Get Over It
I have struggled with depression my whole life. There are short seasons, there are long seasons, then there are *really* long seasons. There have been a couple of times that I am missing a year because I simply cannot remember due to my depression. There are seasons that are circumstantial and once those circumstances have been dealt with, my sad cloud leaves. The other seasons are just plain ole crappy.
I withdraw. I sleep. I do not get out of my house. I do not change my clothes. I do not get out of bed. It takes too much effort. My husband does not know what to do with me. In our early years, he was oblivious because I was great at placing my mask. In our middle years, he recognized and then tried to fix the problems. Depression cannot be fixed by well-meaning spouses.
In Later Years
In the later years, he just sits and he loves on me. He lets me be me and he loves me through the valleys. We have come a very long way. I have learned to take off my masks and ask for help through lots of prayers, Jesus, therapy, and medication. He has learned to stop trying to fix me and to stop trying to understand the darkness that can consume me.
In 2015, I was struggling with a hard season of depression. There were days when I struggled in getting out of bed, getting dressed, brushing my hair, etc. I did the best I could, but at the end of the day, depression won. I would sit in my bed, sobbing about being a failure as a believer, wife, mom, daughter, sister, and human being. Deep down, I knew my worth in Christ but, sadly, I listened to what the evil one was whispering in my ear instead of the Truths of my Jesus.
In Walks My Lady
On a Wednesday night, my family and I went to church for dinner and our classes. We got there, got our food, and sat down to eat. The side door opened and my Lady walked through the doors. She is an amazing lady and she has taught me so much and I knew, regardless, that I was loved by her.
I got up, from my seat, and I went to give her a hug while my son ran and grabbed her some dinner. She has this ability to, not only, look at me but she can look THROUGH me.
That night, she looked through me and she asked me what was wrong. Tears welled up in my eyes and I just said “I don’t know, I’m really really sad and I can’t shake it.” My Lady looked at me and firmly said “well, get over it. You have a life to live, a husband who needs you, children who need you…now get over it.”
I think you could have knocked me over from the shock of that statement. There has never been a person, over my long history with depression, that has ever said anything like that to me. I almost let it hurt my feelings. I almost listened to the evil one saying “she does not love you, she does not care, that was mean.”
Instead, Jesus took me and shook me, that night. With Jesus by my side, He flicked satan out of my ear and He said “I sent her to you. She is my gift. This is your kick in the pants from Me through her. Now, get over it!” I walked around in a bit of a daze, that night.
Purposing to Follow-Through
The next day, I got up and I purposed to do a few things to better myself. I am well aware of my deficiencies in the “follow-through” department. There is also the thought of wanting to succeed at something and if I set my goal too high, then I will not follow through and I will fail. I set the bar VERY low.
My first set of 30-day goals were incredibly simple. The first thing was to brush my teeth every day. The second was to put a bra on every day (you laugh…girls….but you know what I’m talking about…especially being a home school mom).
I also purposed to read 1 chapter of Psalm and 1 chapter of Proverbs, daily. I did this by starting on whatever day of the month it was. It made it easier for me to remember. I had just received a great study bible, a new journal, highlighters, and pens for Christmas. I was set. In my journal, I listed 5 blessings first. Next, I listed prayer requests. Then, I would read my chapters, highlight the verses that meant something to me and I would write them in my journal.
I made it through that first month! I was so proud of myself and the Lord revealed SO much through His Word. I also maintained my two tiny goals of brushing my teeth and wearing a bra.
The next two goals were pretty simple. The first was to take my medicine regularly (always take your meds as prescribed by your doctor) and to not wear my husband’s clothes, but to wear my own. Again, you people might be mocking me, but hey, my husband is a big man and I feel really skinny when I wear his clothes. I like to feel skinny!
I had powered through Proverbs and I still had a ways to go with Psalm, so I thought I would add in a short book of the bible to make myself, again, feel good about accomplishing something. I still kept my journal, but I was on a new journal because I had filled the first one up!
Getting Wild Up in Here
This time around, with my prayer request, I got wild and mixed things up! I went back through my prayer request and I highlighted the answered prayers and I dated them and wrote how they were answered. In my dark times, I was able to flip through my journal and I could physically see the answers and that God still moves even when I feel He is not moving.
I also began branching out with my prayers. When I felt myself closing up and moving inward with my sadness, I forced myself to look to someone else. I texted people in my contacts how I could pray for them. The replies, to my texts, were humbling.
My friends would say “How did you know? What do you know? Who told you? I was just praying about that and I feel like I have confirmation. In my darkest, you reached out.” Oh my goodness. This was such a source of light and comfort for me. The Lord was using my depression to further His Kingdom!
My Prayer Journal
My journal filled up REAL quick and I had to upgrade to a notebook. For each person that I asked how I could pray for them, I gave them their own page and added any requests on that page. I would follow up with their requests to see if the Lord had answered them and when they were answered, I highlighted and dated that request.
Eventually, I branched out even further and I extended prayer to my friends on Facebook. The responses were overwhelming. I was and still am humbled to stand in the gap, with prayer, for people. My notebook got full and I have since moved to a binder! I love my binder. It is never far from me and I have my pens and highlighter ready to go.
What I Learned in my Season of Depression
In this season of depression, I not only learned how to pray, but I also ended up reading through the entire bible in about a year and a half. There were the dreaded books of the bible that came to life because I was reading it through a new set of eyes. The Lord revealed so much, I started sending out lessons I had learned along the journey. My season lifted because one person spoke what I needed to hear. “Get over it!”’
Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness
Depression is real and it is not talked about in society. Please, I am urging whoever is reading this, seek counsel. If counseling does not help, go to your doctor and look to getting on medication. There is no shame in that. I have been on medication, on and off, for several years.
There are seasons of your life when “get over it” does not cut it and you need more help. My hope is that the stigma of depression and other mental illnesses is eradicated and that we can talk freely, get support, and become free from this disease.
If you, or someone you know, is suffering from any type of mental illness, and you are afraid that they may do the unthinkable, the Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. They are there 24 hours a day. Never be ashamed. Never think you are alone. Never not know your options. Reach out! Live! Teach others! Through your ashes, beauty will be found.