Monday, 17 March 2014

Depression and finding God in all of it

I think it was the accident in December, maybe it's post traumatic stress disorder but it's been real. I shared awhile ago here that I was depressed (after much hiding. I could only hide for so long). I wasn't entirely dissatissfied with life. I don't think I had any suicidal tendencies between December and right this minute but I've wished almost everyday that I could wipe the slate that is my life clean and start afresh somewhere else. Some people called it quarter-life crisis (meanwhile, I'm barely 21). I didn't care what it was called and I still don't. I just didn't want it anymore. My life has been full and it still is-- sometimes I can't keep up-- I went out running with my sister most mornings, grabbed icecream, overdosed on cake, had margaritas and Chinese, laughed, made people laugh, released a song but I still felt the dark cloud of depression follow me everywhere. Praying was tough. I quit my job with Aphroden. I couldn't write anything for Africanmag (and considered quitting this too). I got a doctor to prescribe antidepressants for me. What made this season particularly difficult was the feeling that I really had no reason to be depressed. I felt that millions of people have it harder than I do so I had no right to be depressed. But I quickly found that grief is not to be compared because grief is experienced differently. I wanted desperately to to talk to a therapist because I didn't want to hear the obligatory "You'll be okay" from friends and family. I wanted someone, anyone to understand that what I was feeling was raw and legitimate and real but held back because I didn't want another back rub and definitely not another "You'll be okay".

Where did I find God in all of this?

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart , because I have overcome the world."

                                                                                              - John 16:33 NLT

Here on earth, as Christians, Jesus didn't say we may have a couple of troubles. In fact, he says we will have many trials and sorrows. When we signed up for Jesus, we signed up for the cross. We signed up for the many crosses each of us will carry. Now we could take that cross and cry all over it but it wouldn't change anything-- there'd still be a cross. We could take the easy way out-- or we could take our crosses, our trials, our sorrows, the things that keep us late at night and follow Him. We could walk this narrow path, we could learn the way of the cross or we could take the wider path, the easy way out.

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love"

                                                                                                - Romans 5:3-5 NLT

Even when I cannot feel Him near? I have learned to reach out just the same. When I can't hear Him? I know He can hear every word I pray. And as I wait in trials, depression for the comfort of feeling Him near, maybe I truly am made more faithful.

So maybe you're going through a tough time. Your grief is real -- I understand it. Hang in there. You're developing endurance and you're being made more faithful.

Brooke Fraser's song, Faithful, has been giving me life. Listen here: Faithful by Brooke Fraser on Grooveshark

What has helped you get through difficult times?

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  1. Yes, I have been feeling almost the same way since the beginning of the year. I talked to a therapist, but I said I didn't want antidepressants because I work at a mental health hospital and I've come to realise that the meds don't exactly work. It's even harder trying to comfort depressed suicidal adolescents at work when I'm not in the right state of mind myself. I've even lost friends because they think I'm avoiding them on purpose.
    I however found writing my thoughts down one I start to get anxious or totally drawn into my thoughts that I start to think terrible things, quite
    I just cry, write, cry and take a nap.
    I just want it all to go away.
    I found this post quite inspiring.

    1. I'm so sorry you feel the way you do, Anu. Praying a joyful spirit for you right now

  2. I was down for a while at the end of last month too, so down, I didn't want to talk to God cuz I knew He would make it all go away, I was so sad and wanted to wallow in tears and more tears and write and be sad(God forbid, that isn't for anyone)
    what saw me through? as soon as I had the rapport with God, He told me when am ready, He will be there and told me all the sadness don't matter, only Him does, He loves and I love Him, that's all that matters.
    I truthfully, no kidding, burst out in laughter when I heard God say that to me, the tears and depression don't matter, Only God does, and HE's got us, boy, He truly does.
    arms open wide by Hillsong also helped too, our Father's got us, He does

    1. Love your heart! Thankful for you

  3. Hey Ibukun! Did you see that therapist eventually? How did it go?
    Thank you for sharing this post. However cliché, it did resonate....

    I am tired.

    1. Hey Liz! I haven't found one yet

  4. Hi Ibukun, did you see that therapist?how did it go?
    However cliché this may sound, I appreciate this post because it resonated. Thank you.

    I am tired and scared this time.

  5. I have attempted suicide countless times, death didn't want me. Its more disturbing each time. Like you said people have it harder and I have no reason to be that way. Its a daily struggle.
    My strength is made visible in your weakness:my grace is suffecient for you, that's the only word God said to me. And I will live out my life like the devil is an absolute idiot.