Well, here goes my first post.
I’ve decided recently that I feel strongly enough to speak about something very important to me. Although I’ve debated internally whether or not to start writing about this, I feel like I have some things I need to say. I have been battling various degrees of depression for a couple of years, and it has been the hardest thing I have ever done. As a Christian, I have spent most of my life believing that what God says in his word is true and faithful, so much that I would stake my entire life on it. Since I met and fell in love with Jesus when I was 12, the truths that I have learned and studied about him have built an interlocking structure for me to stand on.
This alone probably wouldn’t have been enough for me to submit my life to, but the real relationship that developed, the tangible peace and security that I found in turning to him gave me undeniable proof that he was there with me, walking me through every turn. I know I wasn’t always obedient and faithful, but I never stopped believing that He loved me and would never forsake me. The truths that he gave us in His word combined with the realness of hearing his voice in quiet times, feeling his presence in the stillness gave me everything I needed to love and follow him. I experienced pain, grief, betrayal, and a slew of other troubles, and never once did he leave me on my own.
I say all this so that what comes next makes more sense to those who may not know to what I’m referring. As my depression worsened, something in my brain started to block my ability to find him in my struggle, to see his hand working, to hear his words of encouragement and truth. I knew that he was there and that he would never stop loving me, because I believed his promises were true, but what was happening inside me, the battle I was fighting, kept me from being able to reach him. I spent nights in tears, crying out to him, asking why he had left me, what I had done wrong to deserve this. It was an impossible feeling to describe, and I remember several occasions where I would be sitting with my kind friend, where she wanted so badly to help me, asking what she could do. How could I explain that everything inside me, everything around me, told me that God had abandoned me, even though what we both believed told me the complete opposite? I lived in a state of not being able to feel the love that was waiting for me, of feeling as if anything kind or supportive around me was fake and fleeting. I spent months craving his presence, of going to the quiet place inside myself where He and I would meet, and finding more loneliness.
As far as skeptics go, I was the worst of them. Even during my season of experiencing it firsthand, I still believed that if I was a good enough Christian, then this wouldn’t be happening, that I would be able to be healed and to live a completely normal life. Believing this sent me into a state of constantly falling short, failing at every turn. I believed that if I tried hard enough, then I could be better, which only made matters worse.
In recent weeks, I have been lucky enough to find relief as I discovered that my depression was being caused by a treatable, physical, medical condition. These revelations about what was going on inside of my blindness is heartbreaking, knowing now that He sat with me in every sleepless night, He matched me tear for tear, and above all, gave me the people and the resources to fight my way out.
I know there are so many people talking about mental illness, breaking stigmas and creating a more open communication about this issue, but I still felt the need to share my story. You can tell people when they’re in the dark place that they’re not alone, that there are people around them who care about them, that Jesus has never left, but please don’t be discouraged when they can’t believe you. Remind them of truths and show up even when it’s hard.
Depression is a monster, it’s different for every person, and sometimes-good things just can’t get through.
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope that maybe it gave you a small understanding of what some of your friends might be fighting. And if you’ve been there or are there, you’re not alone.
Until next time,