Y’all this has been bothering me and Javon and I talked about it last night. I didn’t want to say anything about this topic because we have become so sensitive and victimized as a generation ....like we are thee most sensitive insensitive generation...but once my husband agreed...I knew I had to say something; especially since he is truly the empathetic fixer of our family...😂
There is an article circulating that says something like, “please don’t tell me to control my anxiety & depression because I can’t.” Now I said something LIKE.
The moment I read the title and article, I was bothered and more so my heart was hurt...daggone on near troubled...because we’ve convinced ourselves that we have no control and are powerless to anxiety and depression.
We’ve made mental health a trend and it’s AWESOME that we are more cognizant of our mental health but labeling ourselves and wearing anxiety and depression like a cute outfit to be liked is not cool.
What is cool is being self-aware and managing and winning against our anxiety and depression so we can be present and paint the world with our awesomeness.
And I’ve been there. I get it. When we’re in the thick of anxiety & depression, yes, we do FEEL like we have no control and we feel POWERLESS but we cannot and we WILL NOT stay there.
7 years ago, I was 25, and newly separated from my ex husband and my whole world was flipped upside down. That’s when the anxiety/panic attacks began.
I didn’t even know what to call them until I remembered the movie Soul Food where Teri was having them.
They SEEMED to come out of nowhere. I was just starting my social work career and there were times when I’d be typing documentation and my eyes would fill with hot tears out of NOWHERE. Like WTF, I WAS HAVING A GOOD DAAAAYYYY.
And a lump would clog my throat. And I couldn’t swallow. And I’d wipe my face roughly and get up abruptly. Put on a strong face and walk for what seemed like miles to my car in the parking lot. Crazy thing is...no one was ever in the hall or the parking lot of our office building when this happened; no one there to notice or help or see through my strong face and look into my eyes that were crying for help.
I’d get to my car. Sit in the front seat and the thoughts would RACE through my head of the reality of my life...
How the hell did I get here?!?!
I’m a fucking single mother. Just like my
mother and her mother. I wanted to break the cycle of divorce in my bloodline.
Man I gotta get my work done. I’m still on probation at my job.
He’s just out here living his life and I’m trying to raise two kids and start my career.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. No one’s gonna want me with these two kids. One has special needs. How am I going to pay these bills? I gotta take my daughter to therapy later. I just want to go hoooooome and get in the bed maaaan but I can’t because I have work to do.
And I’d cry and attempt to swallow. And attempt to breath. But my chest felt like it was caving in.
I’d call my best friend. She’d answer.
“I...,” audibly struggling to breath.
And she’d coach me to breath and encourage me until I calmed down.
All in the parking lot of the Hampton Department of Social Services where people go for all sorts of help.
I fell into a looooong 3 year depression that manifested itself in different ways...
Promiscuity-out here being a hoe (to my standards)...looking to men to fill my voids.
Abandonment- not really being present for my kids. Just kinda meeting their needs and putting them to bed.
Being pissed at God-because after all, it was His fault. He’s God. The omnipotent and thee omniscient God and He ALLOWED all this to happen!!!
Not eating- I was a size 4 and with my clothes off and my skin was falling off of my body. But when I was scantily clothed, I was smiling for instagram pictures and feeding off of the likes.
I had a breaking moment...a random one night stand that shook me to my core...because I went from being in church my whole life to waking up in some random man’s bed and that was truly the catalyst for me...like wooooooow you’re really out here being a WHOLE hoe, Brittney, while your kids are with a babysitter for like the 3rd time this month so you can go out and “feel good.” Wow.
That was my breaking moment. It sat me down to truly self reflect and process HOW. I. GOT. HERE.
I became aware of my triggers. I realized that right before I’d have a panic attack, I was usually allowing myself to think about my separation and its details and my thoughts would spiral and I’d feel completely out of control...thus having a panic attack. I was thinking about all this stuff I had no control over. Or there were times I’d see something on social media that confirmed my suspicions or challenged where I was in life and BOOM...a panic attack.
Before I knew it, I was processing and being healed from stuff that happened in my childhood and I wrote a whole book about it. (CLICK PICTURE FOR MORE INFO)
And I stopped being mad with God. I made myself forget everything the dogmatic church taught me growing up and got to know God FOR. MY.SELF. I got to know Him through food...thank God because my friends were about to stage an intervention. And through nature (walking and hiking). And through working out. And through spending time with my children.
I came to know Him as a healer. And I became very familiar with His Holy Spirit who empowers me to self-reflect, and process, and be more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ.
That was a mouthful and for this blog, I can’t assume my reader is a Believer so I have to explain. I have to explain because when I asked myself what the difference was between my struggling with depression and anxiety then and me living with depression and anxiety now...the only answer I had was God and how I manage it. The anxiety and depression still try me but now I win.
