Letter to the depressed self: Believing that you’re still loved

I’d open with scripture but even we Christians have to admit that side-eyes all around are sometimes the order of the day when things are rough.

Something I am learning about living with depression is that it’s something you manage, especially when chemical imbalance is at play. When I say manage it means becoming familiar with it to the point that you know how to help yourself or get help when you feel things are getting out of hand. Michelle Williams has a new show Chad loves Michelle where, in the first episode, she talked about checking herself into a facility after a bout of depression and taking meds to manage it.

Full disclosure: I found me a therapist after I saw that I couldn’t handle my internal battles alone. And even after that, I had three episodes of near suicide that thankfully I had another voice urging me to ask for help from friends. If you’ve been here or are going through this, let it be enough to know that you’re not alone and that you can soldier on, despite how crappy things look. 

Just watching how Michelle’s depression is affecting her relationship (and Chad’s frustration), I could see a lot of my life too. Among other things she talked about her room being her safe space because she wasn’t able to feel safe anywhere else, especially to be honest about her feelings. When I was watching I was all around saying “YEP!” because that’s something I can attest to.

If you followed my blog before you can possibly tell that I was, to a degree, censoring certain aspects of my life. It wasn’t intentional. I just didn’t feel safe. And I still don’t. Something that has been a constant in all my relationship is my inability to find a safe space to open up. While I had due reason to be skeptical about the space provided- I have dated some guys with the emotional capacity of a white wall- I still think that even when a fantastic guy is to roll up (like the one in the vicinity), I could still keep my walls up.

And that’s the thing about depression.

Even the most amazing things feel threatening. If you’re in a relationship with someone and they say stuff like “I am not good enough for you” or “I will hurt you, just go find someone else” I am not expecting you to stay and understand. Sometimes it’s not your portion to be a doctor and love someone to health. Leave that to people whose natural disposition has them loving someone back to health. I’m saying that so that you never feel bad about leaving someone who was difficult to love especially if you now have the awareness that depression was the cause.

I guess this post is for the person who’s depressed and has if they dared even hope it was true, love around them. That could be a spouse, friend or family. I’m realizing retreating when you’re super depressed is easy when wondering why you’re alive in the first place. But even when (as a family friend put it) you’re looking at the bottom side of the bottomless pit, choose courage to believe that you’re loved.

That’s my pompom word for you today. Choose to believe that the essence of you is worthy of love. If you’re finding that hard, then consider this; you can’t possibly be surrounded by morons who choose to love you as you are!

Choose courage.

 

Cheers.

Simplifying the Purpose of Romantic Relationships

Matthew 22:36-40 Amplified Bible (AMP)

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 And Jesus replied to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’ 40 The whole Law and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Relationships are tricky, or so I thought until an entire sermon took place in the course of a mental discussion I was having with myself on the topic. I keep making jokes I am officially “those Christians” making bible jokes and thoughts randomly get back up by scripture. The reason I roll my eyes is that I know myself. There are days “demonic” is the word for my thought-life.

That aside, I am those people that need a reason for everything. My mother truly hates this because I’m ‘insubordinate’ if I can use that word, because, hierarchy. Don’t tell me “I feel” or “God talked to me and said-“without a logical explanation or scripture. I will challenge you. I am not about to do things, look dumb in the end and when someone asks me, “And why did you do that Maureen?” “Because XYZ told me” is the last reason I want to give.

I’m only a sheep to Jesus; the rest of you better roll up with facts and sound arguments.

As you can tell by now, I like structure, and I am methodical. If something doesn’t have a purpose, it doesn’t have room in my life. That applies to my career and relationships of any nature. If you make me do something I don’t see the point of, I will drop balls so hard, you’ll first fire me in your dreams before you get round to doing it in person. With relationships nowadays, I will disappear from your life. I won’t even blink; the one thing I like about getting older.

Now picture a man telling me “let’s see where this goes” and later “We’ve just started dating, relax, we’ll figure out that out later.”

incredulous excuse me GIF

That silence is their absence from my life.

If you, male or female, have been in such a situation, be like me, exit. Did I take months to move on? Yes, and despite my hesitation, I knew I had to leave eventually.

Now that I am all about the “new woman, new life” vibe, I was about to draft a list of things that should qualify as purposeful before issuing them out to a potential suitor. It’s in this state of foolishness (stay with me) that Matthew 22:36-40 came to mind. If a man or woman doesn’t have the above as their sole purpose, they seeing themselves building a mansion with you don’t matter.

This part is for the ladies: If a man doesn’t speak of his intention to love you as commanded, get out. He doesn’t have to use those exact words, but you will know the source of his love when you see it. Anything less, and girl, those tears you cry after won’t be worth the singlehood you’ve given up.

Same applies to you fellas. Get a woman that loves you commandment style.

Cheers

Mind Your Judgment

Romans 2:3-4

3 But do you think this, O man, when you judge and condemn those who practice such things, and yet do the same yourself, that you will escape God’s judgment and elude His verdict? 4 Or do you have no regard for the wealth of His kindness and tolerance and patience [in withholding His wrath]? Are you [actually] unaware or ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness leads you to repentance [that is, to change your inner self, your old way of thinking—seek His purpose for your life]? AMP

Picture a scenario where a friend approaches you with a business plan. Part of it includes selling counterfeited goods but marketing them as the cream of the crop in the industry. Like the save, sanctified and spirit filed person that you are, as Sarah Jakes Roberts would put it, you tell them that it’s a horrible idea and proceed to quote scripture and the law of the land.

Being the hard-headed person, they are your friend doesn’t listen. You, however, continue to be in their life, showing them kindness, offering corrections and just treating them like a decent human being despite their shortcoming.

A few years after their initial prosperity, things fall apart.

Now picture this same friend going onto social media and saying how, when they had everything, they had friends, but now everyone has deserted them. You think they are in pain and you give them space. You come back into their life when you think they are at least in their right mind, only for them to say, “Why didn’t you stop me when I came to you with the plan?”

excuse me what GIF

I don’t know about you, but that right there would leave me speechless. So much so that I’d block this person’s number and forget about them because that’s how many words I don’t have.

But the Good Lord is working in me.

The typical “what would Jesus do?” question applies here. The answer is you wouldn’t say anything back, at least anything that would cause harm. Sure enough, when the pity party is over, they would roll back round, apology filled and ready to make amends. It is your ability to remain loving that would leave the door open for them to come back and restore the friendship.

And that’s what this verse in Romans is about.

We need to stop seeing God as someone who sends out Holy Backhands for every mistake we make. That’s not His job. The only possible backhand He’s done is when He smacked Lucifer so hard that he fell out of the heaven and bowling-balled a third of the angels out as well.

We also tragically walk around with the narrative that God also issues out backhands to your enemies. No… not quite. The wages of sin is death. So anything that comes your “enemy’s” way is simply a harvest of something they sowed. So if I were you, I’d be mindful of how I go round saying “God smite mine enemies!” Because what’s that line in the Lord’s Prayer? “Forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us?” Child, what wrath is this you’re introducing to yourself though?!

So next time you see that chick who’s been sleeping around or the guy who cons people “prosper,” don’t think God is asleep. He’s extending the same grace to them as He did you while you were still in sin.

Be kind to everyone, won’t you?

Cheers.