I grew up in a loving family; however, particular family dynamics created a very volatile, inconsistent home environment. I was depressed, lonely, shameful, and desperate to be seen and to belong. I turned to self-harm, drinking, and smoking to deal with the pain I felt. My body started to shut down because of the stress and anxiety; I wasn’t dealing with it mentally, so I started dealing with all of it physically. I became more and more depressed, I was consistently exhausted, and I started having really bad stomach problems and panic attacks.
Instead of taking a break and dealing with my emotions, I applied to college. I did very well at first, but I eventually started failing my classes and stopped caring. I felt my mind spiraling very quickly, and that’s when my roommate told me about Mercy.
When I first arrived at Mercy, I was really skeptical of how this “Jesus thing” was going to work when it hadn’t worked in the past. I was really numb, and all of my emotions felt like they were in one big block – the good ones, and the bad ones. I was also terrified of letting myself feel. I thought that if I felt, I would end up doing something drastic.
But slowly, during my time at Mercy, through counseling, I started to create space for myself to not be okay. In that place of being a mess, healing happened and is still happening. I thought my purpose of being a Christian was to help other people, to serve, to please people, and to be the perfect example. As my view started to change, I realized that my relationship with God is for freedom, because He has set me free. God is after my life and not my self-martyrdom.
After Mercy, I’m moving up north. I’m going to get on my feet and get a job and a car. My main goal is to continue in the process of living and to learn what it looks like to be healthy in all areas of my life.
I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the generosity of all of the donors who have given to Mercy and to me. I am humbled and encouraged by all of the people who believed in me and yet have never met me.