I was 12 years old when I realized the difference between being sad, and being deeply depressed. I was 12 years old when I stopped being a lively, bubbly child, and first picked up the blade that would grow me up overnight. For 4 years I starved and harmed the body I had grown to resent for the features I viewed as less than lovely. In my mind, I was unloved and worthless. In the spring of my 16th year, in the midst of a panic attack I attempted to take my life and suffered from an overdose that landed me into the emergency room and eventually into Shepard Pratt for inpatient psychiatric treatment. There I was diagnosed with an Anorexia/Bulimia combo, major depressive disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety. I was put on a pretty high dose of antidepressants, and stuck into therapy 3 days a week. I quickly came to learn that antidepressants and therapy weren’t going to help me, and desperate to feel anything but the overwhelming emptiness that followed me around, I threw myself into the drinking scene with as much force as my social anxiety would allow me. This regretful venture is what all led up to an event that absolutely shook my world and left my already broken heart, absolutely shattered. At a party during the summer of my 16th year, a black out drunk, sad Melinda stumbled around the yard causing quite an embarrassing scene. The next morning I awoke with only fragments of memories, but it was enough to know what had happened. A quite older guy had taken advantage of the drunk, depressed, 16 year old Melinda. And everyone knew it. As often happens, the victim shaming began, and slowly, friend after friend dropped me. I absolutely hated myself, and looking in the mirror, all I saw was garbage. For months I wanted nothing more than for God to take my life. He, however, had other plans. Junior year rolled around and I was taken in by a lovely group of girls. Worse came to worse, and differences of personality led to the group splitting down the middle (we still love each other and things are amicable). I was left with what seemed like only one friend, my favorite human, Carly Wood. Together we pushed each other to seek Jesus, and slowly but surely, healing began to take place in my heart. The summer of my 17th year I decided that I wanted to live completely for Jesus, and I watched as everything changed. I kicked my therapist and antidepressants to the curb, and miraculously all the holes in my heart that I had lived with for 5 years, patched up and began to be filled in with God’s love. Other Jesus lovers began to be brought into my life in incredible amounts, and I began to find a family of believers that changed my life. I am 18 now, and all the bad things seem like they are just stories from some past life. I have been given an inordinate amount of joy from the Creator, and I believe he has tasked me with the mission of sharing that joy, spreading the news of hope, and telling all those who are seeking Him, all about His love. There is a life of freedom in Christ, freedom that I searched for everywhere and was unable to find until I placed my heart in His hands. Whether you have yet to give your heart to Him, or you have and just want some encouragement on this beautiful journey, or maybe you have the same mission as me, well, this blog is for you my dear.
Hugs and kisses,