Preface: Even though I don’t feel that constant, life-consuming depression these days, there are still moments where it feels like the world could fall apart at any moment. There are things that I absolutely despise about the very nature of depression, and I just had to share that today…
- It is inherently selfish. I get caught up in how I feel and how I wish things were. I feel like people don’t “get it;” they don’t understand. And consequently that makes it harder for me to “get” other people. I hate this because I love being the empathetic, understanding person I’ve been since childhood. (And I think people may disagree with me here if they don’t understand what I’m saying. To be clear, I think selfishness is a side-effect, if not a main component, of depression; it deserves treatment, not judgement. I don’t believe we consciously choose to be selfish individuals, but we suffer with a disease that attacks our reasoning and our concern for others. We don’t chose that anymore than someone with the flu chooses to sneeze and cough. That being said, we have many tools at our disposal which we can use to fight against this.)
- It has no regard for perspective. Depression says, “Oh, other people have it worse? Well, what I’m going through is the worst thing I am experiencing.” It goes back to that selfishness, and I hate it. I really do, because I honestly feel like I am a person sensitive to the plights of others. I feel like depression steals that from me some days, and it makes me just wanna smack it in the face.
- It’s a long-term battle. Depression isn’t a cold that you take medicine and get over. It’s a battle and it involves a lifetime of keeping on your toes and guarding your heart. It strikes at any moment for any reason and it sucks. The second you drop your guard or lean a little less on Christ, depression sneaks in and steals joy. Is it hopeless? No, there’s definitely healing, and I praise God for that. But it’s something to be vigilant against. There will never be a day that I tell my friends, “Hey, I beat depression forever; you don’t have to pray about that anymore.” I’ll take all the prayers I can get, even on my best days.
- It thrives in the past. So it’s been a week, a month, heck, a year since you royally screwed up. You’ve cut out toxic people from your life and vowed never to let them back in. But what does depression do? You’re having one tiny bad day–everyone has them–and suddenly you’re in the past thinking of all the things you could of done differently. Who has time for that? Not me. You know what I have time for? Grace. Forgiveness. Leaving my burdens at the cross and refusing, no, REFUSING to pick them back up again.
I hate that I have to go through it, but more than that I hate that others feel this way and do it alone.
Then, I wonder why we go through life trying to make things more difficult for everyone, ourselves included, when we could be making thingseasier. I honestly think we try to make life difficult for people. Why? We could be encouraging one another. We could be sharing each other’s burdens. We could be encouraging others to give their burdens to Christ. Gosh, please stop picking up that same burden to bear when He’s already taken it upon himself to carry for you.
Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever thought that someone in your life right now might be feeling that way? What are we doing each day to make life a little easier for the next person? Shoot, I get it. Life isn’t easy. It’s not necessarily supposed to be easy. But is there some cosmic rule that because life is cruel that we’re just allowed to contribute to that? I absolutely don’t get it.
Most days I’m terrible about this myself, but I want to grow; I want to be better. So I’m gonna do my best to cut the drama. I’m not gonna sit around and talk about you behind your back. If I have a concern, I’m going straight to the source. I’m not going to hold a grudge; I’ll have forgiveness and grace and compassion. I’m not going to hold on to things of the past; they’re ancient history. I’m moving forward in Christ, and I’m going to lean on him, especially when it gets hard.
I’m going to mess up, and on those days, I will receive God’s grace. On those days, I’ll invite you to show me grace and compassion. Maybe life isn’t perfect, but we could do more to make it better. Let’s do that, shall we?