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I’m a Christian. I love Jesus, the Light of the World. And I deal with depression on a daily basis.

I think it’s my chemical makeup, compounded with some past things that have happened to me.

I am naturally very introspective, and since I have a very compassionate heart, I hurt very deeply when one (or many) of my friends is hurting (or if they hurt me deeply). This, and just ‘feeling depressed’ add to the fact that I have: Depression.

I think I’ve always tended toward this depression, ever since I was young. Perhaps some of it was spiritual, I don’t know. Some of it is definitely chemical, and I’ve been able to deal with some of it through doctor prescribed medication. But some of it comes from the past.

The last few years have been very hard. In one day (when I was nineteen) I lost my grandpa (he passed away) and my ‘best friend’ (he moved). My grandpa was and is very dear to me, and that was incredibly hard. My ‘best friend’ and I were going through a lot of relational turmoil, and I was having a tough time being friends with him.

My life evened out for a while after I stopped being friends with the best friend, and healed a bit from the sadness of my grandpa passing away. I went off to university, enjoyed my classes, enjoyed exploring my new life up north, and generally was doing better.

Then fall quarter of my second year came.

I got hit pretty hard. One of my good friends from the previous year became a homosexual, and I was heartbroken for her. Two of my good friends I grew up with were in the hospital for a disease, and we didn’t know if they’d make it. Another of my friends was struggling with suicidal thoughts, as was I, and we were trying to keep both our heads above water. One of my professors was acting in a way that made me feel bullied and humiliated in front of the whole class. One of the guys in that class that I was friends with was causing drama that made life miserable for me. And I was feeling bullied and a part of drama with some of the gal friends I’d made in the dorms (whether or not that is true, or just something I felt, I don’t know).

It wasn’t fun, and I’m still recovering from all that.

I learned a few things though. And I discovered some tools that help me survive. I’d like to share them with you in the hopes that they’ll help you if you’ve been on (or are on) the same path I have.

1) Take care of yourself.

It’s honestly a good thing. For me, watching good youtube videos (Celtic ones, Lindsey Stirling videos, and videos of some of my favorite Christian bands) really helped. It gave me short snippets to enjoy things that kept my courage up and kept the darkness at bay. I also was careful with how I ate. I didn’t have an eating disorder, but I was finding it very hard to eat (and keep food down) when I was that stressed. So I bought snack foods that were good for me or made me feel better. In short: I pampered myself. And it honestly helped.

2) Keep a filtering system.

Filtering helps. Be careful what you watch, what you read, what lyrics you listen to. All of these things have messages in them. Find ones that strengthen your heart and make you feel better. Find ones that make you feel ALIVE. And don’t watch/listen to the ones that bring you down.

3) Careful what influences you have in your life.

If you’re going through a tough time you need good, healthy people to support you (my opinion is: Guys with guys, and gals with gals). You cannot walk this path completely alone, in my opinion.

4) Make a portfolio of good things you’ve done.

This might sound a bit silly, but it honestly helps. You are here on earth for a reason, and people love you and care about you. Don’t listen to the voices in your head (or those from other people, if that’s the case) that tell you you’re worthless and useless and damaging. It’s NOT true. Out with the lies and in with the truth! Speak truth into your life, and put it in front of your eyes daily (I tend to post mine all over my walls in a disorderly array of beautiful clutter. But that’s just me).

Hope all these thoughts help :). Love and blessings to all of you!