One of the most exasperating parts of depression is the longevity of the condition. I want a complete recovery, and I struggle to accept that healing may take years. I’m tired of carrying the weight of depression in my mind and soul. I hate smiling on the outside, saying good day to the people in my life, as if nothing is wrong.
The condition negatively colors my perception of the good and beautiful things in my life. I struggle to see a positive future for myself, and I expect the worst by default. I have spent years cultivating these unfortunate thought patterns, and recovery is an uphill battle.
I recognize I cannot run away from the dark side of my mental health. I tried to shove the pain away for years, but all I did was store it up inside. The only option is to move forward – to go through the pain and to confront my depression. Storing up the strong emotions depression causes – anger, sadness, fear, hopelessness, and frustration – and refusing to work through those emotions only entrenches the condition more deeply into my spirit.
Depression wreaks havoc on my spiritual life – I feel a rift between myself and God when I am in a depressive episode. I get angry – all I want is for God to remove the depression from me once and for all. Yet, Jesus’ gentle presence is with me, even when I have pulled back completely. I don’t understand why I am going through this, but I do know God’s strength is with me, and He has promised that I will not drown in this river of difficulty. The fact that I am alive and still here is proof of the validity of that hope. I can trust and move forward one day at a time.
“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2