Reader Warning: Some may find the following post too depressing to read and therefore may need to (or should) avoid it altogether.
I don’t talk much about my experience with depression or mental illness on this blog which was one purpose I had created it in the first place. I know the details of mental illness can get messy and super depressing so I generally opt to keep them to myself. Today I decided to get real with you again and share (or divulge your attention for a few moments depending how you look at it) and let you in on a little bit of the ongoing fight…er…experience I have with it.
For me and probably others, depression can suck so much you could care less about doing much of anything. In the middle of a low, you don’t even want to or sense the need to write a simple blog post about how you feel about depression. And when one is bombarded and filled with such inexplicable sadness, desires for doing much of anything are greatly diminished and sometimes altogether absent. If you hadn’t guessed yet, I am having one of those days.
What it’s not
Contrary to what some may think, this sadness I speak of and experience isn’t the kind of sadness you feel/have after you lose a pet or a loved one or have to go to a funeral, although those are all horrific and deeply depressing experiences and events. However, such types of sorrowful experiences can be related and make the sadness that comes with depression feel all that much worse.
One big difference between depression sadness and depression as a result of a sad event is that the later is expected, explicable and explainable but the former isn’t really. We try to explain the sadness of general depression and I will today but it never really makes a lot sense if you have never personally experienced it. I know that people have never been in the middle of it or aren’t currently in the middle of it if they say to simply snap out of it and here’s why. When I am not in the middle of this inexplicable sadness of depression, I can’t understand why it existed or cannot remember very well what it was like when I was there despite its occurrence only a day earlier! It’s true, a day without or with less depression begins to make me think it would be easy to “snap” out of it too…..that is until I am actually in the middle of it again. Wierd, perhaps. But that’s been my experience.
What it is, and looks like, sort of (based from personal experience)
In my little world, sadness caused by depression can be likened to inexplicable frustrations (sometimes anger) of feeling trapped in a endless cycle of hopelessness wrapped up with a unhealthy lack of ambition, anxiety or fear for doing stuff that truly matters. With this type of depression comes anger, frustration, low to absent ambition and of course sadness. In this state, you don’t want to work, can’t work well, don’t want to do even things you usually find enjoyable, can’t get out of bed, or don’t really care if you do or not (even if you still know you should) and most importantly don’t want to talk to people about God. Contrary to what some might think, during my times of seeming despair, I have found that the intellect doesn’t disappear and I am still quite “aware” of my surroundings and what is happening which can make matters worse. Food is still food, people are still people, the bed is still a bed and I look fine. I can and usually even “pretend” I am feeling fine but God’s knows otherwise. In other words my mind isn’t changing tangle objects into something their not. The problem lies in the level and existence of perpetual sadness and that I know I tend to feel my environment to a fault. A sad news event or knowing about one, will ruin my day. Reflecting on the reality that people are going to hell and I feel unable to do anything about it, ruins my day(s). Being reminded that there are millions of people who support the murder of babies, ruins my day. Knowing millions of babies are being murdered, ruins my day. Seeing the masses fall for the lies and deception that Satan so abundantly spreads in all aspects of our lives, ruins my day(s). Knowing people drink in sin like water ruins my day. Knowing I have the same heart and desires to drink in sin like water is just plain depressing. Knowing I have broken God’s law more times than anyone can count is beyond depressing. Realizing that there are people out there who won’t stand up for God’s laws but would rather break them, ruins my day. Of course it goes deeper than a few cleverly linked adjectives and descriptive examples but that’s a super quick gist of my experience.
Hope and Depression?
Now if you know me from my writings about God, you might be surprised. I of all people should know about hope, right? Yes and no. I know the one who gives it and I know the Author of that hope including the source for peace and joy. Yes, I even said joy. I know and believe there is hope out there because I have a relationship with the hope, peace and joy giver. God gives hope to people when they die when you repent and put your trust in Jesus Christ. You may have heard or read about God’s message of hope on my website before or somewhere else. In fact, I believe He saves (and is the only Savior) from the wrath to come (God’s judgment for sin/breaking His laws). God also gives joy and peace because I know I won’t be under his judgment come Judgment Day. Currently I can’t see it, feel it, touch it, or taste it but I can read about it in His Word. It’s simple faith in something or rather someone bigger that any of us and His name is Jesus Christ the maker of the universe. And yet, I sit here after knowing and believing that, that in my experience having that hope doesn’t do a lot for healing depression or mental illness when you’re smack in the middle of it. In fact, in the midst of a bout with depression and lack of ambition, there is a present sort of tangible sadness that perpetually exists regardless of one’s beliefs and trust in God. Am I alone in feeling this way? I “hope” not.
I have thought of my experience with mental illness as some kind of battle or fight that I might win tomorrow with God’s help or even healing. I should also note that prayer (and even tears) have been a large part of my life and yet the sadness of depression remains. Some days it doesn’t feel like their is much battling going on at all unless it’s a losing battle and I’m the one on the losing end.
