Bam! Christmas is here. Depressed yet?
One season I was so down I slept 27 hours a day. I woke up in a new year.
It’s that time again. Maybe your old friend – or beast – has donned your doorstep. He’s invisible. He’s powerful. He’s named Mr. Depression.
When He visits, you’re numb, over/under eating, tired, anxious, sore, and feel like there’s not enough sleep in the world to cure you.
Been there. Done that. So has almost everyone else over the age of, oh…ten (though many don’t admit it.)
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Here’s 7 tips:
1. You are God’s child. I repeat, you are God’s child. I say again: you are God’s child. Mr. Depression would have you think differently. He’s lying.
2. You can get through this. Like most bad things, the fog moves slowly. Mr. Depression usually overstays his welcome. But you – victorious warrior – can do this.
Depression mostly targets identity. But remember, you are God’s child.Tweet
Not much is required. Slaying a thousand dragons and climbing ninety Mount Everests isn’t feasible while you’re down. All that’s expected is you keep breathing until the fog lifts. Can’t bathe? It happens. No shaving? Grow a beard (or leg afros.)
3. Mr. Depression affects you physically. Yes, he targets your brain. But your brain controls your body. Depression affects your sleep, eating habits, mobility, etc. Listen, people have lost teeth because they couldn’t brush them while depressed.
When someone tells you depression is only mental, direct them to smash their face into a wall. They’re wrong.
4. In my case, Mr. Depression visits me when I remove God from His throne. When I was depressed because my youngest started school, it was because she was growing up and I didn’t believe God would have a purpose for me beyond my kids. Also I didn’t believe God would protect her in that big place.
When I’m depressed from being overwhelmed, it’s because I don’t believe God’s Spirit will guide me in small details. When I’m depressed during Christmas, it’s because I’ve prioritized all the minor stuff (think Martha Stewart. Betty Crocker. Those perfect women) over God’s greatness.
The cure? God’s got you. Every detail. Down to the hairs on your perty little head. Even if you’re bald. In the words of a mentor: you are well-held.
5. Mr. Depression visits almost everyone. Not good, but reality. I met a twelve-year-old whose long hair was matted because he didn’t maintain it while depressed. Off it came.
Point is, even young kids get depressed (God help us). And let’s be real: the older you get, the more reasons to warrant a visit from Mr. Depression. Life is really tough sometimes. If you live to a hundred and never go numb for a while, you’re a marvel. I’ll have whatever you’re drinking.
6. People will be there when it’s done. My biggest fear during my bouts is everyone will desert me. Hubby will find a better wife; kids a better mom. Friends will scare and drop me. I’ll get fired. I’ll end up under a bridge with crazy hair, a matted dirt face, naked and scratching my wounds with no one to help.
Thing is, it never happened. They got it. They loved me.
7. Your pain has a purpose. I know, who cares right? Trust me. Better yet, trust God.
Mr. Depression is a beast, sinking his teeth in you. It hurts when you’re in it. But when you’re done, you’re better. It’s unexplainable, but real.
Years ago I went through something worse than a trillion depressions. For eight months I was a walking corpse. Then, it was over.
I was mad at God after. Why did You allow this? I asked. No answer.
Finally, I had to trust He did it for a reason. Would I go through it again given a choice? Heck no. Am I glad it happened? Not on your life. Did God do it for my good? Of course He did – because He loves me.
Fact is, God loves you. Even if it feels like He hates you. Even if He allowed this.Tweet
So that’s it. That’s all I know about depression.
Depression is a mystery, but it’s real. And it bites. Unfortunately we have to bear it until we get our redeemed brains in the new world.
If you’re in it, I’m sorry. Please accept my virtual hug. I’m with you, Friend.
You’re loved by a God whose adoration is inexpressible in any language. And one day, ten thousand years into Heaven, you’ll not have experienced the catatonic-making horror you know now.
Because that’s not how it is. After receiving your golden stamp of entrance to the new world, Mr. Depression will follow close behind. He wants in too. But Christ is there, ever watchful of who enters by His gate.
You’ve RSVP’ed. You’re on the list. Mr. Depression, however, is not. He received no invitation, either.
So enter the gate freely. You made it. Mr. Party Pooper didn’t. And Friend, your shackles are in a broken heap at the door to Paradise. Praise God – even though it was despairing – you only wore them a little while.
Diane Watt teaches the Word. A student of God, she seeks excellence for King Jesus. When she’s not typing you can find her seated on a bicycle or in the kitchen. But not at the same time.
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