Without going into great detail, I could tell when depression was coming on. What made it worse, since such is a mind issue, is that I would exploit it by embellishing my troubles through exaggerated negative self-talk.
Self-talk is where I would take a true injury and develop the whys and the wherefores of it. I am rejected because _____ _____ __ ____. I would both create the blanks and them fill them in. A strange thing about all of this is that I truly did and still do experience rejection; especially from our brotherhood. Yet, I would habitually turn an injury into a tragedy via self-inflicting-talk.
The good news is that I learned from the Word that I could beat it. There are instructions from the Bible for guys like me. And let it be no surprise, God is right. He pulls us from this life-hampering ditch to set us free to imagine, to dream. Should we fail, we are free to try once again.
The key to unlock the wonder of life is found in our mind. What we think about is a choice. What people or circumstances do to us isn't. But what we do toward thinking about each is. This is where God comes in. He tells us how to use proper Mind Management.
Philippians 4:4-9 is The Great Escape from the Mind Prison text.
- :4 Twice He says rejoice; and we can if we want. It is our decision. No one is exempt.
- :5 We can hold up under stress because the Lord is engaged in our dilemma.
- :6 Be nervous about nothing. If you want you can; but realize it is your choice. And when you pray be sure to include a ton of reasons why you are thankful....during this very hurtful disturbance.
- :7 Peace of God will arise without your management nor manipulation...and this will guard your "mind".
- :8 Transfer your thinking processes from rehearsal of the depressing to the wonder of everything that is still going right. Can you still see? Can you still walk? Do you still have one friend? Two? Are you breathing? Do your tear ducts still work? Place your mind upon the altar of rehearsing repeatedly the thousands of things in your life going right.
- :9 Practice. Don't retreat to the pit-thinking when you don't at first succeed. Practice. Practice thinking about the abundant things going right.
It isn't that we are to live in denial that bad things happen. It is possible, however, that we have been living in denial that great wonder is intricately and presently woven into our lives.
Once we dare practice life-thinking, a weird and wonderful thing begins to happen as if the light comes on. We will begin to go through our days on auto-pilot. Eventually, due to practice, we will automatically see the hope of any situation. And just as God promised, we will experience His most faithful peace.
Do I ever get discouraged? Yes. Yet, I've learned to use these painful moments as practice gyms where I train my mind to see value rather than loss. I still cry over people and circumstances. I fold into tears at devastating news from (or about) a brother or a sister. I am so tempted to lose it when I fail God or others. God's peace, though, reigns when we train our thinking to ponder His beauty rather than our temporary loss.
This training has helped me adapt from insecurity to a very new and strange concept to me; relax. I once nervously believed all in my world was up to me. It isn't. It is up to God (Romans 9:16). If it is to be, it is up to Him. I couldn't even be god of my own meager world; let alone another's. But God is God. Learn to relax and let Him be Him.
Finally, everything is a yes. Issues aren't a yes and a no; but are always a yes....II Cor. 1:18-20. Argue this if you want...and remain depressed. Have at it.
But if you would like to beat depression, practice refraining from blaming others or circumstances or yourself and take responsibility for the one thing you can and should control; they way you choose to think.
Winning isn't for the lottery winners of life who just happened to be at the right place at the right time. It is for the man and the woman who have the courage to address their personal weakness of stinkin' thinkin'.
Life and peace and joy are available for every person who would like to ponder the riches of such at each and every moment...for it is available in abundance.
For any who struggle with depression, I have lived across my mattress which was a rack of torture. No more. I'm not saying depression is minor; for it is most rugged. Therefore, due to it hampering so many of us for so long, it is good news to know we can break its grip. A-N-D W-E C-A-N.
I encourage you, once again, about a great book which will help. Sharon Hersh's The Last Addiction is one of those revolutionary works. I know this book to be a great support to the Philippians text.
Merry Christmas as you learn how to win over depression!