How to Love Yourself With Depression and How to Love Those with Depression

How to Love Yourself With Depression and How to Love Those with Depression

I didn't think it would be possible for people who were my pillars of strength to suddenly fall under the weight of burnout, emotional burden, grief, and/or disappointment.
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Depression is called the “common cold” of the modern era. That’s because so many people have it nowadays - even the people that appear the strongest and the happiest.

The reason I know this to be true is because in the past year, I've seen so many of my closest loved ones suffer from depression.

I didn't think it would be possible for people who were my pillars of strength to suddenly fall under the weight of burnout, emotional burden, grief, and/or disappointment.

Little did I know that while depression appears to "suddenly" take over the lives of people, it really is not a downward spiral that occurs overnight. It's a build-up of so many different things - different anxieties, different insecurities, different traumas.

People with depression lose all motivation for anything. Worst of all, they feel that there is no hope. Almost all of us have either dealt with depression or have close friends/family members affected by it.

But I'm writing to say that:

There IS

Whether you suffer from depression or not, YOU ARE LOVED. WORTHY. ENOUGH. PRECIOUS. VALUABLE. UNIQUE. TREASURED - REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU HAVE DONE IN THE PAST AND REGARDLESS OF WHO YOU ARE IN THE PRESENT.

You must know that before you even begin to read the rest of this article. If you do not recognize your own inherent, God-given worth, you will never be able to recognize the worth in others. If you cannot recognize the worth in others, you cannot love them genuinely.


Hope begins with understanding how to love those who suffer from depression.

For those who suffer from depression, hope begins with understanding how to love yourself. Depression is never easy and feels like an uphill battle - but Love will ultimately prevail over darkness because it never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).


5 Ways to Love Yourself When You Are Depressed:

  1. Remembering there is nothing to be ashamed of | As human beings, we are all highly emotional beings who feel pain, grief, sadness, disappointment, and discouragement. We are all broken people inside who have struggled with the challenges of life as well as with physical ailments. Remember depression can not only be an emotional low-point but a hormonal imbalance in the body as well.
  2. There are people who care about you and want you to recover | You should never feel like a burden to them. Your family and true friends want to be there for you through the good and the bad. They want to help you. Your life and your happiness matter to them. Also, find a mentor you trust and look up to. Finding a good counselor to talk things through with will ALWAYS HELP. You need a good counselor who can walk beside you and carefully help you grow confident in working through issues from your past.
  3. You cannot do this alone | Don't suppress your feelings and maintain a facade of happiness and strength. It'll only make the fall into depression a lot more painful later on. Express your feelings with someone you really trust and/or with people who you know want the best for you.
  4. Realize there are things you can control and things you cannot | As weak or unmotivated as you feel while you have depression, you can exercise a lot of power over your situation! Instead of allowing depression to swallow you whole, focus on shutting out negative/self-destructing attitudes, center your attention on things that are uplifting/wholesome/pure, speak words of encouragement over yourself, and little by little, develop healthy coping mechanisms (physical exercise/activity, creative arts, meditating on the Word of God, setting small goals for yourself, prayer, helping others, being in the outdoors, etc. Most importantly, leave the rest to God. Submit those things which are not under your control unto the Lord. These things include: how others treat you, what others say to you, your physical ailments, your recovery time, etc.
  5. Don't try to rush the recovery process | Do not give yourself more anxiety by forcing yourself to get "fixed" by a certain amount of time. And don't compare yourself to other people either. The recovery process may seem long and irksome - but when you are recovered and look back, you'll be amazed at how much positive transformation and growth you've experienced and just HOW FAR YOU'VE COME. You are your own unique person,and always remember that God makes everything beautiful in its time.

