Life can bring surprises and not all of them will be pleasant. Uncertainties may change into calamity, and when you least expect you will find yourself in a pit of depression.
In moments like this, you have to be proactive. You have to act.
A few years ago I was there. If someone had told me I would go through depression, I mean, deep depression, if it can be called so, I would have said he was out of his mind.
My life has been a marathon of blessings and “good” bad things, the kind that come to change us or bring a new perspective of things. But it didn’t feel like that when depression hit my door.
It came without warning and invaded my world as a thief. I could not understand what was going on. My family could not understand either. I approached several doctors and they tried to help me figure out the source of my suffering. It was worthless. All tests came out good. Physically, I was in great shape.
But I didn’t feel like that at all.
I would wake up in the morning so exhausted after dreaming all night long and with such a foggy mind that I felt like a zombie. I could not process clearly what people would tell me. I wanted to cry. I was not the smiley and happy person that could encourage people and help them see the light at the end of the tunnel. There was no light at the end of my tunnel.
And there was not a reason for that. I had the most loving husband in the world, the most beautiful and healthy kids a mom could ask for. All I needed and much more was being provided. How could that have happened to me? Even thoughts of being crazy disturbed my mind.
But I chose to focus on what I did not see at that time: God’s promises and truth.
I remember repeating over and over that the Lord was my strength. That He knew the plan he had for me: A plan to prosper and not to harm me; a plan to give me hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
I chose to concentrate on what was true. That was so hard, because in those moments you believe anything but what is true. I had to intentionally focus on God’s Word and believe it. I had to remind myself that my family loved me, that they needed me, and that one day all the suffocating feelings would go away.
I had to be very intentional. I had to force myself to be focused. I wanted to come back to life.
I chose not to depend on medications to restore me to my normal self. They couldn’t. Actually they had a reverse reaction in my body. I was totally dependent on God. Some doctors named the problem Chronic Fatigue because there was nothing else to call it. Through a very rigid low carb diet I was able to feel my body and mind going back to the real me. And after about a month on that diet, what a joy the day I woke up at 5 in the morning, full of energy, actually feeling like I could run a marathon. That day I worked as though I had taken a shot of steroids and had to catch up from many months of depression.
I was alive again!
The reason why I share this with you is because I believe God allowed me to go through this dark season in my life so I can understand what others feel when they are depressed. I have developed a deep respect for those who are in a state of depression and are enslaved by the lies of its symptoms.
That’s why I can affirm to you: Depression is real and you need help if you feel depressed. But focus on what is up above.
- Don’t let depression lock you in your closet. Look for medical help. Allow yourself to face others. Being around others in this phase is very hard, but it will help you if you are around the right kind of people, those who will remind you of the truth and will lift you up with their love and friendship.
- It’s ok to cry around others. You don’t have to portray being a super man when you feel more like a bug in a spider web. Calm down. Your focus should be on what is true about yourself and about God’s promises.
- Don’t let depression submerge you. Breathe deep. Go for a walk. Do the things you used to find pleasure in doing. You are alive. That horrible feeling is temporary.
- Last but not least: Remember that God has a plan for your life and depression is not its end.
“All things work together for good of those that love God, those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28