Every since I was 13 years old, I’ve battled with depression. I didn’t fully know or understand that I was depressed until my late teens but, looking back I know that I’ve been fighting feelings of worthless, unwanted, ugly, dumb, and misunderstood for well over 13 years. How can someone bubbly, goofy, sweet, and kind feel like she is a dark tunnel with no light or direction? How can a God fearing, faith filled woman of God, go to bed some nights wishing to never wake up? Well here we are, and here is part of my journey of fighting to find the light at the end of the tunnel.
Depression makes me feel lonely. I am extravert. I love interacting with friends and people. I love making others happy and pouring my love out to people. Depression, however, makes me feels as if I am a burden and unwanted. It makes me feel as if I am being too needy. I know I have friends who love me. I know people care, but when I don’t receive a call or text, when I feel ignored, depression comes in and falsely reminds me that people are tired of me, don’t like or want me, and that its best that I just leave them alone and stop bothering them.
Depression makes me feel worthless and tired. Getting out of bed can be hard. I will mentally fight myself to get out of bed. My body feels like lead and bricks rubbing together, and being 270+ pounds don’t help. I put on a fake smile and say the day is going to go great but depression whispers in my ear otherwise. Let me be clear: I’m not depressed everyday, but I am depressed more than two times out of the week. I feel as if I’m too worthless to dream for the day and that my purpose will never come to pass so why bother?
Depression makes me want to give up on my purpose. I want to be a youth pastor and a counselor in predominantly a African American community. With my failure at graduate school the first time, and a low undergraduate GPA, I feel as if I will never reach my dreams. I know I have the wisdom, intelligence, and heart but depression present the lie that I’m not worthy of having dreams.
Sometime death seems like the best choice but…
I am afraid of death. I started seeing a therapist and during one of my session, we had a touchy conversation about suicide. I informed her that I thought about suicide but could never bring myself to do it. I am afraid of death in all forms. Literal death, spiritual death, and death of my dreams and purpose. Literal death means I get no more chances to try. I get no more chances to dream, or figure out my purpose. Spiritual death means I no longer have a desire to grow in Christ, I no longer am receptive to God’s spirit, and it’s hard to be used by Christ when you’re dead. Dead dream and purposes means that the people depending on me to make it, are not being served.
I am afraid to give up. I am NOT a quitter. I may slow down, I may take a break but, I don’t quit. Quitting means, I stop trying, I give up on me, I give up on people attached to me, and I give up on being used the way God intended for me to be used.
I know that depression is a strategy from the Devil. Satan is a hater. He loves to attack you when your closer to your purpose. He loves to suck the life out of you. He is like a dementor from Harry Potter. A soul sucking, happiness draining, enemy who becomes ruthless towards attacking your purpose. I’m learning to put my war clothes on and fight the Devil. I know I don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12). I know that I the closer I am to victory, the closer I am to defeating the Devil and His strategy.
Depression should not be fought alone and in silence. So many people lose the battle because they were a general without an army. My advice to anyone struggling with depression is to seek healing through prayer, therapy, TRUSTED family and friends, and a support group. Don’t allow the Enemy to use you as his mental playground. Find people who can get you out the house, who can call and check in with you, who can be a helpful listening ear. Be HONEST about your struggles with your friends, therapist, and loved ones. Talk to a therapist! Get under a church covering and talk to the pastor and/or ministers at your church about your struggle. If your church is not able to support you through your journey with depression, then find a new church that can and will. Most importantly be honest with God and seek him. Pray, journal, cry out in worship, but let the Devil know that when He comes to attack, you will be ready to use your weapons.
Currently, depression is my torn in my side. It is my Goliath, and my cross. I have to face giants of struggles, failures, and lies constantly. I have to bear my cross of feeling worthless, less than, unintelligent, and ugly. Yet like Paul, I will walk with my torn to my purpose, I will kill my giants with my courage in Jesus, and I will die to myself, so that God’s glory can be seen in my pain. I never wanted to battle with depression, but I’m fighting through, so that my purpose can be birthed, and God’s Kingdom mission for my life can prevail. Pray for me, as I pray for you.
With love and grace,
*If you or someone is thinking about committing suicide, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline*