So, over the years, I’ve had a lot of love and effort poured into me trying to revive my crushed spirit. Psychologists, psychiatrists, pastors, mental health hospitals, therapists, friends, family, heck even strangers have tried to brighten my gloomy mental world. And sometimes I’ll get into a “negative focus” mentally and be unable to see how much better I’ve gotten and think it all hasn’t worked. I kinda have trouble viewing reality accurately sometimes.
But over the years, my suicidal thoughts have become much less frequent, and my periods of mental wellness have increased. I think this is a combination of all the self-awareness and mental health awareness I’ve gained over the years from doctors and therapists, the loving advice of pastors and Christian friends, medication, mental health classes (anger management, relationship skills etc) and my life improving.
I still have gloomy days, but overall I am like a kid in a candy store with life a lot of the time now. I get excited and enthusiastic about even the little things like knitting and taking walks and healthy meals and reading. I’m married and in college and have a loving family and wonderful friends too, and I’m sure that helps.
But like, I wanted to focus this post on positive thinking. I’m a huge believer in the “it’s okay to cry and be sad” thing, just because I believe in empathy and compassion for depressed people. But I can vouch, it will drastically improve your mental wellbeing if you try to be grateful to God for everything, even the little things, and to view life as a gift.
This can be learned through being taught or by experience. I personally learned through going without a few times in my life. In jail, I went without my freedom and really anything but a jail cell and some hygiene items and some notebooks and some books to read. In charity housing for mentally ill individuals in like a really depressing neighborhood, I went without a desirable place to live and sometimes food.
The result? Now I’m like ecstatic over a new yarn ball lol. And I have an RV in the woods that I’ll be living in soon, and it’s a palace to me just because the scenery is the woods and not endless rows of rusty barbed-wire-topped gates or worse, four brick jail cell walls and a metal door.
Some people learn gratitude from others, and some learn by being taught by experience. But, here is my message to you if you’re depressed: unless you have a miserable situation going on which is understandable (I’m not trying to say cancer patients should feel bad for feeling sad), life is freaking fantastic, and to feel better, you gotta see it.
Get excited about the little things on purpose. Find hobbies. Set life goals and pursue them. Chase your dreams. Do whatever you can to create the life you want, and leave the result up to God, but remember to celebrate life. Have an attitude of “I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow to enjoy the brand new day!” Because that will keep you alive. Literally.
It’s okay to be depressed, it happens to most people. But do you really wanna live miserable? If you want happiness, you gotta choose it. Preach to yourself, too. Get in that habit so you’re not relying on others to cheer you up when you’re sad every time. Tell yourself, God loves me and it’s going to be okay. Tell yourself everything is going to work out. Tell yourself, I have no reason to worry, because God has always taken care of me, and He isn’t going to stop now. And pray for God’s help with your depression. That’s the biggest thing that’s going to help you.
And realize, depression is complicated, but overall it’s an attack of the devil on your soul. The enemy wants to make you as miserable as he possibly can, to kill you, and to steal your joy. He comes to kill, steal, and destroy. He wants to cause you to commit suicide, or steal your happiness, or destroy your sanity with anxiety.
But Jesus came so we can have life, and have it abundantly. Depression is not life. That’s being dead inside. You can be dead while your heart keeps beating and your body is alive; it’s called depression. Joy and peace are true living. Jesus wants you to rejoice always, pray continually, and always be thankful. That’s God’s will for every Christian. And He wants you to enjoy your life!
So, if you’re sad today, just make up your mind to be more positive. Tell yourself positive things, and pray for relief, and do things that cheer you up. Don’t get stuck in the mire of despair; pull yourself out, with God’s help of course. And definitely talk to somebody if you have someone available who doesn’t mind. That can help loads too. I hope you feel a little better, and hang in there.