Remedy | Depression

In May of 2010 I graduated high school. Instead of going off to college with the rest of my friends, I had decided to join the Army. I wanted to serve just like both of my grandfathers did in WWII and Korea. All I wanted to do was just get one deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan and be able to know that I really served. We trained all the time and then one day we got orders to go.

Finally. I was excited. I was ready. I was physically and emotionally invested into this and so ready to go.

Then, I was devastated.

When I was home on pre-deployment leave visiting my family, I was notified that we were no longer going. I was crushed.

There were other deployment opportunities that followed, and I tried to get in on all of them, but they also fizzled out.

When I got out of the Army, I felt lost. I kept thinking of what might have been if I deployed. There was what felt like a big hole in my heart. I was angry that I did not do what I had set out to do. I was in a serious depression, and nobody knew.

I was able to hide it like someone hides their face behind a mask on Halloween. I tried to make my life on the outside look great, but on the inside, I was hurting. I felt like I failed and every time someone thanked me for my service it brought back the reminder of what I did not accomplish. I would be attacked in dreams that felt so real I would wake up sweating.

That sadness and feeling of failure and loneliness continued to cast a shadow for two years after I had gotten out.

I cannot tell you exactly tell you when or where I was when I fully committed to no longer be controlled by depression.

It did not happen all at once. I was not instantaneously healed. There were things I had to change about myself before I was no longer controlled by depression.

The first was rededicating myself back to serving God. While I was in the service I put God on the shelf and did not live life that reflected of him.

Second was kicking bad habits like excessive drinking and tobacco. Not doing things that fuel your depression is important.

Thirdly, I accepted that what happened happened. I cannot control the past, but I would take charge in my future. Taking charge meant letting God take charge and me moving towards him.

Lastly, I decided to live in truth and joy knowing that I will always belong to God. I am not telling you all this to make it seem like you must have something as serious as what I went through to have depression. On the contrary, no matter how big or how small, depression is depression, and it affects us all the same. Recognizing it and working to fight against it is the most important thing.

The best piece of advice that I could give to anyone who is suffering through depression is to talk to someone.

I personally went and talked to a Christian counselor and being able to open to someone I had no personal relationship with was huge. I had no fear of judgement that I would have felt if it had been a friend or family member.

When I was finally able to talk about it, I felt a burden lifted from me. Dark places do not exist when light is shed on them. It is extremely tough taking that first step no matter how big or how small the thing or things are that are causing depression, but it is so worth it once you do it.

I am not meant to live in depression. You are not meant to live in depression. WE are not meant to live in depression. While there are moments where we slip into states of thinking of what could have been or what was, we cannot let them take hold and control us. We need to rebuke the sadness that comes with them and rejoice in where God has brought us to now and where he is still leading us.
Author | Sam Carroll





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