Choice is a pathway to victory.
In Part 1 of this series, last month, I talked about how depression is a trapped place in the mind and how easy it is to stay there… a comfort that shouldn’t be. In part 2, I want to share with you how those attacks of the mind and on the mind felt. Pain filled with moments that make horror movies seem like reality. BUT! I also want to share with you how to stand against those attacks and the enemy. Because the victory is found in the choice.
To truly understand the trap of depression in its whirl wind of a sucking vacuum, we must first understand that the battle OF the mind is IN the mind. It’s not a matter of just “dealing with occasional occurrences of disappointment”, or sadness of life events, or even the bad things that get thrown our way. Depression, in the deep form, comes from within the mind and pushes its way out bowling over everything in its path. It becomes the mode of how the person views everything and makes decisions, small and large.
This pain and fear worsens as it is given life and authority. Relationships of all kinds are hard to handle. The person stays busy trying to make sure that other people like them and understand them so they don’t feel alone. The enemy still tempts them to believe they are always alone even in a crowded room. Smiles can surround them, yet they believe the lie inside the mind that buries the hope. It is a thing, a very big thing, that puts a person in competition with others and themselves all of the time.
These are things I felt for many years. These are the things that I gave into in the comfort that shouldn’t be. It became all I knew. And the little glimmers of hope were dashed into a million little pieces of “will I ever feel better?”
I thought if I could stay “in control” everything would be just fine. Yet, I found my irrational side taking control and ruining everything I held dear. It all was a huge conflict that I wore like a heavy winter coat pushing my shoulders down so that it was hard to even walk.
As I grew into my teenage years, I succumbed to all sorts of abuses. I found myself in very dangerous situations — nearly dying on many occasions — sometimes at the hand of others and sometimes by my own doing. All of these things worried me immensely, but I could not stop. The fear controlled me all while fooling me that I was in control. In some weird way I guess I felt comfortable in my ill-thought ways. Probably because it had become all I knew. It is all very hard to put into words. But the battle OF my mind was IN my mind.
Sadly, I believed I could continue to handle it all silently. My mind was being beaten and I didn’t know the depths to which it would sink. Like many do, I had terrible thoughts constantly of hating myself, of how no one liked me, really of how everyone hated me. I would hear a voice whisper that I was not worth anything. That was an awful voice — but it was familiar. The enemy comes in familiar, eerily-comforting ways. A trapped mind is a twisted mind. And only God can untwist it.
The dueling voices in my mind were fighting a battle before I even realized it. I would sit completely alone staring at the wall noticing every crack on it as if they were every problem I had in my cracked up life. I could feel the overwhelming presence of evil — lurking, trying to draw me in. It was brutal and inhuman. It was hard to breathe, all around me like a fog. The dark shadows possessed something that was trying hard to make me lose control completely. I would have bouts of sitting in the corner of my room crying incessantly and pulling my hair out of my head because I could not get the demonic thoughts out. I felt trapped and it was the scariest thing I had ever experienced, even after going through the years of anxiety. The thoughts of hatred, shame, and wanting to die were so consuming that I felt like I was living inside another realm screaming with every ounce of breath “LET ME OUT!” Fear was all I knew — and it almost became a comfort to me.
I was being bombarded constantly with morbid thoughts beyond comprehension. I hated myself even more because I felt disgusted and depressed. I felt unworthy of anything and everybody. Even in the midst of that anguish, I knew that if I didn’t get help I would end up taking my own life to end the pain.
I found myself at a point in which I was planning my own death with intricate details. I felt myself slipping gradually into a pit of darkness falling not hard and fast, but so slowly in a spiral that it was sucking the life completely out of my soul.
Let me assure you of something here and now that I know for a fact:
You call the demons… they will answer.
After going through these horrible things for years, I went searching. You see, I was desperate. Desperate for answers, for sleep, for love, for help. Desperate for peace.
I fought them hard, but mostly by myself. If only I had turned to God. I did not put my full trust in Him. None of what we try on our own works and fighting without God is like losing before you even start. Nothing gave me the Peace of MIND that I was looking for so desperately. Nothing.
I cried out to God, “Why are you letting this happen to me?”
