Today, you are in for a treat! You are going to get to read my friend Jasmine’s story of climbing out of deep sadness back into a place of hope. I believe her testimony will give you practical wisdom and inspiration. Maybe you struggle with depression or you have a friend who does?
I pray that these words will lift you up!
I lost my daddy to cancer when I was 13 years old.
He was a great father.
And just like every other daddy’s girl, I loved him a lot. He became sick with cancer and passed away in my freshman year of high school.
It was very traumatic for me since I didn’t know he was sick until a week before he passed away.
He didn’t want to let me know because he didn’t want me to be sad. That didn’t work out well for me.
Throughout high school, I struggled to be a confident teenage girl on top of getting over what happened to my daddy. I was so sad and nobody knew. I hated going to school, I didn’t fit in and I was just the quiet kid who got good grades. The people who -I thought- I wanted to notice me didn’t.
I was lonely, afraid, lost, hurt, angry, and terrified of life.
I had low self-esteem and wasn’t popular (which is a killer in high school). I developed a closer relationship with God, but it still didn’t seem like it was helping. It just seemed like I was okay, but not better. I was depressed.
Then, Came College
During college, I met my husband (whom I love) and we had two beautiful babies (who we adore). Our relationship started off okay, but it got worse since I had never gotten over my daddy passing away in high school. I began to recycle into a downward cycle that I went through during high school.
I ended up dropping out of college soon after finding out I was pregnant which made me feel like I failed again in life. I was extremely depressed when I was pregnant and it seemed like it would never end.
I would just lay in the bed and cry not knowing what was wrong with me. I felt like my feelings were uncontrollable. And then I would look down at my belly and feel so bad because I wanted to change because of our son, but I couldn’t.
After our daughter came, I went through a long episode of post-partum. It was horrible. It lasted about her entire first year. Thankfully, soon after that first year, things started to clear up.
I got some clarity in my mind and began to come alive again. I enrolled back into college and was feeling a little better. I had a little bit of energy and I was enjoying life more because I could finish school. I gained some confidence and relief.
Two years later though, I found out that those mean little voices were still there. Whenever my husband and I had a problem, I felt guilty. I couldn’t express how I felt, so I just became sad (depressed). This pushed me into a deeper, closer relationship with God than the one I had before.
Then, Came the Word
After spending time alone with God in prayer and in His Word, I could determine what thoughts were true and which one’s weren’t. I noticed the stuff that was said in my head wasn’t true.
The depressed thoughts didn’t stand a chance against God’s Word.
Not long after that, we started to change our diet and began eating REAL food. Like fruits and vegetables and not potato chips and Lunchables (lol). I started exercising. I dropped my birth control pills and we began going to our chiropractor.
When I finally got my college degree a year later, I found out that I didn’t want to pursue a career in my degree field. I was planning on graduating and becoming a property manager, but I soon realized that wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do. I enjoyed helping people, but not helping them find housing.
That led me to begin sharing my story with others, starting a blog and writing a book to show women that there is hope for them too.
How Do You Beat Depression?
After realizing all of this, I concluded that beating depression is not just a mental thing, it’s not just a faith thing, and it’s not just a physical thing. It’s all those things put together. I began to look at how I felt after changing my entire lifestyle and how our marriage and family was so much better. We basically have a totally refreshed life. I have changed so much, it feels like I’m a totally different person.
I felt like I had all these pieces in fighting depression, but they were scattered all over the place. I loved eating healthy and thrived in my relationship with God, but there was always something missing that I just couldn’t figure out.
I eventually discovered that if I wanted live free from depression, I had to change my whole life.
I eventually discovered that if I wanted live free from depression, I had to change my whole life. Click To Tweet
To Live Without Depression It Takes:
Picking up the orange instead of the donuts for breakfast (most of the time). I have a sweet tooth, but I don’t let it tell me what to do all the time. How we feel depends partly on what we eat. So, we should try to make the best choices we can to fuel our bodies with the right stuff.
Staying active is an equally important factor as eating right. Exercising helps to get energy levels up and get the right hormones going to reduce the chances of being depressed. And of course, it helps you lose weight.
The base of my life is built upon my prayer life. I know that without keeping a close relationship with God, my life would be a wreck. Prayer helps to get all the bad thoughts out of your head and replace them with the loving words of God.
Living out my purpose of encouraging women is what I was born to do. Discovering our purpose gives us so much fulfillment in life. Knowing what you were born to do and living it out helps us feel like we have something to live for.
I know that we all like a quick easy fix. We want to push a button and everything will be better. It doesn’t always work like that. I’ve learned we must change several parts of our lives simultaneously to get rid of the dark cloud. I still struggle sometimes to get up and exercise and sometimes still want dessert before, during and after every meal (not kidding).
But I know now that I don’t have to be strong enough to be healthy, I can depend on God for His strength. I don’t struggle with depression anymore because I have allowed God to fix my life to the point where I can’t possibly go back to the way I was living before. I have been able to become a better mom to our children, be a wife to my husband, and live out my purpose.
If you are struggling, I pray that you find hope in my story to know that you’re not alone and it is possible to live without depression.
Lots of Love,
Have you or someone you know battled depression? What did they/you do to combat it?
About the author:
Jasmine L Bennett is a wife to an amazing husband and mother to two awesome kids. She is passionate about encouraging and educating women with depression. She uses her blog to offer women who may be struggling advice and encouragement in their everyday lives. She blogs at jasminelbennett.com.
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