NOTE: This does not apply to true Clinical Depression. If you are having thoughts of killing yourself or anyone else, seek true help! Get the meds you need it will be ok. For the rest of us read on.
I guess I really could call this "Understanding Me". Lately this quote has been going around FB...
"Depression is not a sign of weakness, it is just a sign that we have been strong for too long."
While I understand how this can seem like the truth, & I one time I would have totally agreed with it. I now understand Depression a little better. I understand that when you finally hit bottom & realize you are indeed Depressed, it is after you have dealt with too many things. So it feels like you have been "strong for too long." But is there really such a thing as Too Strong? First, let me give you a little background.
I have spent my life feeling like I am not good enough for anyone. I don't sing as well as some, I don't keep my house spotless, I don't have dinner ready at 6pm every night... You know the feelings, I'm sure you have had them at some point, we all have. I have had my parents say that I needed help because something was wrong with me because I had a bad temper (they never looked at themselves to realize where I got it from). I have been told by my own mother that I was a bad mom (for spending too much time on the computer, her drug of choice was books, & not enough time with my kids). I am the youngest of 4 kids, the closest to me in age is my sister who is 4 1/2 years older. I spent my childhood being told I was a pest & not really worth their time. I married a wonderful man, but he came from a family where his mom cooked, cleaned, did dishes after every meal...All the things my mom didn't do nor did she teach me to! So in the first part of our marriage he would complain that I wasn't doing enough. At one point our Bishop (congregation leader at church) had decided that I was a bad housekeeper & mother & needed training in caring for a home & small children! There are countless other things I have been told all my life. I believed them. I let what others said paint my portrait! I felt like I couldn't take it anymore & became depressed. I blamed all of them for their comments & treatment. I was a victim! Not anymore!
I'm not totally sure what, how, or when this all happened, but I'm happy with myself now (most of the time)! I keep thinking about Max Lucado's book You Are Special, how the dolls in the book let others place stickers on them, labels, that weigh them down. Did you catch the key word there? LET! We like the Dolls LET others LABEL us! We LET what they say weigh us down! It is not a conscience choice we make, but it is still our choice! We need to talk to our Maker, just the doll (I forget the names) in the book. When we know our Maker & understand ourselves as He does, we can overcome depression!
We also realize that we LET ourselves fall into depression. At some point we decide we are really as bad as everyone else says! We LET Satan win! We LET what the world says define how we see ourselves! We forget who we are! We forget that we are of such GREAT WORTH that we have a Father in Heaven that sent His Son to die for us! We forget that Christ not only died for our Sin, but that He suffered in the Garden for ALL our PAINS & SORROWS! We are NEVER ALONE He is ALWAYS THERE!
Sometimes it may seem like we are trying everything! We have increased our praying, or study of the scriptures, we go to church every week, we are doing everything we can to become more spiritual! Right? Right? But do we pray with ALL our HEARTS & plead for understanding? Do we demand the best from ourselves & others around us? Or do we understand that we cannot be prefect? That no one can! Do we purge ALL sinfulness from our lives? Including ones that maybe we don't do personally, but allow others to do?
That last one is hard to explain in one sentence! If you sit/stand by & let your spouse, or children do things you know are not right & have decided they never will stop doing these things, then you can never be happy! You have to stand up for yourself! Most of the time the sin they are doing will effect you, because it effects their view of the world! If someone is doing something they know is not right, they don't feel good about themselves & in turn they take it out on those around them! If your kids are cheating on tests at school, then when you ask how they did on the test chances are they will become angry with you for butting into their lives! If your spouse has an addition to something (drugs, porn, books, TV, internet, etc.) when you say something about it they attack. However, it is not always so obviously connected! When we have an addiction it clouds our view of the world. It blocks all the good someone does & magnifies the bad (or the lack of action). Addiction creates a faults world in our minds! If we are always reading Romance novels, then when your spouse brings home flowers, its not good enough, because Randolf in such & such book, stayed home from work & put rose petals all over the house, made dinner, etc., making Genevieve feel like a real woman (can you tell I don't read this type of book)! When your spouse is addicted to porn then all of the sudden the world is suppose to be airbrushed! In some cases, you as the spouse are suppose to help them live out their fantasies, in other cases they find someone new who matches what they think is "sexy". In the worst cases they act out their fantasies on children, including (most of the time starting with) their own! That last line makes me cry! It hurt to write, but it is one of the disgusting truths about sin. No matter how hard we may try our sins end up effecting the innocent!
We can be those innocents that someone else's sins are effecting! That helps us fall into depression, but it is not what put us there, we still have to allow it to effect us in that way. If someone you love is involved in a sin that is undermining the spirit in your home, then you should NOT put up with it! If you do then it starts to feel like you are the one doing the sin! You are down on yourself for not being enough to help that person not want to sin. They are down on you, because there is no way for a real human to live up to the fantasies they have created in their heads, or seen on a screen or in a magazine!
So bottom line is...We allow ourselves to fall into depression. There are things around us that make it easier, but it is still our choice! I know some of you are not happy with that, I wouldn't have been either, but I now know this is the truth! I can now look back & see that I let go of the rod (or rope), that I moved away from the only one who can give me true comfort. It not easy to learn to control, just as I am still learning to control my anger, I will always have to work to make sure I don't allow myself to fall back down! I hope this helps more than fuels, but if it is fuel, then it is time to seek someone to talk to, not just meds that only treat the symptoms! If there is a sin, talk to the correct person/people about it & get it clear out of your life! If it is a long history like mine of person after person saying things that you take to heart, then turn to the only one who knows the truth! Most of the time depression does not need meds!