I’ve been wanting to write this for awhile now but never felt comfortable or ready to. It was only up until this week that I’m able to write this and I’m finally ready to speak up and just be open about my journey, so here I am with my first piece. I’ve dealt with and I think I still am, with depression for almost 2 years now. This isn’t my first time dealing with it, (the first time lasted for about 3 years back in high school), but this is the first time I got help from counsellors and psychologists and even went on medication. It took me awhile to get this point and I’ve learnt a few things along the way that I would like to share, in hopes to encourage someone to continue fighting for themselves.
Here are 5 reminders if you’re struggling with depression.
- You’re not a bad Christian for having depression or having suicidal thoughts. It doesn’t mean you don’t have enough faith or hope or that you don’t believe in Jesus enough. Depression tends to lie to you about it. It makes you believe that you’re not trying hard enough and that’s why you still have it. That is not true, depression is an illness. Your faith is not measured by your depression.
- You’re not weak for asking for help. This took me ages to come to terms with. I was so afraid to ask for help, and it took one of my college trainer to pretty much corner me into meeting a psychologist, for me to get the help I need. To be honest at that them when my trainer did that, I was so annoyed just because I really didn’t want to, as talking about my problems seemed like I failed, I wasn’t strong enough. However, looking back at it, I’m thankful my trainer did do that, because it helped me to be free and get the help that I so desperately needed but did not want to admit to.
- You don’t have to be ashamed that you’re struggling with depression. God still loves you, with or without your depression. However holding on to the shame will hinder your recovery. Jesus has already set you free and He loves you so much. So please stop putting shame on yourself. That’s not from God. It’s your depression lying to you again.
- It’s okay to still serve and lead, when you’re dealing with depression, but it’s also okay to just completely stop to focus on yourself. I struggled with this for a long time. I felt like because I had depression, I shouldn’t be serving even though I really wanted to because it gave me some sort of normality in my life. I took awhile to get to the point to believe that despite my depression, I can still serve as I still had something to offer. But on the other hand, there were times that I did not want to serve at all. And that was when I realised that even though I said yes to serving previously, I can change that. Depending on the part of my recovery journey I was at, sometimes I had to lessen my load or just take a break. And that’s totally fine, just because my health comes first and different seasons of life calls for different responsibilities.
- Your identity is not your depression. I took awhile to come to this stage, as my depression just consumed my mind and that was all I could focus on. It was hard to believe that I’m not my depression because all I did was from that. I had to remind myself that my identity comes from God. He calls me His beloved child and even though I knew that when I first got saved, because of my depression, I had to relearn it again. I needed to tell my mind that I am loved, I belong and I’m accepted all because of Christ.
These lessons have helped me so much and I hope that it serves as an encouragement and a reminder on your own journey.
Lots of love, Jasmine xx.