Yesterday I learned of the death of a father and husband. I attended junior high and high school with him, and I was friends with his older brother. I was shocked and saddened by the news of his passing. As I read his obituary I expected to read of his battle with cancer or of injuries sustained in an automobile accident, as the cause of his death. I didn't. Instead I was filled with the grim reminder of the tragedy of lost hope as I read the words: "(He) has fought against anxiety and depression since he was a teen. He became too tired to fight...."
My heart sank as I thought of his personal battle that I'm sure many around him were not even aware of. I was overwhelmed by the thought of those he left behind who now have to move forward with overwhelming grief as they try to cope with the tragic loss of this husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and friend.
Since learning of his passing, I have had many personal reminders of the awful feelings and difficult struggles that accompany depression and anxiety. I have felt that sense of complete hopelessness and understand the almost unbearable pain that occurs as the result of this terrible illness.
My resolve to share my journey and experience with depression and anxiety has been strengthened even more. Depression and anxiety can be a very silent battle, yet one that is filled with overwhelming anguish and pain. However, having personally walked down that long and lonely road, I am living proof that there is hope, and that brighter tomorrows are in store for any who may have lost hope that they will ever understand and feel happiness and peace again.
For anyone who may have lost hope I pray that you will find reassurance and comfort in the words of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf:
"No matter how bleak the chapter of our lives may look today, because of the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we may hope and be assured that the ending of the book of our lives will exceed our grandest expectations. 'Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.'
The things we hope in sustain us during our daily walk. They uphold us through trials, temptations, and sorrow. Everyone has experienced discouragement and difficulty. Indeed, there are times when the darkness may seem unbearable. It is in these times that the divine principles of the restored gospel we hope in can uphold us and carry us until, once again, we walk in the light."
If you are struggling with depression or anxiety, reach out for help, seek out treatment, turn to the Savior, and don't ever give up! However dark and hopeless life may seem right now, I promise if you hold on, you will find brighter days ahead.