As mentioned in my last blog post, I do struggle with depression. For the past 19 days I have been hospitalized with this life changing illness. I have thought long and hard about whether I should share this part of my story with the world and I think it is time. I’m not sharing it to gain sympathy (but prayers would be appreciated). I’m also not sharing it because I think the world needs to know. I am sharing it because I believe the way to end the stigma of mental illness is to talk about it. I also firmly believe that this is such a huge part of who I am and a huge part of my journey here.
Depression and Anxiety is not something I would wish upon my worst enemy. It’s a self defeating illness. When you get sucked into the pit of hopelessness and despair, the mind tricks you into thinking there is no way out. This in turn leads to more hopelessness and despair. It is a never ending cycle. Depression can be situational, biological, or a combination of both. I believe everyone in their lifetime will experience moments of depression. The key word there is moments. People who struggle with biological depression stay in that moment for a very long time. This is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. That means depression is just as physical of an illness as say cancer. People struggling with this illness fall into the pit and no matter how hard they try climbing the pit just grows deeper. Imagine the pain you experience when you first find out you lose a loved. Now imagine being stuck in that pain forever. It surrounds you until you can hardly take another breath without being in pain. This pain is not just mental pain either. It’s also very physical. Depression makes it hard to eat, sleep, wake up, and just about do anything in life.
With that being said, my struggle with depression began in high school. It went undiagnosed, however, up until last year. I’ve been fighting this thing called my mind with every ounce of my being. The worst part is that I so often want to give up the fight. I’m sick of fighting with myself everyday. Imagine it this way,The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.
Now with that being said, I hope you understand I’m not trying to scare you all. I just want you to know the reality of what we are dealing with here. I am fighting and I will win, but it’s a disease and like every disease it is treated with medication and rehab (or in this case therapy). This isn’t to say I don’t believe God could take away my depression. I certainly believe God can do all things. Yet, I also don’t want to ignore the gift of technology and medication that God has provided us with simply to put him to the test. To say depression is just a lack of spirituality is just silly. It’s just like saying the same thing about diabetes or cancer. How many diabetics would stop taking their insulin to say the Lord would cure them? That would be putting God to the test which is clearly unbiblical. No, instead the diabetic uses the insulin God has provided him and trusts that if God wants to heal him, he will.
My God is a God of healing and I FULLY believe God will deliver me from this pain I struggle with everyday. Whether that be via medication, therapy, or a miracle, I will be delivered. Sometimes you have to bear with me though, because I am so sick of the pain. I appreciate all those who have been by my side through all this.
As far as my mission school goes, I am still going for it. Not only am I going for it, but I am going for it arms up and fighting. I’m fighting for my life. Everyday I’m struggling to survive this life threatening disease. I will win, however, because I know God has a purpose for me. He wants me to attend this Mission School and serve him and thats exactly what I plan on doing. I plan on being a fighter, I plan on trusting God to work through this, and I plan on having a bright future.
Thanks for reading. If you have any questions PLEASE do not hesitate to ask. I also provided a few quotes on the bottom that I think do a better job describing depression than I do so go ahead and read them if you are curious and would like to know more.
“That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel
“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.
Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.”
― Stephen Fry
“Killing oneself is, anyway, a misnomer. We don’t kill ourselves. We are simply defeated by the long, hard struggle to stay alive. When somebody dies after a long illness, people are apt to say, with a note of approval, “He fought so hard.” And they are inclined to think, about a suicide, that no fight was involved, that somebody simply gave up. This is quite wrong.”
― Sally Brampton
Psalms 40:1-3 I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.
Psalm 55: 2,4,5 My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death assail me.
Fear and trembling have beset me: horror has overwhelmed me.