Battling the Darkness in the Tunnel: My journey with Depression

 

 

depressionEvery 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,

Keyia B

*If you or someone is thinking about committing suicide, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline*

Call 1-800-273-8255
Available 24 hours everyday

 

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What About Your Friends? Navigating Through Healthy Friendship

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“What about your friends, will they stand their ground,
Will they let you down again?
What about your friends, are they gonna be lowdown,
Will they ever be around,
Or will they turn their backs on you?
What about your friends, will they stand their ground,
Will they let you down again?” 

Ladies, it’s officially road trip season. Road trips are friendship goals set to include a group of your favorite girls, snacks, a dope playlist and some amazing stops planned along the way. I want to invite you on my road trip of navigating through friendships. This road trip will be stopping at some important places and going over some pretty important topics on friends, different types of friendships, and balancing all of it. Here are some of the stops we will be making:

  1. Everyone is NOT meant to be YOUR BEST FRIEND: This is the first stop on our friendship journey. We will learn how to differentiate between a good friend and a best friend, why having too many best friends can be unhealthy, and learning the expectations of a strong committed friendship.
  2. Certain Friendships Grow Old: Do friendships last forever? We like to hope that they do, but unfortunately that is not the case. Some friendships change, and people grow apart. We will go over letting go unnecessary friendships and how to recognize the signs of a solid friendship.
  3. Getting through loneliness as the unmarried, no kids, friend: Your friends are getting married with kids, while you are single and childless. This can be a hard journey to be on. You are equally excited and happy but maybe feel like the fifth wheel or a bit lonely. We are going to navigate through the journey together with tips on how to cope with loneliness, get through possible jealousy (Being real) and how to maintain a healthy friendship with married friends.
  4. The 10 Bridesmaids Syndrome: Getting married, or hoping to get married in the future? Then hop on in the car for this trip! Similar to the “everyone is not meant to be your best friend topic”, choosing who will be apart of your wedding party is an important choice, and will have you re-evaluating your friendships and support system. I will be giving some tips on who should be considered a bridesmaid and my revelation on why five – seven bridesmaids is more than enough to be apart of your big day.
  5. Finding Friends For Your Current Season: This journey connects with getting through loneliness as the unmarried and no kids friend. I will be sharing tips and ideas on how to find friends on the same or similar journey, and discovering new friendships and support groups.
  6. Jesus is the Ultimate BFF: This last stop in the journey is more personal, because it’s simply involves you and one other person. JESUS. Who can provide a better friendship than Jesus? No one, and if your relationship with Him have been on the struggle bus, I suggest you hop off that bus, and invite Him on a one on one road trip journey. He will listen, offer the best advice, won’t get bored, and will comfort you like no one else will. I will give some tips on what is currently helping me grow in my relationship with Jesus and what has been successful for others.

I’m excited to have you all on this journey, and I can’t wait to see how God will use it for His glory and purpose! There will be a video discussion on Facebook to follow each topic and will be posted twice a week for the month of June. There will also be a separate blog with a helpful professional idea that can help in the process of finding that dream job or at least getting your foot in the door.

Until Next Time,

Lakeyia B