I grew up in a world of pain and heartache. It led me down the cold and dark path and I couldn’t win when fighting depression, and it invaded my heart. It’s still there, waiting to pop out and attack me. I still fight it every day. Part of me wants to write a lie, saying that I’m over it, but that’s an epic daydream. One thing you’ll have to remember is being attacked and being occupied are two separate things, and I refuse to allow depression to take root in my heart again.
The key for me now, is that I recognize it. I’ve learned who my enemy is, and I can see him coming from a distance. I understand now that I have a choice, fight or surrender. Far too often I find myself surrendering, and I’m sick of it.
Depression isn’t just about brain chemistry. Instead, there are many different things that can cause it. While you have a choice to fight, you don’t have to fight alone. If you’re fighting depression get help. Call a friend, visit a doctor, and get some exercise.
While I can’t say the above items will alleviate your depression, I can say they’ve helped me and are my go-to methods towards victory.
How You Can Start Fighting Depression.
On a side note, depression isn’t something to mess around with. You cannot fight this battle alone. Call a friend, family member, or counselor. When you fight, the battle is easier when you have a friend alongside you. It could be the difference between winning or losing, and if you can’t stop fighting depression, you’ll lose everything. You can’t afford to lose this battle.
You might be reading this, and you feel lonely. I don’t know if you made the choice to be alone, or if the choice was made for you. It doesn’t really matter, because you can make a choice now. There are people in the world who would love to have you around. Don’t believe the lies that speak to your heart, focus on who you are, and who you can become. Run away from negativity, and stop doubting yourself.
Also, pick up the phone, shoot someone a text, or make a call. You have to let somebody know what you’re going through.
Life Moves Pretty Fast. If You Don’t Stop And Look Around One In Awhile, You Could Miss It. Ferris Bueller
I love the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” He’s everything I wanted to be when I was growing up. He was a teenager fighting the system, and I learned some cool tricks for skipping school.
However, I started to use these very same tricks in my adulthood. I wanted to avoid people and social eventually, I just fell off the map, and my friends didn’t know what had happened to me.
Eventually I didn’t have friends anymore.
How To Keep Fighting Depression.
There’s a lot of people in this world who have experienced worse things than I have. My story is not a great story of sadness, but It’s my story, and it pierced my soul. I post my depression stories for you, I want you to see there’s a way out. The world needs you, you don’t have to continue fighting depression.
I used to believe nobody loved me, that God didn’t care, and my friends were just playing a game by pretending they cared. I could never figure out the point of the game, and logically the game didn’t make sense. Why lie about being my friend? Every night, I’d lie awake and the demons in my head would come. I’d spend half the night fighting them, and go to school exhausted. Fighting Depression doesn’t make sense, its lies have burrowed deep into your mind.
Eventually as time went on, I didn’t need somebody to lie or hurt me. I had such a low opinion of myself, that I became trapped in a prison. It was of my own design. Somehow I avoided thoughts of suicide, but instead I wanted to make the people around me miserable, it was my only way out.
When you start Fighting depression two things need to happen.
- You need to realize/take stock in your situation. This means you take an objective look without bias and really see where you’re at. This is very difficult to do, but it needs to be done.
- After this, you’ll need to make a decision. What are you going to do?
What To Do When Fighting Depression
At the heart of my depression was fear. Fear was instilled into my heart at a very young age. My father was the guy who screamed and yelled at the T.V. and if I made noise or drew attention to myself. I’d get the brunt of it. I learned to be quiet and go unnoticed while I was young. It’s how you avoid pain, be unnoticed.
Fighting Depression Runs In My Family
I had four sisters and one brother, and being one of 6 kids gave an edge in this. One of us was always getting into trouble and as long as my issue wasn’t greater than the others, I’d be in the clear. However things started to get worse with my father, and I almost feel that he went crazy for a bit. He started to skip work, and his bouts of screaming and yelling were a nightly occurrence. I remember fearing for my life and not wanting to go home anymore.
The fear and depression came from a lack of stability. Early on my father would be awesome, and he’d joke around with us. One time we even went on a walk to feed some ducks. That’s one of the few good memories I have with him and I still look back on that with fondness. As time went on good memories were made less often and we were faced with an angry monster that we couldn’t fathom.
My Development Was Stunted Early On
As a child in elementary school, you look to your parents as the protectors, and your dad is supposed to be Superman. I saw mine as the evil man in my house, and I don’t remember looking up to him.
I learned fast to be self reliant. Letting others in would only hurt me, and I couldn’t ever let that happen.
Life Became Pointless, I Hit A Slump
When I was a teenager I stayed away from home as much as I could. I could rest, and regain some strength at a friend’s house. Their houses made sense to me. My father was just getting angrier, and I knew something bad was going to happen soon. There was a feeling of deep dread inside my bones. I wondered if someday I could hurt my father. Possibly even kill him.
