Blog

My Depression Nearly Two Years Later

It is hard to believe it has been so long.

Two years ago my mind broke. I wrote about it while in the darkness. I can’t believe it has been two years. No, no. This is not a “recovery letter.” This is not a testimony of victory. You know, a testimony: where I was before, what happened that changed me, and how great things are now. I don’t have too many of those. This is simply a journal of my depression, two years after it began.

It is important to note that the darkness is no longer there. It lasted for a time, but the clouds broke and the black hole of sadness has lost much of its gravitational pull. Or maybe I have just learned how to cope. I don’t really know. I had a lot more answers three years ago than I do today. I am stable, yet somehow not so stable. Before I went through this depression, I prided myself on how emotionally stable I was. Well, maybe “prided” is not really the right word. I am not trying to be too self-debasing, so let me say this: I was thankful about how nothing could break me emotionally. A hard marriage, the loss of my sister, and the paralysis of my mom were no match for me. But suddenly, without warning, it broke. My mind broke. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it was the pain meds I was taking for my back. Maybe it was just that so much had built up in my life. Maybe it was missing some bill payments for the first time in my life. Whatever the case, something broke. For six long weeks I entered into a vortex of darkness and “other-worldliness” that, in my own thoughts, rivaled whatever hell must be like. For six long weeks I felt what my sister felt that eventually took her life. For six long weeks I had no wisdom, knowledge, or hope that could lend a helping hand. For six long weeks I finally learned what it meant to be depressed.

Two years later I walk with a limp. I respect depression. I fear what the mind can actually do to a person. What an incredible thing to know, that things can fall apart so dramatically without my action or consent playing a conscious role. “Bring it” is not something I say to depression. Two years later I am like a glass that has been broken and glued back together. I have hope again. I can smell again. I can notice things again. I see colors and people walking around like trees. But I don’t think my sight has fully returned and I don’t know if it ever will. I can walk again, but the angel touched my hip and I can’t walk so well.

Two years later, there are still times when driving down the road, playing a video game with my kids, or drinking a Coke out of a bottle, I notice that recovery is ongoing. “Oh, yeah,” I say to myself. “That is what it is like to notice good things.” During these times I want to call out to God and say, “Time out!” Whatever made me notice again what I had previously taken for granted needs to find its way to the shelves of the store.

Two years later I know there are places I cannot go in my mind. Two years later I look through the peep-hole in the door of my emotions before I let anything in. Two years later I long for a glory that knows no tears in a way I had not longed before. Two years later I am stable but scared. Scared that it might happen again. Two years later, my heart does not know how to respond to others who are groping for hope in a dark mind. I want to grab their depression by the neck and kill it, burn it, smash it, and choke it. I hate it.

Many end these type of messages with the “But I am glad I went through this” type stuff. My sister says she is glad I went through it. Okay, fine. Gotcha. Neat. But I don’t know if I am. I think I would rather not live with the haunting memory of that time. At least not now. To know that this actually exists in this world . . . Really? That? Torture, hunger, blindness, poverty, even holocaust are things I gawked at before. But depression is from a planet I could not imagine existed. A dark planet. A cold and lonely planet that no telescope can see, no pictures can describe, for which no analogy can be found. It only exists in theory before you have been there. But I think I would have rather seen it through the telescope. When I returned from that world, a part of me was left behind. I think I would rather not have had that passport stamped.

But I serve a God who is sovereign and does not have the word “meaningless” in any dictionary he has signed. In this, I suppose, you can pull my teeth until I say, “Okay, it was good for me to go there. Better to go to the house of mourning than the house of feasting. Okay. Yeah, okay.” In glory, you will not have to pull my teeth to say this. But for now, you still do.

42 Responses to “My Depression Nearly Two Years Later”

  1. thanks for your honesty and transparency, people, especially Christians who are not familiar with depression (or don’t believe in it) need to know what it’s like, somehow

  2. Wow, has it already been two years? I for one am glad that you wrote about your depression, Michael. During that time, I was also going through a depressive episode and your writings were an enormous encouragement to me. Simply knowing that I was not alone helped me so much. Thank you!

