Depression: Accepting Who I Am
Accepting who I am! Wow now those four words seem to shake a mountain of emotions out of the soul when you really start looking inside yourself. Recently I was sitting in a class and the teacher was talking about accepting who we are, he asked the question, “Have you accepted who God made you to be?” When you stop and think about it that can be a very difficult question to answer, and perhaps a confusing question in some ways. Not accepting ourselves in a way that would leave us happy with “status quo”, but looking deep within our heart and soul, looking with all honesty, “have we/I accepted who God made me to be?”
In my case I of course have to examine my struggle with depression. For as long as I can remember I have been depressed, even in my childhood and adolescence. For me it was “normal”, I never knew anything else.
When I was in my mid- to late-20s, I began to ask myself “why do I feel like this all the time?” My confidence and self esteem was horrible and I was very co-dependent - trying to live life the best I knew how (however, that is another story). It wasn’t until I was in my late 30s that I began the process of accepting who I am. Notice I said “BEGAN” the process…. It was at that point that I was officially diagnosed with depression and was prescribed medication to help with the ongoing disease. Even though the medication does help relieve some of the depression, it does not make it go away - it is not a cure for me.
For years I have suffered silently with only the closest of friends and family knowing that I suffered from depression. However in these past few years God has been giving me the courage to speak up about my condition and through doing so I have been learning to ‘accept who I am, the person God has made me to be”. Is it easy? NO WAY! It’s very scary at times with fear of judgment, the fear of rejection, and the fear of “pity” from others. But in this process God has given me strength and is teaching me to accept who I am; in doing so I am now reaching out, speaking out and encouraging others who also suffer from depression and helping those who do not understand this disease to know more about it.
So it’s only by His Grace that each day I accept who God has made me to be. Do I ever fail at this? Of course I do, but I’m determined to keep on keeping on, one day at a time, or one hour at a time, or one minute at a time….
I leave you with this scripture to ponder:
1 Corinthians 15:10 (NIV)
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.