Walking through depression and doubt as a Christian

  Hi there, everyone. I'm Jarrod. And I'm Zanita. We are your hosts of Record Live, a podcast where we talk about church, faith, and living well. We believe as followers of Jesus, faith is more than just a set of beliefs. It's a way of life, something we put into practice. Let's go live.

Hello everybody, I'm super excited about today's conversation. We have one of my favorite humans on the planet. He's a good friend of mine and he has spent the last few years working as a bible worker and outdoor rec teacher, a church planter and a few other things.

He's an awesome musician, rock climber and surfer, and a very new dad, which is exciting. He is joining us today to talk about his journey with mental health. So without further ado, I introduced you Robbie Morgan

Hello. Robbie. I know that you have helped so many people on their journey with mental health, including myself, hence why I'm so excited to have you here.

But before we get into the thick of things, can you tell us a little bit about where you are now and what you are up to?

Yeah. Well, I'm currently working for a Bible discipleship school called Arise. And I'm connected with the outreach that they do with that and coordinating that.

Trying to, you know, figure out whether we should have two cars with the crazy fuel prices, you know, figure out how to live in, uh, this world.

Well, life, at least from my perspective, , Looks pretty good for you at the moment. You said, you recently became a dad . You have an amazing wife. You live by the ocean. You have a job that you are passionate about. , but I know that life hasn't always looked this good and that you've had your own seasons of struggles.

And this might be a loaded question, but can you share a little about those periods of your life where things weren't so great and where your mental health issues sort of started? Absolutely. Yeah, so I used to work as an outdoor recreation instructor for like six years

and, I did that for a long time and I loved that job. But in 2013, at the end, at the end of our year, one of the students that I'd been training just two weeks after he graduated the course, died in an abs sailing accident in the Blue Mountain and I took that really hard because I was his roping instructor.

And from there that really triggered a, a kind of a slow spiral where I started to get really anxious. Am I doing a good enough job? Was this my fault? What do I do with, you know, further instructing? And it just made the wheels spin pretty bad in my head. And I got to a place where I needed a change cause it was just too overwhelming a couple years later.

So I decided to leave that job and then I had a relationship breakdown with my then girlfriend and then, we broke up. And, um, the funny part of the story is we eventually dated again and now we're married and have a kid, which is awesome. So as redemption is possible in many places in your life.

But going through that experience of, I guess you might call it post-traumatic stress from that experience going through grieving, a relationship breakdown, and then at that same period of time, I moved from the Central Coast, which had been home for, you know, the longest I'd been in one place since I was probably 15.

Um, and moving up to the Kingscliff area, to do those same Bible college that I'm now working at. But just like all of those things kind of toppled and it was like, I, came to a place where all of the things that I was looking for, for my meaning in life, even though I didn't know it, we're just kind of almost like systematically falling apart.

And I would keep turning to the next thing and the next. And my mental health just went for a loop. And I got to the point where I was doing a Bible college and studying to get to know Jesus, but a big part of that was because I was just feeling challenged in my own walk with God.

And I was in a place where I was wrestling with whether or not I wanted to keep living. So that was a really heavy place for me.

I'm just processing your story because it is heavy, but I think there's probably elements in there that many who are gonna be watching this can relate to. We all go through periods in life, you know, the pillars just get knocked out of your world and it's like, what do you do? How do you deal with that? Can you tell us a little bit about how you started to process? Some of the mental struggles that you're having and find your way out of that space. We have to acknowledge at this point not every person gets completely free of some of these mental health things that they find themselves in, like some of these recur and sometimes you can have good years and patches and seasons and different things.

But you know, what were some of the things that you found that got you out of that dark period in your life? Yeah. Well, one of the first things. I've been a follow of Jesus, since I was 17 as a personal decision.

And, I remember one specific evening where I really was wrestling with not feeling safe alone in my room with a balcony. And I, I had to go somewhere where I felt safe. And that place for me was the church. And so I remember getting in my car and driving to Kingscliff church, which I now work at.