  3. Indeed, as Christians, the only thing that we can at least begin to think about in such trials of life is that Jesus must feel our pain..”My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (As Psalm 22:1 / Matt. 27: 45-46 / Mk. 15:35) I have PTSD, from combat, and the loss of several close friends. It ebbs and flows.. not to mention, the stress of my dear wife’s illness, that presses me hard, and which I cannot do a thing about, but cry out to God! “A broken and contrite heart (spirit), O God, you will not despise.” (Ps. 51:18 see also Psalm 69) Btw, the Psalter has long been my favorite Book/Books of Holy Scripture! The Christian life is always a life of weakness “in ourselves”…here 2 Cor. 4:7 “treasure in jars of clay”, and the whole section there 4:7-12, always comes to my mind. Life is so fragle! And yet I am so glad to be alive! Everyday is a gift and blessing! I am so glad too God has given me life and redemption! The latter will always be the biggest mystery to me! Who can fathom the Grace of God, and from a God who simply needs nothing in us! I have never forgotten my first Catholic philosophy class, the teaching that God is ever “Immutable” in Himself, and simply needs nothing but Himself! But out of “Himself” He has given us: Light, Life & Love! Wow, now that really is mercy!

    Thanks for sharing your deepest heart Michael!

  4. You’re line, there are still places I cannot go in my mind, sent shivers down my spine because of the mental breaks I have experienced. Thanks for sharing and especially for not sugar coating how unbearable depression can be.

  5. Michael,

    I think you have done a wonderful job of expressing what a lot of folks have dealt with but haven’t put into words, at least not for others to see.

    I think I agree with you, I think there are things that we endure as people on this earth that we maybe never completely recover from. The effects of some things seem to last for a very, very long time.

    And when you said, “Two years later I long for a glory that knows no tears in a way I had not longed before,” I also know what you are talking about. That glory seems sweeter and more longed for all of the time.

  6. Most Christians that I know absolutely will not go there. It is often a taboo subject and something that happens in this thing called life. Not being transparent is far more dangerous than getting it out into the open, off your chest, and to move forward trusting in His grace. King Solomon’s wisdom comes to mind as he dealt with depression. It is a season that many of us must endure, learn from, and share regardless of the fallout. I’ve been there, done that, and still deal with it from time to time. Whenever my depression raises it’s ugly head these days I get cynical, sarcastic, and feel like I’ve lost my religion. It is a dank, dark, self-hell that you would not send your worst enemy to regardless of whatever pet sin is worthy of sending them there. I also believe that it is what many of us must endure when being tested as a disciple of Christ. We were given fair warning of what to expect. If you truly follow Him, you are blessed if His divine providence does not send you down this road. We really need to follow the example of Paul when dealing with depression with praise and thanksgiving. When we get to that place of praise and honor to God regardless of our mind, feelings, circumstances, or persecution, then the victory comes. It is extremely difficult to put into practice when depressions happens, but when it happens, let the praises go up, thanking God for every simple provision that we often take for granted, for He is worthy of our praise.

  7. Somehow I would change nothing in my life! Sure the pain of suffering, is not what “I” want, but nonetheless, God has chosen it for me, as for many other of His people. I must accept God’s will and providence, this is not really my will either, but God’s good purpose! So how can I choose any other? In fact I don’t choose, but simply accept. All of grace! Now my sins, that is another subject, but again known only to God, sins of so-called omission and commission. And can I rise to the level of St. Paul’s words? (1 Cor. 4: 4-5) Perhaps this is the small beginnings of turning my crosses into crowns? I don’t know however, maybe I never will in this life? But again, all is grace!

  8. Very brave writing. Thank you for sharing this. Life is a lot more complicated than we imagine. But God is good.

  9. Depression: who can say what causes it in another or how best to treat it or even how to persevere? I personally am richly blessed by your ministry and relate to your situation. i have a touch of depression but it was formerly work related and the loss of my 36 year old daughter. However, my wife has fibromyalgia (totally disabled) and has suffered for over 12 years. Unrelenting pain brings depression and even bi-polar disorder. Depression can be relieved with proper medications and I presume you have been down that path. Send me a private e-mail if you are interested in this.

