I’ve been pretty open with my experiences with depression. I’m in a much better place than I was and I went to keep being in control.
That said, I had an experience last night that could send me tail-spinning if I am not aware.
I’m not the only person involved in this, so I’m going to be a bit sparse on details out of respect.
But last night I did something for someone else that was based in a desire to do good something good for someone else, but I know is not a good thing to do.
Because I wanted to make someone else happy, I didn’t consider the long-term ramifications of what I was doing. In the long-term that particular thing con be very hurtful to both of us.
Even though in my mind I was serving this person, immediately after I did, I knew I had done something very out of character and something I’d promised myself I wouldn’t do.
Hence the depression trigger.
So what to do when you make a mistake that is based in love, but is still wrong? How do you regain the positive inner feelings about yourself and interacting with that person? I can offer three things I’m going to focus on over the next few days:
- Focus on the core of who I am. Mistakes I make are not based in a desire to sin. They are based in a misinterpretation of what is the right choice at a given time, or in a misprioritization of what is best for a particular situation. I’m glad to often be at this point, but it is far easier to rationalize wrong choices when right and wrong aren’t as starkly delineated as they used to be.
- Remember who I am as I deal with internal mental fallout. Sinners sin. But people also sin. I don’t look for ways to hurt myself, those around me, or my Saviour. But I end up doing so anyway sometimes. Even though I make mistakes, I must remember I am God’s son and am destined to inherit all that is His. Through atonement, where all sin, pain, error, ache, and imperfection is made right, I will be able one day to stand at God’s feet, spotless and ready to inherit His glories. That is my destiny, and letting small imperfections hold me from that is not living up to my capacity.
- Look for warning sings and avoid them. This could be a number of things, but I want to shore two that are specific to me yesterday. I’ve always had a need to feel in control, and I really haven’t for the last long while (in general). It started to get better, but I noticed the need creeping back for a bit. Something about human nature causes us to do things that are mired in self-sabotage. So being aware of this will help. Yesterday–for whatever reason–I allowed myself to get carried away and I did not eat until 3 p.m., and I did not eat much then. Not eating is not an appropriate way to take control, and such abstention reduces willpower. I’ve also noticed a slide in another area: the quality of tv I watch. I watch more than the next person. At the moment, I have more time than the next person. But the lost few days, I wont back to a show that I used to watch that has zero redeeming value to it. I know it’s not good and that it reminds me of things I used to do that aren’t positive.
There were some warning signs. There were some things I could have used to act better. But that doesn’t change who I am and what I need to stay focused on. I may have made a grave mistake, and I may have done so with good intentions. But I need to keep both the context of the choice and its long-term consequences in mind as I make them. I also need to recognize I will continue to make mistakes, and accept that as part of my growth.
Seeds of depression deluged me immediately yesterday. By focusing on the important things I’ve mentioned, I can withstand the flood and build on a more sure foundation.
There is atonement. There is One who understands my struggles. I can rely on Him.