October: Life Month for Me!

I have to tell you that October is one of my favorite months of the year. It’s a beautiful fall transition month, it’s Scott’s birthday month and it’s my testimony month–the month I personally celebrate the fact that I’m still here…because in October of my senior year of high school, I wasn’t sure I wanted to stay.

Dark Depression

I was so depressed I wanted to die. It’s what I thought about all month. I couldn’t come up with any good plans. (Jumping off the Golden Gate bridge wasn’t realistic because it was an hour drive north and I didn’t have a car, but I thought about it anyway.) I was practically too tired to come up with a good plan, but I still thought I should just die. I was surrounded by darkness.

I had been dealing with depression for about a year and a half, not realizing it was because of all the medication I was taking for a thyroid disease God had already healed me from. That’s right. I was prayed for in September of my junior year and God healed me. I had been diagnosed with low thyroid (it’s hereditary and my mom had it) when I was 11. I’d been prayed for many times, but this one time seemed different.

Healed? Not Healed?

We went back to the doctor, who said, yes, my thyroid was functioning, but now it was putting out too much thyroid hormone, so he increased my synthroid, put me on 1500 mg of Motrin a day, plus at least one other med I can’t recall. We assumed we were wrong about the healing and continued following this doctor’s course of treatment. We’d always been able to trust him before, but I’d never been healed by God before either.

That’s when the depression started—and the “not eating.” I denied I was anorexic for a long time. Just because I faked my way through breakfast and tossed my lunch in the first garbage can I came to at school; just because I loved losing weight and got down to 98 lbs., didn’t mean I was really anorexic. In a way, I was right. I had anorexia symptoms, but I later called it “chemically induced anorexia” because I never would have been anorexic on my own, but all the extra thyroid hormones was like being on speed (I’m told) so I wasn’t hungry. Ever. When I said I wasn’t hungry, it was true. So I didn’t eat, which made me more tired – and more depressed.

The Choice to Hang On

One night, I was huddled on the floor leaning against my bed and I started raking my nails across my wrists, making deep, red scratches, wondering how hard it would be to really break the skin and start bleeding. Then, I stopped. The ugly red lines stopped me. I pulled myself up onto my knees, almost too tired to do that, and I prayed.

“God, I can’t see You–and I can’t feel You right now. But I know You’re there. So, I’m just going to hang on.” It was all I could do, all I could say, but it was enough. I stopped thinking about suicide so much and making comments about not wanting to be here. I was still depressed, but I was one step up from the dead bottom.

I dragged through the months. I got really sick in January. The doctor took me off all my medications for two weeks, then put me back on them. I dragged through a few more months. The enemy was wreaking havoc, but I held on. I graduated high school with a 3.8 GPA, sang at the Baccalaureate service and at Graduation. We continued to minister on the weekends. Everything looked ok on the outside.

Yes, Healed!

Then, the summer after I graduated, the doctor told my mom he didn’t know what to do with me. So she found another endocrinologist and got a second opinion. He had my history and at our first doctor visit, he checked me out head-to-toe. Then, he calmly said he couldn’t find any evidence that I had a thyroid disease or that I’d ever had a thyroid disease!

I remember my mom and I sitting in the car after the appointment, stunned. Did he say what we thought he said?

I went off all medication and quickly returned to normal. I felt normal. I ate normal. Normal was good!

The Truth of God

At some point after that, I realized how terrible it would have been if I had killed myself the October prior…especially because I was already healed! What would God have said to me? That would have been really embarrassing! He probably would’ve told me I was already healed, to hang on, and sent me back. That’s pure speculation, but I think it’s a good guess, because He accomplished the same thing when He stopped me in my tracks that night and helped me hang on because He wasn’t finished with me and my time here on earth yet.

I am so grateful that I had a foundation in God and that I clung to the Truth of His Being that dark night regardless of how I felt. Sometimes we can’t feel Him or see Him, but that doesn’t change the absolute fact that He is there and that He loves us.

Even if we are in darkness, we must believe. We must cling to God’s truth. The truth is God is with us. God is for us.

God is great! He loves us. He is our strength. And I’m so glad I’m still here to proclaim that today.

In what ways has God rescued you from darkness?

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2 Comments

  1. Hey Erica, thanks for commenting on my blog! Sorry you didn’t win Philip Yancey’s book, but it’s great to hear from you. Thanks for sharing this story here. See you around!

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  2. Thanks, Matt! I subscribed to your blog, so yes, I will definitely see you around. 🙂 Nice to meet you. Found your blog through a RT on twitter. Looking forward to getting to know you and your writing. Thanks for stopping by!

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  • Hi, I'm Erica ~ a wife, a mom, a Christian speaker, singer, author, and worship leader. I love coffee & chocolate, reading & writing, music & more music, Facebook & Twitter, time with family & friends! Thanks for dropping by ~ I hope you are encouraged here.

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