  10. Lag,

    Thanks for your words. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. My sister was 34. I have someone very close to me who has the same condition as your wife. It causes great pain confusion and depression.

    I have not ever taken any drugs for depression. I am so glad that they are available. I resisted two years ago due to some stuff that happened to my sister when she took them. My wife has been on them though for some time.

  11. Wow, I just read this post, and I relate so much to what you wrote. Having gone through several traumatic things in my teenage years and then having a very dysfunctional family, I would have thought that I would have gone through a depression sooner, but it hit me suddenly in 2006 when I was 43. I didn’t relate to depression or even fear it until then, even though my older brother had experienced severe depression which required hospitalization for several months in his early 20’s, and he has battled it ever since. I had great concern for him but never understood depression until I experienced it. I understand the “pit” now that you don’t know how to climb out of. I tried to logic my way out. My current circumstances did not warrant depression in my mind. How could I be depressed when I had such a great husband and three fantastic kids. It didn’t make sense, and it came on fairly quickly and was intense for 6 months. There were always emotional difficulties in my family to deal with, so I didn’t understand why all of a sudden I was not coping in a healthy manner. I sought counseling and looked up suicidal help on the internet. I didn’t want anyone to know how bad I was. I even kept it from my husband until I was scaring myself. I had always battled through all the emotional stuff and had risen above. That was my expectation for myself, you always rise above eventually. For the first time, I couldn’t rise above. I think all the past pain and codependent relationships caught up with me, and all of a sudden my mind was not functioning well. I knew I had to analyze all my thinking patterns and analyze every relationship even my relationship with God, because it was a matter of survival. I sought counseling, but quite frankly, she didn’t tell me much that I didn’t already know. I think I just finally took action on what I knew. I also felt like chemically my body was off, but I also knew I needed to change a lot of thinking too. I wasn’t sure which caused which, or did I just have both going on from suppressing a lot of stress over the years.

    I relate to still fearing depression even though I am not currently depressed. I found myself in this horrible dark place, and I still don’t know how I really got there, and quite honestly, I don’t know how I got out. The darkness just lifted one day after I broke down at church and let a few people know how bad I was doing. I was an elder’s wife at the time. I just know that I don’t ever want to go back. So, I really watch my stress load now. I feel like I have to protect myself to stay healthy. The hard part is all of the questions that I have now that I didn’t used to have, about life, about spirituality, about my faith. I think I am way more honest with myself now. I am a firm believer that truth sets you free.

  12. Dear Michael,
    Thank you for this post.
    Honestly, I’ve been reading your blog for 7 months now and it has never occurred to me that I should be praying for you. Please forgive my shortcoming; I will be mindful to pray.

    I thank God that you have been taught and equipped to have mercy on those who doubt.

    I’ve gone through atheism since I’ve been a Christian, and desired to be an atheist after I was brought out of it. I was almost completely broken for 6 months (and was apathetic in order to cope). I do not know how you are doing, but if you want another person to talk to who can understand. I’m here.

    May God give you grace and peace in abundance,
    Aaron

  13. Aaron.

    You are so very kind. Thank you very much. It is hard for me to ask for or expect prayers from those who I don’t know I covet them.

    May God continue to encourage you and give you hope in difficult times.

    Thank you to you all. As I said in the post I am not in the darkness and have not been for quit se time I am very
    Conscious that I could fall again.

  14. DearMichael, haven’t read you for awhile–too busy dealing with church madness (saddest thing ever)… but this was an interesting stop in. I’ve never been severely depressed, I guess I’ve been through some bouts…one in college I recall, and had a depressing marriage for many years. That’s getting better since Jesus broke in.
    Anyway, it nice to read you. Your writing has a beauty to it, especially when it comes from the heart. I’m glad your mind is not not still broke, and that your ministry continues to grow and develop. I hope that brings you some joy. It should.

  15. I suffered a 15 month season of depression 14 years ago. I kept pastoring thru it & only survived because of my wife, board members & friends & Christ’s grace.

    That horrible dark time now serves as a season of hope for others who are suffering.

    Keep walking my friend.

