Monday, January 31, 2011

"I Feel Blue" (Part One)

Are you feeling blue? Do you ever feel down or discouraged by the circumstances of life? Feeling depressed or sad occasionally is natural and normal. We have all experienced disappointments at some time in our lives. It is at those times that we need to turn to God for our strength. If we don’t, it can feel like the circumstances of life are drowning us from the inside out. Life can feel overwhelming and unbearable at times and if we aren’t careful, that time of discouragement can turn into a serious bout of depression. Here are some things to think about the next time you are feeling “blue.”

Blues Clues to watch for:
•feeling down, discouraged, sad, alone, depressed, feelings of anxiety, restlessness, irritability, inability to concentrate and focus

•wants to be alone a lot, feels out of place, irritable mood often, decreased energy or a feeling of fatigue, and loss of interest or pleasure in ordinary activities

•changes in appetite or weight, inability to sleep or oversleeping, becomes increasingly withdrawn, feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, dwells on thoughts of death (suicidal)

If you or someone you know has any of these warning signs, you need to read closely. Depression is defined as a state of unhappiness and hopelessness. It affects everyone at some point in their lives. It can be related to the death of a pet, loss of a job, financial struggles, unexpected sickness or the breakdown of a relationship. For most people, depression is gradually relieved through the support of friends and family, the resolution of the problem, or simply time. For others, the symptoms persist and worsen. In these instances, medical attention may be needed.

How can I get out of “the blues?”
There will always be circumstances or situations in your life that will cause you to become discouraged, but it’s how you deal with that discouragement that makes the difference.

I remember at one point in my life, lying in bed feeling hopeless. I felt like my life had no purpose. There seemed to be no hope of it ever getting better. I was experiencing a flare up from the autoimmune disease I have and it just seemed to grow worse by the day. I was bedridden, had no energy or strength, little to no voice, and I was too weak to walk around. My life consisted of attempting to eat and drink fluids, watching TV, and endless sleep. I was at home all of the time and rarely saw anyone besides my family. It seemed like life droned on and the darkness was closing in on me. Instead of getting better, I seemed to grow worse. I couldn’t see any hope beyond where I was living.

I was familiar with “the blues.” I had experienced them before and recognized the warning signs. I knew what to do and who to go to with my dilemma. I immediately went to God when I was at my lowest point. I asked for strength, purpose, and reason to live. He reminded me of my family… my husband and my precious little boys. I shared with my husband my struggles, fears, doubts, and pain. He prayed with me and consistently worked to keep my chin up. He gave me hope, focus, purpose, and reason to live. I focused on taking baby steps (small daily goals) to help inspire me to move forward. In time I overcame my season of depression, but it was a rough road to travel.

I have a friend who has faced some pretty insurmountable circumstances, but has come out stronger in the end. Check out her website to hear more at... She travels and speaks sharing her story of surviving depression with others. It is inspiring. What could God do with a life totally given to Him? Let God turn your “blues” into a beautiful testimony of His faithfulness. His specialty is turning, what seems to be mountains in our lives into miracles to show His glory.

"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28

To be continued...
Watch next time for tips on How to overcome “the blues.”

Living to leave a legacy,

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