And, , I, I just stayed there quoting some promises of God trying to get the darkness outta my head. And so one of the things that I would say is, for me, point number one was turning to Jesus was an essential element of experiencing that. And I just remember pacing back and forth and just quoting Romans 8:37-39 that says:

"no, for we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor death, nor anything else in all of creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord." And just holding onto those promises and speaking the truth out loud, that's a key element that kind of comes through in a few different angles in my story and just being able to recognize what are the core issues that are causing me to feel this way. You can have all these things knocked out.. But one of the primary issues that I've recognized in my life that has led to a lot of these circumstances is not believing that I'm loved, not believing that I'm valued. And so speaking those things into that space, finding a safe place where I could find those truths and speak those truths to myself or have others speak those truths into me was an essential thing.

Another thing that was really helpful for me was After, my student died, I recognized the troughs in the peaks where I'd go through a valley of, I'm really struggling, I, I need to get help, I need to get counseling. And then I'd push it off. Cuz I was kind of like, man, counseling's great for everybody, but if I have to do it, then there's something

totally wrong with me. You know, that kind of catch 22 hypocrisy where we're like, oh yeah, it's okay to get help except if I get help. So, I got to a place finally where I went and got help. I started doing some counseling and that was helpful. I saw a couple of counselors over the next year or two and learned some helpful tools from them that were really valuable to me.

So finding a safe place. Speaking the truth to yourself, getting help from somebody who's able to help you and to give you tools to be able to move forward. Another thing that was really helpful for me, was a program called the, Neil Edley Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program.

They run them out of many Adventist churches. That program is super helpful for me because I was learning things that I could actually apply in my life that were making measurable differences, not necessarily day by day , but week by week, month by month, I could see the progress. And I've got a number of things that I learned from that, that I still have to apply today to keep on top of my mental health.

And another one was, was also at the time I was doing this Bible college. And so a part of that was actually going into the community to meet the needs of other people and to. To seek for opportunities to share the, truth of God's love with other people. And I found that when I was in a space where my focus was on helping someone else, seeing their problems amplified, helped to kind of keep my problems in perspective.

And that was a huge thing to see that not only was I not alone in my suffering, that there were other people suffering, and often significantly more than me, but I was in a space where God was able to use me in some crazy way in my brokenness to be able to help bring light into someone else's life. It just brought me to tears over and over again.

Even in my brokenness, God can do good things through my life and bring good, healthy fruits even out of me not being in the best place was just a mind-blowing reality. . That's awesome. I've heard a lot of people say that when they've been able to help people in their own suffering, like one of the most healing things for you in your own healing.

Mm-hmm. . There's a Psalm, I think it's Psalm 52, where David basically is saying that he ate his tears for breakfast and dinner and he's in this emotionally distraught place where he can't sleep and he can't eat, and that fog won't lift. And he's ultimately like grieving that connectedness of God and asking where are you and why is this happening?

What can you tell people who are in these hard seasons of life when they're calling out, God and he doesn't feel there, or they're asking the questions and not really getting any answers. Hmm. That's a huge question.

It's a very, it's a super valid question too. There's a couple of biblical stories that I find super helpful in that space. One of those is the story of Jacob, and you can find it in Genesis 32. Jacob's in this space where he's anxious, he's just taken all of his life in possessions and he's fled from his father-in-law's place.

The dude chased him down and he was in a space where maybe his father-in-law was gonna take his family off of him and maybe even kill him and that all smooths over. But then he's gotta go and face his, brother who he cheated outta, like half of the family's inheritance, like all this hectic story.

And he hears that his brother is coming and he's got armed soldiers with him, right? Like he's, he's in this bad space and there's this story where in the middle of the night he goes, and he's. and it says that the angel of the Lord comes and wrestles with him and one of the most key things that just jumps out at me from that story is he's holding on, he's wrestling with God all through the night.

