Hi everyone, this is week 4 on the topic of “light after darkness” and it just so happens that this week is mental health awareness week, so what better to talk about than the tagline of this very blog? “Living with depression while living for Christ” And how this can change an outlook on a mental illness that effects nearly 80,000 children and young people in the UK.
I was diagnosed with clinical depression at the age of 10, and it has been one of the biggest struggles in my life, I’ve run the gambit of shutting myself off leading to self harm, and that ended up leading to my struggle with suicidal tendencies, and it’s something i still have to wrestle with to this day, and may have to for the rest of my life. Some days i struggle getting out of bed, i have trouble being around the people i love and care about, i shut myself off with the hope that the rest of the world will forget about me and move on without me as i get lower and lower, as i wait for my friends to forget my name and i finally give in to the feelings of misery inside my head. Not to say this is the right attitude to have, but this unfortunately is how my life goes when i have a low day. That’s not to say i am unable to have good times, because I’ve had many, that’s not to say i don’t have friends that i care about and love, because i do, the way i describe depression is “being able to have good times but the bad hit harder” this is how it has been for me anyway, sometimes i just end up getting low for no apparent reason, and that’s one of the great curses of depression, there doesn’t always have to be a reason, sometimes it just happens.
This year will be 9 years of living with depression, and like I’ve said, it hasn’t been easy, however there’s another anniversary this year in October, as I will have been saved 5 years this year. The story of how i met Jesus isn’t one of mission trips, or seeing him in a dream, turning me away from sin, but one of a savor seeing one of the children he loves struggle to keep going, and holding out a hand to allow him to walk by the side of the creator of all things. See living for Jesus is one of the most exciting things you can do, because he will take to places that you never thought you’d be, before i met with him i was someone who struggled to have one to one conversations without freaking out and shutting myself away, now I’m able to sing in front of a church full of people, I’d never even dream of doing something like this, putting my writing out on the internet for anyone to see, and i know there’s so much more in store than just what has happened in my life so far, because that’s the grace and love of Jesus, just when we feel like he has no more to give, he shatters our expectations and the walls that we in our human arrogance, put his will in.
The reason I use the tagline “Living with depression while living for Christ” is because i may have to struggle with depression day-to-day, when i live for Jesus i follow him from glory to glory, clinical depression will always have a part of my life, even if through God’s unending grace and love, i end up beating it. But Jesus will always have the whole of my heart, As the hymn goes “No power of hell, no scheme of man, Can ever pluck me from His hand” because even when we wonder, he will follow us, ready to embrace us when we return to his arms. Depression is a big thing that many people struggle with, but God’s love will always be bigger.
So in this week of mental health awareness, find someone you know struggling and let them know the love that awaits them, and show them some in the process.
Thank you for reading, and May God bless you.