Today’s word really speaks to so many, because of the fact that so many people struggle when they fall. They will continuously linger on things that happened in the past and are scared to move on. However, Chris’s example of Jesus changing Simon’s name to Peter really shows that every time we renew our faith in confession, we truly are reborn and become a new person!
What words and feelings does the devil use to accuse you and shape your self-perception?
In reflecting on my day, this topic truly fits into my life so well right now. After having a rougher evening, I went to mass and then read this chapter, which led to so many revelations.
Chris’s example of how his son was in awe on how Chris remembered so much about his childhood, yet his son forgets yesterday and moves on to a new day, shows how we need to approach life! Instead of worrying about yesterday or tomorrow, focus on the HERE and NOW!
REFLECTION QUESTIONS FROM READINGS:
What past mistakes are you holding onto and letting define your identity?
If you are not familiar with Chris Stefanick, you are truly missing out! Chris is a Catholic speaker and an author, while also running Real Life Catholic (realifecatholic.com) Recently at confession, my priest told me to work on my self-confidence. As a gift, he gave me Chris’s book, “I am _____,” to aid with the strengthening. After reading the introduction, I figured that I would do a post for each of the 33 Days reflecting on these different categories (i.e. Amazing, Strong, Blessed, etc.)
If you want to join in this journey, be sure to purchase Chris’s book (linked above) through his website, or through Amazon. Either way, please read the reflections and use them to work on your own self-confidence!
There are days where you think you have won. There are days where you exhaust every last ounce of hope in someone’s life. There are days where you put people on their knees sobbing for the slightest existence of hope. There are days where you remove almost every last bit of happiness and positivity.
Guess what: you’re wrong.
You seemed to have missed several key things. You missed the single atom deep inside someone that gives them hope to go one day more. You missed the love and support we get from our families and friends. Yes, you probably made us doubt that, but it just isn’t the truth; they always care! You missed all the memories, good and bad.
Most importantly, you missed God! God won’t give up on us. God won’t let every bit of happiness, positivity, hope, or friendship disappear. Why? Because He loves us! He knows we can do this! He knows that people care!
Good luck in the future, depression. You’re not winning this time.
**IF THIS IS A LIFE OR DEATH SITUATION, CALL 911 OR THE NATIONAL CRISIS HOTLINE AT 1-800-273-8255**
1. feelings of severe despondency and dejection.
This is a term we hear on a daily basis, in day-to-day conversations. Some may think it doesn’t exist, but in reality, it does. Some of those who struggle with it deny it. They don’t think that they actually are suffering from depression, or don’t want to have the words “depression” or “depressed” associated with them. Depression isn’t something that you want to take lightly. It is so vital to seek help when you are struggling with it, whether you believe you are depressed or not. Also, PRAY! Praying is a great way to help you get through depression. Offer the depression up to God!
Statistics on Depression (1)
The National Institute of Mental Health stated that in the United States in 2012, 12 million adults (6.9% of the population) had at least one “depressive episode.” The NIMH also mentioned that 350 million worldwide, or 5% of the world’s population, suffers from depression.
Philosophy of Depression
In taking Philosophy of the Human Person with Dr. James Harold, I learned the ways that depression can be present in different ways. This has to do with actualization vs super-actualization, along side intentional acts and non-intentional acts. I wrote a paper on the philosophy of actual and super-actual depression, so if you really want to read that paper, feel free to contact me and I will get it to you.
A basic summary of the paper is that depression is both actualized and super-actualized. Actualized depression is something that you think about that makes you depressed, whereas super-actual depression is something that can remain inside of you and cause you depression without you having to think about it. When depression that is super-actualized begins to “hit you”, you are actualizing that specific thing. That may sound confusing to some, but it may also make sense to others.
Advice for those who are depressed
I know that there are times when I’m depressed where I refuse to consult with friends or accountability partners on how I am feeling. You want to be able to take advantage of having those people in your life to talk to, but just feel like you don’t want to or don’t want to bother them. No matter what or how you are feeling, TALK TO THEM! You will not regret doing it. I regretted it for a while, until I started college and talked to several amazing people in there who basically told me that it’s better to talk to them whenever I am feeling down. Those guys were correct. Being able to talk to one of my close friends gives me sense of relief and peace-of-mind, knowing that they are always there for me and are praying for me.
If you feel uncomfortable talking to any close friends, you can always go talk to your parents or a relative, counselor, or even a Priest!. All of them are willing to listen to you and are willing to help you! You never know, they could have gone through it themselves or could be currently going through it as well!!
