It doesn’t have to be so heavy..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There’s a fairly new Linkin Park song called “Heavy” that describes what it’s like dealing with depression and anxiety better than almost any I’ve heard. (Disclaimer: I’ve only listened to it on the radio with the profanity edited out. If you look the song up, look for a radio edit.) There will occasionally be a phrase in a song that resonates with me (like the line “You can be addicted to a certain kind of sadness” in “Somebody I Used to Know” among many), but never so much of one song.

The first part that really hits home is

And I drive myself crazy/Thinking everything’s about me./Yeah, I drive myself crazy/Cause I can’t escape the gravity.

Depression truly does make me self-centered, but not in an arrogant way. I worry that everything I do will upset people, that it’s wrong, that people are annoyed by my presence. And it weighs on me. When I’m sort through the thoughts, I know that while make mistakes, of course, I probably don’t make too many more than anyone else does. I know that all the strangers I encounter don’t think I’m a weirdo, but if fact likely don’t think of me at all.

Then there’s the chorus:

Holding on/Why is everything so heavy?/Holding on/It’s so much more than I can carry./I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down./If I just let go, I’d be set free.

And that’s exactly what I do when I’m in depression. It’s so hard to motivate myself to do anything because it feels like I’m dragging around a weight, but it’s a weight that has been with me for so long, I don’t release it. I relive my past mistakes.

Despite struggling with depression most of my life, I’ve never figured out how to get myself to bounce right back out of the hole, but I’ve never given up on myself, either. Not completely. I may not know how to fix my mood, but I don’t have to know. I have to remind myself that it doesn’t have to be so heavy because I don’t have to carry it alone. Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30:

Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

No, relying on Jesus will not make your problems go away, even if most of them are self-inflicted, or even imagined, like mine, but He will be with you while you carry your burdens, and the forgiveness He offers means that sin is not one of the burdens we carry.

Sunday night, as we sang, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” I glanced at the adjacent page, and saw the neighboring song was, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear;

What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.

Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear.

All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

I have to admit that though my mouth sang the words of song 257, my mind was thinking of sing 255, and I teared up while singing. When I’m depressed and beating myself up about something or completely unmotivated to do anything productive, I do neglect to pray. Just this past, I’ve made an effort in these times, and the prayer is usually simple and repetitive, asking God to help me, but I can calm down more quickly and get moving sooner.

eyes_on_the_skies_by_snikkio.jpg

If you are struggling with depression, you don’t have to do it alone. Take it to God in prayer, and take it to your Christian family. After all, we are to “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “It doesn’t have to be so heavy..

  1. Patricia Russell

    Nikki, My heart goes out to you. I know how depression feels, and it is hard to think rationally when your mind is in that bog. But you are doing a lot of “right ” things. Knowing and relying on God’s promises, and praying, asking Him to help you and believing that He will is, I think, very important. When it is possible, do something for somebody else when you are in the “pit”, even tho you don’t feel like it. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”. Try to realize that you are so valuable and needed by your husband, son, parents, and other family.
    You seem to have good insight into where you are with this condition. Can you tell whether or not your depression is affected by hormone fluctuation? Mine was. I’m thankful to say I don’t have to deal with that anymore.
    Can I help you in some way? If you feel the need to talk to someone, I can listen and not repeat what I am told. I know I’m not your closest friend, but I do care. Sometimes it helps just to say something out loud

    Like

    1. Thank you, Mrs. Patricia. If I do reach out, it will probably be in writing. I often have a hard time getting my thoughts straight until I write them out. I do have a hard time feeling like I’m burdening others, which of course, goes back to the whole “Bear one another’s burdens” thing.

      Like

  2. Hi Nikki, I know this post was written a few months ago, but I still wanted to comment. I love the way you, like the Psalmists, took the heartache and pain of depression with real vulnerability and honesty, then turned it (through song) to Jesus and God’s will for us. This past week I was really struggling with depression, it’s a hard place to be, and I can very much relate to what you have written here. You’re not alone. We have hope in Christ and through each other as we comfort with the same comfort we have received. Thank you for sharing your voice and experience with this. ❤

    Like

  3. Patricia Russell

    Nikki, I just read your reply to my comment in May. Somehow I haven’t been on this site since then. I can’t think of anything to add to what I said in May, except to restate the power of prayer and God’s promise to help you through your struggles. There are certain scriptures that I have read through the years and can call them to mind when I need to. I’m 81 years old, and I’m still working on believing that God knows and will help if I ask. I don’t need to try to figure out everything on my own if I’ve taken my cares to Him. Some of these scriptures are: Prov. 3:5-6, Psalm 55:22, Romans 8:26-28, Phil. 4:6-7, 1 Peter 5:7.
    I understand that you are saying about writing your thoughts. I’m the same way at times. (Sometimes, tho, my mind is “out to lunch”). In talking with you, I might not come up with exactly what I would like to say. Just re-read the remarks I made in May. They express my thoughts, and I do still care and love you.
    My on-going advice to myself and others, is, “Live one day at a time”. Matt. 6:34, and “don’t borrow trouble”.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s