Monday, March 16, 2015

Hope in the Pit of Depression

It's no secret that this past year has been one of the most challenging for me. I won't go into details as to why, but the extra strain has caused issues with depression/anxiety like I don't normally struggle with. I have always been quite an emotional person (I'm a girl, give me a break!) but not always what I would consider depression. I still don't think that I've experienced depression to the full degree, like I know some people do. I know I haven't.
However, it feels as though my emotions take over sometimes, and when my logical brain tells me that something isn't that big of a deal, my body and emotions take over and say, "Wait a minute, buddy, this a huge deal and we're not going down without a fight!" It's exhausting, really. And while I don't know any of the medical side of these things, and have no idea how depression and anxiety are linked, I do know that I don't want to live here. It has been so bad lately that I have lost sleep, and have been afraid to be around certain groups of people. I tell you this not to just spill all my dirty laundry, but I have always been about being an open book, telling it like it is, and about transparency.That has always been kind of my mission, something important to me. I don't think we were meant to bottle things up inside, never share them with anyone (especially the body of Christ), and go on as though everything were okay. I'm also not for sharing every little deep, dark secret and not moving forward. But I think on the flip side, that we tend to stuff things down, especially in the church, and pretend like we are okay. When we're not. We're so not.
So again, I don't claim to be an expert in the fields of depression and anxiety, but I know for me, there are certain things that I think are important in combating these feelings, and I want to try my best to move forward with these things so as to combat the devil's push to drag me down with him. Here are the things I want to engage in more, especially as the feelings of depression/anxiety overtake me:

1. Getting sufficient sleep
2. Getting a high-intensity workout
3. Taking care of myself and eating healthy
4. Being in the Word and daily connected to God
5. Being intentional about being around the people who love/care for me
6. Counseling with solid, wise, godly women who care about me
7. Memorizing Scripture, writing it on notecards, keeping it near me and in front of me
8. Using essential oils that can calm and soothe
9. Listening to the Holy Spirit's guidance for my life (not trying to run the show on my own)
10. Realizing that when I am weak, He is strong. He wants me to learn to rely on Him.
11. Trust in Him. He's got this. I don't have to carry it on my own.
12. Set aside time to do things that are enjoyable to me. (Sitting in the sun, reading a book, cooking, listening to music, getting away by myself, date nights with my husband, a walk on the trail with the kids.)
13. Filling my mind with positive, true things. Listening to podcasts of sermons, worship music, books on cd. That I would consciously fill my mind with the positive and true instead of passively filling it with worldly TV shows, songs that don't speak truth, and people's talk that doesn't align with God's plan and truth.

So, those are just some suggestions. Things that have been rolling around in my head lately about how I can combat these ugly feelings. These feelings that overwhelm, try to take over, try to take me out of the game to advance His kingdom and feel His blessings. Through Him we are more than conquerors. I don't need to bow my head in shame. I don't need to compete with other people. I don't need to worry about situations. I don't need to have a pity party. He is all-sufficient. He is enough. Satan is feeding me lies that I don't need to entertain for one second. Out with the old, in with the new. I am a new creation in Christ.

I hope this will be an encouragement to someone. Someone out there who feels alone, like no one understands, or can't get over that hump. Be proactive in getting help, seeking out truth, and not bowing to the one who is trying to pull you down. I'm not speaking on my high hill because I've done all these things and I'm perfect now. I'm speaking as one who is in the pit, and looking to get out. Maybe we can do it together. If you have an encouraging word, quote, verse, or things that have helped you out of the pit, please post them below! Sometimes we need to just know we're not alone.


  1. I have always said "Satan is the Marketing KING of Junk!" He sells that junk as treasures and lies that seem so good. Sneaky just like a big corporation that is not operating on the honest side. I fall for their/his junk way more than I should. My word of encouragement "You are not alone. Just let go and let God". Matthew 6:27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ?

    1. Thanks, Amanda. Good, true words. That's what I need!

  2. When I was at my lowest, minutes felt like hours, hours like days, days like weeks etc. It was a horrible experience. I suffered terribly with anxiety and depression since I was 13, I lost my best years. It was only last year I finally got a hold on my issues.....I was 49. I have blogged a little about what helped me get me life back

  3. Wow, Stephanie, this blog post could not have arrived at a better time for me. Thank you for your openness, and your transparency. I've been swallowed up by the monster of depression on and off for many years. It has gotten bad for me again this year after recovering from my mastectomies, and then falling and breaking my elbow. One thing I would like to share is something that I learned from my therapist. Every time I made the comment to him "Oh, but I know this is no big deal, others certainly have it so much worse", he would immediately stop me in my tracks. He told me to not EVER minimize what I was feeling, or what I was going through. If my emotions are suffering because of it, if my body is suffering because of it in the form of anxiety, then it IS a big deal. Just that simple validation of my feelings gave me an incredible sense of relief. Your list was also very helpful, and I know I need to start reintroducing several of those things back into my life. Much love to you, my friend!

    1. Thanks so much! I know I'm not alone in what I feel, but sometimes it seems like I am!! It can be a lonely pit, but that's exactly how Satan wants us to feel about it! Thanks for your friendship!!