Before you start reminding me that the Word of God tells us not to worry (Matthew 6:25; 10:19), not to be anxious for anything (1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 12:25; Philippians 4:6), that perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:16) and a hundred other scriptures let me assure you my mind knows them. But, honestly, I along with thousands of other people suffer from a chemical imbalance nicely labeled “clinical depression”. To go along with that I also have a diagnosis of “anxiety”. So there are times I find myself battling what my heart knows and feels with what my mind knows and believes. The last four days have been those kind of day and night.
Sleep eludes me. Fears nibble at my mind like ants do crumbs. No matter how much I pray, praise and count my blessings there is a cloud that envelopes me and I usually grope for God’s hand to get through. I’m not alone in these diagnosis, even among our Christian fellowship. Charles H. Spurgeon suffered from depression most of his life for example. But, even with that reality in our faces we so often choose to ignore our mental health needs and often at the price of our spiritual health. I go to see a fabulous therapist & psychiatrist (when I can get out of the house & get to their offices) and I take my medication.
Part of me gets down right angry that I feel the need to “hide” my depression. I do it anyway. I cry when no one is around. I nap to take the edge off. I journal to refocus myself. Tonight as I laid awake, worrying that both my husband and I both will lose our jobs; our child will suffer; I’ll never be strong enough to get down and up the handicap ramp in my manual wheelchair; remembering how difficult cooking supper was tonight in a kitchen not designed for a woman in a wheelchair; listening to my “new boss” (she became my boss a few weeks prior to my amputation) talk about “changes” she’d made in my absence; even looking at my “wall of support” covered with cards and notes from those praying for my recovery – I am swallowed by depression. Worse I feel useless with one leg.
Why is it we feel the need to hide our pain? Even from other believers? I cringe inside as I read time and time again that I am an inspiration to many people for facing this amputation and I long to cry “but I don’t want to be an inspiration, I want to be normal, I don’t want this disease, I don’t like being so dependant upon other people when will this be OVER”? Only I don’t. I swallow it and hide it and cling desperately to God’s hand because even now, I KNOW He’ll pull me through.
Let me encourage any of you suffering in silence, behind doors and windows you don’t open so no one will know you too are depressed, whose tribulations and your journey through them are inspiring others when all you want to do is scream your head off – there is help – you only need to reach out for it. For myself, I know I need to make an appointment with my therapist as soon as I can get out of the house by myself and keep the appointment with my psychiatrist. I do need to spend extra time in prayer and praise. And most of all, I do need to say to each you whether you or a loved one suffers from depression and/or anxiety you are not alone. Eventually God wins, always remember that.