Finding Our Way Out of Depressive Thoughts: Dependency

By Nancy Virden (c)2020

From eating disorders to hanging on to abusive relationships,  dependencies vary wildly in type as well as duration and intensity. 

My experiences as a participant in a variety of support groups stir me to offer these observations: self-doubt, hopelessness,  toxic shame,  jealousy and envy,  and now dependency.


If significant people are not behind me I might as well quit. He says he loves me after he hits me; I cannot be without him. This has been a tough day already and it’s only 10:00 in the morning; I need a drink.  If no one makes me, I’m not going to work. I’ll feel happy if she calls. 

Dependency is the act of giving our power to an outside entity, that once given such authority becomes our master, source, motivation, and excuse.* We are completely at the mercy of our dependencies until we let them go.

We have the ability to create our own need for an unhealthy coping mechanism. Likewise, we have the opportunity to break off a chain of dependency. In no way does this imply that making a change is easy freedom. 

No, it is costly and dangerous. Anytime we have placed our need, hope, and faith in a temporary fix, a fallible human, or a made-up god, breaking free means dangling from a thin rope for a time. Leaving our run-to habits behind as they call to us, we must face the difficulty of learning how to do life in a healthier way. 

But God

Stories throughout the Bible of God’s interactions with humans show his power and willingness to lift us up. We read that people came to the end of their resources, and then a miraculous statement begins with “But God…”

Genesis 8:1 “But God remembered Noah…”; Genesis 50:20  “You intended to harm me, but God…”; 1 Samuel 23:14  “...but God did not give David into [enemy] hands.”;  Acts 26:22 “But God has helped me…”; Psalm 66:18-20 “…but God has surely listened…”

He does the same for us! Helplessness is not usually a fact; it is a belief. We may be powerless over our dependencies but we know to transfer our trust to Christ Jesus who actually has the power to release captives.**

Acts 7:5 “But God promised…”; Psalm 9:18 “But God will never forget the needy”; Galatians 3:18  “…but God in his grace gave …”

Finding freedom from our dependencies may include actively participating in a Twelve-Step group or individual counseling. Sometimes we need a rehabilitation center or hospitalization. God’s grace may come in the form of leading us to the right help.

What a wonderful choice we have. Instead of believing, I need (fill in the blank)____,  we can ask God’s forgiveness and put our faith in this: Change will be difficult, but God is strong and knows the way. His love never fails. I will depend on Him.

Today’s Helpful Word

Psalm 73:26
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.


Nancy Virden Seminar, May-2016
Photo Joe Boyle Photography

Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. 


NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!

*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.., Carlo Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

* Isaiah 44:20 “The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes. He trusts something that can’t help him at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask, ‘Is this [false god] that I’m holding in my hand a lie?’ ” (brackets mine)

** Psalm 102:19 -20 (ESV) “…from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,  to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die..” 

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