The lie of depression.

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I wrote this last May. On a plane. I was sitting there and I heard that still small voice tell me it was time to share my stream of consciousness about depression. I didn’t really know what was in my mind at that point, I just knew I was finally experiencing freedom. I didn’t read what I wrote last May again until today. I only shared it with one other person in mid June. And now I know it’s time to share here. Originally, it was just something I thought I would use to preach to myself. I do that a lot. But now I’ve heard so many people who are walking a similar journey and I’m ready to share mine from the inside out.

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5/18

Depression defeats.

It tells you you can’t before you even let yourself think maybe you can.

It tells you not to try because you’ll probably fail. Because you don’t have what it takes.

It tells you that failure is too painful to endure. Depression denies you the strength to persevere so it can keep you heavy in the loss column and terrified of the victory column because if victory was really possible then maybe you aren’t really depressed. And then what would you do with all these feelings that you think are there because you’re depressed? You’d be a fraud. So you shrink back in fear and settle into depression and believe it’s who you are. 

It. Is. Not. Who. You. Are.

Depression lies. It tells you you SHOULDN’T. It tells you you wouldn’t. You shouldn’t attempt it. You wouldn’t enjoy it. You can’t win.

You can’t risk failure.

You can’t step out of your comfort zone because that’s not what depressed people do.

It lies and says this is the way you are and the way you’ll always be and to try to break free would be futile because, after all, you’re depressed. Depression hijacks your identity. If it can convince you that it’s WHO you are, it will steal everything that flows from the true you - and that’s - well - everything.

Every decision.

Every conversation.

Every relationship.

Every day.

Every moment.

It will rob you of freedom and peace and joy. Depression is a thief. Not silent. Although it seems to be unless we are willing to hear it and acknowledge the lies. Depression is the thief of abundant life. Depression is the ultimate burglar of inspiring thoughts and dreams and ideas. It robs you of the inkling that maybe, possibly, you could get free.

If you want to get free from the thief, the liar, the defeatist, you must fight. Fight by first learning to listen and acknowledge the lies. Confess OUT LOUD that you’re ready to fight. THEN commit to fight against the lies. Commit to PROVE THEM WRONG. Commit to believing you are not depressed. Because if you dare to believe that, you’ll start acting like it.

You’ll see yourself making decisions that don’t factor in your depressed state.

As you move forward with those decisions, you get a little more space and freedom and joy. You feel a little more like you. Like the way you were designed to feel. The way your Creator created you to feel and think and act and live.

RESIST THE URGE to shrink back into the familiar darkness of depression.

It’ll hit like a storm in the night as soon as you rise up. Don’t you dare give in.

Find that strength inside that’s been silenced for too long and hold on. It’s the courage you need to walk free from depression. It’s within you. Your creator put it there. I’m telling you from experience and I’m begging you from experience - FIGHT THIS. Fight it like the terrorist that it is.

Do not give in.

Realize that you are not powerless.

You. Are. Power. Full.

Full of power.

Full of strength.

Full of courage.

Those are just words and identities you haven’t used before. Exercise them.

Exercise your power.

Exercise your strength.

Exercise your courage.

It feels good. And it will grow inside you like a fountain.

You’ll begin to see that fountain of courage and strength and power water the seeds in your soul that were thirsty.

Seeds like imagination. Ideas. Dreams. Hope. Joy.

They’ll sprout. And it’ll freak you out because it hasn’t happened in way too long.

It may freak out some people around you too. Don’t let that cause you to stumble.

You’ll grow into this new you. This new, free, you.

Sure - the joy won’t come immediately. But it will come. The joy will come.

And sure - the courage isn’t constant. But you don’t need it to be constant. You only need it to propel you to the next step. The next ring outside the comfort zone you’ve stepped out of. There are lots of rings. There is so much possibility.

And yes - the power you realize you have will be uncomfortable at first. You may feel like a 2 year old with a sword. Don’t sling it around with no discipline or direction. Sharpen it.

Consult your creator about why He put that power in you.

He will show you WHY the sword and WHERE the sword and HOW the sword.

And He will strengthen the muscles that need exercise to be able to use the power perfectly according to plan.

Not just His plan. Your plan too. Yes. You’ve had a voice in the plan for your life all along.

You just haven’t used it. That’s the lie of depression.

That your voice doesn’t matter.

This all takes time. But you have time. To get free. Plenty of time. You do not have time to live in the lies and the thievery and the deception of depression. You don’t. Life is way too short. And His plans for you are way too great. Don’t miss it. Don’t let depression decide who you are and what you do.

No more. It’s time to rise.

Unpacked.

You know the drill. You get home from a trip and the last thing you want to do is unpack. So you set the suitcase or duffle or whatever in the corner and stare at it. Eventually, you just move it to the bottom of the closet where it sits until you need clean underwear or socks and remember there’s an extra pair still tucked in that bag you used a month ago. The one you haven’t unpacked.

Is it just me? I hope not. 

Last week was emotional in a lot of ways. There was just a lot of stressful stuff swirling around our little lives and I felt like I was juggling jello. I left an intense meeting and got in my car and drove home and just couldn’t bring myself to get out and go in. 

Nothing inside the house was stressful. I was excited to see the boys after a long day, and Sylas was bringing dinner home later. But I didn’t like how I was about to show up. 

My heart was a mess and my head was spinning and that’s not the mom I want to be. So I just sat in my car and prayed. I wasn’t even sure what to say. It kind of started like “Hey God I just don’t like where my head and heart are tonight. I’m a mess. I am restless and weird and uncomfortable and I need your help. I need you to show me why and help me clean it up.” 

I felt like He whispered “keep going.” 

So I did. The tears started flowing and I got more confident in my prayer. I said “Lord I don’t know why I let situations get to me. Deeply. I don’t know why I let people get to me. Deeply. I don’t know why I take on burdens and responsibilities that aren’t mine to carry. I don’t know why I feel so ICKY right now.”

I’m pretty sure He said it again “I hear you…keep going.” 

Then I was full speed ahead. "I need your help to let go of all of that. Whatever THAT is. I’m done with it. Whatever it is that I’m carrying. It’s not mine to carry. I’m here and I see the cross in my mind and I know you said you paid it all but there’s just some stuff I’m still carrying and I honestly don’t know what it is. It’s just heavy.  And I know you said your yoke is easy and your burden is light so can we trade? God will you help me unpack all this stuff??” 

That’s when I saw the vision of the old suitcase in the bottom of my closet. It was an antique one. With dirty clothes stuck to the inside corners. And He began to help me unpack. I didn’t see His face but I saw His big strong arms. He grabbed clothes I recognized and some that I didn’t. Wadded up, old stuff. We just cleaned it all out. And then the suitcase was empty.

I felt very strongly that I was not only praying this for myself, but also for someone else. Someone who needed His help to unpack a bunch of stuff right in that moment. I didn’t know who it was until this morning. We bonded over our desperate need for the King of unpacking to pull out all the old stuff we’ve been carrying for way too long and trade it for His easy and light load. 

We didn’t cry or anything. Just acknowledged that He’s at work in both of us. Unpacking. 

He unpacked some stuff for me today. Or I guess it was already unpacked. Maybe it was something we pulled out of that old suitcase last Wednesday night. But He revealed to me something I’ve been carrying around for way too long that’s not mine to carry. 

I know He will keep showing me more of what we’re digging up and my burden will get easier and lighter as I walk with Him. 

I love that we aren’t alone in this journey. And I love that I was able to walk in the door that night after that prayer with a light heart and just enjoy my boys. Ya know…as I sat and watched them play Fortnite. ;)

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