War Zone

War Zone

We are in a battle, not just with depression, but with ourselves.
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There’s something comforting about the darkness.

This is one of the things that people who have never experienced depression tend to not understand.

They wonder why we always seem to relapse.

They wonder why we can’t just be happy.

They wonder why we can’t be normal.

What they don’t understand is: we wonder the same thing.

The sadness that overwhelms and suffocates us is also a familiar friend. The whispers of self-doubt and hatred are far easier to believe than the positive light trying to break through. The tears that we cry and the weight on our chests become comforting, because that is what we know.

We know the shadows by name and we dance with the thoughts of razors. We’re blind to the smiles and are accustomed to the disappointed and judging looks thrown at us by others.

Recovery is change, and change is terrifying.

It’s far easier to let the dark blanket over us and ignore the world as if life doesn’t continue on, even if we don’t want to.

Recovery is a war.

It’s fighting thoughts of hate, self-loathing, and despair constantly every day. It’s trying to smile and let everyone know you’re okay even when you’re dying on the inside and just want it all to go away. It’s screaming at yourself because WHY CAN’T I JUST BE NORMAL?

I just want to be happy like everyone else. I don’t want to be tired every second of every day. I don’t want to make excuses for when I can’t seem to make it out of my room. I don’t want to struggle with thoughts of pulling the steering wheel as I’m on my way to work. I don’t want to imagine tearing apart my razor just so I can release my pain.

I don’t want this life I live.

And yet I still try.

I still wake up every morning, pull my hair up into a sloppy bun, and drag myself to class.

I stay in my lane, go the speed limit, and follow the rules of traffic, even though I’d rather drive into a wall.

I still smile and laugh, play sports, and hang out with my friends.

I still go to therapy because maybe, just maybe, I’ll discover a cure while I’m there.

This is what people don’t understand about depression.

About the people who have it.

We are in a battle, not just with depression, but with ourselves.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, there is help! Call: 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Tristan Hughes

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Tips To Manage Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Those dark winter nights can be hard, but there are tips to help.

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The temperature drops, the layers increase and you find the colder weather a great excuse to climb under the covers and binge watch your favorite shows, but how do you know when a seasonal slump is becoming a problem?

According to the Mayo Clinic, "Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year.

If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer."

SAD symptoms often appear during late fall or early winter and often go away during the sunnier days of spring and summer.

Some of the symptoms of SAD include:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having low energy
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide

While Seasonal Affective Disorder can leave you feeling hopeless, there are some tips for managing SAD till the warmer weather rolls around.

Tips for managing SAD:

  1. Aromatherapy: Essential oils can influence the area of the brain that is responsible for controlling moods and the body's internal clock that influences sleep and appetite. Adding a few drops of essential oil to your bath or a bit on your neck can help you relax.
  2. Get Moving: Like other forms of depression, exercise can help promote a variety of positive changes in the brain including neural growth, reducing inflammation and new activity patterns that promote feelings of calm and well-being. Exercising can also help with the weight gain that is common with SAD.
  3. Get Outside: While it's sometimes hard, getting outside and taking advantage of the sunshine can be beneficial when dealing with SAD. Bundle up and try to get outside around noon and take a walk for as long as the cold will allow to soak up some sun and breathe that fresh air. Also when you're indoors, it's helpful to leave your blinds open and let in as much natural light as possible.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is not easy to manage. On those dark days it is easy to feel helpless, but try to remember that this is only temporary and it will get better and brighter.

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