Posts Tagged ‘depression’

I get those fleeting, beautiful moments of inner peace and stillness – and then the other 23 hours and 45 minutes of the day, I’m a human trying to make it through in this world. ~ Ellen DeGeneres

StruggleYep, I know what she means!

I’ve been finding these last few weeks and months increasingly difficult, and yes, each day is a challenge – A challenge to get through and a challenge to keep myself well occupied all day so I don’t have too long to dwell on some of the events that are affecting me and my family.

Don’t get me wrong, every day I try my best to “put on my public face” and face another day, and many days I manage this with no problem at all. I’m actually quite sure that the majority of those I encounter during my day, they are completely unaware of my struggle, just to get through each day…but if I’m honest, that’s how I like it. I’m not the kind of person who likes lots of attention, nor am I the kind of person who doesn’t mind showing my emotions in public…in fact this is one of my worst nightmares!

I’m being open about this today, as I know I am certainly not alone in feeling like this. We all have things that bring us down: bereavement, illness, unemployment, financial concerns etc etc. So today my message is simply to say, it’s ok to find each day a struggle, because it happens to us all sometimes!

I was deeply saddened recently when i thought a fellow Christian was
accusing me of being unchristian because my blog mentioned depression and linked to other sites about depression.

depression and anxietyI couldn’t believe it, as sadly depression can be experienced by anyone at anytime – It’s an illness, and one which doesn’t care what nationality you are, your ethnicity or your religious beliefs (if any). i.e. Depression can hit anybody at any time in their life.

Depression is something many consider to be a taboo subject i.e. something we shouldn’t talk openly about. However I personally I feel its only a taboo subject for those who have never suffered from depression, as in my experience those who have suffered depression at some point in their life, are more willing to talk about it to others because when you’ve suffered from depression, you then realise how important it is to for sufferers to be able to talk about how they feel and their struggle to cope.

It’s a horrible illness which can leave the sufferer feeling lonely, isolated and even unwanted or unloved. So let’s not hide from the elephant in the room which is depression, but instead let’s talk about it openly about it, so we can give those suffering from depression all the love and support they need to get through their illness.

Let’s #taketimetotalk

Have you every come across someone who seems to be habitually unhappy? I guess we’ve all known someone like that at some time in our lives…aren’t they a bit of a misery!

I read the following quote from Abraham Lincoln yesterday that reinforces the fact that happiness can often be a state of mind:

Most of us are just about as happy as we make up our minds to be

I guess those who are habitually unhappy, do not try very hard to be happy. After all, take a look around you, I’m many of the people you work with, attend school or college with all have things going on in their lives which could make them unhappy and upset if they let it. However most of us do our best to be happy when we’re in public and “pretend” all is well.

When we see someone smile, it can often make us smile even if inwardly we really don’t feel like it. So let’s endeavour to make happiness our state of mind and spread a little happiness wherever we go.

Breaking You by Audrey Assad
 
You’ve been let down, it’s true
Your pain is so easy to see
You’re hunted by your history
And it feels like you’ve got no escape
 
Your life left you high and dry
You used to be sure of yourself
But then your whole world went to hell
And tomorrow looks like just like today
 
So, you lie on your bed, you wont let the morning come in
And you hide in your room, feeding that fear and its killing you
Don’t you know that its killing me too,
Cause your heart break is breaking you
 
I miss the life in your eyes
The home that I found in your arms
And now you don’t know who you are
But I wont give up on you on no
 
You lie on your bed, you wont let the morning come in
And you hide in your room, feeding that fear and its killing
Don’t you know that its killing me too,
Cause your heart break is breaking you
 
And you lost your fight and your flame’s gone out
And your down on your knees
Cause your life is not what you thought it would be
No
 
Lift up your head
Help is on the way
And it wont pass you by
You just gotta reach out your
Hand lift up your eyes
Love is on the way
And it wont pass you by
You just gotta reach out your hand
 
Go on and lift up your head
Because love is on its way
And it wont pass you by
You’ve just gotta reach out your hand

When life sucks, God is there for you.

When there seems no hope, God is there for you.

As the above song says, in times of deep despair when you’re at breaking point, your help can be found in God, all you’ve got to do is “reach out your hand”, because God is there for you.

You don’t need to feel as though you’re breaking, because God is there for you, and He will take your hand and help you through.

Sometimes we wonder why certain things happen in our lives.

Sometimes we even wonder why God allows specific things to happen to us or our family and friends.

Sometimes we wonder how there can possibly be a blessing to be found anywhere!

Could it be that we are simply looking for what WE expect blessings to look like, rather than waiting to see how GOD sends us blessings?

I know for me, when I was at my lowest a few years ago, I felt as though everything was going wrong in my life, there was nobody there for me and I even felt as though God wasn’t doing anything to help me. Then one day, completely out of the blue, someone who I had previously only known well enough to say hello to, but never really had any conversation with, came to me and reached out to me.

At the time I just thought it was someone unexpected being nice to me, but now looking back on it I truly believe that person was God’s blessing in disguise for me! If it hadn’t been for that person reaching out to me that day and me taking hold of their outstretched hand, I can honestly say I don’t belive I would be the person I am today, or even if I would be here blogging.

Don’t close you’re eyes to God in times of difficultly, as God will be there for you, and He will bless you. Some of those blessings may just be a bit more difficult to spot if they’re in disguise.

