I was born in Namibia, a country of about 2 million people in Southern Africa. I'm the youngest of two children and people often tell me that as a child I used to get what I wanted. However, I don't remember that time: I remember asking about a father I never met, failing to understand why he didn't love me enough to stick around. I watched as my mother moved to another town in order to get a better job so as to look after her children, while I stayed behind in Windhoek with my uncle.
This began a very challenging chapter in my life. I remember being bullied at school because I wasn't as outspoken as the rest. I was taunted for having darker skin, nappy hair, and not being invited to parties. I felt alone. I watched as my friends fell in love and began leading a life I could only imagine. To the rest of the world, I was invisible. And I guess it is for this reason I developed a low self-esteem. I found myself being drawn into abusive relationships: I was so desperate to be loved that I was willing to bear the pain so that I wouldn't be alone. And when they eventually left, I blamed myself. I wasn't pretty enough, smart enough, sexy enough. Maybe if I submitted more and talked less it would’ve ended differently. I began to believe that maybe God didn't intend for people like me to be in healthy relationships.
Then I found a guy I thought loved me. I submitted like I was taught and did everything he asked. I began changing the plans I had for my future so I could be with him and I ignored all the warning signs. When he asked me to lose weight, I thought it was just because he cared about me. I hid my jealousy when he drooled over pictures of my cousin. I ignored the pictures posted by other women on Facebook. I loved him. He promised to marry me, so surely that meant he loved me. Then one day, out of the blue, he ended the relationship. And two months later he was engaged to another woman.
I was broken.
It was as though time stood still. I went numb and all I could think about was how empty I was. I tried to kill myself many times after that - death seemed more viable than the pain I felt. I spiraled into a dark despair.
Two years later, on what seemed to be an ordinary day, I tried to kill myself by swallowing a bottle of sleeping pills. And I would have been successful had my mother not found me. I don't know how I survived that day. God was not done with me just yet. After that, I started going to a psychiatrist and was diagnosed with severe depression. I have been on antidepressants for a year now. I still have bad days, but none that involve wanting to kill myself. I'm getting better each day.
Now I have a blog where I share how it feels to live with depression. This process has helped me realize the purpose God has for me life: to write and speak encouragement to others. I'm working on making both a reality. I pray every day that I continue to move into that direction.
The truth that God isn’t done with me is true for you too.
Don’t give up. Keep going. Keep pursuing God. He surely won’t let you down!
Connect with Ros and read more of her story on her blog.