My Daughter and Depression: Road to Recovery
There comes a time in my recollection of things that I want to rush through it all. The mundane, insipid times that ended in each of us asleep in our beds, snug for the night. When everything is quiet, I want to rush. However, a marathon has a beginning, a middle, and an end. At the beginning of a marathon, a spectator can easily observe the excitement; it feels palpable. The sheer joy and determination beams on the smiles of the runners. It is the middle, however, the runners look haggard. Runners feel exhaustion to a degree that I have never endured. The endurance of the middle ground has to be the most important part of the marathon.
For Anya, the middle was long, hard, and turbulent. Not only has the “middle” been the hardest for Anya, it has been the most difficult to write about too. I asked her about the experience of the middle of the marathon, she stated: “It’s harder between the middle and end because I am fighting good and bad demons all at once. Every muscle in my body aches, and I just feel raw and lost.” The potential for recovery remains, yet the bog of lethargy cripples the runner in the middle of the marathon. Somewhere during the middle, my courageous baby girl decided she wanted to help others who struggle with depression by talking about depression at the Sermon on the Mound this year.
March 8, 2018, Anya Claire and several of her friends spoke to a loving audience at WCHS for Sermon on the Mound. Anya had spoken at this event the year before, but her topic of discussion changed for 2018. She discussed her battle with depression. She admitted that she had been depressed since sixth grade (she’s in 11th grade now). She encouraged her friends and audience members to never give up.
She wanted everyone to know that she is overcoming daily, and that there is a purpose in her life. I am so shocked she could speak about her pain publically. I have never been able to talk about mental illness in public because I felt such a stigma associated with it. My beautiful daughter shed the stigma that very night, and I know there were kids who related and found comfort. For Anya, the fight means that she will affect social change. Could it be that depression was a window that the Lord opened for her to fly through as a signal of hope that the despair will come to an end?
The race is long, but the end is in sight.
I asked her: When did you begin to see the end of your race, Anya?
She replied: I started to see the true Anya, the goofy, fun and happy Anya Claire. I missed her and just having a glimpse of her after 5 years of silence gave me hope and reassurance that I am an overcomer. Seeing gave me hope and reassurance that depression does not define me. It’s not my identity. Anya decides who she is. NO ONE else decides.
Not even depression can take that right away.
To be continued…