I have learned, and am still learning the ways, to overcome depression and anxiety. I’d love to overcome these things with you by sharing the relationships I have that helped me get through the critical stages of my mental health.
- I have a relationship with God.
I am a Born-Again Christian, but I am depressed. I have come to realize that being a Christian isn’t an escape to depression or absolute tiredness. I came even to the point of asking, “If I am a Christian, why am I feeling and thinking this way?” I experienced loneliness that no amount of food, no K-drama, no family and friends’ company could ever satisfy. I reached the point of emptiness when all I can hear is that small ticking sound of the clock, wanting time to just stop. I lost the passion that I lived my 20s just to sustain my living in Manila. Drinking a cup of coffee in the morning, going to work, pretending to be the most joyful person in the house, then going to bed, lonely. Thinking that a day just passed again, empty.
I forgot the feeling of joy, even the meaning that contains the very word. Then, that day came when I saw myself, finally, in tears, praying, “Lord, I am so lost, what should I do? I can barely breathe.” I was then reminded that I have God and He has me. That relationship with God reminded me that I’ve got more than a friend in Him, but a Father. A Father in Whom I can share and confide every weakness and struggle I encounter. A Father Who won’t love me less, no matter how unlovely and undeserving I am and may become. A Father that loves me not because I am loveable but because it is His very nature. That relationship reminded me that there is more to life than being lonely, and that is brewing the best days of my life with Him, to Him, and in Him.
- I have a relationship with my Lifegroup Leader.
My relationship with my lifegroup leader is not confined inside the ministry nor inside the church. My leader mentors me not just in my spiritual life but in all areas of my life. Through discipleship, I have learned that in order for me to be helped, I need to be open and to trust my leader. It was by confessing the sins that I have made, my deepest desires no matter how selfish and critical they were, that will help me be helped. With confessing, comes healing. Relating my true self helped me to be freed from the paralyzing depression that occurred within me. Isolating myself didn’t help me. Isolation brought me more loneliness. I praise God that I am blessed to have not just a friend but a mentor in my lifegroup leader.
As I go along the process of healing, the Lord, through my leader, taught me to mentor my mind. Remember what Thanos said when Thor hit him with his hammer? Thor must have hit him in the brain. Half then of the human race vanished because Thor didn’t hit the right target. It is indeed hard to mentor the mind, but it’s more critical not to do what we can do now. God is a relational God. Don’t isolate; seek for mentorship.
*Entry submitted for our Mental Health Matters Caring Cup Conversation