Battling with the darkness of Depression
Battling Depression (PART 2)
Click here to read last weeks (Part 1) The Suffering Dark Place of Depression
Continuing on from last week’s blog. I’d like to say that I am writing about a time in my life when I was Battling Depression in my early to mid twenties. A time when I didn’t want to accept that I was depressed. Then a doctor diagnosed me and labelled me as “clinically depressed”. At the time I felt completely unhappy, miserable, sad, isolated, desolated, gloomy and hopeless. Depression crept up and around me and squeezed me tightly, it felt like it was trying to extinguish me. I reached a few low points, where I no longer wanted to live. It felt like their was no way out. I had no idea what to do, in fact, I wasn’t even aware that something could be done.
By coincidence, at that time, I found a handmade cross that had been given to me by some Christian believers, when I lived in Tenerife. It said “Angela, Jesus Loves You”. I never put a pass on it before, because the only time I ever heard about Jesus was from my primary school books, and that’s all I knew of him. As I read the words “Angela, Jesus Loves You”, I was taken in by them, but at the same time I thought, “sure, what good is that”. Many times, I looked at Jesus and I said through my anger and tears, “if you really loved me, you wouldn’t leave me in this state, so you obviously don’t care, its all a joke and you’re just a made up story”.
Find someone, talk to someone
Over time, somehow, I was put in touch with a councillor who gave me sessions free of charge, because she was in training. At first, I didn’t trust her. But having the freedom to talk at will, with someone who seemed to be interested to hear what I had to say, I began to see that this was really helping – my thoughts and pain were no longer spiralling in my mind, with no outlet. This was the initial stage of a breakthrough, there was no way I would have talked about this to anyone I knew. I needed a complete stranger who didn’t know me, or anything about me. From whom I could walk away from and trust that nobody else would know about me. During these sessions, what was highlighted for me was that I had completely rejected myself and all that I was.
Finding the source of depression
It became clear that one of the root sources went back to my primary school days, when for four long harrowing years I was severely physically and mentally bullied. This went on from third class to sixth class and I thought that once I went to secondary school, I would be ok, that I could just forget about it, because I never had to see him again. However, the physical pain, constant taunts, judgemental accusations and angry words had pierced my soul too deeply for me to just brush it off. In my mind I was that pitiful, stupid, fat, ugly girl that no one liked. In fact, as the years went on I believed that I was despised, and worth nothing. A broken record of lies played around and around in my head and as I listened to these lies, I sunk deeper and deeper into negativity and self pity. My true self was lost and suppressed.
However, through time and talking, I soon came to realise that this was not the truth. This was the next step in breaking through. Understanding that these ideas that had planted themselves deep within my psyche and now had grown up to try and choke the life out of me, were all lies.
God is Love and I am loved by him
The saying, “sticks and stones may break your bones, and words can never hurt you” is absolutely rubbish. Unless you have a strong, mature mind that can discern the accuracy and source of intention that they come from. Words, Words and more Words have the power to build you up or to tear you down. WORDS, yes words! I had to start writing out encouraging, loving and truthful words and placing them on my mirror, writing them on my hands, notepads, recording them into my dictaphone. WORDS can build you up. And it was during this time that I began to have a sense of God the Father watching over me and guiding me. Urged on by this, I began to search for passages in the Bible, and read those words repeatedly. Words that helped me realise that God cared from me. It was the start of my journey where I ended up seeking God out and he revealed to me my true identity – I was loved by him and he sought after me, because I was a child of God.
2 Corinthians 6:18: And I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.
When I was journeying through the darkness of depression, I started writing some songs that helped me through this time. I wrote this song called “I Want to hold Your Hand” which was inspired by my inner sense that God wanted to help me. In fact he wanted to hold my hand and bring me through the darkness.
SPOTIFY Listen to I Want to Hold Your Hand
Very powerful words Angela and I can relate to the confusion before you sought help. We need more dialogue around mental health and we need to educate our young people to recognise the symptoms in themselves. From my own experience I believe that the twenties are a particularly vulnerable time as we are trying to find our way and our place in the world and don’t have the wisdom or the insight to recognise mental illness within ourselves. Thank you for your courage and honesty I’m sure it will help others x
[…] The Suffering Dark place of Depression (Part 1) Part 2 […]