What if I told you my battle with depression is one of the greatest blessings of my life, would you believe me?
With this writing, I will conclude the three part series I devoted to my personal battle with depression. Through writing, God has taken me on a magnificent journey; a journey where I discovered a new found freedom in honesty. By allowing God to expose my innermost being, He chiseled away layer upon layer and brick after brick of the fortress I thought I had built around my heart. I hope and pray by throwing wide the door of my life, someone has uncovered some new found truths about depression. And maybe, just maybe a breath of fresh air has changed your way of thinking towards those of us who live with this challenge daily.
2 Corinthians 1:3 & 4
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (NIV)
Sleep would not come. No matter how many times I tossed and turned or adjusted my pillow I knew my efforts would be in vain. Thoughts piggy-backed on one another as they encircled my restless mind. Questions, doubts and fears bombarded me like flaming arrows piercing my soul. Minutes passed at a snail’s pace with every glance at the clock on my phone. Plopping my head back down in disgust, I knew no good was going to come from me laying there staring into the darkness. So, with a deep sigh I finally gave up. There was no sense in prolonging the inevitable. Carefully I exited the bed repeating in my mind, “please don’t creak, please don’t creak.” More times than not our bed has its own language and it seems to speak louder in the middle of the night. Hoping against hope not to disturb Robert, I gingerly slid into my house shoes and slipped into our kitchen. I needed relief and on that night it came in the form of cleaning out my pantry.
During those early morning hours I purged. Anything that slightly resembled trouble or frustration, got shoved into a 30-gallon black garbage bag. Cereal boxes that had been left on the shelf with not even enough for another bowl-GONE. Opened packages of cookies no one liked-GONE. Half eaten bags of stale chips-GONE. Bottles of this and jars of that-GONE. Stuff we did not know what to do with, but didn’t want to throw away-GONE. What the heck is this and why is it even in here?-GONE. I grabbed and snatched items off the shelves with all the effort of a woman on a mission. The mission, I was bound and determined to declutter that pantry and Katy-bar-the-door if anyone thought about questioning or second guessing me. Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry about anyone interrupting because it was just me, the dogs and Jesus who were up at 1:30 that morning. My old friend was back for a visit and this time with a vengeance. If I could not rid myself of the clutter pinging around in my thoughts, by golly I would purify the pantry.
No matter my efforts in the days to come, this battle of depression was stronger and lasted longer. No amount of busy work or sleep offered any solace. To me, the cries of my heart fell on deaf ears. The unexplainable flow of tears seemed to never stop. Sleep could not come fast enough and mornings dawned all too soon. I was entrapped in a vicious cycle and I desperately desired relief of some sort and I did not care how or where it came from. I felt useless, worthless, and beaten. I believed I was solely responsible and completely incapable. I tried with every fiber of my being to talk to God only to hear deafening silence. I had arrived at a place of complete darkness and total separation.
Enter Stage Right, Robert.
Even if I tried to explain the love I have for this man, I would not be able to do him justice. His God-given abilities take my breath away. His quite confidence can make the loudest naysayer believe. The unconditional love he has for his children provides peace for their souls. He leads by example all the while teaching without saying a word. He is the epitome of grace and joy. He is the love of my life and my biggest supporter. When I veer left of center, he lovingly steers me back into my lane (this is rather funny because I am the more cautious driver of the two:). He believed in me so much that I earned my college degree seventeen years into our marriage (something I never dreamed possible). He makes me laugh out loud in public and yes, at the most inappropriate times. He causes me to softly smile at a note he leaves for me to find. And during this particular battle that I was losing, he wrapped me in his arms and spoke truth into my heart.
Through Robert’s loving words of wisdom, he declared there was no difference in me seeking medical attention for my depression than for him being treated for high blood pressure. There is such a negative stigma that has engulfed society in regards to those who battle depression. Too many people are trying to just survive depression. Let me declare to you in love, you do not have to just survive through depression. Better yet, with proper medical attention and a plan you very well could find yourself thriving in spite of depression.
There Is Help, There Is Hope
It has been five years since I sought out a medical plan of attack for my battle with depression and it was the best decision I ever made. My case is just that, my case. My triggers may not look like yours; but be that as it may, there are more options available than ever before. For me, my beginning plan of attack included assistance from medication to help bring me balance, as well as regular Christian based counseling sessions. You would be surprised how much talking without judgement can help you gain a healthier perspective mentally, physically and spiritually. Recently, I have discovered a new manner of all natural hormone treatment that has provided me with the most AMAZING RESULTS. With continued positive testing, there is a possibility I will be able to be weaned off and eventually free of my depression medicine. **This is not the case for everyone** I can honestly say I am feeling completely better than I have in a very long time.
Let me conclude my story by sharing these gems I have discovered along the way…
- I have learned more about myself, my family, others and Christ through my journey with depression. I believe I am becoming who God wants me to be because of experiences with depression and I believe if God can help one person through my story, then it has all been worth it.
- I can’t recall how many times I asked God why? Over and over I would ask why did I have to go through this? Why did this have to happen to my family? Why this road? Why me? Why, why, why? Then one day on my way home, about a quarter mile shy of the Owl Creek 4-way stop, I clearly heard God speak directly to my heart. He said, “Because I want you to help someone else.” At the time I hadn’t even been thinking about anything remotely close to depression, but I knew exactly what He was talking about. So, it is with that answer I share with you my story in hopes my words bring comfort. Just as My Heavenly Father has comforted and carried me through the blessing of my journey with depression, I want to encourage others with words of love, hope and support. You are not alone!!
Be looking to meet someone at their greatest need today!