One night this week, as I decided at 7:00 PM to call it a night…(was very tired because for weeks ((years??)) have not been sleeping hardly at all)…and was suddenly oppressed (and I believe that is an accurate word) by a heavy wave of a feeling that I’d suffered with, overcome, and from which I’d spent the past 22 years fleeing: Despair. Depression is a highly overused word. Only those who have truly grappled with this monster can really honestly relate to the word “Despair.’ Depression is the feeling; DESPAIR is the root cause. (and yes, it can also become an effect of the disease depression). But I believe (at least in my case this has proved to be true…) that it wasn’t until the issue of Despair, HOPE, and my future were grappled with and put squarely into the hands of the only One big enough and powerful enough to handle them…that I had any kind of ammunition to launch at that familiar enemy who stalks me like a sniper.
Yes, Depression is chemical. Absolutely. It has genetic and hormonal components. It is an illness. And I am not saying that anyone who truly puts their hope in God will never suffer from it…NO! I have numerous close friends who are wonderfully devoted to the Savior, who suffer mightily in the grip of this disease. And I know that there may come a day when my best efforts at camouflage and evasion, and prayer could falter against the powers of this beast. But the difference between the me now…and the me who suffered without a glimmer of a break for well over a decade… is this: now, I can know that there IS hope. I can know this with my heart and mind…and can have some dispute with my emotions who shout at me otherwise. I have prayer and thus am never truly alone or without anyone to talk to. And best of all, I have a power greater than the power of the Beast, on whom to call when the going gets dark. Just as David in the throes of his agonies and ecstasies (ever wonder if he had bipolar disorder??) cried to the Lord for help and aid …(and if you note that in all but one Psalm, by the end of the psalm, he had reverted to praise and thanks as he found the help he required), so I cry out to the only one who is able to help me. We have all (those of us with this disease) experienced the limitations of psychotherapy or any other kind of therapy. But my God has no limitations. And I know that in his time, sooner or later, he will lift me out and set my feet on a rock once again.
This week, I floundered. And today, sitting in my recliner listening to the silence around me…began to talk to Jesus…and we had the sweetest time together. He held me as I wept and said exactly the things I needed to hear…really needed to hear. He went straight to the core of the problem, as he always does…avoiding all of the symptoms and my reasonings…and went for my heart. He mended and bolstered up what was weak and sinking… And now, NOTHING HAS CHANGED…in my life, or in my circumstances or in my illnesses…
But now I have a quiet hope. And once more can go on, knowing who it is that holds my hand.