I am a spiritual person, and I consider everything in life to be impacted by spirituality.
If you disagree, that is perfectly fine. I just want to establish my perspective on all things that occur in this life.
Not only am I spiritual, I identify myself as a Christian. A follower of Christ. My whole life is based upon this perspective.
Yesterday I briefly wrote about about my feelings on depression. I have battled severe depression for years. There really is not a time in my life that I can remember not being depressed.
Like many, my depression can be traced back to my childhood where there were many hurts that did not properly heal. Similar to a shattered bone that never heals back quite the same, so is a child’s heart that has been gravely wounded.
My journey with depression took a turn for the worst over three years ago. I was in a car wreck that totaled my car and left me with a crooked spine. Through chiropractic therapy my back finally healed, but my emotions were shaken.
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects millions yet often goes undiagnosed. When mentioned, visions of war torn minds trapped in soldiers bodies typically flood our sight. However, PTSD can affect anyone that experiences anything traumatic. Being attacked by a dog, falling down a flight of stairs, being in a car crash, all of these can trigger anxious feelings and nervous reactions to situations most people would breeze through without a thought.
I was a victim of PTSD. This crash wrecked me for riding with anyone in a car. I still freak out when my husband doesn’t slow down when I think he should. However, the PTSD wasn’t the only thing that was crippling me. Along with it flared up suppressed feelings of depression and anxiety. I tried to battle it on my own, but it was pointless. I failed almost every class I was taking that following semester because I could not handle going to classes. I dealt with insomnia for three and a half years, and I cried almost every night.
My husband, then fiance’, as you can imagine was sick with worry, and he tried everything he could. Finally about a year and a half ago, I became very suicidal. I was constantly plagued with self-destructive thoughts. I took a fist full of pills one night hoping to end it all, but I woke up nearly 18 hours later groggy and completely out of it. I didn’t want to die, but I didn’t want to live with such internal pain.
About a week after that incident, I had an emotional breakdown at my mom’s house. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back. My husband, then fiance’, gave me an ultimatum. He told me to either go to counseling or he was going to have me committed.
I opted for counseling. It was so difficult taking that first step into the office, and I didn’t really talk for crying, but it was nice to have some thought of eventual relief. After sifting through different counselors, I finally found a counselor at a church that I was working at. She was kind and spoke the truth. I was counseled in this ministry for about 5 months, and it saved my life.
I was not completely healed at this place, but it really opened my eyes to how I viewed myself, my family, and God. I had to move away from the town I was in. I started my first after college job, got married, and was doing better. However, I was struggling to just enjoy anything.
So, I knew that I had to find a counselor. My husband and I both wanted separate counseling for ourselves so we found husband and wife counselors who use a specific program to teach you about who you are in Christ. It’s completely grace centered, and full of insightful information.
I didn’t connect with my counselor like my husband did with his, but I did enjoy the material we were covering. I completed the course and was really busy with work, so I was feeling fine.
However, after summer was over, and I was back in school (I’m a teacher), I slowly began to feel completely overwhelmed and stressed out. My depression was rearing its ugly head again, however, I was ready to fight it.
I hate taking medication for anything. I DID NOT want to take anti-depressants. AT ALL. I was completely against the idea. I was taught in church growing up that you need to have faith that God would heal you. And that is great, and I fully believe that He can. I’m not one to put God in a box. However, for me, it was something that had to break my pride. I had to ask for help. I had to admit that I was in desperate need of assistance. God allowed man the common grace to create medicines and many of them help. So I finally caved in and asked for some medication.
I had several counselors and my doctor all tell me that if I could just get a little serotonin boost that it would help my brain to regulate my emotions. I didn’t notice a difference right away, but I at least felt more stable.
Something came up and I’ve had to stop taking my medicine, which has slapped me in the face. I’ve been a little more emotional than normal, but that has seemed to have leveled off in just the last week.
I was praying this weekend for God to touch my heart, to renew me. Last night when I came home from work, I began singing, I as I often do. I started to sing this song I had learned a very long time ago. It’s about putting on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
I couldn’t remember much about the song so I decided to look it up, and as the music started playing, my heart broke. I could feel the Holy Spirit healing my brokenness. I began to praise Him and sing through tearful sobs, and I could feel joy starting to rise inside of me again to the point I ended up dancing around our house.
I know that I still have a long way to go, but there is hope. There is joy.
3 To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion—to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit—that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.