My Journey with Depression and Anxiety

A guest post by Tina Frederick

I remember sitting in the back of my school’s auditorium with my class in seventh grade. I’m not sure what the assembly was about, but I had this gripping fear for my future. I knew that I would have trouble wanting to live a dull life and I wanted to die to avoid all of the pain that I would face.

I’m living that dull life now while dealing with depression and anxiety as an adult, and I fight away those fearful feelings every day. I struggle with anxiety constantly, and depression looms overhead like gray clouds waiting to descend and cover up the things that I should be thankful for. I made a couple of suicide attempts in the past. Not being successful in taking my life made me feel like a failure on top of all of the other things that I was dealing with. If only I were more driven, or a better planner…

I seem to be living out the fears of my youth. I don’t like where I am now, and I don’t know how to change things in a logical way. There’s constant chatter in my thoughts about how I can make things better.

“Should I quit my stressful job even though I don’t have another one waiting?”

“Of course I shouldn’t.”

“Should I break my lease so that I can find a nicer place to live?”

“No, I should wait it out.”

The depression tries to apply pressure to my mind, forcing me to constantly review my problems in the background. The disappointing details of my life resurface in my mind, constantly struggling to become larger and larger. It’s up to me to give Hope the chance to help me fight every day.

 I believe in the Holy Bible, and it teaches that I can’t just lie down and let forces take control. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 reminds me I have to weigh every thought against the Gospel.

We all have something in our lives that we wish was different. Having conflict is a natural part of growing, so I try to direct my focus on where it needs to be.

I must give glory to God, not my disappointments and regrets. It’s hard because I feel I have made many mistakes. I often feel like my life is such a waste. Nothing seems to work out. ALL of my decisions seem to be the wrong ones.

Sometimes I wonder why I was fearful about my future as a child. My childhood was very stressful for me, and I guess I couldn’t imagine things getting better. Did my fears help to create today’s troubles? Did they prepare the way for the things that went wrong in my life? 

God reminds me to look to the scriptures when I’m stewing in these kinds of thoughts, and to think about things working out well.

It’s discouraging to think that I was right to be so fearful when I was a child. I was afraid that I would not be able to enjoy my life, and I haven’t. Has there been no growth since then? No new appreciation for life, or joy that can make me happy to be here today? 

Instead of being overcome with these kinds of thoughts, and feeling like I’m at the same place that I have always been, I choose to believe that God wants the best for me, and that I can trust Him to help me with what I’m going through.

Something that usually helps me when I’m feeling low is listening to music, or singing. Music helps to lift my spirits better than any medication or counseling session ever has. Listening to positive music helps me align my thoughts with the life-giving lyrics. It also sheds light on how far off my thoughts and feelings are. 

I listened to a lot of soft rock as a teenager, and the popular songs that were out back then described pain, feelings of isolation, heartbreak, and other sadness. The songs were on mainstream radio, so lots of other people must have been going through some of the same things that I was. I liked the songs, but I didn’t really feel better after listening to them.

The moody music kept me right where I was, but uplifting music made a difference by giving me good things to think about.

I don’t think about ending my life anymore. I chose to hang in there, and continue to try to make the best decisions for myself with God’s help. I’m hoping to experience joy and happiness continuously in my life. 

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Tina lives in Maryland and is interested in singing and blogging. She blogs at https://mstinatypes.wordpress.com often focuses on living a passionate life. She plans to pursue a Masters degree in Psychology with a focus on career counseling. You can follow Tina on Twitter: @MsTinaTypes

 

 

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