Monday, January 2, 2012

From Dark to Light

I wish I had something incredibly profound to write about today but I don’t. Instead, I’ll simply tell you what’s been going on in my life. As I’ve mentioned before – years ago, I was diagnosed with Dysthymia (a long-term, low-grade depression). I’ve been working really hard for many years to overcome my past and to some degree, have been successful in dealing with the traumas I’ve suffered in my life. This was not my own doing or by my own strength, but by the grace and healing found only in Jesus Christ.

However, for some reason we have yet to fully identify, I fell prey to a major depressive episode (sometimes called double depression) which began in November and which I am still struggling with at this moment. Unless a person has experience with this disease, it can be difficult to understand. First I want to say that being depressed is not even close to having depression. Being depressed is a normal human reaction to painful circumstances – a process of acknowledging, accepting and moving on from a life experience.

Depression is a disease. It’s a deep empty sadness that steals the joy and energy from a person’s soul and it seems to have no beginning or end. It’s falling down a bottomless pit for so long, you don’t remember a time when you weren’t falling. It’s standing on the edge of a cliff and knowing you just have to take that one step and you pain and loneliness will end and though you may not take that one step right now, you’re afraid that there will be a moment when nothing stops you. When I’m suffering a depressive episode, I hate to laugh because it’s just that much farther my heart sinks when the laughing is over. Now before you start planning the intervention, you should know that I’ve taken all the necessary steps to ensure my safe and hopefully swift recovery. I’ve alerted my prayer warriors, my medication has been looked at, and I am seeking professional assistance.

Despite this dark place I find myself in right now, I am still filled with hope and anticipation. I know that though my health may fail, and my spirit grow weak, God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever (Psalm 73:26) And I am his. I know, even now, that someday I will look back on this time in my life and say, “See how God has rescued me. See how God has healed my pain.”  Someday, I will be able to point to this moment in my life and tell of God’s love and grace in bringing me through it. I will look back on this time of affliction with a greater love and devotion for the Lord and I will rejoice in the gift of a stronger, more intimate relationship with him.

I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.
(Psalm 40:1-3)

If you are considering suicide – please seek help immediately. Call the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or go to your local hospital emergency room. I promise you, living is worth it.

About the pictures:
North Park (Sept. 2011)


Common Household Mom said...

Thank you for having the courage to write about this. I'm sorry to hear that you are going through this right now. In my reading of the Bible, I see that God rescues people over and over and over again. I'm praying that he will lift you out of the slimy pit and place you on that rock.

Audrey said...

The pain of depression is as real as the pain of a broken leg! I will keep you in my prayers as you fight this latest episode. I hope that you know how much you matter to many people. Keep on fighting until the need for your fighting spirit is behind you. God bless you Maureen!