Post-graduate Depression is Real.
Here is how I’m getting through it:
*DISCLAIMER: These experiences are purely my own. If you relate to these experiences, awesome. However, I am not an expert. If you are experiencing depression I strongly advise you to seek help. Don’t be ashamed.
My post-grad depression started well before I graduated — 2 weeks to be exact. TWO WEEKS before I walked across that stage I questioned everything I had done in my college career. It felt like I didn’t accomplish enough. I felt like I didn’t prepare myself for the real world. I was leaving the place I called home for 4.5 years to move back to Suwanee, GA to live with my parents. I lost all motivation to continue to look for jobs (those rejection emails cut so deep). I felt helpless. Hopeless. Empty. and Disappointed.
I never wanted to go out and enjoy myself because I felt like I didn’t deserve to have fun. “Girl, you’re a server. You have no type of business trying to have fun” is what I told myself every time the opportunity to have fun presented itself. I was confined to my bed. I gained 15 pounds in 5 months. My functioning was completely impaired. It was taking a toll on my friendships and especially my relationship. No one wins when you and ya man feuding, okay?! But anyways….
I was comparing myself to my peers’ path when they were merely not my own. Social media began to take a toll on me. I absolutely had to take a break from it. I saw people who were fulfilling the same dream I had, but here I was cursing myself because I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. I was so happy for them, but I got tired of not being happy for the person that really mattered: me. I was extremely hard on myself, and had no idea how I was going to put this degree to use. I didn’t spend all that money to be confused!
I’m not here to go into detail about the many breakdowns, self doubt, and comparison I went through. I genuinely want to tell you guys how I am currently defeating post graduate depression, because I know I’m not the only one going through this. I pray this reaches you, and I hope it helps.
I’m trying to remember which nervous breakdown it was. I can’t remember. But it was one in particular where I cried out to God and completely let go. I felt like he had been waiting for me to just tell Him what I needed.
When I finally did tell Him, he ain’t say nothin’……..
But I always told myself that if I don’t get my answer right then and there, then continue to be still. I didn’t make any decisions about my career, school, current job, or anything else until God told me to. I remained still, but did not become stagnant. I used that time to pray and become rooted in His word faithfully. I began to put things into perspective and looked at my situation differently. During these moments, I realized that God revealed my purpose to me a long time ago. However, it will come to pass in HIS timing, not mine. This is my preparation period. And during this period I grew frustrated and tired through the trials and troubles that He put before, and not realizing that they were there to mold and prepare me for the blessings He had in store for me. It took me a long time to understand that. However, even though I now understand it, I still struggle sometimes. But I then remind myself that until I pass these tests, they will never go away. I have to get through this, or God will have these tests right at my front door and every morning.
Even though the preparation period is crucial, it is also temporary. It will not last forever unless you allow it to. We can pray to have God bless us in our finances, our household, and in our relationship all we want to but we have to prepare to receive those blessings. God won’t bless us if He knows we’re not going to receive that blessing accordingly. For example, He won’t bless our finances if He knows that we aren’t financially mature and willing to use those funds accordingly.
I know you’re seeing recent grads post their accomplishments, and you may be questioning yourself and your hard work. Stop those thoughts. In the midst of all of this uncertainty, remember we can always find consistency and reassurance in Jesus Christ. It’s not easy having faith, trust me. I get it! But when you have nothing else to hold on to, faith is the closest thing that will keep you above water. I’ve been there. I’m still there. Take it step by step. Focus on the now, let God handle what’s in front of you. Matthew 6:34 says “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Don’t worry about if you’ll get into that graduate program, or if you’ll get called back for a second interview for that job you wanted. Pray about it and move on. And if you don’t get the job, or if you get a rejection email from that graduate school, God didn’t want that for you. He has something better instead. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been rejected and ended up thanking God later on. One of my dearest friends told me, “we have to stop giving rejection so much power”. It isn’t the end because you receive a “no”. Look at it as one day you’ll receive the most rewarding “yes” that all the no’s prepared you for.
My preparation period is far from over, yet I look at it from a completely different perspective. My journey is to be continued. But I’m excited for what is to come, even if I have no clue what it is!
I hope this helps you. It was on my spirit to share my experience. God has His hand on you, and this will one day be your testimony. We just gotta get through it.
God loves you and so do I!
Thank you for keeping me company.