We are starting a new series on Made For More this summer! YAY! Crystal and I are going to invite some of our friends and family members to be guests on our blog! We are so excited about this!
Our first guest is, Christine Dees, she has been my best friend since birth! She is that friend who I am blessed to have gone through every stage of life with. I love her dearly and I am SO proud of her for being willing to be vulnerable in sharing her struggle with depression. So Made For More friends, here is my best friend, Christine!
My Struggle With Depression: Christine Dees
For my entire life up until I graduated high school I lived in the same house, went to the same school, attended the same church, and had the same friends. For 18 years, my life had never changed, and I always felt secured with my place in the world and with God.
During my senior year though, is when things started to change, and as I soon learned, I hate change. I ended up tearing my ACL and meniscus in February (2020), a pandemic shut down the world, and ended my senior year in March, I moved away to college in August, and then my childhood dog died in October. In as little as 9 months, my life was completely different than it was prior.
I had never had a history of mental illness growing up, so dealing with it now was something new to me. My struggle with depression started around the time of the first change with my knee injury. I had done multiple sports all year round most of my life, so not being “athletic” anymore really shook me.
The second change was moving to college. Not having the same friends, school, and church I had for 18 years really left me feeling lonely. I knew no one. Obviously, with the pandemic, things were different. All my classes were online, so I spent the majority of my days in my closet of a dorm room either on zoom or doing school work.
And then, to make matters worse, my dog of 10 years died. Around this time, was when I started to notice symptoms. I had no motivation to do anything, I barely got my school work completed, and socializing with people was exhausting.
I had no appetite, and that along with my knee surgery made me lose a lot of weight fast. I could never fall asleep either, and even if I could I would have been up close to 24 hours. I knew something was wrong because I had never acted this way before, this was all new to me.
During this time was when I really started to question God. I had been raised all my life with God in the picture and was surrounded by strong Christians, but now it was just me and people who believed in a bunch of different things. I had a lot of unanswered doubts running through my mind. I really started to research and look more into who God is, and if he even existed.
During this time was when my depression was starting to get really bad, I used to cry every day wondering why I wasn’t happy anymore, and why God would call me to FSU if I was just going to be miserable. Luckily at this point, I had done all the research I could and concluded I did believe in God and that I have a relationship with the creator of everything, and that was the thing that kept me going.
A few months later after Christmas break, I finally went to the doctor and voiced what I had been feeling, and I got the diagnosis that I had depression, most likely set on by the abrupt change of my life. I knew people with mental illness and even family, so I felt very comfortable talking with them about it and I felt comfortable that just because I had depression it doesn’t make me any more or less of a Christian.
Having depression and feeling the way I did made me lean on God more than anything. He was the only thing in my life that had never left, He was something that wouldn’t change no matter where I moved to. Having my life change was difficult, but it opened my eyes to a lot of things I wouldn’t have experienced if I never left.
I want to end on this. Depression isn’t easy and those months where I was undiagnosed were the worst months of my life. I cried every day and I would sit in my dorm room and wonder why my life was the way it is. I would pray every night and ask God to help, and luckily through the amazing works of medicine, there were outlets for help.
Whether it be through medicine, counseling, or therapy. Don’t be ashamed to seek help. God can help you which is why he has blessed us with modern medicine.
Mental illness is real, but so is God.
- Christine Dees
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