I Struggled

About three years ago, I was diagnosed with clinical depression and was put on an anti-depressant that (in my opinion) seemed to make everything worse. My anxiety was at an all time high because I was in so much pain and hadn't been diagnosed with a specific condition. Therefore, treatment was nonexistent.

To this day, I'm not sure if I really struggled with depression or if the doctor's just needed something to "blame" the pain on as juvenile arthritis wasn't mentioned until about six months after my depression "diagnosis." To say the least, there were a lot of unanswered questions...my doctor's were helpless. I was helpless.

I remember so many occasions where I walked into school, threw my books in my locker, and went straight to the bathroom to cry...and I remember doing it all without anyone noticing me.  It wasn't until I said, "Enough is enough - I don't want to live like this" that things got any better. No anti-depressant can give you a piece of mind that says, "This life IS worth living. I have a purpose." I truly believe that can only come from God.

Finally, I told my parents and my doctor that this medication wasn't for me. I quit taking it cold turkey and ended up staying wide awake for nearly 72 hours straight. The side effects were horrible, but I didn't want my body being hindered by the medication that took away my energy and feelings of purpose any longer.

I didn't get my smile back magically by any means, but I started to realize that a medication was not going to make me feel alive...I needed to push myself to stay social, to stay active, to stay ME...even while I was in a significant amount of pain, I realized the importance of remaining myself.

I know there were days that it didn't look like I was trying...in fact, I'm sure I cried MORE after I made the decision to ditch the medication...because it was HARD. But, in hindsight, I can say it was my best decision to date. I learned to cherish the good days more than ever during that period of time because I realized that they were often few and far between. I also learned to appreciate the bad days for what they were.

I don't think my smile ever really went away, but it was hidden for a long, long time. I wasn't happy with my life, myself, or my circumstances, but there was a hope that kept me going and believing for better days...and His name is Jesus.

That same hope is what I still hold onto today and I know I'll be holding onto tomorrow. I'm so thankful that He is so much stronger than anything that we will ever have to face here on earth.

When I meet Jesus face to face, I highly, highly doubt that I will be looking back on my circumstances/struggles and say to Him with a frown... "Look what you made me endure." I imagine the only thing I'll be able to mutter out will be something along the lines of, "Thank You. Thank You for carrying me through."

I struggled, and there are days I still do...but the battle over my heart and happiness here on earth has already been won...by Jesus. 


TotallyBrenda.com said...

thanks. i love reading posts like this. especially when i get a difficult call or text, etc. i've been battling feeling down due to circumstances that i can't control. blog posts like these really help :D keep on smiling!

Amberly said...

You are one of the most with it, inspirational teenagers I've ever known! :) I wish I could have had your confidence, knowledge, and genuine happiness when I was in high school! :P Keep it up Kenz, because the world is noticing!! I love your smile, and it brightens my day to see it all over my social media!

Natasha SerenityYou said...

you are such strong girl and such an inspiration!!

Natasha xx

Lisa Cheney said...

You are so special Kenz!!!

Lauren said...

Girlfriend, I'm almost 29 years old, and you teach ME more than you will ever know!!! Love you for it!!! God is SO NOT done with you friend!!!! XOXOXOXO

Amy said...

::hugs:: i'm sure that wasn't the easiest thing to share! But thank you FOR sharing it.
While medication is a great thing and is truly needed and beneficial for some...it isn't for everyone. Even still, medication or not, you are right, YOU have to make the choice as an individual to keep moving forward!

Dawn said...

Sometimes it truly amazes me how young you are. You seem so mature. I wish I was more like that at your age. Such an inspiration. I will definitely be having my daughters read your blog.

Amanda aka Manda said...

You are so courageous for sharing your story! I too struggled with depression when my doctors were unable to help diagnose me properly. My issues started in high school and I wasn't officially diagnosed until the age of 24. Those were some rough years. I'm glad we're both healthier, in all ways, now!

Susan Jeffries said...

You, my friend, are a super hero. I am old enough to be your mother and I want you to know that I am proud of you. Thank you for the inspiration you provide to my precious daughter. I adore you. Susan

Jess said...

I love you. You are truly amazing sweet girl. Out stories are similar with the medicine and I agree fully with you. I came to a place that God showed me nothing would ever heal me except Him. Nothing would ever change until I relied fully on Jesus. I am so glad you shared this.

Kala Roberts said...

Girl, you're so lucky to have learned these things so young! Seriously! Being happy is a choice for most people and one they (AND I) have to make every single day.

Having to work for it makes it all the more enjoyable when you get there! Thanks for inspiring all of us! :)

Shelley said...

You are so mature and wise for a girl your age!!

Jen said...

You are so incredibly strong, I am in awe of you! You are so special. :)

Amy said...

You have a beautiful testimony, friend!! Keep smiling, beautiful :)

Courtney said...

Thank you for sharing this! I have been struggling with many of the same issues and have come to realize that my hope is in God & that He is the ultimate healer!

Earl-Leigh said...

Yes, Ma'am! I found myself slipping last year when I was put in the hospital and doctors were telling me that i could lose Harper. HE will see us through all trials! Thank you for sharing your testimony!

Nora said...

You have such a gift for writing, sharing your story and being so positive! I love it. The world needs more young people like you (and I feel like a total old woman saying this as I'll be 30 this year!). (BTW- This is WalkingwithNora, via instagram!)

Amanda said...

I very much understand this. However, with Fibromyalgia comes depression and vise versa.
I was just on a lot of medication recently and I was such a zombie I didn't realize that it was putting more in an unhappy state.
Before I got diagnosed which was about 4 years ago now - I got told I had depression too, because NO doctor would believe my condition.

I am glad you found your smile and stay strong. It is really hard leaving with such a painful condition and especially young. You can do this - like I say "one day at a time"

Lorna K lifewithraisapain said...

Your strength inspires me.
When I was your age I struggled
with anxiety and muddled through, it got worse with
the diagnosis of RA at 23 none of the meds worked for me.
I have learned how to manage each day as it comes.
For someone so young, you have an incredible amount of
maturity and insight, keep on doing what you are doing.

Lorna K

Life with RA is a Pain