It was in 2015 that I experienced depression. It seemed liked it came out of nowhere. There was no particular event in my life which triggered it. I knew some triggers for depression were; death of loved ones, loneliness, bullying, illnesses, medication and abuse.
The depression came like a dark cloud on a sunny day. For the first week or two, I did not think I was depressed, I simply thought I was sad. I mean, I am that girl you see smiling and laughing. I am that friend who is there to encourage and support. I am a little cheerleader.
However, as the weeks went by, that cloud grew bigger. I was still going through the motions of my day-to-day routine but internally I was not the same. Internally I was void with moments of sadness and self doubt. These emotions would create a vicious cycle because the more I doubted myself, the sadder and more depressed I became.
As the weeks rolled by, I realized this was not something I could simply shake off. There is a pain that’s indescribable when you cannot even recognize yourself. I looked the same externally but mentally and emotionally I was different. I probably cried everyday at least once. I cried for the girl I was and the girl I had become. I just wanted to find myself again.
Depression hurts everyone.
At the month and half mark, I told my mom how I was feeling. My mom was so concerned and hurt. She was watching her bubbly child disappear before her eyes and there was nothing she could physically do to help. So every day she took me to school we repeated, “God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Seeing how my depression was negatively affecting my mom hurt me more than what I was going through.
I only told one or two friends what I was going through. They too were surprised; everything seemed fine, I was still smiling. They encouraged me with inspirational quotes and words. I had a whole new understanding of the phrase being alone in a crowd. I knew that they were there for me but I still felt alone. I agreed with every positive thing they stated but there was a disconnect between what was said and how I felt.
Why can’t I just be happy? Stop hurting your loved ones. When will I move from under this cloud? – all of these things echoed in my mind as the weeks continued to roll on by.
You can overcome depression.
For me, I knew that only God could rescue me. Everyday I would ask God for help and strength to make it through the day. I was confident that God would bring me out this depression. I refused to be defeated.
Everyday I listened to gospel songs such as ‘We are Victorious’, ‘More than a Conqueror’ and Oceans (Where Feet May Fail). I also listened to sermons by Joel Osteen and T.D Jakes during the day. I reminded myself that I was blessed to be alive, in good health and to have a family who loves and supports me. I filled my spirit with only positivity. I did not look on social media to see how anyone was doing. This was done to avoid any comparison I may have made between myself and someone. I looked at myself in the mirror and said “you are beautiful, intelligent and wonderful. You are special because God made you.” I was reaffirming myself, not because my mom, friends or even strangers didn’t tell me these things but rather because I had to cheer up my own self. By doing these things I didn't automatically become happy, it still took time for me to move from under that cloud of depression. I repeated these things did this until I became happy again. As the cloud started to float away, I started the 30-day gratitude challenge in which you have to write 3 things in your life that you are grateful for. This served as a reminder that everyday there are things or people to be grateful for.
Depression can happen to anyone, be supportive.
Even though this experience was awful, I am still blessed. There are individuals who suffer with depression on an ongoing basis and some people have no one in their lives to talk to. Some individuals become suicidal as a result of depression. I have become an even stronger person mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
I advise everyone to really check in on your loved ones. Too often we are too superficial, we ask but don’t really ask. Don’t let a smile fool you; more often than not, there is pain behind it. Be positive to others- give a compliment! Take time to listen. Don’t invalidate people’s emotions. Be compassionate. Always, always let your loved ones know you are there for them.
Char is the Editor of doseofinspiration246.com. A firm believer in Christ and has a deep love for her family. Char believes that we should always seek to uplift and encourage each other and she desires to continuously promote positivity.