Week 4 of my Journey out of the Pit
During the process of healing from my depression, I found that maintaining change was hard work. After just a few weeks of counseling sessions, I was already failing in my attempts to get out of the pit.
I felt like I was in a downward cycle. I felt overwhelmed. I couldn’t maintain the house or remind myself of the truths I’d memorized.
I couldn’t find my way back out of the pit.
My counselor shared with me these Bible verses from Job:
8 “But if I go to the east, he is not there;
if I go to the west, I do not find him.
9 When he is at work in the north, I do not see him;
when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.
10 But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
My counselor said that even though I couldn’t find God in my life, He knew where I was.
He was with me in the pit even though I couldn’t see Him.
My feelings were all over the place. My counselor reminded me that feelings are not facts. That’s why I needed to latch onto the truths I had learned.
She also said that it’s okay to slip and fall. But I had to make a choice: I could lie in the pit, or I could apply the tools I’d learned and continue to move forward.
It’s okay to pray, “No, I really can’t do this, but God, if You help me, I’ll try.”
In those low moments, we need go back to these verses in Job. God knows where we are. He is with us, even when we don’t feel His presence or see Him.
And we don’t give up hope.
We get back up, and we try again.
It’s now been several years since I began the process of healing from depression. I wish I could say that it’s easy, but it has ups and downs. I slid back into the pit a couple of times, but never as low as I was before I started counseling.
These days, I live above the pit. By the Grace of God, applying what I’ve learned through counseling, and with support of family and friends, I can fight the darkness that drags me to the edge.
I stand strong most of the time, but sometimes a person says things that hit me wrong, I make a mistake that I perceive as dumb, or a circumstance that I can’t avoid happens. (Like when a new job didn’t work out–more than once).
Then my feelings start to get in the way of the truths I have learned about myself. I falter in my steps and slide a little closer to the pit.
When that happens, I do these things:
I attend counseling sessions so my counselor can help me get back on track.
I also read my Bible often, and pray for myself and for others.
I listen to music. With a music app, I can set up a playlist for every mood.
I take care of myself physically through regular exercise, healthy eating choices and getting enough sleep. (Not always, but often enough to make a difference in how I feel).
I do a lot of journaling, as well as other forms of writing.
I have friends and family who offer emotional support.
My counselor said I remind her of the Energizer bunny. Remember those commercials? I slip, I fall sometimes, but I always get back up and try again to move forward.
Proverbs 24:16 says:
” for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again”
It’s by the grace of God and all of the above-mentioned efforts that I am able to keep out of the pit.
Still, one year later and 8.5 years after my first counseling appointment, I need to reset my mind and thoughts often. I don’t handle change very well, and my social anxiety is sometimes off the charts. But the only way to move is forward.
Psalm 46:1 says it all:
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.