My Encounter with Mental Illness
My freshman year, I spiraled into a clinical depression triggered by an off-campus move. That semester, my lack of finances required moving from the dorms into an apartment across the street from the university. There, I lived rent-free with a generous elderly woman. Yet I felt like an outsider looking in as daily I'd peer out the window at students walking to and fro.
Although I lived in a cloud of mental confusion, somehow I managed to attend classes and chapel. For over a year, I daily fought back a stream of tears that threatened to publicly out me. I thought I was crazy; my only relief was sleep. So I slept a lot. And I loathed myself. Even though I prayed and read Scripture daily, I felt numb, isolated, and alienated—damned. It felt as if God had fled. Although surrounded by several thousand professing Christians, I was too ashamed and embarrassed to tell others except a counselor and superficially a few others. For the most part, no one seemed to notice. I contemplated suicide. ...1