In the midst of it all, when the feeling of depression becomes oppression and it’s pushing us down to the flattest level of the spiral unending, we always still hear the faint voice that wants to help us get up and out.
Isn’t it that way with every temptation that comes our way? Isn’t there always that still small voice that can be heard over all the screaming voices in our lives? That’s the voice of God, friends. Hone into that voice. And then choice becomes the pathway to victory.
When you feel you have no where to turn…
When you know you don’t want to be a burden, but don’t understand that leaning on others through Christ is not a burden…
When you feel like you don’t have any friends and no one likes who you really are…
When you long unhealthily to be the center of attention to gain approval…
Choose to listen to God. Choose to turn to the only One who can fill that void in your mind where you feel trapped. Choose God’s promises.
Remove the “I” in the equation…
I feel like no one likes me, I believe I have no worth, I feel alone, I, I, I.
Until I learned that it was not ‘I‘ but ‘We’, nothing would change. Nothing could change. Not ONE thing. I had to choose God in every single second. Every attack. Every temptation to think bad things.
Really, friends — hear me carefully now — it is all about CHOICE. I don’t mean to say that the diagnosis and medical treatment were wrong to seek out or even not needed at that time, nor am I trying to minimize anything similar that anyone experiences, because it is a hell on earth from which some feel they can never return. BUT, what I am saying is that every day we all wake up faced with choices, some tiny, some huge, but choices which will likely impact us greatly and also those around us. It was not until I started to view every single choice I had to make as one that would set the course for the rest of my life that everything started to change, especially my heart.
Although I didn’t understand much, I did understand one thing. I believed, with only a tiny amount of faith, that God had shown me that He was in fact real — and if that was true then I kept hope that He might help me. That choice to have that tiny bit of faith was a pivotal point in my life. I had asked and accepted Jesus into my life as a teen, but it was not until my late teen years and early twenties — the peak of all that I have described — that I started to focus on Him.
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live…” ~ Deuteronomy 30:19
God was there – and bigger then I ever imagined. I realized I needed people around me who would understand and lift me up. I prayed through all of it. God help me to change those surroundings and the people I chose to spend time with. I started choosing people and experiences that lifted my heart and soul. And I waited until those people were in my life. I couldn’t settle.
I now know that Jesus had in His Will to never leave me and watched thoughtfully, knowing He would prevail. He waited patiently, hearing and answering my prayers to just stay afloat. That is all I prayed for at the time. To just stay afloat. I eventually learned — God didn’t cause the pain. He doesn’t want us to hurt. We cause so much pain ourselves.
He wanted to bring me through it for His plans. They are greater than my own. When I asked him with even a small amount of faith, He reached His hand deep into the pit of despair I was in and He grabbed my stretched out hand to pull me to peace and love and life. All that I had been searching for, He had in His hand.
I reached out. He loved. I loved. I chose.
Next month, in part 3, I want to encourage those who suffer inside the trap of depression with practical holy ways to trust and turn to God in those hard moments. And then I will share how and when God miraculously healed me. It’s a moment in time that eclipses all others that are associated with this. It is the victory.
I pray each person who suffers inside the trap of depression finds true Hope and true Help. I so desperately want others to know the healing that I came to know 17 years ago… in whatever form that looks like in their life… through God’s plan.
I’m here for you. It’s what I do for Him… because I love Him and you.
Love and live blessed,
Heather, self-appointed “Ellipses Queen”, is a ‘Super Race-Runner’ after Jesus’ own heart. She loves to live #ALLIN for Him as a loved wife, proud mom, encourager to many, deep soul lover, big time laugher, voice-over wannabe, and freelance writer. She is currently writing two books – an autobiographical devotional and a Q&A book, with a panel of nearly 50 people from around the globe, about how God and faith factor into our lives. Heather writes at 40YearWanderer where she welcomes you to share soul-deep. She has wandered through a life full of some incredible things… all of which God has laid on her heart to share. ALL IN, a ministry for the worldwide Church, sprang to life after God gave her pieces of the vision for over a decade… then heard Him say “Now” in 2014. She can also be found sharing whimsical funnies on Facebook.