Anyone else out there struggle with depression?
I think most people battle with depression to various degrees and it manifests in various ways. So if you don’t get anything else out of this post, I hope you at least feel that you’re not alone. If we took an honest survey, I believe most women would say, “Me too.”
Depression first sunk its teeth in me when I was in college and has been the unwelcome guest that keeps inviting himself over for extended visits through the years. I keep kicking him out and changing my address, but somehow he keeps resurfacing with all his stinky baggage. He unpacks his negativity, self-hate, lack of motivation, and darkness…draping it all over my house. He really is the worst kind of guest.
I felt like God wanted me to share with you that this is a real battle I fight in my own life. Not every day or every season. But regularly enough that it’s a pattern. I thought it might surprise some of you who only see me on stage or at the Connection Center at South Bay. Maybe you’ve looked at me with my hair and make-up done and thought I probably don’t struggle like that. The truth is, I do.
Depression is a fight. It tries to take the fight right out of you, but you can’t let it. You can’t tap out or curl up in fetal position sucking your thumb. You’ve got to stay in the ring and keep throwing punches until Depression finally backs down.
Over the years, I’ve added some skills to my fight and I thought I’d share them with you.
4 Punches To Throw:
- Fill your mind with truth. Write helpful Bible verses on notecards and post them all over your house. Declare them out loud over your life. Listen to podcasts, worship music, and books that encourage you in the Lord. Go on the offense to guard your mind.
- Start a gratitude journal. Once a day, force yourself to write down five unique things that you are thankful for. Gratitude has a powerful affect on our perspective.
- Keep a structured schedule. I find that I do much better on days that I have a reason that I have to get up and out of the house. Being involved in meaningful activities and investing in relationships forces us to lift up our heads and notice the world around us. Depression has a way of making us only think about ourselves and our miserable state. But Jesus said that we’ll find our life when we give it away.
- Be mindful of chemical imbalances. Depression is a real, diagnosable medical condition involving hormone levels and various chemicals in our body. I am not one to use medication unless it is absolutely necessary, but, Girl, sometimes it’s necessary…and there is no shame in that.
Full disclosure, the fight is still exhausting. Even though I’ve sharpened my skills over the years, it doesn’t necessarily feel easier. But perhaps it’s more effective.
Depression is a complicated combination of the spiritual, emotional, and physical. It’s narrowminded to try to categorize or treat depression by only focusing on one domain. Yes, Satan is trying to attack you. Yes, some personalities are more prone to be melancholy. Yes, chemical balances can occur. It’s a multi-front war and you can’t ignore any of the battle lines.
It’s time to start throwing some punches. Depression may have had you against the ropes taking one blow after another, but it’s time to come out swinging. Our God is a God of JOY and LIFE. He will fill you with the supernatural strength you need for this battle. You are not alone.