“True humility and fear of the LORD lead to riches, honor, and long life.” -Proverbs 22:4
One form of true humility is the ability to recognize when one needs help, and then having the will to seek out help. I am not referring to everyday situations, but to those dark moments of the soul when one realizes s/he cannot continue on in the same, broken condition. These are the moments when one is confronted with the reality of how fractured one’s internal world has become; how broken one’s heart truly is. Maybe there is still some hope left, but the light is faint. The tragedies and difficulties of life can hammer one’s soul into this downcast state, as can constant struggles with mental health issues. Once one is in the figurative pit, one needs a helping hand to climb out again.
On my About page, I discuss how 2020 was the year that brought me to my knees. Prior to 2020, I was subject to the ravages of severe depression and anxiety for ten+ years. A combination of personal circumstances and my own reserved, but stubborn nature made my depression worse. I rejected fully the idea of getting help, rather, I ignored my problems. This approach didn’t help me, and my inner world kept falling to pieces. When 2020 came, and the outer world seemed to fall apart, I had no emotional strength left to help me cope.
Seeking help takes on a variety of forms. For me, the first step was admitting that I was getting worse, and that I didn’t know how to fix myself. The second step was changing my mind about seeking out resources to help me, including therapy and medications. I also had to cultivate a willingness to lean into my relationship with God. His Word is full of comforts, but I had never allowed myself to rest on those comforts. I now know that part of fearing the Lord is to submit to His help and comfort; and to let His infinite strength carry me. A long life, with dignity and honor, is a hope I dare to have again.
If you struggle with depression, and you increasingly wonder how you will get through today, much less tomorrow, please get help. Do it for yourself, and the people who love you.