Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What's Helping Me During A Season Of Depression. Perhaps It Might Help You?

I finally realized I was in a season of depression when I acknowledged it.  I said it out loud.  I'm depressed.   I was constantly tired, anxious, angry, withdrawn, lonely, and felt helpless.  I didn't want to acknowledge that I was depressed.  After all, I have a beautiful family, three healthy kids, wonderful friends,and a relationship with the God of this universe.  


But depression isn't a respecter of persons, places, things, or events.  It can happen to anyone, at even the most happiest times of life.  Have you been there?  Are you there now?  These are some things that are helping me and maybe they will help you too.

1)  Bathe Yourself In The Bible:  I mean all the time!  Have a little Bible with you everywhere you go.  Read a certain passage that helps you over and over.  For me, it's Psalm 139.  My sweet hubby read it to me last night and I saw it in a new light.  Read it in several different versions.

2)  Worship Him Through Song:  My awesome sister in law suggested I play Pandora music whenever possible.  A wonderful station she suggested that I'm LOVING is Selah.  I found this gem of a song:  Oh God Of Mine, By, Rita Springer!  I'm going to be listening to this song over and over and over!

3)  Seek Wise Council:  You need to acknowledge that you are struggling.  When I finally did and asked a few wise people for help, they gave wise council.  Proverbs 1:5 says, "Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance."

4)  Be Content:  God is bigger than us.  He sees all, from past to present to future... all at the same time.  We need to learn to be content in good times and in times of depression.  Philippians 4:11-13 says, " 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me."

5) Give Up On Perfect:  I grew up surrounded by certain people that you never knew what mood they would be in.  I felt as though I walked on egg shells constantly and for that, I developed a "help all people be happy all the time" mentality.  I've realized now that I'm grown that this constant striving for perfect is not healthy.  I need to realize I can't make everyone and every situation perfect.  

6) Take Baby Steps:  For me, just getting out of bed and doing the normal things were difficult.  Take baby steps.  Start by getting a shower first thing and getting a good breakfast.  Don't expect too much at first.  Do the simple things.  Develop some sort of simplified routine for your day/week.  This will help you to have structure.  Also be flexible because things change and you must learn to bend.

7) Do What You Can:  You can only do what you can in a day.  You can only do what you can in a day.  You can only do what you can in a day.  

8) Don't Over Commit:  Do you need to take some things off your plate?  It's okay to take a step back from  certain obligations in your life that are weighing you down for now.

9) Take Care Of Yourself:  Get your rest.  Bathe yourself.  Eat right.  Drink water.  Get some sort of exercise during the day.

10)  Remember God Is With You:  You are not alone!  God is with you every step of the way.  He has a purpose in allowing you to go through this.  It is ultimately to bring His name glory and to encourage someone else.  Read and meditate on Psalm 139.  It will help you.  

11) Simplicity Vs. Gain:  Don't be greedy of gain.  Proverbs 1:19 says, "19 Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors."  Whatever that gain may be.  A better figure?  A better bank account?  A better social status?  Fame?  Your wants vs. serving others in your home?  God wants us to love simplicity and to seek wisdom above all else.  Where do we find wisdom?  In God's Word.

12) Find Time To Laugh:  This might sound silly, but find time to laugh.  Don't take everything so seriously.  Laughing is good for the soul!


13) Cast Down Your Idols:  I came to realize that I had many idols I was holding onto in my life.  The idol of perfect.  The idol of a perfect body/weight.  The idol of pleasing people.  Cast down any idols in your life.  Depression feeds on idol worship.  They suck and devour it and it gives it strength.  Cut it off at the root.  Cast down this depression's life line!


14) Remember This Is Just A Season:  Whether you are experiencing depression for a day, week, month, or several years, in light of eternity, this is just a season of life.  Glorify God in it.


15) Ask God For Wisdom:  He will give you wisdom.  Seek it above all else.  Think about the things you love... you go to great lengths to make those things happen.  Search for wisdom above even those very precious things.   

Proverbs 2:6-11

For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
    he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
guarding the paths of justice
    and watching over the way of his saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice
    and equity, every good path;
10 
for wisdom will come into your heart,
    and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
11 
discretion will watch over you,
    understanding will guard you,"


I love you!  If you are experiencing a time of depression in your life, seek His face!  If you have a history of clinical depression, please seek medical help.  What I am experiencing is a season of depression; I am no expert on clinical depression.

