Aisle – 2015 Graduate
I grew up in a close knit, Catholic family. We were a military family so we moved around a lot. When I was 13, my dad went on a combat tour to Iraq for the first time. At that stressful time in my life, I developed a chronic pain disease known as Myofascial Pain Syndrome. Depression and anxiety accompanied the pain. I went undiagnosed for two years, and then doctors finally put a name to it when I was 15. The pain was debilitating. I did everything I could to fight against it. I wanted control in my life, which led to cleaning and OCD tendencies and later developed into an eating disorder. Adding to the pain I was experiencing, I was molested in high school by a family member. In college I was raped my freshman year. My self-image was distorted and only got more skewed the deeper into my eating disorder I got. I stayed active and played college basketball until it was too dangerous to play because of my eating disorder, depression and chronic pain.
I heard about Mercy through a friend. I applied because I was extremely suicidal and depressed, and my eating disorder was going to take my life if I didn’t get help. My number one goal was to starve myself to death. When I arrived at Mercy, I was still in the grasp of the enemy’s hand. I was scared, ashamed and hurting. Choosing life wasn’t easy, but the Lord met me right where I was.
The Lord began to speak to me during praise and worship times and show me pictures of Himself alongside of me when I thought I was alone in some of my darkest memories. I met Jesus at Mercy, and now I have an intimate relationship with Him. I never understood the Holy Spirit before, but now I can feel Him inside me.
After graduation, I will be working and pursuing my dream of playing college basketball again. I plan on finishing my degree in psychology, and I also hope to get a certificate in art therapy. Art has been very therapeutic for me since I’ve been at Mercy, and I would love to share my love for the Lord through art.
Mercy gave me my life back—how do I even thank you for that? I am so blessed not only to be alive but also to have hope. Thank you for making this possible. My family and I are so thankful!