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I am NOT depression, I am just struggling with depression!

A while ago I saw a commercial for a medication used for eczema. In the commercial the people who suffered from eczema were asking for people to look at them instead of their disease and see them for who they are. Sometimes when we are struggling with depression we begin to see ourselves as depression instead of seeing depression as a mental illness. Over the past couple of months, I have been facilitating a depression group and I have spent a lot of time thinking and talking about depression. One theme that has been prevalent in our group is how and why to separate depression from our identity. I am not depression, but I do struggle with the impact of depression in my life.

What we focus on is what we become and nobody wants to be depression. Depression is a biological illness with psychological, social, and spiritual implications. That’s not the definition anyone wants for themselves. Depression says things like:

  • “I can’t!”

  • “I’m not good enough!”

  • “Nobody understands me.”

  • “I’m unwanted, unnoticed, worthless, etc.…”

  • “I will never get better.”

  • “I will always be depressed.”

  • “I can’t decide, it’s too hard!”

  • “I’ll never be able to change!”

And that’s not how we would choose to define ourselves unless we allow depression to define us! But honestly, it is really hard when we are struggling with depression to define ourselves in terms other than what depression has placed upon us!

So, we grasp for something different and we turn our focus and attention towards healing instead of towards the stuckness of depression. We look through the fog of depression and we focus on the light beyond the fog that represents who we want to become. And we start moving towards the focus of becoming who we want to be instead of the fog that surrounds us. We take a step at a time and before we know it we have moved beyond the fog!!

The light beyond the fog of depression helps us define who we want to become and says things like:

  • “I can make good choices for how I manage my depression.”

  • “I get to choose what is right for me.”

  • “There are things that I can do to get better.”

  • “I am capable!”

  • “I am struggling with depression AND I can still move forward!”

  • “I can choose to get help.”

  • “There is always hope!”

And that’s how we allow ourselves to live with depression. Knowing that it is a part of our lives and maybe it will always be a part of our living, but it doesn’t get to define who we are. I am not depression, I am just struggling with depression.

If you want to learn more about depression or lessen its impact in your life, please contact me about therapy or future depression groups.