I Am Blessed, And You Are Too
By CJ McClanahan
It drains the joy out of life, makes special moments dull, and robs us of the ability to see the bright, prosperous and fulfilled futures that await us.
In one way or another, depression affects just about every person on this planet.
I’ve had my own struggles with depression. Instead refusing to acknowledge it, I’ve made depression a piece of my identity,... but it does not rule me. I have it, it’s part of me...but I do have significant control over it.
I’m one of the lucky ones. I was diagnosed in my early twenties and have sought treatment ever since.
Depression is tough.
Overcoming depression wasn't easy. It was uncomfortable. It has forced me to unpack my past, my fears, and my triggers.
And you know what? I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the experience.
I’m blessed. I have great friends, an incredible wife and kids, and a prosperous business in a stable niche.
However, I still get blue from time to time. I still get burnt out, and I still have triggers. But I have a plan, a process, that I stick to when I recognize the symptoms creeping in. I’ve built a support system around me of people with empathetic ears who want to listen, see me succeed and experience real joy.
I’m blessed. I know this. And if you are reading this, you’re probably pretty blessed too.
Still, at times, for seasons, years even, we can struggle to see just how blessed we are and the power we possess to change the world around us.
Depression is powerful.
Whether we like it or not, depression will have an impact on us.
At the extreme, depression is responsible for some of the most heinous acts ever committed. Combine depression with a little instability, and you get the recipe of all the tragic mass shootings that have (or will) ever take place in this country.
Depression is a serious thing. And as much as we think it's our own affliction, it's not.
Your depression has an impact on every relationship you’ll ever have, it impacts your work, your physical health, and your picture of your future yourself.
Maybe you are struggling right now, and this email is the catalyst that pushes you to overcome your ailment with depression. Nothing would give me more joy. Truly.
Or maybe your spouse, or your children, or a close friend is unfulfilled, beaten down and thinking about throwing in the towel. Who have you not talked to in a long time? Maybe you decide to give them a call and hearing your voice is exactly what they needed to bring them back from the edge.
Magic happens in the little things. The little things make the world better. The little things allow the good in life to thrive.
And the little things don’t take all that much effort. What it does take is purpose and consistency.
It’s in the little things, the picking up of your phone to reach out to a trusted friend for support, eating healthy, exercising regularly, giving our minds space (and time) to work out the negative thoughts. It is here where we overcome the mental barriers that affect us like a plague.
If you are struggling right now, there is help out there. In fact, there’s a lot. Everyone has been impacted by depression, and while not many people understand it, they all secretly wish to.
The greatest thing we can do right now is start the conversation. That’s what I’m doing.
I have a history with depression. I’m not hiding it, and I'm not ashamed of it.
I’m blessed. And you are too. Remember that.