If you have ever dealt with depression issues, know someone who is or not, perhaps you have found this post a little depressing. (pun intended) And I do apologize for that but guess what? Writing about it and sharing it with you sure has made me feel a little bit better today. Yay.
Perhaps you can relate to something I wrote about? Know someone or experience depression/sadness yourself? Feel free to comment below.
I don’t know of any kind of work or place of employment that does not involve more than one person for it to be considered a workplace. (But if you know of any I would love to hear it) Whether it be during any stage of the hiring process or involving the exchange of goods or services –more than one person is necessary for the work to work. This news can become a trouble for any person who really doesn’t enjoy (or has a fear of) working with people. More specifically–for one who is fearful of the expectations involved in completing a task and doing it correctly for another person. Of course, there are exceptions to these fears of task completing correctly for others, along with the overall unknowns involved but in general terms, fear of some type is always involved. On a personal note, I might add the fear involved isn’t the same fear as being scared of a bear. A better word to describe the fear I mean might be apprehension and many times coupled with inexplicable sadness to a point of immobility. It is probably true, one might become immobile upon coming across a momma grizzly bear defending her cubs but for me in such a situation the words panic, terror and adrenaline rushes and no time to think come to mind. And yet fear is the common denominator. I call these people X people.
Now I believe many people live and even enjoy the challenge (and some don’t even consider it a challenge) of just doing whatever may or not be involved to complete the task(s) or work. To these people living to exceed the expectations of others is what comes to mind when they wake up in the morning. These folks (which is a majority I believe) are able to adapt and with relative ease to whatever situation is thrown at them. Whether it be 4am, 6am, 10pm or later time has little effect on outlook and circumstances. My wife is one of these people I am speaking of. I believe people who are able to adapt the quickest and in the most efficient way to any situation usually do the best at whatever they set out to achieve. I don’t believe it’s the smartest person who succeeds but the person most adaptable and fearless. Now, if this type of excellence comes naturally for them, fear will rarely play a part in the process–despite what they may claim publicly. Maybe you are this type of person (we’ll call an A person) and can adapt on a whim. I am sorry that I cannot relate to you very well but I am excited (although not much excitement) but nevertheless, there is some personal excitement for your success. Yea!
But what happens when you are not the A type person? What happens when you are an X type person? Let’s take a closer look at what I think a person X looks like.
We have already discussed fear as it relates to work and the X person. And you probably have guessed or already know I consider myself to be fitting like a glove into the X category. This has been the case for sometime now–from birth actually. But unfortunately, what this really means is that us X people are not really enjoying living our life and forget about living it to it’s fullest potential. On this earth, we just exist and live to survive and eat to survive etc but not much else really happens (as it appears). Sure things happen to us, like they do with everyone else. The weather changes around us, the rain or snow falls and we get cancer or have kids, get married and don’t get married but whether it be the good, the bad or the ugly, what we do with circumstances and how we perform service for others is quite the trouble.
First, as I alluded to already, our service for and to others is virtually non-existent. And positive circumstances are hard to come by even if none of what I’m talking about compares to being locked up and tortured for one’s faith. This is happening more and more. Of course for me, there are days and hours when fear and apprehensions are lower. And during these up times service for others appears more achievable and general circumstances are also interpreted in a more positive light regardless of the situation. However, the reliability for predicting when this might take place in any given day is almost non-existent. Perhaps better fitting descriptions for what I am describing are social anxiety and depression. You may have heard about these little nuggets of crap. Whatever your thoughts are about the terms, these two experiences coupled together with fear can be a real killer to just about anything faced in life.
Is there hope? I hear there is but I don’t believe medication is usually the answer and at many times I have seen it make problems worse. For me, the underlining trouble with medication is that it treats symptoms and does not fix what is broken. Real hope only comes from one place and His name is Jesus. So you don’t get the wrong idea, Jesus won’t make your life free from problems. Perhaps just the opposite will occur as is the case for many followers who right now are being physically and mentally tortured for their faith. But the only real hope and the one that really matters is, is your relationship with God and what you decide about Jesus Christ who is God Son–God manifest in the flesh. If there is an afterlife, where is it that you and I will end up after we die? If you haven’t already, I “hope” you will take the good person test linked at my website www.AreYouGood.us before you run out of time.
LORD, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, That I may know how frail I am.
Indeed, You have made my days as hand breadths, And my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah
Surely every man walks about like a shadow; Surely they busy themselves in vain; He heaps up riches, And does not know who will gather them.
“And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.
Today I woke up like most days, but today is a day of deeper inexplicable sadness. It seems like God is gone right now. I have been crying out unto Him because I know the Bible speaks of Him watching me and caring for me (He sees and knows everything) but today doesn’t seem like that. Yes, my soul is cast down. Pray for me.
Related interest: Psalm 43:5