Monday, February 2, 2015

My Struggle With Depression

**By no means am I a medical expert, nor is it my intention to discount medical advice. I would just like to share my experiences and how I cope with depression. I do not claim to have a cure nor do I believe it is fair to compare depression in different people. We are uniquely (and wonderfully) made, and that includes our minds and how we process/cope with different situations.

This morning, I faced a dark cloud that has been hovering over me for the past week. Depression is something that creeps into my life--sometimes with reason, and sometimes completely out of nowhere.

Last Sunday morning, I woke up and cried because I didn't want to participate in life. While I didn't cry every morning following, I still woke up with a lingering feeling of  hopelessness and an inability to process how to "get through" another day. It breaks my heart even writing this now because if you know me, you know I am generally a happy and positive person. It makes me sad that my mind goes to a place of a complete fixation of how unhappy I am.

"To know the truth about ourselves, however, we must first be willing to turn off the distractions and be alone."-Skye Jethani

I'm a thinker...meaning I am constantly analyzing and trying to figure out what is going on (especially in my own mind). I had to take some time to reflect on how I felt (and why) (and that is hard, because when you don't feel well, allowing yourself to come face to face with that can be ROUGH).

I spent a lot of time in the Bible. I was not looking for an inspiring verse to cheer me up, I was simply reading His Word to seek out and learn more about God. One verse did stick out to me on Wednesday...Romans 8:5 "Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires, but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds on what the Spirit desires." This was a bit convicting, but I wasn't ready to ask myself what my mind was set on. 

I spent time praying for others and focusing on those in my life who were also going through some sort of hardship. This helped to take the focus off of me because honestly, everyone is facing some sort of battle at one time or another. It also made me feel silly for feeling like I did because I know some people are dealing with some pretty intense stuff. However; I think it is so important to love and serve those in your life, but not to a point where you discount your own issues and push them to the side (they don't disappear...).

I spent a lot of time crying. I am not a crier, so all of the crying frustrated me even more. I was struggling with pride in my inability to hold myself together. I was struggling with my perceived weakness, and I was struggling with the fact that I couldn't fix myself. (This is all very humbling and makes me so grateful to serve a God who doesn't require me to have it all together). 

All of that brings me to this morning. I made my coffee and bagel (with peanut butter :)), had my Bible and notebook open and ready, sat down and just started crying. Hysterically crying. Like to the point where my dog came up to me and started snuggling me and rubbing his face on me (cutest thing ever). I vocally shared with God everything that was on my heart; my hurts, my frustrations, my own failed attempts to be a loving wife, sister, daughter, friend. I cried for change in my own heart. I cried for understanding. Finally, I faced what I had been longing for all this time. All I wanted to hear was "I understand that you are hurt and I love you." I don't need to be told that my hurt is justified (sometimes it's not...sometimes it is based on assumptions and unfair conclusions). I don't need to be told I'm right. I don't need to always understand why some things happen the way they do.

"I see your pain and I love you."
"I feel your hurt and I love you."
"I am with you through this." 

All of this showed me that I serve a God who doesn't always take me out of situations, or immediately heal my heart, but instead is with me through it. Through Him, I hope this is my response to those in my life who are hurting. It is only through Christ that I can be renewed in the midst of difficulty. 

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