What a timely article from Relevant Magazine. I’ll wait while you read it. Dooo do do do dooo….
Last week was the worst week I’ve had this year. I couldn’t cook for my family; I place undue burden on Dave and his mom and (not this time, but many others) mine. His mom came up Sat – Tues and took over the house and washed probably 12 loads of clothes and took care of the kids and more or less did the work of 5 people; I don’t know how she did it. “She’s a worker,” as my mom says. Meanwhile, my 37-year-old abled body laid in bed sleeping from (emotional) pain, zonked out on anti-psychotics. I am a little different, I’m bipolar so you get a side dish of anger, spending sprees and on top of that, I have nonstop anxiety. My drug routine is going to be different from the typical person who only suffers from depression, but that’s how this journey to sheer hell (for my whole family) started.
Depression is a real disease, it hit me at about 14 out of the blue. I didn’t know what it was at the time, I just knew I wanted to stay in my room and cut my arm. What a weird desire. I wanted to release pain, but I didn’t know where the pain and sadness was coming from. Remember, this was around 1990 and “cutting” was NOT something you heard of, ever. I was on the “cutting edge,” I guess you can say. I don’t know when it went mainstream, but it had to be at least 10 years later. But back to the whys of my sadness: I had a best friend that could simply make a noise and cause me to honk with laughter, who is still my best friend today (hey, make the noise, Andrea! I need it right now! It’s hilarious!), I was in the “new” part of SW Jr. High and it was soooo cool at the time, 9th grade was my favorite year in school – ever – I was a cheerleader and had a sweet new uniform and big hair to match…so why the tears? I kept them to myself at the time, I think. I’m sure my mom saw but probably chalked it up to hormones. It was more than that but would take four more years before I sought help.
I’ve been told the “pray it away method should work,” and asked if it doesn’t, “Where’s your faith?” before. This would be like praying and tossing the Epi pen away if Rhys ate a bag of peanuts, or just praying Henry if got mauled by a hippo when there’s a zookeeper next to me with a tranquilizer gun. Hippos are very fierce, did you know this? They are so cute. It’s like decorating your nursery with copperheads – think about it!
I was not on Facebook a lot last week. I got a few texts, “Are you ok?” “Where are you?” “Is everything okay?” “Praying for you.” Interestingly, the last came from a psychologist. :) If I text you back and say no or give some BSish answer, and you have time to call me, or come see me, PLEASE DO – I would never ask you to do this via text, that is very un-Southern and imposing so I am asking now to plant it in your brain. I know I live on Mt. Everest and we’re going to move – oh how I want to move – and if there was one quote that resonated with me from this article it was this one:
“Crying out is always the first step to healing—because depression is a disease that thrives in isolation. It wants to pull us into the prison of loneliness, where it can break us down in weakness.”
Bolding is mine.
I am crying out. I used to blog regularly and cry out if needed, but even this has become burdensome. And I figured people got a little tired of my moaning, honestly, I did.
I was broken down in weakness, though I feel much better these last few days. It is amazing how quickly God can turn us around, if we ask Him and His timing lines up with what we want our timing to be. You see, we don’t choose. He does. A lot of non-believers don’t like that aspect of Christianity because they find it patriarchial, but I find comfort in it. Yes, the most anti-authority, cannot even stand to have my kid in public school because I feel like I’m being held down by “the man’s” schedule woman, finds comfort in laying back and embracing someone else’s timing. He knows the plans he has for me. Why should I try and take the wheel only to screw them up? It’s hard, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, oh it is hard. Dave’s probably reading this muttering “WHA? You always take the wheel!”
If only he knew how many wheels went unmolested. There’s a lot of untouched wheels out there, and all for the better.
If you or a loved one have depression – please seek help immediately. If you cut your arm off, would you just stand there staring at it? I mean, for more than a few seconds. I admit, I would look.
- If you are churched, see someone who counsels those with depression issues, someone who understands and WON’T shame you. Get resources from them. If you are in the RTP area, I have some names I can give you. Some are believers, some are question marks. As a counselor told me, “Good psychiatry should not change your faith or touch it in any way.”
- If you need the name of a Christian church, period, I can give you the name of mine, or several others that are good, depending on your worship style.
- If you already have a psychologist but cannot find a psychiatrist, I can give you the name of a few to check out.
I’ll leave you with this thought. Believing Jesus walked this earth and died on the cross for your sins – past and future – is the only way to heaven. I pray for my friends, people I care about, to encounter Christ. If I have invited you to my church it is because I care about you, not because I’m trying to rack up numbers on some score sheet in heaven. I don’t even think they have those, but if they do, I hope they’re Erin Condrens.
I’ve been bold and shared my dirty laundry that is neatly sorted in a Thirty-One bin. Please be bold and come with me and Dave some Sunday. It is an hour and a half you will not regret.