In the past few weeks I have been open about my best friend saving me from suicide. I have been celebrating that I have made it two years and have not since tried to end my life (again). When I share my story many assume that I no longer fight depression, this is not true, however, I have learned how to overcome.
I recently went on a nature walk. I was stressed and fighting depression. I took the time to simply enjoy some fresh air and took along a journal and a pen. I wrote the following while admiring God’s creation.
“To me victory over depression is not having the privilege of being happy, it is finding the courage to leave the house when you don’t feel like it. It’s putting on an outfit that you feel good in and going on a walk when sadness is taking over, even if you only have enough energy to walk around the block once. It is the point in which you discover that YOU are worthy of self-care. Victory over depression is when you see the smallest joys in life, despite having the spirit of depression over your soul.”
Some have assumed that after that cold January night I no longer fought depression or suicidal thoughts, but that could be no further from the truth. I can honestly say that if my parents and my school hadn’t constantly “watched” me, I probably would have tried to end my life again. At points I felt suffocated, however, I was not in a mental state that I should have been alone. That night was not the end of my battle nor the beginning, however, it was when I began learning how to achieve victory.
In order to be an overcomer, I had to start doing the following.
I had to grid my teeth and endure therapy. My therapist was beyond patient with me as I was a stubborn patient. Yet, I learned valuable lessons within my time spent at counseling. Some argue that therapy is not important as long as they have someone to talk with. In a few situations this could be true. I say this because therapy can be extremely beneficial — you could be struggling with other mental health issues besides depression and the therapist will share techniques on handling your depression.
Before therapy could be beneficial, I had to believe that I was worthy of self-care and recovery.
Additionally, I had learn what my limits were, and how to say no. On certain days I cannot handle situations that can be triggering. On some days I can endure but not always. I am a protector, however, I oftentimes forget to protect my own mental health. I have had to be able to find the courage and strength to walk away from situations that can hinder my recovery.
I changed my health by what I put in my body. I learned for me consuming meat changes my mood. When I eat meat my anxiety and my depression becomes high. Therefore, meat is not in my diet. *I get plenty of protein for anyone who is wondering.*
Lastly, I have learned how to push myself. I have times that I desire to stay in bed all day. I try not to let myself do that though. When I am deeply depressed, even as I have limited energy, I make sure that I leave my home and go for a Target run or a nature walk.
I am an overcomer because I have learned how to live life in a healthy manner despite fighting depression. I have learned my limits, and how to appropriately push myself while having this disease. I see every moment that passes as a moment to celebrate recovery because each moment is one that I continue to live as the enemy has tried to defeat me.
If you battle depression, let me assure you that you too can win victory with the simple power of self-care — physically, mentally, and spiritually. Please be reminded that it is always worth the fight.