Thursday, December 18th, 2014
Depression (Part 2)
A Personal Story
Give ear to my prayer, O God;
And do not hide Yourself from my supplication.
Give heed to me and answer me;
I am restless in my complaint and am surely distracted...
My heart is in anguish within me,
And the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me,
And horror has overwhelmed me.
Psalm 55:1-2,4-5 (NASB)
Picture this: For years, a doctor's wife awakened in fear almost every night. Next to her bed was a big Bible. She hugged It closely. But for some reason, she didn't open It. Visions of defeat danced in her head; problems became mountains: unclimbable cliffs and unsolvable riddles. She was haunted by her own inadequacies.
By day, this lady seems to have it all: impressive husband, lovely children, good answers, great job, nice house and expensive perks. But by night, it was a different story. This lady seemed to have nothing.
I was this lady, holding in secret both daytime depression and nighttime panic. Naturally, I sought medical help. Reluctant to walk the path of pills, I met with psychologists. Towards the end of my 31-year marriage (and the beginning of my walk with Christ), my husband and I went to a Christian marriage counselor. None of them could help.
If you believe generational curses exist (God says they do), then mental illness ran in my family: depression, anxiety, insomnia, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, angry fits, nervous breakdowns, hospitalizations and even electric shock treatments.*
As a girl and young woman, I saw my beautiful mother on many psychotropic medications: anti-depressants, sleeping pills and anti-anxiety prescriptions. She was psychologically addicted to them all, but physically addicted to the latter two. Twice she entered drug withdrawal programs. Towards the end of her life, she talked frankly about pills:
'Here's the thing, Carey,' she said: 'It's true, these drugs make you care less about your worries. But they also make you care less about everything else.' Thankfully, her hard example and frank words kept me away from magic pills.
Less my story 'depress' you, praise God! It brought me to the best possible position: my knees. Once there, I sought help and found Jesus. My rewards are immeasurable, but consider this one: After years of torment, my nighttime terrors are gone: 'Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all' (Isaiah 41:12).
As you surely know by stories of your own, my Cure had been waiting all along.
To Be Continued...
* These disorders hit various members of my family in both past and present generations. Miraculously, thankfully, God has broken this curse.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Depression series.