Growing up, I was always a shy and quiet girl. I learnt how to put on a happy face, even though deep down I was sad.
Something I did enjoy and was good at, was sport. It was the only time I felt like I could be happy and truly be myself.
I was in the basketball team and a dance team. I even made it into the National Team for dance. Just before we left for this competition, I had a fall during practice and was injured badly. I had broken my back and I was told that I would never be able to walk again. This meant not only missing out on going to the National Championship, but I could also no longer compete. The very thing that made me happy was now gone. This was the beginning of a fast downward spiral into depression.
I was too afraid to be honest about my depression because I feared what everyone would think of me. I didn’t know what to do. I was hurt, I was lonely and I felt overwhelmed. I started hanging around people who regularly used drugs. Even though I had never used drugs, I found a sense of belonging with them. We were all lost and searching for ‘something’. We just didn’t know what.
At the same time, I wasn’t getting along with family and we had lots of problems. Both my parents were diagnosed with terminal illnesses. I took on the responsibility of looking after my parents, financially, physically and in every other way. Everything seemed to be falling apart.
The depression continued to get worse. Every day was a struggle for me. Things would get so bad that I would lock myself in my room. Some days I found it almost impossible to even get out of bed and face one more day. I lost hope and I wanted to end my life. I found myself behind the wheel of a car blind drunk, trying to run myself off the road.
I met a girl at work that would often invite me to her church. One day I finally said yes and attended. At the end of the service, I said a prayer. I asked Jesus to forgive me and be the Lord of my life. Even though I knew of God, I felt like I knew Him personally now.
Since that day, I have found a hope and joy in life that cannot be taken away. Through reading the bible and listening to worship, my once heavy heart is now full of hope. I am studying at Bible College, I volunteer at my church and I look forward to what each new day brings. God is all I ever needed and all I will ever need. By the grace of God, I am thankful for my new life.