“Do not be anxious (fearful) about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). (emphasis mine)
I’m writing this especially for those of you who are younger and are suffering from depression. You are afraid for your future. Depression has crippled you with fear.
I remember well the confusion and fears of those years.
I know a young woman who is twenty-four and suffers from anxiety and depression. She is living at home. She went to cosmetology school so she at least has a trade. She also earned an Associates degree.
But she is floundering.
She was scheduled to finish up her education in nursing. She has just backed out from that because of her fear of failure. She quits the moment she gets scared.
She is listening to her depression and depression always lies. It convinces us we will never conquer our fears. It finds those things we fear and exaggerates them greatly.
There are many reasons we fear:
- Fear of failure
- Fear of success (If I succeed, will I have to change a lot of things I don’t want to change.)
- Fear of rejection (What if I try and get rejected?)
- Fear of what people might think.
- Fear you are not enough (What if I don’t have what it takes?)
- Fear you aren’t smart enough.
- Fear of fear (Yes, there is such a thing. It’s called meta-fear. It means even thinking we might experience fear is frightening to us. I have often been afraid of the fear and anxiety I could feel if I tried something.
- Fear I won’t finish.
I’m sure you have your unique fears.
Here are a couple of books I recommend:
Do you know what one of my irrational fears is? (This might make you feel better.)
I hate using the restroom on an airplane. I feel very conspicuous and that people are watching me as I walk down the aisle. They’re talking about me. They don’t like what I wear, how I look.
I’m getting better though. I just got back from Maine. I told myself I was going to use the bathroom even though I was scared.
I did. Twice.
I share that so you know that I know how it feels to be irrationally afraid.
When we face our fears and remind ourselves that everyone is afraid of something, it takes some of the sting out of our fear. There are a lot of things I’m not afraid of that others would be.
Fear is almost always only in your mind. It means your thoughts are distorted. We attach far more significance to our fears than they warrant.Tweet
And most of what we fear never happens anyway. But you knew that, didn’t you?
But I think one of the worst aspects of fear is that the more you give into it, the more it has a hold on you.
That’s what’s happening to the young woman I wrote about earlier. She’s remembering all the ways she has given in to fear in the past and she now sees herself as a failure because of all the pursuits she hasn’t seen through or even attempted.
It much harder to overcome fear when you have a long history of it.
And the longer we take in overcoming some of our fears, the harder it gets. My husband and I are part of a couples group from our church. By the end of the summer, each couple will have had the other couples in their home, But not me.
I’ve done a lot of entertaining but it was always anxiety-producing for me. I’ve decided this is a time in my life when I am only willing to put myself in anxiety-producing situations for the things that are really important to me. At the moment this isn’t one of them.
I know I will eventually invite them over but I’m just not ready. My home is lovely. My social skills are good. But, the angst I feel over having the house in perfect order and worse, fix the food, just puts me in a tailspin.
But I know that right now, there are other things in my life that have a greater calling on my time and my energy. The big one is my book. I’m almost done but now I have to figure out how to get it published.
Seeing as I don’t care if I make any money from it, I’m going to self-publish. But that’s another whole learning curve and I feel the need to conserve all my mental and emotional energy for that.
It’s healthy to know yourself. Know the things you fear. Pick out a couple to overcome and don’t worry about the others for right now. As you gain victory over even one, you will find the strength to overcome more.Tweet
And we don’t have to tackle every one of them all at once. But we do have to tackle some of them or we’ll never accomplish our goals.
I grew up in great fear and anxiety for very good reasons. That stayed with me all my life so fear and anxiety are the two emotions that can really send me reeling. But I’ve overcome far more than I’ve given in to.
I have purposefully sought to get out of my comfort zone, a little at a time, like using the airplane bathroom.
So don’t feel you are alone in your fear. And don’t let your depression keep you afraid.
God bless and have a great day.
The post, “If you are a young adult and are depressed, this is for you.” appeared first on the giftofdepression.com.