Thursday, December 17, 2009

Life is Not for Wimps

Okay, so my dear hubby read my last post on depression and said I sounded too harsh. That's quite possible. I'm a pretty tough person and have been known to lack in the sympathy department.

But in my defense I think it's really important that people understand that any challenge we face in this life can be overcome with God's help. He didn't send us down here to live lives of pleasure, security and unending happiness. He knew life would be hard. And the way our society is today, life is even harder. We are more and more isolated and at the same time we're also constantly bombarded with messages that promote anything but virtuous living. And virtuous living happens to be the only way to really live a happy life.

Life really isn't for the faint of heart. It's hard, it's messy, it's scary, frustrating, sad and sometimes depressing. But it's also beautiful, joyous, loving and gentle. For every hard thing we face and overcome, we become stronger, more faith-filled and triumphant in our knowledge that God loves us and helps us.

I never wanted to imply that overcoming depression is easy. Honestly, taking a pill each day and just staying where I was at was easy. Taking the steps to pull myself up out of it and turning to God with an unsteady trust and hope that He would really sustain me wasn't easy. My journey with God has been terrifying and exhausting and really difficult. But I wouldn't change a single moment of it. I look back at where I was versus where I am today and I thank God for every challenge I decided to take on head-first. He was there with me. He didn't save me from most of the experiences but He did bring me through them.

If I sound too harsh, please know that I have a lot of empathy and sympathy for those who are in the grips of major depression. I know what it's like to not want to live, to not find enjoyment in anything, to feel hopeless and alone. But I also know that life doesn't have to be that way. We have a choice. And we have help. But it's not easy.


Steve and Jamie said...

I found the last two posts very interesting. I've been thinking about this recently. I think what the author of the depression book said was probably acurate to a certain extent. While I do think that medication for depression or anxiety is helpful and can be lifesaving, the cause of the depression or anxiety will never be cured by the medication.

When I am choosing to do what I need to take care of my body, mind and spirit I CAN be happy. But when I neglect the things that are most important, it is easy to feel burdened by life's difficulties.

I am grateful, however, that there is medication to treat depression and anxiety. I think that it is the reason that my children survived the great meltdown of '07.

Mama D said...

I haven't had time to comment on this yet, because you wrote it at the same time as I started my job.

But thanks. I needed the reminder that we have His help and that life isn't easy, but it is worth it.

I can look back and see times when I was likely depressed and ignored it, thinking I just had to give it time (esp post-partum) and that Ray was the only therapist I really needed. I hope I have changed enough to be able to get the help I need when nec.

I was *THIS* close to going to the dr because I am sure I was depressed a few months ago. This has been a really difficult move in many ways. Just when I was going to call the dr, I started an upswing that has continued. Hooray for Ray and friends and kindness!

Regardless of circumstances, there are always blessings. It's nice when you allow yourself to recognize them!