Something else you should do in any of these situations is to talk to your doctor. They will be able to diagnose you and see if anti-depressants are right for you or not. I had been very weary about anti-depressants until a friend had talked to me about them last year. I was considering them, but put them on the back-burner since I was about to start college. Little did I know, I would be at the doctor’s office several months later to go over other results and start talking about my struggles with depression. The doctor then advises me to start on an anti-depressant, which is where I am today. Do not feel ashamed if you have to start anti-depressants! So many people (even several of your closest friends or family) are also on anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication.
Finally, PRAY! This is a reoccurring thing that I keep stating over and over again. It is VITAL that you pray during these rough times! Offer all of your pain and suffering up to God, because He will help you.
What I Have Learned
There have been many things that I have learned from suffering through depression and plan to share those experiences in another blog post or two shortly down the road. I will post the link back here when it goes live.
Best way to deal with depression
God!!!!!! If there is one thing that I can promise you that I know to be true, and the one thing that will remain true, it is that God will be there to get you through everything!! Go to Mass, go to Confession, go to Adoration, go talk to a Priest, go to a Bible study, even pray on your own! Any of these will bring you closer to God and allow you to offer up your suffering and depression to Him! Once you have begun offering the depression to God, you will begin to hear God speak as you continue praying, as long as you leave time and listen to what He is saying.
One final thing that I want to rehash, don’t be afraid to talk to someone. No one will think it’s dumb or stupid. If they think it is dumb, they are not your true friend. People want to be there for you and are ready for you to come at any given moment and talk to them.
**IF THIS IS A LIFE OR DEATH SITUATION, CALL 911 OR THE NATIONAL CRISIS HOTLINE AT 1-800-273-8255**
This is something that hits home way too often for me: a friend going through a tough time in life. They might be struggling with something small, such as a rough day at work or an argument with someone you care about, or something as large as depression, fear/anxiety, or the death of a friend/relative. Whatever this friend is going through, I try my best to reach out to them and talk to them about whatever they may be struggling with, as well as ensuring that will be with them through it all. I’ll go through a couple of the main things that I make sure to include when talking to them.
Tell them that you are praying for them – This is what I constantly tell all of my friends, whether or not they are going through a rough time. Continuously praying for someone through the good and the bad helps us grow closer to God in our prayer life, as well as helping your friend out with their relationship with God.
Remind them to pray about their struggle – Even if they aren’t Catholic or don’t pray very often, have them start off very simple! It’s totally fine to start out having a conversation with God. Tell Him what you’re struggling with and ask for His strength in conquering the struggle.
Ask if there is anything that you can do for them – Being there for them is one of the best ways to help them! As followers and disciples of Christ, one of our main duties is to serve the Lord through helping others. Asking someone if you can help them in any way brings a sense of comfort for the person going through this. They may just need someone to listen to them vent for 5 minutes!
Remind them how much they mean to God, yourself, and others in their life – Some feel like they are not significant enough or feel like they don’t have a huge group of people caring about them, whereas others may just be so depressed that they forget how many people actually love them! Reminding someone how much they mean to you can be a total game-changer. I know – as someone who has been on the receiving end of these reminders before – that just being reminded of how much they mean to others in life can totally change their mood and outlook on life. That could be what they needed to hear to bring them out of the darkness in which they are trapped.
Never lose hope in them, and never let them lose hope – Hope must never be lost on either end. If there is any doubt or lack of hope on either end, it will be difficult to keep fighting. The best thing to do is keep reminding them you are in the battle with them, and encouraging them in everything they do.
I cannot guarantee that this will immediately help, but it is a great place to start. To all of my friends out there that are struggling, remember that God will never give up on you and will constantly love you through every up and down you have in life. I always am praying for you and will not lose hope in your battle to happiness.
If you ever are in need, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 to speak to someone.
We all have those days: the days where we just are not ourselves, or the days where we feel empty or lonely. These feelings may seem like they are consuming us, or like we cannot see that light at the end of the tunnel.
These are things that we all go through and struggle with on a daily/weekly basis. They may seem like they will never end. Guess what? They WILL! Remember what Jesus went through, remember what all of the people in the time of Jesus went through! You are NOT alone in this battle!
Yes, that was a “corny” reference, but really: you are not alone! We all have to fight our battles. The only way we will fight these battles is through God. God is how we fight our battles. *cue another corny connection*
I could go on and on & make more connections, but I don’t want to turn this into a long article. But just remember: never be afraid to turn to God and pray more whenever you have any fears, any loneliness, any emptiness. Also, don’t be afraid to talk to someone if you need help, guidance, or just someone to talk to. We ALL care. What hurts a lot of people is seeing someone they love and care about suffering but not talking to anyone. Also, never forget to call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 if necessary.