There was a time in my life where I was a workaholic, a chronic worrier, a self-hater, a rescuer of others, a yes person, a perfectionist, one without boundaries and so, so afraid of changing any of this. Even if I was brave enough to attempt to change these things, I had no clue where to start. Eventually, the noise in my head got so loud and congested; I got to a place where I became incapacitated. Suicidal thinking, cutting, sleeping all day and huge bouts of insomnia at night all came knocking at my door and it had a huge suitcase with it. It was coming for an extended stay like never before.
In my journey, I have discovered a truth I believe to my core. A truth that says that depression is an identity crisis. I completely understand that depression can be a chemical imbalance. I actually was diagnosed bi-polar with anxiety disorder. I was told I had a chemical imbalance in my brain and may have had it all my life. I didn't even understand what depression was until I had a mental breakdown and ended up in a psychologist’s office. I really thought I was just defected in some way that I couldn't explain or even understand myself.
Negative thought patterns can cause a chemical imbalance and a chemical imbalance can cause negative thought patterns. It really doesn't matter which came first; the chicken or the egg. What matters is that you know that thought patterns can be changed and unlearned which then will affect your brain chemistry. There are many people who are a lot more educated in this area than me and can go into deep scientific terms, but my goal is for you to simply understand that depression is not a sentence, it’s a call for you to find out who God created you to be. A person that has a deep understanding of this cannot and will not be depressed.
Depression is the opposite of self-expression. When you do not know who you are in God and have a good grip on the fact that you belong to Him, then you do not know who you REALLY are. If you do not know who you really are, then how can you express to the world your individuality? You can't.
Instead, you express to the world what you think others want to see...what you think will cause you to be acceptable and grant you access to their world. To be accepted is one of our most basic human needs and if we perceive we have to suppress ourselves to be able to receive that acceptance, then we do....and so we suppress ourselves. Or should I say depress ourselves?
Take a moment and close your eyes. Picture yourself in your favorite place. It might be your bedroom or place out in nature. Wherever it is, picture yourself there and see Jesus walking up to you. Tell Him how you view yourself. Tell Him the good, bad and the ugly. After you feel like you have ran out of things to say (if that is even possible), get quiet. Ask Him, “Jesus, how do you see me?” And then wait and listen…
Hint: If you hear anything negative or condemning, it is NOT from God. God does not show us our faults He calls out our good. He is not the condemner.
It has been my experience that God will not shut up talking about me. I usually have to tell Him I have to get back to doing life before He is done. It reminds me of a proud dad who carries his kids’ pictures in his wallet. When asked, he can’t stop bragging about his kids and showing them off.
Your heavenly Father feels that way about you. And you know what? He carries your picture in His wallet.
Post by Leah Rocha
Co-Founder of j2i
Leah is a wife and mom. She is married to her first love, Julian. They have three children, Jordan (19), Leslie (18), and Brookes (11). She is currently attending college at The King's University, Southlake Texas and is on course to receive her Bachelor's degree in Counseling.