Dealing with depression can leave you feeling drained and exhausted. Many times, it feels like a full-time job. For those who have never suffered with depression, they may never understand why sometimes you just can’t get out of bed. Maybe they just don’t get it when you tell them you can’t talk about it – because talking about it feels like a mountain that just can’t be climbed.
Recently, I was talking to someone about depression, and they said it feels like when you’re trying to climb out of a well. Imagine falling into a well, they said. Think about how dark it is, and how the walls are slick, and there’s water all around you. It’s pretty impossible to climb out on your own. Your hands are going to slide on the walls. There’s nowhere to get a grip to pull yourself up. And after trying to climb, and thrashing around in the water, pretty soon you’re going to feel worn out. You’re going to feel exhausted. You’re going to want to give up.
How to climb out
Most times, climbing out of the well isn’t something you can do on your own. You need some help. You just need some support. You need somebody to realize you’re struggling, and that you’re exhausted, and that you’re ready to give up. And you need them to throw you a rope. Thing is, you’re already so worn out that it’s nearly impossible to even cry out for help. You’ve spent so much time trying to climb out you have no energy left to tell them you need a rope.
The first step of getting help is simply admitting you need it. You don’t have to have all the answers, but it is time to reach out. Something as simple as telling somebody you’re struggling, or maybe evening making an appointment with a counselor is an important first step. A trusted friend or professional who will allow you the space to share your heart – or to share as little as you’re comfortable with – can help you improve your outlook.
give yourself some grace
Remember, it’s okay to not be okay. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It means you have a challenge. Give yourself the grace to understand that you don’t have to be this way forever, but it is where you are right now. So many times we think that we have to get better immediately. Truth is, recovering from depression is a process. And there’s beauty in that process. Recovering from depression gives you the opportunity to discover yourself, maybe for the first time ever.
understand everyone is different
Misery loves company, right? It’s easy to talk to people who are currently suffering from depression or those who have recovered from depression about what is working or has worked from them. That doesn’t mean it will work for you. For some, counseling works. For others, it’s a chemical imbalance situation that requires some medication. For some, it could require lifestyle changes like diet and exercise. Remember a cure for depression is not a “one-size-fits-all” treatment.
Perhaps most important of all, it’s important to remember God loves you. You have value. You are worthy of finding peace and joy. And you have a specific purpose. Remember the promise He made to each of us:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11