Wednesday, December 13, 2017

My Battle with the Dragon!.........A Story of Depression & Healing

Updated May 2013 I want y'all to know that there is hope when in depression.  It takes inner strength, but mostly it takes knowing Jesus and knowing that God speaks through his children as well as other ways.  He loves you and He can heal anything.  He’s big enough to listen to you screaming at him and blaming him without His love ever faltering.  He knows what you are going through and He knows that it is a fallen world and it breaks His heart.  He doesn’t put you in the situation, but He will get you through it.  All you have to do is ask.   
Satan had me in such a stranglehold, telling me that God could have prevented my pain, so that I couldn’t ask.  Don’t believe that lie.  God didn’t do it.  

On to my story……….

I have always been the strong one, the rock everyone leaned on, the immovable, opinionated, steadfast, rock-solid woman that could take anything and come out on the offensive, but I have to tell you, when hit by a personal traumatic event a few months ago, I hit bottom.  Depression set in so fast and so hard that I was unreachable before I knew it.  I didn’t seriously think of suicide as an option, most of the time, but I had planned how I would do it, if it got that bad.

I blamed God and pulled away from Him.  I quit praying.  I yelled at God.  I cried rivers and rivers.  I didn’t sleep.  I literally lived by “putting one foot in front of the other” so to speak for several months.  I hid it well from most people, mostly just by staying away from them.  The couple that did ask about what was wrong, I just told them that I did not like my husband being gone so much, which they understood.  I didn’t answer the phone.  I went to church late and left early, not talking to anyone, only so they would not call or come by to see about me.  I played a bazillion games of Spider Solitaire just to occupy my mind and keep it off of my inner demons and I did not do much of anything else.

My mind would go over and over the event and finally I decided I had PTSD.  After a couple of months of crying, I finally talked to my doctor before my husband and I went on a trip and he prescribed some anti-anxiety pills, so at least I could get through the trip without crying all the time.  When we got back, I went in, again, and really talked to the doctor and that’s when he told me that I was in deep depression.  I knew this, but, you know, it’s hard to admit by a strong, unbreakable, ten foot tall, bulletproof woman.  So he prescribed anti-depressants.

I took one pill that night and the fact that I took it made me so angry that next morning, realizing that I had allowed myself to get to that point, I literally screamed at God, myself, the cats and anyone else in a 2 mile radius until I came to the realization that I was better than that and that I did NOT want to be on pills, AND that this event was NOT going to rob me of my life or the living of it.  So, I did not take any more pills and went in to the doctor’s office and told him what had happened.  He was so amazed by the difference in my attitude that we talked about how the change took place and then on to a normal conversation about shared conservative interests, which I hadn’t been able to do since the event.  He is still flabbergasted by the difference and how quickly it took place.

The after effects, however, were not so good.  The really bad part of my depression was over, but I still remained in a semi-depressed state off and on, just bouncing in and out.  Sometimes it would last hours and other times days.   During this time, of bouncing, a long time friend of mine texted me and told me that the Holy Spirit had really put it on her heart to pray for me every morning while she was putting on her makeup.  I texted her back and told her to please continue to pray and that I would talk to her soon, which I did not, nor did I have any intention of calling her, but that kept her from calling me.  I knew deep down, that God was trying to get me to reach out, but I could not.  

A bit of history….  Years ago this good friend and I lived next door.  God put us together before we either one really knew much about God.  She moved away many years ago, but we stayed in contact, although, not closely.  Our birthdays were only one day apart and a few years ago, we decided to try to get together at least for that celebration of our birthdays.  

This year (4 months after my traumatic event) my friend texted me and asked me when we could get together.  I told her that I was out of town and I would have to get with her later.   Well, she called me again a couple of weeks later and told me that we should meet for our birthdays before too much longer.  By this time, I was ready and we set it up.  Little did I know what God had in store for me, through this wonderful woman of God.  When we got together, she told me all kinds of things that the Holy Spirit prompted her to say, apologizing as she went, thinking she was offending me.  I knew what she was saying was the Truth, and I took it the way the Lord meant for me to.  But I saw the Lord working through a dear friend that day, when no one else could have done it.  I would not have listened to anyone else, and He knew that.  He knew that the timing was perfect.  He had set it up many years ago when he led us to start our annual birthday celebrations.  He had prepared me to know the Truth, by having me teach it to a women’s group I had taught a couple of years before and He prepared my friend beforehand through her church as well.  It was an amazing experience.  

Am I completely healed?  No, but I have come so far that I can see the light. Did I believe that Jesus could heal that kind of pain?  Not really, but it was so much better after that day.  Will I take this testimony into the world?  Absolutely.  I have seen God and Satan work in my life.  I have had firsthand, up close and personal, experience with each one and I choose God. 
I am reminded of a Scripture from Mark 9:24 (New King James Version (NKJV),
"Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, 'Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!'”
Wow, what a ride this has been!.......

February 2015 
Follow up....  

Although not completely over the depression, I have a better understanding of what happened and I am learning, with the help of someone I trust, why I fell so hard and so fast, into it and why the event caused me so much pain.  

Just making the decision to reach out to someone for help has made the biggest difference in my healing. I have just wasted 2 years of my life because of my pride.  Now I am hurrying to catch up and I am excited about it!   

My suggestion to those who may be fighting depression over something that happened to you, please pray, allow God to help you and talk to someone you trust that can help you, like a therapist, a therapy-trained minister, a doctor, etc.  God works through them, too.

December 2017

Follow up .....

I have learned that depression really jacks with your memory, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.  I still have problems with each one but it is much better all around.  

I was telling my story to a couple of pastors the other day and describing how I felt when I fell into depression.  I went back to re-read what I had written here and I did not include it.  They said it is important for others to know how it felt, because it is different for everyone, so.....

When I "fell" into depression, it was so fast that I did not even have time to call out to anyone including God.  It felt like Satan had thrown his cloak around me, held me tight, and we streaked down to the pits of hell. I was a captive for months. 

The rest of the story is mostly there, except that I still have not found my whole self, yet.  I know the happy, energetic, smart, loving woman that I used to be, is still in there.  She seems to be peeking out occasionally, but I am so ready to finally get her back. She actually hasn't been seen much for years before the depression, but that's my goal, now that I have found her (with some outside help).  I want her to emerge and bloom into the vital, uninhibited woman I can be. 

So that probably explains why I am writing again, too!  Thanks for staying with me!