Wonderful Walk

The wonderful and not so wonderful things we face during our walk with God

We all go through struggles. The problem is, we think we are alone.

 

Please visit [ wonderful walk.blog.com ] to read my previous blogs. Thank you! :)

Oh Haaaaay

Once again, I have been totally neglecting staying on top of blogging! However, because this is not my original site, I've decided to post some of my first posts justttt incase some of y'all didn't visit my old site posted on my home page ;)

I chose to post this particular topic because in the past couple of months I have learned that too many people close to me are carrying this burden alone-- afraid to let anyone know or to talk about it.

So, here is this link:

http://wonderfulwalk.blog.com/2013/12/04/the-“d”-word/

And here is the post-- "The D Word"

Depression is kind of the taboo of our generation. It is not talked about, it is not known about, and it is not something we openly tell others if we are going through it. It’s that one thing you whisper about IF you talk about it.

For most, they feel ashamed of falling “victim” to this monster we call depression. That’s when the guilt sets in.

Depression can be caused by various things and affect everyone in different aspects of their lives.

For me, the depression came when the one person I trusted more than anyone demolished my self-worth. It was completely unintentional. My mom also struggles with depression and has for much longer than I have.

I have just recently been introduced to this monster, and so far, I don’t like him. I tried to hide the fact that I was going though this period of self-loathing, regret, self-blaming, not forgiving myself, feeling weak and insignificant, and so on. I was ashamed that it was happening to me—and winning.

It really is like a monster that sneaks up and covers your eyes to where you can’t see what’s actually going on. It only allows you see what it tells you or allows you to see.

The things I named that I was feeling—self-pity, grief, hopelessness— were all thoughts from the devil. I did say depression was a monster, right? That is the devil, himself.

His one goal is to make you hate yourself and believe lies, to lose faith in the Lord and not trust His plan. He does this through lies. Through doubt. Through tempting you to believe the absolute worst about yourself. This is how he got me.

“Your enemy the devil prowls around like a lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, stand firm in the faith.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)

I took it out on those I loved the most, and as you can imagine, those relationships suffered severely. Luckily, God made them strong enough to stay by my side regardless of the ridiculous ways I was treating them. And when the time came, God let them rest while I took the reigns to my life back from satan. When the time came, I was stripped of everything. Like I mentioned in my previous post, I do think that needed to happen. I believe that I did needed to be stripped of everything to only lean on God. I believe this because this is how I began to overpower my depression.

It took a thorough understanding of how this all works—devil vs. God—to understand what I need to do to not let it win.  I needed to forgive myself.

You will probably notice a reoccurring theme to my posts of “forgiving oneself” and that’s simply because it is 100% a necessity of living peacefully.

It did take me time; however, to get the point where I realized I was holding on to too much pain, regret, and self –doubt, before everything turned around. For months I only shared my troubles with a select few, and thank God for those few. They refused to leave during my absolute worst time and experienced me in a low that I had not even seen before. With God working through those people, I made it through the worst of it. Finally, the time came when God let those who had been helping me stand up know that it was time to let me stand on my own. God would not have taken them away if I had not been able to handle things without them. He ALWAYS knows what He is doing, and He NEVER lets you be alone. That was the other part that ties back to my need to be stripped of everything—I needed the silence in order to hear God. I needed to be as vulnerable as I could be so I that I would finally cry out to Him to help me.

Along with God working through my friends, He also worked through the counselor I was lead to, and when I needed it, He also lead me to medication.

 

Counseling

Counseling is something my mom was very much opposed to. One of her best friends is a counselor and she gives worksheets and other tools for those who see her to do. My mom thought all counselors were like that, but of course, they are not. I would say I got extremely lucky getting the right counselor for me on the first try, but luck had nothing to do with it—that was all God. I first started to see her in April when my mom and I had our first round of issues. It really is all about finding the right person for you. As I have mentioned my mom and I later saw two different counselors together, and the first just was not the right person to help us. But the second was perfect.

If you are hesitant about seeing a counselor, don’t be. They do not analyze you, judge you, or make you feel crazy; they simply listen and put things into perspective for you. I have always been a very logical and rational person; however, when the kinds of things I went through with my mom happened, it threw my thinking and way of handling problems across the room. I was confused as to whether or not my mom was right, if I really did something wrong, and so many other concerns. My counselor simply listened and, unbiasedly, helped me get to the root of the problems my mom and I were having.  She helped me pinpoint exactly how I was feeling, and once that was figured out, we could then start to unravel WHY I was feeling that way. And from there, what I could do to stop that. Like everything, counseling and getting to the root of things IS a process. I actually “graduated” from her once I was able to grasp why my mom and I were having issues and got my head straight again.

