!THIS POST CONTAINS SOME TOPICS THAT MAY BE SENSITIVE TO SOME READERS!
In todays society, mental health seems like a relatively well understood illness however, I still feel as though there is such a stigma surrounding this topic.
I feel we are all so good at painting a good picture of our lives on social media, knowing it’s not reality and then behind the scenes we compare ourselves to the person who just posted an instagram story of their holiday, relationship or friendships or we compare ourselves to other Christians when they post about their Bible journaling notes or of their new favourite worship song. This comparison causes us to believe we must meet a certain expectation in society, it makes us question whether we are doing enough as a follower of Jesus Christ and if you are already struggling with your mental health, thoughts like this can have such a big impact.
Whatever you feel right now; you are enough. You have not failed. You do not need to be “perfect” for Gods love. God loves you completely unconditionally just as you are.
Never will I leave you, never will I forsake youHebrews 13:5 [NIV]
Sometimes there can be some misconceptions of what depression is. I feel a stigma has been created that depression is a punishment from God, this is not the case at all. God created a perfect world however, evil entered and thus took away this perfection, this evil can present itself in many different ways for example through illness and that includes both physical or mental health. Depression is not a punishment for sin it is a difficult trial that can help someone grow in their faith. When you are going through a season of bad mental health, it is hard to remember that this is just a season. The thing about these seasons is that they could last for any length of time but I promise you, you will come out the other end a much stronger person. Remember healing is a process and it takes time, one day you will feel on top of the world other days you will just want to hide and want it all to stop and that’s ok.
On these ‘down’ days we can do things that can help! Here are some examples;
1) Lean on God. Go to him in your brokenness, He can silence any storm.
2) Ignore feelings of wanting to isolate and detach yourself from God and the world, instead seek Him. He wants to lift your burdens.
3) Remember that God is working for you NOT AGAINST YOU!
4) He doesn’t care whether you are “perfect”, He wants you to present yourself to Him just as you are, even in times of chaos and brokenness.
‘roaring with power and fighting our battles’ – Lyrics from Lion and the Lamb By Leeland
One thing I really want to focus on is how easy it becomes for us to isolate ourselves when we feel anxiety and depression creep into our lives. In those times our minds are filled with millions and millions of thoughts, it can make us begin to feel like a burden. It can make us feel bad for talking about our problems because the last thing we want to do is worry those who love us. Despite feeling like this though, you need to reach out to those you trust, to talk about those negative thoughts you are having, to talk about the times you have thought about self harm, to talk about when you were so sad the only solution you could rationalise with is ending it or wanting to starve yourself because you don’t feel good enough… in these times, turn to those you trust.
I realise that these conversations are not easy to have, but it also isn’t easy to go through seasons like these on your own.
It is OK to seek professional help, if you are physically or mentally unwell. It doesn’t make you weak.
If you are struggling with knowing where to go or how to start finding help, begin with praying, talk to God, ask him for guidance on how to approach having these conversations, surrender everything to him, he wants to take away all your worry and sadness, he wants what is best for you but the first step towards that is reaching out.
If you are unsure who to talk to or are struggling with, feel free to leave a prayer request in the comments or through our contact page, we would love to hear from you! That could be your first step to reach out. The Every Season Counts team will be praying for you.