He just won't let go. God touches his hip and like, blows up his hip, right? , he realizes that he is in over his depth, he's in over his head. it's too hard. And yet in that space, he says, "I will not let go of you until you bless me." So the first thing I would say is when I look at my life, I can't deny that God has been present and has done things in my past.

I just can't. Other people might be able to say, oh, well, I can explain it, but I can't, I can't justify it. I've seen what God has done in my life and the lives of people around me, and I just can't let go of that. And so for me, I can't explain that away. So what I need to do is, hold on, and I would encourage you to keep holding on, keep wrestling. Don't give up. Another story from scripture that I really resonate with.

One of my heroes in the Bible is a man named Elijah. Elijah was a prophet of God, and God did amazing miracles through this man, and he brought about huge correction through this man, and he brought about a revival through this man's ministry. and right after , the big showdown on Mount Carmel where God shows up with a pillar of fire that consumes the sacrifice and demonstrates to the whole world that Elijah's God is who he says he is, and that he's moving, he's shaken, he's making things happen.

It's right after this, just like a paragraph later, it says that Elijah runs away scared for his life, and he says to God, kill me. I've had too much. This is a prophet of God and he's a person, who never dies. The Bible tells us he was translated straight to heaven. So we know that this is a guy who walked with God.

He lived a life that was touched by the grace and redemption of Jesus in a magnificent way, and his story inspires and encourages millions of people. And he got to a point in his journey where he was asking God to please end my life. And I love that story because number one, you're not alone, right?

Good, faithful followers of God have been where you are before, and by the grace of God have been brought through it. And so this just encourages me again just to hold on because in that story, we see that God is for Elijah and not against him, right? Like Elijah cries out. Just I, I'm just done end my life.

I don't have anything left to do it. God sends an angel who strengthens him, gives him supernatural food so he can run six weeks into the bush where he's gonna meet God. And then when God comes out to see him and have a conversation with him, like God speaks to him one to one. And in that conversation he says, what are you doing here, Elijah?

Right. He doesn't come in condemning him and saying, ah, you've got it all outta whack. You're all tweaked. You just, there's nothing going on here. You need to get your act together. He comes and he says, Hey, what are you doing here? And Elijah says, oh, there's nobody left. It's just me. I'm the only faithful prophet.

Like, there's nobody else. Everybody else has bowed the knee to the, the false gods, and there's, I'm done. And then I love what God does. God just kindly, gently says to him, There's a bunch of people who haven't bowed the knee. Now, here's what I want you to do. Take a next step. And I love this because God is with him. God is for him. And God doesn't rebuke him in that space. He comes to him where he is and he asks him the question, engages in a conversation, and he allows Elijah to express where he's at, what he's feeling and what he's going through. And in that conversation of love, God corrects his faulty thinking. And I think sometimes we forget that.

Well, at least I do... that not everything I think or believe is always the truth. But I act out of what I think and I believe all the time because that is what makes my feelings happen. But I love this like he holds on, and so he has this conversation with God. God corrects his faulty thinking with kindness, with compassion, and gives him the next step that he needs to take.

And Elijah just takes the next step and he takes the next step and people might think, wow, but boom, he just gets taken straight to heaven right after that. But it's like six plus years later that that happens. See, he goes from that place and lives on for years, trains up a disciple, and then has this experience where he's rescued, so to speak.

And I just find that so encouraging. So what I would say is keep holding on. Keep looking for the correction of the faulty thinking. Keep learning the next step. Keep walking with God because he's not against you, he's for you, and he's gotta way forward. You've given us some great biblical examples, Robbie. It, it's sort of like answers in some ways my next question, why people of faith? Have such a stigma around mental health? Because, there is a problem sometimes when it comes to believers. There's this idea that you don't have enough faith. Have some kind of depression, anxiety, you know, mental health problem. And yet you've just given us some really faithful, heroes of the faith who actually had seasons of this doubt and, difficulty in their lives.

But God didn't condemn or rebuke them, as you said, he, came alongside them. Yeah. So where do you think stigma comes from and is there any way we can be better at mitigating some of that?

