Depression: How did I get here?

As I look back on my life and the things that could have led me to my depression I see a few things–sexual abuse, weight gain during college, years of unknown reasons for being sick, a hard first ministry assignment. I don’t know if any one of those things was the culprit, all I know is I have struggled with depression for many years. There was a point in my life (mainly during college) when I denied the fact that I was depressed. When I filled out medical history forms at doctor offices and the question about depression was there I’d always check “no.” However, I knew I was lying, but I don’t think I was ready to admit it to myself and others yet. At some point I finally admitted it to myself, and I had to ask myself, how did I get here? How did I, a happy, cheerful person, get to a point of depression in my life? I mean, I’m a Christian. I live my life for the Lord. I was active in church, led a women’s ministry at church, had daily quiet time with God. How on earth was I finding myself truly and utterly depressed? I remember going to the doctor and talking to her about this and was prescribed an anti-depressant. I’ve been on that ever since. How did I get to this point?

There are days when I’m in the depths of depression when I still wonder why I’m here and how did I get here. There are times when my depression rears it’s ugly head, and I feel I become a different person. When I was going through intense counseling for the abuse I went through my depression hit an all time low.

What have I learned? I’ve learned that depression is real. It’s there. It’s not a matter of just putting on a smile and having a positive outlook. It exists, yes, even in a Christian. I’ve also learned that even in the times when I feel the most depressed God is still there. God is with me and loves me and is there to help me through it. Is it fun? No! Is it easy because God is there? No! But, it is doable. I know with God by my side I will be able to get out of this depressive state and will be able to move on. Sometimes this blows over in a day or two; sometimes it takes much longer.

My friend, know this: God loves you. You do not have to suffer in this alone. God created you, knows everything you’re dealing with and loves you just the same. What an awesome promise that is! Hold on to his hand and don’t let go. I leave you with this verse. It’s from the book of Isaiah and has been a source of comfort to me many, many times. “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand, and who says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’ ” Isaiah 41:13.

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6 thoughts on “Depression: How did I get here?

  1. Pingback: Medication & Depression (Part 2) « Living With Real Joy

  2. I am very happy that you are healing! I have always been a happy-go-lucky person, despite a very difficult childhood (including sexual abuse). Although I was generally positive, there was an evil meanness living inside of me, but I was freed from that when I accepted the LORD into my heart in 1997. I never battled with depression until August 2010 – I had just returned from a year in Afghanistan, where I had a very important and demanding job. I had been working 12-18 hours a day, and regularly entertained calls from the Joint Staff and people throughout the theater. My baby girl *sob* had failed her 1st year of college while I was gone, and got pregnant, and got married. I knew all of this already, but I hadn’t really dealt with it yet. I had moved to Tampa from Germany just 2 months before I deployed, so I didn’t really know anyone here. I reported for work, and they didn’t have anything for me to do, so I was just sitting around all day (a very hard transition for me). My house was full of boxes, but I couldn’t find the motivation to unpack. I had one friend here who I was in Germany with, but her daughter – who graduated high school with mine – was in college and doing great, and I just didn’t want to be around her. My best friend told me the pregnancy was my fault because I wasn’t a strict enough parent, so I didn’t want to talk to her (we have since mended our relationship). I started sleeping a lot and not going to work – no one seemed to notice. I didn’t even turn to the Lord because I felt like He was disappointed in me as a mother. I got to the point where I was always on the verge of tears, so I finally went to the mental health clinic on base. I declined the drugs, but did my homework (find a church, do a group activity, etc.) and renewed my relationship with God. I dealt with all of the emotions that had triggered my depressed state, and was able to get back to normal. Last weekend I celebrated my granddaughter’s 1st birthday with my daughter and son-in-law, and I realize that there is not one “right” path in life. They are a beautiful family and they are happy. I am now married and have 2 more daughters. We are looking for a new church (the mega-church thing isn’t working out for me lol), but life is fabulous and GOD is faithful! I believe that there are 2 types of depression: event-triggered, like what I experienced, and chemical-imbalance, such as you seem to be battling. It’s exciting to read about how your lifestyle changes are helping you in this area! OK, TMI…sorry for rambling…have a blessed day!

  3. this post helped me so much. Ill soon be posting about depression on my blog soon. (I link to yours on that too because some things you said made me think and helped me) thank you and im so glad I found your blog.

  4. Pingback: I am depressed, but I am still me | Roots to Blossom

  5. Jeni,
    WOW. powerful. Thank you. Did you know this is Mental Health Awareness Week? Praying for you always and am so glad you are my friend. Looking foward to tonight.. if you are still feeling up to it after a sleepless night!

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