Once again as I write this blog post I’m reminded of the song Blessings by Laura Story:

Through It All by Matt Redman

Through it all you are faithful
Through it all You are strong
As we walk through the shadows
Still You shine on

So many broken promises
So many empty words
God of love and faithfulness
Have mercy on this world

You never turn or change
You never break the faith
Yesterday, today and always

Through it all You are faithful
Through it all You are strong
As we walk through the shadows
Still You shine on
Still You shine on

God of unbroken promises
Always You keep Your word
Glory, grace and holiness
Forever to endure

You are faithful, Jesus You are faithful to the end
You are faithful, Jesus You are faithful to the end

If you ever need a reminder that God is always with you, through the good times and the bad, this song is a great reminder. I’ve been in a situation where I’ve thought I’d never make it through those days, but despite my doubting, my faith remained….God remained…God remained faithful through it all.

Life can be real tough sometimes. Sometimes it can seem as if things are never going to improve for us, that just when life seems to be improving, something else happens that brings us down.

When life is really tough, how do you get through it?

Some people fall into a deep depression, others try to keep themselves going by trying to see the positives in their life despite all their difficulties.

I’ve been there in some very dark and depressing times, so how did I get through it? Well I did fall into a deep depression and could see no positives in anything. However I still kept my faith – my faith that God was with me and would get me through. That doesn’t mean I never questioned Him or doubted He was there for me, because I did. But I truly believe that this was ultimately what got me through those dark days.

So what’s my advice to you if you’re struggling with life?:

When life gets too tough, kneel and pray

Yesterday in Invisible Pain I spoke about how many people suffer silently from physical pain, every day. Today I want to consider those suffering other pain, emotional pain.

How many times have you heard someone say:

Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting  some kind of battle.

Many times I’ve been felt totally drained emotionally because of all of life’s situations I’ve having to cope with, but when I’m with others I always do my best to hide how I’m really feeling, because the thought of others truly knowing how I feel would mean I’d fall apart publicly and that is one of my worst nightmares!

There are many things that we all try to “hide” from others: our grief over the death of a loved one, health concerns for ourselves or a loved one, depression, financial worries, job security, concern about our children etc

All these are things which often others will know nothing about. i.e. there are no physical signs, however that most certainly doesn’t mean these concerns/issues are any less painful to those experiencing them.

Just as the quote I listed above says, just because someone looks ok from the outside, does not mean they are ok on the inside. Some of us have many battles that we face on a daily basis, but they are ones which those around us know nothing about. So do just as the above quote says:

Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting  some kind of battle.

A few days ago on Facebook a few of my friends posted the following on their status:

YOU DON’T LOOK SICK!!! No I don’t. It’s hard to explain to someone when they have no clue. It’s a daily struggle feeling sick on the inside while you look fine on the outside. Please put this as your status for at least 1 hour if you or someone you know has an invisible illness (Anxiety, Bipolar, Depression , Diabetes, LUPUS, RA, Fibromyalgia, Crohns, MS, Endometriosis etc..) Never judge what you don’t understand.

I did repost this as my status, why, because I can completely relate to this statement.

One day at work last week, I had been out to get some lunch and was standing waiting for the lift to take me back up to my office on the 2nd floor, when one of the guys who works on the first floor of my office, who is in a wheelchair, can over to wait for the lift with me. As usual the lift was up at the second floor when I’m waiting for it on the ground floor, so we had to wait a few minutes for the lift to arrive. I don’t really know this guy in the wheelchair, although we have exchanged comments a few times over the months I’ve been based at this office. So as before, we exchanged a few comments, and then this guys said to me that “us fit people should go up the stairs and not use the lift”.

Don’t misunderstand me, he wasn’t being cheeky or anything, however it stung me, there was him in a wheelchair with an obvious disability while there was me, who to him looked perfectly fit and well…

Just as the statement that was posted on Facebook said,  just because someone looks ok from the outside, does not mean they are ok on the inside. Some of us have had years of practice at hiding how much pain we’re in, so don’t judge people and how they feel, just because they look as though there’s nothing wrong with them.

You should step in my shoes & walk for a mile. See how hard it is to hold back the tears and fake a smile.

I hope you enjoy Point of Grace singing No More Pain, as after all, that is ultimately the desire of all of us who suffer pain.

Invisible pain can be the hardest to cope with as no-one really knows or understand just how you feel each day.

Yesterday in Silence Is Golden I spoke about wonderful silence can be and how relaxing and peaceful it can be to surround ourselves with stillness and beauty. But have I jumped the gun, is silence really always golden?

What about when you’re waiting for an important phone call about the well-being of a loved one? That’s stressful, not relaxing.

Waiting by the phone to hear whether you’ve been successful in a job application? That’s stressful, not relaxing.

What about those who live alone and find they can go days without seeing or speaking to another person? That’s sad, not enjoyable.

What about when you’re struggling with life and you’re sitting at home alone, the doorbell and the phone never rings? That’s sad, and definitely not peaceful.

What about when you phone, text, or email a “friend” and they never reply to you? That frustrating and depressing, not enjoyable.

What about the homeless, who spend days and nights on the streets, alone, and struggling to survive? That’s tough, not peaceful or relaxing.

Just because we can enjoy the quiet and peaceful times of life, don’t forget that there are many others in our world for who silence means loneliness, not peace and beauty.

Please pray for those who are alone and in need of friendship and love, they need us!