15 years ago during my first realization I had depression , I was relieved and shocked. I was so grateful for an answer finally- that I wasn't going crazy, or that I just couldn't pull my act together. I felt I had to try harder than normal to do simple things- like quieting my mind enough during grocery shopping (I had so much anxiety), or finding enough energy to do the day to day demands like laundry or dishes. So when I finally had an answer I felt I could also find answers on how to help it get better. It was a huge relief!
But I was also shocked. Shocked in the way depression was treated with such a stigma. I remember trying to reach out to all around me, but instead I got turned down for a blessing, left alone when I asked for help, and even when I called the hot line for suicide I was turned away saying " you need to leave this hot line open for people who really need help". Perhaps because I am usually happy and chipper, I didn't seem like the sort who would struggle with this- but I did. I was still learning how to be assertive and stand up for myself in situations where people just misunderstood- so back then I didn't say anything- I let them judge and let them turn me down. But inside it made an already desperate feeling much worse and I felt even more alone. In this I learned a few things;
One- to pray. During my times I felt so abandoned and alone, I prayed hard. I was very hurt by the judgments I received from neighbors, church goers, even family and friends. After all, I wouldn't do that to them. But after being told "no" to a blessing from a home teacher and a discouraging phone call from a friend, I felt very abandoned. I felt deep down the words I felt from Him in the hospital that this condition wasn't "my fault". Instead it was a combination of hormones, genetics and circumstances. But I felt wherever I turned I was being in fact turned down. But I knew deep down I wouldn't be from Him.
So I prayed- differently than I had learned. I talked to my Father and began telling Him how I felt. It was hard at first, but I in turn learned to talk to Him like that and now I pray not morning and night but each waking hour of the day I am constantly talking to my Father in Heaven.
The other- I made a decision. Either I could be sad about how people were treating me and get even more discouraged or I could choose to live with my trial in Him- in other words in joy. So I came up with a saying: "Don't be depressed about being depressed". I can't control what happens to me, but I can control how I react to it. When I started to feel weighed down by my trial or others judgments I would remind myself this and instead look for ways to help solve the problem. Coupled with prayer each day, that is how I found many of the answers I share on my blog. It was a hard day to day trial and error- prayer and even fasting at times to see what helped and what didn't. I kept an avid journal of progress, I researched till I felt I couldn't look at another book or screen...but the knowledge provided me with the power to withstand my own personal trial.
And I still do all those things. Even now I hired a coach to help me with my own personal nutrition and exercise needs. And I hope I will always strive to progress in all I do.