My Battle with Depression
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So tonight I’ve got a little bit of
something to talk to you guys about. I’ve been kind of avoiding this particular
video. God laid it on my heart a few weeks back to talk about my battle with
depression. Not an easy topic for me to talk about. A few years back I started to
notice that it tends to come in cycles or what’s known as cyclic depression.
Some years it’s stronger. Some years it’s weaker. This year however or this past
few months this cycle that’s normally really bad I
have done things a little bit different and I’ve decided to fight it in a new
way. I’ve done taking antidepressants. I’ve done the taking anti-anxiety meds.
I’ve done trying to just solely focus on religion. I’ve done just giving in to the
anxiety and depression and just going into the full slump of just zoning out
and not caring about life and just kind of saying peace out to the world and
just playing stupid mindless games and watching TV and eating whatever was
present, no matter how good or bad it is for me. And none of that has really
worked in the past I’m not saying that if depression something you struggle
with that you should not see a therapist. That is not what I’m saying. Anything and
everything that’s in this video is not meant to be taken as medical advice.
You still need to seek your doctor and do all those things you’re supposed to
do. Seek God also and do everything he tells you to do. Just because this is
what works for me at this point in time is not meant to be medical advice and
like I just need to throw that disclaimer out there because I don’t
need any of that kind of problem. So now that I got that out of the way. For me
the trouble seems to hit right around the time that my grandma passed away
which is the same week that my older sister disappeared a year later or two
years later or something. I have trouble keeping track of time in years.
I think it’s kind of one of my coping mechanisms. I don’t like it. But it is what
it is. So God has asked me to share this with you guys
and I have gone back and forth with him. I’ve argued with him.
I sat down two weeks ago and pulled verses for you guys and was like these
are the things that I try to focus on and try to meditate on and stuff like
that trying to make it more biblical and then it just kind of sat there and I’ve
just focused on a lot of other things and I’m like I just really don’t want to
talk about it. So yeah! There are times that it gets bad and that it gets hard
and I kind of just felt like well this is life so starting at the end of
October I start to just that’s like my downward slump or has been in many years.
And I just kind of fall into the pit of well I don’t know if I’m ever gonna see
her again. And just this last year I decided I’m not going to let the fact
that my sister’s missing person control how I feel. I’m not gonna let my
emotions control what’s going on or what’s happening. I can’t; I can’t do that any more. It’s just not good for me and it’s not
good for my family. So I decided to focus on ministering to other people and how I
can reach other people. So I poured myself into my blog and into the
Facebook page of just getting a Bible verse out there daily. I did go through
like a two-week period where it was like none of this is working and I just kind
of like fell into a slump and I was like no I’m not going to do this.
I really started to fight back because Thanksgiving is normally okay and then
all of December is normally a downhill for me. I am weird.
I don’t like presents. I barely receive joy from receiving presents and it’s
like if it’s like a surprise present and somebody really really knows me and then
it’s like a touching thing or it touches like on a memory or like something like
that I might be like, “Yay!” but then it’s so fleeting that it’s like was it really
worth the money you spent? Because I don’t think it was. For me buying
presents is extremely hard I’ve had to spend a lot of time praying and focusing
on just like being okay with spending money on other people because for me
money is like an issue. And I don’t like to buy presents just for somebody to not
use something that oh my goodness that irritates me. Like when you sit there and
you try to do something so thoughtful and you spend all the time to think and
you plan it out you make something nice or you buy something that you know they
mentioned a while ago and then it just sits in the cabinet. It just sits
there. Okay! So that’s one of the reasons why Christmas is so so so hard for me.
It’s like all about the presents the whole season seems like it’s all about
the presents all about the tree it’s all about the lights it’s all about
everything that isn’t Jesus and it’s like dude like we’re supposed to be
celebrating Jesus and if you read the New Testament Jesus wasn’t about gifts
really. He was about people. He was about going out and just touching people’s
lives. So I decided this year that we were
gonna go present-free, first year ever. I finally set my foot down like I had
asked my family if we could go present free probably every year for like the
last five years or so, six years maybe. And every year was like all this fight
back and this year just like put my foot down and I was like this is what we’re
doing. We ain’t doing presents. I ain’t sending presents to you. I don’t want
any presents from you. I ain’t buying presents for the kids. We ain’t doing presents.
Didn’t even put up a tree. I was like and then I watched The Kranks. And I was like, “Ah man,
I’m Scrooge.” I’m just a bah humbug. And then I thought about it I was like no no
no no no no because what I did instead was my kids pulled out blank cards that
they had and they made these amazing Christmas cards. I wish I had taken
pictures of them before they sealed them but they were amazing.
