I have struggled with depression my whole life. I have had some really great years and I’ve also had some really dark years. But mostly my life has been a day to day combination of both.
When I joined Overeaters Anonymous and started working the 12 steps, I thought “Finally, I found my solution. Now I’ll never be depressed ever again!” Just typing that now makes me realize how silly that thought was, but I so desperately wanted to be free from this sadness that I believed there was a simple solution. All I had to do was fix it and I’m good, right?!
Unfortunately, it is not that simple.
I have been in the program for a little over a year now. It’s been amazing. I have learned so much and have really grown too. Yet, these last few days I have found myself struggling with depression again.
Why is this still happening? I am doing the work. I thought I fixed this!
The truth is there is no “fixing” it. There are things I can do in my daily life to deal with it. And I do believe over time it will get better, but I don’t think it ever goes away. It’s a part of me.
But here is the good news. I don’t have to deal with it alone anymore. I have a sponsor I can talk this stuff through with. I have my fellows that I can hang out with. And most of all, I can turn my sadness over to God and He comforts me. I’ve heard people say that my whole life but I only recently started to understand what that truly meant.
It means that I know I am loved. Unconditionally. It means it’s ok to feel my emotions. It’s ok to feel depressed. I don’t have to fix it. I can sit in it and feel it. Experience it instead of running away from it. And I know I can handle it because God is with me. Always.
I can be depressed and know that my life has a lot of worth because I am a creation of God. I can be depressed and know that God still has a plan for my life. I can be depressed and still see the joy around me. I can be depressed and know that I won’t feel like this forever.
With God all of these things are possible. And He has shown me time and time again that he will not fail me. He will not abandon me.
And that means I’m going to be ok.
Once I realize that, I can deal with the depression a lot better. It’s different now than it was in those dark years a long time ago. The difference is God. And God is good.
I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately: “How do people do life without God?” I really don’t know. I know when I tried, it did not work. I know that I am grateful to have found God again and to have Him to turn to. I can’t imagine doing life any other way.