I love writing. I love the pang of the keys beneath my fingers, the feel of the sticky squares of my aqua blue keyboard cover. I love the moving cursor, and the pumpkin candle I burn each time I write. Coffee tastes better when I’m writing. And the silence. Oh how I love the silence.

Anxiety and depression can try to trick me out of writing. They tell me its waste of time and frivolous. My anxious mind tells me my words aren’t worth anything, and my depression tells me I don’t have enough energy. Voices in my head echo behind my concentration, clamoring for my attention, to distract and stop me. If I listen I can believe the lie that writing is lazy, and I should be doing other things, or that it isn’t a worthy effort. I can let these voices steal from me my enjoyment of one of my most favorite things in the world.

You might not be a writer, but my guess is there’s something you love as much as writing. Maybe its dancing, running, painting, making people laugh, cooking, fixing old things, hiking in nature, or sitting in silent meditation. Don’t let your anxiety or depression
steal this from you. You need it to restore, what your monsters try to leech from you. You need it to find your joy and your heart song. You need it to untangle the knots of your confused and weary soul.

I think of those kids who carve “I was here” in a bathroom stall, or a table, or the side of a mountain, as if being there is simply enough. We believe we have to be something, prove something or do something, when sometimes proof of life is all we need. And like a mom asks her kid at the end of a full day, “Did you have fun?” Maybe we need to ask ourselves that. And if the answer is yes, take it as a job well done. When you can look your depression in the eye and say, “I lived today, what can you say to that?” then you’re fighting the good fight, and taking back your passion.

Sometimes you might do the thing you once loved and find no pleasure in it at all. I challenge you to go through the motions until your body finds the old rhythm.

And at the end of the day, after you do that thing you love, and fight to rediscover the joy in it, whisper a prayer. Because prayer is the greatest proof of life there is. Its a sucker punch straight in the face of your greatest fears, and worst depression. As you go through the words, you will slowly find your passion again, and God will quietly carve on your heart “I am here.”

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