January. A new year. Winter.
Holiday cheer seems like a distant memory.
Here in the Midwest it’s cold. It’s the season where fields lie dormant and nothing grows. Snow, rain and blistering cold temperatures blow down from the north. The sun only shines a few days out of the week if we’re lucky. Perfect time for depression.
For me, when I hear the word “depression”, I don’t think of it’s clinical or technical meaning, but rather what the actual word sounds like. I’ll break it down: “Me Pressed On”. That’s what I hear. Depression is one of those words that has action or sound effects to it when you pronounce it. I literally hear and feel being pressed down on from life. Whether it be my job, finances, home, or anything that presses down with enough force to make me curl up in a fetal position and ignore everything around me.
I’ve never been clinically diagnosed with depression, and feel for those who have.
My wife and I have been in some terrible situations mentally, physically, and spiritually, enough to warrant huge amounts of depression, but have managed to steer clear. The key words here are “have managed”.
It’s a balancing act of sorts.
You have to rely on the fact that things WILL get better. Insist on it! Part of the war on depression is winning every little battle you’re faced with.
It takes staying positive, removing the negative, and being consistent to overcome depression. Here’s the steps in their simplistic form that has helped us:
Step 1: Become positive about every potential negative situation.
Speak to yourself, encouraging every negative thought to be overtaken by positive mental awareness. The bible records several instances where men and women faced great odds of mental stress and overcame by encouraging themselves. King David was the most familiar along with the prophet Elijah.
Step 2: Remove all the negative things in your life if possible. This may include saying goodbye to toxic relationships that help feed your situation. Some of your friend’s (if you call then friend’s), like to see you suffer. I don’t consider them to be true friends. You may also need to reorganize your social life. Removing yourself from potentially harmful situations will help illuminate problem areas that tend to bring you down. Once they’re brought to the light, you can see them for what they truly are, and can take care of the problem for good. Surround yourself with people who will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. Honesty, that’s the mark of true friendship.
Step 3: In all things, be consistent.
This is the most important element of the three steps. Being consistent is being true to yourself. Staying positive and removing the negative can’t happen until you realize that you need consistency to be whole and healthy. Rely on God’s limitless grace and mercy to be made whole.
Remember the words of Jesus from Matthew 29:11:
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”