I’ve never been a stranger to sharing my personal experiences here on the blog. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that sharing my story, my life, my journey, has become my purpose. This is a long post, but hopefully it will help someone, even if it’s just one.
I’ve been dealing with depression and anxiety for about 10 years now. People that do not deal with depression may not understand what I’m going through. I know some people might say, “we’re all depressed,” or “I’m stressed out too.” It goes beyond that. It’s real!
I’ve always had anxiety. As long as I can remember, that’s been my life. I’d get freaked out at the thought of meeting new people, trying something or going somewhere new. My depression came after losing my grandfather in 2006. I felt guilty for not saying goodbye. I was a freshman in high school and my grandfather was always my biggest supporter. I always think back to spending an extra few minutes with him. I could have given him a tighter hug and told him I love him again. Then again, how would I know that would be the last time? How could I have predicted that?
Then there was my mom. She was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer in 2005 and was sick throughout the entire time I was in high school. I didn’t have the normalcy as my other friends. I couldn’t go certain places or buy certain things because my family couldn’t afford it. Medical bills were the priority. I had three younger siblings and I and to pitch in. That was my life. That was normal for me.
Losing both my grandfather and my mother was hard. They died within two years of each other. My grandfather at the end of my freshman year and my mother the day before my 17th birthday the beginning of my senior year.
I’ll be honest. I do not read my devotionals as I should. I do not go to church like I should. I do not tithe like I should. What I do know is that my faith has helped me through my depression. It’s not an easy road that I’m on. I get into moods, especially during certain times of year, where I don’t want to get out of bed. I don’t want to work. I don’t want to do anything. I feel powerless.
I try to keep myself busy by reading, watching a movie, working on the blog, yet sometimes it just isn’t enough. Those emotions then trigger anxiety attacks which are beyond uncomfortable. It starts with the feeling of anxiousness mixed with something sitting on my chest. Sometimes they escalate to the point of me crying my eyes out to the point where I can’t breathe.
One thing that has soothed my mind is writing. I pull out the pen, paper, my bible and devotional and read. I then connect my life to the reading and it puts my mind at ease. I’m getting to a point where I need to make this a habit just like I make it a habit to charge my phone and search Instagram every day. I have been blessed in more ways than one. More ways than can I count. More ways than I deserve.
To begin dealing with depression you have to want to begin dealing with it. Of course that sounds difficult. You feel like you’re sinking in a pit. It starts with taking control of what you can and you can control your emotions.
Our emotions are generated by your thoughts and when we think in destructive ways we are going to feel depressed. Our emotions spring from how we interpret life, and if you always see things from a negative viewpoint you’re going to get down.
Start finding what makes you happy. If it doesn’t, stop doing it, stop hanging around that person, just STOP! I like to plan, which I share a lot here on the blog. It’s therapeutic for me. It works for me. I’ve also distanced myself from certain people and situations even because I don’t want to put myself in that space. Not everyone around you is positive. Some people don’t know how to be.
Control what you can. You can control you. You can take control of your emotions and the people around you. Find an outlet that you enjoy that will make you happy. Changing your mindset is the first step in dealing with this debilitating feeling. It does get better, you just have to take the first step into making that happen.