Living through Depression: The Bright Side
Written by: Jen Johnson
I hate that mere headlines can trigger the demons that I would prefer to keep tucked away deep in the past. Sixteen, 20, 26, 36, and 40. Those are the ages when I dealt heavily with depression. Those are the ages when I would lie in bed, completely numb, sometimes for days on end, not eating or changing clothes. Those are the ages when I would ignore phone calls from even my closest friends because I didn’t want to admit how far down I was. Those are the ages when I plotted the easiest way to end it all. It was at 20 that I walked out my apartment door with the intention of never walking back in.
By the Grace (capitalized for its importance) of God, I’m alive at 42. I would love to run back to 16, 20, 26, 36, and 40-year-old me and yell with enthusiasm, “At 42, you will know peace, joy, love, happiness, forgiveness, and LIFE in a way you can’t even imagine!”
“You will know life-changing trips to Germany and France, you will wake up to a job you love with co-workers you adore, you will marvel at the landscape of the country as your drive through the mountains, you will watch your long-legged 9-year-old daughter practically dance her way through a 5K, you will listen intently while your 8-year-old spews out World War II facts with the accuracy of a museum historian, you will understand marriage in a way you never knew possible. You…will know God.”
Forty-two-year-old me knows those things. I get to live them. Imagine what your future self wants to enthusiastically shout to YOU.
Jen Johnson co-hosts The Show with Jen and Truta on KC102.1 in Kansas City weekday mornings from 6-10 am. She lives in Overland Park with her husband and two daughters (ages 9 and 7). Random facts about Jen: she was an extra in the movie Derailed (with Jennifer Aniston), she lived in Alaska for a summer, she was a traffic reporter for NBC in Chicago, and she tore her ACL playing basketball in college. She’s passionate about fund-raising and participating in Walk MS (multiple sclerosis), Cure SMA’s (spinal muscular atrophy) Walk-n-Roll, and raising money for Variety KC. Twitter/Instagram @jenkc1021