I have decided to share a part of me that not many people know about. If this will help one person then it was worth it. Spilling your guts is hard but God knows what He has brought me through and I give all the glory to the God of Creation!
Depression can eat up your life if you let it. I know. Been there, done that. Depression is something that you cannot control and it is an illness. You don’t just “get over it.” It will take you to places you’ve never been and don’t want to go again. It is serious and not to be taken lightly.
I can remember after having had my first child the fits of emotion, tears, anger, guilt and shame that I would go through for no apparent reason. The house had to be just right. I cleaned every single day and even the vacuum lines in the carpet had to be just right. My husband hated coming home to the monster that I was. It was no fun for him. I had no idea what was going on. This went untreated for years. I can remember having had thoughts of wanting to kill myself. I thought the world would be a better place without me. But I never acted on it. How could I? I was a mother and not a very good one either. I can remember times of screaming at my daughter because she wouldn’t behave and one time I even washed her mouth out with soap. She was 3. Shame on me. I carry that shame with me daily. I was alone all day with a child to care for, no one to talk to, no family, no friends, no church. We lived in a trailer in the middle of a field with no neighbors and in a new town where we knew no one. I think I was literally going nuts. I was told to “get over it.” Looking back on it now I see how serious it was.
We moved in 1998. I was a a royal witch. We got involved in a church and made a few friends. Today I thank God for my friend who recognized my need to see a doctor. I was getting ready to go to a home bible study with her and I was having all sorts of issues. Crying jags, mood swings, you name it I was having it. By this time I had had my second child. All these years my depression went untreated. I remember calling her, in tears, telling her that I just couldn’t go and that I was going to stay home. She gently urged me to come, almost begged me. So I forced myself to go. You see I also had issues of not wanting to be in crowds of people I don’t know. When I would get in a room of strangers I went into panic mode. My heart raced, I got sweaty and felt faint. I had to make myself breath slowly and consciously so I wouldn’t pass out. I remember going to a party with my husband, when we were dating, and I knew no one there. I had an all out panic attack and had to be taken home. It was not fun. I have come a long way from that day.
In that bible study I felt the presence of God and experienced his conviction to get help. One of the other ladies there talked about her own depression and how God gives us doctors and medicine to help us. I had always been told that taking a pill was a bad thing to do-(why people would think I was nuts or something. )
“What if someone found out?”
“ You don’t need that.”
“ You just need to pull up your big girl britches and get over it. “
During the fellowship of the bible study I felt God gently pushing me to get to the doctor. My friend agreed. She wanted me to call the doctor on Monday and she was going to hold me to it. So I did.
When I saw the doctor I explained how I was feeling and he had me take a little depression test. Well, I lied because I didn’t want to admit that I had had thoughts of suicide-so I just skipped over that little part. The truth is that I did have thoughts of suicide and even planned out how I would do it in my head. There was no guarantee that any of my plans would lead to a successful death so I never acted on them. Just thought about it a lot. But I couldn’t admit that to a doctor-( he might admit me to the local psychiatric ward and we couldn’t have that. )
So, he put me on an antidepressant. When my family found out I heard the old, “ oh you don’t need that, just get over it” line again. The shame set in. I found out that another friend was also taking it, so at least I had someone to talk to about how I was feeling. I wasn’t alone. Things began to get better and I started acting like a real human being again-for the first time in 8 years. Yes, I said 8 years! Some time passed and I can remember this like it was yesterday-my husband told me how much more pleasant I was and how much he used to hate coming home after work because I was such a witch. He couldn’t come in without me crabbing about his dirty shoes on the clean floor or something being out of place. There was no kiss on the cheek and “ Hi honey, how was your day?!” It was like he was a constant bother to me. I had no idea how he had felt until this moment. He was afraid if he told me something I would go off. I probably would have and today I see how awful I was to him.
But it wasn’t really me-it was the illness that I didn’t know I had. Sometimes it takes the love of another person to help get you where you need to go. A knowing heart, a kind word, truth spoken in love and faith that God knows all about it.
Today I am not the person I once was. I still have issues with depression, but it stays in check with the medicine. When the seasons change-especially fall to winter-I have to keep myself busy. I used to see this season as one of being dead because all the color was gone. But today, because of the joy of the Lord in my heart, I see it as a time of renewal, feeding, rest and preparation for what is to come. Spring! Without these things we cannot have the joy that spring brings! When spring bursts onto the scene it reminds me of heaven! Heaven is where my hope lies-where there will be no more pain, no more anxiety, no more depression-just extreme, all out JOY! Jesus has gone ahead of us to prepare that place for us. He is waiting for the perfect time to call us home. God is busy using each of us to prepare others so that we can take as many people with us as possible. How do we do that? We tell our stories. We share our hearts with others. Someone out there needs to hear yours. Someone out there needs to know they are not alone. Someone out there needs to hear the truth spoken in love. Someone out there needs the touch of God in their life.
Will you tell your story? Will you be the hand that helps people UP? Here is mine…let me help you…you are not alone.
I love you, but better yet, the God of creation loves you!