Friday Feature: Charnelle Evans
Who Am I When Everything is Hopeless?
Ever since I can remember I have struggled with depression and anxiety. I have times when my emotions over take me and I struggle to even get out of bed. Sometimes anxiety will cause me to lock myself in my house and refuse to leave because I just can't handle the uncertainty that is beyond the front door. But even though I knew what I was struggling with, I refused to talk about it with anyone and would lock up my emotions and just tell everyone it is fine. While in college, I went to counseling and stopped because my mom kept saying "You don't need that. It is a waste of time." The stigma of having a mental illness cranked up my anxiety even more because I didn't want people to know I had "issues". As more and more pressures came up in my life, I was drowning even more. I turned to alcohol and other substances to find something to make it all go away but they only would numb the pain for a short while. It wasn't until I was watching Dr.Oz and they were talking about mental illnesses and suicide that I knew my life was at stake. As I was watching, I could remember planning ways that would be painless to go and I even tried praying to God hoping that He would just take my life from me.
That is when I made the decision to go get help. I sought out a counselor and started the healing process. But the crazy thing about this whole thing was while I was in my lowest points I was still attending church when I could, attending Christian events, and even around Christians. It was like everything in the Bible about joy, peace, and blessings applied to everyone but me.
It was only until I was in counseling that I realized in my darkest hours because I didn't love myself, I wasn't allowing God's love in. God's love is what is saving me everyday. Once I was finally able to just let Him in, I was able to be free. My struggle isn't over because I still live with depression and anxiety everyday but now I have the tools to fight. Whenever my mind starts to overtake me, I can hear the Holy Spirit whispering truths and promises into my ear letting me know that it will be alright.
"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." Romans 8:28
"So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6