Celebrating 'Little' Victories With Depression and Anxiety
Last week, I decided to run an errand I had been putting off for a while. I made plans the night before I would go in the morning. That way, I wouldn’t have any time to stress about it or put it off any longer. When morning came, I got dressed, headed out and got it done.
When I was driving home afterward, I was filled with relief and joy I finally got out and accomplished this task that’s been sitting on my to-do list for far too long.
Immediately after that, I heard a voice in my head say, “Why are you acting like this is a big deal? You’re doing something that you probably should have done a few weeks ago. Compared to others, you’ve barely gotten anything done today.” Shame started to bubble up in my heart and I felt myself start to deflate with its weight.
But, the truth is I was very grateful to have gotten out of the house. I had been battling anxiety and depression and daily tasks felt huge and overwhelming. This felt like an answered prayer, a reprieve, a merciful reminder our mental health journeys often have moments of hope that find us in the pain.
The more that I thought about it, the more I realized that shame has a habit of showing up at times like this. And, doesn’t it happen this way for other hurting hearts, too? When we are on the brink of vulnerably opening up to someone or even to ourselves?
When we are struggling, we are often silent about it. But, I realized being vocal about our victories is a great way to hold onto hope and let go of the shame that tries so hard to set up shop in our hearts.
The “little things” are not little at all when you’re struggling. The “little things” are glimmers of grace coming to greet you on your weary journey.
So, friend, I just want to encourage you. If you are in the valley of pain, loss, anxiety or depression, little victories are still victories. As a matter of fact, they’re not little at all. They’re simply victories.
And there’s no shame in celebrating them, in letting them remind you of the faithfulness that can find you even in your darkest seasons. We can celebrate them together.
So, I want you to think back. Whether you’ve been in a dark night of the soul or have had a stressful day, name a victory you’ve had recently.
Maybe you found the strength to open your Bible for the first time since your heart was broken. Maybe you made the jump and scheduled your first counseling session. Maybe you put on your makeup today after weeks of not feeling up to it. Maybe you found yourself genuinely smiling despite the sadness you’ve felt to your core. Maybe it’s the prayer you were finally able to pray after months of feeling far from God. Maybe it’s the coffee date where you confided in a friend about your struggles.
These victories are worth sharing. These victories are worth celebrating. And these victories deeply matter, just like you.
You can follow Liz’s journey on her Facebook.
Unsplash image by Priscilla du Preez