Many years ago - feels like a lifetime ago - in the middle of a deep and prolonged depression I was desperately flipping through my Bible and stumbled across Psalm 20:5.
"We will shout for joy when you are victorious and
will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the LORD grant all your requests"
I highlighted the verse and 'hid it in my heart'. I shared the verse with no one, but held it close; my personal promise from God. Months later, still in the grips of depression, a friend gave me a card with - you guessed didn't you? the same verse. Confirmation! With as much might as I could muster, I clung to the verse as a promise of victory ahead.
One of the more difficult pieces of my depression was the hopelessness. Did anyone get better? Did the cloud ever lift? Would I ever be useful again? Would I ever see in colour rather than the dismissal, dull gray?
|It was a long way up and worth the climb!|
The severity of the depression was intense for several months, however full recovery was years of work!
Depression: Behind the Mask
by Carol (the view in 1995)
Isolation, darkness, the black pit. Guilt, blame, shame…..I’m so bad. Who needs me? Who is better off with me alive?
I’m so tired….but I can’t sleep. I’m afraid to lie down. I’ll lie for hours before I sleep and then like clock work I’ll awake at Wide awake, but tired, my mind racing, afraid, another day of bleakness to face. Yet….
Eventually I’ll get up, get dressed, feed the kids, take them to school and then drive on to work. Unless I can’t, then I’ll need help, but who will help, do I deserve help? What mother can’t take care of her children…..?
Work passes slowly, in a fog, the sounds are so loud and everyone demands decisions from me…..leave me alone, can’t you see that behind this mask I can’t decide, I can’t think and I’m dying. No, I guess you can’t know that….the me you see is not the me inside…and I’m screaming because the me inside is dying…..when it dies completely will I be dead?
Home again, but I can’t get off the couch. It’s good that the kids can make Kraft dinner….today I’m too tired to even go through the drive through. Food has ceased to have a taste, eating takes too much energy…..at least I’m losing weight….5’8” and 119 pounds….I feel thin…I’m scared, I can’t eat….swallowing is too much of an effort, drink water, they say…you’re electrolytes are down…drink water…I can’t swallow. I’m so tired. My kids ask so many questions, maybe I can go shoot at least one basket with them…..ah I did it and now I’m back on the couch.
The doctor says I need medication….more guilt, now I can’t even function without med’s. Life is darker today than ever…..and the tears won’t stop.
I yell at a colleague, I go home from work early…..the next stop is the hospital.
Please make my mind stop, let me sleep…..everything bad is not my fault…or am I evil?
Stay in the hospital or go home….I don’t know….I cry….I stay.
When did this start? It seems like months since I felt normal, or sane or good. Where did all the colours go? Life on the outside is so gray.. Life on the inside is black and deep and terrifying. Can’t someone help me, can’t someone make this go away, and can’t someone bring me back. I’m not sure how much longer I can live like this?
Behind the Mask is a reflection of pain from close to SIXTEEN YEARS AGO.
There has been much change; most for the better.
The victory banner, my banner; celebrating a victorious return from depression remains in my heart and mind. Make no mistake, my banner is HUGE!!!! It flies high, waving to and fro, bolstered by the winds of joy!
Are you ready to plant your banner?
|Better is Possible|