I can hear your thoughts already because I have thought them before myself. How could anyone ever consider Depression their friend. You are likely saying “It is definitely my foe no questions asked.” Today I want to offer a new perspective. This is a perspective that is not normally considered when it comes to mental health issues. It is a fundamental truth I have come to know personally and have applied it to almost every area of my life and have found lasting freedom. The kind of understanding that helps us to search the deeper reasons behind everything we face in this life. To no be content to live lives stuck in our pain and disfunction.
First, I want to talk about what it looks like when we consider depression as our Foe. A foe is someone or something we fight against or have personal enmity for. It is also characterized as an adversary or opponent. We see depression as an adversary to our mental health. In all reality it sucks the life out of us, leaving us a shell of a person. Seeing life through the lenses of dismal and hopeless outlook on life. Most times we have no tangible reason to be feeling these ways, but we are unable to shake the feelings. For some of us it comes and goes somewhat like the storms of life. However, there are other ones of us where our depression settles over us kind of like we have been buried beneath a building during an earthquake. There is no light at the end of the tunnel, and we have no hope of ever coming out from under this great darkness.
For many years I lived this way! Depression was a foe that I fought daily and would lose the battle every single day. It got to the point when there was no fight left in me and I knew there was no point in continuing this life. The pain and hopelessness I felt was never going to go away and I had no idea why it was happening in the first place. I began to believe that the only way out of this misery was to end it all. Thoughts of how I could commit suicide consumed all my thoughts and were followed by attempts to end it all.
I am happy to say that I am still here 25 years later, and that I have discovered a lot about life, mental health and how to live a thriving life. It has been through these past 25 years that the discoveries and revelations I have gained have changed my perspective on what depression is. I no longer believe that it is a disease that I am powerless over. I also don’t see depression as a FOE anymore.
I would like to share with you this new perspective that may help shift your feelings from hopelessness to hope for your future. You do not have to live depressed for the rest of your life. You do not have to rely on medications that only numb you to your feelings and life. You do not have to resort to suicide. There is hope and I desire to spark something in you that will help you to see the blessing that comes from depression.
I have come to realize that depression is a friend. Not the kind that you want to embrace and have in your life for as long as you live. But imagine it as a friend that comes in your life for a short period of time but leaves a lasting impact on you. One that changes the course of your life if you are willing to embrace the lessons and truths this friend wants to deposit into your life.
What if you recognized depression as a warning sign that there are things in your life that need to be addressed. It is similar to when you feel physical because there is something wrong in your body. You would not ignore it hoping that it would just go away. And you shouldn’t just take medication to take way the symptoms of pain but discover the deeper reason to the pain you’re feeling and want to bring healing and resolution to those deeper issues.
When we recognize that the depression is our brains way of saying “WHOA! Let’s slow down here, there is some thing that is causing us distress and harm and we need to deal with it.” It could be an abusive relationship, undealt with or unrecognized trauma, burnout, fatigue, loss, PTSD, this list could literally go on forever.
Depression (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) is a mood disorder that is marked by varying degrees of sadness, despair, and loneliness and is typically accompanied by inactivity, guilt, loss of concentration, social withdrawal, sleep disturbances and sometimes suicidal tendencies.
Depression is your mind and body’s way of alerting you that something is not right. The root to why each one of us experiences depression will be different, but I have come to know that it is a warning system telling us that we need to deal with somethings. If you can go into your times of depression with this knowledge, then you can realistically assess your life through the lenses of what is causing me to feel this way? What needs to be addressed, changed, or healed?
You may say to me that it just came suddenly and there is nothing underlying it. I get it, for most of us it would seem to come at the most random times and do not make much sense to us. But the more I research and do work with those struggling I am even more convinced that there are no coincidences. Sometimes when it comes suddenly it is because there has been deeper trauma that has been triggered by some events in your life. But since you have no memory of the trauma none of it makes sense. But your body and mind remember the trauma even if you have blocked it out from your conscious memory.
Giving yourself the permission to take a step back, get extra rest and to find the space and time to really think and consider all that is happening in your life. For those of you who have faith in God, spending time asking God to bring revelation to the root to what you are feeling will be the greatest asset you have.
The revelations that God has brought me through these times have been so life changing, they have brought understanding, validation and brought the opportunity for healing so that I could process all that was happening within me and step into lasting freedom.
If you can get anything from this blog post it is that you do not have to struggle with depression for the rest of your life. It is not a life sentence; it is not a disease that you have no control over. It is simply your body’s reaction to issues in your life that need to be addressed. Even if right now you seem skeptical, I challenge you to consider these words and put them into action. What do you have to lose by choosing to see your depression from a new perspective. You may just find the answers you need and be able to for the first time in your life uncover the roots to why you struggle and be able to move forward in FREEDOM!
You should reach out to a trusted friend, pastor, counsellor, or mentor to help you walk through the roots to your depression. I would challenge you to find someone who desires to bring wholeness to the deeper issues that are causing the physical and phycological reactions such as depression. If you are unable to find someone to journey with you, feel free to contact us at No One Stands Alone Foundation. We are here to offer support and to help you uncover the deeper reasons to your mental health struggles. You can get connected to one of our mentors who can journey with you to find wholeness.
It is time to stop seeing depression as your foe, but a loving friend that is trying to show you that there are things that need to be dealt with. If you choose to fight this friend, I am sorry to say that not only will you not find lasting freedom, but you will fall deeper into your depression and hopelessness. I know this from experience I have been there, and I have lived this from both sides. Now I advocate for others to find the same freedom from mental health issues as I have. And that is my HOPE for you.