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A voice against depression


Sherie Holder-Olutayo

A voice against depression

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HAVE FINALLY FOUND MY PURPOSE and destiny in life.”
These words are coming from Veronica Petrucci, who was in Barbados recently for a Women’s Empowerment conference at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
That destiny Veronica spoke about is helping women overcome the darkness of depression and despair to lead their best lives. For her this calling is deeply personal because she has waged her own battle with depression that started when she was nine years old.
“I suffered with very low self-esteem as child and feeling like I didn’t belong,” she told EASY magazine. “I didn’t have a good relationship with my father and I think that had a lot to do with it. A girl’s relationship with her father determines so much in her own life and I never had that security.”
Those feelings of insecurity, along with a distorted body image, plagued her from childhood well into adulthood, compounding her battle with depression, even after she got married and became a mother.
In fact, after the birth of her first son, Veronica was so depressed that every day she thought about killing herself.
Fifteen years ago she almost lost that battle, having decided to commit suicide.
“At that point I felt the darkness was too much for me to handle,” she said candidly.
It was only when her husband and son came home sooner that Veronica had expected that her plans were thwarted.
But that near-death experience and lingering battles with depression forced her to confront the demons that had plagued her since childhood.
“That was when I reached out to God and His word,” Veronica said. “The Bible became my therapy and I found myself simply applying scriptures to the situations I found myself in.”
It didn’t take bouts of psychotherapy to lift the veil of darkness, but it was her relationship with God that she clung to for support and to rescue her spirit whenever she felt the darkness was stronger than she was.
“I just kept reading the scriptures out loud and kept drawing closer to God,” she said. “As soon as I came out of that depression, I knew what I was supposed to do.”
Back in 2005 she launched her own ministry, A Voice For Women, which she started so as to empower, educate and edify women. Veronica travels all over the world, sharing her testimony and trying to help women overcome those negative feelings.
“That’s why I started this ministry to help women find their place and their destiny in this world,” she said. “It’s important that women know that God healed me and that he can heal them. It’s all in his Word because it worked for me.”
God had always been instrumental in Veronica’s life. The Puerto Rican native met and married her husband Angelo and after studying music at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, the duo launched an album Higher Place, which caught the attention of gospel music mogul Bobby Jones and legendary songwriter Diane Warren.
The duo went on to record six more albums and received three Dove Awards and made numerous television appearances on TBN, Fox, Word Network and BET.
Another part of Veronica’s healing was making peace with her father – which she says she has done.
“I have made peace with him, which was essential for me getting past that point in my life,” she said.
Later this year, Veronica is slated to release her first solo CD called Made It Out Alive and a book based on her life and her testimony.
When asked if she harbours any fear of ever going back to that place of darkness, Veronica gives a resounding no.
“Whenever I feel like that I go to the Word of God,” she says. “I have no intention of ever going back to that place.”

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