EXPRESSIONS Opinion

The Face of Depression – Turning Point For Me

I am Treasured, Needed & Vital To Myself & Many Others

Invisible

While I was engaging in activities (eating healthy, etc.) I thought would help me combat sadness, it all seemed futile and just not enough. Suicide would cross my mind from time to time. Fortunately suicide was not an option because even in my darkness, I just could not justify ending my life. I knew how much my friends and family loved me, knew how much my absence would affect them and knew some people (seemed few and sometimes insignificant) relied on me… the homeless guy on the street I sometimes give a dollar or cedi to, or that school girl I was mentoring. I thought dying would be very selfish, and really unfair to my family and friends. It wasn’t an option. So that was the first breakthrough for me.

I am Endowed; I had LIFE

Once I realized death wasn’t an option, I started looking around and acknowledging all I have been fortunate with, which led to my second discovery… I had life! At the time, a neighbor saw how broken I was and recommended I seek help from a professional. So I did.  I remember crying so much through the conversations that the counselor could barely hear me. It was enough tears to drown in. I had never cried that much in my life. Needless to say, the conversations went really really well and helped me think through all the resources I  am blessed with; my councilors, through stories and their experiences in life, made it clear to me that I am indeed important, vital and treasured, and that being severely sad was only temporary, that things will fall back into place. I had always known that I was endowed, that my life was important, but the facts never really materialized for me during my time of depression. I had LIFE! Honestly, this was a huge realization. I also began to recognize I had so much even during the times when I felt I was poor: I had a place to live, food to eat, an excellent education…etc.

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Another realization was how beautiful I was as a person. I’m usually very shy when people compliment me, but it was different this time in a good way. I actually saw myself as a strikingly lovely person, with a good heart and saw that as an asset. I am so glad I rediscovered my own virtue because it has had a lasting impact on me through this process. If you are struggling with depression, consider writing down all the positive things about you; include attributes you normally will not consider. No point is too small. A scripture that was particularly helpful to me during this particular stage is Psalms 139:11 – I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

You See, You are Stronger Than You Give Yourself Credit

While depressed, I felt hollow and sometimes very weak (powerless). I hadn’t considered getting medication because I didn’t even know or wanted to know how to go about it. I had considered seeing a psychiatrist/counselor but didn’t have the budget for it (I am thankful to the neighbor that managed to get me free counseling). I sat down to figure out what I had at my disposal and how to use it. In the process, I discovered how strong a person I am. So strong, I am now comfortable, able, and empowered enough to share this publicly.

Sometimes it takes going through something very difficult to realize how resilient you are. If you are feeling how I felt, I challenge you to take that extra step today. Go out and meet a random person who can counsel you, pick up the phone and talk to someone. Find your strengths and allow them to work for you and in your favor.

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I use the words “good” and “honestly positive” people because those that are not, are often critical.  You are sad and don’t want to be talking to someone who is judgmental, or feel and act as though they have it all together that they don’t understand why you are sad, or even worse, someone who does not care.  For me, I couldn’t define what “friends” meant. I make friends very easily and at any point in time, I have too many “friends.” When I was depressed, I didn’t feel a real connection to any of the people I called friends, at least not enough to call and talk to them. People were either far away, not interested, judgmental, or I felt at the time just didn’t care. Those whom I knew cared were going through their own challenges and were far away. Why should I be an added burden?

This was a mistake. I now think I should have approached them anyway, because it would have also helped them know that someone, a friend, was going through the same thing and maybe we could have worked on it together. I couldn’t ascertain, at the time, if it was appropriate to add my burden to theirs. The point I am trying to make is, find people who are honest, positive, loving and are willing to listen. For me it was really random pockets of people that helped me during critical times in this process. They weren’t necessarily people I knew or were friends with. Every situation is of course different, , but don’t give up on  people who have loved you and cared for your throughout times in your life, even if  they are busy; still reach out.

Source: Fabulously Fit and Fine  

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