· love,relationships,break up,depre,pain

There was a girl I dated back when I was in college. Let's called her Deepa. Deepa and I were like two peas in a pod. We loved the same kinds of music. We were both die-hard Martin Scorsese fans. And we both adored dogs. On most days, it felt like I had found my soul-mate.

But then there the days where I felt like I was in hell.

Deepa swung from being madly in love to being confused about our relationship. She constantly second-guessed my intentions. Her mood-swings exhausted me emotionally. As perfect as I thought our relationship was, I constantly felt like crap. When it finally ended, one part of me felt liberated. The other part of me, however, felt like I had just been in a car crash. And in the months that followed, I spiralled into depression.

You probably know what that feels like. If you're like me, you’re probably also pretty confused. We were created and wired to love and to seek love. Wanting to be in a relationship is natural! So why do they hurt so much? Because we're seeing them, and ourselves, the wrong way. Here are three things I learnt from my journey:

1. You are more than your relationship

I never realised how much of my self-worth was bundled up in my relationship until we broke up. That was painful to deal with when the relationship ended but it's also a very unhealthy place to be in /while/ you're dating someone.

How do you know you're in a relationship like that? Here are a few signs. Small, inconsequential things affect your emotions a lot; for example, your partner replying late to your text. You feel anxious doing things by yourself or with other people. You feel depressed when your partner is not around. You're terrified of being abandoned. You cannot think of life beyond your relationship. These types of relationships stunt your growth as an individual. In some cases, they can be dangerous.
Here's the simple truth: you are more than your relationship.
In my journey out of depression, God had to remind me that I wasn't just a half that needed another half to be whole. I was created whole. My partner doesn't define my identity or my value. They didn't create me! God did and He had to help me see myself the way He saw me: immeasurably valued and loved.
2. You're not alone

I don't know how I would got through depression if I didn't have people I could reach out to -- friends that listened to me endlessly and mentors that I drew strength from. Most importantly, I found comfort in knowing that I could always turn to God and pray. Open up to your close friends about what you're feeling. And before you say it: I know it's easier said than done. I've been there! It's hard but it's a very necessary step for your healing.

If you're reading this and you don't have someone who can reach out to or don't feel comfortable doing that, chat with us or join our community. Depression is one of those battles that is won together. We'd love to hear you out, pray for you and stand by you as you get through this.
3. Love will find you

When I started focusing on myself and being whole, an interesting thing happened: I stopped obsessing about being in a relationship. I still wanted to find 'the one' and I still wanted to be in a relationship but it was a much healthier yearning.

Eventually, love found me! I've been married to my wife for three years and it's been amazing. It's a beautiful thing when two whole people, who are secure in their identity and self-worth, love each other. That's how relationships are meant to be. So relax. Focus on being you. Learn to see yourself the way God sees you. Work on being whole and enjoying yourself. And like it did for me, when you least expect it, love will find you too!

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