A Christian living with depression?

Again I am not on schedule and you’ll see why as you keep on reading, maybe you’ll get it from the title, or maybe you won’t. If you have been reading my blogs or if you know me really well, then you would know that I have depression and I am still living with it.

“I try to fight it, depression I hide it
My tail between my legs searching for one last breath
I swear I can do this just need to pull through it
Fight my regret, I swear, I swear there’s hope left” – Fight My Regret, The Amity Affliction

Sometimes I don’t know if I can’t make it to the next morning, sometimes I don’t know if I can even go on anymore. There are days where I am so empty and feel so numb and I can’t even cry even if I want to, I have nothing inside of me and I can’t let it out. There are days where I just want to give up because I can’t deal with my thoughts. I can’t concentrate on a lot of things and then get so guilty because I’m not doing the things I should be doing. It’s a constant cycle going on in my head that a lot of the time I can’t deal with. I hate people knowing this side of me but this is real, people are going through this right now all around the world, there are people who are feeling so weak, so empty, numb, pathetic, worthless, there are people around the world I guarantee right now that are reading this or that you know that are dealing with these thoughts, that are struggling with mental health issues. Maybe you too, or maybe this person you know is a Christian also and you’re dealing with mental health issues, can I reassure you that you are not alone, that God hasn’t given up on you, that He loves you and will always love you.

It has taken me a very long time to process this, to wrap my head around the fact that I still am battling with depression. I’ve been in tears, I’ve been so confused and just so lost trying to work out why I’m still battling this. Sometimes we just have to accept the fact that we can’t understand what is happening but there is something greater in the making. There’s this stereotype I find that if you’re a Christian then you can’t deal with mental health issues, and I find there’s not much talk about Christians having it, so I’ve been feeling really alone and just really hating myself. I thought that maybe I didn’t have enough faith, that’s why I’m not healed but in Matthew 17:20 talks about having faith as small as a mustard seed to move a mountain, and I came to a realisation that it’s not a faith issue at all and it’s not me at all. I still have faith that I won’t have depression for the rest of my life, I’m declaring that over my life and everyone else’s lives. I know that people will be broken free from it instantaneously and I’m praying into that 100%.

‘“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”’ Matthew 17:20 

I have felt so guilty that I’m still dealing with this and that I’ve kept a lot to myself, I’ve been so guilty because I’ve been talking a lot about people being broken free from mental health issues and here I am still dealing with it you know? Now again just to irradiate I’m not narrowing God’s healing power and saying that He won’t heal me, that is not that case, I am saying that I am still dealing with it and I’m learning how to actually accept it and work with God and not on my own. 

During the time I have been absent from here my mind has been all over the place (a lot more than usual). I also deal with insomnia so it’s just been a hectic few weeks. I have been so low, unmotivated, hating myself, hating everything, I wasn’t sleeping, my eating habit was whack like would literally eat one thing all day, I’ve just been so upset. And I was dealing with this pretty much on my own and I relapsed with self harming- cutting. That night I did it everything tripled in size, I was so disappointed in myself, I felt so stupid, just so unworthy. The devil was just feeding me these lies about how ungrateful I am, about how ridiculous I am, about how I should just kill myself because everything would be so much better, how ugly I am, how fat I am, how dumb I am, how no one will ever love me, just all these things and I was overwhelmed to say the least. Then I was able to pull myself out of that thinking and just breathe and tell myself that it’s not the end of the world, that I am not a mistake, and I can’t let this define who I am. From where I was 6 years ago maybe even last year, if this went on in my head, I would hurt myself even more to the point where I would possibly try to commit suicide, but now I can discern the thoughts that belong to the devil and realise that, that isn’t the truth about me and that doesn’t align up with what God thinks or what He says about me. So there’s always this massive battle going on in my head like you could literally sit down and eat popcorn whilst watching this war go on in my head. 

Self Harming
The thing with self harming (cutting in particular) it’s actually quite addicting and it’s very hard to stop and sometimes you don’t really know what you’re doing whilst doing it. I know for me I don’t really know what is going on right before I do it, it just happens without second thought- as it’s always been a coping mechanism for me for about 6 years, it is really hard to get out of that pattern and just seek God first. It’s as if I’m not really conscious of what I’m doing even though there’s always this voice telling me to stop, that I don’t need to do it, it’s as if I’m compelled and can’t stop. This is actually getting so hard to write… but it is something that I need to share. Let me shed some positiveness real quick though, I’ve only done it twice this year whereas I used to do it nearly everyday for the past 6 years or so, so if that doesn’t show you how much God has been really working in my life and helping me through each day, I don’t know what will.

Without the constant need for God, without me completely relying on Him, I wouldn’t be able to cope 100%. I’m having to really trust Him and seek Him even when I don’t want to at all. I’m learning how to also thank God, to be more aware of the good things around the world, to be more aware of what God has provided for me, for what He’s done for me and just learning to be more thankful and in doing so, it’s helping my perception so much, it’s helping me align my mind with God’s will and His heart. It’s a hard journey but it is so worthwhile and I have grown in such a crazy unreal way. I’m learning how to stand strong by wearing the amour of God (Ephesians 6:10:18) and fight the enemy using scripture and by really spending time with our Father. It’s super hard, don’t get me wrong, but with God by my side and by your side, you can do it, declare His truth over your life, declare it daily and really meditate on His truth, not what your mind is saying.

