In an effort to be open and honest, I’d like to disclose I’m currently fighting my own way out of serious depression. So this post is being written in the midst of my pain with a sincere hope that if you too are out there silently suffering, we can get through this together.
At The Bottom Of A Dry Well
When you’re trapped at the bottom of the dry well that is depression, looking up isn’t easy. In fact, it’s painful. The light burns your eyes, and ultimately reminds you that you’re stuck here, in the dark, seemingly alone.
Loneliness completely consumes you. Even amidst a smiling crowd, your heart aches.
People cheerfully ask you the routine, “How are you?!”
You muster a smile and respond, “Good, you?” feeling the heaviness of the lie as it leaves your lips.
The fact is, when you’re consumed with pain, agony, hopelessness and distress you don’t want to be around people. Their smiles hurt. Their hugs squelch. Their words of encouragement translate to distain and a belief that “No one understands or cares.”
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV
There’s a Way Out… If You Want It
“If I want it?! Of course I want it.”
You sure about that? While your pain may be unbearable, hurting takes a whole lot less effort than becoming well. I’m learning this as I’ve been walking the line, stumbling back and forth between hurt and a taste of wholeness.
Will it help if I keep illustrating our shared torment? Will it heal your heart to know someone else is suffering alongside you?
No. I’m sorry, but it absolutely will not.
We Have a Choice
We simply cannot allow ourselves to be swallowed by self-pity and self-destruction. It’s time to fervently seek truth in the midst of the suffocation.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.Romans 8:38 NLT
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD . “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.Jeremiah 29:11
No, what we’re feeling isn’t normal. We don’t have to live in constant pain. We don’t have to pull away and be alone.
But we do have to choose to walk toward wellness.
With Arms Wide Open and Heart Exposed
The path to wellness is not walked alone, and truly requires an open and humble heart.
Here are 3 steps I am taking to climb my way out of The Well:
1. Ask for help
Depression is a very serious thing, and requires serious attention. There is absolutely no shame in asking for help. If your depression has been burdening you for a while or seems to keep reoccurring, like mine, professional help should be your first step.
Most health insurance providers offer “Mental Health” coverage. Even if you are in a rough spot financially, seeing a psychiatrist, psychologist, or both needs to be a top priority.
2. Find a Community
I mentioned that Depression likes to be alone. It keeps us in our pajamas, siting on the couch or in bed all day.
Just a couple of days ago, I went upstairs to get dressed four different times, each time talking myself out of it. A couple times I actually had vocal conversations with myself, making myself cry. Maybe I sound crazy, or maybe you get it.
My point is, it’s really easy to stay secluded and alone when you’re depressed. But this won’t get you well. You will shrink deeper and deeper into the bottomless pit.
If you’re already attending a church, ask someone this week about joining a small group. Yes, it’s going to be awkward and uncomfortable. And no, you may not feel like you “click” with everyone. But trust me, finding a community will make a big difference in your life.
I’d even encourage you to choose one person, maybe the group leader, who you trust enough to share your struggle with and ask them to hold you accountable to attend regularly (I know how easy it is to send off a text saying you won’t make it because you’re “not feeling well”).
If you’re not a member of a church, look into local groups in your community (run clubs, mom groups, support groups, etc.) Just make sure you’re surrounding yourself with people who are happy, healthy and make you feel at home.
3. Read the Bible – Daily Devotional
If you’re not familiar with daily devotionals, or haven’t read the Bible before, why not try something new? “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” – Albert Einstein
I found a devotional on my YouVersion Bible app called It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way: A 5-Day Challenge By Lysa TerKeurst and I highly recommend it. I grew up in church, but this devo has put things into a perspective I’d never considered before.
I really do believe, with all my heart, that true healing and wholeness comes from God. If you don’t know God at all, or have had negative experiences with churches or Christians in the past and have walked away from Him, I encourage you to open your heart and try again. There are some wonderful church communities out there ready to embrace you and see you find freedom.
We Are Going to Make It
“I know breakthrough is coming. By faith, I see a miracle.”
Make the choice. Take your life back from Depression starting right now. We’re going to make it.
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