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my struggle with depression

It was one of those days.  You know one of those days where everything seems to go wrong and your emotions are out of whack?  Yup, it was one of those….

Many would never guess but I struggle with discouragement and loneliness.  And with both my boys I have experienced depression after giving birth.   People perk me up, so on the outside nothing seems to be wrong.  But on the inside and when I’m alone at home, it’s a struggle I continue to battle.

I found myself asking God yet again today “WHY do I struggle with this?”  “WHY do I feel lonely and alone when I have wonderful people who surround me?”   It’s something I wrestle with understanding.

I went through a period of depression in my 20’s as well.  The thing I’ve noticed with depression and loneliness is that when you’re in it, it’s hard to snap yourself out of it.  Your world shrinks into this tiny ball of “me syndrome”.   It’s not that you mean to become absorbed with “self”… you just do.  The world is a dark place and everything is disappointing.  Doesn’t sound very positive does it?   If you’ve never battled with depression, it’s almost hard to comprehend how someone could feel this way.  Before I experienced it for myself I used to think that people who dealt with depression should just “be more positive”.   But now that I’ve tasted it myself, my empathy has grown.  It’s not as simple as I once thought….

When I was struggling with depression in my 20’s I went to my pastor to talk to him about it.   He said something that has impacted me.   He said “Tell your soul to bless God”.    Now to many when they hear this they could easily think; “How ignorant!”   “That’s easy for HIM to say!”    But I’ll tell you, I did it.  I did it every day and I noticed something…. I noticed my focus change.   When I’m feeling depressed, the only way to describe it is that its like I’m in a dark hole that’s buried deep in the ground.  There’s no way I can pull myself up out of it.   But when I started to make the choice to bless God right from my inner-most being, I noticed the hole got smaller and I started to rise out of it.   It didn’t happen in an instant but gradually after time…. after making the choice to do it over and over again consistently.

I’ll admit, it’s still not my first reaction when discouragement comes knocking.   In fact, I almost have to get to the bottom of that pit again to remember.

So what on earth does it mean to “tell your soul to bless God”???   Psalm 103:1-2 says “Bless the Lord O my soul and ALL that is within me bless His holy name.  Bless the Lord O my soul and forget none of His benefits”

The word “bless” (like mentioned in a blog before) in the hebrew means: “to kneel, bow, praise”.   And “soul” in the hebrew means: the innermost part, the “guts” as I like to say.  So in other words, this verse is saying; “Bow your innermost part to God”, “Praise God from the heart no matter what”.  ALL that is within me…. everything…. the good, the bad, the ugly: bless Him!   It’s a choice.  It’s a CONSTANT mindset to be made.    I feel it speaks of vulnerability and honesty to God as well.  The soul is our deepest place.  I feel this verse is telling us to not hide what we feel from Him but to expose ourselves to Him.  And the key?  Don’t forget His benefits!  I bless Him when I don’t forget all the amazing things He has done for me.

Thankfulness destroys depression in its tracks.   It sounds like the right answer…..  The easy answer, but having experienced it I can say that it does work.   The hardest part is making the choice to do it.  Reason is because that in some sick, twisted way when you’re depressed something actually wants you to STAY depressed.  I know, weird….  But when the choice has been made to bless God, to remember His goodness and to be thankful – the sun comes out and pit disappears.

So friends, right now as I write I’m choosing to bless God.  And as I write this I already feel my spirit brighten.   And as much as I now feel quite exposed and vulnerable, I can only hope that my “raw” self has been able to bring you hope and encouragement.

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Categories: a broken journey
  1. Dawna Jones
    December 16, 2010 at 1:52 am

    Oh Connie you are an amazing real person…I appreciate you and love you so much! Just wish we could spend more time together!

  2. July 15, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    I know what you mean when you say it’s hard to get out of depression when you’re stuck in there. And when you use your whole self to bless him and think nothing of yourself it really does alleviate you. It goes hand in hand in finding joy in our circumstances. We may not always be happy but we can still have joy! But yet we must train ourselves in this habit daily cause it’s easy to lose focus and sink back into depression. No worries, I get what you mean : )

  1. July 15, 2011 at 12:22 pm

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