I believe that giving up on hope is giving up on life. I believe that the sun is still shining behind the storm clouds. The hard part is remembering that it’s always there and that the storm will pass.
Two years ago, I began my struggle with Major Depressive Disorder. The clouds of self-hatred and unrelenting pessimism began to roll into my mind. My world was quickly darkening. Despite the constant support of my friends and family, I kept slipping farther into my dark hole of depression. Anorexia, self-mutilation, and suicide attempts consumed my mind and my life. The light was gone. I could see no other way to escape this darkness then to permanently end it.
This summer I worked at a bible camp that I’ve been going to for years. At this camp I was surrounded by a community of Christians that constantly loved me and encouraged me. They were the ones that taught me my belief. Everyday they would remind me that “this too shall pass,” or that “the sun’ll come out tomorrow,” but I never really understood. All I heard were corny lines being sung by a red-headed orphan. It wasn’t until one night when I was back at home that realized they were right.
I was sitting on my bed, cupping a bottle’s worth of sleeping pills in my hand. The thoughts that had been attacking me for two years hadn’t stopped raining down and I wasn’t able to push them aside any longer. I felt like a burden and a waste of space. The constant love that had been shown me had to be a lie. Who could love someone as messed up as me? My mental storm was blowing hard and I was sure I wouldn’t survive. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I looked around my room for the final time. I saw pictures of my friend’s faces smiling back at me. Memories that had once kept me going were now going to see me off. The calendar hanging on my wall looked curiously at me as the future plans it held had no relevance anymore. All my hope was gone and with it I was giving my life. I closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths to prepare myself. Any sense that I had once had was gone. I was lost and knew I wouldn’t be found. As I opened my eyes a picture caught my eye. I wiped the stinging tears from my eyes to clear my vision. It was a picture one of my campers had drawn my earlier that summer. A picture of her crying and Jesus with his arms wrapped tight around her. A gray cloud above her head poured rain upon the duo, but in the corner of paper there was a sun. When she gave it to me she had told me that even though it’s raining there will always be sun, so that means there has to be a rainbow. I couldn’t see it yet, but it’ll be there. A rush of hope flooded my body. My hands shook and the lethal pills that were going to be my answer cascaded to the shag carpeting beneath me. The sun was there, the rainbow was coming, and the rain would end.
Without rain the beauty of a rainbow wouldn’t exist. The pain I’ve gone through will only make me a better person. My rain clouds are dispersing and the sun’s light is streaming through, proving that it’s been there all along. Storms are temporary but the sun is permanent. The sun is my symbol of hope. Without the sun I would have no light and without hope I would have no life.
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