I decided to restart my blog the right way. Honestly, my previous blogs were tainted with a hint of resentment and I didn’t want that for myself. Cheers, to a restart!
I wished life was life was like that, each time you make a mistake you can erase it all and move on. It’s different for everyone but I tend to have a slower and more painful healing process. Maybe my struggle with depression makes it worse, not sure? However, I am certain that without pain we cannot learn from mistakes and grow. So I appreciate that aspect of having consequences for the choices we make.
At the same time, do not blame yourself for anyone else’s wrongdoing and for allowing things to happen. If you did the best you could at that time and things didn’t work, know that path was not meant for you, and it had nothing to do with your worth or you as a person. For example, God (and/or the universe) declares this for you
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11).
And whatever pain you are going through now, it serves a purpose to make you stronger and be an example for others with similar experience. As social beings, we need a kind of love that is supportive, nurturing, and genuine.
“As God’s children, [put on] compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (Colossian 3:12-14)
I get it, this kind of love may seem like a fable, but I am telling you that it is real. It’s not something that you can conjure when you want to, because it is something that only consistent practice of loving actions can bring forth. When loving actions become a lifestyle, things change for the better and I am a testimony to that.
I suffered from depression for a decade or more, and I didn’t know I had the disorder until about 3 years ago. I didn’t know how much it impacted my life until a year ago when I was convinced by doctors and loved ones that medication was necessary for my recovery. Medication helped me tremendously because I was fixated on ending my life: I couldn’t see the point in living. I couldn’t keep my ‘head above water’ like once I did, and I was emotionally drowning. I wanted to end it all, especially the pain. Depression is darker than this single and short description, but think of it like this: If you haven’t seen the sun in years, you’d likely think you’d never see it again. You’d likely think it’s gone forever, so what’s the point? Likewise. Medication doesn’t make the pain go away, it simply reduces the intensity of the pain, allowing depression sufferers to once again manage daily tasks.
The recovery process starts with working on yourself and tackling your inner turmoils, such as unrealistic thinking patterns, bad habits, and shifting relationship boundaries with people in your life. Learning to be assertive was a huge change for me because I had to unlearn what I learned from my parents, such as black-or-white thinking. I had to stand up for my beliefs and stop conforming to other people’s expectations. Once I developed the courage to fight for me and what God wanted for me, I was in a better place in my life. It wasn’t easy because it meant I needed to end a relationship and end ‘friendships’. God calls us to protect your heart from anyone that may harm it or misguide you from his plans, that includes standing up for yourself from family members.
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
Their expectations and beliefs are not yours to keep, even if it seems honourable for you to keep them. Remember, what God wants for you will always override what anybody else wants for you. And to know what God wants for you, you need to put love in action to have a relationship with God, because he is love (1 John 4:8).
“7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot[a] love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (1 John 4:7-21)
Furthermore, it was more than just depression that affected me, I was going through a difficult time in my life and I didn’t know if I’d survive it. I even got into a speedy relationship because I was being reckless with what would happen to me. I felt deserving for everything bad that came to me. Although the boyfriend was a small blessing in disguise because he was “my happy drug” at that time, I felt heartbroken and confused when it ended. It was a mutual decision, but the reasons for it left me confused, unwanted, and used. Regardless, my reasons were to better myself so I have something to offer in a relationship when I am ready. Also, I would think a man show he’d care about me by making the effort to keep me, and realistically speaking, why do I want someone who doesn’t want me? He missed out because I am a rare find.
This time, I am leaving it to God to select the man I will have a long-time partnership with because I want that for my future. Being single now I am slowly working towards building a foundation to have family and a career of my own. I am pushing myself a little harder each day to build that endurance again to achieve those goals.
Recovery is a very slow progression, but I am grateful that 2017 was a struggle because I had a growth spurt of maturity. That year woke me up to new possibilities and it allowed me to experience love like I never had felt it. It taught me about forgiveness, real friends, boundaries, and it taught me that it’s okay to make mistakes. I’m not perfect, never was! For once, I was able to surrender to God that illusion of being perfect for others. I mess up all the time without intending to do it, but little by little I am learning to forgive myself. Forget about strictly opinionated people who think they are living a righteous life! This is your journey and whatever happens is between you and God! Only God can judge you, and he loves you unconditionally. If you know how to put on love no matter your background then you know God because he is love. Love heals all things! It’s not a fable.
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24).
I look upon God in Jesus for strength when I am weak because if he completed his mission as a man, I can do it too! He felt pain, I do too. He was betrayed, I was too. He was challenged my mean-spirited people, I was and will be too. Yes, he is God, but he did it in a way that was achievable for me as well. He leads by example and when I followed his way, his love soothed my pain and strengthened me. Therefore, if you make a mistake, just restart again and again until you get it right!
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
Look upon other sources of light in your journey because the sun isn’t the only one in the sky. For me, building that relationship God allowed me to find stability in my unstable world. Jesus was my source of light, but whatever it is that works for you to overcome depression, do it! Simply acknowledge that you are worthy of life because you make a difference in someone’s world. You are enough! Let that sink in.