• Jamie Wray

Trying to Find My Purpose

For the longest time I thought I had no purpose. I often wondered why I was here. While in college, at the young age of twenty, I thought I had my life figured out. That is until I discovered I was pregnant. It seemed like my whole life came crashing down. I grew up in a Catholic home and was taught that babies are precious and a gift. The option of abortion just didn’t sit right with me. I decided to continue on with my pregnancy and drop out of college. That’s when a deep depression that lasted years set in.


The birth of my son didn’t go smoothly. During delivery his shoulders became stuck. Because of this he had lost a lot of oxygen to his brain and began hemorrhaging. He was successfully resuscitated but did have a broken arm. Thankfully my son recovered from the traumatic experience but deep down I was getting worse. As he grew, I became more and more depressed. When I finally went on medication, it did not work. I was filled with so much hopelessness and felt I had no future. Life was not worth living. I had hit rock bottom. So I did the only thing I knew to do and reached out to God. He picked me up and gave me hope and peace that I could never have imagined, but unfortunately becoming a Christian didn’t completely stop the mental illness.


My son’s father and I decided it was time to get married and things were good until one day I started to get overly negative, paranoid and started having delusional thoughts. I wouldn’t sleep or eat. I was consumed with fear and in the middle of winter even tried to walk out of the house with no destination in mind. My wonderful and supportive husband could only do one thing, take me to the hospital where they knew how to treat me. It was the scariest time of my life. I wandered aimlessly in the psych ward hallways, walking day and night while everyone was thinking I was completely out of my mind. My own psychiatrist told my husband I was insane. I don’t have a lot of memory at that time, but I do know God was by my side. As the medication started to work, I began feeling like myself again. When I was finally released I felt better and felt that I didn’t need the medication anymore. Going on and off medication and being hospitalized became my reality for 8 years. I hated the meds because of the side effects and I could not remember to take them on a daily basis. I went through many psychiatrists and counselors, but no one seemed to be a good fit for me. I felt horrible. In my mind I was a waste of life.


After another traumatic experience on a certain medication, where I felt alone and could barely speak or think, I completely closed myself off from everyone. It took two years to finally find a medicine that worked. Because I wasn’t experiencing side effects, my life was starting to look up. I recently found an amazing counselor who has helped me tremendously. She even encouraged me to go back to school. I’m currently enrolled in cosmetology school. My counselor has been encouraging me to be more social, keep active, think positive, and focus on God! Suddenly I have a new outlook on life.


I know that God’s will is for me is to be whole and have an abundant life. I know that He can turn all things around for good. Even though I’ve been through a lot of struggles, I truly believe they have shaped me into the person I am today and have made me stronger. I know what it’s like to suffer with mental illness but come back with hope, a future, and a purpose.