It started with an honest conversation.
I had been struggling with depression for the past few months and was finally able to admit to myself that I was fighting against more than just feeling down. I had good days and bad days, and that day happened to be a bad day.
It was the weekend following Thanksgiving, and my phone pinged as I received a new text from one of my good friends. “How are you doing?” she asked. I stared at her message, my mind racing as I weighed each of my potential responses to her question.
If it had been any other day, I might have been able to get by with replying my typical “Pretty good” or “I’m fine.” I couldn’t lie to myself or her that day though. I wasn’t doing okay. I felt trapped in a brain being attacked by depression, and I decided in that moment to be honest.
“Hey, I’m actually really struggling,” I texted back. “I’ve been feeling depressed the past few weeks and I can’t seem to shake it.”
It required bravery and vulnerability to send that message, but I sent it.
My friend responded with compassion and we set up a time to talk on the phone. When she called, I opened up to her about my recent emotional and mental struggles. I told her I had never expected the months following graduating from college to be so hard. Just being a few months removed from the safe atmosphere of the small Christian university we both attended had really raised a lot of questions for me about what I believed about God, myself, and life in general.
I told her my mind was constantly buzzing with deep, existential questions that I wish I knew how to tone down. What is the purpose of life? Why am I here? How do I discern God’s voice from my own voice? Is there anything we can really know for sure about the world? How much of life is determined by my free will and how much is determined by God’s sovereignty? I felt crazy for thinking about questions like these all the time, and I wasn’t sure how my friend was going to respond to my confession.
To my complete surprise, my friend said, “I’ve struggled with a lot of those same questions, too, since I graduated! The world is really different after college and it can be depressing to realize. I think what we’re going through is something more normal and common than we know.”
That honest conversation with my friend changed something majorly for me that day. It didn’t answer all my deep questions or completely chase my depression away. It did give me immense comfort, however, to hear I was not alone. I am not the only one feeling as if the worldview I graduated college with had fallen apart, and was now left to figure out what I believed about life and faith all over again.
Chances are there are more of us out there who, like my friend and me, have been smacked square in the face with really heavy questions in the process of becoming adults. This shattered reality I have is what prompts me to write, and it’s what prompted me to start this blog.
If you’re going through a similar phase in life, whether newly graduated from college or in some other season, please know you’re not alone. Ask questions. Let yourself feel, and take time to process what you’re feeling. Know God isn’t mad at you; He may actually be using this time to remove barriers that could keep you from knowing more of who He truly is.