You’ll be changed from the inside out… God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Rom 12:2 (The Message)
Depression sucks. Depression hurts. Depression is not something that just goes away. It is something that is with you over time, and it comes on from seemingly out of nowhere. Stress can trigger it. Other people’s emotions can trigger it. The environment around you is enough to cause you to go into a place of sadness. It can spin you into a world of hurt that is so insurmountable, you think that the only way to leave is to die. That is depression. For those who do not have it, it may be hard to fathom. It is real, it is invisible, and it impacts 1 out of every 4 adults.
Why bring this up? Because there is a change that happens to get you to that point. A change in life, even if something very small happens, changes how your brain operates, and for whatever reason, depression starts. It is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of stressful situations. Your brain is modified, and changing it back is a very difficult thing to do. It’s like cutting your hair, it will grow back eventually, but if you cut too much at the time, you cant change it, or put it back. It is a slow process over time to erase.
Finding inner balance is what is needed to combat depression. A better understanding of the spiritual life can help with this. For me, it too, just like depression, has been a gradual positive process. I say slow and gradual because it has taken me a very long time to get to the point where I am today, and I consider myself just a baby in the whole Catholic realm. However, deep down, I know there is a transition happening, and only God can be the reasoning behind it all. The biggest key to all of this, prayer. That part, actually, is the hardest part of being Catholic. My prayer life does not come easy to me.
People have been trying to find the “zone” for years. A place where they can find inner peace and quiet their mind. A meditative state of mind. Christians call this prayer. I know that some of you reading this are looking at the words with a crazy look right now. Yes, prayer is a meditative state of mind. It is the place where we are trying to call to mind our connection with God. Sure, we say little prayers for help all day long, but at night, we are supposed to get into a place all by ourselves, and pray. Really pray. We are longing for that connection with God, and that is where you are going to find it. Actively speaking, I am not good at this. I think it makes sense, I know what I am shooting for, but actually getting there, I am not good at it at all. It has been a slow transition to get to the place where I am in prayer right now. Again, I am just a baby.
It has taken me years to get to the point where my depression does not own me. Most days it tries, but I am different today, especially in my spiritual life. I have lots of support from family that I did not have years ago. Lots of things are different, and I can honestly say, I live with it, I do not suffer from it. I have been transformed by the healing power of God, and the prayer life that being Catholic has brought me. I am far from done learning, I am still a child at all of this, but I know every day, there is a little something at work to transform me into something better.