Depression is a downer. It is not a fun thing to talk about; but we all, at one point in our lives, will feel it’s slippery slope. Imagine climbing out of your crevasse of depression; slipping back but catching yourself every so often. It’s an exhausting cycle and at times we just can’t see the top. But how do we climb out once and for all?
For five years+ I suffered from depression due to events in my life. To make matters worse I became frustrated during those years because depression was messing with my identity. I felt like I just existed, in fact, I think I was just existing.
Depression is a common illness that negatively affects how we feel, the way we think and how we act. It can last a couple of days, a few months, a handful of years, or a lifetime. It is a perplexing state of not knowing how to shut it off.
People don’t like to talk about depression. But people don’t talk about it enough. These days depression is swallowing up our children, yes children who are already on depression meds. It’s heartbreaking on many fronts.
How does depression happen?
There are a number of factors…too many to list, but usually, it’s when one event piles up after another. Recently we’ve heard social media being a player (or layer) in depression. Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University, says, “It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental health crisis in decades…it’s largely because of Smartphones.” Social media is a false measure of our identities.
This isn’t just for iGen, it’s happening to other generations. Why? We want to be accepted yet be ourselves and for people to ‘like’ us no matter what. When this happens our values collide. Could this desire alone be the root of all depression?
But here’s something I bet you didn’t know: Depression can make you stronger.
This post isn’t about how to get through depression or manage Smartphone apps; it’s about what to do with depression when you’re climbing out of it.
“Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, but you’ve actually been planted.” – Christine Caine
Our dark days can bring strength or weakness; it’s how we see it. Do you know how I said I just existed? I’m going to feel that way. But as I look back, I noticed this period of life wasn’t to hurt me, it was to strengthen me.
When we’ve ‘been there’, we start to see the eyes of people differently. Let me reiterate, depression can make us stronger or weaker by how we use that experience in our life.
Using our troubles to help rather than hide-in produces strength. Our strength in moving forward, in doing more than existing, is having the courage to help people who are going through the same trials we’ve been through. This heals.
3 ways how depression made me stronger
1- I sought God, my Creator, the Truth
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. It is then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing, and perfect will” -Romans 12:2.
God gave me light. This verse gave and gives me permission to step away from the world, its expectations, and false gods; and to seek the truth, to strengthen myself, and to use my experiences to test God’s will for my life. Reading a short daily devotional can help. I recommend Jesus Calling.
2- I sought someone out
This isn’t easy. People don’t talk about this stuff. So I had to be the one who pursued people who went through what I did and to talk with them about it. Talking with someone who ‘gets-it’ brings comfort. I’m here for you. Sign-up for a Jam Session and let’s chat.
I also sought out a professional who brought clarity on my issue.***
3- I sought my identity
I looked at my baby picture then I looked in the mirror. God didn’t create me to be sad. He created me to have joy.
In John 15:11 Jesus says, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” He’s saying come to me, know me, and I’ll sustain you when adversity hits.
I dug into the Word, I helped others, I took better care of my body and managed stress with simple techniques like going for a walk or taking a hot bath with Epson salts. I explored my heart to help me see the big picture.
When Depression Visits
We will all occasionally be visited by Depression. But at least we know how to climb out a little faster and stronger than we did before. The hardest part is reaching for that next hold.
*** I’d be happy to recommend a certified counselor or therapist who I trust and respect. Contact me.
By CT Copyright © 2017 More Than Existence All Rights Reserved.