Author: Daniel G. Cwik
Phone Number: 847-530-8349
Overcoming Depression through Finding Forgiveness
In high school, I felt deserted from the world. My life seemed meaningless because I was not popular with the students and did not have an excellent academic record. This belief brought a great depression where I embarked on a journey to search for truth, love and purpose.
I had a relentless drive for me to become perfect in every area of my life; this drive would cause me to feel shameful about my mistakes. There were some major disappointments: I received Bs and Cs that prevented me from getting a 4.0 G.P.A., my father was an alcoholic, and he verbally abused my family. The first three years of high school, I spend days feeling depressed and lonely due to having no close friends. Writing poems and a book about these emotions gave me a catharsis. There were days that I wanted to kill myself, but I never had the guts to do it. I hated most students because they were not like me, and was jealous of their popularity.
However, in my senior year, some students realized that I was sad. They talked to me and became my friends. I was discovering how much a valuable person I was to them. As a result, I started to care about them. Surprisingly, a girl told me in my yearbook that she felt “very special” when I offered my friendship to her. My friends asked me how I was doing. I would say fine. But, I lied because I was too shameful to tell anyone about my depression. The action of hiding my problems from others prevented me from being close to anyone. I was scared that they would abandon and hate me. Later, I started opening up my heart to others. The summer after graduation, I dated a very caring girl who wanted to know what was bothering me. For the first time, I started to open up by talking to her about my depression. In my freshman year at a Christian college, those relationships gave me confidence to talk more and be honest to people.
One night at college, a friend Aaron encouraged me to attend a Christian social event where attendees sang worship songs and heard a sermon. Aaron asked me about the event and I said that I do not see God as the #1 thing in my life. Later, Aaron told me that God could help overcome my depression and he said,” sounds like you are looking for answers”. Also, I needed to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. However for a few months, I did not convert to Christianity, because American culture taught me that only I could solve my problems. The next few months, I could see my heart leaning towards Christ through making friends and going to Christian events. For example, I was inspired by stories of friends and people whose lives were positively transformed by Christ. From my friends, I saw their strong desire for me to become a Christian.
One saturday night in february, God told me that He wanted to help. I needed to try something new since I could not find a solution on my own. Clearly, I decided to follow Christ and asked for forgiveness of my wrongs, such as hate and shame. God promised that He would help me overcome the depression if I trusted Him. Thereupon,
I found a steadfast hope that He would be strong enough to save me from this sadness. In fact, I prayed each night until the depression would be gone from my life permanently.
Near the end of april, the sunday before exams week, my prayers were answered. In the morning, I felt that God was going to tell me something important. First, I jumped on my bike and hurried to the church. Second, He wanted me to ask a woman, who was a friend, if I should date with a rebellious heart. The Bible says you should not date when you have a rebellious heart. She agreed with me. Third, I went alone to talk to God. Since I trusted Him all this time, He was willing to tell me something great. God said,”I love you no matter who your friends are or what mistakes you have done.” I was happy because the highest person loves me. Certainly, I apologized for those sad thoughts, and I let the depression go from my heart. My shame was erased by His act of grace. There was joy and peace because the burden was gone. God told me that He was going to use my writing skills to extend His kingdom. Before this moment, I searched the world for acceptance; instead, I discovered that it was more special to be loved by God.
Perfectionism will always be a struggle for me, but I must remember God will never abandon me, even though, I am not perfect. Also, God has made me a valuable person by trusting me with the gifts of prayer, knowledge and writing to bless others. Furthermore, I have learned to love people who hurt me and/or have different values or interests from me. I will never forget the treasure of joy and peace I discovered, that day, from learning how I was valuable and special to God.