established 10 august 2009

Friday, June 24, 2016

Depression: Let's Talk About It

I believe, without knowing it for many years, that depression has been with me since I was a small child. For as long as I can remember. For me, it is not just one phase of life, or an outcome from a terrible event. It is part of life. My life. 

With that being said, depression is not who I am. It is not how I am identified. It is a trial. My trial. And even though it's hard, I believe I was given this trial because I am strong enough to battle it. Now, honestly, when I'm really down, I don't believe those words. I don't believe I'm strong. But today, I do. I believe it. And I will work to keep that belief. So on days that are really hard, I can tell myself I'm strong. Or Adam can tell me. And I'll actually believe it. Remember it. Strive for it. 

Depression is a weakness in my life. But I'm working to make it a strength. Because I believe that if I work hard enough to win more battles, my Savior will fill in the gaps when I'm lacking to turn this weakness into a strength. We were taught by Ether in chapter 12: 

27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

I think a big humility building experience for me is just this. Sharing with all of you this secret, dark spot in me. Instead of fooling myself any longer that I can continue to hide it. That I should hide it. That no one wants or needs to know this part of me. And maybe, that's true. But, I don't care. 

I want to heal. I want to win more battles in this war I'm in against evil. I want to be made strong. I want to know, even just a fraction, what it's like to feel whole. 

Now, quite frankly, I'm not quite sure when it dawned on me that I have depression. But that's ok. I don't need to know. I know now. That's the important part. But, even when I figured it out, it took me years to accept it. And even longer, to humble myself enough to see a counselor regularly. Which wasn't until December... Of last year. That's right. That recent. I saw him once a week for a couple of months before moving to Florida. And it was awesome. 

I grew. I learned. And realized that things from my past still effect me like they happened last week. When I started in December, just before Christmas, I was rated for severe depression. A part of me wasn't surprised. I knew I was in a bad place mentally. Going once a week truly helped. At first, it felt like once a week wasn't enough. I needed more. But I stuck with one and eventually it got better. Truly a miracle. 

Now, some of you may be wondering, if I'm on medication. The answer? No. No I am not. I choose not be. If I truly don't have to be, I don't want to be. Instead, I opt for yoga, running and the gospel. I throw in a bit of dance here and there, too. When done right, these things truly do make me feel better. It's hard work, and sometimes I just don't want to do them. And sometimes, I don't. But then I regret it. Sometimes, I find the strength to force myself and am grateful I did. But, for me, these things work. They may not for you. That's ok. Find something that does. And when you find your niche. Stick with it.

I have depression. But I'm not going to let depression have me.  

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