Fanning The Flames Of Faith
My Battle With Depression
Mona Isler: Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 11:38 PM
My Battle With Depression
On July 4, 2009 I discovered that my husband was emotionally involved with someone else. That emotional involvement eventually become a physical one and we were divorced two years later. That's a 30 word description for a series of events that thoroughly changed my life.
I started this blog because it was the only way I was able to channel my fears and feelings. I had no idea that God would give me this gifting and that I would be able to help a single person beyond myself, but apparently I have and to God be the glory.
My first blog entry was called 10 Count ---> 10 Count and it started my process of trying to deal with the hand I had been dealt. I blogged pretty continually from August 2009 to June 2010 when I wrote my last entry called Dream Deferred ---> Dream Deferred. Well it was my last entry for a long time at least. God and I broke up. My blog and I broke up. I was so knocked over by what had happened to my marriage that I truly lost track of myself.
In the few years following that 2010 entry I made a lot of bad choices. Well, not bad choices, but choices that I would not have made if I had held on to what I knew to be true about myself and God. But I can't relive the past.
One important thing that happened was I spent a lot of time pretending that I was okay. Pretending for my kids' sake, and for my friends and family, that I was strong. I wasn't going to let this get me down. That I could handle it. I am a strong woman. Asking for help was a weakness. Relying on others was weakness. So I swallowed the bulk of my pain and anguish. I buried my sadness and despair deep down. I'm not saying I didn't cry. I did cry. A LOT.
I'm not saying I didn't share some feelings with my nearest and dearest. I did. But I would only say so much. I would only go just so deep. I didn't want them to know I was weak. I didn't want them to think I couldn't handle it. So I shut it up deep down inside.
Until the summer of 2012. It was then, after I had suffered financial difficulties and worked up a gambling problem that I found myself unable to deal anymore. I was cracking. I was losing my ability to keep it together. I just couldn't anymore. I cried all the time. I stayed in bed all the time. Oh, I still went to work every single day. (Cuz that's what we do, right?) but the minute I came home I got in the bed and didn't get out until the next morning. I could not wait until Friday because when I got home from work I could stay in the bed all the way until Monday.
I would find myself waking up in the middle of the night and crying for hours. I had tears siting right under the surface at all times.
I still managed to put on a brave face for people when they were around. But I was counting the seconds until I could get back in the bed again.
I remember saying to people that I was feeling down and that I didn't want to do anything or go anwhere. I thought I was screaming it at the top of my lungs:
I AM DEPRESSED! HELP ME! I CAN'T STOP CRYING! I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME!
But what I was really doing was whispering super softly:
i am depressed. help me. i can't stop crying. i don't know what's wrong with me.
And I wondered why no one was hearing me. Why doesn't anyone care?
Did I think about suicide? Not actively. But I had driven down the thruway and thought to myself "if a deer runs out, I won't try to avoid it". I had been driving and thought about a wind coming along and pushing my car into a tree. I had thought about getting cancer. So no, I didn't want to kill myself, but there were dangerous thoughts in my head.
I don't know what made me call my mom that day so many months later. I don't know why I finally said it out loud. But I did. She asked me if I wanted to hurt myself and I said not really and shared the above thoughts with her. And smartly, she urged me to go and see my doctor. She said I was depressed and that I needed some medication and that I need to see a therapist as well.
And thankfully I did go and immediately my doctor diagnosed me with depression. And in December prescribed Prozac, which I am still taking today. After a few weeks I started to feel the difference. I had to force myself to go outside on the weekends, and I had to force myself not to come home and get in the bed but I did. I had a few sessions with a therapist and finally started to deal with my feelings about my ex-husband.
And I finally started going back to church.
All of those things have brought about my healing. My physical, mental and spiritual parts were getting healed.
I know often times Christians believe that depression is a work of the enemy. Trust me when I tell you that depression is often a chemical imbalance in the brain. Or your body's way of manifesting suppressed hurt and emotions. And medication is often the right answer. Only a doctor knows for sure.
Do I believe in the power of prayer? Of course I do. But in the midst of my depression, I was totally UNABLE to pray. Or worship. Or sing. Or do anything for that matter. And I'm glad I went and got treatment.
Not only did I need the pills to help with the chemical imbalance, I need my Balm in Gilead as well. "Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?" - Jeremiah 8:22.
I had to remember the Word that God gave to me years before "Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security" - Jeremiah 33:6. Words that I thought meant something else entirely.
I had to do it all together. I am grateful to God that He gave my mom, my doctor AND my pastor the wisdom to aid in my healing.
If you are feeling down, please seek help, from you pastor AND your doctor. The bible does say that by His stripes we are healed. That healing comes from God, and often through doctors and therapists.