This is the story of my coping up and recovering from depression…
. . .
I write anything, anytime, anywhere. I figured that I have to put all these thoughts down. If not all, at least most. Well, when at times I can’t take it writing down (because they are horrible horrible thoughts), I write instead the feelings I am having because of these thoughts.
And I think it’s a bit better to write about what I feel about these thoughts. The thoughts themselves are a world in it. But most of the times, they are not really my world. They are not the world I wish to live in. In fact, if there’s a world I wish to live in—it would be a beautiful place, and I would not have been in this state of depression if my thoughts were always wonderful. But they are not. So I realized there’s something to be done about these thoughts.
So I wrote what I felt about them. I wrote why I felt that way. I wrote what I want to feel instead. I wrote things completely opposite of what’s running in my head, so that I could get a grip of what is real and what are not. It helps, maybe not enormously, but it has a significant impact on my thought process.
When there’s nothing to say or write, I cry. Sometimes with a reason, sometimes none. The more I bottle up my feelings, the more depression sucks me up like a black hole. When I’m feeling terribly sad and helpless, I go to a private place and then I cry. Crying not just makes me feel more human, but it washes away some of my broken pieces. It unearths deep hurts and anxieties which are deeply embedded in the my mind and heart. When these things are exposed in front of me, I learn to deal them one step at a time. This process of confronting my inner hurts and struggles, as I found out, is utterly essential in coping up with and recovering from depression. Unless you learn to uproot the things which gave birth to your depression, you will never get out of the cycle.
I rant as much as I felt I need it. With trusted people, of course. (It’s risky, though. But I think my being risky in relationships before has taught me to dive head-on on being vulnerable.) I don’t like keeping to myself my complaints about a situation or a person. I rant on my journal, to God, to my closest and trustworthy friends, to my family. I rant even when it doesn’t make sense or it is invalid. I need to breathe out toxic thoughts, and ranting helps me filter these out.
i open up myself to others.
Not everything. And certainly not to anyone. Just bits of myself, my struggles, my pain, my anxieties, my fears. To certain people on different circumstances. This is one of the most important thing which helps in coping up. Whenever there is that moment that I could open up a bit of myself, I take it. Most of the times, the person I talk to won’t be able to give me any form of encouragement, but it helps. It helps me sort the chaos in my mind. Sometimes, things become a bit clearer after unloading my thoughts and sentiments.
i turned to God.
This one is the most difficult thing for me to do. Because this is the primary reason why I fell into depression. Prayer and time with God have been fundamental in my life and when I lost sight of its significance (and necessity) in my life, my mind went wayward.
Depression—being a battle in the mind, exuding into the general state of your personhood—has only one kryptonite. It is the presence of God in one’s life. I cannot see anything other than reading the Bible, conversing with God, and allowing Him to work in your life even in the midst of your mess, that could take you from the ashes of depression.
There is no greater healer of emotional and mental trauma and wounds than God alone. His Word is powerful and it speaks to us wherever we are in our lives, in whatever condition or state of mind we have at the moment. Only God could bring restoration to our mental health. Medications might alleviate the symptoms, the manifestations of anxiety and depression. Therapy might help in the healing process. But God alone could rebuild. God alone could create something beautiful out of brokenness.
The book of Psalms, mostly written by King David of Israel, is where God’s healing on my depression mostly took place. God brought me into this book to meditate it and learn from King David, the man whose heart God called as after His own heart. When you read this book in the Bible, you will realize that there is nothing that David kept from God. He ranted on God. He cried and became depressed. He lost hope and found his helplessness. He sinned and he struggled. And yet in the midst of adversities, in the midst of abandonment and loneliness, he did not cease to call out to God for help. There are times when King David felt that God was silent and/or distant, nevertheless he cried out to God, because regardless of what he feels about God, he knew that God’s character will never change—God will always be there to help him. When King David says that he will wait upon the Lord, I imagine him choosing whether to be impatient and abandon his faith on God or just keep holding on. King David did not live a blissful life, but still God was there to help him…
. . . . .
your choice, your action.
The same God who uplifted King David is the same God who will rebuild anyone who calls and cries out to Him for help. It doesn’t matter wherever you are coming from in life, God is the Beginning and the End, and He will still be there in the middle of chaos. It is okay to be messy in His presence. His grace will take you through it all. His grace will meet you where you are.
“I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.”
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
“You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?
When I cry out to You,
Then my enemies will turn back;
This I know, because God is for me.”
“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,
Until these calamities have passed by.
I will cry out to God Most High,
To God who performs all things for me.”
“Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.”
“I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
“A broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, You will not despise.”
. . . . .
There are numerous ways on how to cope up with and recover from depression. It could be different for one individual to another. But a few things remain true: (1) open yourself up by talking about it, and (2) turn and trust God. When in chaos, find how to be in peace and go where the source of peace is. My story points where it is, it is up to you to find out what’s waiting for you on the other side.
With regards to opening up yourself, there a number of ways you could do it. You may seek professional help, especially if you are already having suicidal thoughts and tendencies. You may confide on trusted people who you know can and will support you all the way. If you are a student, you may approach your school’s guidance counselor. If you want to rant, you can leave me a message here *wink*.
The important thing is you unload those thoughts and feelings you are bottling up inside you. It is okay to be messy. Depression is messy. Do not be discouraged by the slow pace of moving forward, of the healing process, of finding yourself again. Be patient with yourself. And be patient with others too as they try to understand and help you. There are many good people out there, I assure you. While there are those who would help you in a colossal way, there are those who would just be there with you in your small steps. Some could brighten up your mood or your day, while some would stay short-term; do not push them away. No matter how small or minute, if those persons could push you a bit forward, be thankful and appreciate them. (:
I hope to hear your stories.
With much love,
Want someone to talk to? I would love to hear from you! (: