The Battle In My Mind (Anxiety & Depression)
I struggled for so long with anxiety and depression.
I never really told anyone because I felt like it was embarrassing. I was in an extremely dark place and at one point I justified it. I would say things like, “It’s just who I am”, and eventually got to a place mentally where I would think, “Well, I’m entitled to my thoughts.”
I didn’t realize that this was the most dangerous point that I could be. It was dangerous emotionally, dangerous spiritually, and dangerous physically.
I started doing the things that I knew were wrong to compensate for my feelings (or lack there of). I left the church, which was the one place that I really needed to be, and I chose other unholy places instead.
But one day, I read a verse. It was God’s perfect timing that set me on a course of freedom.
2 Corinthians 10:5
See, I thought that I was entitled to my thoughts, but really, I had allowed my thoughts to be entitled to me. I was in a perpetual state of mind - darkness. I felt like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, except there was no humor and no happy ending in sight. Every day I had the same bitter thoughts. The same thoughts towards others. I played the same scenarios in my head of what I wanted to say to those people when I saw them next. I rejected love and joy, and embraced the security blanket of negativity. I was self-destructing.
My mind was a prison and my thoughts were the prison guard. I thought I was in control, but I was in chains and powerless.
I know there are so many who are in this exact state now. And it hurts my heart. But I promise you God is fighting for you to be free.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
I knew I had to take my thoughts captive, but I was allowing myself to be the captive of my thoughts. I had to flip the switch. And the easiest way was gratefulness. It took a lot of time. I had to be very intentional about being grateful every day.
Gratefulness kills entitlement.
No longer were my thoughts entitled to me. No longer was I going to be a slave to fear. No longer was I going to sit in darkness and self pity. I took every thought captive and didn’t just make it obedient to Christ, but I was ready to obliterate them in the name of Christ. It was time for them to die.
I broke free.
Now my mind is a garden and not a prison. My mind grows trust for others now. It grows grace for others now. It grows peace and joy for myself. And when thoughts start coming in like a virus on my computer, I’m able to see them coming with Christ as the antivirus to my mind. Cheesy analogy, but it works for me.
And for everyone dealing with this right now. I’m rooting for you. People try to tell you to get over it, but it’s NEVER that easy. Don’t listen to them. And if you’re one of those people that don’t deal with anxiety. STOP telling people who deal with it to just get over it. It’s like telling someone to put a bandaid on a bullet wound, and it’s NOT helpful.
Listen to me: It’s ok to get professional counseling. It’s not embarrassing. It’s like getting a personal trainer for your mind. If you want to get better, you need a coach. Even the best athletes pay a coach to get better, why do we talk ourselves out of it when it comes to our minds?
But also, you’ve got to listen for the voice of God. He’s ready. He loves you. He’s crazy about you. He wants to pull you out and above it. You are his child. You can do this.
Edit: This post may have taken <5 minutes to read, but know that the journey to overcome took years. Most of the time there’s no quick fix. Sometimes healing is instant and sometimes healing takes a lot of time. No ones’ healing story looks quite the same.