On any given day, I can hear the call of the hounds of hell that threaten to over take me. I can hear them barking and threatening to take away the sliver of light that I found for just this moment. The hope that has shone through from a Glorious Creator, The LORD. The only Light that can penetrate my darkness that is so black, so deep. That it can be felt in my bone marrow. He is the only One who can pull me out. Thank you for all those you’ve sent alongside me that have been used by You to rescue me.
I suffer from depression. As far back as I can remember, even in grade school. During college I never personally met Jesus. I heard about Him, but never came to know Him personally. I lived a life that was pleasing, pleasing only to me. A selfish life that revolved around I, me and myself. I was a happy, healthy 20 something college girl pursuing a law degree. Depression came in one day after a series of events in my life that totally turned my world upside down. The event itself is not important it was the downward spiral that caused me to contemplate ending my own life for the second time in my young life. What did this 20 something college girl have to live for? At that time in my life, the answer was nothing. You may ask how that could be and I look back and ask the same thing, but when the darkness is so thick in your life that you can feel it, a lot of things just don’t make sense. It is so easy to get lost, especially when the focus has turned inward instead of upward. I lost about three months of my life, I don’t remember anything about that time only the darkness and how it surrounded me and promised me things that this world I was walking in could not give. What can I say other than it was tempting.
Thank God! I found a counselor who took me seriously and a doctor who cared enough to help. With the help of counseling and medication to help my body produce what was lacking, I began a slow journey out of the darkness that swallowed me whole. It was not easy, there were still days when I thought that it would be better to quit. Then there were days when I felt nothing, heard nothing and these were the days I started to crave. Nothingness was better than the all-consuming darkness. When you don’t feel you don’t fear. I didn’t at least. After several years of medication and sporadic counseling, a decision was made for me to come off the medication in hopes of having children. I was scared. What if the hounds of hell returned to haunt me night and day, moment by moment? Would I be able to handle it? or would I succumb?
While I was pregnant, I never struggled with depression. I don’t know if all the hormonal changes within my body caused my body to produce what it had not before, but I was not depressed. Maybe it was that precious life that was growing inside me. Maybe it was the fact that I had finally met Jesus personally and surrendered my life to Him. I am not sure, but I am thankful. So very thankful that Jesus met me right where I was, just how I was. I didn’t have to clean myself up or change, He accepted me.
After the birth of our first child, depression in the form of postpartum depression returned with a vengeance! There was no light no matter how hard I tried to find it. I knew the truth and had met the truth Jesus. But, still I could not pull myself up by the boot straps. It was just total, pitch black. Hopelessness sapped every ounce of energy I had as a new mother. And the feelings of what am I living for returned. Since, I had already experienced this once in my life, I immediately shared it with my spouse and doctor and received treatment. My treatment again came in the form of medication and counseling. Everybody is different and my treatment may not work for you. No matter what type of depression you are facing I urge you greatly to seek help. If no one is listening or no one feels like they are listening cry out louder. But this time something else came along with my depression, guilt, mommy guilt. In order to go on the medication needed to save my life I could not nurse my precious child. Guilt to me is very similar to depression. But in this case I was causing and allowing the feelings. IT wasn’t something that was not being produced in my body. It was me producing it. I listened to the lies. Lies straight from the bowels of hell where the hounds that pursue me reside.
In 2006, my mother committed suicide. Yep, she took her own life one day, just as I had thought about but never had the nerve for years. When you wake up each morning asking yourself, what am I doing this for? Why am I here? And the answers never come, one day you get so tired you can feel the weariness deep within your marrow and you just give up. In my mother’s life it was the result of being sick for years and no hope of getting better. Each day you watch yourself deteriorate and slowly any hope that you can muster is gone. No matter how much I shared with my mom without Jesus she didn’t have a life raft to grab onto. I failed or so I thought. I couldn’t save her and I was right. Only Jesus could.
Depression in my life, it is a picture of me on a floatation device the size of book out in the middle of an ocean. No land in sight, day after day you tread water, hoping, waiting to be rescued. Day after day it does not come until you realize you can not hold on any longer and start looking for ways out. That is what it feels like to me when the darkness creeps in and overshadows me. I won’t know what happened with my mom, but I do know that suicide is final. Once the decision is made and the actions are put in place and the deed is done you leave behind a bunch of questions and in most cases spouses, children, family and friends. The pain that is left is something that doesn’t go away when your loved one commits suicide. The memory is there every moment. Then the feelings of guilt overshadow the pain and the blame game starts. It was my fault, it was your fault, you should have done this… The endless cycle of voices goes on and on. Resolving nothing.
But God… is still in control and after my mother’s suicide I made it out of the grieving period, guess what? The glorious light was shining on the other side. My LORD and Savior was waiting for me with open arms. He held me through the whole ordeal, but I finally saw those nail scarred hands holding me. I still struggle with darkness, depression, but I also still struggle with what suicide leaves behind. They have a name for me, it is a suicide survivor. I survived suicide, my mother’s, my own and now my niece’s.
Apparently, there is a history of mental illness in our family. My mom, my niece and me. But… I am determined with the power of my Lord and Savior to end it here. I don’t want my children or the rest of my family to face what I have faced in my young life. I want them to hear the truth and let the truth set them free.
This was the hardest post I have ever written. This will probably open a can of worms that I am not prepared to face, but I felt the Lord asking me to share my story. This is not all of the story and someday with the Lord’s help I can share more. Hopefully, someone who reads this will get a glimpse of the Light that saved my life too.
Until Next Time,