Sorry, No Clever Title…
I fight depression. There. I said it.
And it has been a battle I’ve waged since my late-teens.
I have high hills and low valleys.
Why am I writing about this today? Well, friends… the Big D is back. And it is back bigger than I have experienced it in a long while. This particular bout has been a long-time coming though (since Christmas I reckon). But I ignored it, trying to be strong and beat it without the aid of something chemical.
I don’t know why I can’t seem to learn from the past.
The biggest way depression affects me is isolation and the loss of motivation and joy. When these times of depression come along, I tend to just wanna be alone – all the time – complete avoidance of all humankind. I sleep, eat and I feel really, really sad. And not to mention, also feel really, really worthless.
My defenses are down and the enemy swoops in with his less-than-clever lies. (ie. no one loves you and your friends don’t actually like you, you have no business writing a book, why should anyone listen to an uneducated loser like you, you have no value, etc.) and when I buy into them, the depression grows because I begin to believe them. And my past comes back up. Painful memories consume my mind. Anger and bitterness is directed at everything and everyone. And temptations overwhelm me.
Even writing this post, I feel inadequate to do so.
I know some people just simply don’t believe in depression and/or mental illness. And that’s fine. You can believe what you want to believe. But I know that what I am facing and have faced in the past, isn’t normal. And a lack of faith or closeness in my relationship with God isn’t the cause for it. And there’s no quick fix.
I have a great life. Great job. Great church. Great family. Great friends. And an even greater God who loves me. But it is bigger than life’s circumstances and I think that what a lot of people don’t understand about depression.
We live in a broken world, a fallen world. And our bodies are a part of it. Depression is a very real, chemical imbalance and sometimes it takes more than prayer and Kum Ba Yah to overcome it. And in my case, depression is even genetic. Yes… genetic.
So, as of midnight on May 1, I am back on a low-dose anti-depressant. For a season, to help me climb out of this black hole.
The reason I tell you all this is two-fold.
1) To ask that you please pray for me. I don’t enjoy these seasons. Quite lonely & quite dark. The lack of motivation and joy is the hardest part. I have much to be motivated and excited for (my book, vacation and speaking engagements) but I am literally depleted.
2) To tell those who are battling your own depression that you are definitely not alone. This is a safe place to share your story and to receive support & prayer.
Let us all do what Galatians 6 calls us to, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Praying Crystal…without ceasing.
And you are loved, I know you know that despite what the big D wants you to believe, so I’m saying it anyway :)
Crystal. You are one of my most favorite people in the world. You are real. You don’t hide….you see I hide. I am working at not hiding and I am so grateful God has put YOU in my life.
Know that I am praying… every time I think of you I am praying. And know that I am here if you need a listening ear.
I remember a time while I was youth pastoring that my pastor had to pull me aside and he totally put me right where I was. one of the key famly’s in the church that I pastored at(a very small church) that I was getting family support from moved back to thier home town of carthage. I got the exact same way where I was just not motivated adn I was still speaking week to week and leading worship but I just wasn’t into it. My pastor had a very strong gift of prophecy and god was able to easily reveal to him what was going on behind the scene’s in my life. I didn’t even know that I was depressed but I was. The thing that helped me the most was realizing what was going on. and then I just had to pick myself up by my boot straps and deside that I was not going to let the depression win. I don’t say that lightly as I know it’s not easy but ath’s that I had to do to make it through. You know you have alot of friends and family that supports you both virtually and IRL. lean on them. Go out and have a good time doing your favorite things. and I’ve heard that excersize is a good way to get the body chemicals leveled out. it’s hard ot make it happen but with God and your friends help you’ll be able to beat this. Phil 4:13 my favorite!
I’m praying for you girl.
I’m proud of you! Yes, this is a very “real” deal. I know!! I am praying for you too my amazing friend. God will help you climb out of this….and it sounds like you are on the right track. Hang in there. It’s so great that you give to others in your time of need. May you be blessed by others, as you are a blessing to all of us!! :) I could tell you haven’t been yourself lately. I miss you when you aren’t around….so don’t let Satan tell you we don’t!!
Hi Crystal, I follow you on twitter (Jennifruit) and I too am single and have battled depression since my teens. My room is a pig stye right now b/c it’s overwhelming to me to start cleaning it. My depression is particulary worse in the fall/winter, so I’m on the upswing. I totally “get it” and I want you to know I’m praying for you.
Crystal, thank you for sharing this. I know it took great courage. It certainly is helpful to know that we’re not alone in this fight. You have inspired me with your writing and interaction with others.
I am praying for you in this current season, but also for all that is to come. The Lord has placed greatness in you…it’s awesome to see Him shine out!
Hey there, friend. I just want to let you know that I know what you’re going through. I struggle with this from time to time, and usually for long periods of time at that.
I hate how it sneaks up on me, and how the Enemy uses such a time of vulnerability to tell me lies and how he takes pleasure in stealing my joy when I have so much to be joyful about. I hate how I become isolated from my friends, who can be a source of strength and support if I will let them.
Thank you for speaking up about this issue, it makes me feel less alone. :) I am praying for you!
Crystal, Prayers and hugs from someone with you in the deep, dark hole. I was diagnosed with clinical depression 7.5 years ago. I’m on a low-dose anti-depressant too and know exactly where you are coming from when you say that you have a good church, good friends, good family…yet you are still depressed. I love your honesty and willingness to share yourself with the world. Again, I am praying for you and if you ever want to talk you know where to reach me.
Thank you Crystal for sharing that. I too live with depression. My last bout went on for well over a year (and probably nearer two). Most of it seemed to coincide with my time at seminary. I hid it unsuccessfully and did not talk about it because, as you say, I bought into the lie that no one cared and I wasn’t worthy. I started to believe that I would never laugh again. There are still days when I get a glimpse of the absolute darkness I saw and there are days when I think that I am going to slip back into it.
Thank you for you story as I know that it help others who are also going through the same.
God’s richest blessings on you and your ministry!
we’re praying for you.
going through pregnancy and breastfeeding, i am again amazed at the way the chemicals which go through my body affect *everything*.
we’ll be praying that everything balances out in your body so that you can be the Crystal God asks you to be. And thanks for sharing.
one other thing. i’ve been learning a lot about food sensitivities in the last 8 months since evalana’s been having problems, and there are some people who experience depression when they eat certain foods. i don’t know a whole lot about it, but i’m sure you could google it, and i know there are books on it as well. just an idea whenever/if you feel like looking into it. i’ve been amazed at the reactions food sensitivities can cause in people.
I’m sorry to hear about your struggle. A thorn in your side is not fun.
As I looked at what you wrote, the phrases “I don’t know why I can’t” and “I feel inadequate” caught my attention. I hear a tone of self-loathing mixed in with your depression, and I wonder if that’s the place where God needs to speak to your heart’s needs in a greater way. Shame is such a deep, deep issue for us addict-types, and I can’t help but wonder if the Satanic attack is *really* about shame more than it is about sadness. It sounds to me as if Satan is after your WORTH (Rev. 12).
thank you! i think if more people [esp. Christians] who refuse to be silent about their own struggles with depression [or really any struggle] the stigmas would be erased. thanks for breaking down walls.
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