Depression. It’s the voice that tells you that you’re not enough, that no one cares, or that you’ll
never make it. It’s what eats away at your self-esteem and steals your joy. It can even be the physical
ailment that leaves you going doctor to doctor, trying to figure out “what’s wrong with you.” Ultimately
it will leave you struggling to simply get through the day to day motions.
But God wants more for us than mere survival – He wants us to have life, happiness, and
fulfilment. Achieving this, of course, is often much easier said than done.
At a recent support group we talked about this very subject. How can you manage your
depression? Is there anything that can be done outside of medication? For me, the solution was found
through discovering I was gluten intolerant a few years ago. Having a body that is extremely sensitive to
just about everything, I wanted to try and avoid being put on medication for fear it would make things
worse or make me feel disconnected from the world around me. I searched endlessly for alternatives
until one day I recalled what a doctor had told me years previously about eliminating simple carbs from
my diet. After some research I decided to give the gluten free lifestyle a try and eliminated all gluten (a
protein found in wheat and other grains) from my diet to see if I could affect the biological foundation
associated with depression. Within days I started feeling significantly better, so much so that three years
later I am still gluten free. While everyone’s struggle is different, I found diet was a huge factor
influencing my mental health. After sharing my story at the support group, I was surprised to hear that
others had discovered similar connections with their diet as well. Some moms reported how other
factors like the role of supplements (including fish oil and multivitamins), exercising, and even just
having “me” time every now and again seemed to influence their personal and emotional wellbeing.
The unifying factor amongst all of these ideas is the concept of stopping and taking care of
ourselves. Many moms struggle to maintain so many roles and countless responsibilities that even the
thought of stopping momentarily seems foreign, maybe even selfish. In actuality, when we take care of
ourselves we have more to share with those around us. We deserve love and attention, including from
The last important thing we discussed came up again and again during our meeting: God.
Through Him we find solid ground and unconditional love, one of depression’s greatest enemies.
Sometimes we may fee low, empty, or weak, but He is always there waiting to catch us when we fall. He
may not always show you the bigger picture of what He’s up to, but He will always provide you with all
that you need.
I close with a quote I once read that has always stuck with me:
“Having a rough day? Place your hand over your heart. Feel that? That’s called purpose. You’re alive for
a reason. Don’t ever give up” – Anonymous.
Your life still has purpose. Keep fighting.