I’m Still Standing

“Courage is not the absence of fear, it’s the ability to act despite fear.”

I was skimming through a earlier post; Tap Tap Tap (link opens up in a new tab) and I realized that while cleaning out a room is indeed a good thing, stuffing the dirt and rubbish into a closet in said room and sealing it up isn’t really cleaning. One is simply postponing the inevitable. About a year ago, only a month into my post-graduate program, I was chronically depressed.

That was my first battle with depression. I went for one counseling session and i never returned. My first thought before the therapist diagnosed me with depression was that I was homesick or probably frustrated with the change of environment and difficulty in transitioning. I was so down I just needed the space away from people and the world, I wanted to be locked in my room for a decade and wonder aimlessly why my spirit was down, I really wanted that.

I lost my resolve and zeal, that thing that made me all smiles and me. I felt useless, so useless and insignificant that if I were to jump off the Canadian tower and plummet to a painful death, the world would not miss me. It was as though I was taking up valuable space a ‘better‘ person could be using to make a difference.

In truth I’ve never really read anything about overcoming depression. I believed there are certain battles one must fight alone, so, I reassured myself constantly that anything, whether good or bad has to end. It would pass, it was just a phase, there was nothing I could do but fake a smile when asked how I was doing and ignore the voices telling me I’d never amount to much. Slowly I got used to the feeling and I learnt to live with it instead of dealing with it. It was a hard reality but good and evil, life and death, sadness and happiness always walk hand in hand, there was no escaping it, so I learnt to live with it.

It didn’t take long before it all came rushing back. Another realization? You see, you cannot serve two masters, in time you will have to choose one. I  could either choose happiness or let the depression swallow me up. Depression is a phase, never learn to live with it, understand and deal with it then move on. It happens to the best of us. We get kicked down so many times that the floor starts to look and feel comfortable, but, worse things have happened to others and they made it out standing, you are not the exception.

It’s not as hard as you think. I realized that depression is a manifestation of our greatest fears, worry or whatever emotion that is. I was worried about where I was at that point in my life and how I was nowhere near where I should be and I let it overwhelm me, forgetting that being in that state was letting time waste away, time that was so precious and urgent.

To overcome depression is to find inner peace, it’s realizing you’re not perfect and you’re not quite fulfilled yet and accepting it. I had not quite there yet because I was wallowing in defeat and nothingness, I was not where I should be or halfway there because I was wasting time thinking about the ‘what ifs‘, I was letting something so irrelevant control me and misdirect my purpose and I know better. I had to snap out of it!

You’re better than you think. You may not be Obama or whoever but nothing makes them better than you, for your paths in life differ, your battles as well. You are alive and healthy, there’s a reason for that. I believe it’s because there’s a destiny, a purpose only you can serve.

Let go of all the negativity and the fear, let go of whatever emotions that are trying to steal your identity. Anger, pain, grieve? To what end? What purpose does slowly giving up on life and yourself really serve? What’s the point wasting away when you can put that time to better use? You’re only so weak now because you’ve been too strong for too long, feel the feelings and let it go.

This is where I leave you: Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal. God doesn’t allow us temptations or battles beyond us.

You don’t need the best writers or the best doctors in the world to tell you how to overcome depression. All you need is ask yourself this question: Why now? Because the darkest part of the night is the one before dawn. You’ve been through many storms before, but look, you’re still standing and you’ll make it out of this without loosing your bearing, this is no different.

Remember, when it feels like you’ve hit rock bottom and this could be the worse storm you’ll ever have to fight, the only way out is up. The hardest and most distorting battles are the ones that prepare us for our journey to our peak.


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