When I say “depression”, you say “sucks”! Cause you KNOW it does. For everyone involved. Although it is sucktastic in all ways, my depression has brought me a lot of interesting knowledge; how to cope, how to seek out help, how to eat your weight in graham crackers and peanut butter. Okay that last one is totally true but not really as funny as I think it is.
At the end of this month, I have an anniversary coming up that I’ve never had before – I don’t have a witty name for it yet, but we will refer to it as my Mental Health Anniversary. August 27th marks one whole year since my momma came and checked me out of a psych wing in Jasper, Alabama. I spent almost three days there, and did in fact consume more graham crackers and peanut butter than I ever thought possible. It is surreal even talking about this experience. I don’t often sit around and actively try to remember those few days.
On the outside, after I left, it was really weird to cope with having to tell people about it. I didn’t tell many people because we know the stigma that surrounds ‘those’ people who are in hospital psych wards. Now, I know someone will identify with that and we can connect, so I’m more open about it. One of the biggest triggers for me when I got out was music – I didn’t realize SO many songs referred to broken relationships… My best bet was worship music of any kind. Here are 6 of the songs that got me through the ‘after’ part of my Mental Health Anniversary.
Your Love Is Mine – I Am They. I still cry during this song. The words spoke right into my very lonely, broken heart. I was so lost, I was in agony that I didn’t know how to soothe, I had just lost the whole life I had been promised for almost a year. I had no idea how to go up. This verse is what won me immediately.
I walked alone, trying to find my way
On winding roads and paths that I had made
Wandering so far from grace
I’d given up on things that I believed
My hopes and dreams were buried in the sea
But You were there calling out to me
Over & Over Again – I Am They – Yep, they make the list at least twice. I honestly credit these folks for helping save me. I felt like I was just SO far away from Jesus. I pursued that affair knowing full well it was wrong, and I had no idea how I could ever even be useful for the Kingdom after such an act.
In my suffering and in my weakness
And when from You I ran
In the dark of sin, when I’m there again
Over and over again
Your love and Your mercy begin
No matter how far
You find me where I am
Over and over
No Longer Slaves – Bethel Music – I know this song is super hipster Jesus church music, but oh man that bridge… I want to scream it until my throat is raw. After I got out of the hospital, there was a lot of fear surrounding me. Being reminded that we are not slaves to fear, and that God will part the seas just to love us, was paramount.
You split the sea so I could walk right through it
You drowned my fears in perfect love
You rescued me so I can stand and sing
I am a child of God
In Over My Head – Jenn Johnson (Bethel Music) – I was at a point where I had absolutely no control of anything. I was giving it up to Jesus because I literally had no other choice. I can to a point where I was thinking “well, nothing else has worked, let’s just give this whole ‘living for Jesus’ thing a real college try”. Yeah, I’ll admit I was at that point where my last option should have been my only option all along.
Whether I sink, whether I swim
It makes no difference
When I’m beautifully in over my head
It Is Well With My Soul + It Is Well + It Is Well (Oh My Soul) – The original version has always been a favorite of mine. I sang the hymn at my aunt’s funeral with my cousin. It gives me goosebumps whenever I hear it, in any version. I decided not to include the version by Joey+Rory, you’re welcome. Bethel Music did a rendition that puts me on my knees, and the last one is a bonus because you can never have enough versions of this song!
Swim – Jack’s Mannequin – This isn’t a Christian song, but I NEED you to hear it. If you’re struggling through anything, this song is absolutely perfect. I’ve loved this song since I was in high school. Teen angst Heidi was a sight to behold, but some things never change. This will be one of my favorites forever.
You’ve gotta swim
Don’t let yourself sink
Just find the horizon
I promise you
Its not as far as you think
Music has always provided catharsis for me, and it proved no different through my depressive periods! I still love these songs! Let me know some of your favorite songs to listen to when things get rough, and maybe we can make a Spotify playlist!