They designed them and they put a Bible verse on each one that was encouraging
and hopeful. They went online and found all these different quotes that were
encouraging and hopeful. And they designed these cards and put them
together and put them each in a bag and then we made three different types of
cookies put those in sandwich bag and give them a sandwich bag of like six,
seven, eight, somewhere in there cookies. And then I hand crocheted and my oldest
daughter made a couple just a beanie, just a hat, for each person. And uh, my
middle child even made a scarf. Like it was a team effort and we made these
things and then we just drove around the city of Austin which has a large
homeless population and we just handed them out. There wasn’t a ton of them. I
think we did like thirteen or something like that
but by the time we were done we saw so many more people on the street who we
could have touched their lives and we were like next year we need to do more
my husband and kids were so excited, more excited than they’ve ever been to open
presents when they handed these out to people who appreciated them. And it was
just a little gift. It wasn’t much of anything like I was gonna bake cookies
anyways and I just like really needed somewhere for them to go because I did
not want to eat them all or have us eat them all like that’s bad when you’re
cooking like three different kinds of cookies and no you don’t need all that
up in the house. It’s not good for anybody. But it’s good for my mouth
but not for anything else. So the people who received them were
extremely grateful. Their face lit up and then my kids, their face lit up. And
they’re like next year we got to do like a hundred of them.
But I’m like whoa, whoa, whoa, we only did 13 and my arm hurts from crocheting.
Like, we need to plan this out next time not like a month in advance but like we
need to plan this out. So my oldest daughter, we’re in January, she’s already
made the first beanie that we’re gonna give out for Christmas next year. It was
the best, most relaxed Christmas, least depressed Christmas, I think I’ve ever
had ever because I decided to stand up for what I knew I needed and sometimes
that’s what we need to do. We need to stand up for ourself and what we need, as
long as we clear it with God first that’s all that matters.
Sometimes he’ll tell you know you need you need to you need to get a presents
again this year and I prayed about every year. And every year even God, with my
family as well, they were all like, “No, you need to give presents again this year.” And
then this year he gave me the release and it was like so amazing. So then I
found an amazing church. Best church for me that I could have ever found. A great
community of people and I got invited places and I decided to step past the
anxiety and I went to three different people’s houses within a week. For me
that was huge, super huge. For most people that’s like
no big deal but for me that was like super super huge.
I even like got up and pretended to karaoke and dance a little and be
weird like my weird silly weird that most people don’t ever get
the chance to see. And I have only known these people for a short time and I’m at
their house for a New Year’s Eve party no alcohol involved cuz we’re all
Christians and we’re hanging out and we don’t need it because when you got God
in your life you’ve got joy when you’re focused on the right things so New
Year’s came and went I had great people in my life that God
has moved me to a new area and he’s finally bringing to fruition a
lot of the promises that he gave me years ago. And as he does there’s more
and more joy and less and less sadness. So then they started the Biggest
Loser competition. And I’m like okay I’ve already lost like 15 of the pounds that
I had when I moved to Texas. So it’s– So within a year, I lost about 15 pounds on
my own not really giving any effort. I was like okay cool, sense of community,
why not? And at first I was like naw I’m not gonna do it cuz you like had to pay
to get in and whatever. So I wasn’t gonna do it because I don’t like to pay for
things for myself. And then I was like you know what I need this. I need this
for me. I’m gonna do it and then I paid for a
5k because I know that if I’m running I’m healthy. And God keeps telling me
like, “Hey, you need to get back into walking and you need to get back
into running and you need to spend that time with me.” And I keep going naw that’s
too much work and just this is a better for me to just sit in my little
depressed box and be sad and sad and lonely and I have made a stand. And I
said, “No. I’m not gonna be fat and sad and lonely anymore. I’m going to get up and
I’m gonna get active.” and I’m going to make new friends, even though it’s hard.
Even though all of these insecurities have been surfacing that I talked about
like in that last video like with all these new people and new experiences
isn’t like mmm are they gonna like if I do this and then my I said that weird
thing and then I overthink it. Everybody does it. But you only overthink what you
said. You don’t sit there and overthink what the other person said because they’re
at home overthinking the thing that they said. Stop overthinking it. Probably
nobody even noticed, except for yourself. Because you’re your own worst critic so
stop it. Stop criticizing yourself. Get up. Get active. Find a group who’ll
get up and get active with you. What I love about this group is there’s daily
encouragement. Multiples of us will sit there and just be like “whoa” wait “good
job!” “like wow!” “awesome!” “amazing!” “excellent!” All those words of encouragement are
coming at me and coming at the people in the group every day. We post regularly
and it’s important for us to do that. So those are some of the things I’ve done
to kind of fight back against it. I’ve just kind of decided to make a stand and
fight for the things that matter for me instead of letting depression rule my
life. So first, I needed to take a stand against anxiety and tell anxiety that it
wasn’t going to rule my life. And then I took a stand against depression and said,
“No, you’re not gonna rule my life.” Does that mean that I don’t have days where
the sadness just like falls on me? No, I still have those days. It’s just
what I decide to do when those days come is different. So this week, I had a couple
of those days where even as I was out running the thoughts start going in
my mind and I start tearing myself up and I’m not good enough and why am I
even bothering to run? And I just love my husband. Because I have the freedom to
just tell him like hey these are this is what I’m thinking. And he just he shuts
it down and he tells me the truth. And you need to find somebody in your life
whether it be a spouse or a friend or daughter or son mother uncle I don’t
care some person in your life that you can be real with. That you can tell them
when you’re having those negative thoughts and they will encourage you. And
they will build you up. If you need it to be me, message me, comment on here. I’ll
give you my contact info. Message me on Facebook @encouragementwithAlicia .com
I mean @encouragementwithAlicia You can message me at [email protected] tell me. I will encourage you. That’s what I’m here for. I’m here to
encourage people. Because that’s what I need and that’s
what builds me up as I build you up and then you are built up so that you can
then go build somebody else up. And sometimes we just need to pull out of
ourselves so that we can do that. Um, because I did pull aside those verses
for you guys I know this video is already super long and I’ve just been
talking your ear off you probably didn’t even make it this far but thank you if
you are still here. Do that whole like, share, comment business that we youtubers
are supposed to say to get people or whatever. I’ll just throw that in there.
