Recently one of my friends noticed I had not been posting regularly to my blog over the summer. So, she emailed me and asked a simple question: “Is everything OK?” She is one of my closest friends on earth, though we no longer get to see each other that often. So, I shouldn’t have had any qualms about telling her the truth. But I procrastinated for weeks before admitting my honest answer to that little question was, “No, actually, everything is not OK. I’m kind of a mess right now—more of a mess than usual.”
The truth is I’ve been struggling with chronic pain since April. It has made getting a good night’s sleep impossible with out pharmaceutical assistance. Walking is painful. And the pain makes concentrating difficult. So, I’ve been very haphazard about writing posts.
In fact, I’ve become very haphazard about doing just about everything the past few months.
Not being able to move about and stick to my regular routine inevitably led to me doing quite a few marathons…on Netflix.
And so it is no surprise that I slipped into a pretty deep depression.
Which makes it even harder to concentrate and take care of my normal responsibilities. So I feel guilty and like a big ol’ slug. See how the things can easily spin out of control?
What stops the vicious cycle?
There are a number of things we can do to interrupt the pattern of increasing depression. I’ve made you a simple guide to the nine things I’ve found helpful in my current and past bouts with this malady (see below). And while we do need to take practical steps such as these, I’ve found the Psalmist offers the most significant means of gaining hope and perspective in the midst of the despair.
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
Even in the darkest moments, when I fix my eyes on God and call out to him, I find hope. Much like Peter walking on the water, when my focus shifts away from Christ, I begin sinking in despair. But as soon as I call out to him, I feel his grip upon me.
It isn’t always easy or pretty, but it is as simple as looking up and crying out, “Lord, save me!” It doesn’t mean the waves and wind no longer roll and thunder. It simple means I’m safe in his hand and he will pull me back up when I sink.
I pray you don’t ever experience depression, but if you do (or if someone you care about does), perhaps the words of the Psalmist, Peter, or myself will encourage you to keep your gaze turned heavenward and let our Savior lift you up.
Grab this FREE Guide: 9 Things You Can Do to Defeat Depression!
FYI, I’ve got a link to a list of helpful Scripture passages in Number 9. Click the button below and I’ll email you the guide immediately!
How about you? What coping strategies or other insights have you found helpful (or unhelpful) with regarding to dealing with depression? You can leave a comment by clicking here.