5 Ways to Love People With Depression

  1. Never, ever belittle them with antagonizing questions like, "What's wrong with you? Can't you just go back to being normal?" | Seriously, it sounds obvious, but even I have been guilty of being insensitive. Don't speak abnormally or walk on eggshells around them, but just be conscientious. Remember, you are there to listen (and not ignorantly talk about how great your own life is and how things are just working out perfectly for you). Be sensitive. Think about how you would like others to talk to you if you were going through a particularly challenging time in your life. Also, do not try to use your own life experiences to justify the fact that you can "totally understand" how they feel. The truth is you will never understand how they feel. However, you can share your own stories and past struggles to point to the fact that there is hope.
  2. You cannot “fix” their problems | You are not their Savior - Only God can do the real fixing. But it doesn't mean you play a passive role in their lives. Be relentless in showing your love for them - and remember the smallest things make the biggest differences. It could be a simple reminder that you love and miss them. It could be a hug. It could be a compliment. It could be grabbing them lunch. It could be a cup of coffee. It could be sitting with them in silence and not saying a word.The little you do could really mean the world to someone.
  3. Keep reminding them of your love for them | This point is so important! Words have so much power, and the more you verbally affirm and uplift someone, the more they hear positive truths that can help dispel a lot of the lies that have been building up inside of them.
  4. Assure them that the healing process takes time | Don't try to hurry them along the process, and don't give up on them half-way just because you feel like you aren't seeing any positive results in their lives. Spend time with them regularly and genuinely show interest in who they are as people - not in how you can "fix" them. The last thing a person with depression wants to feel is forgotten. Therefore, make sure to go out of your way to make them feel remembered and valued. Pray for them and keep in touch. Show them that you sincerely are with them every step of the way.
  5. Encourage them to seek help from a counselor, mentoring group, and most importantly - from God | Remind them that plugging into a genuine, loving community is vital if one wishes to thrive spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Finally, acknowledging that there is a Great God who is the Author of Hope and who has the ability to take upon all of your cares and anxieties is SIGNIFICANTLY RELIEVING. God reminds you that He never wanted you to do life alone. He wants to do life with you and He desires that you live victoriously, not defeatedly!

Cover Image Credit: Love At The Centre

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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An Incurable Disease Doesn't Change The Love I Have For You

Because one day the one you love the most is fine and the next day they're not, it causes devastation you never truly recover from.

nadoty
nadoty
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Loving someone with an incurable disease is the most emotionally straining thing I have ever experienced.

My significant other and I have been together for almost six years. During the summer of 2018, we all noticed the significant changes he was going through. He had lost around fifty pounds and had a lack of appetite. We had figured something was going on, however, we didn't realize it was anything serious.

Fast forward to the Fall semester of 2018. I had visited my boyfriend and we had expressed certain concerns, such as, through the night I would try and get him to stop uncontrollably itching his legs to the point of bleeding, or that he was looking a little yellow and was exhausted all the time. After seeing his sister in November, while I was at school, she pleaded with him to go to urgent care because he did not look good. He was yellow, exhausted, and very sickly looking. We didn't realize that the urgent care visit would be the precedent of the rest of our lives.

After coming home for Thanksgiving and spending a week straight in the hospital with him, it finally set in that something was not right. Between all the vomit, getting moved for testing, the weakness, the constant calling for medications because the pain was so severe, and the almost month-long stay in the hospital, it hit me full force that something was really wrong. Words will never truly describe the emotions I was feeling, or the burden of my thoughts that I felt were too selfish to pass on anyone, so I kept them to myself.

When we finally got the diagnosis, we were surprised. PSC, otherwise known as Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, is an incurable liver disease that affects the bile ducts which become scarred and inflamed, more likely than not lead to cirrhosis and an inevitable transplant. There was no cure, rather the only solution was a liver transplant, and even then the disease can be recurring.

I was thinking selfishly. I was torn in two. What would our future look like? Could we have children? Could we ever do the things we used to?

Loving someone with an incurable disease is a mix of emotions. There is a constant fear in the back of my mind that he is going to wake up in intense pain and have to be rushed to the hospital. There is a constant fear of every time waiting for the bi-weekly blood test results to come back, in fear that his Bilirubin spiked again or he is undergoing a flare up and needs to be hospitalized. There is a constant anxiety that one day he's going to be fine, and the next day he won't be. Even the simple things, such as laying beside one another, was a constant fear I had, due to the pain he was in every day. What if I hit him in my sleep on accident? What if I accidentally hugged a little too tightly and caused him pain?

Loving someone with an incurable disease can be a fluctuation of emotions, however, he makes it worth it.

nadoty
nadoty

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