Finding Light when Surrounded by Darkness

A reflection on my journey of recovering from clinical depression

Depression is a challenging thing to go through. Some think of it as being sad and gloomy all the time. While this may bear some truth, in my experience, it doesn’t fully express its complexity and effects. Even with Depression, you can experience happy moments in your life, however for the majority of your time, you are stuck in a dark and lonely place. Getting up in the morning is a battle each day. The things you once loved and enjoyed can become mundane and unappealing. You’ve lost your drive and your identity.

If you are sick with a cold or flu, you’d normally go to a doctor to get better. In the same way, Depression is a sickness in your mind and one of the first steps I took to recovering from Clinical Depression was accepting that:

“Hey, I am unwell and need to get better”.

My family played a big factor in this realisation and looking back on my time now, they pushed through and tried to always show me so much love and support. Finding this support can be really scary sometimes and I remember I would never tell my friends what I was going through, worried what they might think of me. However, when I was getting better, and mustered up the courage to share, they too showed me so much love and support.

While my faith had taken a hit during my darkest moments, it ultimately helped me through the tough times and led me to where I am today. On a retreat I came to know God’s loving presence, and this was a newfound comfort for me. Yes, even in our suffering, God is there with us. He gives us the grace to carry our cross, just as Jesus carried his own. My prayers which were once “Don’t let me wake up tomorrow”, became prayers of hope to get through this trial. Knowing God shared in my suffering and that He had a plan for me helped me to find my purpose again and this was the biggest factor in my recovery.

Whether you believe in God or not, know that there is support and help out there if you too are struggling with mental health issues such as depression. Know that there is a God that loves you and wants the best for you. God is always there through it all, whether we know it or feel it. Don’t be afraid to talk to friends and family. We are all on this journey of life together. Let’s all be a shining light in the darkness.

Paolo Grella is the Campus Pastoral Associate for Students on the North Sydney Campus. He enjoys a good joke, sleeping in on the weekends, and loves to sing and play music. He enjoys keeping fit and healthy but won’t say no to a good hot chocolate!

 

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