Dealing with Depression Part One
All roads lead somewhere—right? And other than the ones that are clearly marked with a ‘dead-end’ sign on them, they do. Even if we turn down a wrong street, it will take us somewhere—maybe not where we want to go, but somewhere! But have you ever felt like you were going down a road that led to nowhere? Not literally but figuratively of course. Emotionally, financially, physically, spiritually? I have. Not because times were trying—even in tough times when it seemed like I was on the wrong road, I was still going somewhere. But there is a path I can walk down that feels never-ending and leads to nowhere. Many people walk down this same trail with me but we never see each other. In fact, chances are we never even know there are others there on that same path. We walk it alone and in utter silence. It’s a gloomy road with many twists and turns. Mine is lined with tall, dead trees on both sides and is shrouded in darkness. Pitch black darkness.
What, you may ask, road am I on? Not one I choose. Not one I like. It’s not a wrong turn— as a matter-of-fact, I have no say in when I veer off the main route and onto this treacherous pathway. This road has a name—Depression. GASP! Yes, I am writing about depression! Not because I want to—truthfully I don’t. I’d much rather pretend I didn’t deal with this common disorder, but I do. I am writing this for those who deal with this in silence to let you know that you don’t walk down the road that leads to nowhere alone. It feels like it—I know—but you don’t. I’m no expert in the field but just someone who just wants to help lift the stigma off those of us who deal with this. And according to World Health Organization, more than 300 million of us are affected worldwide. Before I go any further—if you are reading this and you are dealing with severe depression and are having thoughts of suicide, please seek help immediately! There is help out there and you don’t have to face this alone. (Please call 1-800-273-TALK for help or 911 or click here for more info.)
Depression comes in many different shapes and sizes and each person has unique symptoms and circumstances but none are to be taken lightly. The road I walk down can suddenly open up to beautiful sunshine and blooming flowers and I have energy again and feel ready to tackle whatever comes my way. I strive to stay on this road. If I can prevent myself from being steered back onto the dark path, I will. When I end up lost on a path not of my choosing I find myself asking, “How did I get here?” Anyone else out there relate?
When I am blindsided and find myself tripping down the road that leads to nowhere, one thing that helps me keep putting one foot in front of the other is my hope. For I have this hope that is the anchor to my soul. And when I walk down that dark road I truly am not alone for the One I have my hope in walks it with me. He never leaves me nor forsakes me. Oh, there are times it feels like it, but feelings can lie—God does not.
If you are journeying down this gloomy path, look up for God loves you and will walk this journey with you. There was a well-known man, a king, a man after God’s own heart who’d seen numerous victories—someone we’d look at and think he had it all together—but he dealt with depression. King David wrote in the book of Psalms, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:5, 42:11, 43:5) He is encouraging himself, reminding himself that even when he is downcast to put his hope in God and praise him! I’m not saying that breaking out of depression is that simple, but it’s a good place to start and you never know how it may help. Boost yourself up with positive words and get with someone who will listen and help encourage you through this difficult time.
And when we take our experience and help someone else, we can find a moment to treasure when we realize we are not alone and all roads do lead somewhere.
More encouraging scripture:
I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Joshua 1:5b)
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. (Psalm 9:9)
“But now, Lord, What do I look for? My hope is in you.” (Psalm 39:7)
*There a many types of depression but none are to be taken lightly. Each person experiences depression differently, this is just my experience. Thanks for letting me share it with you!