This is a time of year where depression soars and most of us, those who have never battled it or maybe are over through it ourselves, don’t even think about it. We are busy in our day to day activities getting ready for the holiday’s ourselves. Finalizing plans with family and friends. We are caught up in gathering what we need while out and about we don’t pay attention to those around us (and more than often we don’t pay attention to those around us any time of the year).
I woke up with the baby this morning, and had horrible acid reflux and some lower back pain (thanks kids lol). So I got up so that my restlessness didn’t keep her or my husband up. What do you do when you get up? Scroll through social media. I saw a post that said I wish someone would tell me I am not as worthless as I think I am. This was not shared by a person, but rather a page. But it caught my attention because I have felt that way may times myself. I started to share it and started to type a post to go with it and thought nope, I have too much to say for a simple post, let’s turn this into a blog post.
We have got to get our minds off of ourselves. I often share on my Facebook page that we should shine so brightly during our day those we come into contact with through our day can’t help but smile. I have ready many stories where someone was ready to end their life and then a simple hello and smile was what stopped them. Someone finally poured into their darkness with a ray of light.
Picture credit to Mandy Freeman
If you suffer from depression, I understand, I have been there. I feel like sometimes it’s still a daily struggle, and other times I feel fine for months. Sometimes I don’t even realize I have slipped back down that depression slide. It can be a horrible circle that people don’t understand. We isolate ourselves because we are depressed, but then because we are isolated, we slip further down. Or, we do go out and about, but look for reasons to tell ourselves that we are not worthy, confirmations if you will.
Sometimes the best thing is to seek counseling and go on the medication. I do not advise anyone one way or the other. I went on medication, and hated the way it made me feel. I felt like counseling wasn’t doing anything to help me, it was a constant how are you feeling, how do you feel about that, how was this week, how does that make you feel.
I chose to go off of medication and to be self aware of how I was feeling. I decided I would choose happiness at the start of every day, and check my thoughts to make sure I was not getting lost in thought of anything to make me go back down. No, it was not easy. No it was not a quick process, and no I have not avoided ever having those feelings again.
I have avoided ever getting so low I wanted to take my life again though. Yes, I have felt that way lots of times in the past. I get so frustrated when people say suicide is selfish. Do you know why? For me, I cannot speak 100% for anyone else but I know this is the same for other, I thought it was best if I wasn’t in the lives of those around me. I thought I was a horrible person, causing pain to those I love by being alive. If I was gone, I would stop causing them pain, I would stop being a burden to them, and that they could live a happy life. I know now, that those thoughts were wrong. I know now that had I ever taken my life, I would’ve set my kids up to be more likely to commit suicide. It was learning that about my kids that snapped me out of EVER wanting to take my life again.
I had a pastor who talked about our thoughts and taking them captive. One of the most memorable things that worked during his message was a mind game. I doubt it would work reading it but he had us think of a horse running in an open field. Once we had that image in our mind he then went on to talk about a dog and then asked us if we still saw the horse. I no longer saw the horse. That is what we have to do with our thoughts. When we are spiraling down due to “feelings” and thoughts of worthlessness, we HAVE to focus on something else. We have to think about a time we were happy, or what we are looking forward with a coming event and stay focused there.
I had another pastor who said he set alarms on his phone to remind him to check his thoughts. I believe he said every hour to help him through the worst time. To this day he still has a few alarms set to remind him to check his thoughts.
Our thoughts are powerful. Our actions are powerful to those around who get lost in these thoughts, who are just looking for a ray of light in their darkness. Be that darkness.
I am not a counselor, I do not want to replace a counselor. Medication and counseling can be a great starting point to get out of the darkness. I share this so you know you are not alone, and that there are other ways to deal with depression if you find medication does not work for you or if you do not want to stay on it forever. Please do not stop taking your medication without your counselor’s knowledge, or the provider helping you.
Please keep these scriptures below on hand.
Psalm 3:3 But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.
Deuteronomy 31:8 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.
Psalm 34:17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.
As christians, we need to remember to stay God centered, focus on His word, and show love to those around. It is not about us, but others. If we change our mindset, choose to be happy, and focus on others, we find that we aren’t focused on the lies that run through our head of worthlessness. The more we retrain our thoughts, focus on good things, the easier it becomes and the less we struggle with it. I won’t say you will never struggle again, but it will be less, and you will be equipped to fight it when you feel yourself slipping.
Life is messy. We all have at least one thing that we can use from our own life to help someone else. Don’t be afraid to share with what you have battled. It doesn’t define you. It’s about how you choose to move forward. God can turn our messes into a great message. Let Him.