Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Thirty Ninth Post - Banner

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… 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.
Finally sleep…….
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?
…so sad,
    …so ashamed,
         …so tired,
             …so worthless,
                    …so tiny,
                         …so bad!

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


  1. I guess you reach this stage when you lose yourself.A woman should never give up her independence or her sense of self.
    You were born for a reason and you have a job to do in this world.
    I remember one dream I had where these tall strange people in robes were looking over my body and talking amongst themselves saying I wasn't doing, what I was sent here to do.
    That was scary. To think powerful entities existed who had the right and power to terminate me any time they wanted to.
    People are their souls. People are not their bodies. Who you are, has self worth , and what you do has to be something which makes you unique and happy, rejecting neg influences which hurt you.People are born to make a difference.
    There is too great a world out there to embrace and to discover. Who has time to sit depressed?
    Children are a blessing and if you have any then you are truly blessed. Grandchildren are a blessing.These are major positives in your life.
    Indulge in life and living because this is your time. Trust in God for he puts tests in your life you asked him to, before you were born, to make you a better person. Think positive, move forward and be happy and tell those you meet on your path that they too are on a journey to resolve issues to make them better people.I just did. :)

  2. Thanks for your comment Lady's Life. I am indeed blessed and fortunate to have had the supports in place to guide my work out of the depressive state. I don't believe that anyone chooses to sit depressed, but neither is it as simple as willing oneself out of a major depressive episode. To state such could seem that blame is being placed on the depressed person for their illness. Often depression is the only coping tool available. I have seen scared, weary people embrace, however weakly, courage as they move out of the 'depths of depair'. A despair that at times can clearly be described as profound illness. The main point of my post was to give let anyone who may be in the desperate place know that there is hope for the journey. That people have gone before and planted banners!
    If you are experiencing depression, ask for help, even if that asking is only a whisper. Whisper for help again and again. Take a look at the links in my sidebar....take a step, a breath, a sigh towards deserve it!

  3. You are right.
    But the thing is, to teach people not to despair.
    Once one reaches the point of despair, then it is difficult to get oneself out of it.
    Yes, by all means seek support , ask for help. Whisper, Breath deep,a sigh towards health :)
    Do not throw away a gift you've been granted, people would die to take away from you. Tomorrow is another day. A new sun . A new page turned. A new beginning.

  4. Hi. This is the first time I've visited you, I found your blog through Lee's April Challenge. This is such a depressing post but I'm not going to try to help you with all sorts of psycological advice, how can I. What I will say is I hope you come to the realization at some stage in your life that you are not here to feel needed. You are needed, that's all there is to it. If everything seems to be grey and black to you don't you think you could change that by at least putting a little colour into your blog background. Grey, how boring. Take off your dark glasses and see the amazingly colourful world God has given to you to play in. Thank you Lord. Come visit me at my blog and get your chin up or at least read this post from one of my followers and have a laugh.
    God bless you. Geoff.

  5. HI Geoff
    How kind of you to take the time to write about your concern. I guess my writing isn't as clear as I thought.....oops.
    I am ...shout from the roof tops well! GLORY! It has been more than 16 years since stepping out of my depression. I've never written about my depression and felt a prompt to do so. I meet many depressed (in the clinical sense) people and had wanted to let them know there is hope, there is victory.
    I have a banner that is flying high!!! Psalm 20:5
    Thanks for you comment, I am living proof that there is Hope to rise out of the dark place.

  6. That makes me think of the verse "With God, all things are possible."

  7. Hi. thanks for responding to my comment. I'm so glad to hear that this happened so long ago. I thought about your post for hours last night and realized that I needed to re-read it, just goes to show doesn't it?
    I have a friend
    who is struggling in this area. I will post a comment on her site and direct her to you. Maybe she will find encouragement in your writing. Geoff.

  8. Geoff, thanks so much for coming back. I could sense your concern. Yes, life is good and balanced....
    Have a wonderful day!