The emerging blogger series is aimed at community building through giving mental health bloggers who are early in their blogging evolution the opportunity to have their work seen by a wider audience. It’s also a way to introduce you as a reader to some newer members of our community.
This post is by Savannah of Happy In Him.
It’s Okay to Not Be Okay, Just Don’t Stay There
“I would consent to have a limb amputated to recover my spirits”
– George Gordon Byron
Okay, so I’ll admit, I was a bit irritated when I wrote parts of this. But I feel like I needed to say it. I am currently diagnosed with major depression, and I’ve struggled with depression since I was thirteen years old. I am twenty-seven years old now, and after dealing with rejection and isolation for so long because of my depression, I feel like I need to speak up for myself and other depression sufferers.
Over the past fourteen years I have spent a lot of time crying alone with nobody to talk to, and I have also had supportive friends and loved ones who have loved me through my sadness at times. I can say from experience that what helps the most is having someone care and talk me through it. Even if they offer some tough-love advice, it seriously helps.
Actually, on that note, the biggest help for my depression has been reading Joyce Meyer books and discovering that gratitude is pretty much the cure for depression. Instead of rehearsing a list of what’s wrong, listing and dwelling on my blessings has had a way of healing my broken heart like nothing else has.
My mother had been saying things about gratitude here and there for some time, and I resisted for a long time out of feeling offended. But heck, one day I tried it in the middle of wanting to cry and I felt instantly better.
I believe it’s okay to be sad, and that nothing is wrong with anybody for feeling sad, but staying stuck in sorrow and anguish is a miserable existence. If you want to find your way out, try counting what’s going right instead of everything that’s wrong. I say this in love, really. I’m not trying to invalidate or dismiss anybody’s feelings. The quote at the beginning of this was exactly how I felt when I decided to try it. I was annoyed that people said I had a gratitude and negative thinking issue for a long time. But I got so sick of despair that I just broke down and tried it. And it worked.
I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but I tend to cry a lot. And when I do, I pile up a list of everything that’s wrong with me and life and the world and cry about all of it. I do it to release the pain, and yes crying is healthy and normal, but releasing all my pent up emotion over and over again has never cured my broken heart.
That said, here’s my rant: there is a stigma around depression, and we tend to shoot our wounded. Not everybody treats hurting people like this, but many do. One of the most healing things for someone who suffers from depression is when somebody listens and cares and talks us through it. But with the current attitudes out there about depression, it is a common experience for suffering people to be avoided and rejected and ignored.
Suicide rates are very high right now, and I believe we need to start reaching out and being there for hurting people. Now, I’m not trying to make anyone into a bad guy. I’m not saying anybody is a bad person. I’m just saying we need to start thinking differently about depression if we want a less harsh world.
So, lastly, if you are feeling like something is wrong with you for feeling depressed, I’d like to conclude by saying this:
It’s okay to not be okay. You’re not a bad person because you feel sad. It’s okay to feel feelings other than happiness, and you don’t have to put on a fake smile. It’s okay to reach out to someone you trust if you need a crying shoulder. You don’t have to deal with this alone out of shame or fear of being rejected. And you are valuable and have worth. Depression doesn’t change that about you. You’re worth all the help and support you can get. So if you find yourself feeling flawed and hiding how you feel, maybe it’s time to reach out for the help you need. It’s okay. It really is. And don’t be afraid to try new things to overcome your depression. If you’re anything like me, some suggestions may sound annoying and dismissive. But if you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, try gratitude. Write a list and stick it on your wall, count your blessings in your head, do whatever you have to to feel better.
Savannah Williamson is a wife of almost three years and a blogger. She writes about mental health and her Christian faith, and you can find her blog at www.happyinhim.com. In her free time she likes to knit, sew, write and hike.
Thanks so much Savannah for participating in the emerging blogger series!
You can find a listing of all of the posts in the series directory.
Do you want to be the next emerging blogger?
- personal blog focused primarily on mental health and illness
- relatively new blogger, with WordPress following <100 preferred
Interested? If you fit the criteria above:
- email me at mentalhealthathome (at) gmail (dot) com
- let me know the topic you’d like to write about and include your blog name/URL