Arizona Tempe Mission
I served in the Arizona Tempe mission, and it was incredible! But throughout my time serving I had these constant feelings of hopelessness, extreme fear, anger. I struggled to sleep. Here I am serving the Lord, being at the height of spirituality, yet I felt these crazy feelings so often, and I couldn't figure out why I didn't feel that joy that so many missionaries talked about around me. I was able to handle these feelings for a while, but it got worse. For a long time I was just trying to understand how I could be so inhuman to feel the way I did. To not have the energy to work like others. Then one day I woke up, and asked Heavenly Father what was happening to me and then I had the impression that I was dealing with depression.
Finally I told my mission president. It was difficult for me to explain what I was feeling, and it took time. I seemed so normal on the outside, so he told me not to worry and that everyone experienced these things on a mission, which is true to a certain extent. But I felt strongly it was more than that. Eventually I helped him understand how bad it was getting. I wanted to go home every single day and I had no desire to stay, but at the same time I didn't understand how I could possibly feel that way, and it caused me to be extremely self critical. I went in to see a counselor for LDS family services, and after time I was a little more stable. I was diagnosed as being prone to Depression and Social Anxiety. In spite of these difficulties, through a lot of struggles and counseling, and knowing I didn't struggle as severely as others, I was fortunately able to serve for twenty four months. For those who are not able to complete the estimated time you'll serve, you are not weak, you are not any less. The Lord has plans for all of us, and they aren't all the same. He knows you and he's aware of you, even though it seems like he's left you, I promise he never ever does. He has a special plan for you. I'm grateful for these trials in my life, it left an impact on me. It changed me, and for the better. Its awful and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone, but I truly believe it can also be a gift. But just like anything there must be an opposition. Be open and express yourself. It may take time to help them understand but it at the very least helps you. I encourage you to find ways to use these challenges as a tool for good. "For behold, ye shall be as a whale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea; for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the rains and the floods have I sent forth." -Ether 2:24.
You're not alone. I'm rooting for you, and I'm praying for you. The life ahead of you is priceless and it has incredible opportunities!