  16. Truth Unites... and Divides January 6, 2012 at 8:12 am

    This might not be personally comforting (although I sincerely hope it is) but …

    Your depression might help/will help you in counseling and encouraging others who are going through depression. Your empathy is an immense help I would think.

  17. I can tell you as someone who’s struggled with this off and on in a similar fashion, one of the hardest parts is sharing it with people who can’t relate. The look in their eye that says, “I’m trying to be empathetic, but I just don’t get it. Why don’t they just snap out of it?” is devastating. Particularly when it comes from pastors. Unfortunately, that was exactly the situation for me. No one in my circle of relationships could understand and so I felt like I was having a pity-party every time I tried to share what I was dealing with (which wasn’t often as a result).

    Don’t underestimate the power of having someone (or being someone) with a look in their eye that simply says, “I know.” Not a patronizing “I know”, but a genuine aching “I know” that only comes from having actually endured the experience. That connection, however small, and while not necessarily able to change the circumstances, can still be a life-line. A small, but very powerful connection when every other supposedly good thing seems dim and utterly distant. It’s something I would have given anything for.

  18. Blessings and Congratulations on your “anniversary”..

  19. We like to imagine that we live in a world that we think should exist. A world where we always survive and perhaps where we are significant. Yet we live in the world that does exist. When we are young everything seems conquerable, but as we age we become conquered. All of us are dying. Falling apart piece by piece. Unfortunately, we are not nearly as significant as we thought. We cling to our youth or our few working parts and we cling to the concept of God that has been imprinted on our brain. We watch people suffer. We watch people die and we say it is for God’s good pleasure and His glory. It is no wonder we all struggle at times.

  20. I took the time to read this article simply because sometimes I just need to hear I am not all alone in the pain that I enduured. I will not go in detail,because the pain is so severe I still have to push it away. I had to learn to forgive over and over again. God does get us through it, but one of the lessons through trails is forgive and love those who bad mouth and want to hurt you. This is a very hard lesson in life. Another one I had to learn is sometimes you have to let go of someone you love and let God work on them.This is a hard one. We can not change people they have to change ,because they want to. I watched what God does to those who are prideful and want to hurt just for the sake of they want to belittle you and treat you like dirt. I had to run for my life over a year time and lived in fear that I would die in the hands of my own husband at the time. He was a verbal abuser and physical too. God caused him to have a accident, and there after for 2 years he was in the hospital and nursing homes. God worked on his heart and changed him. 2 years God tranformed him into a man I never knew when I was married to him. His family still treats me like I am a nobody who caused all this. I am doing better, but alot more went down. He died July 7th and one message he wanted all to here was that he thanked the Lord for his pain to save his soul, because he knew he was heading towards a dead end. I am telling you very little, but enough to say we all had to become stronger people and face the truth about how precious life is. Love with all your heart, and don’t hold back. It just might be to late for you . God works on all of us different. He knows what we all need. And He does care about everyone of us,and is helping us become better people if we will just listen and open our hearts up and recieve it.

  21. I think “depression” is somewhat normal, and that we should not jump to put it in a classification by itself, but I do know many people suffer from some kind of clinical depression. As I have said, I suffer myself from PTSD (military combat), but it is not, nor has it become thank God, clinical for me. But when the pain comes, it just comes.. as we all know who have suffered any kind of depression.

    I should note here that I do hosptial chaplain work as a Anglican priest or minister myself, so I see depression in others many times. I have had some classes on this, with sexual psychology. Indeed we simply live in a broken and fallen world! And yet, Christ is the Victor, in every area of our lives!

  22. Michael,
    Do you think the apostle Paul went through some type of depression? Reading his comments like “despaired of life” and “from now on let no man trouble me” sound pretty deep to me. I am also thinking about John the Baptist as well when he was imprisioned. Or what about Elijah, David, Moses, Jacob? What those guys endured, how could they not at least be tempmted to fall into a mentally depressed state? They were human. Even the Lord himself was in great agony in the Garden of Gethsamane. Feelings of hopelessness and abandonment are agony to the soul and really inexplicable? I have as a Christian pleased with the Lord to take me. I went to bed at night anticipating not awakening on this side, only to be deeply disappointed the next day! I had been a Christian for a lone time, too. Sorry but I do not want to experience that again – ever. Although I will say that my faith did grow greatly, and another set of circumstances may be developing as I write but I am not asking the Lord to “send it on”. My faith is not there yet – maybe that’s why my faith is not there yet! Having said all of this, what you described is much deeper than my experience. I say like the Lord said in the garden, “if it be possible let this cup pass from me”! May I never experience it that deeply. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I think it takes a very mature Christian to share what you’ve shared with us. God bless you and expand your boundaries in ministry. I believe the Lord is using you in a great way. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.

