I have always been a fairly secure person. Fear of man (the biblical term for “people pleasing”) has never been an issue for me. In fact, one of the strangely challenging issues I’ve faced my entire life is that I seem to come across far more confident than I really am.
But now…depression. (Isn’t that the very opposite of the Bible’s many statings of “But God…”?).
I have become aware that my depression has caused deep, powerful feelings of insecurity that are overwhelming and making me feel powerless. I feel insecure all the time. I do not feel like I have anywhere “safe.” I also feel powerfully alienated from people and quite disliked…all new feelings for me. I know in many ways I am at fault. My depression has led me to cut myself off from my friends to hide in my own misery. Now I feel like I’ve lost all my friends and all of my safe places due to my depression.
My house is not a place of rest for me as my depression and circumstances have not allowed me to take ownership of my home.
Work feels like a battle ground each day, which it may or may not be.
My unusual homelife leaves me feeling alienated from my co-workers, who seem active and engaged in life and their communities while I am not.
Ben (my husband with brain injury) has helped by encouraging me to be a “Golden Retriever,” our favorite breed of dog. He has encouraged me at work to insert myself whenever conversation is taking place where I can participate…even if I am feeling badly about myself or don’t want to participate for fear of rejection. But each time, I feel I am taking a risk, stepping out of my comfort zone and having to consciously, painfully participate in conversation and insert myself where I may or may not be wanted — something that is terribly challenging for someone who is depressed.
Then I come home to a house where I feel out of control.
Again, I do not know how much I can trust my feelings. They stem from my depression and seem determined to keep me down. Yet part of being depressed is this awful loss of self-esteem. I feel it most acutely at work, but I also feel it at home …and at church, where I often don’t even want to go because I feel so “different” from the majority of people due to home and life circumstances.
I do not want to stay where I am, living as a slave to my depression and insecurity.
Depression can leave us feeling isolated, unsure of ourselves, and alone. Hidden disabilities can also do the same. Thankfully, I have found a skilled therapist who is helping me find coping mechanisms for these deep feelings of insecurity. May I encourage you if you are in this same situation to acknowledge your feelings of insecurity and to find a qualified, trained, and able professional to help you find coping mechanisms for these feelings?
I know that my circumstances will not change. But my feelings about my circumstances need to change. How thankful I am that I have a God who walks with me both through the circumstances and through the ever-changing range of feelings and emotions. And I am very thankful that He has led me to a skilled counselor and to the right medications to help me to deal with these powerful feelings.
My prayer is that we would all be open and honest about how depression affects us, and that we can seek the help we need. Living with hidden disabilities affects each of us in different ways. But our God is the SAME God, and He WILL provide us with godly counsel, help, strategies, and care.