Here is an excerpt from a talk I gave several months ago:
“15 years ago I began to exhibit signs of clinical depression. I remember wondering what was wrong with me. I had a great marriage, great children, believed in God, and had everything that I wanted. Yet I felt sad to say the least. I felt guilty because I had so many blessings and yet I truly did not feel happy. I thought that maybe if I just talked to God about it a little more it would go away. It did not. About 6 months into these feelings, I told my doctor. He prescribed an anti-depressant and within hours I felt hope return. It was as if my regular self emerged once again. I went about life engaged in raising our young family of five children, supporting my husband, and taking care to nurture myself with good friends and a manicure or massage every so often! The medication made it so I felt very ‘level’–no highs and no lows. This lasted for awhile. And then I began to realize that one of the side effect of of the medication for me was to loose feeling. I rarely cried or showed much emotion. Sometimes it even felt like I didn’t have a relationship with my Higher Power. The struggle became more intense. During this time I daily uttered the words, ‘Please help me have stamina to make it through today.’ And somehow I did. I did really quite well considering what was happening inside my head and body. I carried on. In fact, most people had no idea I was going through what I was going through. The belief that I should keep everything to myself is something that fueled the depression…”
As I begin to unlock depression, my first invitation to you is to :
write down a battle that is raging in your mind…what does it feel like, look like, act like? Now it is no longer just battling inside of you. It has a voice, it has texture…and it is finally not just in your head!
It can be anything. Just write. It matters!
“About six years ago my heart began to change. I had been asking for help to cope with the depression. As I look back now, I realize I was just enduring. That was it. I believed depression was my lot in life and that I would just have to deal with it the best that I could. I had an experience at our children’s school that caused me to ask a lot of questions about the motives of others–as well as my own motives. I really began to cry mightily to my Maker. A friend who had worked at the school suggested a book to me. This began my personal deliverance from depression. At the time, I had no idea this book and unlocking depression would have anything to do with each another…”
Stay tuned for the name of the book that opened a new world to me…
It seems fitting that the name of this blog should evolve into what I will be sharing next…the final steps to unlocking depression. Although I have several posts planned to cover this topic, I also plan to continue sharing my growth and learning since the breakthrough.
— this is where you want to be!
(you can still access this blog through deliveredfromdepression.blogspot.com)
Join me as I share how YOU can beat depression!
My husband and I and our children created a new home and moved into it last May (2014). Those of you who have ever accomplished such a feat know that it requires a great deal of patience, fortitude, planning, and relying on the know-how of others and that they will follow through and be honest with what they say they will do.
A new home means a new yard. Our MO for such a feat means to see how much fun we can have preparing the land first–before the professionals come in! It means big tractors and dump trucks to move the top layers of rocks around. There is almost nothing more fulfilling to my husband and teenage boys than being able to operate big machinery! And so, within a month of our moving in, our friend loaned us his backhoe and dump truck. Summer and Fall involved moving thousands of pounds of rock and dirt off our land.
One morning in the middle of the summer, I was preparing breakfast–at least that was my intention. But the gas stove would not light. Strange. I really did not want to have to deal with this. This is a new home! Why would the stove not work?
Steve was able to trace the problem to a broken gas line in our front yard! Really?! How? Turns out, with all of the moving of the rock and dirt in an effort to level the ground, one of the men in my family accidentally hit a gas line and severed it!
Thankfully the gas company was quick to fix the broken pipe. We were back to normal. The damage was minimal because we caught it early on.
Sometimes we are tempted to believe that we are broken and irreparable. Sometimes we are pummeled by voices that say there is no way out of this, that it’s too hard, that we are buried too deeply in sludge. Sometimes we think, “I’ve began the process of getting out of this mess. I was making progress. Now I feel broken all over again. It’s too hard. It doesn’t matter.”
Do not believe it. Instead, believe that there is a way out of your struggles…be it depression, anxiety, or any other challenge. Repair is possible. I extend a lifeline to you. Hold on. It will be worth it.
Key Solution…writing a new story.
I feel pretty “level” right now. A new thought is emerging…I wonder if there is something that I am not looking at. I wonder if there is a root cause to the depression monster. I wonder if the anti-depressant is just a bandaid. I wonder if there is something more. Could I really find an answer and not have to have depression the rest of my life? Really? Is it possible? I wonder…
For some reason, I feel empowered to talk to my doctor and see what he would think about me going off of anti-depressants. I really do want to see if the thoughts I have been having have any merit–do I really have to have depression the rest of my mortal life? Is it possible that I can overcome it while I still have a long life ahead of me?
I’ve had these beliefs for so long now: “It’s just my test. It’s God’s will. I just need to accept this as God’s will. This is a chemical imbalance and pills are the only thing that can and will level me out.” But…I wonder…Are these beliefs really true?
I’ve decided to find out. If, at the end of my searching I need to remain on anti-depressants, I will. The alternative is much worse than the side effects of the anti-depressants.
Thus began what I now know as writing a new story. Francesca Battistelli sings it well.
If you did not struggle with depression or anxiety, what would your life look like, feel like, and how would you act? Write it down. Write a new story. It matters!
There is an image in my mind and a feeling in my heart. It doesn’t go away. I am standing and in front of me is a chasm. It isn’t very wide–only about 4″-5″. I could easily step over it and move forward but something is holding me back. I can’t place what it is. I don’t understand why I can’t just step over it. I am stopped. I rock back and forth at the chasm, wondering what it means and why it is there. Even more so, I wonder why in the world I can’t just step over it and be on my way.
I remember this image and the attendant feelings as if it happened yesterday. It would be another four months before the answer came as to why I was seeing and feeling this. I have talked with many people who have something similar to this chasm in their lives. Some call it a wall. Inevitably they all say they keep hitting up against it, getting nowhere. Some say they are ready to climb over the wall; some say they are ready to break down the wall; some unknowingly want to keep hitting the wall and expect to get a different result.
My experience has shown me that continually hitting the wall and expecting a different result creates anxiety. Anxiety is practicing failure in advance. (I share one of my experiences with feeling anxiety in another post.) When we find ourselves at the brink of a chasm or at the foot of a wall, we have a few choices: 1) walk alongside it, parallel to it; 2) keep hitting it and falling down; 3) back away and retreat; or 4) figure out how to step over the chasm or climb the wall to the next level.
Do you have a chasm? Do you have a wall? Do you have something that you keep hitting up against? Do you have something that is holding you hostage and maybe even showing up as anxiety because you are fearful about what answers may mean or if you will be up to the task?
If so, I invite you to literally look up and ask, “What’s up?” Not in a derogatory manner but in a sincere plea to your Higher Power. What does UP look like for you? The answer is literally your next move to leave the chasm or wall behind you…
Ask. It matters!