On the flip side, whenever I went somewhere and jumped into a new group. I spent my time trying to convince others and myself how awesome I was. I don’t think I was ever good at playing the game, and I grew tired of it quickly. Whenever I went to a friend’s house I died a little inside. It was like God kept slapping me in the face, showing me what he thought I shouldn’t have.
Nothing would stop the voices when I went home. Every night I’d hear the same thing. I don’t deserve to live, I’m a screwup, Or I’ll never amount to anything. These were the demons I fought nightly, and for a long time, they won every night.
I Began Avoiding Relationships
Whenever I fall into a bout of depression, love became a difficult concept to grasp. I’m not even talking about Jesus, God, Or the Holy Spirit. I’m talking about my mom and siblings. The lies get so entrenched that you don’t even question them. You feel like a screwup, and you believe you are. In reality, you’ve had a minor setback. You’re close to succeeding.
I think this is why many suicides happen when people are depressed. When you’re fighting depression it warps your thoughts, beliefs, and your view of people. You can’t see who loves and cares for you. Instead, you believe it to be fake, or nonexistent.
If you’re thinking of suicide, know that you are loved, and the world needs you. Pick up the phone and fight the lies. Call a friend, family member, coworker, anybody. Be honest, and tell them what you feel.
You shouldn’t have to fight alone, and Jesus is here to fight with you. Ask him to help you, and he will be there.
Why Is Fighting Depression So Hard?
In my Junior or Senior year of High School, some changes started to happen in my family. The changes brought about mental change inside of me. First, my mother kicked my father out, by filing a restraining order on him. This was huge for me because he was a disturbance in our house. The second huge change involved me getting my Driver’s License. I was free to go where I wanted.
I Was Scared Of Social Interactions
Because of the way I grew up, I never learned to handle my emotions properly. The rule of thumb in our house was to keep it bottled up. When you showed emotion you were made fun of.
It took me years to get over this issue, I learned that letting my emotions out, can be beneficial. When I started doing it, everything came out. At the same time, I’d lock up whenever I felt intense emotions. It was like my heart was gone, and I just had to deal with it.
It was weird because I’d turn stone-faced, I’d be dying inside and the person next to me wouldn’t even notice. I could fake my way through anything.
On the bright side I bluff in poker really well, but it’s not the best trade off.
I found my freedom with a license, finally, I could leave and walk away. However I couldn’t just leave, my little sisters were still there. I needed to be there for them, as best I could be anyway.
Life Became A Daily Battle With My Mind
Daily depression was difficult, and I couldn’t let anybody around me know what I was dealing with. I was petrified that my friends would think I’m a freak and remember being two hours late to a hangout with friends. Since I was the driver they were understandably angry. I joked around and said I’d lost track of time. I couldn’t tell them I was at home sitting on my bed, petrified to leave the house.
Most of the time, when I had plans, I’d be alright. However there was a couple times a month, where I just couldn’t do it. Facing people scared me, and I didn’t wanna leave my room. Whenever these issues came up, it’d take me a couple hours to break free.
I would lock up in my room, worried about situations that I was going through. After a while, I’d get the nerve up, and leave the house. My friends called being late, “pulling a Sterling.”
It sucked, I was desperate to tell them, or anybody, but I couldn’t risk it.
My Friends Set Me Free
I know they meant well, it just hurt when they said things like that. They had no idea what I was facing, and they didn’t know how much I needed them. In retrospect, I know I would’ve gone crazy without them.
Being around kids my own age started to change my perspective, and that was good and bad. It seemed like there was always something going on. I went to pool parties, went skateboarding, and rode minibikes.
I got to see how people really acted, and it was awesome. However I never really dealt with my underlying issues, and the events just hid them.
Depression retreated into the back of my mind, and for a long time, I was content. I had a group of friends that I could call at any time. At the drop of a hat we’d all be somewhere epic, and having fun. I thought I was healed, there was no pain I could feel, but that was far from the truth.
Fighting Depression Made Me Hide From People And That Made Things Worse.
God has a plan for everything, and he saw what I was doing, I was hiding. All the events and parties I attended were social masks. Deep down, I still hurt and felt the pain.
I was a popular guy, everybody loved being around me, but that didn’t change when I went home. There were nights where I just cried and laid in bed, wondering what was wrong with me. I was surrounded by people cheering me on, and I felt utterly alone.
It’s a hard thing to describe, it’s even harder to live, but if you’ve experienced this, you’ll know what I mean.
