Monday, July 4, 2011

Sometimes Healing Isn't Permanent

I've been struggling lately with issues that I thought I had conquered (with God's help.) Turns out, it was only a lifting of those burdens for a period of time so that I could accomplish what I needed to do. This came as a bit of a shock to me. To have experienced close to three years with only minimal symptoms of social anxiety disorder and more than 6 years without depression were like being in a bright new world where I finally felt that I somewhat fit in, and that I really could do anything with God's help.

To have to realize that this was a temporary strengthening so I could bear my burden for the Lord's service was, honestly, a let-down. At times I was angry with God. How could He let me finally feel the freedom from these shackles and think that I was "cured", only to have them come rushing back to overwhelm me when my service was done?

There have been times when the darkness has felt like it is going to swallow me. It's a bit like standing on the edge of a dark abyss and realizing you're in quicksand and no matter how much you struggle, it's only pulling you further towards the edge. To wake up in the morning and feel as if your life is completely meaningless and pointless is depressing. To then be attacked with thoughts of suicide is scary.

Thankfully, I was able to get a blessing at a very opportune moment. It came in a way that was completely unexpected. I probably would not have thought to ask for a blessing had it not happened the way it did. Funny thing is, the situation that precipitated the blessing was one that then caused me further anguish and self-imposed guilt. But at the end of the whole experience, I realized that God had been watching over me and worrying about me. He was aware not only of my mental state and my struggles, but also my need to know that He would love me even if I couldn't do everything that I thought I should. I had to learn that sometimes what we are doing at a particular moment is enough, and that God doesn't base His love for us on how much we can do.

I'm still not out of the woods as far as these struggles are concerned. I've dealt with depression off an on for the majority of my life and thankfully am aware enough to realize that the dark thoughts and feelings are not reality. I'm not in serious danger of taking my life. I'm just trying to remember and use all the tools that I've leaned on in the past to get me through it this time. Lots of prayer, scripture study, blessings, and reminding myself of God's truths, especially when the lies of depression threaten to take over.

On the plus side, being back in the grips of depression has re-awakened compassion in me for those who are also struggling with it. It's so much easier to relate to someone when you've recently been dealing with the same thing. I see it in others and pray that they will be strengthened and comforted until they come out on the other side of it. I'm hanging onto the hope and faith that God will get me through this and that life will be brighter again soon. It sure would be nice to really enjoy life again, instead of just seeing glimpses of how good it can be.


Erin said...

This post makes me sad. I'm sorry the healing hasn't been permanent. That must be so discouraging for you. I'm grateful you had a respite, even if you were too busy to fully enjoy it! Hang in there and try to remember that depression is a disease with periods of flare up and remission - when it's really bad, try to remember you WILL feel peace again. I love you!

Charleen said...

My daughter once told me that depression was a plaque of doubt. Reading what you said in this post reminded me of that.
To know that we have a Heavenly Father that loves us and is always watching over us is so comforting and important in being able to overcome depression and discouragement. You are not alone especially when you have self-doubts.
Hang in there, he know even the number of hairs on your head, RIGHT now! You are never alone.