I talked a couple of weeks ago about my struggle with depression (insert link here), and I was blessed and overwhelmed by the response. So today, I would like to share with you some things I learned because of my time. Please know that this is not a list of dos and don’ts for a magical cure; this is merely a list of helpful advice
I overused movies and books to escape
While I have no problem with reading books and watching some movies, I found myself spending almost all my time escaping into the fictional worlds when I was struggling with depression. While that would have been fine if I had been doing it in moderation, it only prolonged the duration of the depression.
I should have spent more time in the ‘real’ world
I often hid behind my computer, TV, books, or siblings so I didn’t have to interact with others much. I wish I had pushed myself sooner to spend time with people, even when it hurt. I wish I had gone to some events, or joined in some activates, because I really think it would have helped me.
I wish I had faced my doubt sooner
I was so afraid to ask questions and face my doubt, because I thought I might lose my faith. I didn’t want to do that. I was petrified that I wouldn’t find the answers I desperately felt I needed. When I finally stopped letting my fear rule me and asked the questions, a huge burden lifted. It took a while, and there were some scary times, but in the end, God helped me. Sometimes I found that I didn’t need an answer; I didn’t need to lean on my own understanding; I could trust God.
I learned that God was not angry at my questions or my doubt
Have you read the Psalms? You know, most of them are written by David, the guy after God’s own heart? Have you counted how many times this guy questioned God, doubted he was even there? Yet God loved David. Even Jesus, as he was dying on the cross, asked where God was and why he had abandoned him. That is right, those of us who doubt are in good company.
I need to focus on what was true
After reading Elizabeth George’s amazing book Loving God with all your Mind, I worked very hard on changing my thought patterns. Sometimes, I was allowing myself to sink deep into the pit, because I was allowing untrue thoughts to have rein in my mind.
I needed to rebuke the evil one
Sometimes, we forget that what we are going through can be spiritual warfare. We need to be in prayer, and sometimes we need to rebuke the evil one. We should rebuke him aloud in the name of Jesus. I am not an expert on spiritual warfare, but when I did this, there were times that I would feel immediate relief.
I pray that you find these tips helpful. I also want you to know that you are not alone.