Thursday, June 8, 2017

This Day

"This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24

Every new day is a gift. Each morning that I'm allowed to wake is a blessing from God. I thought about this yesterday while driving, which is often the time during which I can do my deepest thinking. I began to think about how this concept plays out in my life. I thought about the fact that there are two opposing ideas that mingle together in my mind; they fight against one another for victory over my thoughts and actions. And the winner of the battle can change on any given day. 

What I know and what I feel become tangled up in a mass of emotions and pain that can be almost impossible to unravel. Even though I know that each day is a gift, that concept is still a paradox to someone like me who struggles with suicidal ideations. There are days in which I feel that my life is a curse. There are times in which I want to end my life. At these points, I cannot see how my life is a gift at all. My emotions and my logic are fighting a duel to the death. One is the voice of Truth and Life, while the other is the voice of depression and lies; however, even armed with this knowledge, I am not always able to silence the voice of despair and death. Sometimes it wins, and I just want to give in and give it what it wants.

I know there will be times when I am unable to think logically, so in order to equip myself for the battle, I've applied some practical strategies that I've learned over the years. I have notecards with Scripture placed in various places around my home. When the negative thoughts are overriding the positive ones, I can read these Scripture cards aloud and speak truth into my situation. I have a three-ring binder with verses I've copied that specifically pertain to peace. In that binder I also have Bible verses written that encourage those of us who battle depression. That's how I fight. That's how Paul taught us to fight, with the "Sword of the Spirit." (Ephesians 6:17) As a matter of fact, I need a daily reminder to put on the entire armor of God. (Ephesians 6:10-20) Without it, I am left completely open to attacks. I also play praise music and sing along. That is a powerful spirit lifter. I have to be proactive, and I have to be prepared. 

I also have to be practical. I take my anti-depressant medications, and I see my psychiatrist once every two months. I see my therapist once a month, but just going to appointments is not enough. I have to be honest with my medical professionals about my struggles and feelings, and I have to apply the techniques that I'm learning in therapy if I want to see positive changes. In addition to all of this, I must take care of my body. Physical health and mental health are closely related. I eat a healthy diet, and I exercise regularly. I get as much sleep as is possible for any parent of a young child with severe special needs. I take time to do things that I enjoy. I try to appreciate each day that the Lord gives me. 

So, yes, each day is truly a gift, even to someone who struggles with thoughts of suicide. I am thankful for my life, even though there are times in which I want to end it. I truly hope to live my life in such a way that it becomes a gift back to God, as well as a gift to others. And I am determined to stop depression from stealing that from me.

1 comment:

Jean L said...

I love how you are incorporating Scripture as your weapon!

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