Thursday, August 8, 2013

When Depression Knocks

I'm going to get really open today.  I know I haven't kept on track and written in a while which is probably why I have been having a hard time lately. 

I have been depressed for about the last month.  It is one of the things that I struggle with more than most other things.  I have a tendency to fall into a state of laziness and wondering why in the world I'm really here and whether or not my being here is really beneficial to anybody.   I do not think about taking my own life.  When I was in high school I struggled with those thoughts and even attempted suicide a couple of times and my life got saved repeatedly, so I know that I'm here for a reason.  Just sometimes I feel like I'm not doing anything that's really impacting anybody else.

I recognize a couple things that help me through these times.  When I was younger I was put in a mental health facility.  I am not ashamed of it because I had a lot of issues and this place helped me quite a bit.  Me along with the teenagers that were in there had a lot of crap that had happened and things that they had done that added up to a LOT of hurt.  I saw how they coped with it and realized it wasn't the depression that was ultimately damaging me.  It was how I handled it.  It was how I reacted when some of those feelings first started showing their ugly heads. 

One of the things is what I'm doing now.  I would start to write.  My feelings, thoughts, poems, stories, whatever came to me.  I know I am not an elegant writer and I don't know big words but that wasn't the point.  To me it was about getting all that out on paper.  It would help so much.  I know have a journal, a prayer journal, and a notes journal (all on my computer now that I can access it from my phone and take notes). 

Okay so the two basic answers for everything when you were a kid were…  "read your Bible and pray".  I don't want to be so basic but I have to ask myself when I get in times of prolonged depression, depression lasting more than a couple days for me, have I been reading my Bible?  I'm not talking about reading it just for the sake of reading it.  I'm talking about asking God to speak to me through it.  Reading it with the intent to learn something, to get something out of it.  God didn't give us His word so that we could have another box on our list to mark off, He gave it to us for "correcting, teaching, rebuking, and training in righteousness".  2 Timothy 3:16  The word of God is breathed by Him so every time I read it I get the breath of God on my face.  It's amazing.  It is a great discipline to have but never make it just a discipline.  It is an HONOR and a PRIVILEGE to be able to have the God of the universe speak directly to you through a book that speaks different things to different people.

Prayer.  This is the most important offensive and defensive stance to take when it comes to depression.  I say that it's both because no matter what state I'm in I should be communicating with the Lord.  Talking to Him like He's right there, because He is.  When communication is flowing freely it's much harder for depression to seep in.  When communication is flowing freely and depression somehow does manage to snake it's way in, it's much easier to stand on God's promises and to remind myself of who I am.  Not who I am on my own but who I am in Christ.  Who HE sees me to be.  It's much easier to say to my circumstances that they are lying because I have the truth and I talk to Him all the time! 

Depression is something a lot of us struggle with.  We aren't sure of our place here in this world.  We aren't made to stay in this world forever so our souls long for something more, because there is something more.  Our spirits are eternal, everlasting beings so they constantly long for heaven.  This thing that comes on strong can be fought.  Remember God's promises, you have the mind of Christ, you do not have the spirit of fear but of sound mind.  Remember God has promised to walk on the water in the storm with you, the WHOLE way!  He will never leave us our forsake us.  God is a GOOD God, even when depression has it's grip on us.

By the way, this is me.  I write, read my Bible, pray, and listen to things that are uplifting (Not necessarily Christian music, just uplifting, songs that make me happy.)  Find what works for you and do it.

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