Even those who know me may not know how bad things were during my teen years . I honestly didn't think I'd make it to 40.
I wasn't sick physically but mentally. I started battling depression at the young age of 13. It was pretty severe. Of course as expected most assumed it was normal teen behavior. This was 1989 and teens were expected to be moody, isolated in their room and down. But I was way more than that. I was self harming, thinking horrible thoughts of death and felt so alone.
Things got worse over the years and by 17 I was in a mental health hospital for my own protection. I was there twice during my 17th year and I think it saved my life and got me on the path of healing. I was in treatment for my past childhood sexual abuse and my family joined some therapy sessions too.
My journey changed in a very positive way when I met my husband at 18. He took to church and to meet his family on our second date. I got to know my husband & God at the same time. We soon got married.
My life soon took on meaning. I was still in therapy and felt I had a reason to be alive! I was not only loved by God but also my husband & his family. We soon started to grow our own family and my love grew. I "graduated" therapy at about the age of 26 and also began a real intimate walk with God.
There have been struggles over the years and but looking back I can how God molded my life path to where I am today.
I feel blessed as I look at those around me - I have a husband of 21yrs who loved me even when I felt broken, I have 3 amazing children who teach me life daily, I have my family of my parents and my sister plus her husband & daughter. I also have a large extended family on my husbands side, I'm blessed with not only close friends but also online friends and wonderful church family.
When I look back at my 17yr old self feeling so lost and alone in the grips of depression and seeing life not worth living I want to hug her and say just look . . . look at what is waiting for you. You may not feel loved but there are so many out there who will touch your life. Plus one day many people out there will need you in their life. They will need you as a wife, mom, teacher, friend and most a you are daughter of God forever loved no matter what.
Maybe my 17yr old self can't hear that but I hope and pray other teens will. I want them to know your life has a purpose and a meaning. You may not see it now and it may seem a long road to 40 but you are growing now. Where you are is important and there is a reason you are here. Cling to that hope as hard as you can even if your hope is tiny God can grow that hope with faith and He will hold you up when you have no more strength.
I have made it 40 and still amazed at the journey that took me here. I can't wait for the next 40 years and they are going be a great adventure.