Wrestling with depression is an uphill battle, particularly when anxiety, self-injury and other burdensome factors are at play. If you’re at all like me, you’ve probably asked yourself on numerous occasions why you bother to keep pushing day after day through a pain you’re not sure will ever go away. Discouragement seeps in and you just want to give up. I’ve woken up and stared at the ceiling with such musings swimming around in my head more times than I care to admit. I kept lying there determined to figure out the magic solution that could make everything all right. What I found instead of a cure for pain was a priceless realization that made my battle worth fighting.
Many people choose not to commit suicide because they don’t want to deeply wound their loved ones. This has always been one of my strongest reasons keeping me anchored to this world. However, reflecting on my values has doubly enhanced my motivation to stay alive during extreme difficulty. There are things I want to stand for, causes I believe in that are greater than myself. For instance, I would like my life to have reinforced in my own mind and to all who knew me the idea that good triumphs over evil. But if I one day stare in the face all the evil in my life—everything that causes me to suffer and screams that I am worthless—and decide those voices are somehow more credible than the ones that taught me to hope, love and persevere, then I am announcing that evil wins…especially if I forfeit my life because of it. I earnestly wish to leave behind a legacy that inspires others to believe in the beauty of life. I never want my actions to violate that message.
More than anything, I believe I was designed for a purpose by my Creator. I want to live long enough to find out what it is. If I said this life was too difficult and left, I would leave my purpose unknown, unfulfilled. I’d never discover what my true potential was. I would never know the answer to the question I’m haunted by each morning—Will it ever get better? I am certain of one thing; it will never have the chance to if I don’t continue working at it. I’d rather go down fighting than give up even when it is very very very challenging. I also remind myself that my life is not my own to take. My Father will call me home when He’s ready to. I have no plans to leave a moment before then.
Those of you who are losing hope in your own battles, I urge you to reflect on your motivations for fighting. Are they holding up? Are they serving you well? If not, perhaps it’s time to dig down deeply into your values and ask yourself what you would like to stand for and ultimately what message you would like to be sending to those who know you. Have you spent a significant amount of time wondering about the purpose for your life or who you might turn out to be in 5-10 years? Are you curious to find out? Please know you are not alone in your battles, whatever they may be. Multitudes of people fight the same ones every day and God is also actively living your hopes and pains with you at the very moments you experience them. Find someone you can talk to in your darkest moments and whenever no one’s around, He is always available 🙂