‘Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.’ Ephesians 6:10-18 

Counselling//Medication
Another topic I don’t really want to touch on because again of the whole stereotype around it. After finishing my year 12 at Tafe last year meant I had to finish seeing my counselor that I saw for nearly 2 years, so I went to the doctors and was then put on antidepressants and then I started feeling guilty for taking it and felt so ashamed of using it, even though it helped so much for me, whilst on it I had a lot of motivation when using it, I could do things that I would never do, I was able to sleep better, a lot of my thinking process became a lot clearer and I didn’t even have the need to self harm in any way shape or form and I was happy. It was so much more easier to focus on God and just get out of bed. So when I started feeling guilty and all the other feelings, I stopped abruptly. Things went downhill, and it was hard and I was back on my roller coaster that was never-ending. One day I was up then the next I’m flying down.
I’ve recently started going back to counselling after about 6 months without it. At first I was nervous but I knew I needed this, I can’t do this alone, even with God helping me, I still need people around me to help me through it, it took me a long time to come to terms with that myself and accept it. The topic of antidepressants has been going on in my head for a while and been battling with it. Say if you’re sick, you would go to the doctors and get medication to get better, right? Or if you were diabetic you would need insulin. Sometimes taking medication actually helps, you may not be able to see my illness but I do, so I need to treat it in a way that works best for my body, for myself. I’ve been really praying about whether or not to take antidepressants again and seeking God for an answer. The other night I asked God if this is what He wants me to do. 10 minutes later someone close to me messaged me, (this person doesn’t know that I’ve been thinking about antidepressants or anything) it was an article about someone asking why they’re experiencing an anxiety disorder if they’re a Christian, which then went into talking about medication and I knew instantly it was a confirmation from God. He was reassuring me that if I take medication, it doesn’t mean I’m lacking in faith, or that I’m lacking trust in God.

Now I’m not trying to advocate medication or anything like that, or trying to suggest everyone to take medication because it doesn’t help everyone but I urge you to go to the Father first and seek Him, seek His will and what He wants you to do. I want you to know it’s okay to seek help, it’s okay if you’re dealing with mental health issues, it’s okay to speak up and talk to people you trust. You are not alone in this, which is something I have to remind myself everyday so maybe this is something you need to remind yourself or remind other people that you are not alone.

A few things that help me get through the day:
Worship and Praise music, being thankful, PRAYER, spending quality time with God (reading His Word), nature, reading, playing with my little siblings, journalling and Netflix (I try not to get too hooked on netflix though). I remind myself constantly of the amazing network of people I have surrounding me, my two really close friends, my dance ministry, my church family and so many more. 

I am not defined by mental illness, I am not defined by my scars, I’m not defined by my past or my mistakes, I am on a road where I am discovering myself in God’s eyes, I’m rediscovering myself you could say. I am on a road where it’s really bumpy and I don’t know what is around the corner, I am on a road where I’m learning to take refuge in God and not people (Psalms 118:8), to depend on Him in the midst of depression or even when things are smooth sailing, in the midst of my family situation, I am on a road where I don’t know what to do but all I can do trust in The Provider, The Promiser, The Rock (no not Dwayne Johnson), The Way, Truth and the Life. 

“And when the night, is closing in
Don’t give up and don’t give in
This won’t last, it’s not the end, it’s not the end
You’re gonna be ok” -You’re Gonna Be OK
You’re Gonna Be OK

Dear Father,
Thank You, thank You for providing for the things we have, thank You for Your grace, for Your forgiveness, for Your love Lord. Thank You for loving me just the way I am, thank You for making me so unique and in Your image. Thank You for the people who are reading this right now, would You speak into the people who feel like they have no breath left, breathe life into them again, reignite the fire within them Lord. Father be with every person right now, whether they believe in You or not Lord, Holy Spirit won’t You just speak to every person here right now with the words they need to hear, right now for those who are thinking about suicide, right now for those who are dealing with mental health issues right now Lord I just ask for it to be lifted off them, for Your Spirit to pour upon them in the name of Jesus, Lord I ask for You to hold them close to You, that they will feel You with them. By Your wounds Jesus, we are healed and I declare that Lord, that we continue to seek Your will in all that we do and that we put You first Father and we can be so open to receive You, to be so open to Your voice Lord. Let Your Kingdom come, let Your Will be done on earth as it is in heaven Father. Father I thank You for adopting us into Your Kingdom, that we are called children of God, for never giving up on us. I thank You for everyone that is here today who have been fighting for so long, I thank You Father for loving us all. Oh Your overwhelming, never ending reckless love. Thank You for always fighting for us, for holding on to us even when we back slide away from You. 

In Jesus Name, Amen

I am a follower of God and I struggle with depression, it won’t stop me and it doesn’t define me. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
‘But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.’ 2 Corinthians 12:9 

God is helping me through it all and I know I’m going to be okay. 

 

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