But what I forget, every year, is the blues that tend to follow fall's arrival. I forget that it is quite normal and that our bodies are affected by the weather change. I tend to get exhausted easier, pack too much into my day, fall into a pit of feeling discouraged and depressed.
I fall into this swirling downward spiral of exhaustion, discouragement, loneliness - even though I am constantly meeting with people. It is an odd thing. Craziness threatens to overtake my mind and I wonder why I am a despaired soul.
The article linked below was posted in our church facebook group, because we care about each other and crave to remind one another that it is okay to be human on this earth: Dark Days here for folks with seasonal depression disorder.
Posted with the article were 5 additional steps to take that I have also taken and experienced true freedom as a result:
Seasonal Affective Disorder: Depression is a real thing. If you're struggling this time of year, this article has some great ideas. I would add a few...
1. Talk to someone about it. It is not scandalous that Christians struggle with depression. It is scandalous that we don't talk about it! Depression is not just a spiritual issue although it expresses itself as a troubled spirit.
2. Engage with your church family. Seek community and reminders of how valuable we are. Remember, others may be feeling the blues so don't take things personal if it takes a bit more effort than normal.
3. Serve someone else. I am convinced from my experience that if we can serve someone else, it lifts our spirits and gives us the right perspective that we are at our best when we are acting selflessly towards one another.
4. Pray and ask for prayer. This should be #1. Ask your pastor, friend, parents... for prayer. Prayer moves our hearts to be more in line with God and God did not create you to be depressed. So when you spend time in prayer with Him, your heart aligns with His and you will feel His presence.
5. Talk to someone... seek community and listen to advice. Remember, your perception of what is going on is wrong... you are the affected one. So listen to others and seek help.
That is what the strongest people in the world do. They ask for help.
In addition to all of these things, I encourage you to really dive into Jesus's heart for you. I have experienced this as the best thing for me. When I spend amounts of time reading His love letter and praying through the words so carefully etched into our Bibles, I find so much peace. I find that, "Hey I am okay, I am going to make it." When I am soaked in His presence, I am less offended and have a clearer head, even when discouraged and feeling the blues.
Recently, as in the last 4 days every day at least one time a day and up to 3 times, I have found myself turning to Psalms 17 and 18. There I pray through the words of David, his cries to his Father God. In his honesty, David cries out letting the Lord know that he is despaired, exhausted, beat down and attacked on all sides. He praises God because He is so worthy of our praise. He claims God as his savior, redeemer, refuge, protection. Every time I have sat down and claimed God as those things, I am overwhelmed with peace. I am reminded that I am okay and He has placed an identity of Belovedness over me.
Im here to remind you that if you experience SAD, you're not crazy. You're not a bad person. You're still youu!