It is 2am. You went to bed hours ago, but your eyes are open, staring at the ceiling. Sleep escapes you because your brain is telling you all of the reasons you should dread getting up in the morning.
You go about your day and you can’t help but snap at your mom, dad, sister, or brother even though they were asking a simple question.
You are not hungry some days. You are lethargic. You walk around in your biggest sweatshirt with the hood pulled down so they can’t see your puffy eyes from crying yourself to sleep the night before. That is a bad day, but there are worse. Ones where the pain is so debilitating that you cannot drag yourself out of bed.
You feel heavy, broken, and alone. It is sneaky, dark, looming, and lonely. This is depression.
My depression started in 8th grade and I did not crush it until the middle of senior year. For five years, there was not a day that went by where I did not think about ending my life. By God’s grace, I have moved past this and am living my best life. Here are some things that I finally realized that were the key to breaking my depression down.
#1. You are not alone.
Depression comes from a place of feeling trapped. It is caused by two things: hopelessness and helplessness. I remember feeling completely and utterly stuck. Most of the time, you don’t feel hopeless or helpless when you are surrounded by people who relate to you or know how to help. There are SO many people who have felt what you feel. Now, that does not take away from your experience or make it any less real. I remember thinking that, so, I will explain it like this. Two people with depression are wearing the exact same style of sneaker, but if you were to put your foot in their shoe, the places their foot filled in the shoe would be different than yours. They could be more worn than yours and they may have even put colorful shoelaces on them. They are still the same shoes, each as relevant as the other. I had the hardest time sharing my struggles because I thought my suffering was unworthy because I had things going for me. Your struggle is real and relevant. You matter. What you feel is worth someone else’s time and if you cannot find a person to talk to, God most certainly cares. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7 See. This verse literally tells you that God wants to hear about your problems. Talk to God, talk to a therapist, talk to your best friend, talk to your mom, talk to your pastor. Talk to someone, because the second you do, you realize that you do not have to be stuck and you don’t have to suffer alone. Repeat after me: “I am not alone. I am not alone. I am not alone!”
#2. It is ok not to be ok.
Do you feel like you are supposed to have everything figured out? As a daughter of God, do you feel like your struggle makes you less of a Christian? Do you feel as though this depression makes you weak? That is how I felt. Depression has a not-so-funny funny way of spiraling back around to keep you trapped in a cycle of emotion. You have the depression and the fact that you have depression makes you depressed. It never ends. You are a human being and sometimes, life stinks. That is a fact. People let you down, you lose your job, someone dies. We are constantly put in situations where we are not in control and for some of us, that is so scary. God knew it. He knows that we can get discouraged. John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in me ye might have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Basically, He’s saying, “Life stinks sometimes. But don’t worry, I got you.” So, have a good cry, scream, get it out, but at the end of the day, look up and say, “Ok, God. This isn’t how I wanted this to go, but you’ve got this. I can’t be ok by myself. I need your peace.” He’ll give it to you if you’re willing to accept it!
#3. It is ok to define your happiness, pursue it, and take it.
This one was a HUGE light bulb moment for me. I get to decide my own happiness. I get to decide if I get my butt out of bed and do something. No one is holding me hostage. I am. My way of thinking is keeping me trapped. I can change that. I can take control. This is not how I am going to live anymore. I am sick. I need help. I need to tell someone. I do not deserve this. I do not want this. I DO NOT WANT THIS! Depression makes you hate yourself. It makes everything so dark and warped. It perverts the way you see the things you used to love! It is a ploy of the devil and one day I woke up and I decided I was SO DONE living like that. So, I talked to my mom because she didn’t know. I needed to tell her because I needed help. I needed to tell her because I could not claw myself out of that pit and my first step was to ask someone for help. That day I decided I deserved happiness. You do too. Take it. You get to decide. You do not have to live like that anymore. Define your happiness, whatever that means to you. Take the necessary steps to properly pursue your goal. Once you achieve it, never look back. Demolish your depression. You don’t deserve it. So, crush it.
If you or a loved one needs help, call National Suicide Prevention at 1-800-273-8255
Written By: Kristen