For the past month or two I have, for the first time that I remember, dealt with depression. No, that is not entirely true….I am depressed. (See how in just a few words we can distance ourselves from what we consider “wrong” in some way and make it sound so much better?).
I admit it. I exhibit all the signs of it. I checked. Everything is so easy to find nowadays on this thing called the Internet. Actually I did not have to look it up. I just knew it.
It is hard to admit depression. It would be easier to admit it much later, after, hopefully I have figured out what exactly is wrong with me and “conquered” it. But I need to admit it now.
But you know what? I can hear the voices screaming in my head how wrong it is to feel this way. Some of them sound a lot like my own as I have leveled some of these words at others. Voices that say things like:
Just be happy for crying out loud.
You need to get your head wrapped around the “truth” of the Word
Just get up, take a shower, put on your makeup and you’ll feel better.
Just set up a time with me and we will pray against this spirit of depression.
If you would just get back into fellowship with the believers in our church you would feel better.
Of course you are depressed. Look at your giving. God is not blessing you.
Maybe if you spend some time, early in the morning, in prayer and connecting with God, you'll be better.
You say he is depressed? Well of course, he broke covenant with our body and is now out there all on his own.
You just need to speak the Word. God’s promises will not return void.
Get under our covering and God will rebuke this demon of depression.
We have been given the spirit of an overcomer. You can do this.
We have a spirit, not of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind so if we are truly walking with God the spirit of a sound mind it will keep away any depression.
Don’t hang around people who are depressed. You will start to believe that the gospel does not work. They will steal your faith.
Depression is a sign of a very unstable person. Certainly not mature in the things of God.
Shall I shut them up now? You get my point.
I’m sorry Daughter….many of these were leveled at you. Please forgive me.
One of the funny things about living in this kind of toxic church belief system is that for some it was the CHURCH that caused their depression. Or at least what we were teaching in the church. Did we ever step back and say, “Oh, my God, what might we be doing that is causing this person to struggle like this.” Would that have been a good question to ask ourselves?
Another reason it is hard to admit being depressed is because if my old CLB ever heard that I was struggling with depression right now they would have been given the match to light the wood stacked at my feet. It would prove just how wrong and unstable and full of demons that I now am. My one ray of light has been Husband, who has been so patient with my tears and crazy – unlike me – behavior. He has said time and time again, “Honey, you are right where God wants you. He has something to teach you and show you about yourself and him.” I don’t know what I would have done with anyone less understanding. Best Friend and one or two others have also been so encouraging and not judgmental in this whole process
But then yesterday I looked onto my computer and read a bit of what someone else is going through. Heidi at Live With Desire was one of the first people that gave me hope that I was not crazy in coming out of our CLB. Monday, she again did that for me. In her Thoughts About Depression she says some simply amazing things. Please, please take the time to read it.
If you have ever struggled with depression, or are depressed now please read her post.
If you have never struggled with depression – you too need to read it. It will keep you from saying all the stupid things above and wounding people even more.
Thanks Heidi…And Husband….And Best Friend….And all the friends who now surround me. Your grace to me is amazing.