Because mental health, is such an isolating thing. People withdraw rather than turning to others for help sometimes. And if we have communities of faith that feel unsafe, we're not in a good position to help those people. So in your experience, can you answer that question?

I mean, it's a big, broad problem in the Christian faith, but it's something that obviously we shouldn't have. We should be places where people can go to find healing and wholeness . Yeah. . I don't think I have the whole answer to that by any means.

I'm no expert. I'm just a, struggling through the journey too. But, one thing that sticks out to me is that, you wouldn't say to somebody who broke their arm, if you go and get your arms set at the doctor, you just don't have enough faith, right? Like there's a balance point between.

God doing something supernaturally and God doing something for you naturally. There are times where in scripture God does a supernatural event and then there are other times where God does his work through a different means, right? You know, there are times where God rescues in the battle

I think it was Elisha and his servant, and then he's like, open the eyes of my servant so he can see, and God opens his eyes and he can see hundreds of thousands of angels around as an army. But then there are other times where God says, all right, I'm gonna send your army in King David, and you're gonna actually have to go and participate in the activity that God is going to do.

And so in light of that, I don't think that it broadly among Christianity that we would suggest that if you went to get your arm fixed by a doctor, that that would be an act of doubt or lack of faith. We would consider that to be a reasonable and healthy way to go and, get things working and, and moving.

So how does that relate to mental health? Well, one thing I think is important is just because, something is, an issue that's in our mind, doesn't necessarily mean that there are not practical physical steps that we should take towards wellness. I should not expect God to cure me of lung cancer if I want to keep smoking, right?

You know, we laugh about it, but it's a fair point, right? If I'm gonna continue to smoke a pack a day and then be like, well, God's not showing up. You know, I just need enough faith. Well, maybe what I also need to do is pray and get help with stopping smoking so that I'm stopping the thing that is actually causing the problem.

And so I think one of the things that we have to do with mental health is we have to recognize we live in a society where there are many things that are contributing to the decline in mental health. In terms of lifestyle habits. You know, if you followed the Nedley Depression Anxiety Recovery Program model, he's identified 10 hit categories like lifestyle things. Eight of those are in your control. Nutrition and exercise and frontal lobe activity and adequate water intake and all of these different things that you can do. You know, do you have toxins or, or addictions that are happening. So those are things that are practically relevant that we can help each other with.

And I think that when we recognize that mental health is, is something that's significantly impacted by our physical lifestyle choices, then we can kind of remove some of the stigma to say, well, you just need more faith. Well, maybe you need more support as well to help your faith and you need some, assistance and guidance in how to get the lifestyle things that are contributing to that under control.

You know, if, if we've done everything we can for the arm while we're praying and we get to the point where we have to rely on just a supernatural way to fix this. Well then, you know, we gotta just give it to God. You get what I mean?

I think it makes it a lot more hopeful when there's eight out of 10 things that are in your control when I found that out, I was like, wow, this is amazing. I've also heard someone say that we should treat our emotional wounds, kind of like literal physical wounds. So if we have a gaping gash in our arm, we have to look after it. We have to stop using our arm or we wrap it up with bandages or we clean those bandages , it's a process and it's the same with those inner things. And I know from personal experience, it can feel so much easier to numb the pain and distract myself from it all because to deal with it is actually painful.

And what I'm wondering is like, have you, or did you have the tendency to wanna numb that as well and distract yourself. And can you talk about how you responded to those tendencies to just avoid everything and white knuckle on ? Yeah. Oh man, that's a heavy question. There's lots of things, right? I wrestled with a number of addictions in my life.

