Monday, June 16, 2014

What Depression Feels Like

In a writing, Charles Spurgeon talked openly about his depression in The Minister's Fainting Fits.  He hated his depression, he viewed it as a vice.  He knew it kept him from doing the things he wanted to do, needed to do.  I recommend you check out The Minister's Fainting Fits, it's worth the time and work to read Spurgeon.  It's nice to know that a great man of God like Charles Spurgeon suffered with depression.  He was not the only one, many great men in history were shackled to dark, crushing infirmity.  I am not calling myself a great man, but I share this connection with them.  I have a disorder called dystemic disorder that leads to chronic depression.  I hate it, I hate my depression and I struggle against it when it shows up.

I have tried all sorts of remedies, like food and whole food and diets and exercise and rest and herbs and medications and counseling.  I have a disorder that I have to manage and there is no easy cure.  The disorder plus the sinful and fallen world we live in means I'm going to have days.  Today is one of those days, so I'm going to share what is feels like.

I want you to imagine that you are in a long, narrow room.  You are at one end of the room, and at the other is a table.  On this table are your dreams.  These are things you are passionate about and you know they are within your reach.  You can get them, they are right there.  You are in a chair, all you have to do is stand up and get them.  It's a short walk and all you have to do is get up.  Just stand up and walk over.

You can't stand up.  You are stuck, something is holding you to the chair, and it's powerful.  You can't move the chair, you can't break free, you can't even see what is holding you down.  People are in the room, and they just see you sitting in the chair.  They tell you to just get up, they can't see anything holding you back.  Some even push you or pull you, but you can't move.  You reach and stretch, push and pull and finally slump defeated.  The table seems like it's getting further away.  All the voices and sounds begin to merge into white noise.  You hang your head, determined but defeated.  Not sure how you can break these shackles that you can't see or touch or feel.

Sometimes the shackles let go and you can get up and get your hands on a dream or two.  You can stand at the table for a while, but then a dark force begins to pull you.  You feel wrapped up and suddenly and without warning you are back in the chair.  You are trapped all over again, and you fight again to get free.  For some, the prison is a room, the bed they can't seem to get out of.  Some hide in work or a hobby.  Some hide in movies, tv or video games.  These things are not escapes, but the chairs that hold us down.  Often we find ourselves shacked by them, unable to move.  I know of one person who told me that all she could do is stare at the wall.  She was chained and bound and her mind was in a black pit.

I have dreams and goals, a non-profit, some evangelism and Bible Study material and I have so many books I want to write.  I sit down and look at my computer and it's like the chains are wrapped around my hands.  I can't write, I can't edit and I can't read.  My brain is numb and I feel overwhelmed by the size of the projects I am looking to tackle.  I am thankful that I can manage to blog during these dark days, I wish I had the ability to do what I really wanted.  I want to work on my Mustang, on my truck, to build things and write things.  I can't explain the inability, but my soul is bound, my mind is pressed and my spirit is confined in a dark hole.  Unless you experience it, I'm sure it's hard to fathom, but many of us struggle every day.  I hope this has helped you to understand the pain and suffering of depression.

PS.  Please don't send me your depression remedies, I have a doctor and he is amazing.

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