[Updated May 14, 2021]
Dealing With Depression Part Two
Ever get scared in the night? In the dark, our imaginations can run wild and things can seem scarier than they actually are. Every little thing becomes a monster. Typical minor problems feel overwhelmingly impossible to deal with in the dead of the night then they can in the light of day. And in those foreboding moments, have you ever had anyone tell you that things will look better in the morning? Why is that? The darkness shrouds reality and twists it into something hideous. Unrecognizable. Unmanageable. When in truth —in the light—it’s not that terrifying, not so unmanageable.
This is the face of depression in my life as I wrote in my previous post called, “On The Road That Leads To Nowhere“. But unlike a typical twenty-four hour period where we can expect the sun to rise in the morning and cast its beautiful rays upon the earth, the darkness remains. Until one day, I will catch a glimpse of a shimmering glow. I strain towards it, wanting more of it until I am basking in the warmth of wonderful and radiant light. Finally, I’ve come out of the darkness.
There are many types of depression and it can look different for each person who suffers with it. So most likely what you experience is very different than what I do. But maybe you can relate a little to that depiction.
try and understand
There is such a stigma surrounding depression, like we’re all just supposed to be okay. In my experience, I’ve found that people generally don’t know how to cope with people who deal with depression. “Just get over it”, “Try exercising or Vitamins” (and part of this can be true! Vitamin deficiency and lack of exercise can be contributors to depression…ask your doctor for blood work to see!), “It’s all in your head”, are just a few things that, if you’ve dealt with depression, I’m sure you’ve heard from other, well-meaning people that just do not get it. No offense to them, but they truly don’t understand because they have not lived in the darkness of depression. But for those of us who have, it can be challenging to not be understood by our loved ones. So, I have learned to allow for grace because there are a lot of things that people go through that I may not understand either. Everyone is dealing with something. Everyone.
there is hope
Depression is not a choice. I mean seriously… do people think we want to feel sad? Or that we like to isolate ourselves? No! I want to enjoy each day that God gives me and always count each moment as a blessing. I want to be with friends and laugh. I want to have treasured moments with my family. And I still can even in the midst of darkness. The thing about depression is not that I can’t do these things, it’s just becomes more of a challenge, taking way more energy than it does when the warmth of the light is revitalizing me. My family are the rays of sunshine that pulls me ever onward toward it, wanting to cherish each moment before it’s gone, giving me the desire and strength to move toward wellness. I fight for them and I cling to the light just as I cling to my hope. I’d hate to think about where my mind may wander without hope. It is this hope that helps me put one foot in front of the other when I just want to crawl back in bed. With hope, the darkness doesn’t seem as dreadful and the light seems a little more tangible. Hope sees the sun peeking up over the horizon, breaking through the darkness. The light chases away the darkness. Hope is necessary for recovery. Dare I say, hope is vital.
hope as An Anchor
When I feel like everything is unsettled in my mind and I’m in the darkness, I dwell on this: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:19-20) It is in Jesus I have my hope. It helps me to know that Jesus is unmovable. He is solid and unshakeable, firm and secure. So when the waves crash over me, when the darkness looms, Jesus is right there to cling to and he will not let me go. He will hold you too if you allow him to. Will everything suddenly be better? Will all your troubles go away? Maybe, maybe not. BUT, you will have the assurance of hope and we all need hope.
come out of the darkness
As I mentioned in my previous post, I am no expert in the field, just someone who hopes to encourage others with my story, to offer reassurance that you are not alone. To offer you hope, to tell you that the light beckons you to it, encouraging you to come out of the darkness where you can find moments to treasure.
I will leave you with these lyrics from a song called “Even If” by MercyME… I hope they inspire you.
It’s easy to sing/ When there’s nothing to bring me down/ But what will I say/ When I’m held to the flame/ Like I am right now?/ I know You’re able and I know You can/ Save through the fire with Your mighty hand /But even if You don’t/ My hope is You alone/ I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt/ Would all go away if You’d just say the word/ But even if You don’t/ My hope is You alone.
Click here to listen to the song… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6fA35Ved-Y
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)