So I gotta explain:
To be honest, I almost renounced my faith. I mean I guess I did through my actions but I finally came to understand this whole God, Jesus, Holy Spirit thing...
And I hope I explain them in a clear way and your heart is open to receive: God created man (Adam) to represent Him on the earth but Adam and His wife screwed up so everyone after them continued to screw up until God’s Spirit came down to Earth and impregnated Mary and BOOM...comes Jesus: God in human flesh to redeem human-kind.
While on earth, He showed the screw ups love and healed them. Like He didn’t judge them...He loved and Healed them and that’s when I fell in Love with the real Jesus. He was so unlike the people I grew up with in the dogmatic church who represented Him and caused me to think He was like them.
While on earth, He knew what He came to do. He knew what His purpose was: He came to die a horrible death to redeem mankind from all of its screwed upness (that’s not a word) and while on earth He experienced anxiety about what He had to do...He cried and He actually sweated so much that he began to sweat blood. Now that’s anxiety and depression, Suguh.
He furthermore said, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” Matthew 26:38) when He was thinking about His whole purpose for coming to Earth. Bruh was going through it. The same way you and I go through it when we struggle with anxiety and depression. Our soul (our mind, will, and emotions) become “overwhelmed with sorrow to the of death...” Even Jesus contemplated ending it all...wow.
Then it says...
“Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
The cup was the horrible death He knew He’d have to face.
Jesus became super close to the disciples. He was their rock and friend. He was accessible and tangible to them when they were in trouble. Before He died and told them He was going to die, He told them in His absence, He’d send a comforter, The Holy Spirit. Yeeeeeep.
Jesus did what He came to do for us and He died on the cross and everyone, including the devil thought He’d stay dead but He resurrected. He conquered death itself. He revealed Himself to the disciples one last time before ascending to Heaven and the people were given the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2) just like He said.
The Holy Spirit is that encouraging inner voice. He’s the one that kinda nudges you when something isn’t such a good idea. He’s the SOMETHING in the phrase we say so often, “Something told me to...and I didn’t.” He is your inner POWER. The same Power that rose Jesus from the dead.
And the fact of the matter is...Satan...the enemy...the devil....evil forces...love to attack with anxiety and depression because they ATTEMPT and almost always succeed in drowning out and speaking LOUDER than the Holy Spirit.
Of course they do because if we listen to them, we will be crippled into not living a life that is filled with freedom and happiness and therefore, not fulfill our purpose and destiny. Yep, no painting the world with our awesomeness...the awesomeness God gave us.
We have to CHOOSE to be free. And choosing looks like a lot of prayer (talking to God), journaling, WHATEVER YOUR CREATIVE OUTLET IS (mine is cooking), going to therapy, self talk (affirmations), and not isolating ourselves from good friends and family.
Choosing to be free looks like shutting the devil up when he tries you with anxiety and depression just like Jesus did in Matthew 4.
Jesus spoke back with truth and that’s what I’ve learned to do. Like RIGHT when I
feel myself worrying...I speak truth to my situation.
😈When Satan and your current circumstances try to make you feel powerless:
🙏🏾Naaaah (my translation). “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”
😈Satan: no one is going to want you with all your baggage. You have no future.
🙏🏾Nah, I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139) God knows the plans He has for me and they are to prosper me...not to harm me and to give me a hope and a future.
Whatever lies Satan and your inner enemy are telling you, find scriptural and positive affirming truth to speak back to it.
That’s how you take back control and power. It has helped me for the past 5 years and I pray the same for you.
Pray with me right quick:
God I’m tired of living like this...like for real. I’m sick of it. I want to be happy again. I want to enjoy my friends, my family, my children. I want to laugh again...like a real laugh. Please help me. I repent for trying to do it my way and most of all...for trying to do it alone. I asking you to help me. I’m recommitting my life to you. I want a relationship with you that goes beyond man’s religion. I understand I don’t have to have it all together to come to you because you’re the one who gets me and keeps me together in the first place. I believe in and I believe Jesus. I believe He died on the cross and rose with all power to redeem human-kind...to make me righteous in your eyes. I understand there is nothing I can DO to make me righteous but that Jesus MADE me righteous by dying on the cross for my sins. I promise not to try to work for the love you already so freely give me. Thank you for placing the same power inside of me that rose Jesus from the dead. Please give me the gift of your Holy Spirit that will help me conquer and win against anxiety and depression. Give me a desire to read your Word so it will be hidden in my heart and on my lips when the devil and life try me. I am more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ. I am stronger than anxiety and depression because you are stronger than anxiety and depression. I evict anxiety and depression from my life. They no longer have power over me. I establish trust in You and joy as permanent tenants over my life. Greater are You that is in me than he that is in the world. Be my Joy. Give me my smile back. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Love you. Mean it 💛
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in Me.” John 14:1
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7