I have a few friends that are dealing with some tough times right now. I've been thinking about them the last few days. And I've thought about my past, being in some places that they are in now, of sorts.
Since I have a blank space to write here . . here's what I want to fill it with: depression is a liar. It is a huge, gigantic liar. I've lived with it and it wasn't truthful. It put a thick fog between me and any light out there. And it told me that no one understood. It made me feel trapped and hopeless and worthless. And those things are all lies.
It is a thief. It stole my happiness. It stole my hope. It stole me.
In my 36 years, I've had depression a few different ways. But each time, it took me like quick sand and dragged me down. The first time, I simply don't remember almost a year of my life. The second time was filled with anxiety and almost a crazed fearfulness. That time I felt trapped and on the verge of crazy . . The last time brought the biggest storm cloud I have lived under. I felt worthless. I had let down everyone that I loved . . . or so I felt. And no one could make me believe any differently. No one could understand how I felt . . . right? How could anyone help when they couldn't possibly understand. How many times have I had that thought in life? How many times have you? It's a lie. There is always someone who understands.
I would like to say that I will never experience that kind of darkness again in life. Unfortunately I'm not a see-er in to the future. But here is what I do know, it does not have to be permanent. I have a problem in life with labels . . all labels. People talk against bad labels. Well, what about professional labels? I don't like those either. When you give a name to what someone is going thru, it may help them a little. They feel like, yes, that is it . . I'm not crazy, this is what is going on. But then what? They have this label. And then what? What if we gave something a name, like depression . . and then we followed up with stories of people that refused to let it run their lives. Because you tell someone that they have this thing, be it depression, anxiety, poor eyesight . . whatever it is. There is this label, and then what? Well for your eyes, you go get glasses. And boom, fixed. But what about the labels on the inside of you?
People tell me that I'm stubborn. That's a label. Yes, I'm stubborn, but I'm not always stubborn. And I can stop at any moment and take control of that natural inclination of mine. Depression, that's a label. Yes, I've had depression. But I realized one day that that wasn't who I was. That label that was put on me was not the truth. I was not made to be that way. Depression comes to lie about my life, to steal my happiness, and to kill my joy. Guess what the Bible says? It says the devil comes to lie, steal, and kill. That means that depression is not from God. And since God made us, it means that we were not meant to life this way.
Instead of looking in to that fog that is stealing your life right now, look beyond it. Or, look in to that fog with a different pair of glasses over your eyes. That fog is not your trap, it is not your destiny, and it is not where you belong. The last time I was trapped in that fog, I started this blog. I knew I had so many good things in life. I knew they were there. But I couldn't feel them. They were something I knew to be thankful for, but they weren't a part of who I was every day. How could I get closer to these good things? How could they become a part of me, instead of just something that stood in the background of my life? So I started writing. I didn't want to make a list of things I was thankful for. I could do that any time. I knew what good things were there, but they were beyond my grasp. I wanted to change my perspective. I wanted to change me. So I thought of one thing every day that I was so thankful for, that I could write paragraphs about. And this has become such a part of me and who I am now, that this "one year experiment" is almost 6 years old. I have no plans to stop. This keeps my perspective in the right place. Every night, this realigns my thoughts and my spirit.
And I'll share one other tip that I've shared in the past. It may seem silly. But it is a children's cartoon. Veggie Tale's: A Snoodle Tale. I love that one so much that we have a barn cat named Snoodle now. Here I'll see if I can put links in here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJzJ5s970Pc
I can't tell yet if that will work for you. I hope so! Anyway, we sometimes think life should be so complicated because we are adults. But how many times does the Bible liken life to simpler things? Why do we think we should make it so complicated? This video has made me cry numerous times at a time when I felt like I was a failure, a complete and utter failure. The truth is that my failures are not who I am, they are not who I am meant to be. And they won't be what limits me.
Tonight I am thankful for getting to the other side of depression. Sometimes I've gotten mad at all it takes from me. Sometimes I've been suffocated until I stood up one more time deciding I would not be written as a victim. And all times I've given myself over to God's better plan for me, either desperately or strongly . . . God doesn't care if you come to him crawling, or standing. He loves us. And he'll take us any way he can get us.