I’ve decided recently to feature some guests here on my blog to showcase some other people’s troubles with mental health. Here we have Matthew Malin who talks about his journey with depression, anxiety and getting the help that has made him who he is today. Please check out his blog by clicking here.
It is within my opinion that loneliness is the chauffer of the limousine labeled “Depression”. Loneliness becomes the ghost of your past, present, and future pressing on your mind during the day and haunting you while you sleep. It is always there to remind you that you are the only one sad…that you are the only one going through your individual circumstance. It becomes the demon of your nightmares. It stalks the hallways of your heart looking for any chance it can take to strike at your deepest level. You may tell it to let you out of the car here but I guarantee you it will ignore your request and abandon you in the darkest recesses of your mind. Loneliness is a vindictive killer.
My individual struggle with depression, anxiety, and loneliness began four years ago. I was in the midst of a new adventure seeking out new paths when betrayal struck my heart. It was not painless. It was not an “in your face” affair. It was silent, subtle, and it severed the chords of my heart. To place so much trust in a person only to have them break your heart an instant does damage that is hardly reparable. This was the beginning of my nightmare.
Over the course of time I allowed anger and bitterness to rule my heart. I forsook the godly notion of forgiveness and in turn turned my back on God. The slow burn of hatred filled my heart and it was not long until I had fallen into the deep pit of depression. My heart became cold and vacant. Under no circumstances would I allow anyone in. Why should I have? People got me into this mess so I hell bent on making sure they didn’t do it again. It was here that I bought into the lie of loneliness. It came to me like a thief in the night and whispered, “No one cares”. Sadly, I fell for loneliness’ trick. No one asked if I was ok. No one noticed that I was angry. Most importantly, no one noticed how badly I had been hurt. I had all of the evidence that I needed. No one cared.
I found myself lying in bed one evening hoping that the sun would stay away. The room was black and I could barely see in front of me. Despite these things I had the odd feeling that there were presences in my room…Waiting…Hovering. I heard whispers of suicide. They told me that I would be “better off dead”. These things…these voices…they swept through my mind as if they were only here for one purpose. They wanted me to die.
I survived the darkest night of my life but it was not without consequence. I held on to this memory and carried it with me. Thankfully, in a short manner of time I found hope and recovery. God gave me the ability to forgive those who had wronged me and I was finally able to be free.
Unfortunately, as most of you know, depression doesn’t just end there. It’s not just a circumstantial emotion…it’s a disease that rots your heart. I have spent the past four years experiencing heartbreak, broken trust, and misleading intentions. People have come into my life and expertly walked out all the while taking my heart with them. Is it my fault? Should I have given them so much? Honestly, these are questions that will erode my mind for the rest of time. One thing that I do know amidst all of this is that despite my feelings of being alone, I indeed was one of many.
It was only until recently that my anxiety took over my heart. My first panic attack came at the hands of fear. I remember shaking uncontrollably, crying, and begging God to make the pain go away. I couldn’t think straight. My mind was a highway and every which way was a new car wreck begging for attention. I couldn’t handle it anymore. I had to get help…
I spent the next two months in a counselor’s office detailing every piece of my heart from the past four years. Each meeting was a test, a test of my motivation to get better. I had to be honest, I had to be transparent, and I had to hear the painful truth. Five months later I can honestly say that I am better. I’m not completely healed but I am better. Forward progress is better than no progress at all I always say.
Why do I tell you all of this? I mean, you and I are practically strangers. Why should I let anyone in on my secret? Honestly it’s because I have wandered around in the darkest pits of my heart and made it out alive (barely). Having been through all of this I have been made aware of an undying need of encouragement to those like me. People who are struggling just as much (if not more) than I did (and do) need to know that they are not alone.
Depression is a thief, a murderer, and it only seeks to take the most precious piece of life away from you. It wants your joy. There really isn’t anything I can say that would help you feel better but I know that if you’re anything like me you just need a friend. Someone who can just simply let you know that everything will be ok even when it doesn’t feel like it. I’ve seen God do miracles in my own heart and I know that he can do the same for you. I sincerely hope you have found some type of encouragement through my story. My heart is for you and it is with you in your battle.
Never give up.