I needed a change and felt like my friends wouldn’t understand if I tried to explain. I had two or three close friendships. These guys knew me, but the rest of them, I kept my distance. This made for some shallow relationships. Nobody knew what I wanted in life, and I felt like nobody cared.
I Decided To Stop Fighting, And Start Living.
After I graduated from High School, I lived at home and got a full-time job. All I wanted was to make money. I believed money to be power, and I thought it would give me happiness, but I still felt empty inside.
Somehow I stumbled across an opportunity to attend a discipleship school, in Jackson, Mississippi. I felt drawn to go, and it scared me half to death. Eventually, I faced my fear, loaded up my Camaro, and drove South.
The ministry was small but I had lucked out and scored a place by myself. This was my first time away from home, and I got homesick quickly. The loneliness brought my depression to the surface, and in the first few weeks, it started to grow. In my house at home, there was always family around. Now, there was nobody, and I was left to myself.
Eventually, I’d realize my mistake, the last few years I’d built who I am on the people around me. Now I was alone and I realized my problems were still there, staring me in the face. I didn’t know how to handle it, so I did the only thing I could and started to pray.
Starting On The Path To Freedom
In discipleship school, I prayed regularly. It was the perfect safety valve. God knew my issues already, so why not tell him everything? It was a solid plan and looking back, I can see my healing begin.
When I get depressed it becomes difficult to see reality, I believe lies and I can’t remember the truth. They would burrow into my mind, laying eggs that would hatch when I’d least expect it.
Your mind can force you to believe some crazy things.
But You Shall Know The Truth And The Truth will Set You FreeJesus – Quote From John 8:36 (Bible)
Prayer Brought Healing And Stopped My Fight With Depression
It was Sunday night, and I was in church. We had an evangelist as a guest speaker that night. He asked if people wanted prayer and if so come down to the altar. I was kinda nervous because altar calls can get kinda weird to me. The altar was calling me, but I didn’t wanna go.
I kept refusing to go, and the Holy Spirit continued to prompt me, saying get up and go. There was no joy in my heart, but I decided to obey. When you want something from God, sometimes you’ll need to take the first step. He’ll move and make everything work but you need to do your part.
I stood at the altar, and the evangelist started to pray. He looked over and saw me. Then in a few quick strides was in front of me. With a strong voice he began to speak:
Boy, You Look Like Samson On The Outside, But God Wants To Make You Like Samson On The Inside. Southern Evangelist (quote as close as I can remember)
A Simple Prophecy Gave Me Strength While Fighting Depression
I’ve heard the same prophecy quite a few times, and I never knew what to make of it, because I didn’t have a proper view of myself. When Fighting Depression you stop being your true self. It halts personal growth and will prevent you from being who you were made to be.
He finished praying, gave me a hug, and moved onto the next person. I sat down at the altar, stunned and didn’t know what to do. This was a milestone in my life because I realized how much God loved me, and his plan for my life was amazing.
After that, a realization started to happen in my heart. I finally saw the lies of depression that I’d been believing. There were people around me, that’d I’d been hurting because I was hurting myself. That day I made a promise to myself. It was time for a change.
Why Fighting Depression Is Difficult.
Getting to the point where you stop fighting depression and get it under control can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. I’m still praying for full deliverance, and I’m believing it will happen soon. God never comes in our time. Instead, he works things out in perfection, our duty is to trust him.
Below are some tools I’ve used in the past that have helped me stay focused.
Surrender Your Heart To Jesus
The name of Jesus gets a lot of flack nowadays. If you have an issue with him, or this sentence makes you mad. Ask yourself why? What about him or his teachings do you hate? I bet your anger isn’t towards him. Most likely it’s based on a church or a group of Christians. I’ve been mad at Christians and I’ve been disappointed in Churches. You have to remember, they aren’t Jesus. They’re followers, and people make mistakes.
Don’t stop Jesus from doing something in your life because another person hurts you. Don’t ever let anybody have that type of influence on you. God gave you a brain and heart. Use them. Choose who you allow to influence you. It’s your life and you’ll be held accountable for it.
How To Follow Jesus
Following Jesus is the best choice I’ve ever made. The decision to give my life to him is what finally gave me the strength to fight. He didn’t deliver me from depression, instead, he gave me the strength to fight it.
To give your life to Jesus, you have to do two things. Confess and believe. You’ll mess up, and things will get harder. But he’ll be walking beside you, and that’s the best part.
Say This Prayer to Jesus:
Dear Jesus, I’m broken, and I’ve sinned against you. Please come into my life and forgive me. Show me the path to you, and thank you for dying and rising again for me. -Elijah
Did you mean it? Do you feel anything different? Talk with him daily, start reading the Bible. Start in the book of John It’s the story of Jesus.
