Tag Archives: depression

Discovering Trust

Almost two years ago, I wrote this post.  In the last week, I have had a revelation.  This is the first time in many years that I do not have that familiar feeling of depression, which always worsens at this time of year.  Something has changed.

During the last year, I have actively confronted something within myself that needed to be dealt with and it has been intense.  Throughout my adult life, I have struggled with a specific, dysfunctional pattern of behavior.  As a young woman, I saw myself as a victim of circumstance and wondered why I kept finding myself in the same situation.  After I was saved, though, Jesus began to show me how I was unconsciously drawn to these situations, because of the abuse and neglect that I had experienced as a child.  I pursued what I knew because that was what felt comfortable, but I kept hoping that the result would be different.

As my eyes were opened to this, I believed that God had healed me and that things would change.  I had been looking for a need to be met and I knew it couldn’t be if I stayed in the place that I was in.  Now, I had such hope in my heart for the future.  Unfortunately, though, the day came when I realized that I was still trapped in the same pattern and despair overwhelmed me.  Without admitting it to myself at the time, I set upon a course to meet the need for myself, although imperfectly.  

I remember having conversations with God in my head during this time.  He told me, “You are not trusting Me.  You are not waiting on Me.”  I responded, “It’s not You; it’s me.  I know You have tried to heal me but I’m just too messed up.  I’m a hopeless cause.  This will just have to be good enough.”  Of course, taking things into my own hands did not turn well.  It just complicated things further.

As the years passed, I eventually admitted to myself what I had done and repented of it.  I couldn’t change the choices I had made and how they had impacted my life, though.  I was committed to walking in obedience but I didn’t have hope for the future.  I was still dealing with the same feelings.  I kept wishing that I could just be content with my life as it was and stop longing for this place in my heart to be filled.  

A little over a year ago, though, God asked me to do something difficult.  I chose to obey and took that first step.  It didn’t seem to help anything at first.  Actually, things seemed even worse.  One day, though, a word came to me – idolatry.  I had made the desire to have this need filled bigger than anything else in my life, including my relationship with God.  Realizing that was a turning point.  I’d had glimpses of it before, but I’d never given the sin a name.  It was liberating.  It gave me a concrete way to rebuke these feelings when I am tempted to dwell on what I do not have.

Then, one day, something else occurred to me.  Fear is what had convinced me that God could never fix me.  I let the enemy into my head.  What I perceived as humility (There’s something wrong with me; I am not enough) was really me saying “This problem is bigger than You.  YOU, God, are not enough.”  I was afraid if I waited on God, that things would never get better.  That’s when the second word came to me – trust.  If I had only TRUSTED Him, there would have been no fear.  I knew that I needed to fall in love with Jesus to be healed and I thought that I had done that, but I had never let myself trust Him with this area of my life.

I’ve made up my mind to trust Him from now on.  I’ve put this need in His hands.  That doesn’t mean that I’m not sad sometimes, or angry, or frustrated.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t make mistakes.  I don’t feel like that unbearable weight is sitting on my shoulders anymore, though, and I didn’t see that coming.  God is good.

I Am a Closet Depressive

I have a secret.  Lately, I’ve been thinking that it is time to come clean, instead of trying to hide my weakness from the world.  I am a closet depressive.

I have struggled with feelings of depression since I was a child.  When I was twelve years old, I began to think about taking my own life.  At eighteen, I attempted to, and ended up being hospitalized for a couple of months, until it was determined that I was no longer an immediate threat to myself.

A year later, God blessed me with my first child, and despite the fact that the suicidal thoughts would still ebb and flow in my mind from time to time, I now had someone else to live for.  The guilt that I felt at the thought of abandoning her outweighed any despair that I might have felt.

Eventually, I found Jesus.  That added a whole new dimension to my life – someone besides me to depend on, to cry out to.  I began to go through a period where I was experiencing anxiety attacks every day on my commute to and from work.  As a single parent, not going to work was not an option, so I found different ways to cope and get through it each day.  Often, the only thing I could do was tell myself over and over in my head, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

I would like to say that God completely healed me of my depression at this point.  Instead, it has been more of a thorn in my side, something of which to say “His grace is sufficient for me; His strength is made perfect in my weakness.”  He has certainly healed other issues, but fourteen years later, He is still working on me all of the time, showing me issues that I have been blind to my whole life, explaining to me why I am the way that I am, why I’ve struggled with the things that I’ve struggled with, and what needs to change.  So, I have hope that He will remove it one day.

The past three winters, though, have been really rough for me.  I’ve been letting the cares of this world weigh me down far more than I should and circumstances have escalated those cares to an often unbearable level.  There are many days that I did not want to get out of bed.  I didn’t have much choice, though, as there is a new set of little ones, pulling at me with entreaties of “I’m hungry; I’m thirsty; can I watch a show on Netflix?”  I can’t deal with the idea of not being there for them, the way that no one was there for me when I was little.  So, I push through it, and face my responsibilities once again.  Truthfully, though, there was many a morning that I opened my eyes, only to say, “Jesus, I’m ready to go home.  I’m not going to do the dirty work myself, but any time that you’re ready to take me . . .”  The spring has come, though, and brought somewhat of a reprieve from that.

The reason that I felt it was necessary to share this was not for pity, for we all have some cross to bear in our lives, but because I realize that this is part of my testimony, one that I have deprived others of.  From time to time, I have heard people share stories of depression or anxiety that they are experiencing and tried to reach out, to let them know that I understand.  The thing is, I keep getting rebuffed, and basically told that I don’t “get it”.  It amazes me when that happens, and I initially get angry.  I want to say “Have you ever felt such despair that you have actually tried to take your own life?  Because I have!”

