Growing up, I have a very low self-esteem. Being bullied through my grade school and high school years didn’t help that. Neither did the anxiety disorder that I developed. Having such a low self-esteem clouded my judgement and I allowed myself to be part of some unhealthy relationships. In August of 2013 I moved eight hours away from all my friends and family in hopes to find out who I was as a person. Looking back, I wish I had moved into a home a few minutes away from my family, but at the time I thought the distance was the only way to truly be on my own.
After a few months of living away from home, my anxiety got out of control and I became depressed. The doctors put me on some medication to help…. It didn’t. See, the doctors believed I was depressed. But that wasn’t the whole picture. I had really bad days where I couldn’t get out of bed. But I also had really really good days; days where I would go out and drop $200 on stupid things. Days I would agree to commit to doing things even though I didn’t have the time. And weeks where I would go with little to no sleep. What the doctors didn’t see was that I have Bipolar Disorder. And the medication they put me on, sent me spiralling into a manic episode.
In the Spring of 2014, I moved out onto my own. I was in school full time and I had four part time jobs. I was on cloud nine. I was invincible. Until I wasn’t.
On top of the anxiety disorder I was diagnosed with at 16, I was also diagnosed with migraines. Finally, my life style caught up with me, and I was unable to even open my eyes due to the extreme pain I was in. After ten days, I finally went to the hospital. They have me some morphine and some other medications.
I felt great. Too great, and the process began itself again. But the medication wore off and I crashed. Hard. I was at the point where I had no more hope. I couldn’t live like this, and there was no end in sight. I was defeated. And I gave up. On August 26th, 2014, I tried to take my life. A friend was able to call for help and I spent the night in the hospital. They let me walk out alone the next morning. So I tried again that night.
But this time something crazy happened. I was sitting on a ledge over top of a river that goes through the city. I thought about all that I had been through, and how many times God had come through for me. It had been months since I had prayed more than a simple, selfish prayer here or there, but in that moment I knew that the only way things would get better was with God’s help. I spend a while sitting on that ledge, praying and asking God for forgiveness. I asked for help, and for healing. I was filled with an overwhelming sense of peace. I knew that things were going to get better. I knew I wanted to get better. So I called for help and went back to the hospital. A few hours later, my parents arrived, and they took me back home the next morning.
My road to recovery was hard. Finding healing wasn’t easy and I am sure it is not over. But God knew what He was doing. I cannot imagine where I would be without God, but I am so thankful that God is never failing, and loves me unconditionally. I wanted to share my story, even if it was hard to share, because I know that it can be a source of encouragement. Everyone struggles at times. But you’re not alone. It is never worth giving up.
It says in the Bible that God will use your struggles to better His kingdom. I truly believe this is true. I am now able to minister to others who are struggling with anxiety, depression or other mental illnesses, and because I have gone through it first hand, I find that God uses it to reach others who might not be willing to hear about God otherwise. But if nothing else, it has taught me to be supportive and to love those around me. I hope this was a source of encouragement to someone, and a testament of how great God is. Please know if you ever need someone to talk to, I’m here, but more importantly, God is always listening.
Nichole is a Social Media Marketing Manager, student, daughter and friend. She’s working on her Marketing Diploma and has a Certificate of Christian Theology. She is an avid coffee lover who enjoys a good movie or book. She takes great joy in organizing, scheduling, and volunteering. Her passion for volunteerism extends specifically to those who are hurting, whether it is emotionally, physically, or mentally.
Nichole is certified to provide Mental Health First Aid, which means she can provide immediate support and guidance in a safe environment, comfortably have a conversation about mental health related issues and offer professional and other supports. This does NOT make Nichole a psychologist, or a counselor. It simply gives her the tools to direct people to the help they need.