For a long time I’ve struggled with whether or not to write this blog, I’ve always worried it would come across as poor taste or attention seeking, in fact I have written a few blog posts which have been left unpublished. I often find comfort or tension relief in having some sort of outlet despite the fact nobody may ever read it.
But today it was really on my heart to share this with whoever reads it as I personally feel that this is something which people and, in particular Christians, need to speak up about more and understand more which is why I have decided to share about my battle with depression.
I can’t remember an exact point in my life when I “became depressed”… I guess it was something which just evolved over time… However I do know that for me it started very young… probably when I was around 14. People seem surprised if I tell them now about my struggle because on the outside I may seem happy and confident (which I actually am for the vast majority of the time). In fact, people are often so insensitive as to say “but you’ve got nothing to be depressed about” and that is people’s first mistake…. society tells you that if you have a good job, good looks, nice house, nice clothes and a hot boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife then you will be happy. Actually, depression is rarely triggered by circumstances and more often than not it is just your own mind. You could be the most outwardly fulfilled person on the planet and still be depressed.
For me, I lived feeling confused and broken. Depression is something which envelops you entirely, you can’t just shake it off or pull yourself together as so many people advise you… It is like a weight on your back which can never be lifted, only get lighter or heavier at different times in your life. I didn’t understand why God let me feel this way, which lead to me thinking that I was doing something wrong and my depression became laced with guilt as I felt that as a Christian I should not be depressed…I should be constantly happy or people would think God wasn’t real (as if I was the only thing in the world that could convince them of His reality!!)
I’m not going to go into details of how my life has panned out, the ups and downs I have faced and the way depression has affected my life, there’s no need. But what I do want to share is the conclusion that I have come to. I always thought that in this aspect of my life there was no success until full healing has occurred, but I have changed my mind on this over the last couple of years. It came from a preach I heard about Jesus calming the storm and how I applied that to my situation. The story comes from Mark 4:35-41 and in short Jesus and His disciples are in a boat, Jesus is asleep, a storm comes, the disciples freak out, they wake Jesus up and He calms the storm. When they wake Jesus up they’re a bit annoyed with Him because he was peacefully sleeping through their trauma… They ask Him “don’t you care that we are perishing?!” And that’s how I was feeling… I was experiencing the worst storms of my life and I was asking Jesus “don’t you care about me?!” I realise now that the point of that story isn’t Jesus calming the storm… sometimes in life, Jesus gets up and rebukes the wind and the waves, sometimes I come to Jesus feeling depressed and He gives me joy. But sometimes He doesn’t, and in those times we just have to rest peacefully as he did, knowing that He will never get out of the boat.
So for me, I eagerly await my healing from Jesus. I know He has that power, whether now or when I see Him face to face. I still get depressed sometimes but I know that Jesus is always with me.
For anyone else who is struggling with depression I want you to know that you are not alone. You are not to blame and most importantly you’re not a freak. Being a Christian doesn’t make you bulletproof, you’re allowed to feel sad, Jesus himself cried and felt sad. Depression is not from God, but like any other sickness, it is not asked for by the person who lives with it. Talking to other people helps, but be prepared for them to say the wrong thing sometimes, try not to be too easily offended, but spend time speaking to Jesus about your struggles too, He always listens, what’s more He wants to take your burden from you, in Matthew 11:28 He says “come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
I hope this blog has helped you change your attitude towards depression in some way!
35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke andrebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Matthew 4: 35-41