You know, addictive things are, whether that be something that's a substance or whether that be technology addiction or something sexual, or whatever it is that you're going to, to kind of numb that feeling that or, or to make you feel something when you feel numb. All of those things have such detrimental outcomes that you feel okay for a moment, but it always leaves you a a little bit lower than you started. So you, you start going up here and then you end up back below baseline and below baseline and below baseline. Eventually you're just using those things to try and feel baseline. And I did a lot of that in my teenage years and then I started to do that with things that weren't necessarily detrimental things, but just avoiding the actual issues, right? Like I'll just go surf instead. You know, surfing's not a bad thing. It's good for my mental health, it's good for my physical health, but if I never address the issue, surfing becomes another problem just with a happier logo, you know, like, um. So one of the things that helped me was this idea of learning to treat myself the way I would treat someone else, which is ironic. You know, love do one to your neighbors. You would have them do one you maybe sometimes you might find yourself falling in the category where you need to do one to you, what you would do unto your neighbor. And what I mean by that is I sat down with, a good friend of mine, who's a counselor, and he had me sit down and we did this exercise when I was working through how to process that my student had died and he sat me down and he pulled out a separate chair and he put that chair over in front of me and he said, I want you to imagine with me that there was another instructor over here, right.

And swap, swap seats with this person. And if another instructor had done what you did in teaching this person and they died in this accident, would you blame them? Would you say they were at fault? And I said, no, absolutely not. Then why would you blame yourself when you wouldn't hold anyone else to that level of account?

And what he identified was he identified that there was a distortion in my thinking. He then sent me home with a little homework assignment. He said, I want you to go and write a letter to your student who's deceased, all the things that you wish you could tell him, and you want you to write that down and come back in a week.

And that was it. So I went and I wrote this letter and it was this really difficult emotional experience to go through and write down these things. And we sat down a week later and he said, read me the letter. And as I read through, he would stop me every time there was a point where he saw a distortion in my thinking that what I was saying and what I was expressing was not factual, it was not reasonable. And he would help me identify. Oh, so you're taking responsibility for someone else's decision that resulted in an accident. Is that your decision? Did you make that or did he make that decision? And systematically we went through and identified distortions in my thinking and that tool has been so vital to me in being able to go from a place of, I just gotta numb the pain cause I don't know how to deal with it to I can look at my experience and I can look at it rationally and I can start to reason with myself and talk through an experience and to process it rightly because often, not always, but often the feelings that we're having that we're trying to numb and get rid of aren't even based in reality, right?

Mm-hmm. . So I had to learn to be able to treat myself as I would treat someone else, that I would give them the benefit of the doubt rather than being so overly critical of myself that I lost the ability to reason logically through the facts. And so, you know, he said it's a bit of cognitive behavioral therapy.

It's A, B, C, D. You have an activating event like the death of the student. Then you have your belief about that event. It's my fault, if only I had done this, if only I'd done that, then this wouldn't have happened. I might have done the best job possible in the accident, still could have happened.

That's unreasonable. And then you have the consequence of your belief, all of the emotional things that come out of that, all of these different experiences that you're having out of what you believe about the thing. Because the thing is, you have the fact, and then you have what you believe about it, and it's what you believe about it that informs all of your consequences.

But that's the natural process. And he said, but don't forget about D. Identifying distortions. Identifying the distortion in your thought and then telling yourself the truth. And that has been a game changer for me because there were things that I was telling myself and just letting the tape play over and over and over again, and I'm just telling myself lies. There are things that are unknown.

There are things that were out of my control. I need to recognize that, tell myself the truth so I can move forward in a healthy manner. Now in a different circumstance, there are things that I've done that have had negative consequences that were my fault.

Well, I can recognize that. I can still identify distortions and I can recognize that was that I made a mistake, I failed. But I've confessed and I've repented and I've turned away, and that's in the past. And I don't have to be defined by my past. You know, those kind of tools have been so helpful to me and I have to cognitively reapply those on a regular basis cause our natural instinct is to forget about distortions and just activating event belief consequences.

I don't wanna stereotype too much Robbie, but , it does seem like males, and I think there's statistics that bear this out, have sometimes more trouble connecting, more trouble maybe facing and dealing with their mental health. Like if you look at suicide statistics of young men, they're a lot higher, than their female counterparts what can we be saying to young men? How can we be helping this imbalance, this problem? What is it about men that we have such trouble?

