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My Journey with Depression

Updated: Sep 16, 2022

When depression is culturally portrayed, it often looks like someone who is having difficulty getting out of bed and accomplishing daily tasks. Depression can look this way, but my experience with depression was very different. On the outside, I looked totally fine. I was a sophomore in college, had a great GPA, a ton of friends, and was involved in every possible thing that I could be.

From the outside observer, I probably looked like I was thriving, but my internal world was a completely different story. I was emotionally reeling from an abusive relationship and a shocking and painful family. I was feeling completely overwhelmed by a challenging roommate situation and what I wanted to do with my life. I was surrounded by people but felt so alone and my internal dialogue told me that I was both too much and not enough.

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Becoming Isolated & Hiding My Depression

It felt like my attempts to truly connect to others all failed. I was worried that others would not want to connect with me if they saw how truly sad I was. The few times I had tried to tell others about my depression had not ended well, and I was increasingly feeling more and more isolated. All the while, I tried to prove to myself and everyone else that I was actually fine by continuing to be involved with anything and everything and getting excellent grades.

There were of course signs that I wasn’t doing well. I would cry almost daily and could not fall asleep. I started and ended dating relationships that I knew were not healthy. There were times when I would have to make an excuse about why I could not make a commitment, but the truth was I just felt I could not get out of bed to do one more thing.

How I Started Making Progress With My Depression

I finally reached a breaking point when my grades and relationships all started to suffer. I started getting mentored at my campus ministry and was able to make progress with my depression through my relationship with God. I will forever be grateful that the campus ministry I attended did not just tell me to pray away my depression.

Through my time at the ministry, I learned how my thoughts impacted my emotions and how important it was to understand my relationship with God. Through Jesus and mentorship, I was able to challenge the negative self-talk that I had grown up with and began the journey to overcoming depression.

I Started Setting Healthy Boundaries & Growing Healthy Relationships

I also met people who valued vulnerability in relationships and were willing to sit with me in my mess and not shy away when things got hard. I learned about setting healthy boundaries for the first time and stopped some of the self-sabotaging behaviors that were reinforcing negative beliefs about myself. This resulted in me being more selective about who I dated and ultimately starting to date the man who is now my husband. It was in these relationships, my friends, my boyfriend, and most importantly with God, where I began to heal. My depression had not gone away, but it was getting better. I felt optimistic about my healing for the first time in my life.

Trying To Find My Next Steps as the Depression Increased

College went on, and I graduated. I began working at the ministry that had helped me so much, and it was much harder than I expected it to be. Almost all my friends had moved away, I was not quite sure about my next steps, and my boyfriend and I were navigating the next steps in our relationship. Depression set back in. I realized that I had gone about as far as I could without professional help.

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The church I was a part of was the first place where I learned that therapy was okay for Christians and that many counselors saw their work as part of God’s calling. God was starting to move in my heart that I should consider a calling in depression counseling as well. I knew I had trauma to work through. Looking back, I am so grateful for God’s hand in my healing journey that He knew I would need to go through my healing process in layers.

Finding My Path To Therapy & Depression Counseling

I started depression counseling and was finally able to address some of the traumatic events that happened to me and why certain situations made me feel so dysregulated. Depression counseling helped me get to my wounds and heal them instead of putting a band-aid on them. My depression therapist was and still is a safe person with whom I can feel my feelings and who pushes me to answer hard questions about what I believe about myself. She reminds me that my trauma does not define me and that healing is possible. Most importantly, she reminds me to be gentle to myself.

The Final Step Following Depression Counseling

The final step of my journey to overcoming depression was the decision to start taking medication. I had finished graduate school, become a counselor, and had amazing, fulfilling relationships. I did all the good things like exercise, praying, meditate, and trying to get enough sleep.

Something still felt off. Most of the time I was doing well, but there were times when ruminating thoughts kept me awake or I felt easily overwhelmed. This was all during the COVID pandemic and while working with my clients. After several conversations with my depression therapist and trusted people, I realized that medication would be beneficial. My family has a history of depression and addictions, and I was able to see that some of what I was experiencing was likely biological.

I was telling my clients that there was no shame in medication, and I realized that I needed to believe that for myself. Beginning medication has helped me feel like myself consistently and helped me be able to address further layers of trauma that were too overwhelming before. I’ve noticed I’ve been able to reconnect with myself and be gentle with myself without as much effort as it took previously. I am grateful every day that God gave us the tools to heal, and the ability to study science and create medication is a part of His gift to us.

Healing Came With Depression Counseling & Hard Work

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My journey with depression has not been one thing. There have been times when healing has been fast and easy, and times when healing has been slow and painfully hard. Healing came when I noticed bad days were fewer and less intense, the words in my head were kinder and gentler, and my body was experiencing less tension. It came when I let myself be vulnerable and slowed down. Healing came through addressing trauma and feeling my feelings. Healing came in relationships and when I admitted I needed help. It came through science, faith, and depression counseling.

Not everyone’s journey will look like mine. Some will be faster, some slower. Some will not need medication. Faith might not be a part of your journey with depression. However, I hope that sharing my story will encourage you that you are not alone or broken and that you are deserving of help even when that voice in your head is screaming otherwise.

We at Remain Connected are here to hold hope for you when it feels too hard to hope for yourself.

Ready to Start Depression Counseling in Smyrna, GA?

Are you ready to start your journey in addressing your depression symptoms in depression counseling in Smyrna, GA? You do not have to walk this path alone, Remain Connected is here for you. With the help of a depression counselor, you can start to feel better and live the life that you want. Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Contact us to speak to a team member of Remain Connected

  2. Schedule your first therapy for depression appointment

  3. Start getting the help you deserve

Other Services at We Offer in The Atlanta Area

Depression isn't easy, and that's something we understand. It is time to reach out and receive the help you know you deserve. We are ready to guide and navigate you through your journey and are here for you. At our Smyrna, GA therapy practice, we offer services such as teen counseling, couples therapy, online therapy, therapy for anxiety, EMDR, trauma & PTSD therapy, and Pastoral care. Additionally, we provide therapy for stress & burnout, life transitions, and more all under a Christian counseling lens. Learn more about our team and contact us for more information. Taking that first step is never easy, but let us do the work and help you see it through.

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