But then the verses that I pulled aside that I felt would be helpful
where Ephesians 6:13 in the ISV version it says, “for this reason take up the
whole armour of God so that you may be able to take a stand whenever evil comes
and when you have done everything you could you will be able to stand firm.” Put
on your armor and then stand firm. Don’t let depression or anxiety rule your
decisions. You are in charge of your flesh not your flesh is in charge of you.
You are in charge of your emotions. Your emotions are not in charge of you.
Sometimes you have to look in the mirror and be like, “You,
you’re gonna submit. okay?” It’s like I have a running buddy and she tells her
legs like “you’re going to run.” She will even slap her leg and say “You’re moving. You
will submit and you will run.” She talks to her flesh cuz sometimes
that’ll be real you know what I mean. So stand firm. The next verse is Philippians
4:8 in the NIV. It says, “Finally dear brothers and sisters whatever is true,
whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think on such
things.” When you’re in the mode of depression
are those things you’re thinking? Because I bet you if you’re feeling depressed
those aren’t the things you’re thinking. Change your thought pattern the
depression will come in line. It doesn’t mean that the sadness is gonna
completely disappear. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that you will feel joy
despite the sadness. That you will be able to function regardless of where
your hormones or emotions are at. I’m telling you it’s made a difference. I got
three more for you. Psalms 28:7 in the ESV says, “The Lord is
my strength and my shield, in him my heart trusts and I am helped my heart
extolled and my song I give thanks to him.” God is your strength.
He is your shield. He’s your protection. Put your trust in him and sing some
things. Turn on that praise and worship, you know. Music makes a big difference. If
you keep listening to Metallica and Pantera and dark metally music, see how
it makes you feel and then turn on some worship music and see how it makes you
feel. Music will change your emotions. Turn on something uplifting, something
that’s written with the good spirit behind it. It will make a difference. Try
it. Let me know how it goes. Psalms 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth
and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock
in my Redeemer.” When you’re giving in, what are you
getting in to? Where’s your meditation? What are you contemplating? What are you
focusing on? Is it acceptable to the Lord? If it’s not, you need to change it. And
then the last one I had a really hard day today and I was curled up in a ball
in the shower crying out God. Going, God, I really really don’t want
to do this video. I don’t even know why you’ve asked me to do it. I don’t know
what the point is. I had an argument with one of my best friends over something
really petty and stupid and I was just like, “God, I need you to fix it all like I
just I don’t even know where to go. I don’t even know what to do.” And this is
the verse that he brought to my mind in that moment. It’s Psalms 30 verse 5, “For
his anger lasts only a moment but his favor lasts a lifetime”
Even when you’re disobedient his anger only lasts a moment but his favor with
you lasts a lifetime. Then the part that’s more common, that
almost everybody knows, is “weeping may last for the night but rejoicing comes
in the morning.” So even if you failed today, go to bed, close your eyes, go to
sleep, wake up in the morning, start again. Each day is a new day. It’s a new day to
try again. So that’s what I’ve got for you. Let me know how it works for you. Let
me know what you’re doing to fight your battle. Maybe there’s something you’re
doing that’ll help me because I mean I still have hard days. For me it’s a
cyclic thing and I don’t know if it has to do with the change of the season or
whatever. I honestly don’t take much time researching it because I just know it’s
something I deal with. And I’m tired of dealing with it. So these are the things
I’ve done to kind of battle what I’m going through. I would love to hear from
you. Tell me how you battle your depression. How do you battle your
anxiety? How do you battle the stresses and worries and stuff in your life? What
verses do you meditate on that help pull you out of that? Have a great day, week,
month. Make it a good year. Love ya!

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