  23. Michael, I posted earlier, but never said “thank you” for being real. When I went through my depression, I didn’t feel like I could open up about it. My role at church was the “encourager”, and when I started to struggle with that role, I was told that I was not very encouraging anymore, so I just tried to deal with my depression on my own. The night I read a blog on the internet about why people start feeling suicidal, the words on the screen made me feel so understood. I wanted to get better, and I was willing to face hard truth to get better, but I needed someone to understand. People will feel understood by your words, and that is a huge step toward healing. I guess that is what the counselor did for me more than anything, was to help me feel understood and validated my pain without encouraging me to remain a victim.

    I never got on medication either, because I wanted to see if evaluating and changing my thinking and taking action where I needed to take action would help me heal, and it did. It was scary taking this path as I was more unstable than anyone realized, except myself. I don’t believe God caused my depression. I think my own thought patterns and belief systems over the years in dealing with emotional stressors finally broke my mind. But I believe that God was there with me ready to rebuild me when I finally broke. After having gone through this, I am not against the use of medicine, but in this fallen world, I think we always have to be open to evaluating the neural pathways and belief systems which are all built on chemical reactions that we create over the years in dealing with life. Feeling like there was something I could do to help myself actually gave me hope. The book Choice Theory, although not a Christian book and I don’t agree with everything in it, really helped me take responsibility for what I was responsible for. My own pride caused me to hide and feel shame about my depression, and the day I really surrendered that pride because I was so desperate and I didn’t care who knew, is the day the dark cloud left me and has not returned. It actually felt like a miracle to me, and I’m not one to use that word lightly, but maybe whatever truth my mind was finally willing to accept is what caused the cloud to be lifted. I would like to ask God when I see him someday. Either way God is truth, and I believe truth sets us free. Not free from pain, but free from bondage.

  24. Michael,

    2 Cor 1 reminds us that our pain is not wasted. Having lived with a depressed wife for most of my marriage, and also wishing I could have just read a book, or something else, I take solace in this fact–God uses our pain to glorify Him in the lives of others.

    God bless,
    Kraig

  25. Amen there! Ultimately the whole Christian life defies definition sometimes, but as Christian’s in a fallen, broken world, and ourselves still somewhat attached, we can see such Scripture like 2 Cor. 4:10-11, etc., and know that our human suffering has been strangely redeemed by God in Christ! And yet we must pass thru it, somehow in the ‘dark night of the soul’, but with Christ! And often we have no answers, save Christ Crucified & Risen.

  26. Thanks so much for sharing about your depression. My struggle as well. My heart cries we were made for greater things. I know that there waits a land wheret the ugly thing will no longer plague us.

  27. Just to clarify my statement about depression being normal, my point was that so many today seek to define depression, and there are many definitions. Since I am hospital chaplain, sadly I see people who have been told that they have “depression” problems, when this is often only true in the general sense, when there has been no real clinical or medical connection, or diagnosis. I mean we are all psychological beings, and we are all going to have some aspect of psychological up and downs, but this is hardly always clinical. This was my point, I would never try to diminsh this reality!

  28. I heard myself telling my ten-year-old daughter just yesterday, “There are places your mind can’t go. Don’t try go imagine how God transcends the universe. Don’t try to imagine infinity. You will go crazy.” It was like a weight lifted off my shoulders. Because at that very point, I had NO DOUBT in my mind that God, our great and merciful creator God, is the one who created the universe, who knit me together, who holds me in his hand, who loves his Bride. And acknowledging that there are things I can’t think about or I will fall into a hell on earth made the battle feel half-won, and downhill from here as though I’m gaining momentum on kicking this nightmare out onto the street.

