You might not know this about me, but I struggle immensely with depression.
I know it’s very common, that a huge percentage of the world experiences symptoms at one point or another, but the horrible thing about depression is that it has a way of making you feel utterly alone inside your head.
You are a prisoner of your mind, a captive of your thoughts. You can’t escape unrelenting messages floating through your head that you are worthless, your dreams are too far out of reach and always will be, and that you are going to be alone, without friends or a lover, for the rest of your life.
Depression is basically the siege of your mind by the Enemy of your soul.
I have a horrible way of, in addition to feeling worthless, purposeless, and terribly sad, feeling as though by telling other people of my condition, by bringing them into my state of fallenness, I am burdening them. I am chipping off part of this enormous mental problem I have and handing it to them and saying, “Here you are, here is my depression, thanks for helping me to manage it because God knows I can’t manage it on my own”.
I hate doing that to people I love.
The Enemy pulls me back and forth between thinking that I need to be alone in my depression (HORRIBLE IDEA) and that I need people more than God to lift me out of the darkness.
Yesterday I seriously broke down. Does that make any sense? From an outsider’s perspective, no.
Saturday I went into Nashville, my favorite city in the entire world, the place where dreams come true and music (seriously one of my favorite things in life) pours out of every bar and store and venue. I hung out with awesome people and ate Thai and ripped through Broadway in my Towncar with the windows down blasting Anberlin and Paper Route. I felt infinite. There is no other way to describe it. I seriously felt more alive than I have in a while.
Then, yesterday rolled around. I went to church alone, came back to the place that I’m living and I just broke down. I couldn’t tell you why exactly I started feeling sad, or why my sobs continued to come when I had nothing left to give. I couldn’t tell you why I started to get frustrated with God because He didn’t rescue me from my unrelenting sadness.
I just became this shell of myself.
I bet some of you are wondering how this could be possible. If you know anything about my situation right now, you know that I am absolutely living out my dreams in a God-ordered way. I am living outside of Nashville in a beautiful place, I have the internship of my dreams, and I love the lady I live with and the people I have the extreme privilege of working with. When you are depressed in the way I am, it’s hard to remember the good and beautiful things. All I could feel yesterday was this gaping loneliness. I longed for someone to listen to my heart, probably a string of words that make no sense but mirror the scattered nature of my thought process. I wanted someone to hold me. I wanted to know someone was there. And I love being here. SO MUCH. But I need a friend desperately.
All of yesterday, I was drifting sadly throughout this city of dreams, floating in and out of one sad thought to move onto the other. I felt very, very alone. I spent a large portion of my day on my knees, bitterly weeping, crying out to God. My eyes are puffy this morning. But the joy has returned to my spirit.
I was talking to my mom and a couple of good friends throughout yesterday, and they helped greatly. The sad thing is I don’t have many friends here my age. I look forward to making some in the future, because I have come to realize how much we need each other.
I guess what I’m doing with this post is just trying to be honest to foster a spirit of honesty. Hey, I’m broken beyond repair. You probably are too. But here’s the good news: we have a Savior who loves us beyond belief. When I say that you probably gloss over it because you’ve heard it so often. So let me repeat myself: GOD LOVES YOU SO MUCH HE DIED FOR YOU. NEVER GET OVER THAT. Let that love permeate everything, let it flow through your mind when you’re thinking about how much you hate yourself and you feel like life is worthless. Let the love of God sustain you when you are crying uncontrollably and you feel like you have no one to turn to. He may not answer your desperate cries. He didn’t answer mine. But I felt Him there. I knew He wouldn’t leave. I need that to be enough.
David was a pretty depressed guy too. I was reading his words yesterday in Psalms, desperately grasping for some hope to cling to. In Psalm 17 he says, “I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer”. In Psalm 22 he calls himself “a worm and not a man” (self-hatred), but then goes on to recognize that he was made beautifully and wonderfully: “Yet you brought me out of the womb, you made me trust in you even at my mother’s breast”.
My wonderful friend Mariah is so passionate about the Word of God. Everyday she sends out Bible verses in text message form. Today’s encouraged my heart beyond belief. I like the Message’s version:
You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn
through the sleepless nights,
Each tear entered in your ledger,
each ache written in your book. (Psalm 56:8).
Can I speak to those of you who understand this post? He KNOWS. When you are sad beyond comprehension for no particular reason, or when you feel like your life is headed no where, or if you are under siege daily by the attack of the enemy, JESUS KNOWS.
He has a plan for you that is good. Romans 8:28.
So may I encourage you…you are loved beyond belief. And if I can help you at all in handling your depression, I would love to be there for you.
And…sidenote. If you ever see me post on Twitter that I need prayer, I mean it. I am usually in a really dark place when I cry out for help in such a public way. Thanks for those of you who pray for me. And to my fellow sad people: don’t be afraid to be desperate in asking for prayer.
God is good, all the time, in every season.
love in Christ,