I call it "the great downward spiral." At least that is what it feels like. It's like some weird shift in your mind where some disappointment or upsetting event triggers you and you fall right into the whirlpool of raging emotions and then begins the spinning. Some times you may not even know what set you off. Some days you just seem to wake up and the dark clouds settle over your mind for the day.
I imagine it’s like you are in a horse-drawn carriage, reigns in hand enjoying the ride and some inconsiderate comment, unmet expectation or hurt spooks your emotional horses and next thing you know they’re freaking out. In all the excitement you’ve dropped the reigns and lost control of your vehicle. You sit there watching the chaos and destruction you're causing but you have no clue how to reign it back in.
If any of these scenarios sound familiar to you then know you are not alone and I have some encouragement for you.
I am a very emotional person. I am well acquainted with mood swings and depression. So well acquainted I can spot the warning signs and early symptoms a mile away.
I am no doctor or psychologist but I have fought through a fair bit of emotional distress as well as helped countless other women in their own emotional turmoil. I have come out the other side with some tips and advice for my sisters who might be struggling to control their emotions.
“If you don’t quit you win.” - Heidi Baker
Don’t stop doing the things that you are supposed to do. If it's just a dark cloud kind of day know it may not be your most productive of days and give yourself some grace but don't you quit. Keep doing what you're supposed to do.
If it's more of a season of spinning then keep fighting through. Keep going to church and any other gatherings you are committed to being a part of. Don't allow yourself to pull away from your friends and families.
If you are struggling with loneliness you can check out this post for some super helpful verses.
Heres a secret about the spinning. When ships are pulled into whirlpools, the whirlpools are not big enough to pull a ship down into them. The damage is done in the spinning. The boat fills with water and sinks from the inside and not because of the actual whirlpool.
When you begin to feel your emotions spinning out of control, know that they can not pull you down. You're too big for that. They can begin to fill your boat with lies and if you don't shovel them out they may sink you from the inside.
You keep fighting. You remember that because of Christ in you, you are bigger than any storm or whirlpool. You have the mind of Christ and the peace of God and you will not sink!
When you feel the dark cloud growing around you, don’t keep that to yourself. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Do not allow the enemy to convince you that your emotions are shameful or that talking about them will strengthen them. You have emotions and that is okay. I've found it pretty freeing to just let my husband know "my heads in a cloud today." That's a great start. Just let someone you trust know "today's a fight to rule over my emotions but know I am fighting and trusting that Holy Spirit within me."
Bill Johnson says something along the lines of “acknowledging the storm doesn’t make it more powerful.” Nasty things grow in the dark. Don't let the enemy trick you into hiding and allowing your sadness, loneliness, and depression to grow in the dark.
Things always look bigger in the dark. Surround yourself with light and life by clinging to your healthy and encouraging relationships.
Avoid big decisions.
This just isn't the time for making big decisions.
No new tattoos, relationships or hair cuts. Don't decide on a career change or on relocating. Just resist this. Put these decisions off for as long as possible. When you are feeling more emotionally stable you will thank me and the tattoo parlor will be there if you decide you still want the ink.
Find some way to serve someone else.
It is a scientific fact that helping and serving other people in ways that genuinely help them makes you feel better. When you help others places in your brain fire off and release endorphins that actually improve your own mood.
Our problems always shrink when we focus on others. You will thrive when you put someone else's struggles before you own. God tells us to take the role of servants in this life and to count others as more important. He doesn't tell us to shift our focus from ourselves to others to be mean but because He knows how He made us. He knows it will make us feel better, make the person we're helping feel better plus it shift our perspectives.
Now I am not saying insert yourself into someone else drama. I am saying find someone who actually could use a hand. Volunteer at a rescue mission. Become a big sister at an at risk youth program. Go join up with a food pantry or soup kitchen. Ask your pastor if there are any struggling single moms who could use some help tidying up or anyone whose grieving that could use an extra cooked meal or a new parent who might like some help and a nap.
Get help. Get help. Get help.
The biggest mistake I have made in the past is not reaching out and getting some counseling when my circumstances become too much for me to emotionally bare. Find a good Christian counselor that can help wade through the murky waters of emotional stability and depression with you. You do not have to do this alone. You were never meant to do this alone.
Needing help does not make you weak and isn’t something you should be ashamed of. If it is going to make you better and help you grow closer and stronger in the Father then what is there to be ashamed of?
Even if money is an issue, most insurance plans will help with Christian counseling and if you don’t have insurance lots of faith based counseling groups offer income based services only charging what you can afford. Some churches even offer to counsel completely free if you attend there. Just do some research and please find some help.
I firmly believe that healing and wholeness are available in Jesus Christ but sometimes the road there may have some bumps and ditches. When we find ourselves on the slippery emotional slopes of life we can be prepared for the blow. It is possible to regain control.
If depression or lack of emotional control is a pattern in your life, keep this as your battle plan. Be ready when the warning signs begin to surface and hold on to faith that these battles are getting shorter and shorter and you are growing stronger and stronger.
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I want to thank you guys for allowing me to be a part of your day and walk with the Lord. I also want to encourage you to reach out! I am always looking for new subjects to write about. If there is something that trips you up in or confuses on your walk with the Lord then send me an email or an Instagram DM and let me know what that is!
I hope & pray you guys have an amazing week!
be kind & be blessed,