    That dark place I was in over the summer and fall, I don’t ever want to go back. I never despaired of living; rather, I was terrified of death. It was like a reverse depression. Every night, every day all day, I wanted to curl up into a ball and fall asleep, but I was terrified to fall asleep because it was too much like death. I have never experienced anything like that before; it took all my energy to function and keep going.

    I have been overwhelmed at how much brighter the colors are, and how much stronger the scents are, coming out of this tunnel. I have probably struggled with this on and off my whole life but it’s never been as acute as it has this time. But like you said, I can walk, but with a limp. I feel like I have scar tissue over my soul; it is different, I am not the same. Something in my soul has been rent, shifted, subdued.

    I have found support here, this site has literally been a lifeline. I have prayed like I never have in years past, desperately seeking peace and direction. It was given to me through ministry of friends and through the worship of the covenant body.

    No matter what we endure, no matter what we go through, we know the end of the story. And that end is everlasting light, peace forever, a forever-victory, perfect bodies with no limp, no darkness, and the only weight pressing us down will be the weight of His glory. He turns our mourning into dancing; He has put off our sackcloths and filled us with joy.

    The LORD be with you.

  29. I wish I would have read your post from a few years ago. It would probably of been very helpful to me back then. But God decided it better that I feel alone and he be my only recourse daily. I’ve been broken so long that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be unbroken. But the good thing is that I’m stable these days, but can be easily busted if God so wills it.
    I am very happy you wrote of your experience as it gives me perspective and comfort knowing I’m not the only one has been in that place.
    Thank you!

  30. Michael, thanks so much for putting into words exactly what I have been feeling for the past 2-3 years. I am out of it now, and I feel the same way as you about being out of it. I wondered if this was normal. Many of the people that I know seem to always be walking in victory. I was ashamed to share it with them, for fear that they would think something is wrong with me. You know how people can just say things like “get over it!.” Again, thanks. It is therapeutic to hear you talk about it.

  31. Well expressed. I speak as someone who has had a similar experience.

  32. Thank you, Michael and friends, for continuing to talk about this. I first found this blog while suicidal, after two years of blinding, life debilitating depression. At that time, hearing stories about how Michael’s family had to deal with his sister’s death helped me to keep going, so that I wouldn’t hurt my family in this way. I have survived depression for 3 years and 7 months. It is better now than before.

    It is encouraging to know that I am not alone, nor am I the only Christian to go from having a confident walk with God to wondering if He is real, and if real, if He is good. I am lurking for the most part, but these posts about doubt and depression help me to keep fighting, to stay alive, and to cling to those tiny moments of hope when I find them. Please continue posting, because you are helping me to persevere.

  33. Deanna, keep fighting. Each morning, when you wake up, pray to the Lord to preserve you, to keep you from stumbling, to forgive you for your unbelief, to hold you fast.

    My struggle has been recent, but unbearably dark. I found this blog by “accident” and it literally kept me sane. I felt like something was breaking and shearing off in my soul while I was going through my darkest days. I thought I was alone.

    I found this song today. It took my breath away and maybe it will encourage you. I love you because you are a sister in Christ. Don’t give up. He has already won the battle for you, there is nothing to fear. Our story has the happiest ending.

    Not many years their rounds shall roll
    Each moment brings it nigh
    And all your glories stand revealed
    To our admiring eye
    You wills of nature speed your course,
    You mortal powers decay
    Fast as you bring the night of death
    You bring eternal day

    You weary heavy-laden souls
    Who are oppressed sore
    You travelers through the wilderness
    To Canaan’s peaceful shore
    Through beating winds and chilly rains,
    And waters deep and cold
    And enemies surrounding you
    Have courage and be bold

    The storms and hurricanes arise
    The desert all around
    And fiery serpents oft appear
    Through the enchanted ground
    Dark night and clouds and gloomy fear
    And dragons often roar
    But when the gospel trump we hear
    We’ll press for Canaan’s shore

  34. @Deanna: It is a very blessed reality to know that Christ is actually still “Incarnate”, though certainly “Glorified” on the Father’s Throne “above”, in the Glory! This is at least one thing that helps me! As Christians we still need the “mystical” reality of God. :)

  35. Sometimes we are broken and slip into deep darkness where despondency and despair join hands with hopelessness. Some call it depression, some call it the dark night of the soul, and whatever you call it, it is a living hell. I once spent seven years in that hole before I climbed out and there have been other times when I spent a few months there. I don’t ever want to go there again.