I started going back to her after my home burned down, as I was going through the stages of grief with a vengeance. For this, she listened. It was really all she could do, and it may sound like nothing, but I promise it was the best thing for that time in my life. She also provided me with ways to cope with my feelings instead of letting them eat me alive.

If you’ve read my previous posts, you might remember how I talked about my emotions taking over in the worst way. This was no fault to my counselor. I started seeing her before my depression became such a prominent controller of my life, and without depression, I was in a better state to logically internalize what I was working on through counseling. After depression, as I have mentioned, my mind was not my own. It was too clouded with the whispers from Satan that were confusing me. I would leave counseling understanding my feelings and then those overwhelming emotions I talked about (doubt, self-pity, fear) stomped furiously over the peace of mind I had just come to. This is one reason why I decided to try a medication, as counseling alone was no longer able to get through to me.

Please do not read that and think counseling leads to medication, or if counseling does not work the first time, medication is the answer. Counseling alone DID work when I went through the initial blow of the issues with my mom. Just as I was overcoming that my house burned down, adding a heavy load of grief on top of the new peace that had barely had time to grow roots. ALSO remember you may need to go to different counselors until you find the right one.

Along with a counselor, make sure to surround yourself with friends who care about you. Lean on them for love and support. That was another challenge I faced as my core group of friends through college had all graduated in May. And that’s when my counselor really helped me through a slow and dark period of my life.

“Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

 

Medication

Some are hesitant to try medication, such as antidepressants, because they think God should be enough to get them through this desperate time. They are right, but they also overlook the fact that God knew we would have hard times. He created counselors to guide us, and medication to correct the chemical imbalance that creates depression.

Or, if you’re like me, I was always hesitant because I thought an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication would make me a zombie. I was actually prescribed an anti-anxiety medication about a year ago as I was having trouble sleeping due not being overloaded with tasks and responsibilities on my plate.  Do you think I took it? Nope. And I was fine once the semester ended. But what I have realized about depression and antidepressants is that depression is what makes you someone else. It makes you this irrational, illogical, scared person. Antidepressants are what help to lift that cloud so that you can be YOU again.

Medication is NOT a quick fix. It may take time to adjust to the medication as well as finding the correct dosage for you. You may even have to try different medications until you find the right one for you. Starting them can be a whole other story all together. For me, it was definitely no walk in the park. They can take their toll on your body when they are entering your system, and you may feel worse before you feel better. NOT trying to scare you because I honestly do suggest talking to your doctor about starting one if you think you need to.

HOWEVER, they SHOULD be a LAST resort. Talk to a counselor, exercise, read a book, go to church, try to find peace on your own first. In my case, none of that worked for the chaos I was experiencing.

It is more than OK to tell people that you started an antidepressant. You might need support when you start it. I had ups and downs, lashed out, cried, but then I was great! But then I was low again. Like I said, IT TAKES TIME. I have finally found the right dosage and I feel good.

They are NOT a fix-all. They do not make you numb or “happy-go-lucky.” They give you the peace of mind to have the strength to handle the turmoil in your life with a clear head. They will NOT make your problems go away. They will only help you be able to manage them.

 

Bottom line:

You might feel ashamed to admit that you are going through depression, are talking to a counselor, or trying a medication, but please please do NOT feel this way. God knew we would have hard times, which is why He gave us these resources. He does NOT want us in agony over the stresses this life puts on us.

It takes a strong person to ask for help. This does NOT make you weak. Thinking you can handle everything on your own will only hurt you in the end.

Those who love you will support you through these hard times, and those who do not know you as well may look up to you and admire your strength for getting help and not letting depression and hard times defeat you.

Just remember that you WILL get through this.

“As an example of suffering and patience, brothers and sisters, take the prophets who spoke in the Lord’s name. Think of how we regard as blessed those who have endured. You have heard of Job’s endurance and you have seen the Lord’s purpose, that the Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” (James 5:10-11)

“For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)

If you do start either of these methods of coping with depression or hard times you encounter and need advise, help, or support, or even to talk about what you’re going through, PLEASE email me, call me, or text me! You are NOT alone!

ashlea_gutierrez@yahoo.com

(I’ll give you my number through here! ;) )

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