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BIS LIVES

God’s Love on My Journey Through Depression and Anxiety

If you’ve ever struggled with depression, you would know that the feeling of indifference often clouds your perception of life. Whether it’s towards daily activities, relationships, or even prayer, indifference latches onto every aspect of your life. And this indifference is something that has made my heart feel lifeless. I’ve been struggling with depression for about four months, and I’ve noticed sins that weigh me down trigger it. The ones that I think, “I’m never going to confess this again,” as I’m coming out of the confessional, only to be back two weeks later with an identical list of sins from my last visit.

This cycle has let the enemy into my conscience telling me that I’m disappointing, that I can’t get better, that I will continue this cycle over and over again until one day I decide to give up. And that’s sort of what I did four months ago.

After my clean slate was stained again from sin, I decided that I wasn’t going to change, at least not right away, so why should I keep trying so hard to feel worthy of God’s grace? With my stubborn mind made up, I stopped going to Mass. I stopped praying. I believed the lie that I wasn’t worthy of God’s forgiveness.

When I let that belief into my heart, depression took over and soon after indifference clouded my eyes towards everything. I felt alone, lifeless, and unworthy of help. Eventually I couldn’t handle the heaviness of what I was struggling with so I decided to confide in one of my best friends. Crying on his back porch, not even able to look at him, he told me that he was struggling too. And I realized that the more I confided in my friends and was honest with what I was feeling, the more I realized that we were all going through something similar. There was some sort of drought in each of us, and yet none of us asked the other for water.

When I came to this realization, there was a whisper in my heart to go to Mass. My heart was anxious and unsure, because I had been living with months of drunkenness, lust, and shame under my belt. I reached to all of these things because at least with them, I felt something. Even if it was temporary. But the alcohol would wear off, the attention from boys would go away, and all I was left with was the feeling that I was wasting my dignity, squandering my inheritance. So I can understand why I didn’t want to go to Mass. I looked at all the chaos I caused and the stains I created and felt that God could never clean it all up. But I also knew that I couldn’t live with indifference and shame any longer.

I needed to care, I needed to come back to life, and I needed forgiveness. 

Forgiveness is the resolution of my story, dear sister. Forgiving myself in particular. God’s mercy is constantly flowing. His heart is so full of love for us and forgiveness comes so easily to Him. But forgiveness from myself to myself? That doesn’t come as easily. Learning to forgive myself has been the most difficult thing lesson on my spiritual walk. Self-forgiveness comes with a journey of loving myself, and I knew I couldn’t have love if all I felt was indifference. Every day I battle the lifeless feeling of indifference, but every day I’ve learned to lean into Christ. And it always looks different. Sometimes He shows Himself through a loving friend, an incredible sunset, or a small victory of saying no to the temptations that appeal to me. His love protects me, but only because every day, I let it.

Every day, He chisels away at my heart of stone. I still struggle, but I know there is a victory at the end of this journey, and my heart will be all the better for it.

Written by Jillian Wagner.

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    JVSR
    June 11, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    Hi Jillian,
    I just wanted to let you know I found your words to ring a bell within me. I had been living with weeks turning into months of drunkenness, experiencing shame and guilt for my sins, yet continuing to turn to alcohol because like you, I became addicted to the toxic feeling of forgetting. When I was out, any pain I held would go away as a temporary fix. But what you said, “…all the chaos I caused and the stains I created…I needed to care, I needed to come back to life, and I needed forgiveness.” I understand all of that, and your words struck a chord with me, reading it. Wishing you continuous love in the Lord, thank you for sharing your story.

  • Reply
    Mirjana
    June 12, 2017 at 7:34 am

    “His love protects me, but only because every day, I let it.” This post is so beautiful. I relate to it almost entirely word for word. It’s so comforting to know we are not alone, and especially that God has not abandoned us! “The Lord is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” -Psalm 46:1

  • Reply
    Daisy
    June 12, 2017 at 10:16 am

    I’m so grateful for this. Thank you for the realness. I’ve been in a constant struggle with depression for years. I’ve been fighting a “general fight” for about 3 years after reclaiming my life from the enemy. But it wasn’t enough. The pressures of life were choking me and I couldn’t focus on Christ. This past Easter Vigil, when my boyfriend received his sacraments I decided there wasn’t a better opportunity to stop everything, look up at Christ, and let everything else fall into wherever it falls. It’s a much different fight when we fight with everything no matter the consequences. When we stop caring about our status in this world and let ourselves be completely vulnerable before God. It’s a much different kind of fall when we choose not to give up and instead get so beat up and so weak that all we can do is whimper the name of Jesus. When we fight with everything we won’t fall out of Grace, we’ll fall right into it.

  • Reply
    Allan
    June 13, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    It is encouraging to read such kind of posts. God is using you to heal the nations. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Delmare Proulx
    September 26, 2017 at 1:37 am

    Your post is so beautiful. I really liked it. Sometimes it doesn’t seem as if there is a way out of the everyday grind and the setbacks that are thrown on our path. It seems that we spend our time responding to emergencies and that we are not really getting anywhere. We seem to be spending our time and all our energy just to stay afloat in life and our goals and dreams seem to melt away or are moved into the too hard basket. This article looks at the problem of life getting out of control and how the events of life and the way we respond to then can get you down. It’s about the cycle of depression. But seeking help of a professional like Martine Voyance at martine-voyance.com can help you come out of your problems by understanding it and giving advice on how to recover from it.

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