So, I have to start by asking for your forgiveness if this makes no sense whatsoever. Today was Isaac’s birthday – he’s 2. How in hell did that happen? No, by the way, I do not need you to draw me a picture…

I’ve said this before – I find this a really strange time of the year. The family celebrate 4 birthdays and an anniversary so it’s pretty full on with the socialising – and the cake. Last year I was convinced I was going to develop an allergy to cake, I’d had so much – though I’m very happy to report this is not the case. For me though, the time is tinged with sadness of more difficult memories.

As I said a while ago, it’s really not a state secret that I struggle with depression. Possibly less known is the fact it’s been so bad in the past that I’ve tried – several times – to committ suicide. I hasten to add that this was several years ago, and I’m in a different place now to the way I was then. Thank freaking goodness. But it was a horrendous time, and the memories of it still haunt this time of the year a little for me. And those shouty voices, so loud and intruding, make a reapearence. Not in the same way, but they’re there.

It’s taken a horribly long time to realise that those shouty voices are liars. I don’t know what your shouty ones say – but mine have got a litany. Fat, ugly, failure, let-down…

I guess what I’ve realised is that I’ve got a choice. I can choose to believe those voices if I want to. Or, I can choose to believe that I might not be able to get rid of them – but I don’t have to listen to them either.

Depression tells me I’m ugly. God tells me I’m made in His image. No, I’m not stick thin, blonde, with massive boobs (well, actually, I do have the latter – my family are known for producing women with chests that enter the room 5 minutes ahead of the rest of us!) That doesn’t make me not beautiful.

Depression tells me I’m useless. God tells me I have a purpose in the world, that only I can fulfill. Yeah, there are things I suck at. But there are things I’m great at, too. I’m a damn good mum, I’m a great listener, and a pretty fabulous shot with a rifle. (this gave me massive happies at a somewhat bitchy all girls school. Know what? I might not give two stuffs about make up, clothes, or music – but I can shoot you dead from a good few hundred metres. Deal with that, cow!)

Depression tells me I’m a failure. God tells me I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Depression tells me I can never change. God shows me I’m changing all the time.

Depression shouts, screams, curses. God delights in me.

So it’s a choice really. Do I believe the crap? And if so, what does that do to the rest of my life? Or, I choose to decide that I feel crappy sometimes – but that doesn’t make me a crappy person.

Sounds like a no-brainer, I realise – but actually, it’s quite a hard one. I guess that I’ve been struggling with depression and stuff for so long, that it becomes fairly embedded with my personality. But here’s the thing. It’s not my personality. And whilst the journey of discovering the real Lizzi is actually harder than it sounds – it’s pretty damned awesome too.

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