Letha shares her story about discovering freedom from depression.
My name is Letha, and I am one of the group leaders for a mental wellness support group. I was molested as a child but not allowed to talk about it. So it was something I had to keep to myself. I felt very isolated, scared, and alone. I had very low self-esteem and found myself experiencing depression and suicidal ideation. Even as a child, I just wanted to die. I needed to find an identity of who I was outside of the trauma I’d experienced. When I discovered running I found freedom. I was the first girl to go to state in both cross country and track in high school. I needed to become somebody. I needed my identity to be more than what was happening to me. I found my identity in running, and I got a full-ride scholarship to pay for college.
While running I was able to block out all my thoughts and I found something worth living for. Then in my twenties, I became a mother. So now my depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation followed me. I didn’t want to acknowledge this so I went into denial, and pretended like nothing was wrong, and nothing had happened to me.
I kept telling myself, I have a new life, and I’m a mother. I have a reason for living now, but in the background, I still felt the pain and anger. This continued for five years, worsening especially the suicidal ideation, so I knew I was in trouble, and I almost didn’t think I could live anymore. I knew I needed help.
My friend invited us to go to Eastside, and as I went into church I was begging God to help me! Give me something to help me get through this. My path crossed with Greg Arbues, and I shared my struggles with him, and he suggested I go to the mental wellness group.
It was tough to go the first night, but I worked up the courage. As I sat there, I heard other stories, very similar to mine. I realized for the very first time in my life, I wasn’t alone. I had somebody who understood me, I knew right then that God had not hurt me. He answered my prayer and brought me to a group of women who were going to help me. This group would walk alongside me, support me, and encourage me through my healing. I won’t lie, this healing process took a long time. There isn’t a quick fix or a pill that makes it all go away. Finally, just three months ago, after five years of going to these programs, I had my first major breakthrough.
It’s been three months, and I haven’t dealt with anxiety or depression. I’ve been able to recognize my triggers. Instead of spiraling down, now I know how to rise up and get the victory every single time. After all this time, I’m leading my own group, and it brings me such joy and happiness. What was so painful for me as a child, I’ve been able to turn around and help other women overcome and rise above! Helping them realize they’re not alone. They have somebody to walk alongside them.
What God has done for me is bring me so much joy, freedom, and healing that I never thought was possible. It is truly a miracle and it is available for you too! God wants to help you experience freedom, healing, and victory. You are not alone. God is right there with you. He’ll help you overcome. He walks beside us. He’s there to help us heal. He wants us to be healed and restored. He’s paid the price. You don’t have to carry it anymore. He’s there to help you!If you were inspired by this story we would love to tell you more about Eastside. We have a relentless love and commitment for all to know God. We are committed to finding unique ways to serve our local communities & help our global neighbors. We are passionate about finding solutions, building bridges, and bringing the love and hope of Jesus to hurting communities. We strive to inspire people to collectively influence transformational life change. We would love to invite you to join us in person or online. At Eastside we believe that this is a place for everyone, wherever you are on your journey. If you would like to find out more about Eastside please visit eastside.com.
Check out this recent message on resources for those going through depression. You don’t have to navigate this season alone. We’d love to invite you to join this caring community of people who will walk beside you on your journey to find hope and healing. Please visit eastside.com/care for more information about our care and recovery groups.