I've been depressed. You've been depressed. You might even be depressed right now. Depression doesn't feel all that good, does it?
- One moment, you're loving life. The next moment, you're wondering why you were even born.
- One moment, it's like nothing could get you down. The next moment, it's like any tiny thing could make you cry.
- One moment, it's like you're holding hands with God, and the next moment, it's like you're having coffee with the devil.
Since depression has such a negative view in our society, we try our best to avoid depression. We want to always be positive and act like everything is going good for us. Even when things aren't going our way, we pretend that everything that we're going through is leading us "to greatness."
Well, just cut the act. Nobody could be positive for long. Eventually, depression will take you down. You will finally realize that life isn't always peaches and cream, and you will just simply sink down into depression and wonder what does it all mean. And you know what you should do when you get depressed? Just welcome it into your life, because depression is good for your soul.
How so? When you get depressed, it's usually for a reason. There are some unresolved issues in your life. You have questions that nobody seems to have an answer for. You feel like you're going in the wrong direction, but you're not sure how to walk in the right direction. Life isn't turning out the way you've planned it. Reality hits you hard and you realize that perhaps you're living in a lie, but you don't know how to find the truth.
So, depression takes over. During depression, you finally become real with yourself. You take off the mask and see the person you really are. You see life how it really is. You see your situation how it really is. You come to understand that you are weak and that you don't have all the answers.
Depression is really a time of reflection. You think more deeply about your life. At this moment, you are no longer being superficial. You are real! You are disappointed that things aren't going your way. You realized that you've been lied to. You realized that you aren't as strong as you thought you were. You realized that you need some help.
I love writing encouraging e-mails, but even the motivator needs some motivation. Even the person who encourages need encouragement. Even the one who inspires need some inspiration in his or her life. Sometimes, I feel that everything that I do for others isn't being noticed and I would question, "Why am I even doing this?" Then I would fall into depression, especially when I feel that I do so much for so little in return.
During my depression period, I would reflect on why I do what I do. Then, I would remember all the things people in the past have said to me, how I've helped them with this, that, and the other. Then I start seeing the importance of the good things I do and realize that even though people may not say anything, it doesn't mean they don't appreciate what I do. The more I reflect, the more I start to understand, and the more I understand, the better I feel. Soon enough, the depression period would be over and I'd be feeling high on life again.
But when you go into depression and don't reflect on life, then you would always find yourself in depression and would participate in superficial activities to get yourself out of depression. How many of you would smoke a cigarette, watch T.V., or play on Facebook when you get depressed? Doing these activities would give you a very, VERY temporary sense of well-being, but once you stop those activities, you'd be back to your gloomy self.
When you get depressed, reflect on life. Feel the depression and mediate on why you may feel the way you do. Depression is the time to figure out the answers and to build yourself back up.
There's a story in the Bible (the Book of Nehemiah) about a cupbearer named Nehemiah, who lived during the time when Persia was a super power in the Middle East in the 400s B.C. Around 586 B.C., ancient Israel (specifically, Judah) was captured by the ancient Babylonians when King Nebuchadnezzar reigned. After the Persians conquered the Babylonians, little by little they let the Israelites go back to their land. Nehemiah, being the Persian king's cupbearer, was depressed that his old city Jerusalem was in shambles. He wanted to go back there and at least rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
So one day, he couldn't hide his depression. The king, Artaxerxes, took noticed and asked what was wrong, because Nehemiah never looked sad in the king's presence before. I suppose Nehemiah always had an upbeat attitude around the king. But this time, Nehemiah was blue and he told the king why. The king, being compassionate, asked what Nehemiah wanted to do about the situation. After hearing that Nehemiah wanted to rebuild the walls of his city, the king decided to let Nehemiah do what he wanted and the king even funded his mission! The king even provided soldiers to protect Nehemiah and his crew.
Had not Nehemiah allowed himself to be sad, he wouldn't have told the king what was on his heart. See, sometimes you just have to let yourself be blue so that you could get the answers that you want! Nehemiah could have just drowned his sorrows in wine -- after all, he was the king's cupbearer and could have drank some of the wine that he gave to the king. Instead, he talked about his issues with the king and the king let Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of his city. This was a very great accomplishment on Nehemiah's part -- and all he had to do was to allow himself to be sad in front of the king.
Depression is good for the soul. Depression can lead you to get answers. Depression could lead the way for you to be happy again. But you need to treat depression as a time for reflection. You can't just simply escape from depression. This is how suicides happen. This is how addictions happen. This is how families are tore apart. When the person tries to run away from depression, destruction always happen. But when you embrace your depression and see it as a moment of reflection, you will start getting answers.
When you get depressed, the best thing to do is to sit down and let the depression take you over. Don't do anything to make yourself feel better. Don't use exercise, coffee, entertainment, sex, nothing to make you feel better. You get depressed for a reason just like you get angry for a reason, and the best thing you could do is to get to the SOURCE of the depression and tackle any unresolved issues. Otherwise, you would get depressed so often that you would think something is wrong with you.
It's good to be positive, but don't pretend like everything is fine. No, you cannot hype yourself out of depression. The only way out of depression is to walk through it. Jumping over it would burn you out. Be willing to walk through the woods so that when you come out of the woods, you would be a stronger person with a better perspective on life.
Are you depressed now? Good. Welcome it. Walk through it. Pretty soon, as long as you're not trying to avoid it, you will beat the depression and feel like your happy self again.