After I Came out of Depression, I Lived a Much Better Life

A woman sits beside a window.
A woman sits beside a window. (photo:
By Li Xiao December 17th, 2020

I used to suffer from depression, which plagued me for many years. In 2010, I had just entered senior high school; it was a private school with complete services in the provincial capital; what most people would call "A school for the rich". Apart from the high tuition fees, there was nothing special about it.

Since the second year of junior high school, I began to bleed from my nostrils strangely, which was different from ordinary nosebleeds. Every time my nose began to bleed, it would flow uncontrollably without stopping, so I had to go to the hospital and the doctor said there were broken capillaries. During the period after that, my nose always bled without any warning, I began to ask for leave intermittently throughout my time in junior middle school, and I had a lot of infusions from time to time. Eventually, I failed my high school entrance exams.

Since childhood I had been extremely eager to excel; I felt that whether it was in my studies or exams, I had to ensure I came out the best. Eventually, things turned out like this.

After half a year, there was a big gap between my mental expectations and my circumstances as well as my education at the time. Suddenly my entire being became miserable. At the thought that the future was dim and without direction, feelings of pressure, anxiety, and loss came upon me like beasts. It seemed that my entire being was swallowed up by an invisible force... Absent-mindedness in class, truancy, edginess, talking back to the teacher—these became the norm for me.

This state was something I had never imagined before. There was a great contrast between my outward appearance and my inner being. The sentence I often used to describe myself was: "Beneath the quiet appearance, hid a heart with surging emotions".

But no matter how much the illness afflicted me, I never thought of committing suicide. I was still in a bad state, sullen, and reticent. I hated speaking to a lot of people and because of this, I offended many of my parents' friends, including relatives.

I always felt out of place in the world, and always found it difficult to blend in with others. Being alone became normal for me.

I was not only depressed but also was diagnosed with an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). I would walk or run along the square every night, and would not allow myself to stop and go home if I hadn't walked 20,000 steps.

My real recovery from depression came at the end of last year. While I was helping my mother find a newspaper at home, I turned the bedroom cabinet and found a Book with its corners rolled up called– "Streams in the Desert". The title of the book attracted me very much and I sat on the floor mat in my bedroom and opened the first article of the book. The title was called "The Progress of Life". It was written by a foreigner. One of the lines started to touch me. It simply meant that growth is the natural law of all things. All living things need to grow. God longs for the growth of his children, just as parents desire their children to grow up.

After reading it, it dawned on me that I needed to change. I knew how eager my parents were for me to grow up healthy and happy like other children, instead of being stuck in the same place. This was not only God's desire for me but also my parents' expectation.

Although they usually considered my feelings and never spoke to me about them, I heard from my relatives that every time people asked about me, my parents couldn't help crying. My father, a man who could shoulder a lot of things, even failed to hold back his tears in front of others... I felt I needed to change without any delay, it had to be now.

From then on, I began to stop hiding in my bedroom. I tried to communicate with my relatives, and I was willing to go to crowded places to associate with others. Gradually, I began doing things to the best of my ability and everything started changing on its own. I didn't expect to change, but I came out of it. I knew that God had done all these in me.

When I started to do God's work, everything changed. Especially this year, my sister's baby was born, which touched me a lot. Looking at her so cute and chubby, everyone loved her so much. How difficult it was to raise a child. Thinking of how my mother fed me for countless days and nights when I was young, I began to shed tears...

In the same way, God has chosen and redeemed us, and he is eager for us to grow, be fruitful, and become full of the stature of Christ Jesus. I firmly believe in myself. I want to be young and full of life, and spend every day with a heart of gratitude.

Because of this experience, I began to understand others. I was willing to treat the people around me with a kind heart. What I want to say is: if you can't feel empathy, at the very least you should be kind. Don't make improper comments on things or people you don't know.

If you want to help someone with depression, just relying on your thoughts and enthusiasm to comfort them will sometimes backfire: different people have different inner needs and desires. Here are some tips based on my experience:

1. You can't dominate the whole conversation, talking endlessly all by yourself. This will make their already restless heart even more fretful.

2. Don't talk about the so-called "chicken soup for the soul" you see on the Internet which is usually false. Those words may not even comfort you when you are confused.

3. Don't talk about death or life, reverence, and love of life. (A person who wants to die doesn't listen.)

The only thing you can do is to encourage and guide the person with depression to open their mouth while you listen quietly. It's important to listen in order to find a breakthrough and a direction. Only by getting to know and understand the person can you talk deeply into their heart and achieve the purpose of the conversation. Otherwise, no matter how much you talk, it will become irrelevant nonsense and disgust the person.

They will be willing to share their innermost thoughts with you, provided, of course, that you first establish a deep and trustworthy relationship, which requires effort and there is a price to pay… which includes love, patience, time, energy...

But they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. And they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint. ——Isaiah 40:31

(The article is originally published by Gospel Times.)

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