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16 comments :

  1. Sweetheart, I think it is normal to be depressed...Grant is still quite young (hormones!) and it is normal to feel overwhelmed!

    I bathe myself in worship music...just yesterday I had a song going through my head. We had sang it at church on Sunday and I couldn't get it out of my head. I found it on youtube and sat in my recliner listening to it over and over...I found myself alone raising my Voice AND my Hands to Him! I felt so at peace afterwards...

    here it is:
    http://youtu.be/BGAZVASoUv4

    blessings,
    melody

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  2. Traci, I am so sorry for this place you are in, but I know that God has you all wrapped up in his incredible love and care. I've been there, and the suggestions you give here are so spot on!

    I'm adding you to my prayer list!!

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  3. Anonymous7:33 AM

    That was a beautiful was to share a painful experience.
    I go through those seasons, and I refuse to "struggle" with depression. I realized a few years back that sometimes depression came when it was perfectly needed. As a time of stillness, rest, reflection and getting prayed up!! Grateful for all circumstance in life! From these, true knowledge is learned <3 thanks again beautiful woman of God!!
    ~Kristi Young~

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  4. Sweet sister, you know I understand this all too well. I love your list and wholeheartedly agree with everything you've suggested! Thank you for sharing your heart and your situation -- God can and will use it for your good and His glory.

    Praying with you, Traci. ((hugs))

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  5. God just used this post to touch my heart in a mighty way. I sent you an email. Thank you so much for your honesty. Thank you thank you. I am your newest follower.
    Ashleigh

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  6. Hi Traci,
    So sorry you are going through this, but what a wonderful perspective you have gained! I pray that this season will serve God's purpose for it in your life and pass quickly!
    Love you!

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  7. Hi Traci,
    I'm so sorry you are going through this, but it what a wonderful perspective you have on it! I pray it will serve God's purpose in your life and pass quickly!

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  8. I have my seasons too- and I am sorry to hear you are having one now! You are so right to cling to Him and His Word.. and saying it OUT LOUD is so good for the soul! I have found that when I try not to let anyone "see" what's really going on... it is impossible to fight.

    We really, truly need help to fight this one. Friends, family, and God's.

    You may appreciate some of my musings here: http://www.weakandloved.com/p/depression.html

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  9. Great suggestions. . .I wish none of us ever had to go through this season, but I think you are right, by owning it--you can start taking steps to deal with it. I think in my need to simplify and "go" this year--it's because life was moving to fast and I wasn't making much head way. . .praying things turn around for you. Thank you for stopping by my blog today--it was appreciated! Always a happy day when I "meet" someone new. May blessings abound!

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  10. Having been through seasons of depression myself (sometimes, I think I've been there for the past 6.25 years, too), what you have posted is right on, especially that the first step is to acknowledge you are depressed. It sounds like I not only need you to call and encourage me, but that I should do the same in return!

    It's not easy being a mom of little ones. The physical demands are often overwhelming, and there are days when it seems like the endless laundry and diapers will never stop, but they will. Yes, there will be other challenges, but for now, enjoy these days when your children are young. They grow up so fast!

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  11. Anonymous5:25 AM

    Thank you for writing such a wise and encouraging post. Your are a testimony of how God uses our struggles for good if we turn to Him...as you have done here. I have not visited your site before but glad I found this today. I am a mom of 6 young ones, and only after having my 6th experienced this. Seeking the Lord with you. Blessings!

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  12. Those are great points, thanks for being so practical and thorough!

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  13. Wow, that was awesome and heartfelt. I know that your thoughts will help many people. I have had some seasonal depression myself. I was just talking with my daughter today who has been struggling with depression. I am going to send her your link.Your list was really excellent; thanks for sharing this.
    Also, thanks for dropping by my blog. I will be back again.

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  14. Thank you so much for addressing this issue that so many are ashamed of. I too have struggled for many years with depression. I would also add that just as our other parts of our body can get "sick" so through hormones, chemical imbalances, our brains can get sick. I feel so passionately about this that I have a page on my blog dealing with encouraging those that are struggling with depression and some suggested resources. http://www.amothersheritage.com/depression/

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  15. I think depression is such a relevant topic to today's youth. I'm glad you've found a way to hear Christ's voice through your depression. I'm glad he gives you a reason to hope. All the best!

    http://paintingariver.blogspot.com/

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  16. This is wonderful, thank you so much for sharing. I need this for myself and will share with others as well. The Lord brought me here today. Blessings to you dear one. ~ Abby

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