Get Friends Who Will Be Honest With You
It wasn’t until college that I realized it. When fighting depression I will withdraw from people. Leaving society only makes the depression battle worse, and it’s harder to bounce back from it.
I lived through Hurricane Katrina, and in College had issues with flashbacks. They would come and go at the worst times, but I would never tell anybody I had them. I worried that I was losing my mind, and wondered why now? So instead of telling somebody, I kept my emotions bottled up, and this went on until I almost burst.
I had some really awesome study friends in college. One day I was having horrible flashbacks and had plans to study with a friend of mine. I met up with her at a coffee shop, and after a while, she asked what was going on with me.
I told her nothing, and went back to studying.
She looked straight at me and started laughing. “That’s the problem. You don’t study, and you haven’t spoken in 10 minutes. That’s not like you. What is wrong?”
I didn’t like the idea of bringing anything up in the middle of a coffee shop, but I did feel like I was about to burst.
Good Friends Will Fight Depression With You
I didn’t tell her, but I made some excuses up and thought it passed well. It didn’t, and it caused her to be concerned. She found our Pastor and told him to find me.
An hour later I was at church, and he gave me a cup of coffee and asked me to sit down. Once I took my seat, he asked a few questions, and then everything came out.
It took 4-5 hours before I finished. I had told him stories about Hurricane Katrina, that I’d never told anybody. A lot of these memories were haunting me, and to this day I don’t wanna think about it. While I spoke the Pastor didn’t say a word. He listened and that’s exactly what I needed.
He prayed for me and I felt a lot lighter, it was like the burden fell off my back. I’d been holding onto the pain for so long, that my wound was festering. In my heart I was getting sick, I’m thankful for that night. I’ll never forget it.
Find friends that’ll drop everything for you, and don’t forget to do the same for them.
Sometimes Leaving The House Is Fighting Depression
Whenever depression hits if I let it fester, a vicious cycle will begin. Fear will creep into my heart and I won’t go out, but then feel horrible because I’m an extravert who needs people. The whole time I’m home, I’ll be missing and thinking about what I’m missing. Then I get more depressed, it’s a vicious cycle. It’s why I work from coffee shops when I’m working from home, at least I get to see people.
You have to break this cycle in your life. Even if you’re introverted, find a small group of people to meet up with. It’ll help you in the long run. Familiar relationships will help you find your freedom.
Learn Your Triggers, What Leads You Into A Battle With Depression?
What happened right before I got depressed? Is it related? How does depression fit into what happened? If you can answer those questions, you can find your trigger.
I sometimes let my mind wander, and for the most part, that’s okay. However, when I’m under a lot of stress, a wandering mind can lead me to fight depression. It’s really difficult to dig myself out of it too.
To combat it, when I’m stressed out I keep goals to try and focus my thoughts. Most of these goals are solutions to problems in my life. If I focus on problems, the depression wins, but if I force myself to come up with two different solutions, I’ll focus on those. It keeps me positive, focused, and I avoid a vicious downward spiral.
Look at the times a battle with depression hits you, see what is similar, and see how you can disrupt those trains of thought. A lot of depression management is avoiding the path you’ve walked before.
Get A Hobby And Stop Fighting Depression For A Few Hours
Snowboarding is how I expend my excess energy in the winter. There’s something about dropping into a run at high speed that blows my mind. It increased the endorphins and gives you a natural high.
I can’t Snowboard in the summer so I go biking. For me, it’s not the same rush, but a good workout is always recommended. I’ll go running if things get bad enough, but my world has to be falling apart.
What do you enjoy? What puts a smile on your face? Sit down and make a list so you’re ready for the next time you’re fighting depression. Let your hobbies be a way to get lost for awhile. If you can shut down and stop, you’ve broken to chain, and you might avoid getting depressed. At the very least, you’ve lessened the brunt of it.
My Conclusion On Fighting Depression
In this blog, I’ve told you stories about my path to healing and freedom from depression. Now it’s your choice. The die has been cast, what will you do? I want you to remember a few more important things.
- You are here for a purpose.
- The world needs you to do what you’re here for.
- You are loved even when you don’t feel it.
- Long-term solutions are NEVER good for short-term problems.
- Make the choice, stick to it, and remind yourself every day. You are special. You Are Important, And the world isn’t the same without you.
One thing I’ve never done is seek professional help. Other than a few Pastors, Mentors, and Teachers. While I believe Jesus can heal anything, I also believe he gave Doctors and Psychiatrists wisdom to deal with physical and mental problems.
Seek help, especially if you’re thinking of suicide. Pray to God, call a doctor, and get ahold of a close friend. Do whatever it takes to find help, even going up to strangers and talking with them. The world needs you, and nobody else can accomplish what you were placed here for. You have a purpose.