Today’s guest blogger is Matthew Malin of Confessions. Without taking too much away from his intro below, he and I both survive with depression. Matthew submitted his guest post and since I hadn’t connected with him before, I wanted to peruse his site to get an understanding for his content. Matthew’s site is well laid out and I love that he has his topics broken down into different “Confessions”, which include-
♦ confessions for the hurting, lonely, and confused
♦ confessions on love
♦ confessions on reflection, and
♦ confessions through poetry
Again, if you haven’t read his short story, A Sheep Named Wolf, give it a read. It’s an excellent moral tale of humankind.
I encourage you to not only read this post and drop him a line in the Comments section, but to visit his site and do the same. You will fall in love with his smooth writing and his music videos that reach in to the core of your heart and pull out the words that you were struggling to speak.
If you’re interested in being a guest blogger on surviving the specter, please check out the tab at the top of my home page and send me an email with your ideas.
And now. Enjoy Matthew’s post!
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Hello to you! My name is Matthew and I am twenty-two years of age. I am a musician, writer, and currently a senior in College studying to be a Pastor/Church-Planter. I have struggled with depression and anxiety for four years now and the aim of my blog is to bring awareness to the subject. I also write daily updates, poetry, and thoughts on life, loneliness, and love. You can find my blog at: mbm1992.wordpress.com
Sticks and stones may break my bones…
It is honestly a baffling manner trying to encourage and/or motivate someone out of depression. I don’t say that out of disrespect towards anyone who is struggling (I, myself, have dealt with this issue on many occasions) but it is the honest truth. The fact is that there are no amount of words that you or I could ever say that would bring someone out of their hopelessness.
It’s just not going to happen.
I have often thought, wondered, and even been asked how one is to cope/help/stir someone who is so lost in their own sorrow. People simply want to know how they can best help their loved one or friend escape from the clutches of their perceived “lostness”. Automatically, one is motivated to speak. An abundance of words would, to most people, be of great use in motivating the depressed to action. My only question is this…How do you, an outside source with no earthly idea the extent of their pain, motivate those who cannot motivate themselves…with words?
Can I be honest in saying that it is highly likely that words were the catalyst to their current state? I mean sure, actions speak far louder than words but language is what affirms the motivation behind the giver. Words add validity to what they are already thinking. Speaking from experience I know that I was never in need of someone to come along and tell me that I shouldn’t feel the way I do (I already knew that). I was never in need of someone to tell me that as a Christian I should be happier because God was in my life (I already knew that). See, I already knew the logical answers. I was fully aware of what I should’ve been feeling, thinking, and doing but my awareness never once deterred my feelings.
It is in these moments that two things must happen.
1.) The afflicted soul must come to grips with the reality that what they are feeling and/or experiencing is nine times out of ten irrational and that’s ok. In order to best move forward we have to know where to start.
2.) The motivational coach of the situation has to realize that they are practically useless here. I don’t mean that rudely or as an encouragement to do nothing but I simply say that they cannot approach this situation thinking that they are superman. The worst mistake someone can make is thinking that they have all of the answers….Simply put, you don’t and there’s a reason…You haven’t taken the time to try and understand where we are coming from.
Talk is cheap but a listening ear is richer than gold to those who are without hope.
My constant advice to those who are wondering and to myself is this: Listen before you speak. Take the time to try and best understand the circumstance of the other individual, why they are feeling the way they do, and be extremely slow to give practical advice. Odds are, they already know what you’re going to say. The best way for a sad soul to heal is to know why they feel the way that they do. They cannot do such a thing if no one gives them a chance to express it.
But words will always hurt me
Again, a HUGE thank you for taking your time to write this, Matthew! If you’d like to drop Matthew a line, please do so in the Comments section here or on his site. I know he’d love to hear from you.