March 29, 2015

Dealing with Depression

Is Mental Illness Actually Biblical  *Check out that link before you read on

I got this article from a friend this morning. A friend who truly loves me and tries to understand this disease that plagues me. A friend who see's a whole lot more to me than simply this disease. Its a really great article and its so true...if only the "church" (or even non-church goers) could grasp this concept instead of belittling, and talking condescending about it and about those that suffer from it...there might be a lot less hurt, wounded people (although still battling depressing and anxiety) walking around. If people would just educate themselves rather than speaking about things they know nothing about and passing judgement on people who suffer from depression and anxiety. I have three best friends and all of them have "held my hand" through some very tough times. They have been compassionate and sympathetic, even empathetic. They know me as a person. A very light hearted, fun person who truly does enjoy life. They don't give up on me and walk out of my life when depression grips me. They speak loving words to me and lift me up in prayer and are very encouraging to me. They hold me accountable to the healing process.

Someone in my very own family once told me, "if you would just serve others, you would be fine." Little did this family member know, I WAS serving others on a very regular and consistent basis...through my church and even through my own community. And I STILL do those things and enjoy every minute of it and look forward to it each time I am given the opportunity to do so. Instead of just investing (even a little) time in/with me...getting to know me, this family member assumed the worst in me and treated me as if my faith in God was lacking. As if this family member was on some Holy Mountain that I hadn't yet even begun to climb.

Unfortunately, "serving others" isn't the end of this disease for me, but thankfully I have invested in healing and taking care of myself through not only my faith and praying, but I also feel God has lead me down some wonderful medical avenues to continue in that healing process. Thank God, the way I was raised and the things that were taught in the church (growing up) didn't stop me from digging deeper into God and allowing him to direct my path to where I am today. Because those things might have completely broken me. Those things that were ingrained since childhood might have actually PREVENTED me from following God's ultimate path for me.

I have always been a completely open book about the fact that I am in therapy on a weekly basis and that I suffer from depression. I am not ashamed of it. I know that because of it, God has used me in others lives to be empathetic and compassionate and even a friend when no one else would hear them or understand them. I for one, a very real way. I do everything I can to make those therapy appointments an absolute priority for me. My husband has also supported me in this and has made sure I get to those appointments each week. My husband has been my rock and I thank God each and every day because God knew (long before I even met Kevin), that I would need a man such as Kevin to support me and not tear me down. If my husband had treated me as my family member did or used the words that family member did, I don't think our marriage would have lasted. In my dark times, I don't even think I would have lasted. He has stood right beside me, even carried me through those very dark times.

Those appointments (therapy) have truly helped me discover new ways of responding to difficult situations in life. They have helped me become FULLY aware of the times when depression is leaking in and taking hold and those appointments have taught me how to be proactive in "shutting it down"...not allowing the depression to take it use to. Through those appointments I have learned that I DO have a voice. And that I DO deserve to be heard. That just because I struggle with this disease, it doesn't give another person the right to shut me down, shut me up or talk down to me. It has been very tough work...and the journey has been a long one...some days are easier than others, but committing to the effort for healing has  definitely been life changing for me.

If you don't suffer from depression or anxiety its a wonderful thing. I guarantee, there are other things you do suffer from...even if it is, foot-in-mouth. We all have our challenges in life. I tend to look at mine as another challenge to look for God in and trust in Him. Maybe consider educating yourself before you assume all depression is the same. There are so many levels to depression. Some people may grieve the loss of a loved one and feel depressed for a short time, while others suffer from depression their whole lives, for no particular reason at all. While still others might suffer depression from another completely unrelated illness that plagues them. Regardless, whatever stage someone might suffer from with depression, each and every person deserves respect and each and every person has a process to go through or get to in order to receive healing. Simply telling someone to "serve others" or telling them to "get over it", unfortunately isn't the cure-all and you could be doing a lot more damage than good.

No comments:

Post a Comment