You know, I really resonated with what you said earlier about the idea. We can say it's great to get counseling, we should get help. We advocate for that. I can say that from experience. It's like something I've written about, talked about.

Yeah. Go get help. It's really important. But to actually take that step took a very, very long time. It's really hard to reach out and do that. Is there any way to address that? What can we be saying to young men that will help them with their mental health? Yeah, that's a great question.

One thing that is important I think, is to remember that vulnerability breeds vulnerability. I cannot expect someone else to be willing to be vulnerable, to open up and to discuss if I'm not willing to set the example and make myself vulnerable. We're really good at this in society in general, of putting on the best face.

Like we're all a bunch of liars. We're all actors, man. And social media is your best friend as an actor because all you're doing there as a general rule is taking this one little snippet that looks perfect in your messed up life and putting it up on the screen and blasting it on Instagram or whatever your thing of choice is, and being like, this is my life.

This is a little snippet right here, this fancy food from some rich restaurant, this hot chick on my arm, whatever, you know, fill in the blank. But then you have the rest of your life that is just as messed up probably as everybody else. So I think that one of the, one of the steps, and I'm, again, I'm not expert, but one of the steps I think is that we as people need to be willing to be vulnerable enough at times.

You know, vulnerability is not something you can just conjure up and give away for free every time because it's dangerous. You, you are literally making yourself at risk. But I think we need to be willing to take that risk at some level so that we can demonstrate to other people, especially if you're a dude, right?

How's any other man gonna be willing to go get help if I'm not willing to acknowledge, yeah, I got help and it helped me like I think, I think that being able to talk about my life's not perfect, I'm struggling with this, can help and go a long way and helping others to feel safe enough to open up and share.

Because if we don't communicate about it, we're gonna try and deal with it in other ways that often aren't as healthy. It's not silver bullet. Like, it's not like if I'm just vulnerable, everybody's gonna be okay. But I think it's one important step.

Yeah. For people who are not struggling and who are listening or who have never dealt with mental health issues, how do you, love someone well in the moment? Do you have any experiences where you found certain things helpful? Like is it showing up, is it not? Is it giving advice? Is it being quiet? What were some of those things that you wanted during that point when you were struggling? Oh man, it's unfortunate that sometimes it was some of those answers and sometimes it was the other answers.

I wish it was easier. One thing that was really helpful for. Was that there were people in my life who weren't enablers necessarily, which is a good thing, but, but they weren't afraid to be with me in the midst of my difficulty. They didn't give up on me and run away. There may be times where you have to kind of distance yourself a little bit or have to set healthy.

That's reasonable. You know, there's room for boundaries and there's room for give and take.

But that consistency of people who invited me into their home welcomed me to be a part of their family. And just continued to be my friend in that space was super. and some of those people who were close did things like got me up. Like I was living with some friends and they're some of the most beautiful people.

I remember one day he came in and I was just like moping, depressed cause everything is meaningless. And I broke up with my girlfriend and that's the end of the world. Even though there's three point something billion other ladies out there that are available.

But he got me up and got me outside. Said, hey, I need you to come and help me with this physical task in the garden. I I just need you to come help me with this. Come on, come on. And just like, oh, but he got me out and got me out doing something physical, you know? Getting people out there and helping them to do some of those things that are actually physically practically helpful for your mental health that are not talking about the problem all the time

you know, exercise, exercise is one of those things that is absolutely vital and we live in a very sedentary society like today. You know, we're sitting in front of a screen, and it's great that we're doing something with that. But if this is my whole life, that's one of those factors that will lead to mental health challenges, right?

If you exercise, for example, one hour every day at a strenuous rate of 4 out of 10. So you're walking and you can't sing, but you are still able to talk that pace. If you do that for one hour a day over a 14 day period, it has a similar effect , I'm just saying similar cause I'm pretty sure it has the same benefits as Prozac, with no side effects.