What God has shown me, though, is that on the outside, I probably don’t look like I am going through pain to that extent.  I am almost like the stepfather that I grew up with, who has an alcohol problem that has ruined every important relationship in his life.  He still managed to get up and go to work every day – to two full-time jobs – saving lives as a firefighter and a paramedic, no less.  He probably looked pretty normal to the people he interacted with each day, at least, the ones that he didn’t live with.  You wouldn’t picture him as the guy whose thirteen-year-old daughter had to help her mother drag him upstairs, passed out drunk, as the guests were beginning to arrive for her birthday party.

I am a functioning depressive.  As long as I get out of bed each day and try to fit in with everyone else by putting on an act of being “normal”, no one will ever know any different.  They may notice that I have the “winter blahs” but I will never be able to bless someone else who is struggling, to offer a listening ear that they know understands and will not be judging them.  I have no one to blame for that except myself, because I have been too proud to admit the truth.  That’s why I am coming clean, so God can finally use me and my struggles for His glory.

My prayer for today

Lord, I want to see You, feel You and hear You in my heart. Each day I long to know You more. No one truly knows me like You do and yet You seem to be the one I try to hide from at my lowest times. It’s as if I am ashamed of my lowest moments and yet you are right there with me. You not only hear me, You know the word of my heart long before they are known to me. This I can rest in.

You are almighty, You are our Creator, You are all together good, You are full of love, grace and mercy.

I am Yours. You created me. You knew me before I took my first breath in this world. You lay my path before me and I struggle to see it so many times. You know that too.

You have held me close in my darkest moments, even when I thought myself a full blown enemy of Yours.

Why?

Why do You love me so much when I often think myself unlovable? Why do You bring such beauty and such blessings to me when I know I don’t deserve them? How can You look upon this soul with loving kindness? How can You forget all that I have done?

I am Yours. I am a child of the Almighty God and I can find my strength in that. I pray that I can see myself the way that You see me. I want to forgive myself as You have forgiven me. I want to see the beauty that is possible as You do. I want to walk in Your footsteps in all things. I want to be content with where I am, knowing that You have a much bigger plan than I can even begin to imagine.

I rest in You Lord. I love in You. You are all that matters. You are my peace and that is all that matters. Let the world melt away, let my uncertainties melt away. Let the stress fade away into the background as I gaze upon Your beauty. Fill me with Your mighty Spirit, guard me against the attacks on my enemy and build me up as I stumble.

My words fall short of the craving in my soul, but I know that You know my desires better than I. Mt heart cries out to You and I pray that You hear me as I lay it all down before Your throne.

Thank You for being the merciful God that You are. Thank You for never leaving me. Thank You for all the beauty, blessings and family that You have so freely given me. Thank You for saving me, thank You for loving me and thank You for all the work You are continuing to do in this life. You are amazing and I would be lost without You.

I pray these things in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

Supplements, cha cha cha

Sorry, I am thinking in song today 🙂

So, onto supplements!

I have imbalances that needed attention and have tried the conventional methods as well as more natural methods. Then I give up all together and have to start all over. Well, a few months ago I decided that I needed to stop that, do some research and slowly add supplements until I find what works for my body.

St. John’s Wort – There is a history of depression on both sides of my gene pool and I can be quite anxious at times….I know, you can’t tell beneath my cool exterior 😛 So, rather than jumping on head meds prescribed by my doc, I have chosen to take St. John’s Wort. I started with 300mg a day for a few weeks and am now taking 700 – 800 mg a day, depending on the brand I happen to have on hand. It has really helped. I have definitely felt a balancing in myself. I do not have a severe degree of depression or anxiety so this is a good fit for me. If someone with a more extreme case were to ask my opinion, I would suggest that they talk to their doc before trying anything. I have spoken to my doctor and she is well aware that I am introducing herbal treatments into my life. She was in full agreement 🙂

You can find St. John’s Wort in any health foods store or  Click Here!

Nettle/Quercetin – I suffer from allergies and have also felt off in a hormonal sense since I had my baby. So, after some research I came across Nettle. Nettle has been shown to be a great supplement to use in lieu of over the counter allergy relief medications. I also found out that it has been shown to help with PMS! Bam! Two birds, one stone and all that. I took Nettle about 6 weeks before Spring to ensure it was in my system and it has worked! Recently, when I was looking to order more I found a Nettle- Quercetin combo and decided to give it a try. Why not? Quercetin has been shown to help boost the immune system, fighting allergies, support bone and cardiovascular health. I feel like we’re getting more bang with each capsule now! So far so good, I have not had to take Claratin and by now I am usually dying. I did try Butterbur somewhere in between as well but did not find that to be effective at all. I get mine from Amazon here 🙂

Juice Plus – This is the protein drink that my hubby and I have found to work the best for us. We each have one shake in the morning and I can say for myself, that I am not looking to eat again until around 11 am. Good stuff! Oh, and it tastes good too! You can check it out on here 🙂

So that is all we do for now. I prefer to add one thing at a time and let it work into my system to see how it goes. I start at a low dose and stick to that for a few weeks before changing anything. I think this is part of the reason people don’t use natural supplements more often. It takes time! There are no quick fixes, but it will work if you give it time.

Next! I will be adding Maca Root to my regime. The reason I have chosen this is because it is a super food and can be added to my morning protein shake! Also, it has been shown to help even out hormones. I feel more balanced hormonally, but being a woman and all makes me think that I can use all the balancing I can get! Rich in B vitamins, high in bioavailable calcium (who can’t se some calcium?), magnesium and has been shown to be great for remineralization. Sounds like a good deal to me!

I will keep you all posted and will get into more details on why these things are good for you so that we can learn together in future post! Thanks for coming along on my travels, here is to a happier and healthier life!