    But honestly, for all the agony of being there, when I look back, these have been the times that either my faith stood or fell but ultimately grew as I found that the only victory for me could come by faith. I learned to believe, I chose to believe that God was greater than my darkness. Even the darkness is light to Him.

    Those times stripped me of my self sufficiency and my belief that I could survive anything. When you are thrown on your face and only have God, you learn two things. First, apart from Him we can do nothing. Second, you learn how much you really do not believe the truth. The darkness forces you to choose to believe as an act of your will. For me, it was believe or perish.

    The other thing I learned is that God will not allow these things to destroy me. I am flesh, and so weak and feeble. He is God. When I grow sick of looking at myself and center my eyes on him, my deliverance comes.

    Your mileage may vary. I feel for anyone who has to go through this school.

  36. Well said Judy. I think you came out the other side in a much better place than before if only to know for yourself that YOU belong to God.

  37. Btw, for those that read historically, you might want to check out the life of that great Anglican and Bible translator, J.B. Phillips. He suffered great depression, even after his success in his NT Bible, and other translation work. I still have some old tapes of his, like ‘When God Was Man’, etc. He was a fine Christian man, and I loved his voice and speaking!

  38. Sir, I am so thankful to you for posting an article on this topic. I will not use this comment as a place to tell my own story, but suffice it to say that I am just crawling out from under the two worst years of my life. I have been depressed on and off for years, but the last two—I still wonder what happened, whether I committed some horrible sin without knowing it. “Also when I cry and shout, He [shut] out my prayer.” I’m sorry if I am rambling, but all I wanted to say is that it is so refreshing to read someone else’s description of a broken mind and to realize that one is not alone on the dark cold planet. Thank you most sincerely for being so honest.

  39. Depressed Pastor May 4, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Thanks, Michael. This could have been me you were talking about, almost word for word bar a few detals. Most of my pain now is due to “Job’s friends” who will not see depression other than being an expression of “hidden sin” or simply do not comprehend the struggle.

    Your words have been of great help and comfort to me over this last year. I appreciate you a lot.

    Our journeys are all different and yet the there is a “brotherhood” with depression – it is hard to understand unless you have been there. For me it started more gradually, but ended suddenly. 1000mg of B3 a day was all it took for me. Off like a light switch. But the “broken glass glued back together” analogy is exactly how I feel right now. The depression goes but the residue lives on.

  40. Wow!! been there and still wondering and too! I can relate completely because I just read about my self and this one is so hard to understand, it just boggles ones mind. Your not alone and thank you so much for your story.

  41. I just listened to a very encouraging interview that Justin Taylor did with Pastors John Piper and John MacArthur (http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2012/05/04/a-conversation-with-john-piper-and-john-macarthur/). While John MacArthur states bluntly he’s very rarely moved much emotionally, John Piper talks very openly about his struggles with emotional ups and downs. What’s encouraging about his testimony and yours is that a person finally begins to realize, perhaps for the first time, that he’s not alone in his struggle. And depression is a very lonely fight.

    Something that has been very helpful to me is to stop asking myself, “Why is this happening?” (with an eye toward cause) and instead ask myself “For what purpose is this happening?” (with an eye toward result). I’ll go crazy trying to figure out “why” and will probably never come up with an answer. However, the “what for” is much easier to find and much more comforting. God is making me more like…

  42. Yes, “don’t ever want to go there again” and believing the Sovreignty of God are the two facts that stand out. Have had depression for years but went into the darkest place I could never have imagined after two surgeries in close succession. I did have problems with pain meds after each, then felt like you said shortly after the second surgery. My mind broke. Only claiming His perfect understanding has kept me from going under. No one who has never been here can understand so when they give trite answers I suppose we should pray they never have to experience it.

Leave a Reply