written by Ashley Richards
image by Chelsey Jo Photography
Ever since I can remember I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression. There were a few times where my body was in so much pain because of it and fear would completely take over. I would just fall on the floor, crying. I would lay for a minute but I would struggle to breathe. I would try standing up again but there was so much panic I would fall right back down. It got to the point where I could only crawl, or I would be on the floor rocking myself back and forth just screaming. No matter what I did I couldn’t relax or calm down. After going through that so many times I started spending at least an hour every day thinking how I was going to end my life and when would be the right time for my family.
I didn’t have the nerve to go through with anything until I started spending time with other people who were struggling. I started getting involved with boys, alcohol, and drugs. I tried finding comfort down a path that was giving me the complete opposite. Eventually, I started acting on those suicidal thoughts.
After high school things got a little better. I didn’t have anxiety attacks or bad thoughts as often until I got back into bad habits and old friends. It went downhill very quickly from there, which led me to the last day I tried to take my life. This was also the day I realized I needed Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in my life and I needed their help.
I woke up with my anxiety and depression feeling unbearable. I was consumed by fear. My parents, who could usually calm me down, were unable to bring me any comfort. I went to a party that night with some friends and I got in a huge fight with my best friend at the time. That was the breaking point for me. I remember feeling betrayed, weak, and tired. I was just done. I didn’t want anything to do with this life anymore.
I could feel a part of me craving a hug from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I was so ready for that kind of love. I realize now, that feeling was Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ trying to comfort me and be there for me.
I left the party and went home. Later that night, I ended up in the hospital, having tried to commit suicide.
Since that day I have come to know who Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are. They are the most loyal, kind, and gentle best friends you could ever ask for and so much more. I’m so glad every time I tried to give up Heavenly Father decided it wasn’t my time yet, he kept telling me to give it one more go. I am loving this life and loving (with the help of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ) who I’m becoming and who I am able to help because of what I’ve gone through.
I still struggle with anxiety and depression from time to time but I’m stronger and nowhere near where I used to be. I’m ok with my trial because every time I struggle, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are right there telling me “Ash it’s ok, we’ve got this, remember?” And they do!
Heavenly Father promised that He and Christ will always come through. When they promise something, they keep that promise. After a while, almost everything they promised and almost all of my prayers have been answered! I’m still waiting for a few of them but after seeing what they can do, I don’t doubt them for one minute! I learned if they can help me with what I needed then they have all the power in the world and beyond. They can do anything you could ever dream of, all you need to do is ask.
I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want us to be happy and enjoy this life. They will go out of their way to make sure that we get what we need to have that happy life. Nobody loves us or cares for us more than they do.