Have you ever felt depressed? Did you not want to wake up ever again?
I was battling my own depression for months.
Like many of us, I had a very rough year. My depression was a culmination of a series of unfortunate events.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, I was laid off from a high-paying job. I felt inadequate.
A few months after, four of my white outdoor pet cats died within 2 months. I was devastated.
Eventually, I lost all of my savings in the bank. I panicked.
I chose not to see my friends in person for 6 months. I felt so alone.
I reached my lowest point. I was very miserable.
After all these tragedies, what did I do to overcome my depression?
I have learned that I have to start with a positive attitude to overcome depression. Happiness is a choice. No amount of good things that happen to my life will cure my misery, unless I change my perspective. I cannot beat my despair on my own. I need GOD’s love, His grace, and divine mercy to pull me out of the darkness. As I began to embrace all these, my confidence started as a small ember. I then got back into my hobbies and interests. I realized that these are GOD’s gifts to me.
Overcoming my depression is easier said than done.
I will say it again: Overcoming my depression is easier said than done.
I can only imagine what you are going through.
I am here though; and I would like to help you.
I urge you to read on. I will take you with me on my journey to recovery.
Lesson 1: Happiness Is A Choice.
I fell into a very deep pit of despair.
I tuned into Facebook. This made my desolation worse. I compared myself with my friends who were more successful than me. I drowned in envy and self-loathing.
Almost every day, I woke up saying, “Why me? Why am I still awake?” I was lethargic.
I dropped all my personal goals. I let my life drift by. I just played video games for most of my free time.
One day, GOD led me to remember a quote from the movie, Sing.
Buster Moon said,
You know what’s great about hitting rock bottom, there’s only one way left to go, and that’s up!
My heart felt lighter.
I chose to be happy.
I decided to climb out, no matter how high the pit’s walls are.
I told myself that I should not be miserable forever.
It was not easy.
I kept falling… again…and again… into my old bad habits.
Sometimes, I was feeling so depressed for no reason.
I was even depressed about feeling depressed.
One morning in my bedroom, I decided to go out of my home and walk around the block.
It was a sunny day. I enjoyed the cool breeze and the calming green canopies of tree leaves.
Despite the sunshine and the refreshing air, I still felt down.
I realized that the problem was in my negative attitude.
I focused on all the destructive aspects of my life. I was still envious of others. I was too harsh on my faults and mistakes. I abhorred myself.
Then it dawned on me…
I could not beat my depression alone.
As Denzel Washington said,
Put GOD first.
I found myself calling and crying out to GOD.
I prayed to Him, “Help me GOD! Pull me out of this darkness!”
Lesson 2: I Need GOD’s Love, His Grace, and Divine Guidance To Save Me From My Depression.
How could I deal with my anguish when I had no ladder to climb out of my pit?
I needed something so I could see the Light.
I began watching funny and inspiring YouTube videos to feel better. I had good laughs and a few heart tugs… but I still felt melancholic.
A Change of My Perspective: Seeing the Glass Half-Full
This is the LORD’s Prayer in Swahili. I have known the English version of this prayer since I was a boy.
I encourage you to watch this video.
As my eyes gazed on the moving images, and while my ears listened to the enchanting music, I was in awe of GOD’s natural wonders. It reinvigorated my love for GOD and Mother Nature.
I found myself watching this video several times. And I was praying along with it.
Oh! I used DIYogi’s meditation tips. And this helped me focus on GOD and appreciate the message more.
The lyrics are as follows:
Baba Yetu (Our Father In Swahili)
|Baba yetu, yetu uliye
Mbinguni yetu, yetu amina!
Baba yetu yetu uliye
Jina lako e litukuzwe.
|Our Father, who art
in Heaven. Amen!
Hallowed be thy name.
|Utupe leo chakula chetu
Makosa yetu, hey!
Kama nasi tunavyowasamehe
Katika majaribu, lakini
Utuokoe, na yule, muovu e milele!
|Give us this day our daily bread,
Forgive us of
As we forgive others
Who trespass against us
Lead us not into temptation, but
deliver us from the evil one forever.
|Ufalme wako ufike utakalo
Lifanyike duniani kama mbinguni.(Amina)
|Thy kingdom come, thy will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.(Amen)
Afterwards, I became curious. I wanted to learn more about Baba Yetu.
I discovered that in 2005, Christopher Tin composed this for the theme song of Civilization IV, a PC game. And in 2011, this masterpiece won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists.
Wow! This is really cool!
It is so rare for a prayer to win a Grammy Award.
Here is the original version of Baba Yetu in Civilization IV.
Baba Yetu is Civilization IV’s theme song.
Source: Moby Games
Civilization IV’s gameplay
Source: Venture Beat
Lesson 3: I Am Worth It. GOD Gave Me A Gift. I Made Time To Appreciate It. This Built My Confidence.
I fell back into my old horrible habit… again.
Scrolling through Facebook made me feel worthless because I could not stop comparing myself with others.
I was hopeless.
I felt useless.
I was in darkness.
But how did I fight my depression?
And how did I see the Light?
GOD gave me one gift. This time, I knew I had to use it to build up my confidence.
While watching the Ode to Earth video many times, and while praying along with it, GOD inspired me to revisit my old hobby: photography.
(I have to tell you… I fell in love with photography when I worked at one of the biggest Public Relations firms in the Philippines, where I was often tasked to take photos of my clients’ events.)
Due to the pandemic, I could not go outdoors to take pictures. So I browsed the Web, and searched for BEAUTIFUL landscape images.
I was in awe from Mother Nature’s natural wonders.
These made me smile from ear to ear.
As I collected these photos, joy filled my heart for the first time in a long while.
I really miss traveling and exploring new cultures. These landscape photos renewed my hope.
Like a camera flash that blasts away the darkness, I finally saw His Light.
His beacon showed me His way out of my sorrow. And I followed Him.
As I listened to this musical masterpiece while scrolling down, and as I viewed God’s Natural Wonders, my spirit soared to great heights.
Rainbow Mountain, Peru
From Hand Luggage Only
Mt. Taranaki, New Zealand
By @superthijs from Pinterest
From World Atlas
Lake Irene, Colorado, USA
From Wallpaper Up
Iguazu Falls, Argentina and Brazil
By sharptoyou/Shutterstock. From Insider
Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Kyoto, Japan
From Smithsonian Journeys
Jakob Fischer/Shutterstock. From Insider
The Dead Sea, Israel and Jordan
By Olesya Baron/Shutterstock. From Insider
Lake Nakuru, Kenya
From Wallpaper Access
I have learned three important lessons to overcome my depression.
- Happiness is a choice. I must have a positive attitude to truly delight in all external circumstances.
- I alone cannot pull myself out of my despair. I need to embrace GOD’s love, His grace, and divine mercy.
- To build my confidence, I must welcome and connect with GOD’s gift for me… my passion for photography.
I thank and praise GOD for leading me to find Real Happiness through Him.
Let’s Share Happiness!