Have you ever wanted to reach out to your depression (or anxiety, or any other illness), as if the illness were an actual *thing* that you could speak to and interact with?
I have, sometimes. Depression affects my life so much that I would like to tell it a thing or two about how it makes me feel, and how I will respond to it’s grip on my existence.
So here is a letter that I have written, to my depression.
I know you’re there. I can see you at work in my life, causing me to feel lethargic and listless, and like I will never be able to accomplish the tasks that I need to (much less do something that I find pleasure in).
You’re there when I wake up in the morning, and you’re there when I go to sleep at night. But just because you’re there doesn’t mean I’m not going to fight against you with all of my heart.
You want me to stay in bed all day so that I feel guilty and useless…but I’m going to force myself to get up and start the day, and rely on God to face whatever He has ahead. You want me to stay indoors so that I feel isolated and confined…but I’m going to make sure I get outside and feel the sun on my skin, either by walking the dog or taking a short trip in my car. And you want me to have a pessimistic attitude regarding life’s up’s and down’s…but I’m going to speak truth to myself: that even though life is difficult and I am struggling, my Father is with me and I can accomplish anything that he has planned for me to do.
Depression, I really can’t stand you! But for some reason, God has allowed you into my life…and I WILL learn to make the best of it. I will find things to be grateful for. I will take baby steps towards my goals and plans. I will engage in the activities that I used to enjoy – even though I don’t find the same pleasure in them now – because I believe that the Lord can re-ignite my passion for them. He has a purpose for me, and I will do my best to walk in it.
You big, black, ugly cloud of sorrow…you deep, dark, terrifying pit…THANK YOU. Thank you for causing me to rely on God. Thank you for allowing me to experience these heart-wrenching feelings so that I can understand other people who are in a similar situation. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to reach out to these people because I can appreciate at least some of what they’re going through.
You may be strong, depression…but you’re not stronger than my God. And while I may always need to fight a battle with you, I will not allow you to win the war. You will be defeated – if not in this lifetime, in the life to come. And while you’re still a part of my life, I want to tell you this:
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation [including depression], will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~ Romans 8:38-39
Photo Credit: Luis Llerena