Due to the toxic environment in my home life, I struggled with depression and anxiety from a very young age. I believed I was a failure, a mistake, and ultimately worthless. No one thought that anything was wrong with my home life because of my fake smile at school. I honestly didn’t know what I was missing until friends started having me over to their houses, and I realized the dynamics were so different compared to my house. I didn’t know that families talked every day after school, ate together for meals, and gathered together for holidays. There was little interaction with my family throughout the week, we rarely ate together, and holidays were chaotic.
School was a challenge for me as well. I had a hard time focusing and understanding the material in class and was looked down on for being in the lower classes. I was bullied and felt social pressure to be someone I was not. In response to these things, I participated in self-destructive behaviors. For many years, I felt this cloud over my head that consumed my everyday life. I knew deep down inside that I was missing something. I tried to find God in various religions and tried to find myself in what others thought about me. But nothing filled what my heart longed for.
When I was 14, a neighbor witnessed to me, and I was saved at a very hard time in my life. I was heavily contemplating suicide, and I asked God to show Himself to me if He was real. I started going to church and moved in with my neighbor’s sister for about four years. My neighbors and the family I lived with became like family to me. But my problems did not all go away at once. My issues actually started to get worse, and I struggled due to my mental health and outward circumstances. I was in unhealthy relationships to fill the void in my life that only left me disappointed. I did not have much hope for my future anymore. I ended up in treatment facilities multiple times and needed help to move forward.
I honestly did not think I would be able to have freedom from my problems, but now I am thankful that God opened the doors of Mercy to me. Mercy has helped me in so many ways, and I am not the same person I was before. Jesus has given me identity, purpose, and belonging. Now I have learned to face my pain in healthier ways. Instead of isolating myself from people, I have learned to live in a community in the midst of hard times. I have learned to face my feelings because they are trying to tell me what is actually going on inside. I am learning to live in the present moment instead of always dwelling on the future or past. I believe that depression and anxiety can’t control me anymore. I believe that God is with me in every step and every moment.
When I leave Mercy, I want to ease into a job that I enjoy, and I eventually want to go to college to be a therapist. My passion is to help hurting people with mental health issues the same way Mercy Multiplied has helped me. Mercy has helped me grow in so many ways, and I am excited to continue walking in freedom for the rest of my life.
To all the Mercy donors, thank you for giving me the amazing opportunity to grow at Mercy. It would not be possible without your generosity.