Kicking Depression in the Butt

Back when I first started music I experienced a mild form of depression. I felt like I wasn’t carrying my weight for the family because I wasn’t bringing in money at first. I had questions about if I was good enough to be an artist and if I could actually pull off doing it full-time. I dealt with a lot of rejection and feelings of insecurity.

My first photo shoot in Charlotte, when I had no idea how things would turn out!

My first photo shoot in Charlotte, when I had no idea how things would turn out!

It festered and weighed down on me to the point where I had trouble focusing. I was sick with terrible headaches and just feeling all around worthless. It was debilitating and exhausting. Can you believe how torment in the mind can have such a drastic effect on your life? Depression is a very real thing and for people who say to ‘just get over it’ or ‘cheer up’ shows a lot of ignorance. But maybe I’m happy for them? Because if they don’t know what it’s like dealing with depression, then good for them. Right? I mean, I wouldn’t wish depression on anybody!

As I look back at those times I can say that I'm grateful for the experience, but I've grown so much since then.  There are many things I would do differently if I had to do it all over again. If you're going through something similar don’t despair. There is deliverance! Here are some things that worked for me…

Embracing Productivity

I would say to tackle the fear and doubts BEFORE they lead to depression by creating and following a solid plan with action steps and a reasonable timeline to hit your goals. Be very generous and liberal with your time. Don’t overdo it, but give yourself enough tasks to keep yourself occupied on an end-goal. Keep your goals handy, written down on a piece of paper. Read it every day. I reminded myself what I was working toward every day by reading my goals, mission, and purpose. This helped me to focus on outcomes and solutions rather than problems and worry.

Truth Can be Your Best Friend

Sometimes you need to remind yourself of the truth. It’s really unfortunate but our friends, family, society even our own minds tend to focus on the negative. I read somewhere in a scientific study that we often remember bad memories better than we remember the good ones. But it’s unwise to let these patterns persist in your life, especially in your mind. Get ready to combat negative energy with the truth. What are your truth statements? One of my truth statements was “This is temporary. I’m working toward generating an income with my music and I will start seeing the fruits of that very soon.” I spoke this truth every time someone would question my choice to quit corporate without being established yet and sometimes I would even have to repeat this to my own self after indulging inner doubts and fears. By the way, for those who may not be aware, that is called investing in yourself! Sometimes you just have to take the leap depending on your situation. Waiting around on some magical time may be the safer route, but it also might never happen.

So, what’s your truth? Write down truth statements and scriptures that will help you combat negative thoughts. Any time negative thoughts pop up, speak out these truth statements.

Thought Patrol

Patrol your thoughts! Some thoughts that pop in are actually not yours. They could be imprints from toxic things people have said to you in your past or they can be an inner critic that needs to be shut down. The Bible says to hold every thought captive to the knowledge of Christ. Because sometimes our thoughts are lies! The worse mistake we can make in life is to not question our own thoughts. You see, everything starts off with a thought. Just imagine how more powerful you can be if you can be in control of your thought life.

Get the Support You Need

And lastly, set up a support system with accountability partners you can talk to that will support and encourage you on a regular basis. Sharing what you're going through with a friend who supports you can be an incredible release.  Having someone hold you accountable to trusting and believing in yourself can be a lifeline. Also, knowing that you’ll have to explain to someone why you didn’t meet your goal might put a fire up your butt to make sure you get it done. But mostly, we don’t operate in a vacuum. We lead and depend on each other as human beings. We are relational beings. Having balanced and harmonious relationships with others is (I believe) one of the keys to having inner peace.

Most of all, do your best! Your breakthrough is right around the corner.

Now that’s how you kick depression in the butt! Hey?

Anitra JayComment