Intern Spotlight - Josh's Story

By: Joshua Garvin

My life summed up into what I actually experienced in my life. The good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful.

I was brought into this world raised in a wonderful family who cared for each other more than themselves. I’m an only child, so you could say there were good times and hard times. But instead of running away from writing this, here we go..

Life was great until about second grade when my best friend molested me at a sleepover and at that time, being that young, I was confused and just pushed that experience into a dark corner of my heart. Even though it wasn’t visible on the surface until I was older, you could say then that depression had begun for me. There were little hints of pain from that horrible experience at such a young age. It defined who I was. It’s terrible that I didn’t share what had hurt me most until I was in college. But life went on even with such a crazy beginning where depression took control.

Entering into eighth grade, my depression resurfaced when my parents said “Hey son, we are moving to Atlanta. Say your goodbyes - we are leaving in six months.” The news was crushing. St. Louis was my home at the time and moving to Atlanta did not sound ideal. At this time in my life, the way I dealt with depression was rebelling against my parents in the childish way of disrespect, anger, and just simple frustration with little to big decisions I had to say goodbye. That was the hardest thing I went through until that time in my life: change and transition.

We moved and I started to go to high school. The change from all the people and friends I knew to going to a church, a new school, and having no friends made the transition so hard. Through highschool I aimed for people to never see who I really was. Anger became a mask I lived behind. Frustration was an everyday battle with who I was. Self worth kept me on the edge of my seat and left me feeling like bad vibes were the only vibes I was going to experience. All of the doubt and fear from my past was on my shoulders. I felt hopeless and forgotten most of the time.

Throughout high school I battled with depression and thoughts of suicide because I was bullied and tortured with words because every friend wanted me to become instantly better. Looking normal was their concern. My well being was not their priority.

Somehow I graduated and instead of going straight to college I did a study abroad in Costa Rica for 9 months. It was the best thing because I found my self worth in serving and loving on people. Leaving that year I found my worth in being a difference maker. Not letting bad vibes hold me down.

A few years passed and I attended a college where I was scouted to play NCAA volleyball and took on social work as a major. I had no idea my life would change drastically when my best friend, Drew, would die from heart failure. When my friends called me I honestly thought it was a joke I didn’t realize Drew actually died. This turned my life upside down. From there, my life took a complete 180. I was injured and kicked off of the volleyball team. I dropped out of college. My family sought out help for me because this brought so much drastic depression back to the surface. I was lost. I hated I couldn’t be there for Drew’s funeral and be home with friends and his family through this incredibly difficult situation.

I ran away mentally from any help because I thought I knew best. I didn’t. It took another year and a half for me to actually look into a mirror of seeing my heart and dealing with all of it. Dealing with the time I was molested. Dealing with the time I moved. Dealing with losing Drew and everything that went with his death.

Me dealing with all of it was the best thing that could have happened. I found freedom in the darkest of places that my heart had ever reached. There are still days I have to battle but today I know everything I went through was for you. The you’s out there who are going through turmoil and anger.

Don’t let bad vibes hold you down because today looks a little brighter because you are here alive. Now, don’t get me wrong. Being alive hurts sometimes and there is pain with it but it’s time to dare greatly for your lives. We have so much potential to live, laugh, and love.

You are so worth loving no matter what.

1 comment

Katherine McQueen/Williams

This story is sooooo powerful. Thank you so much Josh for being SO vulnerable and real and honest to the world about your story that is still being written. I pray that you can get to a safe peaceful place dealing with your pain of being molested and that you can work through it. Really feeling for you today and praying for you.


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