him my all for His glory.
Rachel: Pills, Pills, Pills
Overwhelmed with unmanaged depression, I sat on my bed, as I had several times that fall semester (2015), fingering the pills in my hand. The ache and emptiness in my heart screamed at me to take them all at once. The logical reasoning in my head differed slightly but had grown softer as the days and difficult situations passed. I didn’t want to keep living in the dark places of my head, feeling sad and confused, and faking the smiles and laughs anymore. At the time, I wasn’t exactly sure of what was keeping me here on this earth. I know now, however, that it was my Savior, God, who promised to never leave me even when I believed He wasn’t there.
I would go to church still and get glimpses of peace, and those refreshers would be just enough to keep going for the next week. I really don’t know why I went. I thought I hated God for forgetting about me and leaving me alone. But he hadn’t; quite the opposite in fact. My family visited as much as possible, too, and they refreshed me as well, with physical sustenance like food and hugs and verbal affirmation. I know now God was telling them to come.
He showed me the blessings in my life. I viewed them as burdens at the time, burdens to “stick around” for. But as a healthier and stronger person now, I know they’re blessings. He reminded me that I have a wonderful family who loves me and would be at a loss without me. He showed me what beautiful friends I have, ones that weren’t ashamed of me or my illness and were and always are by my side. He let me remember that I was in a dorm room at a school where I was working hard for a degree that could someday change the world.
The hurt I felt is still there sometimes, but, even with the hurt, I know have a unique and truly beautiful God who loves me. I now see that an All-Mighty and All-Powerful deity on high cared to know me personally, and heal me mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I’m okay now. He helped the doctors and my counselors, too. I believe He won’t ever let me go, even when the fog comes back every now and again. He has impressed that too deeply on my heart for me to ever forget.
Kerris: A Call to “Breathe”
6th grade defined me in ways I had never known before. I thought I was defined by a world who ignored me and turned its back on me. This is when I turned to suicide to end it all. But then I discovered my identity as a child of the one true king.
If you’ve made it this far, bless you! There is no darkness that the light cannot overcome. Remember this!
If you have a testimony of your own, please feel free to share it in the comments section below so that all who read can rejoice in hope with you! We are thankful for your life and excited to see how your presence will bless the earth!
Keep fighting the good fight.