Thursday, July 19, 2012

Step Away From the Pit of Depression

A personal account of a depressive episode... how to FIGHT depression...or at least try.

I am on the edge of the black hole... hoping to write myself away from it today, Change my perspective somehow. I DON'T WANT THIS MENTAL ILLNESS TO DEFEAT ME! I have to rely on Jesus to get me through these times. Darkness seems to dominate my days lately. Losing (my former best friend) is a big reason for the recent darkness, I know. I'm back to feeling completely alone in this world and not trusting what people say. She helped raised Jireh!! How could she just walk away? I maintained contact with my brother for years simply for the sake of my niece… I bit my tongue and licked my wounds and went back into the ring for because I wanted my niece in my life. Now that she is old enough to email and has my email information, my brother and I have ceased what little relationship we had. We wished each other well and went opposite ways. If my niece wants to contact me, she knows where I am. The last time I saw my former best friend (FBF), I was bawling because she was loving on Jireh, and I knew it would be for the last time. I mustered, “She loves you so much…”

Any other relationship, I would have just accepted it was over and left. But I’ve tried several times to reconcile with the FBF for the sake of Jireh. The last time was a week ago, when I left a voice mail apologizing, asking if there was anyway we could talk and both Jireh and I miss her in my life. There was no response.

This is when I started spiraling down… this past week… thinking, thinking, THINKING myself into a frenzy. The bitterness returned, the cynicism, defensiveness, the person I was last winter, during the lowest, scariest point of my life. I vowed the same vows, ‘no one will ever hurt me again’, blah, blah, blah. This turned into self-pity, how I am ultimately alone (Existential theory enter here) until I was confined to bed for most of yesterday.

I slept restlessly, having the hole in my gut return. Lord, why won’t you just take me home? I thought (and felt) Job’s cry in 7:16: I despise my life… let me alone: my days have no meaning.

But the morning has brought a fresh perspective (which I pray I keep);
1.    When I was ready to give up… I was planning to leave Jireh to the FBF, believing Jireh would be happier with her. I realize this is not true! If she could let go of Jireh as she did, I am soooo thankful I did not leave Jireh with her. I put Jireh first. Jireh gets me up everyday, gets me outside the house, gets me to the dog park where I am forced to socialize… I mean, Jireh makes me fight every force in my body to make sure she has a quality of life. Jireh is with me 90% of the time and I love her and talk to her and play with her… Jireh has a good life. I’m not sure she would if I left her with someone else.
2.    Addy the cat is the same way. We sleep together. We work together. She is at my side whenever I am on my laptop. Addy gets the most expensive cat food before I get milk. I make sure Addy has a quality of life. if I wasn’t here, I am not sure that would happen.
3.    Once again, there are soooo many people in this world! Why do we let our heart’s break over one or two relationships that didn’t work out! I definitely am not flippantly saying, ’let go and move on’… it’s way too hard for that. But don’t allow your destiny to be determined by one or two people who hurt you.
4.    Relationships are hard, as you know. Tread carefully. But if someone lays out their cards up front (disclosing something as personal as depression), be prepared. Know what you are getting into. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
5.    This goes along with number #4: “Forever” is a very long time. KNOW AND MEAN what you are saying when you use words like “I’ll always…” and/or “I’ll never…”.  Words and broken promises hurt.

All this to say we cannot abandoned socializing. God created us for relationships. We can’t give in to the strong desire to live as a recluse and isolate our lives away. 

You and I are meant to be here until God takes us home. We all have roles that cannot be passed off to others before it is our time to leave this earth. Even if you feel you have no family or close friends who would be permanently impacted by your absence, there are roles which only you can fulfill. That is why God still has you here.

Finally, don’t let your guard down when you or someone else seems to pull out of a deep depression. Until much time has passed, one significant setback can bring you/them right back to the edge of the pit. It is at this time, you must review the five points above, and get on your knees and pray hard before Jesus.


  1. Hi Shelly! Thanks for sharing some of your thoughts. I am just finishing up my month on my psychiatry rotation and I'm just beginning to appreciate how difficult fighting depression can be. Maybe this Psalm will be of some comfort to you...

    Psalm 12
    "12 Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God.
    Do not forget the helpless.
    13 Why does the wicked man revile God?
    Why does he say to himself,
    “He won’t call me to account”?
    14 But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
    you consider their grief and take it in hand.
    The victims commit themselves to you;
    you are the helper of the fatherless.
    15 Break the arm of the wicked man;
    call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
    that would not otherwise be found out.

    16 The Lord is King for ever and ever;
    the nations will perish from his land.
    17 You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
    you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
    18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
    so that mere earthly mortals
    will never again strike terror."


    1. Thanks, Anthony. I have my face in the Bible, repeating that Scripture, praying for God to let it soak into my bones... great reference!