And let us consider how we may spur one another on
toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together,
as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
- Hebrews 10: 24-25
It’s hard to want to be around others when you don’t even want to be around yourself. On the days where my depression is overpowering, I want to disappear into a long sleep. I just want to waste my time until I don’t have any left. And so, waking up and getting out of bed, willing myself to start another day, is incredibly difficult all on its own. In this state, it’s easy for life to become about getting through and not getting better.
Breathing. Eating. Moving. All of these things become chores for me. Depression makes it hard to be a functional human being. And one of the most tiresome acts of humanity becomes talking. Not even in the sense that it's hard to come up with words. I can form thoughts, but physically being able to open my mouth and call on my vocal cords to work is another story. I am tired and my body is tired, and we don’t want to put in any more effort into a life that seems to only be disappointing.
This is all one part of why choosing community when you’re depressed is tough. Yet, there's something else that I haven't mentioned...guilt. I shouldn’t feel this way. I have a great God who has blessed me in so many areas of my life. It’s selfish of me to be unhappy. Others shouldn’t have to deal with my failure to be content. My friends and family are happy and I do not want to bring them down with my problems.
Except, what I have come to learn is that no one else sees it that way. We are brothers and sisters in Christ, and we want to help each other. In this family, there is genuine love given to us by our Father. I know how tempting it is to just keep everything inside. Sometimes it feels like that is easier. However, it is so important to let those close to you know how you are feeling. The encouragement and prayers that I have received from others make a difference.
This past year, there have been so many moments where I wanted to take a step back from my church and friends. Instead, I chose to go to them with my pain. Through their goodness and support, I was reminded of who the Lord is. He loves me and He feels my pain. Most importantly, he has not forgotten me. Even though I go through these hard times, He has not left me. He has even been so good as to provide me with a family in Christ who wants to help me. Even though there are still many days where it is hard to wake up, I know I have hope. God has a purpose for me. For all of us.
Depression can make you feel useless. It can make you feel like you are wasted space. In these times we must choose God and community. I learned that I am not a burden to my family and friends and neither are you, reader. Just as you love others, they love you. Through your pain, God will carry you. You just have to let Him.
1. Are you investing in a Christian community and allowing that community to invest in you?
2. How have you made an effort to overcome depression?
God, I thank You for the community that You have given me. You have shown me that You love me and have not forgotten me. I pray that I am able to remember this in the hardest of times and grow closer to You through my pain, Amen.
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