That's statistically proven. You don't get the results for two weeks. It's hard when you're very depressed or you're very anxious to get out and do the exercise for two weeks before you see the result. So when your friend comes and helps you and holds you accountable and gets you out there and goes on the walk with you and puts up with the difficult conversation that may happen, pushes through.

They're helping you to get to the place where you're getting the physical benefits that are starting to create habits that are gonna move you in the right direction. And that was super helpful to me.

One thing we do like to do here on Record Live is to get practical. Yeah. So where do we take this? You know, it's really important. I think awareness is a really good first step. So for those that are listening to this, maybe there's been some new ideas or some things that have gotten them out of their always of thinking to think, Hey, maybe I can get help or maybe I can change the way I view people who have mental health challenges, but to get practical, what can our viewers do to either, maybe it's help themselves, maybe it's help someone else. What's a good first step to even being vulnerable or being a safe place or creating your faith community as a space for mental health?

How can we set ourselves up to be people who are helping the problem, not creating more problems than I suppose. Yeah. Let's put that in two categories. If you're a person who's struggling, I would say, a number of things that are super helpful.

Start exercising, start today. And if an hour is overwhelming, start by walking to the mailbox outside. And if you get there and you feel okay, walk to the end of the block. If you get there and just take it little step by little, step by little step. Start a gratitude journal. Write down three things every day that you're grateful for. Physically write them on a piece of paper and be specific, like, I'm grateful today that I got to talk with a couple of friends on the internet and share a story that maybe by the grace of God will help somebody. I'm grateful for the fact that my wife was able to come and pick me up today cause we only have one car operating at the moment.

I'm grateful that I got to just hang out with my daughter and she laughed and smiled at me once today. Like just three things. Simple. Write them down, do it every day. That gratitude journal practice statistically works . Um, get a coffee grinder and get some flaxseed or some linseed.

Same thing. Take two tablespoons, grind it up, have it fresh every day. That gives you omega-3 fatty acids that you need for your brain. And it gives you something called tryptophan, which if you don't have tryptophan, your brain can't make serotonin, which is one of the happy chemicals you need to feel good.

So two heaps, tablespoons of fresh flaxseed. Grind it up, put it on your cereal, put it in some juice down the gullet. It's like having vitamins. You'll notice a difference within two weeks. That's something I still do to this day. I did it this morning.

Look for an opportunity to smile at somebody else, help someone else today. Practice those cognitive behavioral steps. Tell yourself the truth. Like, so just pick one of these things and start. Start right now while you're feeling motivated enough from this to do something. If you're a person who's not currently struggling, um, and oh, and if you are, sign up for the Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program.

Look it up online. You can do it online by yourself. It's better in a community. Heaps of Adventist churches in your local area are probably gonna run it in the next 12 months. Join it whether you're struggling or whether you've got friends who are struggling. If you're not struggling, but you know, people who are, make a point and set a reminder in your phone that recurs every Wednesday or every Thursday and just say, call this person or go to their house.

If they don't pick up and just go spend half an hour with them.

You don't understand if you haven't been there, how helpful it can be to just have somebody who's willing to go with you to the program just to listen.

It's so hard to have the courage to get up and go get help. So if you're willing to come and sit at the Depression Recovery Program or whatever else it is to help drive them to go see the counselor and just be there. You can make the difference between that person's life ending or not ending.

You could be the person who makes the difference in just those little moments, you know . Jesus gave everything for me and he wants me to be willing to give everything for the sake of someone else. So can I spare a five minute conversation with somebody at church who's always alone in the corner, who's awkward to talk to?

If that was me, would I want someone to come and do that for me? Absolutely, you know, it's not easy for anybody to do any of these things. So pick a small step and take it..

So good. Well, thank you for all of your practical advice and for being so open with your story. This has been helpful for me. I'm sure it's been helpful for others. So yeah, thank you again for being willing to talk about it. For me, Zanita as well. So yeah. Thanks Robbie. Really appreciate you modeling that vulnerability for us.

Walking through depression and doubt as a Christian
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