Don’t Let Your Struggle Become Your Identity

*** Defying Shadows turns Two this August! To Celebrate, we are going to spend the part of the month resharing some of our favourite posts! Enjoy! ***


Depression and anxiety are difficult struggles to overcome. They can control your life and keep you from living it. They’re nasty, unforgiving illnesses with no regard for you or the many things on your to-do list. But that doesn’t mean they have to control you or who you are.

I consider myself to be a pretty normal person these days, thanks to my anti-depressant. I can think rationally and problem-solve as well as the next mentally healthy person. But some days are bad. Some days it takes all my energy just to fight off the negative thoughts in my head, telling me I’m worthless and that it’s pointless to even pursue a hobby I enjoy because I’ll be no good at it. They creep into my every waking thought without warning and, little by little, they chip away at my soul.

By the middle of the afternoon, I’m spent. The constant barrage of negativity eats at me until I can fight it no longer. I want to crawl into bed and never come out. I want to fill any empty space in my head I can with music just to drown out the voices of destruction. But I’m a mom. And I don’t have that luxury.

I have to carry on with at least some semblance of courtesy and love for my family. I have to do the things I don’t want to do. The only trick I use is to fake it till I make it. I just have to start something, anything, to distract from my inner turmoil. Chances are I will feel better once I’ve accomplished something, and, if nothing else, I’ll get a break from thinking about my own problems.

It’s easy to get swallowed up by the darkness of depression. You have to fight back, to prove to your illness that it doesn’t own you. It is trying to take over your life and it’s very easy to get sucked into a downward spiral, but don’t let that awful negativity become who you are.

Everyone is capable of something amazing. I never used to think this was true of myself. When depression is constantly whispering in my ear that I’m less than others and will never amount to anything, that’s when I know I need to fight harder. It’s a struggle but it can be done. Positive affirmations have worked wonders for me, along with the right medication and therapy.

Rise above your affliction. Don’t let it define who you are. Find a hobby or something you’re good at and put your natural talents to work. I’m not the most creative person but I find, when I stretch myself creatively through writing, it helps me to work through whatever is bothering me at that moment. It gives my anxiety and angst a place to go while producing something beautiful in the process.

Fight! You are bigger and better than the demons you wrestle with.

Melanie Meditates2Melanie McKinnon is a wife, mother of 3 plus 1 in heaven, and a barre fitness instructor. She loves writing, Diet Pepsi, hugging her kids and dating her husband. On her blog, Melanie Meditates, you will find subscription box reviews, her experience with anxiety, depression and loss, stories about her life as a mother, and some tips for maintaining sanity. She hopes to encourage and inspire anyone fighting a daily battle.

You can follow Melanie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and her personal Blog.

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