I have beat myself up every day since I posted the blog last week about my battle with depression. Now, I’ve labeled myself. It didn’t matter that I received a ton of positive feedback. No negative feedback. An elder at our church read it, printed it, and asked me to read it OUT LOUD in our Bible class Sunday morning. I received an encouraging card in the snail mail from a woman at church who thanked me for sharing.
So why was I, am I still, filled with self-doubt? Satan. When darkness is exposed, he really hates that. My son scrolls through my phone often, and I have a picture that says simply, “The devil is a liar.” He looked at it and looked at me and smiled. “Wow, that’s so true,” his 14-year-old self says.
Yes, it is. He wants to keep me in darkness. Then he can put my son there as well. One of the things I remember my dad saying in one of my darkest moments is that I would get better. And I needed to get better. I had three people who needed me whole. My precious children.
I’ve had several occurrences of depression that needed medication. The first time was with the postpartum depression I experienced after the birth of my son. The fact that my son was such an awesome gift, and I loved him so much only plunged me deeper into darkness. It was a very guilt-ridden, confusing time. Each time, I thought I’m going to get to a point where I will feel great and never have any bad feelings again. I don’t want medication. My dad would say, “If you were diabetic, I’d make you take your medicine.”
I’m so glad that I’ve gotten that encouragement from my family, friends, and church. The church where I am a member is a very special place. I was able to put myself out there. Doing that I hope helps others, but first it helps me. I believe healing from anything involves being honest about it. Honest about your feelings. Honest about what happened. I have several friends who battle alcoholism. One thing I’ve learned from them is the way they look at the situation. A recovered alcoholic lives in the moment. They make the choice daily. They don’t beat themselves up for the past. They say, hi, my name is _____ and I am an alcoholic. It has been _______ since my last drink.
So, I say to you, “Hi, my name is Mendy, and I battle depression.” I now realize it’s a daily struggle, but I can make the right choice today, right now. To choose to think on what God says about me. I also realize that I may fall back into darkness, where it is hard to see His truth. Hard to believe that I have a purpose here. Hard to believe that He really loves me. Hard to see hope. Lots of things can trigger a bout with depression, more than just a bad day. A death of a loved one. A stressful life event, when your mind cracks under the pain and pressure, so something has to give. I pray that I don’t have to go through that again, but I’m not so naïve to know that it’s not possible. That may be the key to true healing. Truth and surrender. Only time will tell. One thing I know for sure – even when I feel my worst, and I can’t see hope, even when I feel like giving up, I have a God who will not give up on me. I have a little faith. Praying for more faith, and He gives it to me. Maybe it’s as simple as the father who Mark writes about in his book on Jesus. The father said to Jesus, “I believe. Help me overcome my unbelief.” That has become my prayer.