Helping the Unhelpable (Depression)

Everything in my life is amazing. I tell myself this every single day in hopes that my brain will for once start to believe it. Some days are better than others and today feels like the beginning of what is a terrible day. There’s no reason in particular why today of all days my brain is out of control with gloom and doom thoughts, but those are usually the days that end up being the worst because there is no clear explanation and you feel helpless. Like your brain is a runaway train of negative thoughts and you can’t stop it and every time you try the train just runs over whatever positive you try to put in its way. I’m sitting here typing while tears are running down my cheeks and I truthfully can’t even put into words why I’m upset.

My brain keeps telling me to stop writing because I have no talent.

My brain tells me every time I attempt anything new that there’s no way I could be good enough for that.

Even more frightening anytime I’m alone with no plans to be anything but alone for the remainder of the day my brain tells me if I were gone nobody would even notice.

It’s true that in the last few months I have been losing friends and people who were once close to me for reasons that I can’t explain. Was it because I was emotionally unstable? Was it because I no longer was to any use of them? Was it because my mind keeps me shackled in my own personal jail? Right now I feel the answer is all of the above.

I wish someone could understand the pain and the torment of every day in my mind.

I BEG for someone to please make it stop.

I plead to God to just take me from this earth if he can’t take away this pain.

Those words go unfulfilled, I’m looking around and feel a chill rush over me as I glance over at the knife holder in the kitchen. WHAT IF I JUST TOOK ONE OF THOSE AND DID THE ONLY THING THAT COULD MAKE MY MIND STOP TORMENTING ME!

Just as my mind starts trailing down the dark path that leads to dangerous things my loving dog walks in the room almost on cue. Puts his nose underneath my arm and begins to lick me as if to show me that he is here for me. It’s odd how for a few hours I had no idea my dog was even near me but right when I needed him most he showed up.

Maybe it’s God’s way of jumping into my life to show me something positive to attempt to take my brain onto a different set of train tracks.

It works. For now.

There are these times when I feel completely helpless with controlling my brain and its thoughts, maybe some of you can relate, maybe you can’t. There seems like a never ending barrage of negative thoughts, but when I get at my worst, there seems to be something so small, so insignificant that helps me get out of this funk. Unfortunately, as the day turns to night and back to the day, I know another mental battle is ready for me when I wake up in the morning. The one speck of hope that I hang my hat on is that God has never let me down, he has always put something in front of me to make me smile, think, wonder, or hope.

Let’s talk about you; you heard enough about this battle in my life. You’re reading this, and one of two things are happening…

You can relate to this tireless mental battle that goes on day after day after day.
You know somebody who tells you they have a mental illness, and you can’t seem to understand why.

Number 1.

The great thing is you, like me have a loving God who always has your back and will send something to your mind to help you change the tides of that day.

Number 2.

Now you understand that we with mental health don’t even have a great explanation why we’re so down or upset sometimes, it just happens. The best thing to come of this is to know that when you see someone act out when you see someone crying alone for no reason when you notice a pattern of antisocial behavior from someone who normally is social, it’s time to give your support. It’s tempting to be unsympathetic and say the famous line “Why are you so upset your life is good!” While you may be right, it doesn’t help the person, in actuality it makes them feel more helpless because you’re making them feel like it’s stupid of them to be upset when they truly have no control over it.

Change starts with you, let’s not be quite about mental health, have the discussions, be there for people, and don’t hide. We are here to help others, influence others, and support others. Take this as your call to get back in touch with the person who you’re thinking of right now. Pray for this person daily, get in contact with them a few times a week reminding them how blessed you are for them to be in your life, or at least send them some funny memes.

I’ll leave all of you with this, in the 31st chapter of Deuteronomy Moses is hearing from God that he is going to die soon and that he is to summon Joshua so the Lord could equip him to be the new leader of the Israelites. That may not seem like a big deal but think about this, Moses lead his people for years upon year in hopes of reaching the promised land, and then he finds out he won’t be the person to lead them there, Joshua will. Imagine your whole life worth never being completed by you, but by someone else. Moses, a person who struggled with anxiety and self-doubt, may have had some tough times with that fact. Then God uttered these words to him in the sixth verse…

“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”

God, I thank you for never letting me down or leaving my side even in my unbelief.

-John