Hello sweet friends. It has been a minute since I shared something deeply personal here on the blog. I am getting down to the nitty gritty today and being completely vulnerable with you guys. Most of you know me as a beacon of positivity and encouragement, the girl who finds the best in a situation. But in the midst of it all I have battled depression – a lonely pit that often swallows all of the light in my life.
I have wanted to open up about this subject for a very long time. First, though, I had to sort out my own heart and find the words to properly communicate my struggle in a way that I hope will encourage you if you are walking through depression yourself.
I sat down so many times and tried to write this post. I stared at the blinking cursor on the screen desperate to pour out my truth. Fear has kept me from being able to share my struggle. The fear of admitting that I battle depression almost daily absolutely grips me. My heart wants to share the real, raw truth but that it not an easy task. Bearing my heart for the world to see [ read ] is terrifying.
No one wants to admit that they struggle with depression and anxiety. There is a definite stigma that comes with it. In reality, admitting that you are struggling is the most freeing thing that you can do for yourself. Admitting that you are scared, lonely, hopeless, lost… that takes a mountain of courage. Admitting those things is 100% the first step to conquering the dark hold of depression and finding the light again.
Finding Relief From Depression
Let me start off by saying that I have been affected by not only depression, but, anxiety as well. I think the two often go hand-in-hand. In my life these two emotional struggles are connected by a common stressor, but are not usually present at the same time. My depression stems from my chronic physical pain/health concerns paired with constant worry about my health in the long run. The pain and sickness beats me down.
And that’s where anxiety creeps in. Never knowing when I will have an attack or how badly it will be creates tremendous anxiety within me. There is a loss of control in it all that honestly scares me. My body so often seems to fail me or blatantly work against me. It is defeating and disheartening. Yet God is faithful. He always sustains me, carries me, and repairs my broken anxiety riddled heart.
Depression is an emotionally isolating mindset to be in. How do you live joyously when you feel empty and broken?
The answer is simple and yet feels impossible. The answer is: you just live. Day by day and moment by moment – choosing each second to acknowledge the good and the joy around you. Depression feels like a dark pit where you sit alone, unable to see or feel anything good. But the good is still there even when you cannot see it or feel it. Acknowledging the presence of all that is good helps lift the burden of hopelessness. It is the light at the end of tunnel – reminding you that there is relief.
There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.
– Corrie Ten Boom
I love the above quote so much. It is a beautiful reminder of such a powerful truth. There is no place too dark, too deep, or too isolated for God. God’s love can reach down into the blackest pit and find you. He can and will rescue you from the darkness of depression. He rescues me everyday. Sometimes in a deep breath that pulls away the tears and sometimes in a sweeping peace that settles my heart.
An Important Truth
One important thing to remember if you share this struggle is that you are more than depression. You are a whole person. I have to remind myself of this often. The stigma of “mental illness” around depression/anxiety is wrong. Battling these emotions does NOT make you mentally ill or mentally unstable. Depression is something that we experience – it does not define who we are. It takes incredible strength to weather the ups and downs of these emotions. Because of the stigma there is shame connected to it all. I have kept silent about my struggle because I do not want people falsely attaching that stigma to me. I am a whole person that struggles at times with depression/anxiety because of tremendous physical pain. That is all.
Remember that you are whole and you are strong.
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