When I felt depressed during lockdown
Originally appeared online in the teen series: Trending - January 26, 2021.
When stay-at-home orders in our city first began, and there seemed to be no end in sight, my mental health took a turn for the worse. Unable to see friends and family, I became more and more unhappy and felt increasingly worried about the pandemic.
All the things that used to make me happy were now out of reach. Even something as simple as a trip to the grocery store was difficult. I spent most of my days indoors, hardly going out to exercise or even to feel the sun.
Family members encouraged me to try getting out of the house and to find new activities to keep me busy and in good spirits. But I felt unmotivated to do anything but the required schoolwork, and spent most of my day sleeping.
It wasn’t until my mom sat me down to talk about what was going on that I realized how I was letting these circumstances control me and my mental well-being. But still, I did feel unhappy, and I complained to her that nothing would change until I could once again do the things that brought me joy.
I felt unmotivated to do anything but the required schoolwork and spent most of my day sleeping.
She was quiet for a moment before asking me, “Where does everything good come from?”
Having attended a Christian Science Sunday School since I was little, it was easy for me to reply, “God.” I’d learned that God is good and the only creator, so the source of everything good must be God.
Then she asked, “So then, where does our happiness come from?”
I could see that this answer was the same: from God.
With this in mind, she reasoned that if our happiness truly comes from God, how could my joy be taken away by the current circumstances? Since God is permanent, my happiness has to be, too. Since God is always present, happiness must always be present.
She also explained that relying on anything other than God to bring me happiness could never result in lasting joy, since—as I’d already experienced during lockdown—none of these other “sources” of happiness are permanent or secure. My mom encouraged me to spend some time praying with these ideas and to read some Christian Science articles on this topic.
The very first article I read started off with this statement from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love” (Mary Baker Eddy, p. 57 ). Reading this helped me reason this way: If happiness truly is spiritual, then it can’t be influenced by circumstances or anything else. Being joyful is our birthright. God never stops supplying us with everything we need and never takes good away from us. So if God hadn’t stopped supplying me with joy, how could I be feeling unhappy? I noticed that almost immediately after I finished reading the article and praying with the ideas I’d read, all the fearful and depressing thoughts were gone.
If God hadn’t stopped supplying me with joy, how could I be feeling unhappy?
It was an instantaneous healing! But I continued to pray with these ideas and shared them with friends and family who were struggling with some of the same feelings I’d had. I even brought my newfound insights to a Zoom call, reminding everyone on the call of their true source of joy, God.
I am so grateful for this healing and the freedom it has given me—enabling me to remain joyful no matter what. In the months since this realization, I’ve faced more challenges, each of which seemed like another threat to my joy. But I was able to overcome these obstacles as well by knowing that my happiness is spiritual and remains untouched. I will forever be grateful for this wonderful healing.