In the last post, I talked about how you can’t just sit still and hope that depression and anxiety goes away but rather you have to get up and do something about it. Depending on the severity of the mental illness those steps will vary, but the step of love is absolutely essential for overcoming any mental struggle. DISCLAIMER: I am not saying those who have depression and anxiety don’t know how to love! In fact I have found that is quite the opposite. Hear me out for the rest of this post and I think you will get what I am trying to say.
When I was in the darkest moments of my OCD I was seeing a therapist weekly and taking medication daily. These were some of the most crucial steps for me to get out of the slump I was in. It was during this time that I discovered what love really is. My whole time growing up I had thought love was a feeling that made you feel excited, but I soon found that was the fruit of love. Love is an action. Love is when you do a selfless act for someone else. Someone could tell me they loved me, but the words alone didn’t make me feel loved; how the person treated me did. When I learned this I began to take steps to show love to everyone that I could. Service was the best remedy I found during those dark times. I know it sounds so generic and corny, but it actually works! During my spare time I would rake leaves, shovel driveways, or sit next to a kid in the cafeteria who was having a rough day. I didn’t care how big or small it was as long as I was looking for some kind of opportunity to serve. When I did those actions, I slowly forgot about my own problems and began to think of others’ well-being. I think Ghandi said it best when he said:
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Let me elaborate again, I am not saying those who suffer with depression and anxiety don’t show love. What I am saying is that going above and beyond to show love for others is one of the best ways you can overcome depression and anxiety. While, depending on the severity of the mental illness, this might not be enough to overcome all depression and anxiety, but it is a step in the right direction and it always gives hope for healing.