While I don't understand what it's like to feel that severe depression and anxiety
every moment of every day I do understand what it feels like to feel like you can't
take one more step. I understand what it's like to feel that even though you know
that other people have "been there" that it feels like you are the only person in the
world who has felt such despair. I remember reading in a book a woman talking to
a group of doctors about feeling suicidal and she said, "We *don't* want to die; we
want to *live* but we don't want to live LIKE THIS. Try to imagine feeling all consuming
guilt, anger, sadness, loneliness, hopelessness and anxiety. Now imagine feeling
those all at once day in and day out."
I didn't mean to make it about me but I wanted you to understand my background in what brought to me to seeing this post from my friend. A couple of months ago I was feeling suicidal all day and part of it was anger at God and thinking about some of you going through what you're going through when you have probably done nothing wrong. I was in the absolute depths of despair when I saw this picture that my friend posted. She always seems to say things that are positive yet still acknowledging the pain of life. She is going through a lot right now as she is recently a single mom of five kids.
I was thinking about how ridiculously unfair life is. I thought about what extreme injustice I felt for what I am going through when I didn't do anything to deserve it and when some people seem to breeze through life. For the first time in a long time when I read the pages on this picture I thought about how unfair it was for the Savior. He truly did NOTHING wrong. I thought about the times that I felt so alone and watched everyone around me go on their merry way while I felt like I wanted to die. This time I wondered what it was like for the Savior going through his agony while his friends peacefully slept a little ways off. I think about the times when the heavens seem silent to me. This time I thought about how abandoned *He* must have felt when the heavens were silent at His moment of deepest despair.
I messaged my friend my intense gratitude for what she posted. What she wrote back to me is what I will never forget and what touched me the most. She said,
"Your pain is real and valid. I want you to know that when you experience pain, your spirit is literally shot back in time kneeling beside your brother Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane...crying together...hurting together...drinking the bitter cup down together. Understanding suffering on this level has helped me feel a companionship with my brother Jesus Christ that has carried me through my darkest hours. He is truly with you, Mary. I know this! There is a deeply spiritual significance to your pain. You just keep going! Do one hour at a time or one breath at a time and surrender the rest. The rest will be taken care of through the grace of God."
When I read this I felt like Joseph Smith reading the book of James. I couldn't remember the last time something had pierced my soul so deeply and it was such a new concept to me. I knew that the Atonement was infinite and that we could picture the Savior with us during our suffering but never in my life had I pictured myself with HIM in the garden kneeling right beside Him during *His* suffering and suffering with Him *together.*