Is There a Secret to Beating Depression?

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Photo by Álvaro Serrano on Unsplash

An open letter to my girlfriend

I would feel helpless, unmotivated. I believe that I masked it well through high school and university with alcohol and drugs.

I’ve always hated that haunting feeling in the back of my mind, is this as good as it gets? Is this it?

I always felt like something was missing. I always felt like there was an empty hole inside of me.

I tried to fill it with love, with friends, with exercise, with eating. But nothing ever satisfied me. Nothing could satisfy. I was beginning to believe what my mom would say to me as a kid, “You’re never satisfied.”

I tried aikido, motivation seminars, goal planning, having kids — but every time I thought I had found what was “missing” or I had attained the goal I thought I was longing for (graduating from university, getting married, starting a business, etc.) I found myself even more frustrated because that wasn’t it.

I couldn’t make myself happy!

I tried meditation, reading, alternative therapies, and medicines. Why couldn’t I be joyful? Why does everyone else seem so “well-adjusted”? What’s wrong with me?

Now, of course, it seemed the harder I tried, and the more I succeeded at accomplishing my goals, the worse my depression got because I could never put my finger on it. I could never “get happy”.

It felt like I was being swallowed up by this darkness. The pursuit of happiness was almost becoming an obsession.

I did try to reach out for help and finally told a doctor. He attributed my miserable mood to my move, my kid’s situation, my stress. All I needed to do was take some vitamin B and exercise more.

So how am I handling it? Finally, I feel like I’m getting my life back. How?

It’s all about faith.

I became involved in a weekly Bible study group, starting to read the Bible, and even went on a Christian women’s weekend retreat.

I learned that God is a good God. He is loving and gentle.

My faith gives me peace. My faith brings me joy.

I can say that I’ve had pure moments of happiness.

The more I learn, the more I relax. The more I read the Bible, the more comforted and content I become.

The depression is still there — I don’t know that it will ever go away — but now it doesn’t disable me.

It doesn’t leave me in bed, wanting to shut away from the world. It doesn’t make me want to sleep away the empty pain anymore.

My hole is filling up!

The search is over — I’ve found what has been missing.

Now the challenge for me is to make it a daily thing. The days I go to Bible study, the days I focus on learning (and relearning) are my good days.

When I let Him into my life, my life is good.

If there is a secret to beating depression it’s not found in people, it’s not found in pills, it’s not found in activity and being busy — it’s found in God.

Love K.

(First featured on Medium platform January 16, 2021)

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